Pagan Portals: Australian Druidry works as a supplement to the study of Druidry and other nature-based spiritual paths as practiced in Australia. The seasons, animals, plants and ancestral histories of the land in Australia are quite different from those of the Celtic lands where Druidry originates. Julie Brett discusses the difficulties of following a nature-based tradition in an environment wildly different from Druidism's place of origin, and offers practical information on how to adapt the practice of Druidry to suit the energy of the land and respect its spirits and ancestors.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
I’ll admit, when I saw this title I believed it was a contradiction in terms. Maybe not a direct contradiction, but when I hear “druid” I think of pre-Christian western Europeans, not Australia.
Some of the most cherished seasonal celebrations in Western/European culture don’t make a ton of sense in the southern hemisphere. With the natural seasons inverted, celebrating Christmas in mid-summer with all its northerly symbols of snow, reindeer, and sleighs seems a bit off. I was pleased to see this very confusion inspired Julie Brett’s work in this book.
I don’t follow a druidic path, but I enjoy reading and learning about belief systems centered in nature. The ideas presented aren’t new, but the fluidity of practice described here feels truer than clinging to what’s familiar for familiarity's sake. It feels brave, embracing a sparse map of belief to find individual meaning in the land you’re in.
There’s enough in the book for anyone with an interest in druidry. If you’re a fan of plant and animal symbolism, she includes some of that. If you’re in search of ritual structures flexible enough to follow you through your travels, there’s some of that too.
I particularly enjoyed Brett’s suggestions on searching for symbolism for yourself, though observing and recording the natural forces at work in your life. I live in a desert. Though December - February is still winter in the US, seasons in our climate mean the opposite of what they mean in most parts of the country. I look forward to using some of these tools to embrace where I live.
There’s little in this book that could cause offense. Respect is reinforced frequently, especially with regard to native peoples’ sacred spaces and symbols.
I’d happily recommend this to someone interested in learning about current druidic practice. Yes, it’s focused on Australia, but the author makes every natural location accessible by sharing how she worked to make Australia accessible. It is well-rounded instruction, useful anywhere.
I’d also give this book to anyone with a desire to connect more with nature and with history. There are wonderful suggestions about record keeping, setting aside time to meditate, and developing intuitive observation skills. ~ AR BECKERT, Expand Your Shelf http://www.arbeckert.com/20170913/australian-druidry-connecting-with-the-sacred-landscape-by-julie-brett/
This is a clearly written and creative guide to the practice of Druidry in the southern hemisphere. For those wakeful to their European ancestry or inspired to explore its teachings, the book encourages a sensitive relationship with the antipodean landscape, its climate and ecology, celebrating its uniqueness, while not intruding upon the native traditions. ~ Emma Restall-Orr
Julie Brett’s Introduction to Australian Druidry is filled with information and inspiration for anyone who wants to connect with the sacred landscape of Australia. Drawing on her years of practical study into the plants, animals and seasons of the Great Southern Land, she outlines the nature festivals she has identified and the rituals she performs, while also teaching readers how to create their own connection and their own ceremonies based on their unique location.
Julie’s form of Druidry is one of gratitude, contemplation and deep intuition and connection, and she shares her wisdom and experiences not to tell others how they should practise, but to encourage them to weave their own personal spiritual path. It includes many great references too, but also inspires you to find your own meanings and connect to nature in your own way. A wonderful resource for all Australians, and anyone interested in southern hemisphere magic… ~ Serene Conneeley