The Secret of the Grail - The Practice of Druid Magic

The Druid Magic Handbook: Ritual Magic Rooted in the Living Earth - John Michael Greer 2008

The Secret of the Grail
The Practice of Druid Magic

Magical traditions from around the world affirm that some of the greatest secrets of magic and nature can be found within the human body itself. Like everything else in existence, the body contains nwyfre, gwyar, and calas. Its calas is the flesh and bone that give it a material form. Its gwyar is the dance of blood, lymph, and other fluids that flow through it constantly and keep it in balance. These two aspects of the body are both well understood by modern science.

The third aspect, the nwyfre of the body, has been neglected by today's materialist science but thoroughly explored in occult secret societies, as well as the healing traditions of other cultures less obsessed with materialist ideologies. Most people nowadays have heard of the chakras, seven centers of life force that play a central role in many traditions of Hindu mysticism, and the meridians, channels of life force used by Chinese healers to map out where to use massage, acupuncture, and other healing techniques. Students of Asian martial arts learn to focus their energy at the tan t'ien or hara, the point just below the navel that this system of Druid magic calls the “womb center,” while practitioners of Western magical traditions have their own teachings about energy centers, such as the five centers of the Middle Pillar used in the Golden Dawn system of magic.

One thing about these systems of subtle anatomy causes confusion among many students, especially in the modern Western world: no two of them are exactly the same. Even within the same tradition, teachings vary. Hindu writings on the chakras, for example, list anything from four to twelve chakras along the spine, and those that follow the most common teaching and list seven chakras put the third one in many different places—the womb center, the solar plexus, and the region of the spleen are the most common, but other locations show up in the literature.

It's embarrassingly common for people trained in different systems to get into ferocious disputes about whose system is the right one. All such disagreements are wasted breath, because the energy centers are patterns in nwyfre—specifically in the enaid, the body of nwyfre that surrounds and penetrates our bodies of gwyar and calas—and like anything made of nwyfre, they are formed and changed by imagination and intentionality. When you are born, most of the centers in the enaid exist as potentials only, and if you never take up the challenge of a spiritual path, they remain unused potentials from cradle to grave. When you begin training in a system of spiritual development, some of those potential centers awaken, while others remain asleep. The number, nature, and position of the centers awakened by spiritual practice vary depending on the kind of inner work you do.

A complex series of tradeoffs affects the practices used in any spiritual tradition. The fewer centers you activate, the more powerful each one will be, but the fewer things you will be able to do with them; the more centers you activate, the more options you have but the weaker each will be. Centers low on the body have most of their effects in the world we experience with our physical senses; centers in the middle of the body have most of their effects in the world we experience with our thoughts, feelings, and imagination; centers in the neck and head have most of their effects on the world we experience through intuition and the spiritual senses. Depending on what you want to do with the life force, you may need a larger or smaller number of centers higher or lower on the body, and resonating with different physical organs, glands, and the like.

Many spiritual traditions use indirect methods to awaken the centers. Ordinary prayer, for example, uses a specific posture-head bowed, hands pressed palm to palm at heart level—to concentrate nwyfre at centers in the heart and throat. Sounds that resonate at specific points in the body, such as the mantras of Hindu and Buddhist traditions, have effects of the same kind.

Most of the world's traditions of ritual magic, however, awaken the centers directly, using the same tools of imagination, symbolism, and intentionality they apply to every other dimension of magical work. The exercises they use for this purpose differ just as extensively as the centers they awaken. This is as inevitable as it is appropriate, since different magical traditions have different goals, methods, symbols, sources of nwyfre, and guiding philosophies. The core exercise used in the tradition of Druid magic taught in this book, then, differs from most of the exercises you have likely encountered in other books. Its name is the Inner Grail working. It is the active working for Spirit Within, and it sums up in itself most of the work you have done so far.