A piece of lore I have always "known" about druidism is that it takes 21 years, in three increasingly difficult cycles of seven years each. That fact alone explains why so many people are interested in the lifestyle of being a druid, without the ability to commit so much time and effort in following traditional training. So an elegant book like The Awen Alone is perfect for someone wishing to pursue druidiry as a solitary practitioner.
The reader is treated to a lovely collection of practices that form the basis for a druid's path through the modern day. Beginning with the introduction's glimpse of what the author's life is like we are treated to a well portioned discourse on life as a druid.
The first section one covers the basics of Druidry: a little history, what Awen is, deities, ancestors, and a description of the annual festivals. The second section explores the practice of Druidry: meditation, prayer, altar creation and sacred space, seasonal rituals, and names. The final section discusses creating one's own path, from designing a ritual to daily practices.
This a lovely book for someone interested in the topic of druidry who may not be able (or willing) to join one of the larger organizations.
(Note: Van Der Hoeven is also the author of Zen Druidry, which discusses her personal practice combining Zen Buddhism and Druidry, and this aspect is referred to in her section on meditation. I would recommend Zen Druidry as another short read for anyone interested in either, or both, paths.)
~review by Patricia Mullen
Author: Joanna van der Hoeven
Moon Books, 2014
pp. 119, $8.88