by James Nichol.
This is a newly published book by some one who I have encountered on Facebook in recent times. I have read some of his other works on his blog and have built up a healthy respect for both the person and his writings so when this book was released (and admitedly the kindle price being so reasonable), I decided I would download it and read for myself.
First impression on the intro held both fascination and some slight discomfort. When OBOD is mentioned prolifically in Druid books, I sometimes have an involuntary aversion to them (the book). Quite a few of the contributors come from an OBOD background including the author himself and as I have written on here before, I have found that some Druids appear to consider OBOD to be “the” primary source of all wisdom druidic and if one hasn’t “partaken” of OBOD, somehow that means you cannot and are not a Druid.
That is “some” Druids and as with a lot of these things, negative connections derived from a minority can sometimes “colour” your perception. Therefore I made the conscious effort to try to negate this discomfort in the hope that my initial aversion was just playing to stereotypes created through some unfortunate interactions with an unrepresentative minority.
A good indicator as to whether I have connected with a book is the length of time it takes me to read it. I am not what you would call a “prolific” book reader. I can’t read for the sake of reading, as some people can. This book, all 190 pages of it, was read in less than 48 hours and that was after completing two long work shifts. Which says it all for me really.
My initial aversion proved to be groundless as the author had chosen viewpoints from very different backgrounds, including non OBOD ones, which added balance for me. I am a firm believer that the relevance of something is enhanced if it has been reached by different paths. The author astutely used the same premise (though I confess as to not knowing whether this was a conscious choice or just a “happy” co-incidence). Either way, for me, the result was something that grabbed my attention.
I think the timing of this book and it’s content are one of those synchronous events that sometimes happen in life from time to time. It has appeared at “just the right time” in my practice as contemplative practice is something that has been in the back of my mind for a few months now.
I liked the logical questioning, I liked the variety of answers (and found myself agreeing with a lot of opinions offered) and I liked the authors own opinions at the end of the book. It is a very well laid out book and presents paths that a lot of people interested in this sort of thing will recognise within their own experiences. All at a very reasonable price.
Gloucestershire (at this time) appears to be one of the “hotbeds” of Druidry (or it may just be that I see and read a lot of interactions from people in that area) and I know some of the contributors, after meeting them both in “real” life and through the internet, so this may also be a reason why this book engaged so well with me. I would like to think (not unreasonably) that it would also connect with you too.