This is the first of two book reviews I am doing, with both books being focused on druid practices and politics. The second is Christopher Scott Thompson’s Radical Druidry, which I intend to read and review over the next 2 weeks.
Reading Nimue Brown’s self published book Druidry and the Future from a computer screen, with intense focus, didn’t feel like the way this book would be best read. My feeling is that Druidry and the Future is best read in the traditional book format, not as a concentrated effort, but as something to turn to as a medium for reflection.
I have some disagreements, as well as some differences in belief and perspective to Brown, but appreciate the book for much of what I found while reading.
What disagreements/difference I have with Brown’s assertions are basically the same I have with most Green ideology and pagan theology. The notion of Being being cyclically repetitive, that life is one big circle, is one that I cannot get on board with. Even more so, I find liberal-Green-optimism to be in many ways more dangerous than climate-change denial, as it invites more “sustainable” means of abusing living beings. I also doubt humanistic-essentialism, which relies on the idea of constant stable forms that are without change. The main disagreement I have with Brown’s assertions is the framing of invidualism in a way that seems entirely non-animal, while advocating for collectivism, which I find to be entirely machine oriented.
These disagreements and differences are far outshone by what I found harmony with and similarity in experience and perspective.
From the aversions to martyrdoms, to the embrace of mortality and the awareness that civilisations continually collapse, as well as the desire to rebel against being a “cog in the machine”, there is a lot of valuable thought to reflect through in this book. Brown reminds the reader that transcendence doesn’t help us live well, that everything we do immediately impacts the world, that health and joy can be found in being-with trees, and that no one is separate from the world, as the world exists and moves through them, as being-part of landscapes.
With it’s focus on environmental-praxis as being a joyous experience and part of self-care, Druidry and the Future has some valuable thoughts for the reader to reflect upon.