The Way of Wyrd by Brian Bates is a fascinating rediscovery of Anglo Saxon shamanism, which together with his new book The Real Middle Earth and Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings allows us to enter the world of our own culture and history to find the underpinnings of our world view, divested of the negativity that the church has strangled it with over the last millenia. (Note: Sidhe ‘Druidic Web of the Wise’).
Shamanism (Jill Purce workshops) is now the fastest growing spiritual practice around the world, as we try and undo the damage of the past millenia and find again our connection to Middle Earth. Each time we plant a tree or try and grow our own vegetables or save some water or turn off a light, we are trying once again to harmonise with the planet and to find our place. Every time we recycle our rubbish and protest against waste, we are paying our respects.
It is well past time that we understood how to plant our gardens and fields to sustain the wildlife all around us, instead of treating everything as if it has been put there for us to use or abuse as we desire. It is high time that we developed respect instead of a high blown belief in our own superiority at the expense of every other living thing. Such a radical change in our perspectives are essential if our children are to have any future on this planet.
To find the magic, wonder and humility of our ancestors will allow us to undo the ravages of unfettered power, rape and pillage that has nearly destroyed our Earth, not to mention the power mad prejudices that have allowed whole peoples to become subjugate to false ideas.
Our pagan ancestors understood their place in the world, and how majestic the forces of nature are, and how worthy of respect. It is about time that we threw off the delusions of later religions and once again find our place in the world, of the world, but not above the world.
As Brian Bates points out, we spend billions every year on fantasy films, books and games for leisure time persuits to reconnect to a dimension beyond, absorbing vivid stories which capture the the imagination, and animate the most ancient depths of our consciousness.
So after a thousand years, Middle Earth is returning, if in fact it every really left? We desperately need the force of fantasy and imagination, intuition and the deeper perspectives to counter the sterile concrete world of power, politics, ruin and war and to allow us to love again, to respect again.
Otherwise, we are only monkeys with delusions of grandeur.