I recently signed up with Moon Books as an occasional book reviewer. Moon Books specialise in pagan titles, so if you’re not that way inclined, I won’t be offended if you stop reading at this point. That said, I think today’s title holds a lot of potential for creative people of any creed…
Urban Druidry by Brendan Howlin
This book is full of simple and practical ways of getting more connected to nature and the seasonal rhythms of life for those of us living in urban environments. I think this book would be good for anyone wanting to increase their connection with the world around them, although if you are from a non-pagan creed, some of it may seem a bit odd.
The first practice Brendan recommends is ‘learning to see’. This reminds me of something I’ve done since my teens: on occasion, look beyond where your eye usually falls on your commute or regular walk and see what else you can see (probably not one to do if you’re driving!) The subtle change of perspective can be incredibly powerful.
Other practices include learning to relax and becoming aware of seasons. There are also some bigger challenges about personal responsibility and how we live in this landscape.
While simple, actually doing these practices regularly would deepen and enrich life and almost certainly lead to some degree of personal transformation – ‘deceptively simple’, might be a better description!
The chatty, friendly writing style – this is not at all hard to read.
The simple practices for everyday life – these are firmly grounded in the actual reality of the urban daily grind.
I really like the simple summaries for the wheel of the year (in non-pagan words: celebrating the seasons)
It’s pretty obvious in the text that the author is a British male. I found this a bit jarring at times, as I’m a Southern hemisphere based female. Some of the analogies didn’t work so well for me.
There’s not a lot of text spent on context or history or background – this is a very practice-focused book. But then there are plenty of other books you can read to get that context if you want it.
I would recommend this enthusiastically to anyone wanting an easy-to-read (though more challenging to implement) guide to deepening their connection with the world around them.
If you want a scholarly tome on druidry or natural science, look elsewhere (but maybe come back to this, when you want your studies to get personal).
I can see myself returning to this book regularly as I build my everyday practice.