The Wisdom of the Wyrd by Brian Bates

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“The concept and energy of Wyrd has lain just beneath the surface of our consciousness in a shadow world, awaiting the time when it may again be needed i the light. Now is that time.”

What a real gem of a book this is. Brian Bates is a Psychologist at the University of Sussex, and how interesting that a Professor of Psychology is interested in the mind of our ancestors as a way of bettering humanity today. My line of thought exactly.

Brian went on a search for Britain’s indigenous spirituality before the conversion to Christianity. After much searching he came across an Anglo-Saxon spell book written by the earliest monk settlers, who collected and documented information as a pre-curser to converting the natives.

We have already recommended to you The Way of the Wyrd, which is a novel based on the monks encounter with the native sorcerer, and a great read. This book, which Brian wrote ten years later is a fantastic account of how our distant ancestors connected with the Earth, and worked with the realms for healing and as a way of life.

You have heard the term ‘that’s weird’ used when something happens which is out of the ordinary. Wyrd has stuck in our psyche, even in this modern day, after all it has only been a mere 50 generations since this was our spirituality across our land. Wryd is the web of life which ties everything together…  we call it Oneness now-a-days which has come through from Eastern philosophy. Brian’s theory which he proves through his research is that every culture, once-upon-a-time had this Eastern thinking was intrinsic and at the heart of their spiritual tradition. Wyrd is the sacred and unexplainable – the force which underlays all life

Attuning with the healing spirits, learning from power animals, changing our life patterns, transforming with the web of life, the use of ceremony for transformation, trusting death and rebirth – its all here and written in a really accessible way.

In one of the early chapters in the book, Brian talks of

“how we have achieved some wonders with modern civilization, but our technology needs to be embedded in a deeper view of its purpose and its use, a view which might be better informed about the psychological and the sacred, rather than the merely physical, material gain. That we need to rediscover some of our ancestors’ sense of an engagement with the environment which goes beyond the mundane, and reach some wisdom of perspective and scale about our ability to intervene in the process of the natural world in which our technology is rendered puny and dwarfed by the influences of the sun and the moon.”

An absolute must read if you are interested in the way of our ancestors here in Britain. Although it’s out of date there are used copies available on Amazon here…

this summer we have a couple of rather special Ancestor Wisdom retreats running in the Yorkshire Dales. ‘Craft and Creativity – Getting inside the Minds of our Ancestors’ and ‘Finding Freedom Through Rewilding’ will be of interest to anyone with a desire to explore and implement the lost wisdom of those who have gone before.

Reviewed by Nicola