I was out of town for the last week in July and came home to a computer in a coma. With some helpful phone coaching from Maebius, I managed to order the correct part and install it and revive the poor thing. It’s all better now. Since I’m mostly ignorant about computer innards, I’m feeling empowered by the fact that I was able to do it with minimal panic and fear. This is why there was no Lughnasadh posting this year, even though it’s one of my favorite points on the Wheel.
I used some of my computerless time to read Ronald Hutton’s book on the Druid revival, which I think ought to be required reading for anyone who works under the label of “druid.” I was already mostly aware of everything he wrote about from various sources, but it’s wonderful to have it all in one place. He focuses entirely on the druidry of the British isles, with a few mentions of Continental druids, and none of the American version. I would be interested in his view on the American druid groups and how their philosophy and practice fit in with the larger Druid movement. There’s an interview I found with Hutton in the Guardian where he says:
“My colleagues would kill me for saying this, but historians are increasingly conscious of the fact that we can’t write history. What we can write about is the way in which people see history and think history happens.” And turning my remark back at me he continued, “So, is this a book about Druids with no Druids in it, or are the real Druids these amazing characters like William Price, William Stukeley, Iolo Morganwg and the rest?”
I love this. (In typical journalistic cluelessness, the tagline on the Guardian article says: “His new study of the Druids will probably annoy their modern followers” while in the article, Hutton is quoted as saying: “I could never have managed to write the books that I have without the welcome and the support I’ve received from pagans and Druids.”)