Book Review: Celtic Druidry by Ellen Evert Hopman

Celtic Druidry: Rituals, Techniques, & Magical Practices by Ellen Evert Hopman, published by Destiny Books, an imprint of Inner Traditions publishing, runs a grand total of 242 pages. Celtic Druidry starts off by explaining exactly what a Druid is, and isn’t, then goes on to cover what we know historically about Druids, which is of course, scarce and biased against them, coming from Greek and Roman historians attempting to paint them in a bad light for imperialist reasons. After that, Hopman goes on to give a run-down of the different Gods and Goddesses of the Druids, from Irish, to Welsh, to even Gaulish and continental Celtic deities, giving a description of each and their areas of specialty. Hopman then covers magical techniques, as well as the tools of a Druid, giving rituals to create and consecrate a Druid’s ritual tools, as well as different divination styles from augury to Ogham, as well as a section of charms and spells. The book ends with perspectives on Druidry and nature from other practicing Druids, and on the last page, a beautiful Druid blessing is given to those who have read the whole book, a nice touch. Overall, Celtic Druidry: Rituals, Techniques, & Magical Practices is a great book for both the beginner and advanced Druid, or anyone seeking to learn about Druidry, both in the past and in modern times.

Personal Thoughts on Celtic Druidry

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me well enough that I’ve been a practicing Druid for 6 years, having studied multiple systems and styles of Druidry, and incorporating them into my general practices. That said, I found this book to be a refreshing take on the subject, as it’s a step away from the more ceremonial takes from the likes of John Michael Greer and Kristoffer Hughes. Don’t get me wrong, those authors and systems have their value, but they are more based on ceremonial magick (although they tend to overlap with the more nature based systems frequently). The style of Druidry that Hopman presents feels more in touch with the natural world, while also acknowledging the need for ritual and ceremony when appropriate. I found the section covering the Gods and Goddesses of Druidry, as well as the divination and charm section to be quite lovely and useful, with the historical information giving a good foundation for beginners to work from in their own practices.

Hopman discusses different types of Druids, such as Hedge Druids, and the like. She also discusses areas of speciality that Druids of the past had, and applies them to Modern Day Druids. Hopman emphasizes the importance of the Druid’s locale, and connecting to the various spirits that dwell therein, as well as learning about the people who originally lived in the area (especially for those of us living in America), and working towards healing any wounds incurred by those experiences, and helping to improve the ecosystem, and advising as much as possible in the community one lives in, something that Druids of times past would have done as well. I appreciate Hopman’s weaving of the information presented, tying it all together; she covers the Brehon laws, and applies them to a modern Druid. Hopman also brings all the material covered together at various points, whether it pertains to magick, divination, or simply being a Druid and what that means. This is the book on Druidry I wish I had when I started my path as a Druid. On a scale of 1-5, I give Celtic Druidry a 5; this book exceeds my expectations, and like I said previously, I wish I had this book when I began my path as a Druid. Anyone looking to study Druidry should have this book on their shelf, and the advanced Druid will find good reason for owning it as well.

Ellen Evert Hopman has been a Druid since 1984, and is also a master herbalist and lay homeopath. She is one of the founding members of the Order of the White Oak and the former co-chief, as well as the the Archdruidess emerita and founder of Tribe of the Oak. Hopman is also a former professor at the Grey School of Wizardry and a member of the Grey Council of Mages and Sages. She has written many books of Druidry and Celtic herbalism, as well as Druid novels. Hopman resides in Massachusetts.


About the Author:

Hello there! I’m the Modern Merlin, and I’ve been a Polytheist Pagan, Witch, Sorcerer, Wizard, Druid, Mystic, Ceremonial Magician and Soothsayer for 15 years, worshipping and casting magick with deities and spirits from many cultures, including Ancient Greece, Rome, Norse & Germanic, Celtic, Egyptian, Sumerian, as well as many Faeries, Nymphs, Dryads and other nature and land spirits. I study and practice Astrology as well as Tarot and other forms of divination. I give readings and spiritual services on my Facebook Page, The Modern Merlin, as well other free informational posts for everyone to see!