| Philip Shallcrass|
British Druid Order
Philip Shallcrass Wikipedia
Philip Shallcrass (born 1953), often known by his Druid name, Greywolf, is Chief of the British Druid Order. He is an artist, writer, poet, musician and singer-songwriter who pioneered a "shamanic" Druidism.
He was born in Sussex, England in 1953. In 1974 he discovered Druidry through reading Robert Graves' The White Goddess. In the same year, he read Mircea Eliade's Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy. Eliade's book contained descriptions of the visionary experiences of shamans that mirrored events in Shallcrass's own life. Further studies convinced him that Druidry was the earliest recorded form of native European shamanism.
In 1978, Shallcrass joined an Alexandrian Wiccan coven, being initiated a High Priest the following year. During the course of that year, he had been writing seasonal festival rites for the coven. These were heavily influenced by his studies in Druidry. By the time the festival cycle was complete, the coven's celebrations had become so Druidic in flavour that the members agreed to stop calling themselves a coven and become instead a Grove; the Grove of the Badger. This is now seen as the Mother Grove of the British Druid Order (BDO).
Over the years that followed, the material written for the Grove of the Badger was revised and added to. At the end of the 1980s it began to be published and bring the BDO to wider attention. He married Eleanor Kilpatrick, an Occupational Therapist with the NHS, in 1985. In the early 1990s, Kilpatrick and Shallcrass met and began a continuing friendship with Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, chiefs of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Philip Shallcrass began to lecture on Druidry at a series of conferences on New Religious Movements.
In 1992, he became editor of The Druids' Voice: the Magazine of Contemporary Druidry.
In 1993, at the invitation of Tim Sebastion, founder of the Secular Order of Druids, Shallcrass composed a ritual to be performed at a multi-faith conference Tim had organised among the old stone circles of Avebury in Wiltshire. This resulted in the formation of the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri, which grew over the next few years to become what Ronald Hutton described as the "central event" of the New Druidry.
In 1994, following what he described as a powerful vision in a sweat lodge, he adopted the Druid name, Greywolf. In 1995, he began to work regularly with Emma Restall Orr, who became joint chief of the BDO. Together, they lectured, hosted workshops and rituals, wrote new material for the Order, and appeared on TV and Radio in the UK and elsewhere.
The "shamanic" form of Druidry pioneered by Shallcrass with the British Druid Order resulted in bringing the shamanic vision of the World Drum World Drum Project to ceremonies at Dragon Hill, below the Uffington White Horse hill figure in Oxfordshire, and at Avebury in Wiltshire.
Shallcrass is currently (September 2012) working on editing a series of distance learning courses on Druidry for the British Druid Order.
The closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics included text from a 1997 Gorsedd ritual written by Philip Shallcrass and Emma Restall Orr.
Publications by Philip Shallcrass include:A Catalogue of Occult Books, MRG, Hastings, 1978
A Druid Directory: A Guide to Druidry and Druid Orders, British Druid Order, Devizes, 1995, with revised editions 1997, 2001 (with Emma Restall Orr)
Druidry: Rekindling the Sacred Fire, (with Emma Restall Orr and others), British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 1996, with revised editions 1999, 2002
The Passing of the Year: A Collection of Songs and Poems, Spells and Invocations, British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 1997, reprinted 1999, 2001
The Story of Taliesin, British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 1997
Druidry: A Practical and Inspirational Guide, Piatkus Books, London, 2000 ISBN 0-7499-2040-8
The Remembering Soul: A Collection of Songs and Poems, Spells and Invocations, British Druid Order, Wiltshire, 2001
Articles by Philip Shallcrass appear in:
Paganism Today, edited by Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman, Thorsons, 1995, reprinted as Pagan Pathways, Thorsons, 2000
The Druid Renaissance, edited by Philip Carr-Gomm, Thorsons, 1996, reprinted as The Rebirth of Druidry, Element, 2003
Talking Stick Magickal Journal, issue i, volume ii, Talking Stick Publications, 1996
The Encyclopaedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-Paganism, edited by Shelley Rabinovitch and James Lewis, Citadel Press, New York, 2002
The Druids' Voice: The Magazine of Contemporary Druidry, British Druid Order, 1992-date
Tooth & Claw: Journal of the British Druid Order, British Druid Order, 1995-date