“All religions and all sciences connect themselves with one single science, always hidden from the common herd, and transmitted from age to age, from initiate to initiate, beneath the veil of fables and symbols. It preserves for a world yet to come the secrets of a world that has passed away.” – Éliphas Lévi, The Paradoxes of the Highest Science
When people think of Druids today, the common perception often as not is of colourful eccentrics conducting arcane ceremonies at Stonehenge, Avebury, or some similar megalithic site – harmless, quaint, perhaps a little more sinister than Morris dancers, but ultimately, theatrical re-enactors of moribund folk traditions no more threatening to the establishment than The Sealed Knot. Implicit in this view is a warning that there is no power or meaning here any more; the Druids are dead. The truth, however, may be something much more powerful, and potentially painful. The Druids endured centuries of persecution, not least at the hands of the Roman Empire and the Christian Church. Could it be that they did so in order to preserve something truly profound, knowledge which holds secrets about the true nature, history, and destiny of humanity?
“When I told people I was writing this book I said a fundamental part of it would be the idea of Druidism and what it tells us about the past, present, and future. Druids were not like Gandalf from Lord of the Rings. Yes, they were involved in spiritual matters, but they were not even so much wizards. They came out of probably an earlier proto-shamanic culture, and they developed a judiciary-priesthood of the early societies of these islands and in parts of Europe. Basically, they were law-makers, judges, and living repositories of genealogies. They were involved in magic, decision-making policies, and the spiritual, psychological and social well-being of the communities they were assigned to. They would have been more powerful than the chieftains. This is one of the reasons the Romans were deeply bothered by them. This is one of the reasons they wanted them wiped out.”
We opened the first part of this interview with ideas about lost golden ages and advanced antediluvian civilisations, the remnants of which were almost completely destroyed by some kind of cataclysm, or cataclysms. We also proposed that the age-old stories we know as myth and fable are not necessarily untrue. How, then, should we regard recurring global myths telling of destructive deluges, war in Heaven, and fire from the sky? Why do these tales persist and what can they tell us? The suggestion is that at many times and places past, the Druids were guardians of a living lore which underpinned society, guiding it through times more turbulent than we today can imagine even in the depths of our darkest dreams.
“In Ireland we have a very large and comprehensive body of mythology probably unique in western Europe, only maybe Iceland comes close. Applying the Joseph Campbell / Carl Jung type model to this understanding of mythology – which I don’t think anyone has done in any kind of depth or not that I was aware of in Irish mythology before this – I start in a casual sense. These themes kept re-appearing in allegory. Now remember, mythology is not a myth of something that didn’t happen. It’s the truest myth of all. I’ll give you an example: 9/11. The 9/11 event happened and immediately became mythologised through conspiracy theories that the official story and what people witnessed was not the full story. That is the mythology surrounding 9/11, but that doesn’t mean 9/11 as an event never happened, and that’s a good example of how mythology develops out of an event, but is not necessarily a literal representation of what happened. It develops for lots of reasons. It could be a psycho-analytical reason where it’s easier to deal with the trauma, and Freudian psychoanalysts like Bruno Bettelheim in his book The Uses Of Enchantment, shows that that’s what fairy tales basically were. European fairy tales were ways of teaching children about paedophiles and so on, without actually naming them. They became wolves, evil grandparents, and so on, and the same thing would apply to mythology. Now, we know mythology is absolutely ancient. Our stories in Europe go back probably to the Bronze Age, so we have a real living archive of something we can refer to back in ancient history. And people say when you look at a megalith, or you look at an ancient sacred site in Europe, that we don’t know anything about it. Well, we don’t have any written records but we do have a mythology that goes back to a time when they were probably either built or in use. And then we have a direct line back to it.
“Something seems to have happened when you start looking at these ancient Irish stories, the same ideas come up again and again. There are successive races that came to Ireland until a pivotal group called the Tuath Dé Danann, who are a race of magician wizards from the north-west Atlantic, from their destroyed homeland. They arrive here, defeat the existing group, and set about building what is basically the Gaelic tradition, the Gaelic idea. And then they become associated with building the idea of an Irish nation or an Irish people. They themselves are eventually destroyed by another group. There are common themes in these stories. Now, they may have been literal races that actually existed, but when you hear stories about a blazing light from the sky that wipes them all out, or how they ended up under the sea, or they longed for their ancestors under the ocean, or there was something that happened and the old ways of magic were lost, and they had to retreat under the ground into the fairy forts and become part of the goblin world, you’re talking about psychology, moving into the subconscious mind. Now, who are the ones who held these stories together? Well, after the arrival of Christianity, this was the Druids. The Druids kept these stories alive. Why? Because it was probably, in my opinion, a way of telling their people that bad shit happens. Every so often the sea rises, it washes over the land like a giant black pig, and leaves poisoned bristles in its wake, and anyone who touches it will die, and things will not grow, and your ancestors will be washed under the sea. This is how you say these things without traumatising a society. If you’re aware of the secular cosmic or geological event that causes a catastrophe in your society, the worst possible thing you can do to people is say ‘You know, every so often you get wiped out.’ This is not going to work. They’re not going to advance, they’re not going to plan, they’re going to be put into a state of neurosis, a state of eternal trauma. But if you can put this into a mythology without using such terrifying language you put in a defence mechanism, especially if it all ends up in a story of revival and triumph. That gives people hope, it gives them the survival skill sets at the psychic level in order to keep their society going. And the Druids did this brilliantly.”
CATASTROPHES AS FUNCTION OF NATURE
A simple analogy here is how we deal with death, severe trauma, and general existential angst. Individually and collectively, we get up in the morning, we go about our day, wonder what to have for dinner, watch TV, repeat, and try not to think too much about what it all means, if anything. That this coping mechanism is necessary for most people can make it appear good, but I would contend that we have gone too far and have for too long existed as – to borrow from arch-catastrophist Immanuel Velikovsky – Mankind in Amnesia. Since the sun rose on the scientific age, there has in particular been stiff resistance to catastrophism, the possibility that life on Earth was devastated more than once during the distant past. In his best-selling books Fingerprints of the Gods (1995) and Magicians of the Gods (2015) author Graham Hancock has done much to popularize catastrophist theories, and the aforementioned resistance can be measured in mainstream hostility towards his work. The theory that the dinosaurs were finished off by a comet impact some 66 million years ago is now widely accepted, and yet the possibility that any such calamity could have befallen our species is unthinkable, quarantined in the remotest recesses of the collective unconscious by the lead-lined prison of human exceptionalism.
“Catastrophism is a function of nature. We know that the winter comes along and kills many animals and plants and even people, but there’s a rebirth in spring. Why couldn’t it happen at a cosmic level? There’s no reason why it shouldn’t. Now, the problem with catastrophism is that it ties into and allows itself to be taken over by very sinister individuals like cult leaders who say ‘Do as I say and you’ll survive the comet clusters. Do as I say and you will survive the end of the world.’ And we see that in Christianity with things like redemption in the Book of Revelations. So there’s a double-edged sword here, knowing that everything is impermanent and temporary, and also the idea that that can be taken over and you being told ‘Ah, but if you do as you’re told, you’ll survive!’ This is where the Druids and their later incarnation the Freemasons probably had a better understanding. I’ve actually become more agreeable to the idea of Freemasonry in recent times, especially after reading a lot about it. And the idea that this knowledge is so powerful and maybe it’s not for everyone, I do kind of agree with that. This is why I’m against the idea of a great awakening of the masses, because given that knowledge, they’ll kill us. That’s what happens. It happened with the Third Reich, it happened with National Socialism, it happened with the Bolsheviks and Russia, the Chinese Communist Revolution, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. We cannot let this happen, and that’s why these ideas of a secret sect that has the greater secrets or the greater philosophical and psychological understanding gave us a sense of comfort. But we’re not given that comfort any more. Our comforts are given to us by politicians who lie to us, constantly. And this is unfortunate that we live this way today.
“How this came about? Again, it’s probably because of the Enlightenment, but also it probably came about because of persecution of these orders. None other than Thomas Paine, the great English philosopher who coined the term United States of America, came out in his own writings and said that the Freemasons were the direct descendants of the Druids of Britain, Ireland and Europe, and they had to be an underground secret organisation because more powerful interests of Christianity were constantly trying to wipe them out. Now, why do you try to wipe someone out if you’re in the religious business? Because they have some kind of esoteric, theological or other kind of secret that’s better than the one that you’re offering the masses. And this is why it happens, and this is why I feel that this idea of The Druid Code is actually almost like a lifestyle option when you start looking into it.
“If you know there’s catastrophism and the end of the world is coming, it’s much better to raise a society where you go and live life in the moment. However, that’s not very good for the control system. The control system needs people living in fear because that’s how it regulates that control. They want people terrified and scared constantly and they tell us all the things we should be worried about, except the ones that could really damage us. Catastrophism is laughed at so much because it’s something that the control system itself cannot control, but that the individual can control.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MAGICAL AND MYTHICAL
Alongside numerous accounts of ancient apocalypses sit fables of the ‘fall from grace’, the fatal wrong-turn we may have taken so long ago. Encapsulated in the story of Adam and Eve in The Garden of Eden, Noah and the Ark, Sodom and Gomorrah, and others, it is suggested that through naivete, corruption, greed, or some other Ten Commandments transgression, we defiled the pristine nature within and around us, plunging into a moral, spiritual and psychic nosedive from which we have still not recovered. This trauma may, in fact, actually be reflected in the psychotic levels of violence and self-destructive behaviour we see manifested in the everyday world. But what to do? The magical, mythical reawakening which Sheridan frequently alludes to in The Druid Code may offer a way forward although, as he himself points out, it is a path simply not open to most people. It is instead a rigorous private practice “that the individual can control.”
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold wrote W.B. Yeats in The Second Coming, and it is our contention that the postmodern paradigm under which we currently languish is itself disintegrating. In a flat-screen, fast-food fantasy land where anything goes and nothing matters, we have wandered far from our true nature, and growing numbers are abandoning the doctrines of capitalist consumerism in a quest for true meaning and purpose. Myth and magic meanwhile, far from being dead, are on the rise, and in some surprising places. For what is CERN and the Large Hadron Collider, pinnacle of scientism, the biggest single machine on this Earth, but a vast cathedral in whose halls its priests seek God? Quantum physics, after all, is much like medieval religion – a consensual hallucination conjured by a priesthood.
Despite the startling view of reality (as below, so above) offered by cutting edge physics, as a culture we remain sceptical about non-physical forces and their potential, although it is from this font that past practitioners of magic – however you choose to define it – consciously or unconsciously drew. Framed thus, magic isn’t hocus pocus, frogs legs or bats wings, still less cheap end-of-pier conjuring tricks. It is the power of the non-physical, beyond the reach of our five sense reality, harnessed and channelled by focussed intent, deep desire, repetition, symbols, and ceremony. It is the dirty little secret behind The Secret and the multiplicity of self-help manifestation manuals which generally fail users who do not understand the ethereal mechanics of what they are dealing with and, in any event, don’t actually believe that it can work. Ironically, scepticism about the power of the non-physical is driven by shadowy elites – corporate, governmental, or otherwise – who, at source, grasp its potential all too well and are only too happy to use it for the mass manipulation which keeps the consumerist charade alive. For what is advertising if not literal spellbinding? How else does one goad the masses into buying garbage they don’t need with money they don’t have, except by placing them in some form of trance?
“I have people saying to me ‘Why are you so interested in magic and sorcery?’ and I say ‘Because magic and sorcery is interested in me.’ It’s as simple as that, and I want to know what I’m dealing with. It’s being used on me from childhood in every kind of social engineering, planning, social behaviours, cultural aspects… It’s everywhere, politics, everything. They’re trying to get inside my head using these ideas that came from the occult schools, and probably went way back to things like the Knights Templar, and even before that the Gnostics. I want to know how that system works so I can protect myself from it.
“If any person who practised ritual magic was to go down to any city centre or town square in any country in the world and start doing it, they’d immediately be laughed at. They’d be seen as freaks. Yet you show me one aspect of society where ritual is not part of it. Look at the coronation of kings and queens, particularly in Britain. It’s incredibly ritualistic and magical. Graduation from university – you put on this magical gown, you wear a magical hat, you go to a magical ceremony. It works on two levels. The first is psychological, and the second is the ultimate, the quantum. That’s what it basically is, but it’s very difficult to hack the matrix for us with our cognition at the level that it is presently. Magic is the only way through that, and how we do that is extreme concentration. So we’re dealing with extreme psychology, and this fundamental to humans. You go from tribal Africa to the ancient Druids, to anywhere. A good one is Santería, very big in New York but in the Hispanic world you have this idea of perfecting a phenomenal psychic charge. And how do they do it? With Christian archetypes. Now that may seem very strange, but the idea of that – if you are using Christian imagery or Christian ideas within a pagan construct, you’re committing an enormous level of blasphemy. It is this blasphemy that creates a slight charge. It’s this blasphemy that alters your psychology to the point that you’re in the game and there’s no way out of it. Another example would be La Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian Mafia. The initiation ceremony involves something called the burning of the saints. The one who’s being made in the Sicilian Mafia pricks their finger, puts the blood on a Catholic mass card of a saint of their choice, and then sets fire to this thing. Now that shows you right there and then, there’s no turning back. You’re raised in a very strict Catholic society with these images and iconography of saints. You blood them and then you burn them. That’s an absolute psychic charge, and that’s how it works and this is what the Druids were doing. They were trying to create a psychic charge.”
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAGICAL BEINGS AND PSYCHOPATHS
In the end, however, Sheridan’s Lords of Perception may prove to be little more than Wizards of Oz, decrepit demons and psychic vampires misreading the laws of the universe like a faded book seen in a tarnished mirror, and the last thing they want is for you to look behind the curtain. There were times when those who came before us understood, however dimly, that we each are shards of an ontological primitive and more powerful than we could possibly imagine. Any hint of a reawakening to this truth is met with the desperate determination that we see from the elite today, but the genie is already out of the bottle.
“Our magical and mythological status is the real us. The civilised, educated, reasoned man is unnatural. It’s as simple as that. We started off the first interview talking about the bicameral mind, and the idea that human beings existed in the past in a state of free association. That’s our natural state. We are magical and mythological by nature, by design, this is how we function. The first magic circle is the cranium. That’s where it’s all happening. After that, everything is objective. Now that’s controversial idea, but it’s still true nevertheless… I don’t know what goes on in your head, you don’t know what goes on in my head. All we can basically manage is the magic circle of a cranium around consciousness. So this is why these ideas persist. This is how we’re made by nature. This is why we live in a world of super-heroes. We’ve never not had mythology, and never not had these ideas. We would absolutely die without them. They’re as fundamental as the seasons and the cycles of nature. We cannot exist apart from them. Everything that becomes a new experience instantly becomes mythologised, because that gives it value at the human or psychic level. And this is why it will always happen and never stop, until something like transhumanism comes along that makes us robots. And that’s what we see, with these psychopaths, their inability – they seem to be like a different species, they don’t have this magical mythologising of themselves. Joseph Campbell will talk about the hero’s journey, where two people have a relationship. You imagine Bill Gates and his wife talking about themselves like this, while they’re planning how many people to kill in Africa. Psychopathic types only see a win/lose scenario in every situation they encounter. There is no self reflection in terms of seeing past mistakes and failures as part of the monomyth. They would only use their failures to refine their predatory memory. We are a story, psychopaths are a record of events. There is no poetic narrative that the rest of us have, as instinctively we know that life is spiritual and magical; psychopaths just exist. We are almost like aliens on the wrong planet. The reality that we’re in right now has been engineered by these lords of perception, and the only way that we are surviving, the only way we are getting through it, is because of this default magical Druidic-type state that exists inside us. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t be who we are. If we didn’t have that, we wouldn’t still have the means to survive.”
Our collective mythic consciousness tells us that something truly terrible happened to us a long, long time ago, but whether or not the human race was almost completely wiped out in the distant past, we should at least acknowledge that such a disaster is possible. Even if Atlantis was not a fact, it remains a potent symbol of human folly, and a stark reminder that human catastrophe need not be cosmic.
TRANSHUMANISM, TECHNOCRATIC CONTROL AND THE POTENTIAL FOR A REAWAKENING
Observing the metastasising cult of technocratic control and transhumanism – from Ray Kurzweil to Elon Musk and from The Zeitgeist Movement to trend-setting TED talks – engenders a lingering sense of unease, and you don’t have to be a Luddite to be suspicious about planned mergers of man and machine, life extension technology, or any of the other utopian wonders currently in the works. All of which, naturally, will in due course be bestowed upon the rest of us. Millions are already on the march into this digital gulag but for some – maybe you, reading this – the situation screams danger. There’s a storm coming, and as in ages past, a special breed may be needed to help guide us through, ensuring that all that we have learned is not lost. It may be why, at this time, that the ancient wisdom of the Druids is reawakening within us, and the secret of the stones is speaking once more.
“Maybe our catastrophe, our new comet, is transhumanism, and perhaps what we call this great – I won’t say ‘awakening’ – but in the last, say, ten years people like you, people like me, people like us all over the world, have put out radio shows, written books, lectures, talks. This never existed before. I don’t know what you would call that shift in consciousness. But perhaps we are the Druids getting ready for the oncoming catastrophe, or transhumanism. We are being almost switched on at the mythological and the magical level, to throw a spanner in those works.
“The oncoming transhumanism is our Christianity. It’s changing us rapidly. We’re probably not going to stop it, but what we can find is a way to keep our humanity going in tandem with it, to the point where they cannot effectively bring it onto the level that they want. And this all comes back to catastrophism in the past. The catastrophes of the ancient past created the skill sets for enormous changes in a society coming forward, to unleash the right people. In Ireland and Britain it was the Druids, particularly in Ireland with the arrival of Christianity. They were able to safeguard and guide their culture through it, and maybe even took it over. The same thing is happening now with transhumanism. The same challenges are facing us today. A pathological empire of digital magi are trying the same thing. This is why I believe there’s a meaning to this, shall we say, awareness that’s grown up in recent years. We are almost like the flowers that are being bloomed to help safeguard the stories of the past so people remember more than just The X-Factor, football, and other things on TV. We’re carrying this through to the next generation. There’s now millions of us and we’re derailing the absolute effectiveness of the transhumanists. And that ties in the final idea of what The Druid Code is – that inside every man and woman is a Druid, a hero waiting to be born, who has all the attributes to survive any catastrophe, because we survived them in the past. Imperial Rome and Christian Caesars of the past didn’t crush us, and the technocratic Caesars of the future won’t crush us either.”
Originally published in New Dawn magazine, July / August, 2017.