Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll

Oh, how I’ve longed for a book such as this! My personal practice has long included land stewardship actions, and I’ve found a lot of commonalities between the ethos of Druidry and permaculture. It’s always surprised me that there aren’t more books about Paganism that include some juicier conversations about caring for the earth in practical terms. But now we have one. Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll is a wonderful bridge between the worlds of Druidry and Permaculture. It strikes the perfect balance of being welcoming to both those who are new to Druidry or new to Permaculture and leaving enough room for those readers knowledgeable in either subject to learn something new.

This book was gifted to me around Yule. After a very long, dark, and stressful year I was so excited to get a gift that highlighted the two areas in my life I desperately wanted to carve out more time for again. Thanks to the help of Grandparents, I had a little more time on my hands around the holidays which gave me the opportunity to devore this book. This goes against the primary recommendation to read this book with a chapter around each seasonal holiday, but it worked for me.

Each chapter is tied to a seasonal holiday starting with the Winter Solstice. The focus of each chapter ties the holiday with a permaculture practice or idea. For example the Summer Solstice is tied to Food and Nourishment while Samhain is tied to Sustainable Ritual Tools, Items, and Objects. This flow works well. Readers can easily pick up each chapter as the season rolls around or do what I did and plan your whole year at once. Readers will enjoy the easy rhythm between highlighting Druidry and then permaculture as each idea, philosophy, and topic dances between them.

Three Principles for our Homes and Hearths

Another delightful addition is a triad for each chapter. Of course, triads are a beloved teaching tool of Druids. I find “new” triads to be particularly interesting as the format is easy to play with and yet so tricky to get just right. These triads are easy to remember and have that poignancy that point to real truth and wisdom being contained in them.

Each chapter ends with ritual or a practice that ties all the information together. Luckily, it’s not too bulky as many newer books seem inclined to do. You’ve got a pocket of good wrap up on colored paper. I think that it will be easy to go back next year or as I come to each holiday and reference the wrap up section as I’m planning for celebrations and special activities.

Sadly, there is one downside to this book. While the quality of the book is generally gorgeous to read, high quality paper and easy print, I noticed a handful of typos. I am not one to notice these things. I’m dreadful when it comes to spelling and grammar (which I’m sure you’ve noticed while reading this blog lol). I imagine that if I noticed these things then there are probably even more. Humans, will be humans and such typos don’t take away from the quality of information but it does take one out of the reading experience a bit.

I really enjoyed this book. It came to me at the perfect time and was a beautiful read that inspired me again. I think it’s going on my must reads for all Druids, particularly those new to Druidry. It really sets the tone for how one can realistically put Druidry into action while keeping the mystery and magic of the spirituality thriving.

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