The Way of Wyrd: Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer

The Way of Wyrd: Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer

Brian Bates / Jan 24, 2020

The Way of Wyrd Tales of an Anglo Saxon Sorcerer I read this book with pleasure and instruction It is a brilliant vivid entertaining and precise distillation of the scholarship on Anglo Saxon sorcery magic and shamanism It deserves a place on our

  • Title: The Way of Wyrd: Tales of an Anglo-Saxon Sorcerer
  • Author: Brian Bates
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Hardcover
  • I read this book with pleasure and instruction It is a brilliant, vivid, entertaining and precise distillation of the scholarship on Anglo Saxon sorcery, magic and shamanism It deserves a place on our bookshelves along with Carlos Castaneda, Joan Halifax, Claudio Naranjo and John Lilly It is a refreshing reminder that the source of our heritage is both historical and peI read this book with pleasure and instruction It is a brilliant, vivid, entertaining and precise distillation of the scholarship on Anglo Saxon sorcery, magic and shamanism It deserves a place on our bookshelves along with Carlos Castaneda, Joan Halifax, Claudio Naranjo and John Lilly It is a refreshing reminder that the source of our heritage is both historical and perennial R.D LaingThis unusual story documents the physical and spiritual journey of a young man into the vast forests of pagan Anglo Saxon England the historical setting of Middle Earth Through his experiences the book reveals the teachings of a remarkable Western path to psychological and spiritual liberation a way of being in the world that challenges many of our current notions of mind, body and spirit.Wat Brand is a Christian scribe sent on a mission deep into a pagan kingdom a landscape full of alien terrors and mysterious forces His guide, a sorcerer and mystic named Wulf, demonstrates awesome healing powers, and leads Brand through lessons in plant lore and runes, omens, fate and life force, and into direct encounters with the spirit world Brand becomes an apprentice, seeks the help of a guardian spirit and eventually journeys to the spirit world to encounter the true nature of his own soul.This story is the outcome of the author s five year research project into the psychology of shamanism and sorcery Written as a novel, The Way of Wyrd is based on a collection of Anglo Saxon magical and medical manuscripts from the British Museum Every event and detail of the teachings has been reconstructed from the Anglo Saxon evidence IN the preface Dr Bates argues that The Way of Wyrd has implications for our notions of life and death, psychological and paranormal powers, health and healing, ecology and the contemporary search for spiritual meaning in life The teachings of The Way of Wyrd are as potent and challenging today as they were a thousand years ago.Full of important wisdom Colin WilsonA compelling read Brian Bates has brought vividly and sympathetically to life and light he innermost thoughts and spiritual feelings of Dark Age Anglo Saxon England Profound human understanding and meticulous research have joined with a real writer s talent to produce the kind of book taht I could not put down Magnus MagnussonJacket Illustration Stephen Bradbury

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    446 Comments

    1. This book changed my lifer the betterde me look at the world in an entirely different way.I also liked how it is a novel based on or inspired by a true story.The novel is set in 6th Century England when the pagans still controlled the land. It's based on a real manuscript found that was written by a monk from that era.Basically, the plot is a young German monk arrives in England to attempt to convert the "heathens" to Christianity, but ends up being surprised by the sophistication of the old Pag [...]


    2. This is a wonderful fictional account of a young Christian scribe, Wat Brand, who is sent on a mission to record details of the pagan society in England. He is met by a guide, Wulf, who leads him on his journey Wat's life is about to be turned upside down on the web of wyrd. Brian Bates explores the ways of Anglo-Saxon magic through the fictional characters of Wat and Wulf. A well told story with some amazingly researched information amongst the weave. This is one book that will be kept on my s [...]


    3. Not sure what to make of this. Obviously, I've come across the concept of wyrd before, since I spent a good chunk of my degree fangirling over Anglo-Saxon poetry, but Brian Bates proposes a whole shamanic faith and a way of interacting with the world that, frankly, I didn't find convincing. Obviously I've really only encountered the Anglo-Saxon world through a Christian viewpoint, as only Christians kept records like that, but this just didn't ring true to me. Knowing that it was meant to be nei [...]


    4. While reading other materials for a class on Shamanism was more informational and gave me a good idea of Shamanism, this book gave me a true and potent picture. This book is written as fiction, but researched impeccably by the author, Brian Bates, an anthropologist and professor of shamanic consciousness at the University of Brighton in the UK. His reason for writing this fact-based story as fiction was to make it more accessible to the average reader. This was genius. It is not an exaggeration [...]


    5. I really enjoyed this book. My nutshell summary would be an Anglo-Saxon version of the Teachings of Don Juan only not made up.I recognized elements of yoga and Taoism in the events of this book. I believe it's because all of the above derive from a common source if you go back far enough.


    6. Set in the pre- Christian times of Great Britain when England was divided into many small kingdoms , a monk from the Christian kingdom of Mercia is sent to learn the pagan ways of a neighboring kingdom. The purpose is to bring them over to Christianity . Eappa , the head monk of the monastery sends him on this frightful mission. A guide has been arranged for this hapless monk and what follows is the adventure of a life time.Brand, the protagonist arrives in a neighboring kingdom via ship to expe [...]


    7. Conceptually interesting bit I suspect there's a lot more "speculative synthesis" with shamanic techniques from other cultures than the author owns up. And it's worrying that an academic still thinks the witch hunts of antiquity were all about oppressing the "old religion" (try heresy, the outsider, politics, greed, individual malice - the list goes on and on. And don't forget that identical criteria and accusations were made by pagan Rome against Christians and Christians against Jews).As a nov [...]


    8. I first discovered this book through one of my favourite albums of all time - Dreamweaver by Sabbat - which quite simply pure poetry with racous guitars and drums. The album is based on this book telling the story of Wat Brands' quest to discover the secrets of Saxon beliefs.Naturally the book covers a lot more detail than the album and that extra richness adds a lot to the story. This is a fascinating journey, not only of very different faiths, but also differences in mindsets. The exploration [...]


    9. Wow!! This book totally rocked my world! The story is so engaging and the philosophies imparted in such a natural beautiful delivery within the story that I found myself contemplating deep thoughts while being thoroughly entertained. I've never read a book ending in a bibliography that I didn't like and this one holds true to that theme.This was a very slow read for me. Partially due to being sick for the past several days but mostly because there was so much to absorb that was complex and thoug [...]


    10. I'm torn. I really wanted to like this book and the underlying concept - a monk who encounters Anglo-Saxon shamanism and learns to be a sorcerer - is so cool. However, the prose is cringeworthy; there are at least 1-3 adverbs per sentence, everyone "apparently" does things, and the narrator never stops trembling and being sick. I think this novel was also the author's excuse to dump all his research into a story. Pretty sure every piece of the narrator's dialogue was a question beginning with "B [...]


    11. In places, I found this a hard slog as his narrative doesn't flow as easily or evoke images as well as a natural writer's might. However the material he had at the centre of his book is fascinating and I loved many of the descriptions of the Wyrd and the spirituality of the pagans. You come away with an understanding of the way of Wyrd but it leaves you hungry for more. Perhaps this is its aim. My copy, published by Hay House, was rife with typos and grammatical errors and this was distracting.


    12. This is one book that has immensely and profoundly changed my life. I read this sometime back in high school after getting into a metal album whose lyrics are a beautiful poem that pretty much follows the story line of this book. This was one of those life changing books that alter your perception of the world around you a la Tales of Power or the Tao. Keep going back to it again and again and every time pull something new out of it. Great Book


    13. Brilliant!I've read this book three times now, and every time I find something to open my mind further - I can not recommend this book high enough. If you like historical novels, or just simply enjoy voyages into the hidden depths of the human condition, beyond conventional 'spirituality' and into the heart of existence then this book delivers. Outstanding.


    14. Originally published on my blog here in June 1998.This book arose from an academic look at "shamanism" in pre-Christian, Anglo-Saxony England. Bates looks at this culture through the eyes of an outsider, Wat Brand, a priest sent to learn how the shamans work so that the church can combat them as they move into the area (I think) now covered by the New Forest. He receives an education in the way of the Wyrd (the principle governing the pagan world-view) from the shaman Wulf.It's an interesting ed [...]



    15. The book The Way of Wyrd is a fictional story of a Christian Monk who is sent to learn the ways of the Anglo-Saxon pagans. The story is rich and entertaining. The author worked hard to research and present the information in a way that was informative and entertaining. By working the true beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon sorcerers into this work of fiction the author has brought back the use of stories to transmit knowledge and information.The book is actually in two parts. The first part focuses on t [...]


    16. Although I didn't want this to hinder my experience I found this novel to be slow to start and found myself distracted quite a bit, however in saying that, the parts I did focus on were really interesting.I found the concept behind this, being fiction based on factual events of a kind, really interesting and made for a very creative and unique plot.In terms of characters, we only really encounter Wat and Wulf and although Wulf was a toughy to figure out I think I ended up liking him, whilst Wat, [...]


    17. I have mixed feelings about this book. Although only 200 short pages long it seemed to take me forever to get through it. Although written as a story it is an interpretation of a number of historic documents which catalogue the skills and services of sorcerers of the Anglo-Saxon era before Christianity truly tightened its grip on Western Europe. As an explanation of those documents it's quite reasonable; as a story it's slow, sluggish and dull. The story is about a junior missionary who is sent [...]


    18. Super book. well written. Messages on multiple levels Almost my favorite book of all time!Finally reprinted this is a true classic. At one time, this book used might sell for $500! Sent on a mission deep into the forests of pagan Anglo-Saxon England, Wat Brand, a Christian scribe, suddenly finds his vision of the world turned upside down. The familiar English countryside is not what it seems: threatening spirits, birds of omen and plants of power lurk in this landscape of fallen terrors and myst [...]


    19. To me this book was like finding home. I have been a pagan for a long time, but for the first time I found someone describing what is very close indeed to how I have always found the world. My five-star rating is very personal and I do not expect everyone to find this book as usefull as I did, but to me it was a comfort, finally showing me that I am at least not alone in my views on at least some things.I think the thing you really have to get used to is that it is written as a personal account [...]


    20. Having a slight obsession with all things Pagan/Celtic/pre-Christian this was a perfect read for me! Exploring the pagan beliefs of Anglo-Saxon England, Bates takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the lore of runes, fate, life force, wyrd and the ideas of the soul. Seen through the eyes of a Christian missionary this provides an interesting point of balance and an opportunity for showing the similarities and differences in faith of this period. A compelling story about the search for [...]


    21. It's been a long time since I've been genuinely startled by a book. I found myself reading wide-eyed, my inner OMG firing. There is a lot of wonder and humor here-- I expected something wooden and maybe corny, given the premise is primarily historial anthropology and theoretical conjecture. But Wulf will remain in my mind as one of the most vivid characters of any fiction I've read. I can still hear his voice. The ending is bittersweet, given the fate of pagan mystic traditions-- not just on thi [...]


    22. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this book, but it was quite good. As an attempt at reconstruction of pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon religion, it's quite interesting. It draws strong parallels with Meso-American sorcery and core shamanism, while remaining strongly Germanic in character. There was a certain realism to the way in which the sorcery happened, as well, as it never really got so outrageous as to be unbelievable. I was a little concerned that the main character was a Christian missionar [...]


    23. This book can be read as a beautiful fantasy story and it is very engaging on that level.Its protagonist lives at a time of transition from shamanism to christianity and is caught up in those changes and transformed by them.Written by a Professor of Dark Age history it is also a fascinating fictional account of a world we don't know much about.It's underlying idea of the Way of Wyrd is fascinating - anyone whose mind turns to the web will find this book enchanting.


    24. I was led to this book because it is a documentary novel offering a backstory to one of the few remaining Anglos-Saxon books. I am glad that I found it. If you have any interest in the pagan religion that existed in the UK before Christianity made an appearance, this is a novel that you would appreciate.


    25. Exquisitely intriguing book on a subject matter up until now i knew little of, highly enjoyable read due to the brilliant use of beautiful language to expertly describe tantalizing imagery. A simply fantastic book, delving into a realm of sorcery to enlighten the soul.


    26. Another book of significance that didn't quite live up to its reputation. Supposedly the definitive book on the Wyrd and as such maybe I expected more?



    27. Great read. Well written and believable.An interesting take on the early Christian exposure to the shamanic practices of early Brittain.


    28. Way of the Wyrd is a novel that follows the fortunes of a Wat Brand, a scribe in a Christian mission in Mercia, as he is sent into deepest, darkest Sussex to learn the ways of the pagan Saxons who live there. He's told that a guide will meet him, and that guide is Wulf, a Saxon sorcerer, who takes him under his wing and teaches him to open himself to the spirit world.It's easy to see how this book influenced Bates' later book, The Real Middle Earth (which /i read first), and the latter feels ver [...]


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