Book Review: Wyrdcraft

by Matthew Ash McKernanLLEWELLYN
reviewed by Rochelle Bourgault

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The Old English wyrd (pronounced “weird”) means fate or destiny. It is the spiritual web that gives our life meaning and connects us all. Ever present and elemental, it is the source of self: “The weave of your body’s wyrd is yours and yours alone,” writes McKernan. It is also what holds people (and society) together. Our fates are always intertwined with others.

When humans lost the wilderness (and wildness), we lost our connection to wyrd. Wyrdcraft is a guide to rebuilding this lost or weakened spiritual connection. We have vestigial “weird” moments: déjà vu, synchronicities, psychic dreams, gut instincts, even the way we feel awe in nature. The interwoven threads of wyrd are too many to list (though Wyrdcraft sincerely attempts to).

The author provides Wyrding Ways, practices and exercises in each chapter: an ancestry meditation, journaling, and even a banishing growl give the reader dynamic opportunities to get started on the path of healing and reintegration with wyrd. There is so much more than just the exercises. This book offers a full-throttle immersion program. McKernan has a gift for giving names, for enriching our lexicon. What a joy to have new words for feelings and phenomena! Aside from wyrd, we are given frith (deep spiritual gratitude) and grith (imposed peace and sanctuary), to name just two.

The ambition of Wyrdcraft is epic. If you commit to the book’s arc and respond to McKernan’s bold view of the world, you may literally never see the world the same way again. The author’s mission is first to connect us to the feeling of being held by the invisible web of wyrd. Once we are held, we can begin to heal ourselves. Healing ourselves is the first step toward healing relationships, which leads to healing society, which leads to healing the planet.

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