Philip Greywolf Shallcrass
Chief of the British Druid Order, Pagan, pacifist, writer, artist, musician, drum-maker and roundhouse-builder.
An artist, writer and musician, started drawing aged two and writing short stories at three, first played percussion, then woodwind, then guitar and harp. A pacifist since the age of four, explored various spiritual paths before becoming a Druid in 1974. These included Buddhism, Hinduism, Ritual Magic and Alexandrian Wicca. The British Druid Order (BDO) grew out of a Wiccan coven in the late 1970s. During the 70s, edited books by Aleister Crowley and W. Wynn Westcott and co-wrote, edited and illustrated 'A Catalogue of Occult Books'.
In the 80s, focused on music, fronting various bands and honing skills as singer, songwriter and guitarist. As a musician, influences range from The Incredible String Band to The Screaming Blue Messiahs.
From 1992 to 2000, edited 'The Druids' Voice: the Magazine of Contemporary Druidry'.
In 1993, founded the Gorsedd of Bards of Caer Abiri among the stone circles of Avebury in Wiltshire, the first group in the UK to offer open, public celebrations of the Pagan festival cycle. Following a vision of a wolf in a sweat lodge in 1994, received the name, Greywolf. Has increasingly worked with animal spirits ever since, including shape-shifting.
First book as sole author, 'Druidry: A Practical and Inspirational Guide', published by Piatkus Books in 2000. Music CD, 'The Sign of the Rose' (recorded as Greywolf), was released in the same year. Has published two books of poetry, 'The Passing of the Year' (1997) and 'The Remembering Soul' (2001). Between 1995 and 2002, shared running the BDO with Emma Restall Orr, jointly editing four editions of 'A Druid Directory' (BDO, 1995-2002), editing and contributing to 'Druidry: Rekindling the Sacred Fire' (BDO, 2002). Has given talks and workshops on Druidry at Pagan events and academic conferences in Britain and Ireland, Europe and the USA.
For the last decade has been researching, writing and editing distance learning courses for the British Druid Order. The bardic course went online in 2011, the ovate in late 2012. The Druid course is due to follow in 2016.
Between 2007 and 2009, designed and supervised the building of an Iron Age roundhouse, learning medieval thatching techniques in the process. In 2014, began making frame drums, felling trees to make the hoops, and working with hides from Britain's oldest red deer herd for the skins. Now makes drums in collaboration with son, Joe. Also in 2014, worked on thatching a pair of Iron Age roundhouses at the Museum of Welsh Life in south Wales.
Lives in rural Wiltshire, between Avebury and Stonehenge, with two of three sons.