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Loyal Arthurian Warband. Photo: Lou Purplefairy. Following page: King Arthur. Photo: Lou Purplefairy. with the ability to observe these concentrations and has since learned to harness his power through chanting from the belly. He says he felt the elation of the British public when Margaret Thatcher died. Other Druids approach the religion from the perspective of clairvoyancy. One of the protestors outside the High Court, Peter, is a full-time clairvoyant from Yorkshire who uses a long staff as a sort of lightning rod for spiritual energy. He believes that modern medicine and druidic spirituality complement each other well.


nother protestor, Julian, a middleaged IT consultant, approaches Druidism from a shamanic perspective. He became a shaman after taking the hallucinogenic drug ayahuasca in Peru and sees Druidism as its English cousin. He believes abstinence as a virtue and claims to once have fasted for 36 days. Bapu explains that Druidism is a very free religion: “If there are 10,000 druids in this

country, there are 10,000 ways of doing it. Popeye had it right: ‘I am what I am, Popeye the Sailor Man’.”


owever, one Druid who is certainly not abstinent is King Arthur, a man with an inexhaustible appetite for mischief. The cider-swilling, chainsmoking biker decided to become King Arthur after an identity crisis at a squat party in Hampshire in 1986. His first move was to change his name to Arthur Uther Pendragon by deed poll. He claims his authority through the ownership of Excalibur, a sword he bought for £100 after showing the shop-owner his driving licence. He is, however, a renunciate and refuses to sign on. He lives in a caravan next to Stonehenge and survives on tributes of food and cider from his devotees. He says that, like Gandhi before him, he merges the two roles of spiritual and political leader. “I’m the only full time Druid I know in Britain” he tells me outside the court. This visit


The Eccentrist  
The Eccentrist  

A new quarterly magazine that offers a ‘meander away from the mainstream’ by documenting the more unusual and offbeat people, places and ide...