One of great contributions to the retreat was an acquisition of a special and unique grimoire of Brown Magic. Three of us visited Leaky’s Bookshop in Inverness before the retreat. It’s a wonderful shop and cafe in old church building. It resembles a library. The tall shelves filled with old books are truly overwhelming. There is a fireplace in the middle and spiral, metal staircase leading to the balcony with a cafe, nice sofas, prints and old maps and fantastic collection of folio society books. We were browsing for few hours. On the shelves labelled miscellaneous there was quite a lot of books on paganism, new age, magic, psychology and other difficult to label subjects. In between all this we found an intriguing paperback with a strange title and cover. The cover features centrally a big fly agaric mushroom surrounded by hares and a fairy. The title reads: BROWN MAGIC. A BOOK FOR BROWN OWL. by V. Rhys Davids. The book is dedicated to THE BROWN OWLS OF THE WORLD WHO ARE WORKING FOR THE FUTURE.
We had a real fun with this little book. Not only we began calling each other Brownies or Boggarts and our meeting pow-wow but also we incorporated some of the magical techniques described in the book. We were inspired to include a sacrament of chocolate brownies for our last evening and also used the book for divination by opening it and reading random passages out loud. Here is one of them:
“This brings us to the Toadstool, as it too, signifies, in a way, permanence and security. For it stays when they go, and will in time come to signify the life of the Pack.”
“Nature Lore might be called the heart of Guiding.The more we learn and know of Nature the more our religious sense and or spiritual qualities are quickened and strengthened .”
“One way of opening a meeting is to magic the room. Think of some lovely place you would like to be in-a forest, a fairy palace, a cave, on the seashore- change it each time but be sure the Brownies know what they are choosing; for instance, inland Brownies might find it hard to picture the seashore. Then go about the room and with your two fingers draw imaginary trees along the walls- that is, if you want a wood, or rocks for a cave etc. The two fingers used in the Brownie salute may have a magic power!”
I think you get it by now!
We researched Brown Magic a bit before the retreat and came across this great Brown Owl Motto:
” We are the druids , here is our wish; to wave our wands and make Magic Fish, who can swim through the sky and mysterious mountains, who know how to fly!”
On the last evening of the retreat we used the technique described in Brown Magic to close and tidy up the magical space. As we removed KIA banner and other important object we pointed our fingers at them shouting VANISH! At the end we shared the sacrament of chocolate brownies. It was great fun.