Alferian Gwydion MacLir

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Alferian Gwydion MacLir is the Druidic name and nom de plume of Dr. James W. Maertens, M.A., Ph.D. Dr. Maertens taught English and Humanities for some years prior to becoming a full-time writer of young adult fantasy.

Today, besides working as a master wandmaker, he also conducts research and writes as an independent scholar in the fields of Freemasonry, Druidry, and Magery. The doctor has a special interest in the history of magic, alchemy, and magical theory.

Alferian keeps an occasional web log called The Weekly Owl

Academic Education

  • Ph.D. English Language and Literature, University of Minnesota (1993)
  • M.A. English, University of Minnesota (1990)
  • B.A. summa cum laude (English), Augsburg College


  • Druid Companion of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
  • Mount Haemus Scholar
  • Master Mason
  • Grand Sublime Perfect and Elect Master, 14° AASR
  • Knight Rose Croix, 18°
  • Knight of the Brazen Serpent
  • Knight of the Sun
  • Knight of the White and Black Eagle
  • Master of the Royal Secret 32°
  • Companion Royal Arch Mason
  • Noble of the Ancient Arabian Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
  • Companion of the Imaginary Royal College of Enchanters
  • Laird Glencairn
  • Defender of the Malt


  • Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids
  • The Masonic Society
  • The Scottish Rite Research Society
  • Lake Harriet Lodge, No. 277 A.F. & A.M.
  • Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Valley of Minneapolis
  • Ancient Arabian Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
  • Geal-Darach Grove
  • Ancient Order of Druids in America


  • Consulting wizard
  • Founder, Avalon College of Druidry (2005-2008) an experiment in druidic formal education at the college level.
  • Chancellor of Avalon College of Druidry
  • Faculty of the Grey School of Wizardry -- Indigo Wizardry
  • Chief druid of Geal-Darach Grove, or the Grove of the White Oak
  • Jr. Steward, Sr. Steward, and occasional Jr. Deacon of Lake Harriet Lodge, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons.
  • Lodge Education Officer, Lake Harriet Lodge