At some point I'd like to have a FAQ as a sticky, but for now, just a brief introduction...
The Ancient Druids
The ancient Druids were the priests of the Celtic people. "Celtic" is a modern term used to describe any of the European peoples who spoke, or speak, a Celtic language. The historical Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age Europe. By the later Iron Age, the Celts had expanded over a wide range of lands: as far west as Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula, as far east as Galatia (central Anatolia), and as far north as Scotland.
Whatever the religion of the ancient Celts was called, we know that the Druids were its priests. They had formal training - for twenty years! - in order to earn the title, and their roles extended far beyond that of what we'd currently consider a "priest". They were judges, advisors, astrologers, diviners, poets, and musicians... and that's not a complete list.
Druidry was outlawed by the Romans after they invaded the British Isles. The druids who weren't killed off probably went underground, passing their teachings along to their children. Those teachings may well have been the Celtic contribution to what we later came to know as "witchcraft" in England.
A little more than 300 years ago, in England, people saw the "writing on the wall" with regard to the industrial revolution; people living in cities, away from nature, and focused on materialistic pursuits. They knew that many - even then - had become disillusioned with the Christian church, so they decided to create a spiritual path to answer the needs of the time. Drawing upon the ancient Druids for inspiration, they started a movement that exists to this day.
Modern Druidry is an Earth-based path that observes the same eight holidays as Wiccans - although usually under different names. In fact, it was Ross Nichols (a modern Druid) and his friend Gerald Gardner (also a Druid... betcha didn't know that!) who originally instituted the eight holidays as a neopagan practice prior to Gardner's formation of Wicca. Although there is no set magical path associated with modern Druidry, many modern Druids practice magic in the form(s) of their choosing.
That's the very, very