Druids

A forum for people who follow or are interested in the spiritual path of Druidry (whether neopagan, mesopagan, or reconstructionist), the ancient Druids, and Celtic culture.

Modern Druidry is a 300 year old path that focuses on nature spirituality and inner transformation founded on personal experience rather than dogmatic belief.
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Kassandra
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Post by Kassandra »

Interesting video. I remember reading about the the mysterious "bog men" of Ireland, and how their deaths generally remain a mystery to archeologists.




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reikihealer83
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Post by reikihealer83 »

That was an interestng video. I think, just as any other religion the Druids were misunderstood. I think that all religions used sacrafices but pagan and druid faiths get the worst wrap. Why do we all think that is?

Y0m
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Post by Y0m »

I wouldn't put too much faith in a video shown on TV. I only say this because Gangland documentaries are everywhere on television today, obviously instilling fear or trying to attract young people to violence. I don't know how anyone else can't see what is happening (well obviously some realize but not enough). The powers that be monitor everything on the television and are working against the upliftment and harmonious unity of people in america. It is another form of control in their minds.

Just my 2 cents
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Y0m
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Stephanie Mae
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Post by Stephanie Mae »

I could not get my father to watch it, he said it was "bloody shite".

RuneGeek
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Post by RuneGeek »

shadowx wrote:I'd be interested to know about the Druidic view of sacrifice.

Wikipedia says that the old druids, before and during the first decades of roman rule, practised sacrifice, both human and animal.
There's a fair amount of evidence that the ancient Celtic (as well as Germanic) peoples practiced human sacrifice. The prevailing opinion seems to be that the sacrifices would have been enemies captured in battle or condemned criminals.

Perhaps more common, at least among the Celts, was the tossing of personally-important items into bodies of water as votive offerings to the spirits of nature.

I know of no major modern Druid organization that condones animal (and certainly not human!) sacrifice. Modern Druids "sacrifice" in the form of offerings of food, drink, poetry, song, etc.

Aemilus

Re: Druids

Post by Aemilus »

Hello All!

Demetri4

“Were the Druids crazy?”

After reflecting briefly on the human condition, both now and looking back, the answer to that question would seem to rest entirely on ones definition of the word “crazy”. That definition, and the response to the question, will likely vary wildly between different people, cultures, religions and even recent periods in history.


reikihealer

“As someone who comes from a Celtic/Druid background I have to say they were not crazy but then again, many people think that self identified "psychics" are crazy (I do not agree of course). The druids were not crazy by any means. I find them to be simply amazing and full of wisdom that has been passed along through the ages. I walk the path of a Druid each day and I am not crazy. Just another perspective.”

I also come from a Druidic background, and echo that opinion.


Kassandra

“For instance, maybe talk about how Druidic thought and practices could be expressed in, and enhance our daily lives in modern culture.”

From my point of view, Druidry is expressed in, and enhances my daily life by helping to keep me focused on the things that really matter, namely, love for one’s family, and a deep respect and reverence for the Earth.

“How did/do Druids view life? What's the purpose of life on Earth from a Druidic perspective? What are the holidays, the foods? Was the goddess important?”

Those questions will almost undoubtedly draw very different responses from any two Druids, and even between generations of Druids in the same family, such as mine.

“But what would be much more interesting is reflections on experiences and perspectives from people who really walk that path, or at least know someone who does.”

My perspective may be seen as extreme from the point of view of many, even “crazy” by some. Since the age of 16 (about 36 years ago), I have lived a simple, even austere minimalist lifestyle, owning only the barest of essentials. I have never owned a car, a home, computer, cell phone or any of the myriad other things that most people take for granted, and at the age of 52 have never in my life purchased one drop of gasoline for any reason. I just recently got this computer (it was salvaged) for the purpose of fulfilling my mother’s dream of publishing her work. In keeping with the tradition of self education and development that goes back in my family to my great great grandmother, Ange Mosher, who wrote a book called “The Spell Of Brittany”, and my great grandfather John MacKinnon Robertson, who was a self educated scholar and prolific journalist, I dropped out of school and spent quite a bit of time when I was younger haunting the various libraries at the University of Washington (while volunteering as an assistant occupational therapist at the University of Washington Hospital). My experience of Druidry has been one marked by utter simplicity, and a "Do No Harm" philosophy that I try to apply to every area of my life.


shadowx

“I still dont know what differentiates a druid from the collective group of pagans?”

There may be a line separating the two, but if there is, it is a fuzzy one.

“From what I have read here druids simply fit into that category, so what sets them apart?”

It does seem that there is an additional emphasis in Druidry on self education and development combined with community service. I have not seen that expressly stated as a central tenet of Paganism, generally, but that does not mean that Pagans are any less civic minded than anyone else.

“Shamans (again, from my limited knowledge) are based mainly around animals, animal magick and spirits/energies

But druids? I draw a blank... I know its due to a lack of my knowledge, all i can associate them with is trees and forests, perhaps forest spirits but im just plucking terms out of the air now!”

No, you have actually hit the nail on the head! Trees, and particularly the Oak tree, in Druidry, are symbolic of Nature, the respect and reverence for which is probably the most fundamental tenet of the path. Druids derive their name from two Gaulish words. The first, “Druvis”, means “Oak Tree”, and the second, “Wid”, which means “To Know”.

“Wikipedia says that the old druids, before and during the first decades of roman rule, practised sacrifice, both human and animal.

You also said in the other thread that he has put snakes blood on his forehead, assuming this is real blood from a real snake what is the druidic view of sacrifice, animal and human, and how does this a) fit in with the reverence of life and b.) what is the reason and point behind it?

Assuming the reason is so gain empowerment or perhaps knowledge of future events or something similar, how does a druid expect that the loss of a life will aid them?”

This gets back to definitions of what is or is not rational mentioned earlier, and is completely open to interpretation, though I would add that what seemed rational to people thousands of years ago, and even recently, cannot easily be reconciled by today’s standards.


StarWitch

“I saw a show about Druids on the National Geographic Channel. Archaeologists had found the remains of Druids who appeared to be used as human sacrifices to the gods. There was also evidence of cannibalism. When I watched the show, I thought that it was no wonder that the Romans wanted them dead if this was really how they were. They were frightening. A druid man's body was found and he had been knocked in the head, but not enough to kill him, then he was garrotted (basically choked) while at the same time having his throat cut. The researcher said that his blood would have spewed out in a dramatic way, which made her think it was a sacrificial ritual.”

Conjecture and speculation. There are, in reality, only about one or two thousand words written by authentic historical figures about the ancient Druids, and many of those are suspect. Also, there has never been any archaeologically verified discovery of remains that can be unquestionably linked to them, though many academics continue to present their theories in a factual light.


Strength to you all, Aemilus

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Re:

Post by JuniperBerry »

StarWitch wrote:I saw a show about Druids on the National Geographic Channel. Archaeologists had found the remains of Druids who appeared to be used as human sacrifices to the gods. There was also evidence of cannibalism. When I watched the show, I thought that it was no wonder that the Romans wanted them dead if this was really how they were. They were frightening. A druid man's body was found and he had been knocked in the head, but not enough to kill him, then he was garrotted (basically choked) while at the same time having his throat cut. The researcher said that his blood would have spewed out in a dramatic way, which made her think it was a sacrificial ritual.
I'm not sure about the Druids, but in Heathen culture sacrifice was an accepted practice utilized often. The ways in which a person was sacrificed was symbolic to the god being sacrificed to, and the deeper meanings behind that deity. Those sacrificed to Odin, for example, were strangled/hung, pierced with a spear and then the body burnt. This reflects, in part, the sacrifice Odin made of himself (and in which he won the runes), and also the hallowing powers of Odin's spear. For a warrior, being taken hostage and given to Odin was actually seen as a great honor, for only the bravest men who died a violent death could gain admittance into Odin's halls. Not only were hostages/slaves sacrificed but people often sacrificed themselves, dying in a manner befitting that of the god they most honored. (While all the Aesir were honored and holy some might be more of a Frey's man, or a Thor's man.)

As to the Romans, I don't think sacrifice was that much of a taboo to them, nor that the "immoral" nature of the Celts is what persuaded them to attack and control. This was a culture that exalted the brutal games of the coliseum, and the conquest of Northern Europe was spurred on due to political and financial motives moreso then religious and ethical ones. In fact, if you read Tacitus' Germania it's quite easy to see who are the 'better' people. He (Tacitus) complains of the men loving and being faithful to only one woman. He is puzzled by their disinterest in silver/gold and their preference for barter so he teaches them the usefulness of money (and it's all been downhill since, hasn't it ;) ), he marvels at the fact that when a slave is taken they are given a house and land and their only obligation is to give a portion of their harvest and livestock to the master at the end of the year.

So, whats worse? Sacrifice in the service of the gods and spirituality agreed upon by both parties seem or the killings of slaves by the gladiators for (afaik) pure sport?
The Gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. A person will worship something, have no doubt about that. We may think our tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of our hearts, but it will out. That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

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As believers in the folk-religion we are studying, we seek after mysteries that expand the scope of our gods and our understanding of them, not reductionist theories that reduce them to manageable and socially productive "functions".

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roseonfire
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Re: More info in Druid forum

Post by roseonfire »

Yes, the Goddess was and IS important. This is coming from a Fam. Trad. Druid.
Kassandra wrote:Albeit a weird post initiated this conversation, but nevertheless I am glad someone posted something in this forum. I love trees, and I think the Druid spiritual path has so much to teach us. It's too bad there's no "action" in this forum. I hope people feel inspired to post in here more often. It's kind of peaceful in this forum after all that "love spells" nonsense lately in some other forums, hahaha.

For instance, maybe talk about how Druidic thought and practices could be expressed in, and enhance our daily lives in modern culture. How did/do Druids view life? What's the purpose of life on Earth from a Druidic perspective? What are the holidays, the foods? Was the goddess important?

Anyone can cut and paste "encyclopedic" information on the topic, as has already been done here ....I could do that. But what would be much more interesting is reflections on experiences and perspectives from people who really walk that path, or at least know someone who does.

Anything would be nice. I invite you to share your thoughts.



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The Goddess is like the moon itself, guiding us in our darkest moments.

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