Druids , Druidism And The Celts
In the dawn of time when the world was still young and the people were living in harmony with the nature , a guild existed . A guild of sages called Druids . They were enchanters , poets , healers , shamans and philosophers . They were the bearers of the cultural and spiritual heritage , and builders of magnificent megalithic structures like Stonehenge . The druids were fully able to communicate with the nature like none other . They drain their powers form the nature and thanks to these powers they were able to understand life and the universe itself .
The Celts are an ethnic group originating for the ancient Indo-European territory , partially Eastern Europe . They have been skilled metal workers , able to produce weapons and tools , to work with gold and silver . Skilled breeders and farmers .The Celts adopted the esoteric , math and constructive knowledge of the Druids . They have added their passionate spirit and skills to the Druid’s ancient teachings and this symbiosis gave the birth to the Druids as we know them .
The etymology of the word Druid is unknown .
It is believed that it originates from the Irish word for oak - Daur , the Gallic – Dervo and the Welsh – derw , combined with the Indo-European – wid , that means wisdom . The oak is the considered to be the most special of all threes . The druids are also called “The wise one of the Oakwood”.
The oak was taking a very important place in the druid teachings and beliefs . He was symbol of eternity and wisdom , the divine enlightenment and the unity between all realms of existence . The druids believe in three realms of existence . The upper realm , the middle and the underworld .Each of these worlds having his reflection on the great Oak tree .The number three has great significance in the druid practices . It has been considered a sacred number .
There were three types of Druids .
The first type is the Bard . The bards were poets , musicians and guardians of the traditions . They were entertainers , but their songs and art was bearing the wisdom and the traditions of the druid practices .
The second type were the Ovates . The Ovates are the healers . They are more directly connected to the nature . With their deep understanding of the plants and the herbs . The powers they possess , is acquired directly from the planet energies . The Ovates are also skilled in divination and magic .
The druids were the third type . They were teachers and philosophers . They were these who perfectly understand and interpret the druid teachings and knowledge .
A druid training was quite extensive .
It lasted for approximately 20 years . Sometimes in small groups , but often in groups larger than 20 pupils , the young druids had learned all the skills needed to practice the ancient teachings . For all these years of training the druids were turning from simple man to a walking encyclopedia .
The mythology describes the Druids as really gifted in magic , soothsaying , levitation and shapeshifting . They were responsible for the education not only to the young druids . The druid was the teacher for the whole community . They taught their students history , art and the ancient spiritual traditions .
When we heard the word druid , we often imagine an old long-beard man , dressed all in white .
The reality however is quite different however . The Celtic women enjoyed more rights ,than the women in the other cultures of that time . They were allowed to have property , to fight in battles and to keep their family name even after marriage . That’s why there are a lot of female druids .
The druids knew that there is a major correlation between all the three worlds of existence . Accordingly to them in the right time and space portals between these world are open . These special moments in time are used by the druids for celebrations and rituals . They also believed in the immortal soul and the reincarnation . That’s why the Celtic warriors , thought by the druids , rush in to battle with no fear in their hearts .
One of the most important places in the druid traditions was the Fire cult .
The fire is seen by the druids as the major spiritual power . It was directly related with most of their rituals and celebrations . The fire is part of the four major elements accordingly to the druid traditions . The other three are Earth , Water and Air .
Fairness , honesty ,love and bravery were the sacred qualities in the druid philosophy . They believed that the human , the earth , the sun , the animals the plants and even the rocks are sacred .
During I century B.C. the Celtic tribes are constrained in the Western parts of Europe pressured by the Germanic tribes and the Romans . Around 50 B.C. most of the Celtic tribes are already conquered . The British Island turned to the last sanctuary for their tribes , but has also been conquered by the Roman empire .
The druids became a subject to persecution and were forced to disappear from the face of the earth . Although in some regions , as some parts of Ireland , turned to a new home for the Druids and their sacred knowledge .
When the Christian missionaries came to the Island they found a fully functioning druid system and community . During the ages the druid traditions and the Christianity mixed up together and this has given the birth of the Celtic church .
During the dark ages the druid tradition is preserved by the Bards . Traveling artists and musicians . The last information for the existence of Bard schools dates back till XVI-XVII .
On 22th of September 1717 John Toland called upon the druids in all the parts of the island and this is how the Druid Order was formed .
Today most of the druid orders originate from that order . The druidism is ancient and mystical tradition that has much to offer even in our dark age .It is a way to restore the long lost connection with the nature and the spiritual realm . Every day more and more people are turning to such old an ancient teaching and practices . They search ways to return to the right path . This path leads to healing , peace and harmony . To connection with the nature and all things sacred . What most could we want …?
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