T H E   D R U I D S

Druid-Ruins

The word 'druid' is thought to derive from the Greek drus (oak) and the Indo-European wid (wisdom) - implying that they are the people who know the wisdom of the trees. The fragments of literature on ancient Druidism leave considerable room for interpretation of Druid belief and practices.

The druids were known as the "wise men" of the Celts. Many books have been written about them yet almost nothing is known about the druids. Their beliefs were esoteric and passed on orally. Their practices, for the most part, were not public and they left no written traditions and no major temples where art might provide a key to some of the druids' activities. The druids are mentioned by the ancient Roman authors * Strabo, Diodorus, * Posidonius and Julius Caesar. They were often called 'priests' and  'philosophers', as well as soothsayers and witches. Many stories have risen about them, mostly from speculation and rumor. They have been said to practice human sacrifice and cannibalism. Yet, the Druid religion is spiritually nature-based way of life and its worship cycle was marked by the movements of the Sun and Moon.

The year was marked by the changing positions of the rising sun, the solstices and equinoxes, and the four additional festivals halfway between these four that marked important points in the agricultural seasons. The ancient megaliths and stone circles, such as Stonehenge, have often been associated with the Druids.

 

The British Museum - The Druids / A Brief History of Druidry / About the Druids
 

The Dawn Of Art

 


The Seven Gifts of Druidry

 

Illustrating-picture-of-druidic-worshhip* The United Ancient Order of Druids began in New Zealand in 1876 with a lodge in Christchurch. Within 10 years there were over 50 lodges.
Jock Phillips. 'Men’s clubs - Friendly societies and other fraternal organisations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 16-Nov-12

The first Druids Lodge in Victoria was established in Melbourne in 1851 by a Mr Hymen who arrived from London with authority from the AOD, but a permanent lodge did not eventuate until Asher Barnard established a lodge in 1861.[12] A Victorian Grand Lodge of the United Ancient Order of Druids was begun around 1862 with Mr A Hunt appointed first Grand Secretary. Alderman James J. Brenan (1843–1914) was Grand Secretary of the for over 40 years from 1875 and, with the establishment of the Supreme Grand Lodge of Australia and New Zealand in 1912, he was granted the title Supreme Arch Druid.

The historical Druids - and Druidism - remain largely a mystery to many today, mainly due to the relative lack of much solid information that has survived the ravages of time, and the unfortunate necessity of historians having to rely on hostile Roman sources, for example. But we do know that the Druids were inspiring to their people, renowned to their enemies, respected by fellow priests - near and far -  in their time, and still inspire many today, as new, modern versions of Druidry are growing in our 21st century today.  May one of the Druids' ancient mottoes --  'The Truth against the World' -- inspire us to create a better world today (AncientQuest.com).

 

Pictures_of_English_History_Plate_I_-_Druids,_or_British_Priests

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