For me, this season conjures up the idea of mystical beings, times forgotten, and magical realms. Call me fanciful, but as the weather cools and dead leaves swirl close to the ground, I truly feel there’s something…more.
Could the ancient priests called Druids have some of the answers? These men carried out religious rituals in The Iron Age in Britain and France, but left no written account of their beliefs and practices. We know of their existence left in accounts by conquering Romans and Greeks. There were a few stories told by actors and artists scattered throughout the land. Our main body of knowledge of this group can be found in Irish medieval writers’ works.
- Druids may be female or male.
- Some Druids recite or sing prayers in Gaelic or other Celtic languages.
- By 1933, there were 1.5 million adherents. This number has dwindled.
- Druids may practice alone or in a Grove, the term used for a congregation.
- The ideal ritual space will have a tree, water of some sort, and a fire. Sometimes a ring of rocks is used, but a ring of trees is very sacred! Occasionally, one very old large tree will be used as an especially sacred area.
- They will, most likely, wear a ritual robe, Celtic garb or a kilt when worshiping.
- Greek and Roman writers wrote about the Druids practicing human sacrifices. It seemed they were mostly criminals, but innocents were also used. Mass graves have been found in a ritual context at different archaeological sites.
- The first known text that describes the druids is Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico, book VI, written in the 50s or 40s BCE.
- Most Druids have a profound respect for and a great love of the law, telling the truth, artistic endeavors, history and justice for all.
- they have no dietary restrictions unless they are under a geas, a magical prohibition.