Sunday, March 12, 2023



Druids who worked as judges, teachers & priests were the members of the learned class among the ancient Celts. We get the old druid records from the 3rd century BCE. Their name is expected to come from a Celtic word that indicates "knower of the oak tree." We don't have too much about the druids because they kept no record of themselves.

Julius Caesar is the major information source about the Druids. According to him, two men groups were there in Gaul, held in honor, including the Druids and the noblemen (equites). He also said that Druids were in charge of public and private sacrifices. Therefore, several young men went to them to get instructions. Not only they judged every public and private quarrel, but also they decreed penalties. If any person did not abide by the decree, he was barred from sacrifice. People consider this the gravest of punishments.

Previously, druids made one person chief among them. After his death, they appointed another person. Sometimes, a few Druids had equal merits. In such cases, Druids voted. They assembled once every year at a sacred place in the territory of the Carnutes, the center of all Gaul. When all of them used to assemble, the legal disputes were submitted to their judgment.

As per the record of Caesar, they abstained from warfare & they did not pay any tribute. Several people participated in the order voluntarily after being attracted by the privileges. Druids studied old verse, natural philosophy, astronomy, and the lore of the gods. Some ancient druids invested about 20 years in their training. According to them, the soul is immortal; when a person dies, the soul will pass from one person to another.

Druids in Mythology:

In Irish folklore, they lead a prominent role, serving Lords and kings as top-ranking priest-counselors because they had mystical abilities. Being Cathbad is the best example of these. In this regard, you should know that the presence of the chief druid in the court of King Conchobar mac Nessa of Ulster, Cathbad, is seen in many stories, and these mostly describe his ability to foretell the future.

If you read the tale of Deirdre of the Sorrows – the foremost tragic heroine of the Ulster Cycle – you will get to know that before the court of Conchobar, the druid predicted that Deirdre would grow up to be very beautiful. Moreover, you will get to know that the druid predicted that not only kings but also lords would go to war over her. They added only because of her much blood will be shed. Along with this, Druid said that the three greatest warriors of Ulster would be exiled due to her. The king ignored the prophecy, and it came true.

Amergin Glúingel was the greatest of the mythological druids. He was a bard and judge for the Milesians in the Mythological Cycle. The main intention of the Milesians was to overrun the Tuatha Dé Danann and win the area of Ireland. But once they came there, a magical storm was made by the druids of the Tuatha Dé Danann to prevent their ships from making landfall. 

In this way, Amergin called upon the spirit of Ireland itself. It chanted a strong incantation which will be called The Song of Amergin. After the landfall, they aided & divided the land between his royal brothers in the conquest of Ireland to get the title Chief Ollam of Ireland. The names of other mythological druids are Tadg mac Nuadat of the Fenian Cycle and Mug Ruith.

About Female Druids:

Irish Druids Mythology—

In Irish mythology, you will find the mention of several female druids who share prominent cultural and religious roles with male druids. The Irish give several names to the female druids like bandruí ("woman-druid"), which we discovered in the Táin Bó Cúailnge story. Bodhmall that we found in Fenian Cycle is one of Fionn mac Cumhaill's childhood caretakers. Besides, Tlachtga is the daughter of the druid Mug Ruith. As per the Irish tradition, Ruith is related to the Hill of Ward, the site of prominent festivals held during the middle ages in Tlachtga's honor.

Biróg has played a major role in an Irish folktale where an attempt is made by the Fomorian warrior Balor to thwart a prophecy foretelling that his grandson will kill him by imprisoning his only daughter Eithne in the tower of Tory Island to keep her away from the contact of any man. Hence, you should know that Biróg is another bandruí of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Bé Chuille is the daughter of the woodland goddess Flidais, and she was also known as a sorceress instead of a bandruí. Her presence was seen in a tale from the Metrical Dindshenchas. In that tale, she joins three other Tuatha Dé so that they can defeat the Greek witch Carman. 

Whereas another bandrúi Relbeo, a Nemedian druid appears in The Book of Invasions. And we got to know that she is the daughter of the King of Greece and mother of Fergus Lethderg and Alma One-Tooth. Dornoll, a bandrúi in Scotland, trained heroes in warfare (Laegaire and Conall). In this regard, you should know that she was Domnall Mildemail's daughter.

The Gallizenae:

Classical authors said that the Gallizenae were virgin priestesses of the Île de Sein off Pointe du Raz, Finistère, western Brittany. Artemidorus Ephesius, who is a Greek geographer, mentioned their existence first. Later, the Greek historian Strabo wrote that men were not allowed to enter the island, but the women came to the mainland so that they could meet their husbands. Who Were The Druids?

Their presence is seen in many mystical tales of Prehistoric Britain. A Druid named Figol was threatened to bring fire to rage on his enemies and to prevent the men and their horses from going to the toilet. As a result, their bodies got filled with urine. However, as per our knowledge of the modern world, we know that it is not possible. However, several druids are riddled with mysticism, and magic. They remain basically concerned with the natural world and its powers. They considered oak trees sacred.

We still don't know the source of the term ‘Druid’ but most people think that ‘doire’ is its origin. This one is an Irish-Gaelic word for oak tree which represents ‘wisdom’. However, there are different mysteries regarding the history of Druids. We can compare their practices with those of priests today because they are capable of connecting people with gods. However, the roles of them varied and acted as teachers, scientists, judges and philosophers. 

What makes them special is their power. They were capable of banishing people from society if someone broke the sacred laws, came between two opposing armies and prevented warfare. In addition, they didn't need to pay any taxes in battle. People during that time considered Druid women equal to men in different respects. In this regard, you should know that it is quite uncommon for an old community. Women were able to participate in wars and divorce their husbands.

Julius Caesar was the writer of one of the oldest accounts of Druids in 59-51 BC. These were written in Gaul, where we can see the division of prestigious men into Druids or nobles. From the Roman writers, the historians have gained most of the knowledge regarding Druids. 

In this regard, you must know that they were polytheistic. Besides, they had sacred figures and female gods, rather like the Romans & Greeks. But remember that the less civilised society of druids gave a sense of superiority to others. It can render a few of their accounts uncertain historically because they could be tainted with exaggerated instances of Druidic practices. Although there was a record of the Druidic human sacrifice, we don't have any specific proof to support this.

Subsections were available within the Druid class where all are color-coded robes. Arch-druid is the oldest druid who would wear gold robes. Generally, the ordinary ones used to wear white and work as priests. While the sacrificers wore red, the blue bards were artistic. The new recruits did lesser tasks to druidism. These were held in lesser esteem, where they wore brown or black.

Remember that all aspects were structured & ordered from the Druid class's hierarchy to their life pattern which followed nature’s cycles. Druids also noticed lunar, solar & seasonal cycles and based on that, they worshipped right major holy days. 

They used to celebrate New Year on Samhain which we call Halloween (31st October). This day is full of mysticism and spirituality when the last harvest would occur. The reason is that the living and deceased could reveal to each other. Yule is referred to the winter solstice when these ancient people would sit on mounds of earth like the NewGrange in Ireland waiting for sunrise at the night when they will be reborn.

Hence, you should know that Ostara indicated the spring equinox whereas Beltane as a fertility festival occurred on 30th April. The summer solstice was Litha. They believed that the ‘holy king’ took over from the ‘oak king’ of Yule at this time. The first harvest was Lughnasa on 2nd August while the autumnal equinox was Mabon. After that, the cycle of holy days used to repeat itself along with reflecting the nature cycles, planets, etc., because of the belief of Druids in reincarnation. According to them, sins committed in an earlier life might be possible to make up for in the next.

The worship place was known as the ‘Temples of the Druids.’ These were secluded areas such as clearings in woods, forests, and stone circles. Stonehenge in Britain is the most renowned stone circle which is an old megalithic monument of about 2500 BC. 

People mostly think about druids that they might congregate around Stonehenge and cast magical incantations. This spot is still a worship place today for pagans and other neo-druids. However, a disagreement is there about if the ancient Druids built Stonehenge. Although we don't know when Druids came to Britain, they are expected to arrive after Stonehenge was built.

What Do You Mean by Druidry?

It is a community-based belief and value system which depends on the animistic worldview. According to druidry, all nature is intelligent, while other living creatures are human's ancestors. Animistic beliefs can be found in all the world's religions. According to several anthropologists, it is the world religion occurring naturally as well as the spiritual root of most religious belief systems.

You should know that the Animistic cultures depend on oral storytelling and traditional knowledge in the local landscape. It lets them pass down knowledge and culture for many years, continuously mystifying Western academics.

Once the writing was invented, knowledge became more abstract after people wrote it down in books. People got several books and scriptures from folklore and traditional tales of animistic cultures. Ancient scribes wrote them down under the direction of powerful kings & Emperors, along with their patriarchal priesthoods.

Digital displays and computers meditate on the human experience increasingly for people who look at the display ten hours daily on average. It can be tried to develop a connection with the "felt presence," and it is a powerful way of unplugging, resetting & reconnecting with the nature force.

Modern Druidry and the Environment:

Nowadays, Druids remain engaged in raising awareness regarding not only pollution, fracking, unchecked mining, but also in harmful industrial farming and rewilding forests. Moreover, they keep themselves engaged in establishing more nature reserves for protecting the biodiversity of the land.

The critical foundation of Druidry is the natural balance maintenance and respect for natural law. In this regard, it is necessary to know that the old Druids were priests, magicians, doctors, lawmakers, as well as nature-based philosophers.


Time was cylindrical for druids, indicating what goes around literally comes around. Moreover, they believed that if anyone performs such actions that go against natural law, it will lead to grave and long-term consequences for future generations. It is the reason the major focus of druids is on leaving a better world for future generations instead of consuming all natural resources quickly & harvesting the world to increase profit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What do the Druids believe?

Druids believed that oak trees are sacred and they remain concerned with the natural world. We can describe Druidism as a shamanic religion because it depended on the combination of holistic medicines & the spirit world to treat illnesses.

Q. What country are Druids from?

The Druids' oldest detailed and earliest accounts dated back to the first century B.C. They had set up a special role within the old communities of Britain, Ireland, and France.

Q. Do Druids still exist?

They don't proselytize though we can see the existence of modern Druidry across the globe. According to the reports, 74% of world Druids work actively to keep the spiritual practice private.

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