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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: druid

DEFINITIONS

Druid: Pre-Roman spiritual leaders of Europe, there is much speculation and relatively little factual documentation about them. They seem to have been involved with divination, incantations, healing, magic, advising royalty, carrying history in song. Druidry was an oral tradition, hence the minimal documentation.

Druids were said to meet in groves (especially of oak) and in caves. They were seen as anti-Roman, so Rome (under Augustus) forbade the practice of Druidry and the armies (and later the Christians) would destroy their sacred areas and burn them.

There was a Druid center of learning on the island of Anglesey (Ynys Môn) in Wales. Druids assembled there for training from all over Europe, although the oral secrets revealed there are not known. Rome eventually invaded the island and destroyed the groves.

Today, many of their mysteries are being rediscovered.Donald Michael Kraig


ARTICLES

Neo-Druidism Since the 1700s
The last vestiges of the Filídhecht schools were stamped out in the 1600s as Elizabethan English conquered and destroyed most of Ireland’s remaining Gaelic culture. The "plantations" of Ulster, and the extension of the Pale beyond Leinster into ...
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The Future of Druidism
As long as there are people who remember their Celtic heritage and its contributions to modern culture and civilization, and the legends, folk-tales and myths of the Celtic peoples, there will be those who dream about the ancient Celtic magic, about ...
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Who Were the Druids?
To mention the word Druid is to evoke images of ancient wizards and wonder-workers from old Irish sagas, Welsh legends, Caesar’s Gallic Wars and Scottish folktales. If you have read about the Druids, you’ve probably retained one of their many images ...
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Druidic Vestments
The appearance of the Druid is known to us from two main sources: Greco-Roman writings and medieval Irish tradition. There is also some evidence from Irish and Scottish folklore. Druids wore white tunics, which in early Ireland ...
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Oral Tradition and the Druidic Class
The ancient Druids considered it profane to record their teachings in writing. All of their teachings were handed down by spoken word in verses or stories. People at different levels taught different categories of the ancient lore. The highest in ...
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Celtic Religion
Druidism can be used synonymously with the phrases Celtic religion and Celtic magic. In order to enter into this magico-religious system, a familiarity with mythology is necessary. Celtic mythology is best represented in the Irish Book of Invasions ...
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Celtic Magic
The Druids and filídh were known for their divination and mysticism. These took manyforms, such as the learning and verse forms for composing blessings and curses,and the memorization of old hymns, chants and incantations. The basic song wascalled a ...
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The Druid's Gem
Pliny the Elder, in his Natural History, mentions the Druids manufacturing an object called the ovum anguinum, or "snake’s egg," which in Gaulish would have been called ouion natracos. In British and Irish tradition it was known as the snake’s gem, ...
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Glossary of Druidism
Adbertos (Gaulish) - An offering or ritual in which something is given to the Deuoi. Andumnos (Gaulish) - The Underworld / Otherworld / Netherworld which corresponds to the Greek Elysian Fields and Tartaros, and to the Teutonic Valhall and ...
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Witchcraft and Voodoo
Voodoo and Witchcraft are the two most misunderstood religions in the world. Each has a public image and an inner reality. Most frequently that public image has little to do with the private, inner and real religion. Voodoo Voodoo is a mixture of ...
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