The Ancient Druids

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The Ancient Druids The ancient Druid religion was created within Celtic society at around 500 B.C. The religion itself was manifested through observations of the natural world. These observations of nature led to the philosophical, spiritual, and ritual base of the Druid religion. The ancient Celtic people populated Gaul and the British Isles from 900 B.C. to 700 C.E.(1,2,5). These were a people of nature. At the height of their society at around 300 B.C. there were hundreds of independent Celtic tribes. Each tribe had fixed borders but held the forest and agricultural land as common ground. Some of the land was worked in common for the sick and the poor (5). The social structure was based on democratic idealism. Every person had his or her place in the tribe and officials were elected yearly. The majority of tribal business was conducted at annual assemblies where land disputes were decided, petty criminals were tried and officials were elected (2,5). The common link between all the tribes was the Druid priesthood. The Druid priests had authority over every tribal chief and could move wherever they wanted. They were the arbitrators between the tribes. Their purpose was to preserve the common culture, religion, history, laws, scholarship and science of the Celtic people A Druid would begin training at age 5 and continue for 20 years. He or she would be taught in a large group by a few Druid teachers and would be educated in astrology, magic, and in the powers of plants and animals. All of the instruction was oral and hands-on (1,2,3,4). The training was also very physically demanding. A Druid had to master and understand his or her body because it was the soul's link to nature and life. It is b... ... middle of paper ... ... At day time games would be played while at night the serious rituals were performed. Today there some misconceptions about the Druid rituals that took place in ancient times. It is not known for sure whether or not the Druids had human sacrifices. If they did have human sacrifices, it was an offering to nature by the person being sacrificed. No one was forced to be sacrificed. The Druids did not worship any evil spirits but the whole of dark and light that is the universe. Druidism was driven underground as Christianity moved into Western Europe. Much of Druidism was incorporated into the Christianity of the British Isles. But by 700 C.E. Druidism was almost completely gone. The only reason we know as much as we do about the Druids is because of Christian monks who documented them. It is from their writings that we know the ways of the ancient Druids.

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