THE DRUIDS – Their Ways in the Modern World
By Heathclyff St James-Deville
There once was a battle, such as never was before.
The two parties were simply known as the Finian and the CuDan, their names were used to create division and unrest; one had to be aligned to one or the other. These both fought ferociously and none could stay the hand of either. They were not soldiers; only men out for what they could get.
The killing was merciless, even though some called and justified it as war and thus the dead were named as enemies to be slaughtered without regret. Is not War morally higher than out-and-out murder?
Homes were easily destroyed by fire for a thatched roof offers no protection. Women fared badly by the men who caught them; babes were cut down by sword, and the older children, killed before their mother’s eyes (though this may have been a mercy in disguise, for the child at least).
Older men were dragged to the village centre; the public square, then stripped and burnt alive –their wives forced to look upon this monstrous scene. The screams were horrendous; the stench of burning flesh caused many an onlooker to retch as the acrid smoke wafted about the crowd.
But at last, a lone figure appeared from a nearby forest grove, dressed neatly in that of a long white robe to match his ancient beard. He steps forth between both these fighting tribes and speaks some solemn words. Both tribes now stand still, unable to move; unable to comprehend the words just uttered. Yet a power spreads to all, and both parties instinctively lay down their weapons and attempt to become friends once more; neighbour helping neighbour.
Those women, children and the old folk that remain, these are helped by those who just moments before, would have been either violated or killed them all.
There was no other way than to lay down weapon for the Druid Priest had spoken and all were a-feared to dare ignore the words or the power that His words conveyed.
Many that day could be observed crossing themselves and were heard to say, if only in whisper – Peace and thanks be upon our Druid Priest.
Who were the Druids and where are they now?
Thank you for coming along today.
But to begin, I wish to offer up what is known as the Druid’s Prayer. The Prayer has been slightly modified for Druids are encouraged to write from the heart, as opposed to merely reciting a set prayer or invocation:
Grant us, O Lord and Lady, Thy protection
And in protection, strength;
And in strength, understanding;
And in understanding, knowledge;
And in knowledge, the knowledge of justice;
And in the knowledge of justice, the love of it;
And in that love, the love of All Life, be they
Mineral, Elemental, Plant, Animal or Human –
And in the love of All Life, grant us the love of the One
And may we go forth in all that is good.
This prayer is believed to have been composed by a great Welsh poet of the 6th Century, Talhaearn, teacher to Taliesin, according to a scholar of ancient Welsh, Iolo Morganwg. (pronounced as Yollo Morgan-oog). His real name was Edward Williams (1746-1826). Apart from the Druid’s Prayer, he produced much material on Druidry, such as The Triads of Britain and Barddas (publ. 1822)
Some people may find it hard to relate to a deity such as called by the name God – for they may have a negative view of God due to past experiences. If such be the case, then one can pray to the Sun or Moon, to the Spirit of Life or whatever the one offering up pray can envision in their mind’s eye.
HISTORY OF THE DRUIDS
The History of Druidry comes in what can be loosely called the Four Phases:
The First Phase begins, if only as a romantic view, at the Dawn of time and was most likely a mixture of animism and shamanism.
This was a time of great stone circles and Megalithic structures that can be seen all over Britain, Ireland and parts of Europe. In around 4200 BC, great monuments were being erected. After 2500 BC, these megalithic structures came to an end.
The trees, stones, rocks, rivers, streams, plants and herbs held a life of their own; a spark of the Divine. This can by extended, I feel, to include the concept known as Panpsychism - “the theory according to which all objects in the universe, not only human beings and animals but also plants and even inanimate objects have an ‘inner’ or ‘psychological’ being.” – from the article: Pansychism by Paul Edwards, Editor-in-Chief as found in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (1967)
The hunter became the animal that was being hunted (what we know as Shamanism). We can see this in the image of the god Cernunnos, Master of the Wild Hunt. He is represented by the horns of a ram or deer and he is often shown with a horned serpent as, for instance, in the famous Gundestrup vessel found in 1891 at Gundesstrup in Denmark – it dates back to 250 BC. It is believed to have probably been made by the Celts of south-eastern Europe. The scenes on the cauldron recall the Welsh story of Bran the Blessed and the cauldron of rebirth [see Mythology ed. By C. Scott Littlehorn, Dunan Baird Publishers , London 2002 pp.253-254 and for the story of Bran, see Celtic Myths and Legends by Peter Berresford Ellis, Carroll & Graf Publishes NY 1999 and Celtic Myths and Legends by T. W.Rolleston, George C. Harrap & Company, London 1911]
As to the mineral, there is Calleach Beare (Irish, pronounced Kal-lach [as in Bach]) the guardian goddess. She is the protector of the mineral realm. She is the dark aspect of the goddess and should be treated accordingly, as too all the deities.
The Second Phase is known as the Classical Druidry Period. It began about 400 BC onwards 100 AD
As we shall see, a lot of the history of the Druids takes place in the Classical Druidry Phase, that consists of the writings of those often antagonistic to the Druids.
Julies Caesar (100-44 BC) who, writing about 50 BC informs his readers that Druidism originated, firstly in Britain, and then into Europe [De Bello Gallico, VI, 13-18]. Caesar tended to dwell on the negative aspects of the Druid Priesthood:
- Druids were present at the sacrifice of criminals who were burnt alive in wicker cages or the Wicker Man
- If there was a deficiency of evil doers, then the Druid would even punish the innocent.
- Animals captured in war were often sacrificed
Some propose that they originated much earlier, such as in Egypt or India.?
Diodorus Siculus (21 BC) writes in his Histories V, 28 and 31 how:
- When working divination upon important matters, they will kill a man by a knife-stab in the stomach and then foretell the future by the convulsions of the dying man’s limbs and the pouring of his blood
Strabo (64/3 BC-21 AD) in his Geographica IV, 4, 198 tells of how Druids:
- Hung the heads of their enemies from the neck of their horses when returning from battle, and of nailing them as an exhibition before their doors when they arrive home.
- Animals were burnt alive in the Wicker Man
A lot of these writings are now being challenged
The Third Phase occurs around 600 AD when its public practice disappeared for about 1000 years. This came about largely by the growth of Christianity. As one modern Druid author, Graeme K Talboys informs us:
Martin of Tours [316-397/401] , for example, set about converting the people of Gaul, (France) leading a mob that destroyed pagan groves and shrines wherever they found them, as well as attacking Druids who even at the early stage were being regarded solely as priests and keepers of the old ways
The Druid Way Made Easy, O Books UK 2011 p.23
This phase has also been referred to as the Druidry Underground period.
The Fourth Phase is known as Revival Druidry for it is in the phase that we see the re-emerging of the Druid Path in the early 1700s.
Some of the key players in this period include:
John Aubrey (1626-1697) who was one of the first to describe sites such as Stonehenge and Avebury. At the time, many farmers saw these as Roman ruins and tried to destroy them to clear the land for cultivation. It was Aubrey who recognised them as Druid temples. As an aside, Aubrey came upon it by chance in the January of 1649 whilst out fox-hunting.
A haunting children’s TV Series, Children of the Stones (1976 or 1977) was filmed at Avebury and one can see the stones if they need a visual reference, both from the ground and air. I highly recommend folk to watch this series.
William Stukeley (1687-1765) was inspired by Aubrey and began to carry out detailed studies of both Stonehenge and Avebury between 1719-1724. Stukeley’s work was a key factor in the-then modern science of Archaeology. His investigations led to the publication of his book, Stonehenge, a Temple Restored to the British Druids. He also write another book called Avebury, a Temple to the Druids in 1723.
Then came one Edward Williams (1747-1826) who took on the name IoIo Morganwg (pronounced Yollo Morgan-oog). He had an extensive knowledge of Welsh and much of what he wrote, though developed from his imagination, still forms the basis of a lot of modern-day Druidry.
There are also the tales that speak of the Druids (both men and women) being the Magicians of Atlantis, some having fled the sinking island to go forth to the Americas; others to the British Isles and parts of Europe. See Druid Mysteries (p.15) by Philip Carr-Gomm who cites Christine Hartley who writes in her book, The Western Mystery Tradition that ‘We, with perhaps our greater inner knowledge, are content to take it that their [Druids’] wisdom came with the basis of our mysteries from the great Temples of Atlantis.’ Hartley was a pupil of the Occultist, Dion Fortune (1890-1946) See also Fortunes’ Glastonbury: Avalon of the Heart (1934)
Whilst yet another theory teaches that the Druids are descended from a race of Extraterrestrials that crash into the British Isles during the Bronze Age of 4000-3000 BC.
This Phase is a time that is most interesting for those who follow this path.
When Druidry went underground between 600 AD-16th Century, it was kept alive in the folklore, ancient customs and folk-memory or archetypal images.
A lot of information concerning the Druids can be found in numerous literary sources. For instance, in the Greek and Roman writings as cited in the Second Phase. The writings of the Classical Greek writer Posidonius (135-51 BC), The Histories contain the first references to Druids, though earlier references to the Celts can be found in the writings of Herodotus (5th C. BC) called Histories.
Irish Sources are:
- The Book of Invasions, written ca. 1150 AD concerning the tribes that came to Ireland. This is a primary source for material concerning the Tuatha Dé Dana, being the children of the goddess Danu
- The Cattle Raid of Cuailnge (the Tain) [kal ne] concerning the invasion of Ulster by Queen Medb and her King, Aililnn, written in Old or Medieval Irish ca.700-1200 AD. Also mentions the life of Cú Chulainn (Coo Hoolan)
- Annála Connacht (or The Annals of Connaught) written between 1224-1562. Teaches about the Irish and how they lived with Druids
- Aislinge Meic Con Glinne (The Vision of MacConlinne)
- Annals of the Four Masters concerning Ireland between 2242 BC to 1616 AD
- Bethu Brigte (Life of Brigit) concerning the life of this Saint
- Buile Suibhne much concerning the Ogham alphabet, as based on the lore of trees
- Deirdre of the Sorrows which tells of the wife of King Conchobar and her love for a warrior of the king, Naisi. This is a sad love-story
- The Fate of the Children of Lir tells of how a stepmother turned her four children into swans to live out their lives on the lakes of Ireland. Much concerning the Druids
Welsh Sources are:
- The Mabinogion which contains 11 tales and romances.
- The Life of Gildas written ca. 1130-1150 by the Welsh historian, Caradoc of Llancarfan, about Arthur and how he struggles to become King
- Historium Britonium by Nennius, a British historian, ca. 853 AD.
- Llyfr Du Caerfyrdin (The Black Book of Carmarthen), being the oldest manuscript written in Welsh. Amongst its poems are some relating to Myrddin [Merlin] legends.
- Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch (The White Book of Rhydderch) written between 1300-1325. This manuscript contains the oldest complete texts of 10 out of the 11 Mabinogion tales
Even now, by reading fantasy novels or fairytales, we are able to enter into the sphere that takes us on a journey into the Druid way, though Druidry is found not in books alone. Books such as the Mabinogion are extremely important to helping us enter into a world that existed at the time of the tales.
Philip Carr-Gomm, Chief of the UK-based Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) writes that:
The Druid Tradition...can only be found in places where we must set books aside – in places where both this world and the Otherworld are strongly present – by sacred springs and holy wells, by the sea-shore or in stone circles, beside great trees.
When we open ourselves to these places, to the beauty and the splendour of the natural world, we discover the true source of inspiration of Druidry
Preface to The Druid Source Book ed. John Matthews (1996 p.5-6)
To show how this can be applied to everyday life, I am thinking of the attitude of the American writer, naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir (1838-1914) who posed the question:
Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation? And what creature of all that the Lord has taken the pains to make is not essential to the completeness of that unit—the cosmos? The universe would be incomplete without man; but he would also be incomplete without the smallest trans-microscopic creature that dwells beyond our conceitful eyes and knowledge.
A Thousand-mile walk to the Gulf (1916)
...was best known in some circles for climbing trees during thunderstorms to experience nature at its fullest. Muir believed that communion with nature brings people closer to God and that visiting ancient forests and alpine meadows for this purpose is morally superior to using them to cut timber or graze livestock
Fundamentals of Conservation Biology by Malcolm L. Hunter Second Ed. Blackwell Science (2002) p.11.
If this man does not sum-up the sentiments of Philip Carr-Gomm, I do not know what does.
The Druid Path helps its followers to experience a deeper way of connecting to the Four Elements of the Earth, Air, Fire and Water, to the Sky, the Moon, the Stars, the Four Seasons of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer.
Druid author, Penny Billington, writes in her book, The Path of Druidry that:
As Druids, we walk through the forest as brothers and sisters to the trees: we are deep-rooted, reaching high and wide. We are nurturing, sheltering, giving beings. We may manifest our druidry in as many forms are there are trees in the forest (Llewellyn 2011 p. 311)
The Forest Walk of the Druid likewise connects us to the stones, plants, and animals that abound. Let us not overlook those of the Elemental Kingdom – fairy-folk, gnomes, elves, dryads, take your pick.
Trees in particular are the inspiration behind (or for) the Ogham [O-ham] Alphabet – a system of 20 letters and symbols that can teach us how to work magic. It dates from the 4th-6th Century AD on monumental structures, and in manuscripts from the 6th-9th Century. Penny Billington mentions in her book, The Path of Druidry (p. 233) concerning the Tree Alphabet, the Ogham:
Ogham letters were regarded as intensely magical—placing them carefully could stop the passage of armies
Whist in an article on spiders, another author has this to say:
‘The Spider is the guardian of the ancient languages and alphabets. Every society has had myths about how the different languages and alphabets were formed. One example is the Ogham. The Ogham can be found in the web of a Spider. This is why the Spider is considered the teacher of language and the magic of writing. Those who weave magic with the written word probably have a Spider as a guide’ – from the article: Spiders in Druidry by Dennis Hazenbroek from the www.druidry.org website.
Indeed the word DRUID possibly comes from the Celtic word for oak – dru- combined with the Indo-European root wid – to know – making the Druid a ‘knower of the oak’, or a ‘forest-sage’. [What Do Druids Believe? By Philip Carr-Gomm, Granta Books London (2006 p.2)
Again, we find others, who though not Druids as such, but nonetheless proving the truth of what such ancient teachings are able to teach us. In the foreword to a book on the Life of plants, called The Social Life of Plants, by Sukanya Datta, this gem is found:
When Sir J.C. Bose (1858-1937) experimentally proved that plants are sensitive and respond to external stimuli as well, the effects upon the Western mind were revealing. One gets some idea from Aldous Leonard Huxley’s book, Jesting Pilate, (Chatto and Windus, 1926) wherein he has described his experience of a visit to Bose Institute, Calcutta to see for himself “the great experimenter” (meaning J.C. Bose).
He himself was their guide and “followed him from marvel to marvel”— the marvel being the experiments of plant’s response and behavior towards certain stimuli.
On seeing the experimental demonstration of the agony of a poisoned and dying plant, Huxley wrote: “The last moments are so distressing like those of a man that we were shocked by the newly revealed spectacle of them, into a hitherto unfelt sympathy.” Such sentiments have been expressed by many others. Indeed, J.C. Bose in his book, Abyakta (The Mute) passionately described the subtle and intricate nature of many plants’ life and behavior with such great understanding that Rabindranath Tagore acclaimed it as a unique achievement.
Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose's dramatic discovery proved that they have hearts, can feel and see. This discovery surprised the scientific world. He realized that there was a similarity in the behaviour of both lifeless and living things. It was however not easy to convince others. Bose suggested that the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms were one and had a great deal in common. In his book, Abyakta, (published in 1921) Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose proved that plants and metals had a life of their own and could become tired, depressed or happy
We must learn to love our planet, its multiplicity of life-forms and respect the so-called inanimate world of rocks and stones and rivers and streams.
I find that it is interesting to observe that a lot of religions tend to view this world as something we need to leave behind if we wish to enter a better world; to gain freedom – be it Utopia, the Kingdom of God, Nirvana. Conversely, the Druid Path teaches us to revere the Earth and all Her Kin – for this is what brings about one’s Spiritual Freedom.
To the Druid, Nature was, and is, alive with the Spirit or Awen (Ah-oo-en) but we must keep our eyes, mind and heart open to be receptive to this Spirit.
A short story that highlights this in a more succinct way is to found in a book called Bhagavad-Gita in a Nutshell by J. P. Vaswani (Sterling Paperbacks, India 2011 p.113-114
The man whispered: “God, speak to me,”
And the meadow lark sang
But the man did not hear!
So the man yelled: “God, speak to me.”
And God rolled the thunder across the sky,
But the man did not listened!
He looked around and said, “God, let me see you.”
And a star shone brightly.
But the man did not see!
And he shouted, “God, show me a miracle.”
And a life was born!
But the man did not notice!
So, he cried out in despair, “God, touch me.”
Whereupon God reached down and gently touched the man.
But the man brushed the butterfly away....
And walked on, disappointed.
He could not see God anywhere, because he failed to see Him everywhere
and in all beings.
A realised person experiences God in many ways:
In the chirping of the birds,
In the roll of the thunder,
In the twinkling of the stars,
In the miracle of the birth of a child,
And in the soft touch of a butterfly
He sees God everywhere and experiences God in everything
He sings in tune with the Mantra: Isaavasyam Idam Sarvam:
All that is, is a vesture of the Lord
Awen is a Welsh word for "(poetic) inspiration". It is historically used to describe the divine inspiration of bards in the Welsh poetic tradition. Awen is the spark of life, creativity, wisdom, the living principle. It is believed to be the name by which the universe calls God inwardly. The AWEN is a concept that is likewise the goal of the Druid
In an interesting article on the OBOD website, I found the following tid-bit from an article, What's In A Word? A Personal Perspective – by Kevin O’Reilly, that explains this concept in a more accessible way:
Every object in the physical realm holds a share of this spiritual phenomenon. Every tree, bird, animal, reptile, fish, every blade of grass and every other thing imaginable (or beyond imagination) possesses its own precious share of Awen.
The spirit of man, if openly appearing different in form and life to these things is still, in truth, a tiny part of this greater whole. Awen is never born and never dies.
Distinguishing human and non-human as separate existences is incomprehensible as Awen is the universal power behind all life, even beyond boundaries we can only imagine. In the physical realm we recognize Awen as nature, and humankind exists as a part of nature, not as an outside (nor superior) entity.
Awen (Ah-oo-en) is used as a chant, being repeated 3 times and is symbolised by a Circle that encloses 3 rays with 3 dot above each ray.
The Druids held the number 3 in great esteem and their spiritual teachings come in 3 grades or streams (Bard: Writer/Poet, Ovate: Trained in Divination and Natural Lore (Herbalism, Tree Wisdom etc), and Druid: Priest) and the Welsh lore became known as the Welsh Triads. For instance:
- The followers of Wisdom,
Imagination, Purpose and Endeavour
- The three foundations of friendship are
Respect and Trust;
Understanding and Forbearance;
A Loving Heart and Helpful Hands
- There are three people accursed:
They who work against the Laws of Nature without concern;
They who know nothing of the Gods and do not seek to learn;
And they who know much and do not share their knowledge with any other
The concept of the Awen leads to the concept of Creation.
CREATION IN THE DRUID PATH
There is not a traditional Creation myth within the Celtic worldview.
The Druids of Ireland lay claim to the creation of the world. King Connla of Connaught once convened a gathering of Druids to push this point. He was sceptical and challenged the Druids to alter the course of both the sun and the moon. Coonla is mentioned in the Leabhar na hUidr or Book of the Dun Cow, written sometime before 1066
The Oran Mór by Frank Mills 1998 is another Celtic stance on Creation
Quiet— Eternal Quiet. Not even the sound of the restless, stirring, dark waters could be heard. Then, a great spiralling strain of Melody moved across the endless waters. Subdued at first, then quickly gathering momentum until it reached a great crescendo.
And, then, there was Life! But the Melody did not stop. It continued its song, filling all of Creation with its divine harmony. And so it continues today, for all those who listen.
The primordial myth of Creation, common to all people, tells of a mighty melody – the very breath of the primordial god – that sang Creation into existence. To the Celts it was known as the Oran Mór, "The Great Melody", a melody that did not cease with the initial creation, but goes on and on and on, inspiring Creation along its holy pilgrimage of giving and receiving blessing
To make a connection with the Earth and Her Cycles, the Druids celebrate 8 festivals:
Alban Arthan (Al-ban Artha-an)– Festival of the Winter Solstice (The Light of Arthur) This is the birth of the Mabon (Welsh) – the divine youth [N: Dec 21-22 / S: June 21-22]
Alban Eilir (Al-ban Ay-leer)– Festival of the Spring Equinox (The Light of the Earth) [N: March 21-22 / S: Sept 21-22]
Alban Elfed (Al-ban Elv-ed)– Festival of the Autumn Equinox (The Light of Water)[N: Sept 21-22 / S: March 21-22]
Alban Hefin (Al-ban Hev-in)– Festival of the Summer Solstice (The Light of the Shore)
Beltane/Bealteinne (Bel-tain)– Festival to celebrate Spring and the union of the God and Goddess. It means ‘the Good Fire’
Imbolc/Oimelc (Im-olc)– Festival of the Goddess, in particular Brighad or Brigid (Irish) She is the goddess of fire and flame [N: Feb 1-2 / S: August 1-2]
Lughnasadh/Lammas (Loo-nass-ah)– Festival of the Harvest; the cutting of the grain. It celebrates the deity of Light, the god Lugh [N: August 1 /S:Feb1]
Samhuinn/Samhain (Sow-Inn)– Festival of the Ancestors and honouring those who have died [N: Nov 1 (Oct 31-Nov 2 / S: May 1 (April 30-May 2]
Druids also believed in Shape-Shifting, as we see from the story of Taliesin, the ‘Primary Chief Bard of the Isle of Britain,’(6th Cent.) as he passes through many phases. For example, Taliesin sings, from his poem titled Horses:
I have been a sow, I have been a buck
I have been a sage, I have been a snout
I have been a horn, I have been a wild sow
I have been a shout in battle
I have been a gushing torrent
I have been a wave on a long shore
I have been a gentle rain
I have been a speckled cat in a forked tree
I have been a circle, I have been a head
I have been a goat in an elder tree
I have been a crane bag well feed
- A sight to behold!
Here we see Taliesin has a profound understanding of Nature.
It is interesting to note the following verses from the Bhagavad-Gita for they tie in nicely with what is being expressed by Taliesin. Sri Krishna is speaking to Arjuna, as recorded in Chapter ten:
Of the Daityas I am Prahlada and of reckoners I am Time;
of beasts I am the Lord of beasts, and Vainateya of birds (30)
Of purifiers I am the wind;
of the wielders weapon I am Rama.
of fishes I am the shark, and of the rivers I am the Ganges (31)
Of created things I am the beginning and the end and also the middle,
of the sciences I am the science of the Self;
of those who debate I am the reason (32)
Of letters I am the letter A, and of word-compounds I am the dual
I am verily the inexhaustible Time.
I am the Dispenser facing everywhere (33)
And I am the all-devouring Death
I am the prosperity of those who are to be prosperous
and of female qualities I am Fame, Fortune, Speech, Memory,
Constancy and Forbearance (34)
And whatever is the seed of all beings, that I am, O Arjuna
There is no being, whether moving or unmoving that can exist without Me (39)
There is no end of My divine manifestations, O harasser of Foes
This is only a brief exposition by Me of the extent of My glories (40)
The version of the Gita that I am citing from is published by Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam (Publishers) with commentary by Sw. Chidbhavananda and contains additional comments throughout by Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886). This is my personal preference though many others versions abound.
Another aspect or concept of Druidry is that known as the Kindred: These are
Our ancestors and the gods and goddesses. Learning about the stories surrounding the gods and goddesses helps us to grow in our understanding of them and they, in turn, call us to them.
The Druids also believed in the concept of the ‘Otherworld,’ or Annwn (Ann-oon), presided over by Arawn (Ar-ow-n) This is the place to where our soul goes when we die. It is important to realise that the ‘Otherworld’ is not a place of death but where the soul can enjoy a new life until the time comes for them to be reborn once more. It is interesting to note that dogs lead us into the Otherworld
Animals can also exist in spirit-form in the Otherworld and will visit us in our dreams. Each carries a particular power, gift or healing and are called in Druidry, ‘power animals.’ The Druid Animal Oracle goes more into detail of these ‘power animals.’
To finish this talk, I would like to look at a list of principles or ethics that may guide the life of a modern-day Druid, as put together by Athelia Nihtscada and is taken from Philip Carr-Gomm’s book, What Do Druids Believe (Granta Books London 2006 p.59)
- Every action has a consequence that must be observed and you must be prepared to compensate for your actions if required
- All life is sacred and all are responsible for seeing that this standard is upheld
- You do still live in society and are bound by its rules
- Work with high standards
- Make an honest living
- Be a good host as well as a good guest
- Take care of yourself (Health was held in high esteem among the Celts, so much so that a person could be fined for being grossly overweight due to lack of care)
- Serve the community
- Maintain a healthy balance between the spiritual and worldly (Nihtscada writes: ‘Ethical and self-respecting Druids did nothing without being properly schooled or aware of the consequences ahead of time. They knew when it was appropriate to visit the Otherworld and immerse themselves in the spiritual as well as when it was appropriate to be fully in this world’)
- Uphold the Truth, starting with yourself
- Be sure of your convictions, particularly when judging or accusing someone, but also when debating. Ask yourself: are you really sure? Do you really know that this is the case?
And may the Lord and His Lady bless each of us as we go about our daily life and leave the Forest Walk of the Druid, both Ancient and Recent. So Mote It Be
Thank you kindly for your time and attention to this talk. I can only hope that I have done this fascinating subject justice and not misrepresented it.
From a talk given Saturday, March 1, 2014 before the
Theosophical Society (Pasadena) 664 Glenhuntly Rd, South Caulfield Victoria