DRUIDS

The rituals and teachings of the Druids were very secretive and as such were only passed on by oral tradition. In fact very little is actually known about the Druids.

Much of the research has been speculative. Much of what we do know comes from Greek writings, archaelogical evidence, shrines, temples and iconography.

Although the Romans had some writings on the Druids these are questionable given the way they tried to rewrite just about everything else in history to suit their purpose. The role of the Druids seems to vary depending on geography.

In the third century B.C. it was said the Druids were an ancient civilization. In the fourth century B.C. it was said the Gaulish Druids were one of the two highest castes.

In Ireland the Druids were the second highest of three castes. Mostly the Druids were the keepers of traditional wisdom.

They were mainly concerned with theology, moral philosophy and natural phenomena. The Druids were skilled in astronomy, herbs, poems, calenders, omens and rites of sacrifice.

Druids had equality between the sexes as in fact did many other religeons at that time. Some historians have theorized that the Druids were Shamans.

The Druids played an important role in the sacred and secular life of the celts. They conducted religeous ceremonies and acted as mediators between the people and the Gods.

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The religeous ceremonies of the Druids were conducted in oak groves which served as temples. The Druids also administered justice in civil and criminal disputes.

Their ceremonies included prayers and human and animal sacrifices. The poor victims were burned alive in wickerwork cages.

In interpreting omens the Druids often used the crow or eagle to foretell events. They practised divination by observing the death throes of the human sacrifices.

The Druids believed in life after death. The dead were buried with their possessions.

Letters were wrote to the dead and loans were advanced to be repayable after death. In 43 A.D. Claudius banned Druidism throughout the Empire.

In around 60 A.D. the Romans destroyed and killed most of the Druids which led to their eventual decline.

During the 16th century interest in the Druids was revived. As always certain people tried to rewrite the history of the Druids and turn them in a type of folklore character.

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