Author Topic: Can someone point me to a good book or website on Druids and Druidism?  (Read 576 times)

Redfan45x

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And I don't mean a recreation neo-pagan version. I found a book at my library like that, interesting but none the less it was a recreation.  (anyone who knows me knows my strive for complete knowledge of my ancestors and their practices and I've never gone for new age things. I might even cut your head off like they did. No not really)
I don't mind if its just a book on the actual history of the culture or a book on their beliefs and a more spiritual side.
Seems I can't find anything.
I saw and was silent,
I saw and thought,
and heard the speech of Odin
I heard about what lay in the runes,
and there was much council given.
At the hall of Har, In the hall of Har;
Such was the speech I heard.

jordyn

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Re: Can someone point me to a good book or website on Druids and Druidism?
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 09:25:14 AM »
And I don't mean a recreation neo-pagan version. I found a book at my library like that, interesting but none the less it was a recreation.  (anyone who knows me knows my strive for complete knowledge of my ancestors and their practices and I've never gone for new age things. I might even cut your head off like they did. No not really)
I don't mind if its just a book on the actual history of the culture or a book on their beliefs and a more spiritual side.
Seems I can't find anything.

That's because there are NO primary sources for "druids" or "druidry" (I'm sure you meant that instead of "druidism"). All we have to go on are the (biased/blatantly untrue) writings of Caesar et al (see eg Commentarii de Bello Gallico), and the (Chinese whispers) of local folklore.

Do not waste your cash buying books that claim to pass on the secrets of druidry. The 'secrets' - if there even were any - died with the druids over 1000 years ago. They were not written down.


for as little as i agree with jake, i agree here...study the ancient celtic culture of the brittish isles to understand what druidism would have been derived from, they were the priests of that culture and understanding it will help understand what they're priests would be like, they are so much more fascinating then what re-creationists focus on and had a much more personal hands on approach to their worship.

macha's acorns are particularly interesting.
"The world that God made is inherently comprised of relationships, symmetries, analogia, anagogy, poetic wisdom. Thus is the language of symbolism."

Redfan45x

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Re: Can someone point me to a good book or website on Druids and Druidism?
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2013, 05:28:40 PM »
It's a shame so much had to be lost, but maybe there is a way to gain it all back. Even if gaining that means gaining it by death.
I saw and was silent,
I saw and thought,
and heard the speech of Odin
I heard about what lay in the runes,
and there was much council given.
At the hall of Har, In the hall of Har;
Such was the speech I heard.

jordyn

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Re: Can someone point me to a good book or website on Druids and Druidism?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2013, 08:29:38 AM »
maybe there is a way to gain it all back. Even if gaining that means gaining it by death.

You'll have to clarify exactly what that means. It appears nonsensical, to be honest.

study the ancient celtic culture of the brittish isles to understand what druidism would have been derived from, they were the priests of that culture and understanding it will help understand what they're priests would be like

On the surface, that might seem good advice but the greatest obstacle is that the only evidence we have today is fragmentary - the Celts appear to have written nothing down about their religion or culture.[1] Some scholars, including Sir John Rhŷs, Sir G. L. Gomme, and M. Reinach, argued that the druids pre-date Celtic culture anyway.[2] Even the term 'Celtic culture' is something of a modern, artificial construct - they did not consist of a single race or tribe, were not of a shared ethnicity and were spread across the British Isles, France, Germany, Spain, northern Italy and the Balkans.[3] What written evidence that survives today was written by their enemies - the Greeks and the Romans.

The earliest written reference dates from the late sixth century BCE in the works of Hecataeus of Miletus, regarding the city of Narbonne in France. A century later, Herodotus uses the term to describe the people of western Europe. In the fourth-century BCE another Greek writer, Ephoros defined the Celts as one of "the four great barbarian races." But all of these writers were reporting what they had heard from others - they had no first hand experience of the Celts themselves.[4] As these peoples expanded through Europe they eventually came face to face with the Roman Empire - around 387 BCE - which fought back, eventually conquering most of Europe over the next two centuries. It was during this period that most of what we "know" about the Celts was written down, by their Roman enemies. These writers, including Caesar, Ammianus, Marcellinus, Tacitus, Diodorus Siculus, cannot be considered entirely reliable sources - writing, as they were, "for an audience that cheered the extermination of this fierce foe."[1]

It wasn't until another hundred years or more had passed that the now popular image of the white-robed Celtic priest or "druid" was created by Pliny the Elder, who wrote in his Naturalis Historia (c. 77-79 CE)[5]:

Quote
Upon this occasion we must not omit to mention the admiration that is lavished upon this plant by the Gauls. The Druids - for that is the name they give to their magicians - held nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the tree that bears it, supposing always that tree to be the oak. Of itself the oak is selected by them to form whole groves, and they perform none of their religious rites without employing branches of it; so much so, that it is very probable that the priests themselves may have received their name from the Greek name for that tree. In fact, it is the notion with them that everything that grows on it has been sent immediately from heaven, and that the mistletoe upon it is a proof that the tree has been selected by God himself as an object of his especial favour.

The mistletoe, however, is but rarely found upon the oak; and when found, is gathered with rites replete with religious awe. This is done more particularly on the fifth day of the moon, the day which is the beginning of their months and years, as also of their ages, which, with them, are but thirty years. This day they select because the moon, though not yet in the middle of her course, has already considerable power and influence; and they call her by a name which signifies, in their language, the all-healing. Having made all due preparation for the sacrifice and a banquet beneath the trees, they bring thither two white bulls, the horns of which are bound then for the first time. Clad in a white robe the priest ascends the tree, and cuts the mistletoe with a golden sickle, which is received by others in a white cloak. They then immolate the victims, offering up their prayers that God will render this gift of his propitious to those to whom he has so granted it. It is the belief with them that the mistletoe, taken in drink, will impart fecundity to all animals that are barren, and that it is an antidote for all poisons. Such are the religious feelings which we find entertained towards trifling objects among nearly all nations.

Unfortunately, this romantic vision of white-robed priests and golden pruning hooks is largely considered to be no more than the fanciful imaginings of Pliny.[6] And while modern revivalists of druidism are quite happy to accept that passage from Pliny, they ignore his other statements that druidism began in Persia (Iran) and that most of its ritual focused on cannibalism.[7] Pliny wrote: "It is not possible to estimate how much is owed to the Romans, who destroyed such monstrous things."

The druids then disappear from literature for the best part of 1700 years. They were reinvented in the 18th century during the artistic, literary, and intellectual movement in Britain known as Romanticism. Many of the modern, popular ideas about druidism are based on the misunderstandings, misconceptions and fancyings of those romanticists 200 years ago.[8] But there is money to be made, especially since the ascendence of New Age thinking, and occult bookshops are crammed with manuals, texts and how-to's on druidism and Celtic rituals.[9]

They are mostly filled with neo-pagan hogwash la Gardner or badly misconstrued elements of  fragmentary pre-medieval British myths and folklore.

Avoid.


that's one thing i did like about the new king arthur that came out with clive owen, the use of the picts. *shrugs

I've been able to simplify my ancestry to a keltic gaul. ;) The scottish/wishart side came out of ancient gaul with the name wiseheart and as they migrated over to scotland it changed to wishart. The other side were polish and there's been a clear path showing that the original "kelts" came out of that general area,(especially in germany) maybe even a little more south, the last name riska means, red hair and comes from Bohemia.

My polish side was keltoi before kelts were celts? ;)

Personally i like all the findings they've discovered on their warrior culture, just wish they could find more out about the picts. They'd be the original inhabitants of the brittish isles if i understand the migration path. Naked men painted in blue, living for bravado and battle, women as fierce as men and their metalwork!!!!

in my opinion, that's much more appealing than old men in robes secreting their wisdom.
"The world that God made is inherently comprised of relationships, symmetries, analogia, anagogy, poetic wisdom. Thus is the language of symbolism."