The Druids

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  • Topic: Celts, Gaul, Druid
  • Pages : 3 (1166 words )
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  • Published : November 17, 2005
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The Druids were the Priests - Magicians - of the Celtic people. They were Priests and Priestesses.
Although since Christian times Druids have been identified as wizards and soothsayers, in pre-Christian Celtic society they formed an intellectual class comprising philosophers, judges, educators, historians, doctors, seers, astronomers, and astrologers. The earliest surviving Classical references to Druids date to the 2nd century B.C. The word "Druidae" is of Celtic origin. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus, 23/24-79 A.D.) believed it to be a cognate with the Greek work "drus," meaning "an oak." "Dru-wid" combines the word roots "oak" and "knowledge" ("wid" means "to know" or "to see" - as in the Sanskrit "vid"). The oak (together with the rowan and hazel) was an important sacred tree to the Druids. In the Celtic social system, Druid was a title given to learned men and women possessing "oak knowledge" (or "oak wisdom"). The Druids emerged from the ancient Celtic tribes, at a time when the people had to live close to nature to survive. By the light of the storyteller's fire, and with the play of the harp, the Druids dreamed magic for their people. In the deep woods they would gather, bringing together their mysticism and philosophy, their insight and learning. Their spirit emerged from the the tides of the sea, the light of the sun, the wind in the Oak, the cry of the deer. In this way, they created an institution that inspired, frightened, and uplifted their world. Druids filled the roles of judge, doctor, diviner, mage, mystic, and clerical scholar - they were the religious intelligentsia of their culture. To become a Druid, students assembled in large groups for instruction and training, for a period of up to twenty years. The mythologies describe Druids who were capable of many magical powers such as divination & prophesy, control of the weather, healing, levitation, and shape changing themselves into the forms of animals. Their...
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