Reply To: Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass

The British Druid Order Forums BDO Public Forum Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass Reply To: Revisiting Druidry, A practical and inspirational guide, by Philip Shallcrass

#10658
Dowrgi
Participant

Afternoon David.

That’s some interesting stuff you have there about the Brehon Laws, and of course, even today, many people in Ireland won’t go anywhere near a fairy tree – there was the case, several years ago now, of a new highway that was diverted around a fairy tree. Anyway, I’m still researching the calendars, it’s quite difficult to separate historical fact from modern speculation at times, but I’ve found some interesting stuff about the folk calendars of Scotland and Mann with some parallels in the Welsh, Cornish and Breton systems. It seems that these calendars were more flexible and followed seasonal weather patterns and phenomena as well as festivals. I’m surprised there isn’t more research on this to be honest, because it seems like there’s a lot of lore in there. I’ve also come across some interesting stuff related to Ogham and the planets, but I’m still sorting out the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I’ll put some links that you may find interesting at the foot of this post.

As far as Wicca is concerned, well, it may be a modern creation, but it does draw on a vast variety of older materials and given that it was created in the British Isles, it’s not surprising that many “Celtic” elements pop up. Nevertheless, I do agree with you and see them as separate. The words for witch and witchcraft in the old Welsh and Irish texts are not synonymous with druid or druidry and I don’t think there’s a strong argument based on historical fact to assume that they were ever part of the same tradition really. In fact, Old English had the word drycraeft– “druid craft” – however, this word never made it into later forms of English; although drycraeft refers to magic, it suggests that the Old English speaker may not have regarded it as the same as wiccecraeft. I stand to be corrected on this point, and let’s not forget that the accusation of “sorcerer” or “witch” has been levelled at many things in the past merely because they were different or part of another tradition. Having said that, however, people tend not to attribute different words to the same things, especially not in ancient languages; even when synonyms pop up, there’s often a difference to be found deep down and way back.

Links:

The Celtic Tree Calendar at http://www.maryjones.us/jce/celtictreecalendar.html

See also: Michel-Gérald Boutet, “Celtic Astrology: A modern Hoax” and Peter Berresford Ellis, “The Fabrication of ‘Celtic’ Astrology”.