The British Druid Order › Forums › BDO Public Forum › do you know any standard services for the 8 celebrations? › Reply To: do you know any standard services for the 8 celebrations?
The peoples of Britain and Ireland have healing traditions going back millennia – Stonehenge was also a place of healing and there seems even to be archaeological evidence to support this. The other megalithic sites around these isles are still considered places of healing along with the holy wells, springs and other special places. The bones of a teenage boy from around 1500 BCE were analysed and shown (according to the analysis) to be of an individual from the Mediterranean area, which may lend weight to this being a place of pilgrimage, the renown of which was known far beyond these shores. If you’re interested, look up the “Boy with the amber necklace – Stonehenge”.
The death blow to druidism in Britain was dealt by the pagan Romans, not by any Christian church as such. On the contrary, legend and folklore would have Jesus visiting the British Isles with Joseph of Arimathea, in which case they would certainly have met pagan Britons and quite likely druids. However, that is legend that cannot be proven and upon which many would cast doubt. Nevertheless, it’s also unwise to attack Christianity wholesale – especially given the historical context of Celtic Christianity and the golden age of Celtic civilisation and culture on the western fringes of Europe. Had it not been for the Celtic monks, we would know even less of our ancient roots and in many cases, they did a good job of preserving and syncretising it.
The Church of England as such only came into being in 1534 when Henry VIII couldn’t get his marriage annulled. There was no Church of England in 1400. Prior to that the Catholic Church had been the only church in the British Isles for over a thousand years or more. And in relation to Geoffrey Chaucer, to be honest, I’ve never heard any of that and I doubt its accuracy given the position that Chaucer held and the fact that he actually died in 1400 before the Canterbury Tales were completed. One of the (surprisingly) many remaining manuscripts of Chaucer’s work actually belonged to Henry IV, King of England. Chaucer’s critique of the church of the times, it has to be said, was popular among fledgling “protestant” movements, so that is the only factor of which I know that may have come into play, but this was after his death. All that being said, Chaucer was a devout 14th century Christian and a Catholic.
As for the numerous Native American spiritualities and traditional belief systems, I personally believe they belong to Native Americans and we should be careful not to appropriate what is not ours unless Native Americans themselves decide to share it with us and on their own terms. We also have our own rich traditions, and in terms of Celtic-speaking communities, we are also trying to save, conserve and protect what remains because so much has been lost.