First, thank you Chief Greywolf, I know that you are an expert in the study of druidry, and your information is really helpful. And I really appreciate it. I have been having a difficult time trying to find a link between early druidry and modern druidry. I don’t see one. It seems that druidry was lost at some time, and that there is no way to reconstruct it. So, I don’t see a way we can know what the druids believed. I am glad that you think there were a large number of druids in the first century in the British Isles.
From my research, from the book Highlights in Welsh Literature by R.M Jones, a book that goes over information that was given to Prince Charles, (who I think is a druid) when Charles was a student at the University College of Wales, in 1969, by 300 AD the Welsh were Christianized, and the poets like Taliesin and Aneirin were writing in the 6th century when christianity was in the area that they lived, and the people in Wales and the region were fighting forgiven invaders . So, in a nutshell, that seems to be what was going on. However, there were a lot of bards who also told the old stories and folk tales at this time. So, I guess there is an argument that we can get some idea of what the druid stories were from the folk literature of this time, but at most it seems just a glimpse through the mist. However, from the third century onward, it seems that it was Christian bards and not druid bards who were telling the stories and adding their own take on it, like in the Taliesin poem, when it says, I was at the crucifixion of Christ. And it does seem that the Welsh were civilized by the 6th century, at least in the sense of being Romanized. But the link to the druid religion does seem to vanish between the first century and the third. However, that is not to say that we do not have a lot of very authentic Celtic mythology that was handed down by the storytellers. Still, what the druids believed seems to have vanished, and the modern druidry seems to me to be a reconstruction of druidry based on ( and I am not trying to be disrespectful) hippy spirituality, new age thought, the teaching of Gerald Gardener and Ross Nichols, plus the pop psychology-self -help books of the 1970s, along with Celtic Mythology that seems to me to often be taken out of context to prove modern druid thought. This understanding of what modern druidry is has become a passion of mine for at least 10 years.
So just let me quickly put this in perspective, I believe as a druid in the Celtic Gods and Goddesses Rhiannon, Ceridwen, Breej-eh, and the Morrigan and the Celtic gods, Dagda, and Angus. I have had personal contact with these gods and goddesses and find great spiritual strength and passion in my relationship with them. I also believe that the faeries are real and have had contact with them, and as a musician, writer, and poet, I am inspired with the inspiration of the faery songs, and Celtic myth. I feel that awen is the flowing inspiration that comes from the faeries and the Celtic gods and goddesses. These gods and goddesses and faeries are all around us, and live in a dimension that is right next door to us, and they can and do travel in our world. To me a druid is a person who has a relationship with the Celtic otherworld and has a deep ecology with the natural world, and sees the whole world as alive with consciousness, which means we can communicate with the trees and stones.
Still, that said, I have no way to prove that this is what the ancient druids thought, and what I believe is based on direct experience, and the modern druidry which is heavily influenced by Wicca. All of the magic I know comes from Wicca, and I have found it to be a safe way to learn magic. However, I would point out that I have found some online druid training, in my opinion, to be very dangerous in its training of magic. I feel that a magic circle should always be cast before any real druidcraft because it is important to set up protection from some of the dark forces in the magic world, and also to contain energy before it is released. Further, I feel the warnings of improper use of magic should be stressed, as what goes around comes around, or the law of returning tide. I feel that druids should be warned not to cast a curse on anyone, ever. I hope druidry will always be a way of life that is full of kindness, love and respect for all people. Now, this is just how I see my world as a druid, and I am not trying to tell anyone else how to be a druid, I am just stating how I see druidry. I also see druidry as a fellowship of intelligent , kind, thoughtful, creative and nature loving people. Best W.T St C