Interesting ideas that open up myriad thoughts and pathways to explore.
Let’s not forget, though, that the greatest historical persecutors of the Druids, not necessarily Celtic religious beliefs per se, were the non-Christian Romans. The Romans didn’t like the Druids, the Romans didn’t like anyone who might challenge or undermine their imperial authority and the “Divine Emperor” – the fact that Celtic kings/chiefs had to defer to the authority of their druids didn’t sit well with the Romans, and perhaps – for the more cynical among them, with some celtic chieftains either.
My roots are in Cornwall. Cornwall has been called the “Land of Saints”, and if you travel around Cornwall you’ll find that practically every other village is dedicated to a saint or there’ll be a holy well dedicated to another. Many of these saints are hardly known outside Cornwall, Wales, Brittany and, to a lesser extent, Ireland. It has been said that some of them may well have been druids, or what was left of druids after centuries of Roman rule. And although medieval hagiographers were wont to make things up, exaggerate the ire of the saints against the heathens and suchlike, there seems to have been a far more subtle and peaceful transition to “Celtic” Christianity than in other parts of Europe.
There is one story, a legend, concerning Saint Petroc. He goes to help a village that’s being terrorised by a dragon. What does he do? He tames the dragon and makes it promise to be good! There’s no slaying, casting out evil, fierce battle or what you may expect in such a tale, but rather a working out of balance with nature. Now, it’s just my opinion, but if that not “druidic”, then what is? In Scotland, even the legendary Saint Columba of Iona, who battled with “druids”, has the saying “Christ is my Druid”, ascribed to him – so if he did say or write that, he obviously didn’t think that all druids were bad in every way shape or form… Is é mo drui Crist mac Dé, Crist mac Muire mòrda in t-ab, Athair, Mac is Spirut Noem, m’fhearannus ic Rlgh na righ, is ord i Cenandus is Moen.