- July 24, 2020 at 11:45 pm #11544Anonymous
It was a hot summer morning, so Craic Rat stuck his nose out of his smelly hut, which had become much smellier now that Craic Rat had ten cats, and three corgi dogs living with him, but he was used to the smell. As soon as Craic Rat looked out front, he saw a soap salesman coming down the path, so he flipped him off, but the Soap salesman, smelt Craic Rat from a mile away and thought he could make an easy sale. “Hail, good druid, “ said the soap salesman, I have a new product that we Barbarians just invented, it is called soap. We were burning roman philosophers and roman historians at the sacrifice to the goddess Aine, and their ashes fell into the tumultuous stream and we noticed that our clothes got a lot cleaner near where the ashes entered the stream, so now we have been adding their ashes to our pig fat, and calling it soap.” The salesman told Craic Rat that it was the number one soap brand
In all of the Barbarian world. Craic rat took one look at the soap and slammed the door on the salesman. For it was busy day for Craic Rat, it was the Lunasa, and Craic rat had to get to the druid grove and perform the druid ritual for Hu the sun god and Ceridwen the grain goddess.
Craic Rat was walking down the path to the grove when he saw a small gold snail who said, “ Help me Craic Rat, I called the goddess Ceridwen a witch and she turned me into a snail. And I am really Chief Cave Cat. Craic Rat said he would help and he took his stang and stuck it in the ground and spoke some magic druid words, and the snail turned into Chief Cave Cat. “Thank you Craic Rat,” said chief Cave Cat.July 25, 2020 at 2:33 am #11545Anonymous
I feel people can get too serious about druidry, and that causes the loss of joy and happiness of druidry. To me the main goal of druidry is creativity. The fact is no one knows what druidry is, and everything that people say it is is just made up in one way or another. Oh yes, people want to go back to St. Gomm, or some St. Nichols, but they just made the stuff up themselves. nowadays, I think some druids think that they are going to be knighted by the Queen of England or Prince of Wales. Modern druidry is based more on Wicca than anything else and the Gardinians have a large part in the development of Druidry. And then you can go back to the bardas and iolo, which many people do. But it turns out that most of that was just made up stuff also. But still, there are druids who just go overboard on trying to make druidry a respectful world religion, and in the process lose everything that makes druidry fun and worthwhile. More and more, the druid police are beginning to show their riot sticks and tear gas in order to control. I say don’t let them intimidate you. Druidry is whatever you want it to be, and not some druid policeman’s idea of druidry, or who can and can not be a druid. There are druids who claim that they have discovered some ancient technology, but the fact is it is nothing more than basic garden variety witchcraft. So always have fun, and be wild, and don’t let people control you.July 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm #11577Steve WilliamsParticipant
Having read through a few of your threads, it’s pretty apparent that, for somebody who professes that druidry is whatever you want it to be, and not to let the ‘druid police’ control you, you seem to expend a lot of energy ridiculing people’s personal beliefs, and mocking the very cultures that birthed them. Ironically, making you something of a druid policer, yourself. Which begs the question, if you believe the Celtic cultures were so woefully inferior to Rome, and that contemporary druidry is just wasting its time with some sort of Wiccan based LARPing, why are you here? I can’t speak for anybody else, but, personally, as a Welshman, I find the Craic Rat stories offensive as their entire purpose seems to be simply to mock the ‘ignorant, smelly, Celt’ (though I could be wrong – I got bored before the end), and I’m not even starting on the ‘Wales meant Roman’ nonsense. I know it’s never a good idea to feed the troll, but I just couldn’t resist.July 28, 2020 at 8:01 am #11578Anonymous
Dear Steve Williams, it makes me feel sad that you want to be a creativity troll. No one is mocking the Celts. The character is not ignorant but most magical. Basically, your attack on me is the druid police in action, and all your comment does is add negativity to the world. Everyone has a right to see druidry in is his or her own way. Best WilliamJuly 28, 2020 at 9:36 pm #11596Steve WilliamsParticipant
Please accept my apology; I’m more than happy to be corrected. It simply seemed to me that this particular Craic Rat story was written in response to a seperate thread in which another member argued that the invention of soap elevated the Celts above the level of mere barbarian savages which seemed to be your assertion. Interestingly this Craic Rat story does explain how ‘we barbarians’ invented soap by burning Roman philosophers and historians (which, you must admit, both explicitly, and implicitly paints a picture of the Celts being…well…barbarian savages). Also, and please correct me if I’ve misunderstood, many of your other threads go to some length to ‘explain’ what druidry ISN’T; which would suggest that you have some idea of what druidry IS, which, in turn, flies in the face of your assertion that druidry is whatever you want it to be. Your threads do, to me at least, come across as somewhat hectoring, and suggestive that none of us are ‘real’ druids (which we must be if it’s whatever we want it to be), and that we’re all just pretending. Hopefully, we all already know that the full practice of ‘real’ druidry would be impossible, not to mention extremely undesirable, in the present day (sacrificing people in wicker men WILL get you a bad name). I apologise if I seem confrontational in any way – that isn’t my intention – I’m just fairly new to this path, and was hoping to find some helpful clarity, and insight within the discussion forum.July 29, 2020 at 6:47 am #11598
Bore da, Steve.
The ancient Celtic peoples are credited with the invention of what we know as soap, they were advanced metalworkers and the Latin, i.e. Roman, words gladius and carrus are ultimately derived from Celtic languages. The ancient Celts, along with the Etruscans, developed chain mail and I believe the Roman helmet was also based on a Gaulish model. The Gauls gave the Romans such a hiding at the Battle of the Caudine Forks, where they forced the Romans to march “under the yoke”, that it led to a complete restructuring of the Roman military along more advanced Greek lines. We also know that various Celtic peoples had walled cities and writing was used, albeit sparingly. The amount of trade that they did with the Mediterranean world, also suggests they had plenty of goods and materials that were needed or desired elsewhere.
The Celtic peoples lacked the centralisation of other populations and that was, in my opinion, the fundamental difference and, perhaps, weakness in the face of the Romans, but they were nothing like the stereotypical barbarians on TV either.
Mwynha dy ddiwrnod!
/|\July 29, 2020 at 9:03 am #11600david pooleParticipant
I find your writing highly amusing as a fiction William, and quite well written if you do not take it seriously, as I imagine it is not meant to be taken seriously. I could argue that it is a bad portrait of Druids and that that aspect could be slightly different. I am thinking of some other fictions which paint Druids in a similar light. Britannia is very much like the story which you are telling in some ways, with Druids portrayed as dark and dangerous and a bit different, and yes uncivilised. Terry Pratchett is another author who comes to mind. The tone of your work really makes me think of Pratchett I can’t tell why. Pratchett’s Druids were more civilised but did go in for human sacrifice, but I think that was meant to be a sendup of films like The Wicker Man, which everyone has heard of.July 29, 2020 at 4:12 pm #11602Anonymous
Dear David, My point was that during the first century bc. and even after that for many centuries, people lived in small little huts that had a hole in the ceiling for the smoke to go out. There were not even any chimneys for many centuries. Also, in the winter the people brought the animals inside the hut and let them shit all over the floor, so you can imagine the smell, it must have been terrible. This was all over the uk and in Europe. It was the way of life during druid times, which seem to have been over by the third century ad. The animal poop was very valuable because it was put on the crops each spring. Further, where would people even get enough hot water to take a bath. And no one would want to get wet when it was freezing outside. The problem that some people have is that they want to live in a world of the past druid, but superimpose the the present on it. Modern people just don’t understand what is was like even a hundred years ago. It was not until world war 2 that the medical profession even had penicillin, and the hospitals brought whole wards of dead people out each morning, and life was short for many people. See, the problem people have with the idea of a smelly person in the past is that at one time the British really put down the welsh and Irish and the welsh and Irish have never gotten over it, and I think this causes them to have low self esteem. So, anything that remotely resembles a put down, and I mean any excuse will do, just sets them off. I feel the welsh and Irish are some of the most civilized cultures in the world, and welsh is one of our oldest continuous languages, not the mention the great poetry of the welsh. I have a lot of welsh blood in me, but still I don’t go screaming nationalism. I think a lot of modern druids base their concept of druidry on the image of the court of king author and Merlyn. This is fine, but as I understand it, the druids go back several centuries before christ, and they definitely were around in 500 BC. It also upsets me when people try to quash creativity and call me a troll or a Wiccan based LARPing, and I don’t even know what that is, but it does not sound good. The last thing I want to do is offend anyone, so I will not be writing any more Craic Rat stories, but still, the point is that as druid bards, we need to be free to express our creativity, and do not need other druids putting us down, especially as we are just starting off. I try to alway find something nice to say to poets and writers, and try to alway say something encouraging. I think it is important that we all stand together and stand up for the right to be creative people. Again, I would say that the Celts are very intelligent and brave and courageous people, and I am a celt. I even remember my former lives as a Celt. I think very highly of the welsh, and would like to learn welsh. And I think that if it was not for the welsh, we would have very little to base modern druidry on. Modern druids are very wonderful people, and we are very loving and kind people. I feel modern druidry is like the fellowship of the ring, and when we all have a safe place to share our creativity we all heal together. Best WilliamJuly 29, 2020 at 6:45 pm #11605
The (Celtic) Castro culture of Spain, dating from the Bronze Age until the final Roman conquest in the 1st century BCE boasted cities that were quite large in ancient terms. Apart from the saunas that were mentioned in other posts, they also had a fair level of plumbing with drains, wells for drinking water and because oppida were built on the top of hills, the rainwater runoff would have washed away unpleasant stuff; in fact, these oppida actually show quite high degree of sophistication. The domestic areas were divided separately into various work, living and storage spaces that were built around a courtyard which often had drains and freshwater wells. Most archaeologists will tell you too, that the best place to find the “rubbish” is outside the city walls or fortifications, i.e. in the ditches. The people had the good sense not to create squalor in their own backyard, literally. Of course, the Romans were also known for their plumbing skills, and they even had Cloacina, the goddess of the sewer, surprising as that may seem to us today.
Various Celtic peoples were noted by ancient writers for the cleanliness and the Irish Brehon Laws from a millennium ago also covered personal hygiene and the right to free healthcare, the latter still unavailable to many people in our so-called “civilised” modern world.
Another historical falsehood that has been promulgated thanks to television and films is that they all had rotten teeth, this quite unlikely as sugar was unknown/unavailable in Western Europe at least. Their teeth would have been worn from eating stone-ground bread, but they may not have suffered from the dental problems that modern people suffer from.July 29, 2020 at 9:15 pm #11607Anonymous
Hi Dowgri, where did you get the Breton law reference from a millennium ago?July 29, 2020 at 9:22 pm #11608Anonymous
also, Dowgri, I think you are talking about some real nice cities in Europe, and not the Irish and Scottish country side of 500bc to 700ad. Look the romans brought baths to bath England, but this is not how people lived over in the Irish countryside or up in Scotland on the chieftains land. I have read many historical accounts of how the people really lived in those areas, and they don’t match your description of it. Also, you know, how long do think the druids lasted. I thinking that there were no many left after about 700 ad, if that long, and we do not have any records of what they really believed. they did not leave any written records. So when do you think the druids were vanished from the scene. And I don’t think you can equate the time from 700ad on with the druids. I do think there were cities that had running water, like bath England, but that is roman and not druid. I feel your argument is just coming from too long a time line to make any sense to me. Just wondering WilliamJuly 29, 2020 at 10:10 pm #11610david pooleParticipant
Well said William, I think you have expressed something very important here. I think that maybe there is a lot of truth in what you have said. Thank you William.July 29, 2020 at 11:57 pm #11613Anonymous
Dear David, there is a lot of truth in what everyone says on this site. I learn a great deal from your views all the time. I am not always right, and I acknowledge that. But at least I am give a space here to explore what druidry means. I am grateful for all the druids opinions and treat them all equally. And thank you so much for your posts. best WilliamJuly 30, 2020 at 7:53 am #11615
The Irish legal medico-legal tracts that are of main interest in this discussion are the Bretha Déin Chécht and Bretha Crólige, in which all kinds of provisions are made; the public clinic or infirmary that is referred is to is the foras tuaithe. The Brehons even provided for the humane treatment of people with mental health problems, thus in many ways these laws could be considered vastly ahead of their time despite their antiquity.
The oldest sauna found in Britain is at Marden Henge, Wiltshire, and it dates from the Neolithic period. The peoples of the British Isles, especially in Scotland, had been using types of saunas since the Stone Age, through the Bronze Age and Iron Age periods. Besides this, and there is admittedly some disagreement as to their use, the tighe allais of Ireland might also be considered very ancient saunas of a type. In comparison with volcanic Italy, there aren’t many places with naturally occurring hot springs in Britain, so the choice of Bath for the Roman complex is obvious. It should be noted, though, that the Romans didn’t use their baths for washing themselves, the baths were more of a relaxing social occasion and also a status symbol.
Leaving aside the various and disparate archaeological and textual evidence, that seems to be jumping from vastly different historical periods and geographical areas, another valid consideration is purely logical – seeing as druids are the focus of the argument – if we are to accept that the druids were a prestigious and high “caste” in Celtic societies, they would not have kept animals anyway, certainly not in their lodgings because those duties would have been fulfilled by the farmers and pastoralists. Secondly, as the healers, physicians and skilled natural scientists described by various ancient writers and texts, it is hardly likely that they were filthy, unhygienic or unknowledgeable in matters of personal cleanliness and good health by the standards of their day and their respective societies.July 30, 2020 at 11:41 am #11618
According to the albeit late Roman writer Ammianus Marcellinus who lived in the mid- to late-4th century CE, the Gauls and Aquitanians were meticulously clean (Ammiani Marcellini, Historiae, Liber XV:XII:II):
” …tersi tamen pari diligentia cuncti et mundi, nec in tractibus illis maximeque apud Aquitanos poterit aliquis videri vel femina licet perquam pauper ut alibi frustis squalere pannorum.”
Translated into English:
“… they are all exceedingly careful of cleanliness and neatness, nor in all the country, and most especially in Aquitania, could any man or woman, however poor, be seen either dirty or ragged.”
This site won’t allow to post the links, but the citations can be found at Wikisource and The Latin Library online.
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