- April 20, 2020 at 7:54 pm #10225Anonymous
Star tree talks some religious craic about druidry
I don’t really see the druids as being such masculine power, but I do know some druids chant awen like it is out of some 1940s Hollywood horror movie. They get some deep voice that is just creepy, and during the 20s the druid movement was marketed by Iolo to rich tossers, so it was a man cave thing club. But there is no reason to think that men were the only druids, in fact,
Women were druidess and if history is right, the women had a lot to do in running celtic communities. So you look at the sun being worshiped by druids, and I am not so sure about that. And even if so, the sun would represent the fire element and be under the keeper of the hearth, poetic inspiration and fire, the goddess Brìghde. Plus all planting would have been done by the new moon.
Perhaps it has been mostly men who wrote history, so we are getting a skewed view from men about what being a druid is about. Which by the way I think is still up for discussion. I think that saying that the druids worshiped the sun may be a little off because druids have never been stupid. Plus, there are many people rethinking the history of the druids, and there are even some very famous historians who seem to be thinking the way I do. At some point we are all going to have to get a little more sure of what exactly a druid is. So, maybe by looking at some of the trouble in druidville we can shine some light on it. First, the modern druids, like you and me, really get our start form the hippies and new agers, who got their spirituality from india and the middle east. Most of that spiritual thought was counter to the Christian church. Think back to the early 60s. At that time everybody went to church on Sunday, and the ministers got huge salaries.
But LSD and other drugs started opening up the minds of young people and new thoughts started changing the world’s consciousness. However, like all cool things, the marketers saw what was happening and looked for ways to make money off of it. You could get your bell bottoms and dingo boots at JC Pennys. And rock songs were used to sell perfumes. So, don’t think the marketers are not trying to sell the druid generation also. In the seventies some cult like druid leaders arose and there was much dispute about the question of, was druidism a religion or just an organization. Further, when the internet came online, the druid ideas spread all over the world like weed seeds. So, druids are now a mix of witchcraft, yoga, newage, and old celtic poems and myths from the 5th century. Further there are druids who follow the druid cult leaders, and would follow them off a cliff if they were asked to. The marketers now sell all kinds of druid robes and wands online, along with a never ending spew of new druid books, that basically say the same thing as in every other druid book. Druidry, really got going when the BBC started broadcasting the druid gatherings at stonhenge,.. I think I will risk putting out 10 things that I think a druid follows, but please don’t get upset about what I say, especially if you are following a druid cult leader and think everything he says is dogma, the word of the wise.
So at number one.
Druids usually wear a robe and don’t go skyclad.
2. Druids don’t get into being possessed by spirits and gods.
3. druids communicate with Celtic gods and Goddesses and plants and animals and stones ect.
4. Druids have one godhead, and may gods and goddesses
5. Druids have a spiritual relationship with nature
6. Druids believe in the otherworld and see it interwoven with ours
7. Druids are kind and loving
8. Druids don’t cast evil spells
9. Druids follow the law of karma, and understand that
What they put out they get back
And 10, Druids don’t follow a list about what a druid follows because druids think for themselves.April 20, 2020 at 9:15 pm #10226
First, the modern druids, like you and me, really get our start form the hippies and new agers, who got their spirituality from india and the middle east.
The eisteddfodeu in Wales, albeit by a thread perhaps, have a living tradition going back to the 12th century and then the bardic traditions of the Welsh and Britons much further. The modern druidic movements in the British Isles and Ireland do not claim to represent an unbroken tradition going back to the Iron Age, however, they are entwined with the threads of the poetic and mythological traditions that go very far back to the origins. Indeed, the late 18th century and 19th century revivalists made bizarre claims, things people no longer take too seriously, yet you have to understand them within the contexts of their times and judge them accordingly. For better or worse, druids have been around in their current manifestation(s) for at least 300 years, so I think it is a little unfair to claim that it is all “new age hippy” stuff. In addition, the 1960s were what they were, a great cultural revolution and period of change, so why would any aspect of a society or culture, including its counter-cultures or alternative sub-cultures, not also be part of that?
I’m not sure who you mean when you say “druid cult leaders” as I think anyone trying to get “culty” with people within the druid tradition(s) I know of would get short shrift very quickly. I don’t what experiences you have had, but a lot of what you’ve been describing about druids is just not my experience of any druids or people into Celtic spirituality and alternative living that I’ve ever come across.
the 20s the druid movement was marketed by Iolo to rich tossers,
I’m not sure what you mean. Edward Williams, aka Iolo Morganwg died in 1826, or do you mean the 1820s? Iolo was indeed a bit of a naughty character and I too was quite annoyed and felt let down when I was much younger, having fallen into the trap of thinking how wonderful Barddas was only to find out later that it was all faked. However, with the passing of the years, I’ve also come to see Morganwg as a tragic figure too, perhaps someone who warrants some sympathy. Within the context of the Anglicisation of South Wales, here was a Welshman desperately trying to assert the Welshness of his own area that was coming to be seen as less-than-really Welsh, and this you have to see through the lens of the cultural power dynamics of England and Wales’s history. Although there can be no doubt that his literary forgeries caused a lot of cultural damage in one sense, he was also a poet who left us with the Druid’s Prayer, which is good enough on its own merit. He was also an abolitionist in terms of the issue of slavery at the time. So, Iolo is Iolo, let’s say an enigmatic figure and perhaps the “trickster” we even needed to make us dig deeper? Each to his own with that one.
I think a lot of the issue is with claiming authenticity of some kind. We live in a world that would not really accept divine or personal revelation anymore, so in order to have some kind of claim to authority, people feel they have to find an ancient lineage, some unbroken line or secret doctrine couched in pseudo-archaic language and arcane jargon that’s been handed down over the millennia so that they can be just as “valid” as the other institutionalised forms of religion – institutionalised forms of religion, I hasten to add, that might not want to look to deeply at their own “authenticity” either, but that’s a topic for another day. The tragic irony in this is that they often miss the whole point – the idea of moving away from dogmatic and doctrinal philosophies isn’t just to create a new one in its place.
So what is authenticity? Just for example, the Irish word craic isn’t “really” Irish at all, it’s even been called “pseudo-Irish”! The word is derived from Northern English/Lowland Scots “crack”, it was only known in Irish in the mid-20th century, so do we use the word or not? Does it stop being Irish because it was imported and respelled in a Gaelic way? Or do we say it’s Irish because it’s now used in Irish?
There was a time in which bronze was new.April 21, 2020 at 3:17 am #10228Anonymous
I am really enjoying reading the Robert Hutton books, and I think he has thought this subject out, and is well worth reading. I will also say that I don’t see any cult activity in the BDO, and I think
that Grey Wolf is a good teacher and a person who has thought a great deal about what a druid is. I think the BDO is an excellent way to learn about druidism. I think it is great that the Welsh people have a living Welsh language, and I have a great deal of Welsh ancestors so the spirit ancestors and welsh language is chiming poetry to my spirit. I find that being a druid cleans the doors of perception and is always opening up new ways of seeing the universe. I believe that druidism has been around for millions of years, countless times around the spiral continuum, but that modern druidism is really a new culture, and is still being formed and shaped out of many cultural and religious beliefs. there are a number of signatures and signs that can identify a cult, so cults are usually easy to identify. Anyone interested in cults should look up what the tell tail signs of a cult are. We are now at a time when exploring what a modern druid is can be helpful. I think at sometime it could be helpful to codify what a druid stands for and what a druid believes. I think that druids should never form a religious organization because all you have to do is look at the christian church for to see how power can be abused. But the most important thing is for druids to walk in the light and not have hidden secrets from the world. We need to be honest about what we believe and not silenced by peer pressure.the world cannot be changed by laws and rules, it can only be changed by a spiritual change in all of us, a new respect for nature and the consciousness in nature.April 21, 2020 at 8:54 am #10231Anonymous
Iolo was on smack and he could have been prosecuted for being a witch so he had to convince the church punters that being a druid was cool. I don’t think he
made any fakes, he just channeled some stuff from the otherworld. Being a druid is about a direct experience with the otherworld and that is what makes things authentic. Still, rhetoric plays a great part in everything and stories create authentic reality. Stuff is not as solid and fixed as it seems and can be altered and changed with thought, intention, power, and a means to project it all, just clap your hands in rhythm and raise the power. Yoga teaches about the chakras, and the chakras are the third eye of the head and heart. You are a heart full of eyes. Your mind’s eye is your third eye. Relax, Iolo sure did.I am a hippy new age druid and dammed proud of it.April 21, 2020 at 10:47 am #10232
Iolo was on smack and he could have been prosecuted for being a witch so he had to convince the church punters that being a druid was cool.
That’s not really the case. Iolo Morganwg was using laudanum, a legally available painkiller at the time, the use of which was fairly widespread in the 18th and 19th centuries. Well-known users of laudanum include Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Great Britain and Abraham Lincoln’s wife in the USA. Again, we should be careful about making judgements without considering the historical context. Given that the earliest neo-druids were also Christians, notably William Stukeley, who was an Anglican clergyman, and that the Ancient Order of Druids (1781) included prominent politicians and members of the establishment, I think there’s little chance that Iolo feared some kind of witch trial for his druidic publications – especially since he too was also a member of the Christian theological movement known as Unitarianism. The early neo-druidic movements were very Christian in their outlook in many senses and more like fraternal, cultural and philanthropic societies – they certainly weren’t “neo-pagan” movements, or not as we would understand them.
I think at sometime it could be helpful to codify what a druid stands for and what a druid believes.
Why do you feel that? I would argue against this, because as soon as you do that, you create a dogma with all that word entails. In practical terms, I don’t think it would be a success either. Today you have druids coming from a vast spectrum backgrounds in terms of belief, including Christian Druids/Druid Christians. As soon as you start saying “this is so”, you start saying “that isn’t so”, can you see the problem?April 21, 2020 at 11:56 am #10235RagnarssonParticipant
Interested reading both ideas on Druidism. My view for what it is worth is , that Druids nowadays can only imagine what the original druids were fully about. In Celtic times the only real written evidence we have was written by Romans who obviously hated and feared Druids, hence the great massacre. Druids were obviously very powerful and linked to the natural world, besides being a kind of Shaman, they possibly had some kind of military role , not actual fighting but maybe blessing warriors .It is very possible they were even sacrificed themselves to plead with the gods in times of great danger, their are many Iron age sacrificial burials unearthed where the body was of a high status person but not a Royal (read Lindow man a very good book). However I think for me the idea of Druidism is one of closeness to nature and wildlife, of being very spiritual and connected to everything around us including the heavens and that these are the basic and first ideals that Druids were first drawn too all those years ago. I may be completely wrong, but it does it for me.April 21, 2020 at 7:54 pm #10239
There’s more information out there from ancient times if you dig deep and look at the archaeological record, albeit not copious amounts. The Romans and the Greeks were not always so negatively disposed towards the druids as people often say they were, although there is indeed plenty of negative stuff too. I think we should be careful of discounting the evidence provided by the Romans out of hand, after all the only evidence we have druid use of mistletoe is thanks to the Roman writer Pliny the Elder and yet it would now seem unthinkable to many not to consider mistletoe as somehow important to druidism, despite it not featuring much at all in the literature and being seemingly far more important in Germanic folklore and myth. I suppose it does put us in an historical dilemma, do we only believe the Romans when it’s positive and not negative, do we discount everything that they say or do we take it with a healthy pinch of salt, but consider the possibility all the same? As an aside – botanically speaking – mistletoe is quite a nasty plant from a tree’s point of view.
/|\April 21, 2020 at 8:11 pm #10240Anonymous
Hi Dowgi, Laudanum is the same as smack, they are both opiates and get you high as a kite. Further, the christian clergy are a bunch of punters and in it for the money and perks, and I stand by that, just look at all the child abuse in the Catholic Church. The early druids like Stukeley were more interested in nationalism than being druids, they were Harry Potter druids. Look, codifying what a druid is already on the stove, so I think we should have something like the Witches Reed. The Witches Reed gives everybody a good starting point. But, important to leave it up to
each grove on what they want to do. Main thing is never have a central druid church. We always need to work is small groves. And many of the books on druids already have started to narrow the definition of what a druid is. Plus, there is a thing called rhetoric, and if the druids don’t define what they are the press will, and it may not be a good thing. Movements rise and fall on rhetoric, an so do nations, and spiritual movements. I say think for yourself, and question everything, and don’t follow leaders. I am just trying to nail down some common things we can all agree on. Again, it is up to each grove to decide what they are about. Further, I think there was a real chance that Iolo could have been charged with witchcraft or even local gangs could have gotten him. People are afraid of what they don’t understand, and anything that smells of witchcraft scares people because they are afraid a witch will use his or
her knowledge to hurt someone in the community. There are still witch hunters in the world today, and people still are killed for being accused of being a witch.
There are people who give their souls to the devil, and the occult can be a dangerous world, so it might be a good idea that everyone is on the same wavelength when they start calling themselves a druid. I think I have answered most of your arguments, and I applaud you for questioning things, because it is only through lot of questions that you become wise. I think it is fine to disagree and that is always a good thing. And jus to get it clear about the christian deal with me. I do not believe in everything in the Bible like some christians. But do you really think that it would be good to have satan worshiping druids. Because as soon as you start saying this is so, you are not saying that is so, and that is false logic. I personally don’
t want to be around anyone who worships satan, and there are lines I don’t cross. Evil is real, and to be avoided, and evil is so dark that you would not want to get near it if you had ever really experienced it. I know lots of druids don’t believe in god or the goddesses or satan and being a druid is all about one big party, but I am not that kind of druid. When you start messing with magic you better know what you are doing, or you are going to get into a lot of trouble quick. Magic is not a game or a video game. It deals with intention, focus, power, and change. It deals with the spiritual dimension of life. Plus opiates in all their forms are dangerous and should never be used because they will suck the very life force out of you. Also, did you ever think that many christians, and I mean people who work as minister, are not really christians, but just in it because they don’t know what other job they could get in the real world with a bachelors degree in English. I know plenty of ministers who have told me they don’t believe in christ. Minister lie all the time. And many people follow ministers like a cult, just look at Jim jones and the people who drank the cool-aid. the fact is that we either define what a druid is or someone else will. No amount of new age bliss can change the fact that there is real evil in the world, and I accept the fact that evil is real and don’t try to hide from the truth, so I avoid evil people and places. If you want to meet the devil I assure you he will be more that happy to trade for your soul, and you will find him if you go looking. There is nothing glorious about opiate use, or meth use, or coke use. I don’t care what famous writer of musician used opiates, they were all losers after they got addicted. Agin the druids have been around for millions of years. So it does not make sense to me why you want to keep dwelling on the druids of the 1800s. And what will and not be successful all depends on marketing and Rhetoric, the world corporations, or as I call them the global citizen, knows all about rhetoric and marketing. As a Bard you should understand that., Best star tree
A Wingful Of Eyes
There is a feeling we all know
Something happened long ago
When you remember who you were
Makes you what you are today
You are a kite upon the wind
Blowing through eternity
And you were always meant to fly
You are a wingful of eyes
And you rise
And you’re floating in ecstasy
And your eyes
And your eyes are open wide
You’ll be dancing to the seven skies
Your eyes are wise, you’re wise, you’re wise
Your eyes, and you rise…
Learning to turn our fears into hopes
Turning, it’s turning the angeless we long for
And a great wind is blowing, it’s sowing love
The seed of a new age
And the seed that they’re sowing, it’s showing us
How we will, will, will be…
Now we’re learning how to live to love
To live to…April 21, 2020 at 9:04 pm #10241Anonymous
The Rede of the Wiccae
Being known as the counsel of the Wise Ones:
Bide the Wiccan laws ye must,
in perfect love and perfect trust.
Live and let live, fairly take and fairly give.
Cast the Circle thrice about
to keep the evil spirits out.
To bind the spell every time,
let the spell be spake in rhyme.
Soft of eye and light of touch,
speak little, listen much.
Deosil go by the waxing Moon,
sing and dance the Wiccan rune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,
and the Werewolf howls by the dread Wolfsbane.
When the Lady’s Moon is new,
kiss thy hand to Her times two.
When the Moon rides at Her peak
then your heart’s desire seek.
Heed the Northwind’s mighty gale;
lock the door and drop the sail.
When the wind comes from the South,
love will kiss thee on the mouth.
When the wind blows from the East,
expect the new and set the feast.
When the West wind blows o’er thee,
departed spirits restless be.
Nine woods in the Cauldron go,
burn them quick a’ burn them slow.
Elder be ye Lady’s tree;
burn it not or cursed ye’ll be.
When the Wheel begins to turn,
let the Beltane fires burn.
When the Wheel has turned at Yule,
light the log and let Pan rule.
Heed ye flower bush and tree,
by the Lady Bless’d Be.
Where the rippling waters go
cast a stone and truth ye’ll know.
When find that ye have need,
hearken not to others’ greed.
With the fool no season spend
or be counted as his friend.
Merry meet and merry part,
bright the cheeks and warm the heart.
Mind the Threefold Law ye should,
three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow,
wear the Blue Star on thy brow.
True in love ever be
unless thy lover’s false to thee.
Eight words ye Wiccan Rede fulfill:
An’ it harm none, do what ye will.April 21, 2020 at 10:39 pm #10242
To be honest, I somehow doubt that someone like William Stukeley, who was a fellow of the Royal Society, a friend of Isaac Newton and someone who, despite inherited family financial problems, had paid for his own study at Cambridge University as well as being qualified in law and medicine and later becoming an Anglican clergyman was in it for the money. These were English country “gentleman” antiquaries of the late 17th and early 18th centuries – quasi-aristocracy, whatever their merits as antiquarians or archaeologists, I doubt they were in any way doing it for the money or worried about being accused of witchcraft – especially given the very strong Christian and philosophical – in very little sense “pagan” -flavour of their endeavours.
Further, I think there was a real chance that Iolo could have been charged with witchcraft or even local gangs could have gotten him.
I doubt it. The last executions for witchcraft in England were in 1716 and in Scotland in 1727. The Witchcraft Act (1735), ironic as it may seem, basically got rid of witchcraft as some kind of “supernatural” offense and viewed it more as a form of fraud. Given that Iolo was born in 1747, with some form of druid revival already underway, I think it’s pretty unlikely that he would have been charged with witchcraft. I mean, on what grounds would he have been anyway? Bear in mind that the Witchcraft Act (1735) was only repealed in 1951 and so one might assume that had their been any will to charge him or sufficient grounds, it would have occurred – he was not really a member of the “establishment” either.
With regard to Iolo’s use of laudanum, not particularly atypical at the time, one would have to find some evidence of his having produced his notorious works “under the influence”, so to speak, in order to substantiate the claim, otherwise it remains pure conjecture however likely it may or may not seem – you can’t condemn someone on purely circumstantial evidence. Furthermore, I believe that Iolo used laudanum as a painkiller and relief for asthma, as was widely and legally done at the time – he would have purchased it at a pharmacy over the counter – so I don’t think it’s fair to portray him as some kind of delinquent and I would be hasty about making sweeping generalisations and judgements about people in any regard.
But do you really think that it would be good to have satan worshiping druids.
Well, to be quite honest I’ve never met one nor have I ever heard of one, and I don’t see how the various philosophies could be compatible.
I am familiar with the Wiccan Rede, but I don’t see why there is the need for any Druid’s Rede to be honest. Wicca is Wicca and druidism is druidism. I think a fundamental difference between the two being that most Wiccans, at least the ones I know, would consider Wicca to be their religion – with a capital R, whereas druidism is (at least to many) more of a nature-based spiritual philosophy; this is not to say that it is not a religion or a faith to some, but that by doesn’t mean it has to be one for all.April 22, 2020 at 1:46 am #10246Anonymous
Hello Dowrgi, Stunkley was in it for the social power, prestige, and wealth. Are you aware that The christian church put over 9 million witches and druids to death. You are wrong about the Laudanum, and apparenty have no concept of the dangers of the drug. And druidism is very similar to Wiccan and both druids and Wiccans use magic. Iolo was major tom, and it does not matter if there is a druid rede or not. And you are wrong about the Wicca being a religion with a capital R. plus druidism is not a philosophy it is a way of life, although some druids wax philosophical and want to foot note everything. Druids walk in the other world and are interwoven with it. Wiccans are the wise ones, or knowing ones, In fact, the only reason they would claim a religious organization is for tax purposes, or to be recognized by the government, and not persecuted by the christians and degraded by the christians. Again, druidism is not a philosophy, philosophy is nothing more than the love of wisdom. You are trying to turn druidism into some rational philosophy to fit into your academic world paradigm. druids step outside the matrix, and are awake to the magic of the otherworld. You seem to want to take my words and quote them out of context in order to prove your point. This is an old trick, and it will not work here. Plus, if you are talking 1735, you can be sure that people believed witches could be dangerous, and there is plenty of history to prove this. I mean really 1735. And yes you are wrong about Iolo not being in danger for his views, and he was lucky he
had some powerful people to protect him. He had to walk a thin line. Best star treeApril 22, 2020 at 9:01 am #10248
You are wrong about the Laudanum, and apparenty have no concept of the dangers of the drug.
I am aware of the dangers of the drug as I am aware of the fact that in the 18th and 19th centuries it was widely used by all kinds of people throughout the social classes as a painkiller. In fact, it was even recommended by leading physicians during the period. There was no regulation of the drug in the UK until the 1860s. In the absence of other pharmaceuticals, it was used as a medicament to treat a range of maladies including pain, asthma, diarrhoea, coughs as well as being used as a quietener and teething remedy for children! Now, apart from a great many of the Romantic Era poets and writers who form part of the canon of English literature, other people who used laudanum/opiates at the time include Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Admiral Nelson and Chopin. The use of laudanum and opiates in the 18th and 19th centuries, in a time when there were few other painkillers available and people died of diarrhoea and respiratory problems, was so “normal” that you even find Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character, Sherlock Holmes, using the drug. Attitudes and medical opinion only really began to change from the mid- to late-19th century, along with the availability of painkillers such as pure aspirin, which had been unavailable before. Therefore, bringing this back to Iolo Morganwg, no one would condone his use of laudanum, but at the same time to single him out from among many of his time completely ignores the historical context. I have often read his name prefixed with a comment about his laudanum use, I have seldom noted this was figures such as Dickens, Shelley or Keats. To make a slight comparison, no one would condone smoking today, yet within living memory tobacco products were sold with doctor’s recommendations. You have to consider the historical context within which people lived and exercise caution in making value judgements about them.
The christian church put over 9 million witches and druids to death.
When did the Christian church put all these druids to death? I don’t think there’s anything reliable in the historical record to support this claim. In fact, on the whole the “conversion” of the British Isles and Ireland was relatively peaceful, you could even call it more of a transition, and I think the evidence for this is far stronger given the degree of syncretism attested in the historical records and by folk tradition. If there had been such bloody conversion and terror of “heresy”, the medieval Welsh and Irish writers would have been too frightened to put their older traditions down on parchment and certainly would not have had access to the oral traditions from which these so obviously derive, given that the texts flow with non-Christian/pagan allusions, lore and barely hidden references to magic and the supernatural, again, I don’t think it’s the case. I’d recommend The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy (Hutton, 1991) for further investigation.
Again, druidism is not a philosophy, philosophy is nothing more than the love of wisdom.
Indeed, but does druid not perhaps derive from an ancient word meaning “wise as an oak” or someone with the “wisdom of the oak”? The Classical writers, contemporaries of the “ancient” druids certainly did describe druids as philosophers among other things, and, albeit probably coincidental, parallels with Pythagoras and Pythagorean philosophy were also made. I think we have to remember that in the ancient world, the “lines” between spirituality, philosophy, the sciences and the natural world were far more blurred than they are wont to be considered today.
Plus, if you are talking 1735, you can be sure that people believed witches could be dangerous,
Except if you actually look up the Witchcraft Act (1735) and read it, you’ll see that is shows a complete reversal in attitudes. It’s basically saying that we don’t believe in witchcraft anymore and we are going to prosecute con artists in order to protect “ignorant Persons [who] are frequently deluded and defrauded”. It’s basically a law that completely repudiates any notion of supernatural power and is worded as such. By 1735, we’re already well into the Age of the Enlightenment, Newton’s Principia had been around for nearly half a century and I just don’t think that there’s any convincing evidence to suggest that Iolo Morganwg was in any danger of some kind of Inquisition or charges of witchcraft in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. If you have historical evidence that would indicate Iolo was indeed in some kind of danger, it would be interesting to read it here.
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