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Druid Philosophy

"Druids ... said that it was they that made heaven and the earth and the sea - and the sun and moon."

From Senchus Mor, i. 23 (Irish MS., quoted in James Bonwick, Irish Druids & Old Irish Religions, London, 1894, p.19)

This quotation implies a belief among Druids akin to one of the key aspects of Hindu Tantric philosophy; the idea that within each of us is the spirit that continually creates our universe. This concept has huge ramifications for our understanding of the universe and our role within it. It represents a radically different worldview from that of most western philosophy and that presented by the monotheistic faiths. Judeo-Christian tradition holds that creation was a one-off event taking place at the beginning of time, initiated and controlled by a single, all-powerful creator god. If this is accepted, it leaves humans and all other life forms as little more than puppets of this great creator. It becomes easy, therefore, to give up all idea of controlling one's own destiny and hand over all responsibility to this all-encompassing deity. By contrast, to the Druid, we are each our own deity, each responsible for every aspect of our world. As Druids, our ultimate aim is to attain oneness with all things, to encompass infinity, becoming as gods, able to take our full role within the great dance of creation.

"I have been in many shapes
Before I took this congenial form;
I have been a sword, narrow in shape;
I believe, since it is apparent,
I have been a tear-drop in the sky,
I have been a glittering star,
I have been a word in a letter,
I have been a book in my origin,
I have been a gleaming ray of light,
A year and a half,
I have been a stable bridge
Over confluences of compassion,
I have been a pathway, I have been an eagle,
I have been a coracle on the brink,
I have been the direction of a staff,
I have been a stack in an open enclosure,
I have been a sword in a yielding cleft,
I have been a shield in open conflict,
I have been a string on a harp,
Shape-shifting nine years,
In water, in foam,
I have been consumed in fire,
I have been passion in a covert.
Am I not he who will sing
Of beauty in what is small;
Beauty in the Battle of the Tree-tops
Against the country of Prydein."

Excerpt from 'The Battle of the Trees,' attributed to the bard, Taliesin, translated by Greywolf.