The Druids were part of Celtic society, they were the most experienced and wise people among these people. They were recognized for their knowledge of nature, health, law, culture, philosophy, astronomy and astrology. Druids definition
They were seen as priests, philosophers or sorcerers and, because of that, they had several functions in the Celtic communities. They were responsible for resolving conflicts, making judgments, organizing Celtic rituals, and making offerings to the gods.
Druids could be male or female (called Druids) and were equally recognized and respected for their knowledge.
The Celtic people saw the Druids as a representation of the goddesses and the force of nature, which they worshiped. The Druids were wise, strong and warrior women and, at the same time, they represented femininity and fertility coming from nature. Druids definition
The Druids and all Celtic people existed since before Christ, more than 3000 thousand years ago (in the 4th and 5th centuries). They lived in some regions of the European continent, mainly in the areas that are now Ireland and the United Kingdom, in addition to some regions of Spain and France.
The most likely explanation for the meaning of Druid is “one who has the knowledge of the Oak”, in reference to this very old tree and very typical of some regions where the Druids lived.
The Three Types of Druids
There were three types of Druids, according to the knowledge and functions they had: Bards, Ovates and Druids .
The Bards were artists, musicians and poets still learning the art of experiencing and passing on artistic knowledge and druidic culture. It is believed that they wore clothes in shades of blue so that they could be identified. Druids definition
The Ovates were like witches or sorcerers and possessed natural knowledge of healing and divination, as well as being respected for their connection to the supernatural world. Their common robes were either green or brown.
The Druids represented the last rank of this class, were the wisest and probably wore white and gold robes, which indicated their prestige.
What is druidism?
Druidry is the knowledge of Druids, based on the force of nature and its elements . They are all the customs practiced and honored by the Druids, who carried with them ancient knowledge, which was passed on orally between generations.
The tradition was only oral and, because of this, there are almost no written records about the rituals of this people. What is known about druidism is the result of impressions recorded by other peoples who lived with them, especially the Romans, who were close to the Celtic people during the expansion of the Roman Empire.
The Celtic people and the cult of nature
The Druids and the Celtic people worshiped nature and understood it as a sacred temple , experiencing their human existences as an integral part of the balance of nature and the cycle of life. Druids definition
They also believed in the connection between the natural and supernatural worlds and in the immortality of the soul . Some accounts indicate that the Druids had hallucinogenic rituals to receive supernatural information.
They were polytheists, believed in several gods that represented animals or elements of nature and also celebrated natural events. The change of seasons (on the Solstices and Equinoxes) and harvests were marked by festivals that celebrated these dates.
All the elements that are part of nature were venerated and celebrated by these people: sun, wind, water, air, fire, trees, animals, stones, cardinal points, stars and moon cycles. They believed that everything in the world came from nature.
Stones, for example, were used in druidism to identify sacred sites for the Celtic people. Some of the stone constructions attributed to these people were used as astrological observatories.
What is the relationship between Druidism and the Roman Empire?
The wisdom and power of the Druids caused trouble during the Roman Empire. Probably, the Romans were one of the peoples that came closest to the Celts and their existence, habits and traditions caused discomfort to the Romans.
Fearing the power of the Druids and the trust placed in them by the Celtic people, some emperors made unsuccessful attempts to end the Druids, trying to prohibit the practice of their rituals.
Aristotle and Emperors Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC) and Tiberius (42 BC – 37 AD) wrote their impressions of the Druids. Julius Caesar described that the Druids made human sacrifices and that it was forbidden to record their habits and teachings, which should only be passed on orally.
Emperor Tiberius, during his rule, even published a decree to try to prohibit the Druids from doing their activities.
The attacks of the Romans against the Druids and the Celtic people influenced the decimation of this people , which disappeared over the years. Druids definition
Some Famous Druids in Fiction
Druids are also part of several fictional stories, being characters in movies, books and games.
- Merlin : The Wizard Merlin, famous character in the stories of King Arthur, was a counselor and sorcerer. He is probably the most famous Druid and has been the subject of books, movies and series.
- Panoramix : Known from the stories of Asterix and Obelix, Paronamix is a Druid from the Gaul region, who protected his village and advised Asterix. Panoramix’s trademark is a potion made from herbs that gave a lot of strength to the drinker. Druids definition
- Kevin : The character from the Mists of Avalon was a Bard, one of the Druid types. The book was first published in 1979 and takes place in the Middle Ages, during the period of King Arthur.
Druids are also famous in role playing games . Its most outstanding features are the protection of nature and the use of natural forces to make magic.
His most common powers are: the ability to shapeshift, control and communicate with animals and the elements of nature.