At a time when the people had to live close to nature to survive,the Druids emerged from the ancient Celtic tribes.
The Druids dreamed magic for their people, by the light of the storyteller's fire, and with the playing of the harp. In the
deep woods they would gather, bringing together their mysticism and philosophy, their insight and learning. Their spirit emerged
from the the tides of the sea, the light of the sun, the wind in the Oak, the cry of the deer. In this way, they created an
institution that inspired, frightened, and uplifted their world.
The moon still dances for us now as she did then, and so the wonder of Nature remains as awesome as in those lost days.
The Druids may be gone, but their magic is not. It may yet emerge from the earth again, if we remember her and love her again.
In the pre-Christian era of Celtic culture, the Druids were members of a professional class in which their society¹s
religious and spiritual life was embodied. In their time, Druids filled the roles of judge, doctor, advisor, magician, mystic,
and religious scholar, among other roles. They were the philosophers, scientists, theologians, and intellectuals of their
culture, and the holders of the sum of knowledge for their age.
The name "Druid" is unique to the Celtic people; other cultures had other names for their clergy, and expected different
duties from them. Druids were not an ethnic or cultural group in themselves, but part of a larger society in which they participated.
In the pre-christian era of Celtic culture, the Druids were members of a professional class in their culture, the Celtic Nations
of Western Europe and the British Isles.
Among all the tribes, generally speaking, there are three classes of men held in special honour; the bárdoi, the ováteis,
and the druídai. The bárdoi are singers and poets; the ováteis are interpreters of sacrifice and natural philosophers,; while
the druídai, in addition to the science of nature, study also moral philosophy.
The eminent scholar Fergus Kelly wrote that a Druid was "priest, prophet, astrologer and teacher of the sons of nobles".
Jean Markale, another respected scholar, noted that the Druids were divided into these specialisations:
Sencha; historian, analyst
Brithem; judge, arbitrator, ambassador
Scelaige; keeper of myths and epics
Cainte; master of magical chants, blessings, curses, invocations, execrations, banishments
Liaig; doctor who uses plants, magic and surgery
Cruitre; harpist who uses music as magic, master of the "Three Noble Strains" of music: music that invokes laughter, tears,
Deoghbaire; cup bearer who knows the properties of intoxicating and hallucinogenic substances
Bard; popular poet and singer
Fili; sacred poet and diviner
A Druid's connection to nature is the source of all her powers, both in society and in magic. By understanding that connection,
a Druid's being is joined with nature, and so she becomes aware of all that is known to nature, which is all things. A Druid
then is a kind of nature mystic. To experience Druidism, turn off the computer and go into the woods, and listen. The voices
of the old Gods are not silent. Their language is the blowing wind and the waves of the great pouring sea.
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