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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What was Druidry?

The Druids were the educated elite of what is now called the “Celtic” race. The ancient Druids consisted of three “castes”, or divisions – Bards, Ovates and Druids.

The Bard learned all of the tales of the chieftain’s victories and the secret lore of sacred poetry. A Bard was an honoured member of the Tribe who was welcome wherever he or she travelled – in a way they were the newspapers of the day. We know from ancient poetry that the Bardic/Ovate crossover was not so defined, and that the Bards were also Shamans. They were trained in the Art of Magic using the power of poetry in either praise or satire. Their Lore supplied the foundation to the religious and magical practice of Druidry, telling the nature of the Gods, the deeds of the Ancestors and the sacred places of the land. Through the power of the sacred word, expressed through poetry, storytelling and song, they invoked the blessings of the Spirit of Place, and of the Gods and ancestors of the people.

The caste known as Bards had their own Shamanic practices, but it may be that some Bards blended their creative skills with those of the Ovates (or Vates). These were the prophets and seers. They worked with the three realms of past, present and future and entered into trance states, foreseeing the future fortunes of the Tribe. The Ovate was the Druid Shaman.

The third ‘caste’ was the Druid. Much of what we know about the ancient Druids comes from classical writers, and it might be that ‘Druid’ was a collective term that included the Bards and Ovates, we simply don’t know for sure, but either way we do know that they were highly respected members of the tribe – the wise one who had passed through madness and survived. This brought great wisdom and peace; the Druid’s role was therefore that of advisor, teacher and judge. In Celtic mythology tribal chieftains each had their Druid to whom they turned for advice during times of more>>>...