The Druids and filídh were known for their divination and mysticism. These took manyforms, such as the learning and verse forms for composing blessings and curses,and the memorization of old hymns, chants and incantations. The basic song wascalled a cantalon in Gaulish (cetal in Old and Middle
Druidism can be used synonymously with the phrases Celtic religion and Celtic magic. In order to enter into this magico-religious system, a familiarity with mythology is necessary. Celtic mythology is best represented in the Irish Book of Invasions or Lebor Gábala Érenn. These tales give a
appearance of the Druid is known to us from two main sources: Greco-Roman
writings and medieval Irish tradition. There is also some evidence from Irish
and Scottish folklore. Druids wore white tunics, which in early Ireland were
knee-length. The concept of their wearing full white robes was
A year was
called a bleidoni (twelve months, or thirteen in a leap year), and it
was divided into two main seasons: samon, "summer," and giamon,
"winter." A sonnocingos, "solar-march," was the term for a solar year of
365.5 days. A bleidoni had four festivals: Samhain (sah-win),
Adbertos (Gaulish) - An offering or ritual in which
something is given to the Deuoi.
Andumnos (Gaulish) - The Underworld / Otherworld /
Netherworld which corresponds to the Greek Elysian Fields and Tartaros, and to
the Teutonic Valhall and Hel. There are
many isles of the Celtic
marked off for ritual was called a nemeton in Gaulish. It’s shape was usually
either square or rectangular, but sometimes round. The square or rectangle
represented the heavens. Round nemetons represented the earth and the
manifested realm, and were used for royal inaugurations. The
The last vestiges of the Filídhecht schools were stamped out in the 1600s as Elizabethan English conquered and destroyed most of Ireland’s remaining Gaelic culture. The "plantations" of Ulster, and the extension of the Pale beyond Leinster into Munster and all the way to Connacht wiped
The ancient Druids considered it profane to record their teachings in writing. All of their teachings were handed down by spoken word in verses or stories. People at different levels taught different categories of the ancient lore.
The highest in rank of the learned men of each Celtic people was
In Old Celtic (Gaulish-Brittonic and Goidelic), the word for rebirth was ategenos (Old Irish aithghen). In this doctrine of limited reincarnation the spirit of an ancestor was reborn among his or her own kin. This means that certain inherited characteristics and even Deuoi (Tuatha Dé Danann gods)
Pliny the Elder, in his Natural History, mentions the Druids manufacturing an object called the ovum anguinum, or "snake’s egg," which in Gaulish would have been called ouion natracos. In British and Irish tradition it was known as the snake’s gem, or Druid’s gem.
The Druid’s gem was a
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