According to ancient folklore, there were those who believed that a special order of High Druids were entrusted with some of the secrets of the Universe and that they held a magickal responsibility to keep the balance between the powers of the Darkness and the Light.
There is very little factual information about the Druids mainly because they engaged an Oral Tradition where nothing was written down but rather passed down by the spoken word. For the Druids, recording via the written word corrupted and dishonored the information while weakening the mind. Any writings that have survived are those set down by the conquering factions of history such as is contained in Roman accounts. It is commonly known and accepted that among the Druidic orders were Master Astrologers who had vast knowledge not only of the Earth but also of the motion of the Universe. According to the eminent scholar Fergus Kelly, a Druid was, "priest, prophet, astrologer, and teacher of the sons of nobles." Julius Caesar acknowledged, "They also have much knowledge of the stars and their motion, of the size of the world and of the earth, of natural philosophy, and of the powers and spheres of action of the immortal gods, which they discuss and hand down to their young students."
Did the Druids practice magick? By all accounts, yes. How might the Druids have practiced Magick? The waxing and waning of the Moon was certainly most important. Throughout cultural history, the Moon has always played an integral role in determining the course of events. According to Celtic lore, the Moon of October, called the Blood Moon, was particularly potent. It is strongly tied in with the element of Earth and the ideals of finishing things with practicality, paying attention to detail, and taking protective measures to guard what has been accomplished. Strong supernatural motivations are also connected to this Moon and those with the ability for clairvoyant prophecy can be strongly affected. The Druids and the ancient Celts held a special affinity for ‘triads' and the number ‘3' since they believed only numbers that had a ‘middle' (in this case number 2; 1-2-3) had balance. The ancient magickal number associated with the Moon is ‘369' which consists of the number ‘3' and its derivatives ‘6' and ‘9'. On a Divine level (but not numerological) for those of us on Earth, the Moon's influence via the number 369 equates with commitment to the Earth as part of one's Divine purpose.
The ancient Celt word for Magick is Dra/iocht which translates literally to "what Druids do." Druidic magick was the magick of nature. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no evidence that the Druids engaged in human sacrifice as part of the magickal ritual. It is believed, however, that they did engage in animal sacrifice as part of the magickal practice. The Druids did not believe in trying to control the great forces connected to nature but rather to work in harmony with them. There was a spiritual connection to nature and all of the gods and goddesses they believed were connected to nature. They sought assistance of these deities by presenting an offering with hopes that the intention would bring about favorable circumstances.
According to the ancient Celt loremasters, the Druids were capable of many magical powers such as divination and prophesy, weather control, healing, levitation, and shape-shifting (usually into the forms of animals or people). It is believed that a certain class of high Druids could walk in the "Otherworlds" where they gained information from entities on other planes of existence. Divination skills and magical insight were required for many essential social and practical political purposes. Druids advised tribal leaders about policy making, helped with solutions for disputes and legal settlements, and announced the beginning of important agricultural and hunting seasons which were basic to life. It is further speculated that they were able to magically oppose criminal activity. Magickally induced dreams could be performed to reveal a culprit's identity or magickal spells could be cast that guaranteed the return of goods or livestock. During wartime, a Druid's magical skills were needed to predict the enemy's movements in order to disrupt its political plans. Warriors went to battle magickally empowered and aided by environmental forces. The highly respected Druids could put an end to an unjust war by simply walking onto a battlefield and ordering everyone to go home.
According to Celt history, the Druids held certain magickal concepts that applied to their beliefs:
- IMMRAM - This term refers to "astral travel." It was believed that one could journey to the realm of the gods or the "Otherworld."
- AISLING - Dreams or visions induced by altered states of consciousness.
- IMBAS - Known as "fire in the head" and referring to divinely inspired poetry also acquired through altered states of consciousness.
- FI/RINNE - The binding force or "way of nature." This term concerns itself with matters of Truth and Justice.
- ECHTRA - Warrior magick reserved for those who traveled on holy grounds while traversing the wilderness.
Contemporary Channeling by Niamh Ardgall de Danaan
My tool is my voice and the words pass down the wisdom.
Equal in honor do I pass it thus,
The stones speak in the face of the Sun,
And In the Eye of Light, the Truth is shown as the Light is shed upon it.
From the Great Circle of All Enclosing,
Oh Great Spirit who is infinite, Father of all creation,
I proclaim Praise to the Most High!
The time of Earth is eternal passing through fire, quake, wind, and cold.
Paternal Sun sends his star seeds to Maternal Earth,
And man becomes one with all in the sacred Space.
The time of Man is short but renewed as he balances his nature.
Through the two Great Circles of existence he passes,
Each to the other, good and evil to weigh.
Then, may he drink from the fountain of knowledge,
In reward for his labors as is his destiny,
With blessings and joy, may he come forth revealing the wisdom again.
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Photography by Torey Haas