After about 2,150 years, the Sun moved into alignment with the stars of Sagittarius and the Celts befriended the horses who had multiplied and flourished in the mountains. They provided the Cwmry with the means to explore farther lands, and they rode down out of the mountains to the west, into the lands of Greece. The Greeks were astonished at the skill with which human and horse moved as one being, and referred to them as Centaurs, or the Horse-Men. The leader of these equestrian travelers was a great teacher and healer named Chiron. His perceptions of the universe inspired many of the Greeks to learn the ancient wisdom and magical arts that he freely shared with them.
Among them was one named Aescalapius, meaning "the man-teaching serpent". He traveled throughout Greece, teaching the Wisdom of Chiron and founding the ancient mystery schools of that land. These schools of wisdom later produced the great teacher named Hermes, who summarized the basic concepts of the universe into what is known as The Hermetic Principles . He later traveled to Egypt and brought these teachings to the early pharaohs in the Age of Taurus. These same teachings were thus learned by Mosiah, who led the Israelites out of Egypt at the beginning of the Age of Aries.
By the Age of Gemini, about 8,500 years ago, the Celts had migrated across the European continent. At that time a new priesthood of Wisdom arose to lead the tribes of Cwmry ( the traditional name for the Celtic people ). With their guidance they entered into a time of peace and prosperity that lasted for nearly 6,000 years. This priesthood worshipped in Sacred Groves, the temples of Nature, where the powers of Father Sun and Mother Earth manifest their glory. They were known as Druids, from the root word "dru", meaning "tree" and "wid" , which means" knowing". The Druids instructed their tribes to plant fruit and nut trees everywhere they traveled, until all of Europe became a beautiful garden providing for all the needs of the people as they followed the seasons.
The Druids of each region met annually at the Summer Solstice to renew the laws by which the tribes could maintain their alliances. Every seven years they would have a Grand Council for the Druids of all tribes to share their visions of how to keep the nations in harmony with the Divine Will of the gods and goddesses who guided their destiny.
The Druids were the teachers, historians, physicians, counselors, musicians, seers, artisans and warrior chiefs of their tribes and villages. Each profession had a patron god or goddess whose powers guided their skills and teachings. There were essentially three grades of Druidic priesthood. Those in the apprenticeship grade were called Bards. A part of their general education required a memorization of the ancient triads of history, lore, legends and mythology.. The study also included genealogy, storytelling, singing, and music. This remained an oral tradition, with a written outline preserved in stone and wood in the carvings of Ogham script. In the 1200's this tradition was translated onto paper in such bardic writings as the Red Book of Hergest and the White Book of Rhydderch. These surviving legends were later compiled into a work called "The Mabinogion", or "The Four Branches of the Mabinogi".
Those of the next grade of Celtic priesthood were called Ovates, or seers. This level of study concerned the practice of magic, herbalism, healing, alchemy, divination and weather working. The highest grade of the Order was the Druid. This study was concerned with learning to communicate with the cosmic mental world and the Gods and the practice of "high magic" through application of Hermetic principles of physics to influence the events of the mortal world. They functioned as clergy, teachers, mediators and judges to their respected tribes.
More details of Celtic Deities and culture can be learned from
The History Net.
Information about the preservation of Celtic culture
is presented by the Clannada na Gadelica.
In 432 A.D., the Grand Council of Druids met for the last time at Stonehenge. The Archdruid, Agricola, had received a vision that the Old Wisdom Religion preserved by the Druids throughout the past three ages, must yield to the revelations and traditions of the Age of Pisces. He had traveled the Celtic trade routes of "the Rus" to Greece, and had found the teachings of the Greek Church to be in harmony with the basic tenets of the ancient Druidic traditions. His vision revealed that if they did not embrace the Christian faith in an alliance with the Greeks, they would at last be defeated by the growing might of the Holy Roman Empire. The Roman bishops would most assuredly order the destruction of all the Sacred Groves and stone circles of their Druidic past, just as they had desecrated all the ancient temples of Egypt.
A vast majority of the Druidic Council shared Agricola's vision, and disbanded the Council to re-form as the Orthodox Celtic Church. A young Druidic priest named Patrick was sent to Ireland, and a descendant of his mission has survived as The Church of the Culdees. There were also many conservative Druids who refused this new calling and continued their teachings and leadership among their respective tribes.
In later centuries, when the Roman Inquisition found the clergy of the Celtic Church guilty of heresy for their differing philosophical beliefs, the teachings of Druidic wisdom were preserved with the rites of secret societies such as the Freemasons. and "The Knights of the Star and Garter."
A briefly detailed account of CELTIC HISTORY
describes the conflicts between the Celtic tribes and the Roman Empire.
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In 1717, well after the darkness of the Inquisition had finally lifted, a few men and women resolved to bring the teachings and traditions to Light once again, forming "The Most Ancient Order of Druids" . Early leaders of this organization included the famous William Butler Yeats. Lewis Spence, Francis Bacon and Dr. John Dee were most likely Druids as well. In 1965 this order subdivided into two organizations. The largest schism became known as The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids. The other offshoot that developed from this group was The Ancient Order of Druids.
The Druidic tradition has found a resurgence in America with the dawning of the Aquarian Age of Knowledge.
After 432 AD, the Old Wisdom Religion no longer had the Druids to guide them, but many families and clans preserved the ancient teachings in what has come to be called the Old Religion, the"Wiccan" or "Wisdom" religion, also known as the Craft of the Wise, or "Witchcraft". A summary of their practices and laws was called THE WICCAN REDE.
The darkness of the Roman Inquisition has left a lingering shadow over this Natural Religion of the Celtic people. Roman derogatory terms that have left their mark in our language were references to the Highlanders of the Scottish heaths, (Heathens), and the mountain people of Italy who refused Roman civilization, the "Pagani", whose native name was later shortened to pagans.
The Archdruid Agricola had also shared another vision at the Last Council. He had seen that far across the Western Sea lay a great land mass, on which would be found the fabled Vale of Avalon, lying high in the mountains called Sacred. In the Golden Age of Knowledge, the spirit of Chiro, the Lord of Time, would return in the Golden Age of Knowledge to come. He saw that a Child of Druidism would arise to show the Pathway into the New Age, when all the ancient Wisdom would be recalled by the spirits of the Old Ones who would be reborn at that time.
The Age of Knowledge dawned over the center of the American continent at the Winter Solstice of 1971, as Jupiter, Mars and Venus moved into a conjunction in the sign of Scorpio, forming a brilliant star in the heavens during the early morning hours that Christmas Day. Three months later, astrologers watched in the dawning hours of the Equinox as the rising sun's rays touched the first stars of Aquarius. Since that time, the world has begun a transformation of ideas and goals. to share our Knowledge and Understandings in ways never before possible. The Internet abounds with spiritual, mystical and magical sites to provide Ways for New Age Pilgrims to begin their jouney of Enlightenment.
It has been said that the best way to know where you are going is to understand where you have been. This also applies to civilizations. The following pages contain a brief history of the Celtic people before and during the Christian Era. Perhaps the perspective of where we have been might provide a light for what path we should take in this New Age, as the Christian Era of Belief yields to the new Era of Knowledge in the Age of Aquarius.
For information about the Druidic Craft of Wisdom in the New Age, you may
THE MENTAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE .
For more information about numerous Druidic, Celtic, Pagan, Wiccan and other related sites, please check the CELTIC AND DRUIDIC LINKS.