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The Holy Roman Empire

The Christian churches of Albion were founded by Joseph of Arimathea in 38 CE. He was the brother of Mary, mother of Jeshua/Chiro (Jesus/ Christ), and carried the teachings of his enlightened nephew to Britain during the Roman persecution following the crucifixion. Joseph found the basic concepts of the Druids to be very compatible with his religion, and was well accepted at Glastonbury, where he built his first church. Over the next few centuries its priesthood had expanded across Britain and Ireland.

A new wave of Power began with the reign of Constantine, who had converted to the Christian faith in 312. In the year 325 he presided over the Council of Nicaea in which a decree of religious freedom was imposed and creed was established to unite all the Roman Empire into a universal brotherhood with a common religious philosophy. This became the basis of the Catholic , or "Universal" Church of Rome.

The rapidly growing cult following of the teacher Jeshua of Nazareth provided the basis for this new "Universal" religion. The Greek churches taught that this teacher was the embodiment of the ancient teacher, Chiron, whose Wisdom inspired the early Mystery Schools of Hermes Trismegestus, Socrates and Plato. The name of Chiron took the Roman form of Christus, and Jeshua became "Jesus". The events of Jeshua's life were arranged to be synchronistic with the seasonal festivals celebrated by all the native cultures of the Empire so that the new religion could be acceptable to everyone.

The Winter Solstice (the birth of the Sun God) became the birth time of the Son of God, or Christ-mass. The Spring Equinox (the festival of the Renewal of Life) was the assigned time for the Resurrection of Chiro after his death. The names of tribal traditional gods were given new titles of Sainthood to give them a place in the new pantheon of Christian tradition. In 330 this enlightened ruler had moved the seat of power from Rome to the Greek city of Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey).

Within the following decades, the Churches began to grow in political power, and basic philosophical differences caused a widening schism between the leaders of the Church of Greece and the Church of Rome. The Roman bishops used their influence to gain political power, and the Emperor allowed them to mobilize troops to enforce their expansion of the New Roman Empire into the lands of the Celts. In 359 the Emperor Julian sought to check this growing power and abolished Christianity as the official religion of the Empire, reinstating pagan worship.

In 391 a new Emperor abolished paganism and restored the political influence of the Christian papacy. A leader of the Frank tribe, Arbogastes, was named Master General of the Roman army in Gaul after his warriors assisted General Stilicho in defeating the Goths, Alans and Huns. In 394 the Gothic tribes invaded Greece and Italy under the leadership of King Alaric. They were initially held back by the legions of Stilicho until the general’s death in 408. Then Alaric imposed a ransom on the city of Rome and placed a puppet Emperor Attalus on the throne while he completed his conquest of the Empire.

In 410 Alaric returned to Rome with his Visigoth and Alani warriors. Attalus stepped down from the throne and Alaric proceeded to sack the wealth of the city. It was a virtually bloodless conquest. The middle and lower classes of Rome had become so overtaxed by the expansion of the Empire that they had fallen into a general apathy toward the political leaders and the wealthy class, who were exempt from most taxation. The Celtic warriors of the Visigoth tribe rode through the city unopposed and the Senators and Roman Elite fled across the Mediterranean Sea to the Roman cities in Greece and Egypt for sanctuary. The Celtic king and his Druids now controlled the center of Roman power.

In Egypt, the powerful bishop Augustine rallied the local Christians to attack the beautiful pyramids and temples of the Pharaohs to remove all threat of pagan influences in his portion of the Empire. The priesthood of the temples was slaughtered and their scrolls and religious articles destroyed, removing all traces of the ancient wisdom that had guided the Egyptians to their rise in power during the Taurean Age.

Augustine is credited for introducing the concept of "Original Sin" into Christian doctrine. His premise was that all people were basically evil by nature due to the fall of Adam. Only through the intercession of the Priesthood could they be granted a promise of heaven. Like wayward children, people must pay penance for their sins, and thus learn Obedience to their spiritual Father. This concept provided a controlling power over the people and produced a wealth of income for the Priesthood through the penance that must be paid for this intercession. This became the base of power for the new Holy Roman Empire as it sought to reclaim all the ancient lands of Rome in the name of God.

Augustine had one outspoken opponent in this new bid for power. He was a monk from the Celtic Church named Pelagius. He disagreed with the new concept of "Original Sin", arguing that people were really good by nature, and that only through greed, lust, and other worldly desires did they fall into evil ways. Pelagius taught that we are all Children of God, and capable of communicating directly with our Spiritual Father. He believed that the role of the Priesthood should be that of teachers, guiding the people to seek the righteous ways of living as taught by Chiro, and avoiding the things that lead to hatred and despair. By overcoming the fetters of the mortal world, one could thus find true spiritual freedom. This Druidic approach to Christianity gained a large following among the citizens of Rome.

After the fall of Rome to the Visigoths, Augustine, the bishop of Hippo in Egypt, accused Pelagius of destroying the moral fabric of the Roman citizenry with his "freethinking" religion, and accused him of heresy for his teachings. Caelestius, a lawyer of noble Italian descent, gave his full backing to the teachings of Pelagius. Together they traveled the perimeter of the Mediterranean Sea refuting the arguments of Augustine.

They first sailed to Egypt in the year 410, after the sacking of Rome. Here they found a warm welcome for these teachings among the Gnostics and other more liberal factions within the diocese of Hippo. The debate between these two factions of the Roman Church was heard in many cities around the Mediterranean for the next several years. In 418 CE Augustine persuaded the Council of Bishops to have Pelagius excommunicated and his teachings banned as Heresy. Pelagius then returned to his native Britain.

The priesthood of the Celtic Church agreed with the stand taken by Pelagius and made him most welcome in his return. No Roman forces were present to enforce the edicts issued by Augustine, since all the legions of soldiers were recalled to Constantinople after the fall of Rome in 410. Augustine then began a campaign against the Pelagian Heresy, sending his militant bishops throughout Gaul, Greece and Britain to seek out any heretics who disagreed with the new edicts of Rome. This only renewed the enmity held by the Greeks and Celts toward the Roman Empire. Pope Gregory attempted to mend the growing rifts in the Christian Church and ordered Augustine to cease his interference in the Greek and Celtic Churches. But the Bishop of Hippo had a strong following in Gaul and continued his campaign against the Celtic stronghold that had given sanctuary to his enemy, Pelagius.

The tribes of Gaul had already fallen to the New Roman Empire and were being prepared to enforce the Christian Faith among their neighboring tribes. Agricola, the Bishop of Britain, traveled the Celtic trade routes of "the Rus" to Greece to discuss how the Churches might strengthen their bonds and remain independent of the Holy Roman Empire. The Bishop of Britain also served as Archdruid to the Druidic Council of Britain and proposed a means that this ancient priesthood of Wisdom might reinforce their cause. The Greek diocese had not accepted the new doctrines of the Augustine and vowed to oppose the rising power of the Roman bishop. If the Druidic priesthood could accept the vows of Christianity, the Greek Orthodox priesthood offered their blessings to support the their addition to the Celtic Orthodox diocese. Thus did the Celtic and Greek Churches form an alliance against Roman political advances.

In 432 CE, the Grand Council of Druids met for the last time at Stonehenge. In the course of the ceremonial meeting, Agricola shared a vision that had guided his path for the past years. He had seen that Christianity was the true religion for the Age of the Pisces. His vision revealed that the Holy Roman Empire would soon threaten the shores of Britain. If they embraced the Christian faith in an alliance with the Greeks, the Celtic people could check the growing power of the 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. By cloaking their teachings of Wisdom in the mantle of Christian tradition for the remainder of the Piscean Age, they could prevent the Roman power from completely destroying all records of the ancient Druidic wisdom.

A vast majority of the Druidic Council shared Agricola's vision, and the Grand Council officially dissolved to re-form as the Orthodox Celtic Church. A young priest named Patrick, who had once been a slave to the Druid of the Irish King Leogaire, was sent to Ireland to bring this new message to the Land of Eire. A descendant of his mission has survived as The Church of the Culdees.

Agricola also shared yet another vision with the Council. He had been shown that across the Western Sea there lay a great land mass wherein lay the Sacred Vale of Avalon, high in the mountains called Sacred. This would be the place for the next dispensation of Chiro in the Age of Aquarius, when a child of Druidism would arise to guide the Wisdom of this Age of Knowledge. Agricola called upon a party of twelve young Druids, one of each astrological sign, to sail westward and find this land. An additional Druid was chosen to lead the party. Their mission was to seek out the Vale of Avalon and plant the seeds of Druidic wisdom among the people of that land.

The results of that mission may have been lost to the destructions of the Dark Ages, but there are legends among all the tribes of Native Americans telling of men with pale skin who brought a message of peace and brotherhood to their ancestors in the distant past. The Toltecs, Mayans and Incas all tell of a powerful wise man with pale skin who led them to a time of peace and prosperity in the Fifth Century. They called him Quetzalcoatl and Kukulcan, both meaning "the Feathered Serpent". Irish legends also tell of a St. Brendan who sailed across the sea to visit a land far to the west.

There were many conservative Druids who refused this new calling to join the priesthood of the Christian Church. These vowed to continue their ancient teachings and Druidic leadership among their respective tribes. Thus the Old Wisdom Religion was preserved among the heaths and highlands. A millennium later the Craft of Wisdom, or "Wicca Crafte", was declared a heresy during the Inquisition. Many clergy of the Celtic Church were also persecuted for continued support of the Pelagian Heresy.

The Druidic Celts of Europe continued their battle against Roman forces and civilization. As the Visigoths under King Alaric marched on Rome, the Goths, Vandals and Franks attacked the Roman strongholds of Gaul. In 419 Rome ceded the southwest portion of Gaul and northern Italy to the conquering Visigoths. In 428 the Vandals crossed the Mediterranean and began a conquest of North Africa.

In 434 a new threat appeared from the East as Attila the Hun and his army of Mongolian warriors swept across Europe, laying claim to all the lands of Central Europe to the lower Danube. Many of the Celtic warriors were occupied in the battles with Rome, leaving the northern tribes virtually unprotected against this new invader. Attila was called "The Scourge of God" because of the fierceness and cruelty of his conquests. All Celtic tribes subdued by the Huns were forced to pay tribute, making Attila the most powerful leader in Central Europe. The Huns then turned south and ravaged Greece, laying siege to Constantinople until the weak Roman Emperor paid a high ransom. His armies then turned westward, pillaging cities and spreading terror throughout the outer provinces of the failing Roman Empire.

Celts and Romans suddenly became allies, united against this new threat to them both. This united force met Attila at Orleans in Gaul, where the Huns had laid siege to the city. They drove the Mongols back and finally defeated them at Chalons in 451. The Huns attacked northern Italy the following year and attempted to take Rome until his army became plagued by disease and shortage of supplies. With a plea from Pope Leo I, Attila turned back his forces and died a short time later in 453. The Hun empire then collapsed.

With the Roman Empire weakened by the ravages of the Huns, Italy was overrun by tribes of Gaiseric and Vandals in 455. A Danubian federation of warriors under Odovacar followed in their wake and deposed the last of the western Emperors in 476. In 493 a force of Visigoths rode into Italy and Odovacar was killed in battle by Theodoric, who founded a new Visigoth kingdom in Italy, which soon expanded into the south of Spain.

The remainder of Gaul was claimed by the Clovis, king of the Franks. He was the son of Childeric, and grandson of Merovee, for whom the Merovingian dynasty is named. Clovis married a Burgundy princess of Celtic Orthodox faith. In 486 he banded together a confederation of Frank tribes and defeated Syagrius, last of the Roman governors in western Europe. In 496 Clovis was converted and baptized in the Christian faith. This gave him a base of support from the papacy in Rome for the Frankish kings. In 507 Clovis slew the Visigoth king, Alaric II, bringing the Visigoths of Gaul under Frank rule.

Thus, by the middle of the Seventh Century CE most of the Celtic tribes had been forced to accept an Obedience to Christian doctrine through the expansion of the Holy Roman Empire. The Belief system of the Piscean Age had become integrated into all the known world west of the Himalayan mountains and it was time for the second phase of the Age to begin.