Druidry: what was the secret of the Celtic Druids?

When we try to imagine a Celtic Druid, many of us picture an old man with an unkempt beard, dressed in strange robes and dancing in the forest.

As you will see in this article, the reality is quite different.

The word Druidry was used to describe a whole bunch of magical and religious practices formerly practiced by the Celtic peoples living in Gaul, the British Isles and Germany... but also not their descendants.

Indeed, few people know it, but the teachings of Druidism are still learned by some people in our society.

Contents :

Definition of Druidry

Characteristics of this pagan religion

Celtic Druidism of yesteryear...

…and today’s

Symbols of Druidry

Some objects of Celtic culture, clairvoyance cards and lucky jewelry

The power of a civilization

with Celtic symbols of strength and power

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Definition of Druidry

Describing precisely what Druidry is is actually quite a difficult task. Julius Caesar undermined Gallic culture and, as Romanization progressed, Celtic mythology gradually left the hearts of the tribes.

In addition, the Celtic Druids had the unfortunate habit (unfortunate for historians in any case) of relying only on oral transmission and tradition. They therefore do not have almost nothing is written, and the only tangible sources that specialists have are the testimonies that their enemies have been able to provide.

Whether we are talking about Christian monks or Roman authors, they all spoke about Druidism, it's true, but always with a particularly negative bias?

Technically, Druidry is the religion once taught by the Druids, that is, the Celtic clerics and intellectuals of around 2000-2500 years ago.

These men discovered many secrets about our world which they tried to transmit through tales, folklore, monuments... but also symbols.

It is precisely this last type of tradition that we are interested in in the part of our site dedicated to Celtic culture.

In short, this is a good starting point, but it does not tell us everything we need to know.

Concretely, Druidism is a religion based on the observation of nature, with particular emphasis placed on the analogies that we can make between it and man in his essence.

One of the greatest particularities of Druidism is the absolute prohibition of establishing an immutable dogma.

Thus, this spirituality was able to change and adapt over time or even from one region of Europe to another. Clearly, this is an advantage which prevented Druidism from getting bogged down in principles which risked being outdated one day or another.

However, this creates a real concern when it comes to defining the characteristics or even the beliefs that this philosophy followed several millennia ago.

Pagan monument of Celtic culture: Stonehenge.

Characteristics of this pagan religion

Even if the principles remain the same, certain branches of today's Druidry no longer have anything to do with that which our ancestors would have practiced. The menhirs are still standing and the Gallic warriors make us dream... but who still knows the Celtic language? Who can name ten Celtic gods?

By cross-checking the sources, archaeologists can, however, establish a basis of beliefs and affirm that, yes, the Celts undoubtedly adhered to them.

Here are the main ones.

The principle of Other World

The Other World is, in Celtic tradition, the place of supernatural existence of souls and spirits, where the forces of the world act freely without undergoing any physical constraint.

Obviously, this world is beyond the reach of our human senses and only a few wise people have been able to glimpse it during their lifetime.

Like a sort of Paradise, the Otherworld is where we are supposed to go when we die.

Certain druidic rituals also aim to visit this world, in particular through trances, very advanced meditations and certain potions.

Belief in reincarnation

Like many others before them, the Celtic Druids likely believed in a form of reincarnation.

Today, this term is overused by Eastern doctrines, notably those of Hinduism.

For the Celts, the soul did not continue a cycle, but rather came to incarnate on Earth by choice.

The nature of souls was, according to them, to exist in the Other World, they in fact only rarely chose to take the form of a man or an animal here on earth.

We will therefore not go into further detail. However, here is a very interesting book which talks about the Celts' vision of death.

Regardless, most modern Druids also believe in reincarnation, although the form may vary from one druid to another.

The sacredness of all life

The image we have of the Celtic Druid, close to nature, birds singing around him and flowers releasing all their scents as he passes, is not necessarily that far from reality.

Druidry is a philosophy that places primary importance on the sacredness of life.

For example, it is taught that to achieve high levels of vitality and energy, one must live in harmony with one's environment, showing respect and care for all life.

So, no matter what form it takes, life is absolutely sacred in Druidry.

Some sometimes draw a parallel with the anti-speciesist philosophy which advocates equality between men and animals.

In many respects, this comparison is not false.

Stone statue of a reflecting Celtic Druid

Celtic Druidism of yesteryear...

The first traces of Druidry as we think of it date from the beginning of the Iron Age, around 1200 BCE.

At this time, Celtic Druids formed an intellectual elite distinct from the rest of society.

Even if men were much more free or equal than today, the long apprenticeship of several years necessary to acquire knowledge made the druids a social class quite apart. (However, anyone clever and strong-willed enough could become a druid.)

In short, Druidism of the time dealt with spiritual matters, that's obvious, but not only that...

Indeed, these true intellectuals also took care of a whole bunch of tasks. We can notably cite:

  • Administrative management of the company
  • A role of judge and decision-maker of the laws
  • Advice to kings and rulers
  • Medicine (of bodies and souls)
  • Music and poetry

Clearly, the Celtic Druid occupied a prominent place in the society of the time.

If you want to learn more on the subject, here is a fairly detailed document dealing with the roles of the Druid in Celtic culture.

In many ways, he was even more influential than the clan or village chief.

We also know it well: certain druids sometimes decided on wars or could be convinced to make peace, while others created entire societies, deciding on their functioning and the laws which would govern the lives of men there.

In short, ancient Celtic Druidry was much more than a simple religion.

Several lucky charms linked to paganism and ancient religions

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…and today’s

Druidism is therefore a (very) old movement, with deep-rooted traditions and fascinating folklore. Obviously, such a trend can only be of interest, pushing thousands of men and women to look into it.

Thus, some still call themselves Druids today. In Ireland (where the Gaelic language is closest to the dialects of the past), but also in Brittany, Asturias and Wales, many people claim to be Druids.

As we said previously, this pagan faith does not, however, have an official dogma. We can therefore find an impressive quantity of movements which claim to be so.

In there, we inevitably find something to eat and drink.

While some “occult” movements will be closer to the New Age, others, much more moderate, will more closely resemble cultural associations aimed at promoting Celtic culture and identity.

If you want to learn more about these different movements, why not take a look at our collection of objects related to paganism. You will find symbols used by different neopagan groups.

In short, the relationship that these different groups have with the notion of the divine in particular can vary completely.

We can indeed find monotheists, animists, pantheists, and we are only citing a few examples. One thing is certain, these different approaches agree with great difficulty with the official Christian thought of the one God.

Thus, most of those who choose to join a druidic group necessarily turn away from the path of God. Additionally, many modern Druids turn to mystical practices, including some close to witchcraft.

Associated with the figure of the wild boar and the legends of the mistletoe and the oak can be a dream, but human sacrifices (extremely rare but having existed) are clearly more repulsive.

Drawing of a druid in a fantastic atmosphere, with signs of magic everywhere

Symbols of Druidry

Most world religions have their own unique symbols and lucky charms.

Christianity with the cross, Islam with the crescent and Hinduism with the om symbol.

Obviously, the same goes for Druidry.

However, the great freedom that followers of Druid philosophy have once again has a clear consequence: there is no symbol universally recognized as representing it.

Of course, there are some that are more associated with it than others and some that historians are certain were used for centuries.

However, as is often the case in Druidry, the subject of the symbols is surrounded by vagueness, a great veil of mystery.

Those that we are about to present to you were therefore selected by the unanimity above.

Vector drawing of the Celtic triskele

The triskele, even older than the Celts

The triskele is a symbol composed of three spirals originating from a central point and rotating counterclockwise.

Around 6000 years old (yes, that much), defining the precise meaning of the triskelion is impossible. Over time, many people have been able to give it different meanings. Finding the very first one, the “origins” is therefore a wasted effort. However, Celtic art remains the one that used it the most, by far.

However, we know that the meaning of this Celtic Druidic symbol has always been linked to its triple character, in particular the notions of:

  • Sky, earth and sea (the basis of Celtic cosmology)
  • Death, rebirth, life (an allusion to the Druidic belief in reincarnation)
  • Past, present, future (and therefore the inexorable march of time passing)

If the symbolism of the triskelion speaks to you, here is a simple necklace that many lovers of Celtic culture choose to wear.

Close-up of mistletoe berries hanging on a tree in a forest

Mistletoe, Druidic symbol of continuity of life

Numerous Roman writings tell us of the close link between mistletoe and Celtic Druidry.

In particular, certain scenes depict druids dressed in white robes, cutting mistletoe during rituals on full moon nights.

This image, notably conveyed by the famous comic strip Asterix and Panoramix, the druid on duty, is not that far from reality.

In fact, mistletoe is one of the only plants that continues to grow even in winter, a sort of relic of sight in the middle of a sleeping nature.

The message that mistletoe carries is therefore very profound, and the species can rightly be considered a Celtic symbol of good luck.

Image of an awen, a lucky symbol of the ancient Celts

The awen, recognized emblem of Druidism

No serious article talking about Druidism can ignore the symbol of the awen.

According to many modern Druids, the awen carries within itself a great power, the energy which once animated the first sages, pushed them to awaken and create.

Made up of three vertical bars each topped with a point, the awen is considered by many to be a great sign of inspiration in life.

For my part, I even see it as a real lucky charm. Often, when a person lacks energy in their daily life, I advise them to take an interest in the awen and, why not, to wear it in the form of a lucky charm.

In particular, we offer on our site this pendant decorated with the symbol of awen, which is very popular with our community.

Large oak tree in the middle of a clearing, under a sunset

The oak, king of our forests

The oak is an impressive tree that many people have considered sacred. However, there is no people who have devoted greater love to him than the Celts.

In Druidism, the oak is seen as the king of trees, the one which more than the others is linked to the magical forces which govern our world.

Branches were notably used during rituals supposed to offer strength to warriors and fertility to women.

Additionally, it was said that burning oak leaves purified the air, purging it of all forms of negativity.

You should know that the Celtic druid sometimes also played the role of sorcerer. It is undoubtedly under this label that he worked the most with oak, taking advantage of its powers to create remedies and spells.

To go further, here is an article that will teach you more about the deep meaning of oak for the Celts.

Lucky charm featured in this article

Triskele pendant

Triskele pendant

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Pendant with the symbol of awen

Pendant with the symbol of awen

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author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.