Druidic wisdom comes to us in the form of Triads:
- God is of necessity three things: the greatest part of life, the greatest part of science, and the greatest part of force; and of each thing there can be but one greatest part.
- Three things are continually increasing: fire, intelligence, and life; and these things will end by predominating over all others. Abred, the plane of material life and cyclic incarnation, will be destroyed.
- The three gifts of music: sleep, laughter, and tears.
- The Awen symbolizes in man the three Druidic virtues: courage, brotherhood, and selfless service.
The higher wisdoms are essentially one. This the ancients well knew. Dr. Inge’s studies in Christian mysticism show this as clearly. Clement of Alexandria testifies clearly that the venerable wisdom systems of this world were all given the same doctrines, whatever local variety of the rite: Prphic, Thracian, Osiriac, Isaic, Bacchic, Cabiric, Eleusinian, Adonaic, Mithraic, Essene, or Druidic.
This is not often something that people want to accept, but the world will always have these types of people and they are here to create balance. Every aspect of life must have a balancing counter part. Without both male and female, there could be no procreation for animal or plant alike; without positive and negative polarities, there would be no substance; without light there could only be darkness; on the same token, without evil there would be no good, and so on. This is partially why we are to remain impartial and not to judge those who we do not understand or agree with, due to the fact that everyone has a reason for existence and this includes those who are not socially or morally acceptable.
Many records of Celtic history and Mythology depict women in the Druidic society as equals to their male counterparts, which would give way to speculation that theirs’ was a socially advanced society. Celtic women did have much more freedom than that of the surrounding nations of their time. Apparently women could enter into battle, own properties, and most uncommon to other nations, divorce her husband.
Today there are Druidic Circles which are known as the sisterhood. These Circles are mostly made up of women Druids; however, men are allowed into the Circle. The Virtues of the Druidic Circle are the seven star points: Honor, Truth, Justice, Faith, Hope, Love, and Benevolence.
Druidic teachings taught that the Land was a living entity, aware and responsive to human activity, but quite inhuman in its nature and requirements. It was an ultimate reality before which the human consciousness of the tribe must bow in respect. When personalised she manifested herself as a Goddess whose favour must be won. Her consort the God, embodied all the concerns and ideals of the tribe at all its social levels and served as mediator between the human sphere and the inhuman sphere. Through sharing his identity with a human individual-the sacred King-he made possible a sacramental, cosmically binding marriage between a tribal member and the Goddess. As kin of the King, the entire tribe became kin of the Land, could settle in her embrace, derive sustenance from her body, but only for as long as they respected her person and did no violence to her.
This all important balance between the Tribe and the Land was just one example of interplay between God and Goddess, which embraced the whole universe. It was a marriage of time and space, change and permanence, activity and passivity and each facet of existence was in some measure a response to the shifting balance between those two polar principles. But in order for the balance to shift, to prevent the two equal powers from reaching a stalemate and thus ending creation, a third element had to be introduced, that would constantly upset the balance setting and keeping them in continual motion. This threefold pattern is the triad, expressed visually and verbally; the three in one, the trinity as understood by Druidic faith.
The reliance on kinship rather than social institutions as a source of authority and the strong individualism encouraged by the warrior class, made it impossible for the Free Celts to envisage anything like a centralised State. The whole pattern of the Celtic way of life tended to be centrifugous. The city of Rome elaborated a quite different philosophy of social institutions, one much more suited to the concentration of power. Instead of evaluating an individual by his personal qualities alone, the Romans gave an increasing importance to the fixed role he played in society, and to the title or label that defined that role. Society was no longer viewed as first and foremost a fluid range of interacting personalities, but as a rigid structure of interlocked titles roles, each title carrying its own appropriate authority regardless of the individual bearing it. The titled occupations became nodes of power in society and the whole State structure evolved into a vast machine for the amassing and preserving of power for its own sake, at the expense of any rival entities.
Sound familiar? Yes we still see this battle raging between those who believe in stamping authority, and those who believe in the autonomy of the individual to this day.
One voice cuts across the silence of those following years in particular. Just before the fall of the Roman Empire, the voice of a Celt was raised in warning. A celibate layman from Britain, Pelagius, appeared in Rome and proclaimed the belief still strongly held by the Celts. God’s creation, he proclaimed, was good, and the human nature, being part and parcel of that creation, was good also. Sin came from the imitation of bad example, and its effects could be reversed. He would have none of the dichotomies between humanity and nature, spirit or flesh, or the hierarchial oppositions of male and female, master and slave. All elements in creation were inter-connected and co-equal, and salvation came through the realisation of kinship with all humanity [we are all One].
This same eminently orthodox voice was silenced by the Church’s anathema, under pressure from the dying state. ‘Pelagianism’, a caricature of Pelagius’ true teaching was proclaimed a heresy, thus discouraging anyone from investigating it further. Now completely identified with the spirit of the vanished [Roman] State, the Church embarked on the arduous task of bringing all rulers into its fold. The Celts were now on their own, as one by one over the years, all came under control of the emerging [Roman] Catholic Church.
Down the ages to where we are now, you can still see these roots determining the psyche of the English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish nations, and especially in the Scottish where clan [kin relationship] took over from these early Druid/Celt ideals. The roots of the real sense of independence and unwillingness to be ruled and governed by anyone else are easy to see. The British have real mental struggles with authority imposed upon us, to this day and this is so ingrained, our notion of individuality and independence runs so deep that it also lies behind the political issues raging about our membership of Europe for example. A recent poll showed that 86% British people want to leave EU membership. Those very early ideas about individuality in faith; it being a matter of conscience between God and individual; underlie our entire history in social development, religion, politics, and our ideas about the relationship between State and individual. To this day, although accepting rule and State [largely by total disinterest], watch a bit of rebellion going on by “the people”, and you will see that same fire, that same spirit refusing to bend down before another, or submit their will. That “bulldog” spirit that is often ascribed to us [sometimes a strength, sometimes a weakness]; slow to rise but unstoppable when lit; is so ingrained from our historic roots that we barely know where it comes from anymore.