DRUIDS…Who were they?
My paranormal romance novel, Protect Her, released by Soul Mate Publishing, is the first novel in The Druid’s Curse Series.
In it, Lailoken, is a Druid High Priest and all-around bad guy. I’ve taken the following research and melded it into a series of fated love, curses, Druids, and witches.
Who were the Druids?
The Druids were ancient peoples during the Iron Age (roughly 12th century BC until the time of the Roman Empire… 27 BC until about 500 AD) from Gaul, Galicia, Ireland, and Britain. They were an educated class of a religious order that included ancient lawyers, poets, doctors and other learned professions.
***Not one single artifact or image has been discovered regarding the Druids. What we know of them has been surmised through ancient text written by others. The earliest known text written about the Druids dates to 200 BC.***
What did the Druids believe in?
The Druids were mainly a religious order who practiced Druidism, which was a nature-based religion. Within Druidism there were three specialties.
The Bards: The Druids never penned anything. All their knowledge was learned and passed on by oral tradition. According to some, Bards trained for upwards of 20 years memorizing the hundreds of stories, poems, genealogical lines, and philosophy.
The Ovates: These Druids specialized in death and regeneration. The Druids believed in reincarnation. They believed upon death the soul went to The Otherworld where it waited to be born into another human or animal. The Ovates also specialized in healing, conversing with the ancestors, divination, and telling the future.
The Druids: The Druids were the priests, teachers, astronomers, ambassadors and conductors of rituals.
What were some of the Druid’s practices?
Julius Ceasar described the Druids as being concerned with “divine worship, the due performance of sacrifices, private or public, and the interpretation of ritual questions.” Ceasar claimed their main teaching was “the souls do not perish, but after death pass from one to another.” He also said, “the stars and their movements, the size of the cosmos and the earth, the world of nature, and the powers of deities.”
Caesar also wrote that the Druids were “administrators” of human sacrifice. He states that criminals were usually used as the sacrifice, and that the method was through burning in a wicker man.
I couldn’t write a story about Druid’s without using this visual, now could I?
The Druids were prophets and Diodorus Siculus states that for a sacrifice to be acceptable to the Celtic Gods, it had to be performed by a Druid.
“The men predict the future by observing the flight and calls of birds and by the sacrifice of holy animals: all orders of society are in their power…and in very important matters they prepare a human victim, plunging a dagger into his chest; by observing the way his limbs convulse as he falls and the gushing of his blood, they are able to read the future.”
It has been surmised that the Druid’s practiced their rituals within ancient stone circles. Though the stone circles, such as Stonehenge, have been around much longer than the Druids.
They were also known to have performed their rituals in ancient groves in a circle of one of the nine sacred trees such as oaks, ash, willow, hawthorn, holly, alder, birch, hazel, and rowans.
Does Protect Her have a stone circle? You bet.
The Celts first Hippies?
The Druids, in search of enlightenment, would partake of magic mushrooms. The fly Agaric is one such mushroom. It has been said the Druid would fast for 3 days prior to ingestion. His urine (which would be mostly water and the hallucinogenic components of the mushroom) would then be drunk by others.
The body absorbs the fly agaric’s hallucinogens first, and then expels the toxins from the stomach. The hallucinogenic chemicals then exert their influence on the body and are expelled unaltered in the urine.
Magic Mushrooms…of course.
Samhain- November 1. This is the time of year when the veil between The Otherworld is most easily penetrated.
Winter Solstice- December 21( usually). The shortest day of the year.
Imbolic– February 1. This is the time marked by the return of light, when the first stirrings of life were noticeable. It is associated with the goddess Brighid who was later Christianized to Saint Brighid. She was thought to visit households onImbolic and was related to fertility.
Beltain– May 1. The celebrations of The Fires of Bel. This would mark the beginning of the growing season.
Typically a bonfire was lit on top of a hill. The flames, ashes and smoke had protective powers. The ritual would include running around the fire and driving the cattle through or over it to ensure protection from evil and disease.
Summer Solstice- June 21 (usually). The longest day of the year.
The Summer Solstice plays a huge roll in Protect Her.
Lughnasad– August 1. The feast of Lugh (the god of light). This was the time for celebration of the harvest. Religious ceremonies, matchmaking and athletic contests were usually involved.
The Triskelion: An ancient symbol found on many ancient stones including the entrance to Newgrange.
Its ancient meaning is thought to be each of the triple spirals represents: Birth, death and rebirth. After Christianity came to the lands it took on the meaning of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost.
Yup, you guessed it. I use the triskelion in Protect Her.
Downfall of the Druids:
When Christianity came to the lands it was the beginning of the end for the Druids. Their role in Celtic society began to be relegated to that of a sorcerer. One who practiced healing magic and cast spells. Their once high esteem declined steadily.
In the Gallic Wars of 58- 51BC, Julius Ceasar, conquered many chiefdoms of Gaul and annexed it as part of the Roman Empire. Many laws were subsequently passed banning Druidism from being practiced.
So, with new laws and a new religion (Christianity) taking over the lands of the Celts, the Druids were lost and disappeared from the lands and almost nearly from history.
Or did they? Read Protect Her and find out.
As I said, all that we know of the Druids comes from the writings of others. Some scholars believe the Druids took part in human sacrifice while others vehemently deny this. I’ll leave this up to you to decide.
This article only touches on some of the practices and beliefs of these ancient peoples who are no longer with us. Though there has been resurgence in Druidism in modern times, there is no proof that any of these ‘new Druids’ retain the blood of those ancient bad boys.
I’ve done much research on the subject and hope this helps anyone with an interest in Druids. If you’d like to see my spin on Druids, be sure to check out Protect Her.
The Druid’s Curse, Book 1
By Sophia Kimble
Print Length: 260 pages
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Golden Alexander is trapped in a nightmare.
Trying to flee her hallucination of a demon, she runs heart first into the brooding alpha male she’s been dreaming about for years, and then her nightmare really begins.
Kris Pietka is done with women…he’s broken. But when he meets Golden, an overwhelming need to protect her tests everything he thought he knew about himself, and the paranormal.
A bond forged centuries ago thrusts them together as they search for a way to break an ancient Druid curse prophesying their demise. Racing against the clock, they travel from Vermont, to the Carpathian Mountains in Poland, and the Scottish Highlands in search of answers and a way to break the curse.
But something evil watches—it covets, and time is running out.
Will fate allow love to prevail against unbeatable odds, or will Golden wake to find it was all a delusion?
Available at Amazon
The side door to the house opened behind her.
“Matka? Dzien dobry? Ma? Hello?”
The deep male voice filled the kitchen. Filled her. Her muscles tightened, her arms vibrated like she’d been doing yard work for the last hour and had just turned off the weed whacker.
Mary raised an eyebrow in her direction before looking past her to the door. “Kris, proszę meet Golden. Come, come.”
Heavy boots sounded on the wooden steps. The loud thumping stopped as if in mid-step and an invisible electric current slammed into her back. Heat spread through her and settled in her belly.
“Matka, what’s going on here?”
“Golden is your Babci’s new caregiver.” Mary enunciated as if she were speaking to a five-year-old. “I told you last week she answered the ad and was coming today. She’ll be starting on Monday.”
Mary glared at Kris and then turned to Golden with an apologetic smile on her face. Kris moved around the table and stood next to his mother.
Her mouth fell open.
He narrowed his piercing blue eyes at her, and a lock of sandy brown hair fell from behind his ear.
He looked exactly like the man she’d been dreaming of for years.
The once cozy kitchen felt tiny. Airless. Too hot. Using the table as a lever, Golden forced herself to stand and shot a glance in Mary’s direction, worried she was hallucinating her dream man and looked delusional. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d acted crazy. Okay, Mary didn’t act like her new employee was tripping her ass off. Good to know.
Words in a language she didn’t understand flew out of his mouth, his unfriendly gaze fixed on her. Wow, angry much? He was obviously talking about her in a not so nice way, which pissed her off. Combined with her confusion, she was a hot mess. And all the while her emotions were ping ponging, her body pulsed, begging for this jerkoff to touch her.
His brows furrowed, and he ranted as though she weren’t in the room. Rude. New plan. She’d figure out how she’d dreamt of him later. First, she wanted to know what he had against her and why she reacted to the jerk like he’d brought her a dozen roses while hanging out the sunroof of a limo.
Mary cut him off with a single word. “Dosyć!” She closed her eyes and whispered, “Enough.”
Kris sucked in a breath, and without another word, pivoted on his heel and walked deeper into the house.
What was wrong with him? Ever hear of anger management classes? And what was wrong with her Benedict Arnold body? Pick an emotion and stick to it. Anger, that’s what was called for here. Not, gee you’re hot, I’ve been dreaming of you for years. Want to hook up?
Figures, the one guy that finally made her wake up and say hell yes was a total turd.
About Sophia Kimble
Sophia Kimble has always wanted to be an author, but for years, life got in the way. She wouldn’t change a thing about how her life turned out, though. Her family keeps her laughing and loving. Her wonderful husband and two extraordinary children stand beside her every step of the way and make this journey called life worth living.
Sophia has worked as a nurse for twenty years, but has put that career path aside to devote her time and imagination to writing down the stories that keep her up nights.
She takes her love of the paranormal, history, and genealogy, and weaves them into tales of family, fated love, and supernatural occurrences.
Connect with Sophia at the following sites:
Twitter: @SophiaKimble https://twitter.com/SophiaKimble