Druid tra­di­tions

The Simple Things - - THINK -

Druids re­vere the nat­u­ral world above all else. Trees, par­tic­u­larly oaks (‘Druid’ is thought to have meant ‘knowl­edge of the oak’), are con­sid­ered sa­cred, and meet­ings are held in for­est groves. Druids be­lieve in the in­ter­con­nect­ed­ness of all life and in an af­ter­life. Some of their tra­di­tional be­liefs and rit­u­als are still around in al­tered forms:

The Yule Log Druids be­lieved that the sun stood still for 12 days at mid­win­ter, and so they burnt a log through­out this pe­riod to ban­ish the dark­ness and to keep evil spir­its at bay.

Mistle­toe The cream ber­ries of the mistle­toe in the depths of win­ter were seen as a sym­bol of life. Pliny the El­der records a moon­lit cer­e­mony in which a priest would cut the bough of mistle­toe with a golden sickle, and catch it in a white cloak.

Was­sail­ing This Twelfth Night tra­di­tion has Celtic roots and is up­held in druidry, of­fer­ing a gift of cider and baked ap­ples to fruit trees to en­sure the com­ing year’s boun­ti­ful har­vest (see is­sue 67).

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