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This nOde last updated September 19th, 2003 and is permanently morphing...
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druid also Druid (dr¡´îd)
A member of an order of priests in ancient Gaul and Britain who appear in Welsh and Irish legend as prophets and sorcerers.
[From Latin druidês,
druids, of Celtic origin.]
- druid´ic (dr¡-îd´îk) or druid´ical (-î-kel) adjective
- druid´ically adverb
- dru´idism noun
Druidism, religious faith of ancient Celtic inhabitants of Gaul and the British Isles from the 2nd century BC until the 2nd century AD. In parts of Britain that the Romans did not invade, Druidism survived until it was supplanted by christianity two or three centuries later. The ancient accounts assert that the functions of priests, religious teachers, judges, and civil administrators were performed by male Druids. They were assisted by females, who did not enjoy the powers and privileges of the Druids. The Druids were well versed in astrology, magic, and the powers of plants and animals. The Druids led their people in resisting the Roman invasions, but their power was weakened by the rebelliousness of the Gallic warriors, who were envious of the Druids' political authority.
Anglesey or Anglesea
An island of northwest Wales in the Irish Sea. It has druidic ruins, especially dolmens, and is said to have been the last refuge of the druids from the invading Romans.
Halloween, name applied to the evening of October 31, which precedes the christian feast of All Saints' Day. Halloween traditions are thought to have originated among ancient Druids, who believed that evil spirits were active on that evening. Ancient Celts observed Halloween as the last evening of the year and believed that during it the spirits of the dead revisited their earthly homes. After the Romans conquered ancient Britain about 55 BC, they added features of a Roman harvest festival to Halloween. The concept of ghosts and witches is still common to all Halloween observances.
Finn Mac Cumhail
Finn Mac Cumhail or Maccool, legendary Irish hero, a chieftain and bard of the 2nd or 3rd century AD. According to legend he was the descendant of a druid, was raised in a forest, and led a band of warrior-poets called the Fenians. Finn's exploits are the subjects of the Fenian Cycle of poems, the earliest version of which dates from the 8th century.
Druids are characterized in Dungeons & Dragons as holy folk who commune with fauna, concern themselves with the balance of nature, and are just as likely to be found slogging through lightless dungeons gutting kolbolds as anyone else in the world of Greyhawk. This satisfies the gamer's need for a character with an interesting backstory, but one which nevertheless doesn't get in the way of the usual blood-for-gold-pieces marketplace of a standard adventure module. But they do have interesting spells which use vines and things.
At dawn on the Summer Solstice of 1914 (the beginning of World War I) Dr. George Watson MacGregor-Reid was head of the Druid Order. Although he had previously stood for Parliament as one of the first Labour Party candidates, he was also an advanced Magickian. It is frequently cited that the Sect of the Druids were responsible for conducting human-sacrifices, but this fact pales into insignificance when in the same year a huge, mad, ritualistic blood sacrifice swept Europe. Dr. MacGregor-Reid, the `Anointed Chosen Chief`, sternly defended the tradition of a Druidic ceremonial rite at Stonehenge on Midsummer morning, and declined all requests by the authorities to desist in carrying out the ancient ceremony. He was then forcibly ejected from the sacred site (as have many others since). It can be clearly seen from the photo provided that Dr. MacGregor-Reid wore a sigil of a Swastika whilst at Stonehenge (due to it`s solar aspects and in no way connected to it`s later Occult use as adopted by the Nazis). Dr. MacGregor-Reid is in fact the great-uncle of anarchist artist Jamie Reid. Jamie Reid, punk plagiarist and arch anarchist artist designed the popular punk band The Sex Pistols graphics and produced the original _Anarchy in the U.K._ artwork. In his autobiography _UP THEY RISE: The Incomplete Works Of Jamie Reid_ his poignant picture of Parliamentary power incorporates potent imagery of Swastikas instead of a clock-face on Albert Tower. (This artwork has also appeared on the back-cover of _VAGUE_ #21 and the front-cover of Heartbreak Hotel #4). Perhaps, this is an unintentional subconsciously inherited aspect of his ancestor`s past coming back to haunt him as prophecy?
The more mystical Ancient Order of Druids also continued through the 19th century and into the 20th, claiming among its many members Winston Churchill (1874-1965), who was initiated into the Albion Lodge at Oxford.