El Gorsedd del Jaguar

Foro de El Templo del Jaguar. Foro dedicado al estudio y difusión del druidismo en español.
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MensajeTema: Druids   Vie Feb 29, 2008 10:12 am


"Often when the combatants are ranged face to face,
and swords are drawn and spears bristling, these men
come between the armies and stay the battle, just as
wild beasts are sometimes held spellbound. Thus even
among the most savage barbarians anger yields to wisdom,
and Mars is shamed before the Muses."
Diodorus Siculus Histories c.8 BC
The reason we tend to visualise the Druid as an old man in our imagination is partly due, perhaps, to a realisation that by the time one has undertaken the training of Bard and Ovate one is bound to be ancient! If it took a dozen years to be a Bard, how much longer must it have taken to learn the skills of Ovate and Druid? We cannot be sure of the exact time it took, but Caesar mentions that it took twenty years to train as a Druid, although Stuart Piggott rightly points out that this could have been a figure of speech to denote a long duration of time, or that it might have actually been 19 years, since the Druids almost certainly used the Meton Cycle, a method of reckoning based on the nineteen year lunar cycle. It seems that whatever the period was, it included the earlier stages of Bardic and Ovate training.
If the Bard was the poet and musician, the preserver of lore, the inspirer and entertainer, and the Ovate was the doctor, detective, diviner and seer, what was the Druid? His functions, simply stated, were to act as advisor to kings and rulers, as judge, as teacher, and as an authority in matters of worship and ceremony. The picture this paints is of mature wisdom, of official position and privilege, and of roles which involved decision-making, direction and the imparting of knowledge.
We tend to think of the Druid as a sort of priest - but this is not borne out by the evidence. The classical texts never refer to them as priests, but as philosophers. At first this appears confusing since we know they presided at ceremonies, but if we understand that Druidry was a natural, earth or solar religion as opposed to a revealed religion, such as Christianity or Islam, we can see that they acted not as mediators between God and man, but as directors of ritual, as shamans guiding and containing the rites.
Druids as Philosophers

"Some say that the study of philosophy was of barbarian origin. For the Persians had their Magi, the Babylonians or the Assyrians the Chaldeans, the Indians their Gymnosophists, while the Kelts and the Galatae had seers called Druids and Semnotheoi."
Diogenes Laertius Lives of the Philosophers c.250AD
In examining the roles of the Druid as teacher and judge, king and advisor to kings, scientist and inventor, we must remember that behind each of these functions the Druid was at heart a philosopher. His or her concern was with the meaning and purpose of life on earth, and it was for this reason that Strabo wrote "...the Druids, in addition to natural philosophy, study also moral philosophy".
To divide their roles in the way we have done here, is for the sake of convenience only, for in reality the roles merged and combined, as we can see when Caesar tells us " They have many discussions as touching the stars and their movement, the size of the universe and of the earth, the order of nature, the strength and the powers of the immortal gods, and hand down their lore to the young men." Here we see them as scientists - as astronomers and mathematicians, as philosophers discussing the powers of the gods, and as teachers passing on their wisdom.
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