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Who or what are the Druids?

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What do they believe and what is their purpose in this time?

The Ancient Druids were at one, Judges, Kingmakers, Scientists, Magicians and Priests and their modern counterparts may be viewed likewise. The word itself (Druid) comes through both Brythonic tongues (Cornish and Welsh) meaning either knowledge of the Oak or Wizard, or Wise man.

Druidry itself is more of a philosophical viewpoint than a Dogmatic religious view, although it would be fair to say that many Druids view themselves also as Pagan Priests.

So what is a Pagan Priest and how does a Priest differ from the rank and file? To answer this question we have to first look at other belief systems and the way in which they differ betwixt believer and Priest, then look to the Pagan belief system to see how it differs.

The Druid or Pagan Priest in this context may be seen as the Celebrant and the believers, not as a congregation as is the case in most systems, but as Celebrants. It should be noted that Pagans tend to meet or congregate in circles – the importance being that they have no head, nor do they have beginning or end (rather like the Round Table). Thus, the circle mirrors the turning of the wheel, and the cycle of the seasons held in such reverence by the Pagan community

There are three basic grades or types of Druids.

The Bardic grade, which deals predominantly with teaching, poetic, artistic, and academic skills.

The Vate or Ovate grade that deals predominantly with the Intuitive and Magical skills.

And of course the Druid grade that deals also with Public ritual and Judgements.

There are many different Orders of Druids, both National and Local. Some prefer only to work within their own Sacred landscape, whilst others are equally at home in many different locations. Some Orders concentrate on the teaching side of Druidry, whilst others will concentrate on the Magical and Intuitive, and yet others, the Ritual. It is up to the individual as to which type of Druid Order they join, bearing in mind how he or she prefers to work.

Tradition has it that Druids, as opposed to other branches of the Pagan faith, work with the Sun and the Solar Festivals. This is because ...

"All we do. we do in the eye of the Sun and before and in the presence of the assembled congregation"

It is this Spirit of openness that has led to the spectacle of Public Ritual.

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