I am presenting this text as I received
it, except for formatting, very mild editing, and a few [bracketed
comments]. So readers should not assume that the level of scholarship
in this is of the same standard as that elsewhere on this site.
To put it more bluntly, this text is filled with historical,
logical, and polytheological errors! You may wish to consult
my essay, A Very Brief History of Mesopagan
Druidism, for historical context.
The aim of the Druid is to establish a group
who by companionship, and unity shall reach a greater understanding
of the powers latent within us.
Druids are not at any time bound to accept
any specific religious beliefs, or political views, as every
member has a right to his or her own views and can express them
The Druids existed from a remote past as a
powerful and influential brotherhood. What the date of foundation
of this brotherhood was, if it was ever founded
in the ordinary sense, none can tell.
But this we know, that all arcane wisdom ultimately
derives from one source the Divine Light. This Wisdom
had its earliest homes in the Island Continents, Atlantis and
Lemuria, that have now vanished beneath the waves. But before
the series of catastrophies was completed the Ancient Wisdom
was brought to other parts of the world, and so in this manner
arose the Mystery Schools of Egypt, Chaldea, Greece, the Druid
Mysteries of Great Britain and Gaul, the Hebrew Qabbalah and
the Esoteric Wisdom of the Chinese, Hindus, Teutons and Scandinavians,
Persians, Alchemists, Rosicrucians and others.
The Druids called themselves Kymry, Equal
in honour (though not in privilege)
for that is one of our principles. In our Groves
as they are called, there are officers; but this
is for functional purposes only, it does not indicate that one
is of greater importance than another.
Ancient British tradition states that Hu Gadarn
[a Welsh deity?] was the leader of the first colony of the Kymry
in these islands, and that he established the Ancient Druid system
wherever he went. His successor, Aed Mawr [the similarly pronounced
Aed Mor in Irish would be Great Fire, or a
suitable title for the Dagda] who is said to have flourished
about 1000 BC is the reputed founder of the Druid Order in Britain,
in the form that we know it today.
At that time the seats of the three Arch Druids
of Britain were at London, York and Caerleon. There were also
thirty-one other seats of learning which were the capitals of
the various chiefs, and many of. them are now county towns.
It is said [by whom, exactly?] that at one
time no less than 60,000 people attended these seats of learning
for instruction, including many of the nobility of Great Britain,
Gaul, and indeed farther afield.
After the introduction of Christianity into
these islands, the Christian priesthood was very largely in Druid
hands. There is nothing incompatible in the two systems for Druidry,
though religious, is not strictly speaking a religion, but a
system of mystical science and philosophy.
In this connection it may be remarked that
ministers and priests of various faiths, including the Obedience
of the Church of England, are members of the Order. Historians
have often been puzzled by the ancient sect of the Culdees in
these islands, who lived in communities. These were actually
men who were both Christians and Druids.
After the coming of the Christian missions
from Rome headed by Augustine, the Druids and the Keltic Christian
church in these islands were persecuted; and the Druids were
prohibited from officiating as Christian priests, in order that
the power of Rome might be established throughout the land and
Nevertheless the Druid tradition was never
lost, though often endangered; and its continuity can be traced
back from those times right down to the present day, the line
of succession unbroken. [Where have we heard that before?]
It is preserved publicly in the ancient writings
of the Bards, in Keltic mythology, (which, of course, must be
interpreted in its occult sense like the Bible or the Book of
the Dead), and it is also preserved in oral tradition.
The oral tradition is largely confined to
Companions of the Order and it contains the Initiation Rites
and Ceremonies, as well as a great deal of the occult philosophy
of the Order.
The Druids are mystics; that is to say that
they are partakers of the One Primitive and Universal Source
of Wisdom which forms the basis of whatever is true in the worlds
great exoteric religions.
It means that Druids, like other mystical
brotherhoods, have that breadth of outlook which overleaps the
narrow boundaries of a creed.
It means they teach the art of developing
the Inner Self the Giant
within as the Rosicrucians put it;
that Self which is in touch with the Central Sun of the Cosmos,
and is the motive power, of which the physical brain and body
are but the tools.
For the Druid, like every other mystic, knows
that tremendous forces and potentialities lie dormant in man.
These may be awakened, but first the individual must be trained
and tested to make sure that he will not use such powers unwisely,
to his own detriment as well as that of others.
It is for this very reason to guard against
the unenlightened or irresponsible use of power, that throughout
the ages every Temple and every Brotherhood has kept its mysteries
secret. Were men everywhere virtuous, there would be little need
for such secrecy. Thus is the secrecy, in a sense, a judgement
on the world at large.
On.the purely exoteric side, the Druids aim
to inculcate the virtues of courage, selfless service to others
and of true brotherhood as expressed in the ideal of the Universal
Bond of which the Druid Order is the European representative.
They aim to make men happy, free, and useful.
The Ancient Druids took their religion everywhere
and into everything. They brought it into intimate relation with
their daily life and character. It was to them a way of life
rather than an adornment, as it seems today.
They taught that earth is of permanent duration
and although subject to periodic changes, even of a violent nature,
it would never be completely destroyed. These transformations
are brought about by a conflict of the elements. At one time
water would be predominant, at another time it would be fire,
and so on.
This equates with the teachings of the ancient
Maya, who held that one aeon would terminate with destruction
by Fire, another by Earthquake, another by hurricane, and another
by inundation; in short a Fire Age, an Earth Age, an Air Age,
and a Water Age. Students of mystical literature will here be
reminded of the nineteenth verse of the third chapter of the
second Book of Esdras: And thy glory
went through four gates, of fire, of earthquake, of wind, and
They taught that the present universe came
into being through the activity between two distinct principles,
one intelligent and omnipotent, which was God; the other, inactive
and inanimate, which was matter. This reminds us of the Rajas
and Tamas of the Hindus, Rajas signifying activity and Tamas
The ancient Druids held that the whole of
animated creation originated in the lowest point of existence.
They said, Spirit sleeps in the
mineral, breathes in the vegetable, dreams in the animal, and
wakes in man. They taught that in
man good and evil are equally balanced, consequently he is in
a state of liberty, but as long as man allowed evil to have the
ascendancy over good, he would be subject to a time of test and
trial. But God is for ever working changes that will bring each
man to his destined state of felicity. If he fall the way is
always open for him to rise again.
They taught that no finite being could endure
eternity in any one unchanged condition, consequently he was
destined to rise to a higher and higher state, without losing
his identity or his memory. Such an evolved soul might conceivably
return to earth, but is unlikely to fall again. And they held
that such great souls do return to earth in every age as teachers,
and it was considered the greatest imaginable blessing that could
be bestowed upon the humanity of any age.
The Druids taught that there were three circles
of existence: the Circle of the Great All-Enclosing which holds
nothing but God, who is spirit. The Circle of Felicity, which
man has to traverse after having passed through the terrestrial
changes, and the Circle of Evil in which human nature passed
through the varying changes of existence before being qualified
to traverse the Circle of Felicity.
Brevity of statement in a terse, laconic style,
characterized all the teachings of a psychological or metaphysical
nature attributed to the Druids which have come down to us.
The Druids saw a symbol of the Divine Name,
known as the Awen
in the rays of the sun at the Solstices and Equinoxes,
and in building a Gorsedd or a Stone Circle, they placed three
stones outside, in such a manner that the rays of the sun passed
between them to a central stone.
So they consecrated their temples as symbols
of the Divine Name, and, in enunciating their teachings from
this central stones of speech
in the face of the sun and in the Eye of Light
they believed that they were publicly declaring the existence
of God, and proclaiming the Nature of the Most High.
The three bars of light are also called the
Three Columns of Truth, for nothing can be known of the Truth
save by the Light that is shed on it.
From these three spring every righteousness,
so they are also called the Three Columns of Knowledge, and without
these three no righteousness is possible.
This sign was regarded as the first letter
of the alphabet, and the ultimate principle of human knowledge,
enfolding within itself all the literature and philosophy of
the Ancient Druids. However, it was capable of being analysed,
dissected and rearranged to stand for particular aspects of truth.
Thus it was later expanded into ten letters
of the original Druid alphabet. By certain arrangements of pairs
of these letters, the seven degrees of The Druid Order
four degrees of the Outer Order and three of the degrees of the
Inner Order are designated.
It also represents the Creative Vibrations,
like the Sacred Tetragrammaton Yod,
in the Bible as Jehovah) of the Hebrews and Qabalists, or like
the Aum of
the Egyptians and Indians. It was commonly believed that in the
immeasurably distant past God uttered His Own Name, whereupon
all creation sprang instantly into existence, and repeated the
Name three times softly and melodiously.
There is but one fountain of knowledge but
one road to that fountain, but one means of drawing from it.
Whoever has found that road and rightly laboured in the application
of the means to draw from that fountain has been a wise man,
and he who has not found that road has passed through life without
the human attribute of knowledge and his cerebral excitements
have produced naught but folly. To know that fountain and its
products is the labour of the Druid.