The Ancient and Modern English Druids

Some time ago, a very long time ago in fact, Druids crossed from Wales to England to share their belief in the immortality of the soul. Their aristocratic nature impressed the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar when they welcomed him to the shores of England. He noted a link between their beliefs and the Buddhist principle of reincarnation.

The Role of Druids in English Folklore

The Druids believed the pDruids_Temple_near_Ilton._-_geograph.org.uk_-_427urpose of education was to prepare people for their spiritual path. Accordingly, the tribes regarded them as wise. Ancient English kings retained them as their advisors. Indeed, their roles were similar to those of shamans in African, North American, and Asian communities.

The English Church and Role of Druids

Druids believed their faith was universal. They adapted as easily to the arrival of Christian missionaries, as they accepted Julius Caesar’s Roman gods. However, when the boundaries between the English Church and government began to blur, some Bishops saw them as a threat to their political power.

They vilified the English Druids, blaming them for droughts and floods. They accused them of being witches belonging to the devil and of performing human sacrifices. In those days, many Druids died for their beliefs as the people rose up against them. However, their faith lived on in isolated parts of England, and in remote valleys and secret caves.

The Rebirth of Modern Druidism

In the 18th Century, a popular movement arose to rediscover England’s ancient roots. The public eagerly snapped up copies of Malory’s La Morte D’Arthur, in which Druids were a respected, normal part of life. Millennial English youth are now increasingly interested in Druidic folklore, because of its all-inclusive nature.

So today, we have monotheistic Druids believing in a single divinity, and polytheistic ones following many gods and goddesses. Others believe creation is all around us in plants and animals. However most English Druids share a cardinal belief: this is the divinity of Nature, in which no life form, not even human, can claim supremacy.