By Tim Lazaro from:
There is a certain cosmic sensibility to the myths and legends of the Celtic peoples. A sense of things being bigger than they seem. Power flows beneath the skin of the world to the Celtic mind, accessible along the path of dragons and the mouth of stones. It was the Druids who could see it, interpret it for their brother-Celts, follow the lines of power and show them where to build their villages and sanctified places.
The Celts are a mystery even now. They once ranged across the width and breadth of Europe, from the forests of Germany to the hills of Northern Italy. Their greatest concentration was perhaps in Scotland, Ireland and England. The Celts of Great Britain are what many modern people think of when they hear the word ‘Celt’. But in truth, they were a people who spread from one end of ancient Europe to the other, and they left their mark stamped upon the face of the continent, though they themselves are gone now, for the most part.
Druids and Dragons
Druids and Celtic dragons, on the other hand, are more familiar to the modern mind. What do you think of, when you hear the term ‘druid’? A robed figure, mistletoe in one hand, a scythe in the other, standing over a stone slab and a screaming victim. Horror films have a lot to answer for in terms of our familiarity with the concept of the Druid. In reality, druids were the priests and seers of the Celts. Druids engaged the cosmic on a daily basis, pitting their knowledge against the raw force of the mystic energies which the Celts believed permeated their lands. They would pinpoint the best places to till the soil or carve stone or build a home, and show their people the places to best avoid. Too, they had a strange relationship with the concept of the dragon.
Dragons, while commonly thought of as fire-breathing marauders, were, to the Celts, indicators of places of great power. Where dragons trod, mystic energy flowed, and where they laired were invariably places of great sanctity and mystical harmony. While dragons were dangerous, they were also indicators of fertility, of life. ‘The Path of the Dragon’ was the Celtic term for ley lines. And ley lines, for the uninitiated, were the stretches of mystic power which criss-crossed the land. Druids hunted these lines, and made a ley lines map for their people, instructing them to build their temples and homes along the lines in order to harvest the energies.
Dragons, Druids and Celts are all inextricably linked by these bands of power. For the Celt, dragons, though deadly, and frightening, represented the continuation of life and health. They were omens of a good harvest, of a year of plenty. And the Druids were the ones who found the dragons and interpreted their meaning for a given group of Celts. For these ancient peoples, everything hummed and sparked with the lightning of the gods. Where dragons walked, the lightning was visible, and where Druids indicated, the lightning was controllable for the good of the Celtic people.
Animal Symbols of the Celtic Druids
Everything in Mother Nature is considered sacred by the Celtic Druids, so every plant, tree, animal, fish and bird is seen as sacred too. But in the same way that some trees and plants, such as the oak and mistletoe, receive special veneration, so do certain creatures receive particular attention by the Druids. According to their particular characteristics different animals were used by the Celtic Druids to symbolise different powers, attributes or gifts. They are often connected with the world of spirits and gods.
inspiration / imagination / wealth / power / vitality
The most powerful of all Celtic druid animal symbols, the Dragon represented the whole of creation. The Celts also associated dragons with the elements. Each element is governed by specific energies and qualities and are ruled by either the feminine or masculine aspect of divinity. Air,for example, is a masculine ruled element – The elder spirit, associated with the aspect of the Old Man. As part serpent and part bird, the dragon symbolises the union of the beneficial elements of water and air, of matter and spirit. The fiery breath of the Green Dragon was believed to purify and give new life.
To the Celts the dragon was a creature of a parallel world and played an important role in Celtic religion. It is gatekeeper to other worlds, and also a guardian of wealth. Dragons are also frequently found in churches, both outside, to ward off evil, and inside, often in the company of the Green Man symbol.
There are numerous references to dragons in Celtic mythology. Most cultures considered the dragon as a benevolent dweller of caves, lakes and the inner earth. In ancient times, it was a symbol of wealth and associated with the power of the elements (particularly that of the earth), but also of the treasure of the subconscious mind. Dragons often appeared in many varieties: as a water serpent or worm-shaped beast, as well as the more well-known winged depiction. The dragon represented the supernatural forces that guarded the great secrets and treasures of the universe.
The dragon has been a creature of myth and legend for centuries throughout the world. In his book, View Over Atlantis (1969), John Michell says, “In every continent of the world, the dragon chiefly represents the principle of fertility. The creation of the earth and the appearance of life came about as a result of a combination of the elements. The first living cell was born out of the earth, fertilized from the sky by wind and water. From this union of yin and yang sprang the seed which produced the dragon. Every year the same process takes place”.
It may seem strange to speak of yin and yang, so obviously Oriental terminology, when speaking about Celtic life and legend. While the terms may be from the Orient, the concepts are not uniquely so. Michell observed how the ancient practice of Feng Shui in China contributed to the harmony of the landscape and the people. He also observed that geomancy had been practiced in ancient Britain. When an ancient Celt, and especially Druids, would survey the land for any activity (i. e. building, festival celebrations, etc.) they would speak of the ley of the land. Today we use that same term, although it has a related, but different meaning. Today when we speak of the “ley of the land” we often picture exactly how the hills roll or the shape of the river as it flows; more of the concrete concept of how the land lays or actually and physically appears.
But to the ancient Celt, the ley of the land meant how the magic or cosmic forces flowed through and affected the area, or how the area affected those forces. The Celts believed that dragons were creatures of the parallel world and their power and presence would affect the ley of the land. “The places associated with the dragon legend, the nerve centers of seasonal fertility, appear always to coincide with sites of ancient sanctity”, Michell adds.
The path of the dragons, called a vein, was critical to the flow of energy or ley of the land. IF there was a spot that the dragon crossed often, a spot where the veins crossed or a spot where the dragon would stop to rest, that became a spot of heightened power. Stonehenge is thought to be one of those places. In addition, some believe that the Celtic Cross surrounded by a circle is a symbol of the crossing ley lines and how the circle of life should be centered on that power.
King Arthur himself was burdened by dreams of dragons; although it is unclear which color he saw. He saw them specifically at the time of Sir Mordred’s conception and before his death. He is eaten by dragons in his final dream and it is at his next battle that Sir Mordred kills him. It is said that when a king sees dragons there will be much ruin come to his kingdom and himself.
With the introduction of Christianity to the Celts came a change in the role of dragons. Some people even believe that there were no dragons in Celtic mythology until the English came, mainly because there is no record of them in the Celtic world until then. However, it is more probable that there was simply no written record of their existence–the Celts stories surviving by oral tradition. The “sudden” appearance of dragons when the Christians invaded can be easily explained by the meticulous effort Christians gave to written records.
The Apostalic Church was very good at taking local beliefs and using that belief for its own benefit. Take, for example, the story of St. George. Here the great power of the Dragon is turned into the power of the Devil. Traditional symbolism holds that St. George slayed the Dragon (Satan) to save the maid (Christianity). It is also very convenient that the Celtic symbol was the Dragon.
Today the dragon is continuously popular amongst the Celtic revivalist, especially story tellers and craftsmen; and we must not forget that dragons have never gone out of style for the Welsh, for it is their flag which proudly displays the Red Dragon and their motto which reads: Y Ddraig Goch Ddyry Cychwyn, The Red Dragon Leads the Way.
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Mythical Power Source
There is no more powerful symbol than Celtic dragons
To invoke such reverence from the Celts, who were one of the most fierce and rugged ethnic groups in ancient times, they must have been much more than just fire-breathing beasts.Although dragons are usually associated with Asia, these mythical creatures can be found in fairy tales and folklore all over the world, including Celtic Ireland.
“Celtic Dragon” by Anne Stokes
In the secular world of Celtic chiefs and warriors, dragons are merely symbols of the power of the chief. Indeed the Celtic word for “chief” is Pendragon.
But in the esoteric world of spirituality, Celtic dragons represent much more…
What magical powers do these mysterious creatures possess that was so important that we can find tales including rituals of sacrifice to the mighty dragons?
According to Trevor Mendham of Dragonorama, “Dragons were an important part of Celtic lore. The Celts were highly attuned to the land and dragons were believed to influence the land…. Areas frequented by dragons were believed to possess special power.”
Dragons have always been associated with the Power of the Land. Even today, in many esoteric rituals, people believe that invoking the “Eye of the Dragon” will increase their personal power.
The ancient Druids believed the Earth itself was like the body of a dragon, and they built their sacred stone circles upon the “Power Nodes” of this body. They believed dragons connected us with the Earth’s magnetism and healing waters.
Many of us have heard the mysteries of the “ley lines”, especially in relation to the location of mystical sites such as Stonehenge and the site of many mysterious crop circles. What you may not know is that another way of saying “ley lines” is “Dragon lines”.
In ancient Celtic Ireland, the “ley of the land” was not about the geographical, physical nature of one’s surroundings. It had a much more powerful meaning than that.
To the ancient Celts, the “ley of the land” was a term describing how the Cosmic forces flowed through and influenced the area, as well as how the area itself affected those Cosmic forces. Dragons were thought to have a tremendous influence on the “ley of the land”, hence the term “Dragon lines”.
But far from the terrifying creatures we see in films, dragons were more than fire-breathing beasts with the power to destroy.
The Anglo-Saxon word “dragon” is derived from the Greek word meaning “to see clearly”. They believed dragons had the gift of vision, wisdom, and prophecy. Dragons were considered the guardians of all knowledge and wisdom.
As Celtic artist Cari Buziak’s design demonstrates, Celtic art often depicts Celtic dragons swallowing their tails in a never ending circle, symbolizing eternal life, much like the symbolism of knotwork and triskeles.
The dragons were revered like gods, believed to bring Earthly and Heavenly forces together. Celts believed dragons guarded the gate to both the Heavens and the Underworld.
As guardian spirits who protect the Earth and all living things, Celtic dragons are arguably the most powerful of all the Celtic symbols.
The Celts had "a highly sophisticated religious system, with three types of Druids: the Bards, who knew the songs and stories of the tribe, the Ovates, who were the healers and seers, and the Druids who were the philosophers, judges, and teachers."What is the druid motto? ›
Y Gwir Erbyn Y Byd (“Truth Against the World”) –Druid Motto | Motto, Druid, Truth.Did Druids believe in dragons? ›
In Celtic mythology, the dragon was believed to be of a world that was parallel to the physical world. It was thought, by the Druids, that the dragon's power affected the lay of the land. They believed that the path the dragons took was important to the flow of energy through the physical world.Who massacred the Druids? ›
The Massacre of the Druids
After Emperor Claudius declared Druidic practices illegal in AD 54, the Druids' future in Roman Britain became increasingly uncertain. In AD 61, the Romans planned a massacre of the defiant Druids at Anglesey, the centre of their culture, and their last stronghold in consolidated Britain.
There is much debate on where the Druid people came from. Our classical texts determine that they originated as a mixture of indigenous neolithic tribes of Britain and the Celts who came from the East in a wave of Indo-European migration around 2000 BC. Approximate extent of Druid priesthood, circa 100 BC.Who are the Druids today? ›
The Druidic community has been characterised as a neo-tribe, for it is disembedded and its membership is elective. Druidry has been described as a form of Celtic spirituality, or "Celtic-Based Spirituality". Scholar of religion Marion Bowman described Druidry as the "Celtic spirituality" par excellence.What religion do druids practice? ›
Druidism can be described as a shamanic religion, as it relied on a combination of contact with the spirit world and holistic medicines to treat (and sometimes cause) illnesses. They were said to have induced insanity in people and been accurate fortune tellers.What is a druid symbol? ›
In some forms of modern Druidism, the term is symbolized by an emblem showing three straight lines that spread apart as they move downward, drawn within a circle or a series of circles of varying thickness, often with a dot, or point, atop each line.What is the druid holy symbol? ›
Druids are a sub-class of Cleric that serve as priests of nature. They use mistletoe as a holy symbol, and tend to be more involved with plants and animals than with humans.What is the Celtic name for dragons? ›
In Scottish folklore, the beithir is a large snakelike creature or dragon. The term "beithir" has various meanings in Scottish Gaelic, including "serpent," "lightning," and "thunderbolt." The beithir is known to dwell in mountainous caves and valleys and possesses a venomous sting.
The dragons of Ireland were not like the dragons of other places, since they did not have wings or often even claws, and only rarely did they breathe fire, if at all! The were called the Ollphéisteanna, which means “great worms” or “mighty reptiles”, the terrible serpents of the world that was.What does a Celtic dragon symbolize? ›
The Celtic dragon has long been a symbol of power, strength, and magic in Celtic art, history, and jewelry. In Celtic mythology, dragons were believed to be powerful, intelligent creatures with the ability to shape shift and breathe fire.Why did the Romans hate Druids? ›
Druids were alleged to practice human sacrifice, a practice abhorrent to the Romans.What are evil Druids called? ›
Btw an evil druid is called a Darach.How did Druids end? ›
The Druids were suppressed in Gaul by the Romans under Tiberius (reigned 14–37 ce) and probably in Britain a little later. In Ireland they lost their priestly functions after the coming of Christianity and survived as poets, historians, and judges (filid, senchaidi, and brithemain).Are Druids Scottish or Irish? ›
Druidry, or better termed Druidism, was a pagan spiritual practice that is used to bring harmony, reverence, and spiritual connection between humans and the magic of nature. While druids featured prominently in many medieval Scottish and Irish sources, there were also Welsh druids.What are Druids Christianity? ›
The druids as members of the pagan “priestly class” were an important, high-status force in Celtic society. This class of druids was one of the most formidable groups that early Christian saints and missionaries had to face and overcome in order to establish firmly the roots of Christianity in pagan Celtic Ireland.What is a female druid called? ›
In medieval Irish legends they were called Banduri or Bandorai. Their existence was confirmed by ancient Greek and Roman writers. But who were the legendary female Druids?Did Jesus meet the Druids? ›
As legend would have it, Jesus travelled some 2,000 years ago to the West Country with Joseph of Arimathaea, a tin trader who some believe was Jesus' uncle. Jesus is said to have studied with Druids in Glastonbury, the idea being that Druidism held some similarities to the Christian faith.Do Druids have a Bible? ›
It does not hold to strict dogma, there is no universal sacred text, like the Bible or the Quran, and believers do not meet for weekly services. Most of what is known about ancient druids came from secondhand sources, including the Romans, who conquered the Celts in Britain in the first century A.D.
In some settings, Druids harness the vast powers of nature to preserve balance and protect life. With experience, druids can unleash nature's raw energy against their enemies, raining celestial fury on them from a great distance, binding them with enchanted vines, or ensnaring them in unrelenting cyclones.Do druids celebrate Christmas? ›
In the Celtic times, druids observed the festival of Alban Arthan (also known as Yule) at the time of Winter solstice. They gathered mistletoe from oak trees, in an attempt to ward off evil spirits and grant them good luck.What is the Celtic faith? ›
Celtic religion was polytheistic, believing in many deities, both gods and goddesses, some of which were venerated only in a small area or region, or by a particular tribe, but others whose worship had a wider geographical distribution.Are Celts pagan? ›
Celtic religion was an ancient pagan religion practiced by the Celtic people who lived around the time of the Iron Age in western and central Europe. Celts spoke Celtic languages such as Welsh and Gaelic. As a polytheistic religion, this pagan religion incorporated multiple deities into its pantheons.What is druid curse? ›
Druid's Curse is an urban fantasy romp through the fae realm of Underhill, also known as Tír na nÓg. If you enjoy paranormal action & adventure novels that are full of magic, guns, explosions, vampires, fae, werewolves, and necromancers, you'll love this second book in the Colin McCool Trickster Cycle trilogy.What is the Celtic symbol of female power? ›
"Female Power" The Triple Spiral or Triskele attracts the Female Power of the Universe to you. It is one of the most iconic and cherished ancient Irish/Celtic symbols. This symbol is associated with the Celtic Triple Goddess, Brigid. She was canonized into the Catholic church as Saint Brigid.What is the Celtic Trinity knot? ›
The Trinity knot is one of the most recognisable symbols of Celtic culture. An endless, intertwining Celtic knot work symbol with three corners, it is possibly of pagan origin with its original meaning lost in time.What is a druid god? ›
The druidic gods were minor celestial beings who came to be worshipped by druids on Esria in an age before the formation of more organised and central religions such as the Church of the Heavens. They were a prominent and tangible force on the mortal plane throughout the Arcane Era, through to the Common Era.What are the druid spirit animals? ›
Follow through with that Druids-only quest, and that will unlock access to Spirit Animals and their Boons. There are four different Spirit Animals for Druids to embody in Diablo 4: Snake, Eagle, Wolf, and Deer. Each Spirit Animal offers 4 potential Boons to choose from.What is the druid symbol of protection? ›
Celtic Shield Knot Meaning
The Celtic Shield Knot was largely used to symbolise protection. Its compact design hints at an unbreakable barrier, with a single interwoven thread suggesting endless protection.
At daybreak, after the fire has died out, Daenerys emerges with three baby dragons whom she names Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.What is the Celtic lore about dragons? ›
For the Celts, the dragon is the guardian of the secrets and treasures of the universe. His belief is consistent with most Western mythologies. The difference is that while for many, dragons guarded earthly treasures, gold and jewels, for the Celts, these treasures were associated with higher things.What did Vikings call dragons? ›
What is a Viking dragon called? Vikings referred to dragons in general as “Dreki”, an Old Norse term commonly used for sea monsters, sea serpents, and dragons. The name is similar to “Drake” in Old English, which eventually inspired the term we use for dragons today.What did Native Americans call dragons? ›
|Native American dragons||Piasa Bird|
The Gaulish divine name Litauī ('Earth', lit. 'the Vast One') likely stems from Proto-Celtic *flitawī ('broad'; cf. Old Breton litan, Middle Welsh llydan, 'broad'), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *Pleth2-wih1 ('the Broad One'; cf.Where do Celtic dragons come from? ›
Celtic Dragons are a Welsh netball team based in Cardiff. Their senior team plays in the Netball Superleague. In 2005–06 they were founder members of the league.What is the Celtic sacred animal? ›
The hare was a sacred and mystical animal to the Celts; a symbol of abundance, prosperity and good fortune. They were believed to have connections to the Otherworld.What do the 3 dragons symbolize? ›
The three dragons are a description of some cosmic principles of the universe that provide prosperity to all creatures in the world, as well as symbolic ties to worldly life that are difficult to break.What animal represents Celtic? ›
Horse (Each): A popular totem animal of the Celts; sacred to the Goddesses Epona and Rhiannon. The horse was considered to be a faithful guide to the Otherworlds.Why were the Druids killed? ›
They killed the druids to prove that Roman gods were more powerful than Celtic ones.
The Romans had no love for the Druids for two reasons. First, the Druids were a major source of resistance to the Romans in Britain and often inspired revolt. Second, the Druids were said to practice human sacrifice, a practice the Romans despised and wanted to eliminate.Why were the Romans scared of the Celts? ›
The Greeks called them 'Keltoi' or 'Galatians', while the Romans knew them as 'Celtae' or 'Gauls'. They were frequently depicted as savage, warlike and dangerous; a very real threat to the survival of Mediterranean culture.What is druid blood? ›
Druid's Blood is a novel that takes place in a Victorian England based on the idea that druidic and Celtic magic scared away the Romans, allowing a line of magical royalty to persist since then.Is Merlin A druid? ›
Merlin is, in fact, the typical Druid or wise man of Celtic tradition, and there is not the slightest reason for believing that he was ever paid divine honours.Were the Druids violent? ›
We usually imagine Druids – the Celtic priests – as old men in white robes, wise and gentle with a golden sickle raised to reach the mistletoe. Yet it appears that, even though they indeed possessed great knowledge and were highly respected, they tended to be violent – and did not necessarily have to be men.What did Caesar say about the Druids? ›
Caesar claimed that the druids prohibited their members from writing down their religious beliefs or teachings. He wrote that the druids did not want their "doctrines to be divulged among the mass of the people" and wanted their members to memorize their beliefs and teachings rather than be able to look them up.What did the druid believe about the afterlife? ›
They believed in a life after death, for they buried food, weapons, and ornaments with the dead. The druids, the early Celtic priesthood, taught the doctrine of transmigration of souls and discussed the nature and power of the gods.Did Druids build Stonehenge? ›
The short answer is no, they probably didn't. Archaeological work indicates that Stonehenge was constructed between roughly 4,000 and 5,000 years ago, while the earliest surviving written record of the druids dates back about 2,400 years.What are the branches of druids? ›
- Druids of the Nightmare.
- Druid of the wild.
- Druids of the Rat.
- Druids of the Saber.
- Druids of the Swarm.
- Druids of the Plains.
- Druids of the Reef.
- 7 Circle Of Spores.
- 6 Circle Of Dreams.
- 5 Circle Of The Moon.
- 4 Circle Of The Land.
- 3 The Circle Of Stars.
- 2 The Circle Of Wildfire.
- 1 The Circle Of The Shepherd.
|Caster form||Mana, Astral Power||Humanoid|
|[Moonkin Form]||Mana, Astral Power||Humanoid|
Druid, member of the learned class among the ancient Celts. They acted as priests, teachers, and judges. The earliest known records of the Druids come from the 3rd century bce.What are Druids powers? ›
Spell Casting: Druids have the innate ability to affect supernatural change and cause a variety of effects through casting Incantations. They are well known for their work in Protection, Elemental, Healing, Mental, and Earth-related Magic.What is the symbol of a druid? ›
In some forms of modern Druidism, the term is symbolized by an emblem showing three straight lines that spread apart as they move downward, drawn within a circle or a series of circles of varying thickness, often with a dot, or point, atop each line.Can a druid turn into a dragon? ›
Some druids will be able to turn into a dragon in later levels. Image: Wizards of the Coast. Wild Shape is a druid's signature move. Druids get the ability to use Wild Shape when they reach second level.What is a real druid? ›
A druid was a member of the high-ranking priestly class in ancient Celtic cultures. Druids were religious leaders as well as legal authorities, adjudicators, lorekeepers, medical professionals and political advisors.Do druids have a Bible? ›
It does not hold to strict dogma, there is no universal sacred text, like the Bible or the Quran, and believers do not meet for weekly services. Most of what is known about ancient druids came from secondhand sources, including the Romans, who conquered the Celts in Britain in the first century A.D.Are druids Scottish or Irish? ›
Druidry, or better termed Druidism, was a pagan spiritual practice that is used to bring harmony, reverence, and spiritual connection between humans and the magic of nature. While druids featured prominently in many medieval Scottish and Irish sources, there were also Welsh druids.What are druids Christianity? ›
The druids as members of the pagan “priestly class” were an important, high-status force in Celtic society. This class of druids was one of the most formidable groups that early Christian saints and missionaries had to face and overcome in order to establish firmly the roots of Christianity in pagan Celtic Ireland.Can you be born a druid? ›
Druids are people (of any race, though most are Wood Elves) born with magical gifts of manipulation of Lifeforce. Druidic abilities can surface at any time in one's life.
As far as weapons are concerned, druids can use slings, spears, darts, staves, daggers, and many other types of weapons. But because of the Shillelagh cantrip, a staff is almost always your best choice.What is an evil druid called? ›
Btw an evil druid is called a Darach.