Druidic Paganism and the Christ
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Posted: December 10th. 2006
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Druidic Paganism and the Christ
Failte a-huile Luchd! Welcome Everyone! For this, my first essay for Witchvox, I would like to outline how I came to be a Druidess and how the Druidic Way and the Christian Way have interacted over the millennia. In doing so, I believe that we can achieve a deeper understanding of both traditions and help to heal a lot of prejudices that might be held towards Pagans in general and Druid/esses in particular.
Like many folks here in the Western World, I was raised in a Judaeo-Christian home. My home life was stable, my parents loved each other and I was the youngest of seven children although throughout most of my childhood there were only three of us at home. The others were all much older than I and had flown the nest by the time that I was three or four.
When I got to school however, my life took a turn for the worse. I discovered that I was not like all of the other boys and girls. I was tall and thin; I had a way of using big words that the other children didn’t understand. I sat differently, walked differently, talked differently. I was “Different”…and neither I, nor the other children, nor my teachers understood why.
Of course, this resulted in my being horribly bullied all through my education. I was chased home from school and up a mountainside on numerous occasions; suffered every kind of physical, psychological and even sexual humiliation imaginable. By the time I was 12 years old, I was almost suicidal. I had no friends in my class and could see no hope for the future.
I was contemplating killing myself when a voice inside spoke and said that if I killed myself I would go to hell. That voice, quite separate from my own internal musings, kept me alive. I continued to be the outsider, fell deeper into depression, developed a twitch and later an almost continuous hand tremor, but I didn’t die.
Church was no better. I was the weird one in the Youth Group and had only one friend-a girl as “odd” to the other kids as myself and who was also the target of their venom. I gave her my empathy and we gave each other friendship and a degree of protection.
All through this I was hearing about the Christ and about how he was someone who just went about doing good and was crucified for his troubles by a bunch of religious hypocrites and bureaucratic yes-men too blind to see the truth.
I could relate to that.
I was also reading a book called “Secret Sorceress” about a girl born to be a sorceress, but who lived under a tyrannical government dead set against all use of magick and divination. I related to her, too, but didn’t understand why. After a while, I felt guilty about liking that book so much (because it was about Magick), so I got rid of it. I never could forget it though.
In time, I grew stronger within myself and, like a wounded tree, slowly healed. When I was in my early twenties, I met my future husband, a Scottish Highlander who was a Christian Minister, but very Fey (Psychic).
He saw aliens and ghosts and used to talk about how he had once seen a leprechaun in Ireland and also how he had fled from a Banshee and the Headless Coachman complete with Funeral Coach with 6 black horses. This is my Archie, my beautiful Love and Heart’s Desire. He has been dead for 3 years now, stricken by a heart attack, but he still is with me all the time. He said he would never leave me and he never will.
It is sometimes said that a widow has a special insight into the Otherworld, especially if her husband was Beloved of her. I would say that is true, from my own experience.
Before Archie died, I learned Scottish Gaelic so that I would be in touch with his ancestral world and be able to transmit it to our children. [By the way, in Gaelic you say Sa-vin not Sa-wen. The consonant mh is always said “v” not “w”. November is called An Samhain (An Sa-vin)].
Well, I must have contacted the ancestors all right! I was surfing the net looking for seanachas (shon-a-hos: stories and mythologies) when I came across the following tale that absolutely changed my life:
King Conor MacNessa of Ulaidh (Ulster) was holding a feast to celebrate Imbolc, then and now the most joyous feast in the traditional Gaelic year where babies are conceived and vast quantities of rabbits and eggs are eaten (except in those days they were real, not chocolate!).
Yet on this Happy Day, the sky was dark and people would not stop fighting. The King was most disturbed about this and so called his Druid over and asked him why this was so.
His Druid said, “Oh Great King, the Reason Why the Sky is Dark and Men all Fight on this Feasting Day is this- Today the Son of God is crucified.”
I was gob smacked and immediately filled with questions.
But I had to finish the story-
Upon hearing this sad news, the King drew out his sword and proceeded to cut off his own head.
The tale of a king’s death in the Gaelic way is sacrosanct and cannot be altered. He who alters it will surely be cursed, so the tale of the death of King Conor MacNessa must be true.
Nevertheless, I had questions. Druids were Pagan Priests, weren’t they? Then how come they even knew about this guy called the Son of God, let alone his Crucifixion at Imbolc (=Jewish Passover, also held at Spring Equinox)?
What telephone did they use to call Jerusalem direct? Did they read the Jerusalem Post? Or maybe hear it on the radio? Hang on; maybe they were watching Bill O’Reilly on Fox News Channel!
I’m being deliberately ridiculous here of course.
Communications between Ulster and Israel in A. D. 33 were non-existent. Ireland was not even a part of the Roman Empire and the Irish did not colonize Northern Britain until several hundred years after this. So how did they know?
I continued to dig, and the more I dug, the more I found out and the more I found out, the more I liked the Druidic way. It would be too much to outline all of my findings here-they would fill a book-but here are the main points.
(1) In the thousands of years predating Christianity, the highest God of the Druids was Seshua-meaning Jeshua. He was pictured as the Sun of Righteousness as represented in the Sun Disk ceremony held at New Grange, Ireland. This was also one interpretation of the circle in the Celtic Cross (others of course including the unification of Worlds and the Wheel of Life/Wheel of the Heavens (Zodiac)).
(2) During the Gaels epic 400-year journey from Kazhakstan to Ireland, they wandered for a time with Moses and the Hebrews in the Wilderness. One of the Gaelic chiefs was afflicted with snakebite, but was healed when he saw Moses’ serpentine staff. This crossing of cultures could be the origin of the Druidic “Son of God” prophecy mentioned earlier, together with the sun-disk ceremonies and use of the term “Sun of Righteousness” (a phrase that Moses borrowed from a hymn written by Pharaoh Akhenahten in the days of Joseph).
(3) The Sacred Sites and Temples that the Druids constructed throughout Europe were frequently just “rebadged” as Christian upon the arrival of Christian Missionaries. Yet the buildings themselves often did not change and actually neither did the priests or the ceremonies, substantially. To this day, many ancient cathedrals display pentagrams, goddess pentagrams, triquetrae (3 interlocking arcs signifying the 3 worlds of Gods, Men and Faeries), Hexagrams, Zodiac wheels, astrolabic (zodiac) clocks, Celtic Crosses, Gothic crosses, gargoyles, green men, imps, altars ... etc.
High church ceremony, even today, features the bearing of the sacred sun disk and the Cross that marks the opening of ceremonies. The ancient Graal ceremony where the blood of the sacrifice was partaken of is rebadged as Holy Communion.. supposedly a commemoration of the Last Supper, but actually about as far as you can get from an authentic Passover feast. It much more closely resembles what an old Druidic ceremony might have looked like.
Am I saying that all the Christian priests today are Druids in disguise? This is highly unlikely, to say the least. They are performing a liturgy that they have been taught, full of hidden double meanings, sourced from old Druidic rites that they know nothing about. Most would be horrified at the suggestion, but only because they have not realized that we are all only trying to serve The One.
As for me, all I know is how little I know. The more I find out, the more I realize my own complete ignorance. Yet one thing I know for sure is this-
This thought and study path has led me to becoming a Druidess. I feel comfortable now with whom I am. Many of the contradictions somehow make sense now, whereas before they didn’t.
My family still thinks that I’m strange, but they are used to me now. My darling mother often says that nothing that I do surprises her anymore. I’m glad that she’s not surprised. I still love the Christ, but my knowledge of Him has expanded far beyond any one religion.
He is Krishna of the Hindus, Ihu of the Maori, Osiris of the Egyptians, Heracles, Cheiron, Orion, and Perseus. He is the hanged Man of the Tarot, and also the King of Cups. He’s manifested in the Zodiac, I see him in rivers, trees and rocks, The Southern Cross, the Pole Star, everywhere.
His breath is the Wind, his Temper the Storms. The thunder is His Hammer, Thor’s Hammer. His Bride is the Goddess in us all; the Earth is His Mother as it is Mother of us All. The Wisdom that Calls us is the Crone, Beautiful beyond Words, yet not with earthly vanity.
He is the All in All, the Anima, and he has shown me whom I am.
Blessed Be, Beloveds.
Until We Meet Again,
Love and Blessings On You!
Copyright: (c) 2006 Guineith
Location: Waggrakine, Western Australia
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