Druidism was not the worship of some ancient pagans as most of the left would have you to believe. Ancient British Druidism was the center and the source of civil and ecclasiastical knowledge and practice.
The Order constituted its churches, parliament, courts of law, physicians, surgeons, its magistracy and clergy. They were Britain’s statesmen, legislators, priests, physicians, lawyers, teachers and poets. The truth about the Druids is found among ancient fragments of literature. The ‘Myvyrian MSS’ in the British museum alone contains 47 volumes of poetry and 53 volumes of prose.
The educational system adopted by the Druids was traced to 1800 BC when Hu Gadarm Hysicion (Isaacson, son of Isaac) or Hu the Mighty led the first colony of Cymri into Britain, the Cymri being a branch of the ten northern tribes of Israel. Hu was regarded as the personification of intellectual culture and is commemorated in Welsh archaeology as the inventor of the Triads. He is also attributed with the founding of Stonehenge and the introduction of glass making and Ogham writing into British culture and is depicted as having a standard (flag) with the image of an ox which, if you are familiar with the Bible, is ascribed to Ephraim, the son of Joseph Hu established a ‘Gorsedd’ or assembly of Druids requiring that all assemblies must be held on an open uncovered grass space in a conspicuous place in full view and hearing of all people.
At the time of the Roman invasion into the British isles there were already 40 Druid centers of learning which were also the capitals of the forty tribes (families). Caesar commented to the fact that the Gauls sent their youth to Britain to be educated. Caesar also said of the Druids that “they hold aloof from war and do not pay war taxes, they are excused from military service and exempted from all liabilities.”
Under the Druid education system it took 20 years to master the complete circle of knowledge which included natural philosophy, astronomy, math, geometry, medicine, jurisprudence, poetry and oratory. As a side note: J.O. Kinnaman D.D., in his work on archaeology noted that, “Pilate was not a Roman by nationality but by citizenship. He was born in Spain, educated in Spain and then sent to Britain to study in the universities of Britain under the administration of the Druids. . .where he absorbed the Druid philosophy rather than the Greek or Romans.” Caesar called the Druid institutions a ‘disciplina’ while Mela spoke of the Druids as ‘teachers of wisdom.’ Hippolytus said that the Druids were highly honored as philosophers and theologians.
Cicero, Caesar, Pliny, Tacitus, Diodovus Siculus and Strabo all spoke highly of them. Druid astronomers were well versed. The Druid doctors were “skilled and far removed from the medicine man cult.” “They prayed to God to grant a blessing on His gifts as no medicine could be effective without Divine help.”
Strabo, after meeting a Druid named Abaris (in Hebrew it means Rabbi), left a description of their dress in which he said “they were clad not in skins like a Scythian, but with bow in his hand, a quiver on his shoulder, a plaid wrapped about his body, a gilded belt encircling his loins, and trousers reaching down to the soles of his feet. He was easy in his address, agreeable in conversation. . .spoke Greek with a fluency that you would have thought that he had been bred up in Lyceum and conversed all his life with the academy of Athens.”
Ammianus Marcellus about 350 AD described the Druids as men of “penetrating and subtle spirit. . .” Pomponius Mela said that the Druids “were conversant with the most sublime speculations in geometry and in measuring the magnitude of the earth.” Stonehenge aka the ‘Greenwich Observatory’ was pre-eminently an astronomical circle. Heliograph and beacons were both used by astronomers in signalling the time and seasons for agriculture and the trader. The unit of measure employed in the erection of Stonehenge and all other works of this nature in Britain was the cubit, the same used in the Great Pyramid. Diodorous Siculus stated that the Druids used telescopes. Many of the wells on Druid sites today known as holy wells, were the old telescope wells.
Strabo observed that the “care of worshipping the Supreme Being is great among the British.” The history of Hume records that “no religion ever swayed the minds of men like the Druids.”
All the old stories and half truths you read and hear about the primitive religion of the British associated with the worship of heavenly bodies was, in reality, the worship of the ‘Lord of Hosts.’ The Creator of the Great Lights – the sun and the moon – not the worship of the sun and moon in themselves. The universe was the Bible of the ancients. The wonders of nature were a voice of the ‘All Father’ around which they ordered their lives, fixed their religious ceremonies and their agriculture.
Druid circles can not be termed temples in the strictest sense. The word ‘temple’ in its primitive meaning is a ‘place cut off, enclosed, dedicated to sacred use, whether a circle of stone, a field or sanctuary.’ In ancient British language a temple or sanctuary was called ‘caer,’ a sacred fenced enclosure. The Circles or ‘caer’ were composed of monoliths upon which the employment of metal for any purpose was forbidden. Services were held while the sun was above the horizon – any ceremony at any other time was borbidden by law.
Druid priests could not be ordained until they passed three exams in three successive years and proved descent from nine successive generations of free forefathers. Hecataeus, a Greek writer, said that the “people living in these islands (British isles) worshipped in a beautiful temple whose minstrels hymned with their golden harps the praise of the God they adored and whose priesthood was a regular descent from father to son.”
During their worship, the Arch Druid approached a large central stone carrying a sword by its point signifying his readiness to suffer in the cause of truth. The central stone was called ‘maen llog,’ the stone of the Covenant, now distinguished by the name of ‘Cromlech,’ which in Ireland is called ‘Bethel,” the House of God. Close to the central stone was another which received water in a cavity. This water, the water of the river Dee (Drydwy), the Divine water, the Jordan of ancient Britain, was the only water permitted to be used. For centuries after the Druids accepted Christianity, the Dee continued to be regarded as a sacred river.
The ceremonial dress of the Arch Druid was ornate. No metal but gold was used to adorn it. The Cymric Cross was wrought in gold down the length of the back of the robe. The priest wore a gold tiara and breastplate of gold. (Several skeletons wearing the breastplates were found in excavated cists at Stonehenge and similar breastplates have been found throughout Britain and Ireland). A Chevron Bead encased in gold was worn as a symbol of the Deity. In 54 BC Caesar wrote that the Druids “make the immorality of the soul the basis of all their teaching. . .”.
In the Christian era St. Patrick used the shamrock to teach the doctrine of the trinity. The Druids of Britain used the oak tree, a symbol of strength. They used an oak tree with two principal arms roughly in the form of a cross. Upon the right branch they carved ‘Hesus’ (Yshuwah in Hebrew) for Jesus. Upon the middle or upright branch they carved ‘Taranis’ and upon the left ‘Belenis’ over which they carved ‘Thau’. Thau in ancient Hebrew is Tau, derived from the last letter in the Hebrew alphabet, the resemblance of which formed a cross. Procopius of Caesarea in 530 AD wrote that ‘Hesus’, ‘Taranis’ and ‘Belenis’ meant “our only God.”
The first decree against the Druids came from Emperor Tiberius under the pretext of punishing them for human sacrifice. Tiberius saw the Druids as an enemy and their influence in the British isles as a deterrent to complete Roman conquest. To this day, there has never been an identifiable idol or image found in Great Britain of the pre-Roman period, nor has there ever been found any evidence of human sacrifice.
The symbol of the Druid’s ineffable name of the Deity can still be found in Britain today. Every Druid priest bore three feathers and broad arrows in gold on the front of their tiara, i.e. the three rays of light for the trinity. Edward II adopted this symbol as a temporal power of Celtic Kings and priests for the crest of the first Prince of Wales.
From one of the Triads we find the Druidical teaching of God: “In every person there is a soul. In every soul there is intelligence. In every intelligence there is thought. In every thought there is either good or evil. In every evil there is death. In every good there is life. In every life there is God.”
Source: Ed. Davies, Celtic Researches; Diogenes Laertius in proem; Strabo, I, IV, Caesars Comm. Lib V Sueotonius; De Bell Gall, VII; Stanihurst, De Rebus in Hibernia; S. Lysons, Our British Ancestors; History of the Druids, Cartes, History of England; Strabo, Bk XVII, Ast. of the Ancients; Triad; Myo. Arch, Vol III, Laws of Dynwal Moehmud; De Bell. Gall. Lib, VI; Abury, G. Smith, Religions of Ancient Britain; Rev. Dr. Margoliouth, Jews in Britain, Vol I; Celt, Druid and Culdee by Isabel Elder and Merch O. Lundam Derri.