The reality of the matter is that solely mere snippets of archaeological proof exists about what the Druids believed or practiced. Furthermore the handful of (roughly) modern references to ‘what Druids’ did come from a small handful of writings left by the Romans – who let’s face it have been unlikely to be unbiased of their summations.
It may be assumed, and the concept is pretty effectively supported, that the Celts had a data of the actions of the celebs, certainly classical writers do attest to this – Ceaser, Strabo, Pliny all touch upon the concept that the Druids had an understanding of pure phenomenon.
However what they knew and what they taught could be very a lot the subject of hypothesis and debate.
So what do we all know?
In 1897 a number of items of a bronze pill have been found in Coligny, France.
These items turned out to be items of a calendar.
In all there have been 73 items which when reassembled created a five-foot huge, three and a half foot. This pill displayed a calendar which was each lunar and photo voltaic; depicting the phases of the moon and the time of the photo voltaic yr.
Now referred to as the Coligny calandar, these tablets appeared up to now again to the Second Century and so linked too Gaulish (probably Druidic) practices.
There’s a lot debate as to how the knowledge on this calendar could be interpreted. For instance did the months run from New Moon, Full Moon or First Quarter Moon? Does the calendar-year start in Autumn or Autumn?
What is evident is that the lunar calendar is made up of 354 or 355 days.
Among the many Welsh and Irish it appears that evidently the yr was divided into a light-weight half and a darkish half.
Evidently the day was seen as starting at sundown, so the yr was seen as starting with the arrival of the darkness, at Calan Gaeaf/Samhain (1st November) while the sunshine half of the yr began at Calan Haf/Bealtaine (1st Might).
These festivals have survived into the fashionable day such because the traditions of Oíche Shamhna (Samhain Eve) among the many Irish and Oidhche Shamhna among the many Scots although they exist in fashionable type as Halloween.
So what concerning the Tree Calendar?
The a lot publicised Celtic Tree Calendar, which is constructed across the Celtic Ogham alphabet, could be thought-about as a re-invention by the poet Robert Graves who printed a really influential guide, The White Goddess, in 1948.
Greatest thought-about as a piece of mythic-poetry, The White Goddess could be seen as a the supply of quite a lot of immediately’s Celtic and Goddess impressed teachings. The guide itself lacks any rigor when it comes to its analysis and continuously questionable references. By way of the Ogham Alphabet, true the marks are Celtic and type a part of an alphabet utilized in monumental inscriptions and, if we are able to depend on barely older (however not contemporaneous) sources we are able to see that every of the Ogham letters did have an affiliation with Bushes, Birds, Colors and quite a lot of different pure objects.
In reality there isn’t any historic hyperlink between the each Ogham letter and bushes, certainly solely 5 – 6 of the Ogham symbols relate on to bushes!
So what about Celtic Astrology?
Fashionable writers both relate the months of the moon to bushes or animals; these then type the premise of recent displays of Celtic or Drudic Astrology.
However there are another points. As each astrologer is aware of it is not simply the beginning month that’s essential, however the way in which the heavenly our bodies traverse the skies in relation to the place, time and date of beginning. Therefore while every of those fashionable interpretations presents month-to-month ‘zodiac-like’ qualities they’re far faraway from what is perhaps thought-about as ‘astrology’.
As a way to re-construct or re-imagine any sort of Druid Astrological system we would want to know what planets, constellations the Celts recognized.
Evidently we have now little direct proof for any system the Druids/Celts could or could not have used, it’s clear that fashionable mythic-poets and recreationists have pieced collectively a zodiac of kinds.
The Tree Calendar, when it comes to authenticity, additionally raises some questions.
The purpose, nevertheless is, that since most neo-Druidry is recreated, reformed or re-invented, any system that has private relevance and which means is viable and useful. Symbols and symbolic techniques can and do evolve and certainly want to take action to be able to have a relevance.
Within the phrases of the Reformed Druids of Gaia –
We’re “doing it the way in which the ancients did, making it up as we go alongside!