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Innocent Cyril (@admin)
3 months ago

Druidic Wisdom:

Druids as Magicians

In Celtic literature and tradition, Druids have been popularly referred as magicians—wizards possessing supernatural powers. By the time of the advent of Christianity in both Ireland and Britain, Druids were identified by the word magi, a name used for the priests of Ancient Persia who reputedly had power over supernatural entities.

The Roman historian, Pliny the Elder (23 AD – 79 AD), referred to Druids as the magi and said, “Even today Britain is still spell bound by magic, and performs its rites with so much ritual that she might almost seem to be source of Persian customs.”

In Irish and Welsh literature, there is common reference to the Druid as a wielder of magical powers. Druids could influence the course of events or control nature. Early Celtic Christian writers who believed in Druidic magic gave these supernatural powers to saints in their church. ¹

Following is a list of just some of these magical powers:

There is the ceo druidechta, the Druidical or magic fog. This features in many Irish tales. Fogs overtook Laoghaire the Victorious and Conall Cernach and when the Dé Danaans invaded Ireland they covered themselves in a magical fog.

The Druids could produce a dicheltair or fe-fiada, a cloak of invisibility to protect them from their enemies. In an Irish version of the Aeneid, Venus puts such a cloak around the hero Ulysses to protect him on entering the city of the Phaeacians. The fe-fiada became synonymous for a mantle of protection.

Then there is a Druidic wand, slat an draoichta (rod of the Druid) a branch on which little tinkling bells hung similar to the branches carried by the bards. When Sencha, the chief bard of Ulster, waved his wand, the roar of battle hushed.

Shape shifting was another gift ascribed to Druids. When Fer Fidail, a Druid, carried off a maiden, he did so by assuming the form of a woman. A Druidess, Badb, daughter of the Druid Calatin, deceived Cúchulainn by taking the form of Niamh, who was nursing the hero in his sickness, in order to encompass his death.

Thus the substratum of primitive belief survives all changes of creed, and the folk impartially attribute magical powers to pagan Druid, Celtic saints, old crones and witches.

Sources: ¹ Apollos Raven Word Press; ² A Brief History of The Druids by Peter Berresford Ellis

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