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DRUIDS The Druids were the Priests - Magicians - of the Celtic people They were Priests and Prietesses Although since Christian times Druids have been identified as wizards and soothsayers in pre-Christian Celtic society they formed an intellectual class comprising philosophers judges educators historians doctors seers astronomers and astrologers The earliest surviving Classical references to Druids date to the 2nd century BC The word Druidae is of Celtic origin The Roman writer Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus 2324-79 AD believed it to be a cognate with the Greek work drus meaning an oak Dru-wid combines the word roots oak and knowledge wid means to know or to see - as in the Sanskrit vid The oak together with the rowan and hazel was an important sacred tree to the Druids In the Celtic social system Druid was a title given to learned men and women possessing oak knowledge or oak wisdom The Druids emerged from the ancient Celtic tribes at a time when the people had to live close to nature to survive By the light of the storytellers fire and with the play of the harp the Druids dreamed magic for their people In the deep woods they would gather bringing together their mysticism and philosophy their insight and learning Their spirit emerged from the the tides of the sea the light of the sun the wind in the Oak the cry of the deer In this way they created an institution that inspired frightened and uplifted their world Druids filled the roles of judge doctor diviner mage mystic and clerical scholar - they were the religious intelligensia of their culture To become a Druid students assembled in large groups for instruction and training for a period of up to twenty years The mythologies describe Druids who were capable of many magical powers such as divination prophesy control of the weather healing levitation
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