Brief History of Druidry

History in 250 words……

Druidry has an interesting and turbulent history. There are four eras: Proto-Druidry, Classical, Underground and the later Revival Druidry.

There is no distinct beginning that we know of. It is thought the practice developed from early human spirituality which was animistic and shamanistic. Thanks to classical authors of the Greeks and Romans we know about the Classical Druidry period in more detail. There is a need to be somewhat cautious about some of the classical writings about Druidry and we must consider the wider intentions of the author.

Despite a number of classical texts being written about the Druids, there are still many unknowns, caused in part due by the Druids favouring oral storytelling over written records.

The Druids however still left their mark. Through the stone structures they built and the fact that their story never completely disappeared suggests a long term fascination and perhaps even following of their practices.

It is certainly true that a lot was lost in the Roman period. When the Romans arrived in Britain the Druids were flourishing at the heart of Celtic culture. The Roman invaders saw them as a threat and sought to destroy them, even attacking their stronghold on Anglesey (or the Island of Mona as it was called then). Even as the Romans left, the Christians left in Britain dominated over the Druids and the Druids were forced underground for centuries.

The people may have been forced underground but the wisdom, tales and myths were preserved and rediscovered by many in the Revival period.

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