myth and representation
“Diocletian, who was still in the lower ranks, and was stationed in Gaul in the country of the Tungri, found himself in an inn dealing with his daily costs with a woman who was a Druidess. At a certain point this one told him: “Diocletian, you are too stingy and miserly!”. And he replied jokingly: “When I am emperor, then yes I will broaden it!”. And it is said that the Druidess replied: “Diocletian, don’t joke, you will in fact be emperor, after killing the boar” (quotation from Numerianus XIV, 2, by the Roman historian Vopiscus). The Druidess’s prophecy actually came true, after Diocletian killed the Praetorian Prefect Arrius Aper (“boar” in Latin), who had murdered the previous emperor, Numerian.
From this we can well understand how the fame of the Druids was very great among their contemporaries, fueled by their mystery and their powers.
This legacy has come down to our days, and the Druid, in the collective imagination, represents the Magician capable of transforming reality and changing the fate of events.
Indeed, he was the bearer of Gifts, able to awaken the Potential of Heroes, he was the Keeper of wisdom, secrets and spells, and above all he was the Guide.
The Guide is the one who sees the Way that others do not see, understands the Purpose and teaches how to reach it. It is he (or she) who blesses new births, presenting them to the Gods, who educates, who accompanies in all stages of life, who seals the Threshold at the moment of death, who connects his clan to the Divine world, who favors Nature, blesses the harvest, heals the sick, protects the King with his predictions and advises him with his far-sightedness, protects the Heroes in war, accompanying them armed, if necessary, or intervening in the middle of a battle or a duel, decreeing its end.
The Druids and Druidesses were like this, in a word: Present. Always.
They enjoyed such respect and awe that their word was Sacred, as was the Power they embodied.
History has it that these mysterious characters (nothing is left of them, only the chronicles of their contemporary Greek and Roman historians), were the Sages of the Celtic Clans.
But there are also various Scholars who, in the silence of the Sources, affirm that their origin could even be earlier, and that the Druids who lived in the times of the Celts, were none other than the direct descendants of the Sages of the Megalithic Civilization.
Well, to be a little clearer, we need to think about what Europe was like 5,000 years ago. Unfortunately, our history books pass from prehistoric man to the Babylonian Assyrians and the Egyptians as if only on the European continent there were sparse and uncultivated populations of Homo Sapiens.
It is not so. This is demonstrated by the thousands of Dolmens and Menhirs found from England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc., and which are over 5000 years old. They were erected, it is not yet known how, precisely from what modern historians have baptized with the name of Megalithic Civilization.
Why these gigantic stones were positioned in specific points and, it is hypothesized, in connection with each other, it is not known exactly. At first it was thought that they had a purely funerary function, later their connection with the stars and with astronomy was discovered. But there is much more, and it will be a pleasure to illustrate it in a future article.
The Druids of the Celtic era knew these very special sites well and, above all, they knew how to use them, precisely because they descended directly from those who had built them.
The Druids were the Sages of the Megalithic Civilization.
In support of this (fascinating) thesis, there are the legendary Irish tales, which speak of the tribes of Tuatha de Danann, who migrated from the North, in a real exodus, to Ireland. They were beings so evolved, according to the legends, to appear as demigods in the eyes of the local populations.
The Druid school lasted about 20 years, exactly like the lunar cycle, and the Druids were instructed only orally, in infinite subjects: Mathematics (they studied the teachings of Pythagoras, they knew the Golden Number and the Greek Pi), Philosophy (it is recognized that Greek Philosophy drew from Druidic knowledge), Poetry, Music, Naturopathy, Medicine, Astronomy, Languages (they spoke Greek and Latin perfectly), Geography and all those arts that for us are associated only with the magical world: the Divinatory Arts , especially the Runes, Radioesthesia, Alchemy, Cosmic Energy and Telluric Energy, the Elements.
They firmly believed that everything on this Planet was an Essence, and as such it responded to precise Laws of Resonance and Cause and Effect, and therefore could be understood and directed.
The Druids were aimed at following and guiding the constant Flow of Life, rather than parceling it out, isolating it and measuring it as we do in our postmodern Civilization.
Their legacy is eternal, as their Wisdom has never died out.
For example, I found it very interesting to discover that Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland) was raised by a Druid. We owe to him the fact that the Clover represents his country. The Clover was used to explain the Trinity, even if the Irish already knew the principle of the Sacredness of 3 thanks to the Triskell.
Not to mention that San Colombano (another Irish saint) founded the first monastery in Europe that was equipped with a huge library, in Bobbio in the province of Piacenza (Italy). In this convent, the monks were Amanuensis and created precious objects similar to those of the Book of Kells. In those books the monks transferred all their knowledge in a purely symbolic language: in the pages, indeed, there are the Celtic Knots, the Sacred Plants for the Druids, and the Runes, in disguise, understandable only to the Initiates to such knowledge.
Their way of approaching the Human Being and the World led the Druids to very high peaks of Spiritual Evolution, while our modality led Humanity to Progress but also to the dehumanization and destruction of that connection as fundamental as that existing between Man and Creation. Unfortunately, we are not aware of it.
In conclusion, the charm of the Druids still resists today, as it embodies a fundamental Archetype.
It is no coincidence that their figure returns to literature, films and the most recent TV series, whether they are historical, linked to the world of the fantastic or that of dystopian science fiction.
We have in fact the couple of Wizard Merlin and King Arthur, with the dark counterpart Morgana; that of Panoramix and Asterix; that of Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore, with the wizard of darkness Voldemort; that of Frodo and Gandalf, with the Druid passed into obscurity: Saruman. Without forgetting the Druid Allanon (and Wil) and King Eventine in the Shannara Chronicles, with the antagonist black Druid called “The Warlock Lord”; the Wizard Medivh (who, albeit with good intentions, ends up corrupting himself to Evil) and King Varian in Warcraft; and Titus (and Gaia) as Flamekeepers, in The 100.
In all these works, the figure of the Druid moves with extreme caution on the thin thread that separates Good from Evil, becoming mentor, guardian and supporter of the Sovereign, in the first case, or competitor for power, against the Sovereign, in the second.
Emblematic is the case of The 100, where it is the Commander who is the one who has the Flame inside him (metaphor that indicates Initiation and spiritual power), and this implies a very dangerous overlap in the same person, much of the figure of the Druid as of that of the King.
Perhaps it is for this reason that all the Commanders of the Grounders of The 100 are victims of an even more ruthless Destiny. Either for too much Power, which ends up consuming the character of Sheidheda, the Dark Commander, with ambition. Both for too much Visionarity, as happens for the character of Lexa, the Last True Commander, the one who courageously tried to interrupt wars and conflicts to build a legacy of peace, making herself disliked by all the chieftains and above all to her Mentor (the Flamekeeper), who, for this reason, killed her.