The Strange


Druids
Wise Men of the Oak
 
Druids, wise men of the oak
 

No one really is certain when the Druids began.  One thing is for certain: The Druids date back to antiquity.  A man studying Druids asked a New York store owner once why he didn't have any books on Druids.  The man said that Caesar mentioned them  and anybody else who claimed to know about them was a liar.  This is almost true but not quite.  Although we know very little about them and the information regarding them is scattered and often misleading, we can piece together the small amounts of information that we do have and form an image of what they were and what they represented.

First we need to go back about 5000 years or possibly earlier.  Egypt was in it's first dynasties, pyramids had been built.  In the area of middle Europe the nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes were starting to settle down.  It is important to note that from the earliest days in that area, the tribes of people there were much dependent on rocks and trees for shelter in that cold, wet climate.  Thus sprang their religions centered around rocks and trees, most notably the oaks.  Most modern day paganistic religions such as witchcraft spring from the Druids simply because they were one of the earliest people to worship nature. 

The oak trees seemed to be the most important of all things in nature because the name Druid means "sage of the oak" or "one who understands the oak".   It is possible that the Druids made their homes in the oak trees in tree houses.  This makes a good deal of sense when you consider the benefits:  Defense against wild animals and enemies.  Some evidence points to the idea that there were no Druids higher up than another one; that they were all on the same level.  Other things that have been turned up suggest the opposite.

Many historians believe that the druids were responsible for the stone and earth monuments in that area such as Stonehenge.  If that's true we can assume that they had a knowledge almost equal to the Egyptians, which made them an important if largely unknown civilization in history.




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