Druids and their magic, lore, and rituals have fascinated all those who encounter them, from the ancient Greeks and Romans onward. Even today, the mere mention of their name evokes pictures of standing stones, mistletoe, golden sickles, white-robed priests, and powerful sorcerers. But were they really as we picture them?
Drawing on comparative mythology and linguistics, archaeological evidence, and etymology, Teresa Cross offers readers a comprehensive course in the history and development of the Celtic spiritual tradition and its lore, reconstructing the Druidic faith from the remnants that have survived and dedicated study of scholarly sources. She also reveals parallels with other Indo-European traditions, such as the similarities between Celtic and Vedic Hindu beliefs and practices. She chronicles the ethics and spiritual teachings of Druidism and the Celtic faith and examines what happened to these beliefs during centuries of Christianization.
Moving from history to practice, Cross details magical rites and ceremonies as practiced by modern-day followers of Druidactos. She explores the structure of the Touta, which roughly corresponds to “tribe,” methods for consecrating a nemeton, the outdoor temple that offers the optimum sacred space for the meeting of heaven and earth, and the rites and customs associated with important festivals such as Beltaine and Samhain. She also explores the rules of firecraft, the sacred art of giving to the cosmos, making offerings to deities and spirits, sacred food and beverages, and the ancient Coligny calendar, including the names of the months in old Gaulish.