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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #60 on: February 19, 2009, 03:13:30 pm »

stories of Druids, of raising the dead, and striking dead the opponents of the Saint, have no reference to this Oriental mysticism; but the latter appears in later Lives of the Irish and Welsh Saints.

Whence came this occultism into the Church?

The introduction of it may be largely attributed to the Templars. They were accused of magic, and lost everything thereby. As students, not less than fighting monks, they learned much of Oriental mysticism, and may have been a prominent means of introducing ancient heresies into Britain and France. Their destruction from the orthodox point of view was justified. No one can look at that symbol in the roof of London Temple Church, and on English Church banners elsewhere, without recognizing the heathenism so conspicuous in Welsh Druidism.

But why this Eastern philosophy should find a special retreat in the Triads of mediæval Wales is by no means clear. It is, however, a singular fact that the introduction of this mysticism appeared almost simultaneously in the Sufuism of Persian Mahometanism, as exhibited in the poems of Hafiz, Sadi, &c., and is still to be found in the sect of the Dancing Dervishes. Did it reach Wales through Spain and France? There is little or no evidence of Gnosticism--so full of more ancient and pagan symbolism--penetrating to the British Isles; though the later development of the Middle Ages abounded in Gnostic ideas.

As this peculiarity would appear to have entered Wales in the early Norman period, during the Crusades, why was it not evidenced in Ireland? Did the Norman conquerors, who became more Irishy than the Irish, from their devotion to the Irish Brehon law, which gave chiefs so much power and property, decline to patronize therein the new learning?

The Irish King of Ulster, Mongân, recollected his first life as Find, though two centuries before. Tuan was twice

p. 74

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