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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 4382 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #120 on: February 20, 2009, 01:29:43 pm »

drinks than nectar or ambrosia, but which had a similar power of raising the consumer in his own estimation. Goibniu, the smith, was the brewer of this magical drink for the gods. Ogmé, founder of oghamic writing, was called the sun-faced. He was the son of Elada, whose name means poetic composition, or knowledge. His brother Dian-cecht, the god of rapid power, was long the Tuath god of medicine.

The deities, when they desired to make themselves visible, appeared as birds. The Fomoré gods were seen as crows or ravens. As Chronos was King of the world at the time of the Golden Age, so Bress, King of the Fomoré ruled awhile even over the Tuatha, who represent the Greek golden race.

It is well to conclude with M. Jubainville, that "the gods of the Gauls (or Irish), like those of the Romans, are, to our eyes, a creation of the human mind." It may be also added that usually the gods rise from low types to higher. Still, Lubbock assures us that "religion, as understood by the lower savage races, differs essentially from ours; nay, it is not only different, but even opposite." Some may be disposed to fancy the same of the more ignorant in Christian lands.

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In connection with Irish idolatry, the question of sacrifices to the gods needs some consideration.

We may assume that the lower animals may have been so offered; as, black sheep to Samhan on November 1, and firstlings to the god Crom. But whether the Irish ever had human sacrifices has been much debated. Such a practice we know existed in both civilized and uncivilized countries. It prevailed with worshippers of Baal, with American Indians, with Khonds, and other tribes of India, &c. In Deut. xii. 30, we read, "Their sons and their

p. 146

daughters have they burnt in the fire to their gods." The animal sacrifice may be but a survival of the human.

Cæsar was positive as to the Gauls and Britons doing so. Strabo, Plutarch, and others said the same. Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius opposed the Druids on account of that cruelty. Yet the Archdruid Myfyr exclaimed--"They never wrought an atonement for sin by the sacrifice of bloody carcases of any kind." The writer has heard the learned Welsh Druid affirm this in most earnest tones. He would not admit so degrading a practice for his Druids.

Yet Nennius tells how Vortigern, seeking to build a fort, was constantly annoyed by spirits running off with the stones; and how he was told by his Druids to get a fatherless boy, kill him, and sprinkle his blood upon the foundation of the buildings. Similar stories are mentioned in relation to Jericho, and to the **** of even Christian ecclesiastical edifices.

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