Atlantis Online
July 23, 2019, 11:54:32 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Hunt for Lost City of Atlantis
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3227295.stm
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

Pages: 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 21   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 2923 times)
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #60 on: February 19, 2009, 03:10:58 pm »

NEO-DRUIDISM.
Edward Davies, author of Mythology and Rites of British Druids, was one of those who, with Job Morganwg, regarded the Arkite theory as having its foundation in Genesis. But,

p. 63

as Professor Rhys says, "when one turns to Davies's authorities for his unhesitating statements of the kind, no doubt one is a little dismayed at first, and not a little inclined to doubt him altogether, and, in disposing of his Helio-Arkite absurdity, dispose of the Druids with them."

The Modern Druidism, or Bardism, about which a few years ago there was considerable excitement in Wales, must not be confounded with the Druidism of Myfyr and Morien, who sought the revival of what was declared by others to be a mystical paganism. The Bardism of this century, brought forward by Welsh clergymen, like Ab Ithel, &c., was founded upon the so-called Welsh Triads of the Middle Ages, which were interpreted in a quasi Christian light, and presumed to have been the relics of the Scriptural Patriarchal system.

The Rev. John Williams was, perhaps, the best exponent of Bardism, though all its advocates recognized in it the Church of England ideas of this century, and yet hardly of the High Church order. The Patriarchal Religion of Britain, by the Rev. Dr. James, made many converts to the system. But the ceremonies associated with it have something of the Masonic character. This is the Summary of the Bardo-Druidic creed:--

There was one God. There were five elements--earth, water, fire, air, and heavens. The soul--refined, vital, and imperishable--is a lapsed intelligence, regaining happiness by transmigration. Creation improved as man improved, and animals gradually became men. Man develops by experience in different states of being. Celestial beings aid man in development. Ultimately all will be happy, and evil finally extinguished. All these views were gathered from the said Triads, though regarded by many pious Welshmen as teaching opposed to Christianity.

Morien's reading of the Triads is something very different;

p. 64

for The Light of Britannia has no Bardo-Druidic creed.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2009, 03:11:16 pm »

DRUIDICAL BELIEF.
Immortality was adjudged to be a Druidic creed.

The Inverness Gaelic Society's Journal has this affirmation: "They looked for an immortality more substantial than the rewards of fame, in a heroic state in the far-off spirit land, to which the bards, it would appear, issued the passport --There lay the realms of mystery." Beyond that, however, was "the roofless house of lasting doom," to which illustrious spirits eventually passed. As a Skye tale implies, there was a happier region in the Beyond, from which there was no return. The ghosts, that appeared, came, as they are said by Spiritualists of our day still to come, from a sort of pleasant Purgatory, where they enjoyed awhile a free and easy condition of existence.

Ammianus Marcellinus recorded: "The Druids, who united in a Society, occupied themselves with profound and sublime questions, raised themselves above human affairs, and sustained the immortality of the soul." On the other hand, Archbishop Whately, and many more, maintained that there was no proof of immortality independent of revelation.

This idea of life had, however, a peculiar connection with pre-existence and transmigration. Thus, George Eliot refers to their finding "new bodies, animating them in a quaint and ghastly way with antique souls." So Wordsworth--

     "Our life's star
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
     And cometh from far."

The soul descended into the womb of nature to be re-born

p. 65

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2009, 03:11:32 pm »

in another body. Cæsar ascertained that Druids "are anxious to have it believed that souls do not die, but after death pass from one to another." Troyon fancied men of the Stone Age accepted reincarnation; since they buried their dead crouching, to imitate the babe in the womb. Lord Brougham asserted that the ancients "all believed in the soul's pre-existence." Theosophists hold that Druids recognized the Karmic land. Mormons share the like faith. Morien refers to souls waiting in the Sea of Annwn, to be called up to inhabit new bodies. Taliesin sang, "My original country is the land of Cherubim."

What said the Irish upon immortality?

Their word Nullog, newbeily, implied regeneration. Their many tales of transmigration, or life under varied conditions, are well known. An old MS. has this of a ghost

"Fionn never slept a calm sleep
From that night to the day of his death."

This, says O'Kearney, "is a poetical licence, and evidently refers to the time when the spirit of Fionn, according to the Druidic doctrine of the transmigration of souls, should assume mortality in some other shape and character, and revisit the earth." The same author--noting the dialogue between St. Patrick and Oisin the Fenian, who had been three hundred years in the Land of Youth--observes, "It is doubtful if St. Patrick ever saw the real Oisin, but only some Druid or old Seanchaidhe who believed himself to be Oisin revived."

Donald Ross, taking the creed of the old Scots, said, "They held a modified form of Pythagorean metempsychosis; for the soul is represented as emigrating into the lower animals, and even into trees, stones, and other inanimate objects." Two versions are given of the lives of Tuan Mac Coireall one, that he lived 100 years as a

p. 66

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2009, 03:11:49 pm »

man, 300 as a deer, 300 as a boar, 300 as a bird, and 300 as a salmon; the other was, that he was zoo years a man, 20 a hog, 30 a stag, 100 an eagle, and 30 a fish. To this day butterflies are spoken of as souls of some deceased persons.

Dr. A. G. Richey, Q. C., when quoting from pre-Christian MSS., is careful to intimate that they were "not more historically credible or useful than the Hellenic--the Tain Bo than the Iliad." He gives the wonderful adventures of Fintan, who passed through many lives on earth, and appeared to St. Patrick. He was for a year beneath the waters of the Deluge, but in a fast sleep. A couple of verses of the poem will suffice.

"I was then in Ireland,--
Pleasant was my condition
When Partholon arrived
From the Grecian country in the East.
After that the Tuatha De arrived,
Concealed in their dark clouds;
I ate my food with them,
Although at such a remote period."

Dr. H. Waddell, dealing with the Druids, points out--"Purification by fire for body and soul, and assimilation thereby to the purest essence of the universe, were the fundamental ideas of their creed--the infallible means of the highest and most acceptable apotheosis." Rhys remarks--"That they believed in a dominant faith and transmigration is pretty certain."

"Irish transmigration," remarks O'Beirne Crowe, "means the soul's passing from man into other animals--man and all subordinate animals included. This is Irish transmigration, called by the Greeks, transformation of one body into another, while the Gaulish is transmigration of a soul into the body of another human being." He adds--"But is this transformation a Druidic doctrine? Most certainly

p. 67

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #64 on: February 19, 2009, 03:12:01 pm »

not; it is purely Pythagorean, and must have for many centuries preceded Druidism in this strange land of ours."

The revival of Reincarnation, by Madame Blavatsky, and the Theosophists under the eloquent Mrs. Besant, shows the persistency of the idea that so entranced the semi-civilized Irish long ago, and seemed so satisfactory a way to account for the existence of man after death.

Transmigration being found in Ireland, has led some to assert their conviction that Buddhist missionaries conveyed it thither. The Soc. des Antiquiaires de France had an article, from the pen of Coquebert-Montbret, advancing this opinion, relying upon the known ardour and extensive proselytism of early Buddhist missionaries. He knows the Irish deity Budd or Budwas, and asks if that be not Buddha. In the Hebrides, spirits are called Boduchs, and the same word is applied to all heads of families, as the Master. The Druids were, says one, only an order of Eastern priests, located in Britain, adoring Buddwas.

The St. Germain Museum has, in its Gaulish department, an altar, on which is represented a god with the legs crossed after the manner of the Indian Buddha. That relic is the fourth of the kind found in France. Anderson Smith, in his Lewisiana, writes reluctantly--"we must accept the possibility of a Buddhist race passing north from Ireland." This means, that Ireland is to be regarded as the source of so many Buddhist significations which are discovered on the west of Scotland, and in the Hebrides.

It has been generally accepted that Druidism was Celtic in origin and practice, because Cæsar found it in Gaul and Britain. But he records three races in Gaul itself--the Celtic, the German, and the Aquitani. The Britons were, to him, Belgæ, or of German connection. He knew nothing of Ireland or Wales, in which two countries he would have seen the fellows of his Aquitani, a darker

p. 68

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #65 on: February 19, 2009, 03:12:17 pm »

people than either Celt or German. Prof. Rhys, one of highest living authorities, was justified in thinking that Druidism was "probably to be traced to the race or races which preceded the Celts in their possession of the British Isles." The Iberians, with dark eyes and hair, belong to these Isles, as well as in north-west and south-west Germany. In Brittany, as in Wales, to this day, the Iberian and Celt may be seen side by side.

A discussion has arisen in French scientific journals to the apparently different views of Druidism in writings attributed to Pythagoras and to Cæsar. Hermand pointed out their contradiction. Lamariouze remarked--"One says there were in all Celtic lands neither temples statues; the other, on the contrary, would declare he had found the worship of Roman divinities, and consequently temples, statues, images." Pythagoras was told by a Druid that he believed "in one Divinity alone, who is everywhere since He is in all."

Lamariouze failed to see any decided difference in two authorities, saving the modification occasioned by Roman domination. He saw in one of the constituents and principles of the Gaulish religion the proscription temples and idols, recalling the well-known fact of the destruction of the temple of Delphi by the same people. He points out that Cæsar spoke of a likeness to Roman idols, not the idols themselves, especially in the relation so many of Mercury.

Of the Gaulish Druids, Lamariouze said--"Besides the purely spiritual beliefs, they permitted a material worship for the people. They permitted the adoration of God that which the ancients named the Elements."

Some hold that the Druids were either strangers from afar, or an esoteric body of the learned, who permitted the vulgar to indulge their heathenish practices, while they

p. 69

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #66 on: February 19, 2009, 03:12:26 pm »

themselves maintained loftier conceptions. The early Christian missionaries seemed to have adopted a like policy in allowing their converts considerable liberty, especially if safe-guarded by a change of names in their images. For instance, as Fosbroke's British Monarchism says, "British churches, from policy, were founded upon the site of Druidical temples."

The three rays of the Druids, three yods, fleur-de-lis, broad arrow, or otherwise named, may have represented light from heaven, or the male attributes, in the descending way, and female ones when in the reversed position. They may have been Buddhist, or even ancient Egyptian--and may have symbolized different sentiments at different times, or in different lands.

As Druids, like other close bodies, wrote nothing, we depend upon outside pagans, and Christian teachers, for what we know of their doctrines. Doubtless, as many Spanish Jews kept secretly their old faith after the enforced adoption of Christianity, so may some Irish monks have partly retained theirs, and even revealed it, under a guise, in their writings, since ecclesiastical authority shows that Druidism was not wholly extinct in the sixteenth century.

While some authorities imagined the Druids preceded the ordinary polytheistic religion, others taught that they introduced pantheism. Amédée Thierry, in Histoire des Gaulois, found it based on pantheism, material, metaphysical, mysterious, sacerdotal, offering the most striking likeness to the religions of the East. He discovered no historic light as to how the Cymry acquired this religion, nor why it resembled the pantheism of the East, unless through their early sojourn on the borders of Asia.

"The empire of Druidism," says he, "did not destroy the religion of exterior nature, which had preceded it. All learned and mysterious religions tolerate an under-current

p. 70

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #67 on: February 19, 2009, 03:12:37 pm »

of gross fetishism to occupy and nourish the superstition of the multitude."

Again he writes--"But in the east and south of Gaul, where Druidism had not been imposed at the point of the sword, although it had become the prevailing form of worship, the ancient religion preserved more independence, even under the ministry of the Druids, who made themselves its priests. It continued to be cultivated, if I may use the word, following the march of civilization and public intelligence, rose gradually from fetishism to religious conceptions more and more purified." Was it in this way that Druids found their way to Britain and Ireland?

Cæsar, who saw nothing of the religion among these islands, was told that here was the high seat of Druidism. His observations on religion were not so keen as those on the art of war. Thierry regarded Druidism as an imported faith into Gaul, and partly by means of force. Strabo heard that Druids spoke Greek. Tacitus may say our rude ancestors worshipped Castor and Pollux; but Agricola, who destroyed Druids in Mona, found no images in the woods.

Baecker remarked that "the Celtic history labours under such insuperable obscurity and incertitude, that we cannot premise anything above a small degree of verisimilitude." And Ireland's Mirror ventured to write--"On no subject has fancy roamed with more licentious indulgence than on that of the Druids and their Institutions. Though sunk in the grossest ignorance and barbarism, their admirers have found them, in the dark recesses of forests, secluded from mankind, and almost from day, cultivating the abstrusest sciences, and penetrating the sublimest mysteries of nature--and all this without the aid of letters or of experiments."

This is not the opinion of some modern devotees of

p. 71

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #68 on: February 19, 2009, 03:12:49 pm »

Druidism in these islands, who imagine, under Druidic control, the existence of a primal and exalted civilization.

O'Curry thought it probable "that the European Druidical system was but the offspring of the Eastern augury, somewhat less complete when transplanted to a new soil."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #69 on: February 19, 2009, 03:13:05 pm »

DRUIDICAL MYSTICISM.
However orthodox the Irish of the present day may be esteemed, there must have been a fair amount of mysticism in the past amongst so imaginative a race. Perhaps this quality brought them into some disrepute with the Church, down to the time when the Pope gave their country to the Norman King of England, in order to bring the people into more consistent faith. Even St. Bernard, in his Life of Malachy, referred to the Irish as "Pagans, while calling themselves Christians."

John Scotus Erigena, the learned Irishman of the ninth century, was certainly mystical in his views. He spoke of God as the essence of all things; of the Divine Dark and Supreme Nothing; of creation being only an eternal self-unfolding of the Divine Nature; of all things resolved or self-drawn to God; of time and space, of modes of conception of the present state, &c.

Gould's History of Freemasonry refers to the connection between the Druids and Freemasons. The Papal Bull of 1751 against the latter might have been applied to the former:--

"The strict bond of secrecy--the oath to keep secret--at variance with civil and canon law--of ill repute amongst wise and good men." Clement XII. was followed in his condemnation of Freemasons by Benedict XIV.

The Zohar of the Kabbala taught that the "narrative of the Doctrine was its cloak--the simple look only at

p. 72

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #70 on: February 19, 2009, 03:13:17 pm »

the garment." Clement of Alexandria wrote, "The mysteries of the Faith are not to be divulged to all.--It is requisite to hide in a mystery the wisdom spoken." Even Augustine admitted that what "is now called the Christian religion really was known to the ancients." Druidism may, therefore, have had its secrets.

It is well to recollect, as Professor Rhys points out, that "what may seem to one generation of men a mere matter of mythology, is frequently found to have belonged to the serious theology of a previous one;" and that "early man is not beneath contempt, especially when he proves to have had within him the makings of a great race, with its highest notions of duty and right."

No one can deny that Wales--somehow or other, at a certain period, assuredly long after the establishment of Christianity in these Islands, and suspected by many, from philological investigations, to have been about the twelfth century--received a flood of mystical learning, conveyed in Welsh Triads of great beauty, but great obscurity. This mystical learning, conveyed in a Christian guise, is asserted to be a re-statement, in refined symbolism, of those ancient creeds, and associated with ideas drawn from megalithic monuments, as cromlechs and circles.

The Irish literature of the same period in the Middle Ages, though less tinctured than the Welsh with the Medieval mysticism, is not without a trace of it. England, judging from the sudden admixture of religious symbols, previously unknown in the Churches of that same era, was likewise affected. French literature shares the same suspicion, Brittany in particular, and especially in connection with the myths of Arthur, and the Quest of the Holy Grail. Morien is right in placing this French development of Pagan mysticism alongside that of his Welsh.

The Early Lives of St. Patrick, containing many foolish

p. 73

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #71 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

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #72 on: February 19, 2009, 03:13:45 pm »

born as a man. "The idea," says Jubainville, "that a soul could in this world re-clothe successively several different physical forms, was a natural consequence of a Celtic doctrine well known in antiquity. This doctrine is that the deceased who have left in the tomb their body deprived of life, find in exchange a living body in the mysterious country which they go to inhabit, under the bewitching sceptre of the powerful King of the Dead."

That there has been an esoteric learning in the Past, which has come down to us in the form of Christian and Masonic Symbolism, is now by many accepted as a truth. The Mason's Tools must have been used once, though now merely badges of the worthy Craft. We may, therefore, be excused citing a remarkable letter, reproduced in Melville's costly work, Veritas, professedly dealing with the esoteric laws of the Medes and Persians, which cannot alter. The letter is signed by Mr. Henry Melville, and by Mr. Frederick Tennyson, brother of the late Lord Tennyson, and is addressed as follows:--

"TO THE MOST WORSHIPFUL THE GRAND MASTER OF IRELAND,

HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF LEINSTER:

"The Petition of the Undersigned,

"Humbly Sheweth--

"That we, Master Masons, are in possession of the knowledge of the 'Lost Secrets of Masonry.' We can prove that the Mysteries were Masonic, inasmuch as by the usage of the Symbols now unwittingly worn by Companions and Masters, Celestial Laws are framed in accordance with the Sacred Writings, and by these Laws are obtained the true interpretation of the Lost Mysteries.

"That in former ages the learned rulers retained the Masonic mysteries for the use and benefit of the Craft, and these Mysteries were not to be divulged under a lesser penalty than Death. Such mystic secresy might have been advisable and requisite in ages past, but such retention of knowledge your Petitioners verily believe to be no longer necessary, as the advancement of truth is now the policy of the civilized world, more especially so of the British nation.

"Your Petitioners, therefore, humbly pray, Most Worshipful Sir,

p. 75

Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #73 on: February 19, 2009, 03:13:57 pm »

that you will be pleased to order a Commission of learned and intelligent Brethren to be appointed to inquire and decide--

"1st--Whether the knowledge we profess was in former times considered Masonic.

"2nd--Whether the Lost Mysteries were, and consequently still are, celestial truths.

"3rd--Whether truth should be published to mankind under the sanction of the Grand Lodge, provided always that these Lost truths interfere not with the Mysteries and Ritual of Modern Masonry.

"And, lastly, whether, under all considerations, the Grand Lodge of Ireland will assist, fraternally, the dissemination of the recovered truths, which will enlighten the most enlightened Chiefs' of this present generation.

(Signed) HENRY MELVILLE,
FREDERICK TENNYSON."

We were acquainted with Mr. Melville in Tasmania some fifty years ago, when he had been long engaged in an investigation of ancient learning, and had even then come to the conclusion that heathen mythology was but a disguise, concealing scientific truths.

Occultism, in these modern days, as in Madame Blavatsky's Theosophy, or Morien's Light of Britannia, attempts to explain, even to the vulgar many, the secret mysteries supposed to have been cherished by the IRISH DRUIDS.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Report Spam   Logged
Crissy Herrell
Superhero Member
******
Posts: 3407



« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2009, 03:14:20 pm »

p. 76

PART II.
EARLY RELIGIONS OF THE IRISH.
INTRODUCTION.
ONE of the most philosophical statements from Max Müller is to this effect: "Whatever we know of early religion, we always see that it presupposes vast periods of an earlier development." This is exhibited in the history of all peoples that have progressed in civilization, though we may have to travel far back on the track of history to notice transformations of thought or belief. When the late Dr. Birch told us that a pyramid, several hundreds of years older than the Great Pyramid, contained the name of Osiris, we knew that at least the Osirian part of Egyptian mythology was honoured some six or seven thousand years ago What the earlier development of religion there was, or how the conception of a dying and risen Osiris arose, at so remote a period, may well excite our wonder.

Professor Jebb writes--"There was a time when they (early man) began to speak of the natural powers as persons, and yet had not forgotten that they were really natural, powers, and that the persons' names were merely signs? Yet this goes on the assumption that religion--or rather dogmas thereof--sprang from reflections upon natural phenomena. In this way, the French author of Sirius satisfied himself, particularly on philological grounds, that the idea, of God sprang from an association with thunder and the barking of a dog.

p. 77
Report Spam   Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 21   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy