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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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Posts: 3407

« Reply #210 on: February 22, 2009, 12:38:29 am »

Maelain; Derrada-Doire-fhada, the long oak grove; Derrybeg, little oak; Derry Duff, black-oak wood. Derry is from Doire or Dair, oak. Kildare was Cill-dara, the church of the oak. St. Bridgid of Kildare built her cell, it is said, under a very high oak. Hanmer wrote--"Bridget builded a cell for her abode under a goodly faire oke, which afterwards grew to be a monasterie of virgins called Cylldara, in Latin Cella quercus."

Druids were so named from Dair, Doire, or Duir--the oak. The Druids were Dairaoi, or dwellers in oaks. There was the Gaulish Drus or Drys, the Gaelic Daru, the Saxon Dre or Dry, the Breton Derw, the Persian Duracht, the Sanscrit Druh.

The oak was thought sacred from its acorns being food for man in his savage state. It was dedicated to Mars and Jupiter. Etrurian inscriptions appear about the oak. The temple of the oracular Dodona was in an oak forest We read that 456 B.C., a Roman Consul took an oak solemnly to witness as a god. That tree was the symbol of the Gaulish deity Hesus, as it was of the German Thor. The Dryades were priests of the oak. It was associated with the tau or cross. "So far as I know," says Forlong, "the cutting of a live oak into a tau, or deity, is unique on the part of the Druids." The stones in Sichem were placed under an oak. The oak or terebinth of Mamre was worshipped as late as the fourth century. The oak was sacred, as the acorn and its cup represented the male and female principles.

The MISTLETOE had an early reputation as a guide to the other world. Armed with that golden branch, one could pass to Pluto's realm:--

"Charon opposed--they showed the Branch.
They show'd the bough that lay beneath the vest;
At once his rising wrath was hush'd to rest."

p. 236

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