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What is a Druid?

January 22, 2021

In the second book of the Mystical epic fantasy series, Within the Myst, Ryder Somerled takes Hickory Asuwish to see her das’ aunt, Cordelia Beinn (nee Welig) in Muighland. Just before they arrive, he breaks the news to her: her grandaunt is a druid of Awen.

Hickory is shocked and regrets coming because she has been taught druids, like foretellers, are bad people. She has been forbidden to see them.

I’m currently writing this scene that appears in chapter 9.

But what is a druid?

If I google that question, this is one answer I find:

A druid was a member of the high-ranking class in ancient Celtic cultures. Perhaps best remembered as religious leaders, they were also legal authorities, adjudicators, lorekeepers, medical professionals and political advisors.

Wikipedia

The definition provided by Google is:

a priest, magician, or soothsayer in the ancient Celtic religion.

a member of a present-day group claiming to represent or be derived from this religion.

That’s close to what I’d consider a druid, but this is a little closer:

Druids were concerned with the natural world and its powers, and considered trees sacred, particularly the oak. Druidism can be described as a shamanic religion, as it relied on a combination of contact with the spirit world and holistic medicines to treat (and sometimes cause) illnesses.

Historic UK

Looking further into the origin of the word, we find this: from Latin druidae, druides (plural), from Gaulish; related to Irish draoidh ‘magician, sorcerer’.

Taking what I believe is correct from the above definitions, I’ll add this bit of wisdom.

The term Druid has been agreed upon by many scholars to mean “oak knowledge” or more generally, “deep knowledge.” The term “Druid” refer to a wide assortment of spiritual paths and practices, all of them rooted in nature-based spirituality.

The Druid’s Garden

Druids in my Fantasy Novels

Druids in my stories follow an ancient trail. They walk with nature and worship the sun as the giver of life. While they possess energy magic, some have more than others. They are more sought after for their wisdom and healing knowledge than their magic.

Druidism is not a religion, not a belief; it’s a path, a self-discovery journey, a lifestyle. While they worship the sun, they also honour nature, the stars, moon, soil and water. They never stop learning, always seeking to expand their knowledge, and they are the ones who remember the history of a place and its people.

They often live alone in secluded locations, but sometimes they’ll be found living amongst their people in villages. Anyone, regardless of race or sex, can be a druid.

Cordelia Beinn, a Druid of Awen

As a newlin druid, Cordelia will share her wisdom with Hickory. This will be the history of the Land of Knavesmire and its people. Hickory has lived a sheltered life and has not been taught this history of her homeland. I sense she will first doubt her grandaunt until she finds evidence to support the wild accusations.

To read the first scene in the first chapter of Within the Myst, check out its book page.

Note: das is the word newlin’s use for their father.

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