Bardiness

"..a bardy view!"

Pendragon

Stonehenge

Druids. We don’t know the real truth about Stonehenge, their sacred place of worship, other than it was built several thousand years ago and long before the Pyramids.

Before the Romans arrived Druids were the all powerful religious rulers, with evidence of prolific human and animal sacrifice; the Romans seemed genuinely horrified by their behaviour and subsequently set about destroying them during the first century AD.

Of course the Romans were no angels, and clearly the British Druids presented a threat to their rule – long before they adopted Christianity.

There isn’t all that much known about the Druids because they never wrote anything down. When the Romans left Britain in the 5th Century they attempted a revival, but by then the force of Christianity was truly set against them, and as the invading Angles and Saxons slowly took over, conquering the remaining few British pagan kingdoms, it was truly the end of the road.

They had a revival in the Victorian age, and now they are perceived as a bunch of throwback 60’s hippies lost in a time warp. Twice a year they descend in their thousands to Stonehenge to watch the summer and winter solstice, and although they visit peacefully they always complain – mainly about their lack of access within the hallowed circle.

So what do Druids believe in? It’s an apt question because the title of this post is “Pendragon” – synonymous with the Arthurian legend, and when it is stripped of the Victorian romanticism, we are left with possibly a local warlord hailing from the ancient kingdom of Dumnonia (Cornwall) during the early dark ages after the Romans left Britain, fighting against the Saxons who were Germanic tribes seeking more land.

The country was beset with conflict, where individual kings were fighting against each other as well as the invaders. It was truly a dark period in British history, with the Picts invading from the north, now free of a Roman held Hadrian’s Wall, with Celtic and Irish warlords invading from the west, and the Saxons invading from the east. It’s a fascinating period of history, made all the more mysterious due to the lack of knowledge available.

Those British kingdoms did not embrace Christianity, but held to their pagan beliefs, and the Druid priests flourished in the vacuum left by Rome. If Luther Pendragon (King of the Britons) was the father of Arthur there isn’t much evidence of it. So why then would we assume to know of the Druids, who never committed themselves to the written word, and most of the information comes from Julius Caesar (who had a particular propagandist agenda) and the documented writings of the then contemporary Roman historians such as Tacitus, who wasn’t very impressed by them at all?

Druidry today regards itself as both a philosophical viewpoint and a religious world view, in tune with the earth and sky, mysticism, ritual and the sacred worship of the Sun.

Throw in the moon and the stars, and one could argue it is the perfect repository for anyone who rejects the principle tenets of a resurrected Christ who through love for us took on our sins and died on the cross to save our souls.

Pagans struggle with that concept because in ancient times, the Gods were powerful, warlike, and unforgiving. They demanded sacrifice to appease them.

Christianity to those pagans and druids was a weak religion – yet, in that weakness, so was strength, and it’s success today is testament to the power of it.

There’s nothing wrong with Druidy of course – and they have their temples in the shape of Stonehenge and the thousands of other ancient stone circles dotted around Europe to congregate within.

They are also generally peaceful and no longer indulge in the practice of human sacrifice – for obvious reasons.

In short, they have moved on – to a degree – because the Chief Druid calls himself King Arthur Pendragon, and if there is one thing the modern Druid believes in, it is the legend of King Arthur.

Sadly, for the romanticists it is just that, romancing the legend. When the Romans left Britain, they took away their knowledge and their skills.

In those dark ages, the roads they left slowly became ruined, and their walls and villas deteriorated, their central heating systems, stone buildings, tiled floors and roofs, irrigation systems, baths and aqueducts became mere ruins. Within two hundred years, the Britons were living in thatched houses with wattle and daub, and they had regressed. The Roman infrastructure had disappeared.

Such was the glory of Rome, no other place clearly demonstrates her rise and fall than Britannia.

So Arthur could not have lived in a grand castle called Camelot – such structures did not appear for another 600 years. The Round Table, Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, Guinevere, the Knights, Gawain, Galahad, Lancelot, Tristan; the chivalry, the tragedy, were all deliberately manufactured perfect ideals by the Victorians to enforce the principles of Englishness and the British Empire – and who could blame them?

It’s an amazing story – but that’s all it really is, and along with the Druids, it’s filled with romantic mythology.

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November 13, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

2 Comments »

  1. Fascinating.

    Like

    Comment by spookmoor | November 14, 2014 | Reply

  2. Just read again and once more found it fascinating and particularly liked the photo.

    Like

    Comment by spookmoor | March 21, 2016 | Reply


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