Synopses & Reviews
A comprehensive and revealing look at the druids and their fundamental role in Celtic society that dispels many of the misconceptions about these important religious figures and their doctrine
• Written by the world's leading authority on Celtic culture
Druidism was one of the greatest and most exalting adventures of the human spirit, attempting to reconcile the unreconcilable, the individual and the collective, creator and created, good and evil, day and night, past and future, and life and death. Because of the oral nature of Celtic civilization our understanding of its spiritual truths and rituals is necessarily incomplete. Yet evidence exists that can provide the modern reader with a better understanding of the doctrine that took druidic apprentices 20 years to learn in the remote forests of the British Isles and Gaul.
Using the descriptions of the druids and their beliefs provided by the historians and chroniclers of classic antiquity--as well as those recorded by the insular Celts themselves when compelled, under Christianity's influence, to utilize writing to preserve their ancestral traditions--Jean Markale painstakingly pieces together all that is known for certain about them. The druids were more than simply the priests of the Celtic people; their influence extended to all aspects of Celtic life. The Druids covers everything concerning the Celtic religious domain, intellectual speculations, cultural or magical practices, various beliefs, and the so-called profane sciences that have come down from the Celtic priesthood.
About the Author
Jean Markale (1928-2008), was a poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, who spent a lifetime researching pre-Christian and medieval culture and spirituality. He was a former specialist in Celtic studies at the Sorbonne and author of more than 40 books, including Montségur and the Mystery of the Cathars, The Church of Mary Magdalene, The Druids, The Celts, Merlin, and Women of the Celts.
Table of Contents
A comprehensive and revealing look at the druids and their fundamental role in Celtic society, this book dispels many of the misconceptions about these important religious figures and their doctrine.
Poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, Jean Markale has spenta lifetime researching Celtic civilizations. He is the author of more than40 books on pre-Christian societies, including The Celts, Merlin, Womenof the Celts,and King of the Celts. He lives in the Brittanyregion of France.andnbsp;andnbsp;
Celtic Priests of Nature
Part One: The Druids
1andnbsp;andnbsp; The Druids' Name
2andnbsp;andnbsp; The Druidic Hierarchy
3andnbsp;andnbsp; The Druids and Society
Part Two: The Beginning Times
4andnbsp;andnbsp; Where Did Druidism Come From?
5andnbsp;andnbsp; Gods and Men
6andnbsp;andnbsp; The God Above the Gods
7andnbsp;andnbsp; The Physician and the Sun
8andnbsp;andnbsp; The Warrior Deity
9andnbsp;andnbsp; The Father of All
10andnbsp; The Three-Faced Goddess
11andnbsp; In the Depths of the Sanctuary
Part Three: Initiations and Rituals
12andnbsp; The Druidic Sanctuary
13andnbsp; Mistletoe and Plant Ritual
14andnbsp; The Four Elements
15andnbsp; The Sacrifices
16andnbsp; Festivals and Holidays
17andnbsp; The Power of the Word
18andnbsp; Totemism and Shamanism
Part Four: Druidic Thought
20 A False Polytheism
21 Druidic Monism
22andnbsp; Mind and Matter
23 The Otherworld
24 The Quest
Indexandquot;There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale.andquot;
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