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Who or what  are the Druids?
What do they  believe and what is their purpose in this  time?

The  Ancient Druids were once, Judges, Kingmakers, Scientists, Magicians  and Priests and their modern counterparts may be viewed likewise.  The word itself (Druid) comes through both Brythonic tongues  (Cornish and Welsh) meaning either knowledge of the Oak or Wizard,  or Wise man, in Gaelic ( Irish and Scots.)

Druidry  itself is both a philosophical viewpoint and a religious world view,  although it would be fair to say that many Druids view themselves  also as Pagan Priests.

So  what is a Pagan Priest and how does a Priest differ from the rank  and file? To answer this question we have to first look at other  belief systems and the way in which they differ betwixt believer and  Priest.

The  Druid or Pagan Priest in this context may be seen as the Celebrant  and the believers, not as a congregation as is the case in most  systems, but as equals. It should be noted that Pagans tend to meet  or congregate in circles the importance being that they have no  head, nor do they have beginning or end (rather like the Round  Table). Thus, the circle mirrors the turning of the wheel, and the  cycle of the seasons held in such reverence by the Pagan  community.

There  are three basic grades or types of Druids.

The Bardic grade, which deals predominantly with musical, poetic,  artistic, and academic skills.

The Ovate grade, which deals  predominantly with the Intuitive and Magical skills including  healing, astrology and divination.

And  of course the Druid grade that deals with Public ritual and  Judgments, ceremonial, inspiration and culture.

There  are many different Orders of Druids, both National and Local. Some  prefer only to work within their own Sacred landscape, whilst others  are equally at home in many different locations. Some Orders  concentrate on the teaching side of Druidry, whilst others will  concentrate on the Magical and Intuitive, and yet others, the  Ritual. It is up to the individual as to which type of Druid Order  they join, bearing in mind how he or she prefers to work.

Tradition  has it that Druids, as opposed to other branches of the Pagan faith,  work with the Sun and the Solar Festivals. This is because  ..
"All we do. we do in the eye of the Sun and before and in the  presence of the assembled congregation"

It  is this Spirit of openness that has led to the spectacle of Public  Ritual, and the rebirth of an ancient magical religion.

Responsibilities  of the Druids.

There  is an inherent responsibility for those involved in the first type  Bardic orders to pass on such knowledge and understanding as they  have received, for generations yet to be.

 Likewise,  there is a responsibility for the use of such knowledge by those of  the Ovate grade and that such knowledge should be used for the  benefit of the planet and our environs.

Those  Orders and individuals who perform ritual in the public eye, and are  therefore themselves in the public domain, have likewise a  responsibility to the public as a whole and therefore should speak  out publicly against injustices at least as frequently as they do in  Ritual. They must be able to support their magical beliefs by their  daily conduct in life.

©Arthur  Pendragon /|\

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