The Druids: Celtic Priests of Nature

Overview

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,...

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
" . . a very fascinating and informative book (no fluff here), definitely not to be missed."

"Do yourself a favor and expand your view of Druids and Celtic culture. Buy this book and read it. Decide for yourself if you agree with the author's premise. Then take the time to think about it in depth and see if your opinions change."

"There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale."

Andre Brenton
"There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale."
Belladonna's Book Shelf
" . . a very fascinating and informative book (no fluff here), definitely not to be missed."
Mike Gleason
"Do yourself a favor and expand your view of Druids and Celtic culture. Buy this book and read it. Decide for yourself if you agree with the author's premise. Then take the time to think about it in depth and see if your opinions change."
André Brenton
"There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale."
André Brenton
"There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale."
Feb 2007 Belladonna's Book Shelf
" . . a very fascinating and informative book (no fluff here), definitely not to be missed."
author of Manifestoes of Surrealism André Brenton
"There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale."
author of Manifestoes of Surrealism André Brenton
"There is no better spokesman for the ancient Celts than Jean Markale."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892817030
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,000,229
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Poet, philosopher, historian, and storyteller, Jean Markale has spent a lifetime researching Celtic civilizations. He is the author of more than 40 books on pre-Christian societies, including The Celts, Merlin, Women of the Celts, and King of the Celts. He lives in the Brittany region of France.

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Table of Contents

The Druids
Celtic Priests of Nature
Foreword
Part One: The Druids
1 The Druids' Name
2 The Druidic Hierarchy
3 The Druids and Society
Part Two: The Beginning Times
4 Where Did Druidism Come From?
5 Gods and Men
6 The God Above the Gods
7 The Physician and the Sun
8 The Warrior Deity
9 The Father of All
10 The Three-Faced Goddess
11 In the Depths of the Sanctuary
Part Three: Initiations and Rituals
12 The Druidic Sanctuary
13 Mistletoe and Plant Ritual
14 The Four Elements
15 The Sacrifices
16 Festivals and Holidays
17 The Power of the Word
18 Totemism and Shamanism
19 Neodruidism
Part Four: Druidic Thought
20 A False Polytheism
21 Druidic Monism
22 Mind and Matter
23 The Otherworld
24 The Quest
Conclusion
Notes
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2003

    An Interesting Read

    This is the first book I've read on the Druids or the Celts. I found that it was a good starter book for a study of the Celts and the Druids. Markale gave a lot of information on a subject that is still seen as somewhat of an enigma. Though I would have liked to learn more about these 'Priests of Nature' than the book offered, I thought he did a good job of conveying knowlegde that was traditionally passed down by word of mouth. I liked this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    Great Information backed by evidence

    This book is by far the best comprehensive collection of facts about the ancient orders of druids. Markale is the only author of druidism and the celts who uses actual archeological and philology to dedcipher the true intent and purpose of the druids. If you're looking for a book grounded in facts and not in some New Age "enlightenment" then this is a great place to start. Of course, I did find it unnerveing when he tried (and I think without success) to make a connection between the polytheistic druids and their natural state as a monotheistic order.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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