The roots of the Druids almost certainly are to be found in th animistic shamans way. Shamans as healers and oracles often use the knowledge they gained in states of individual trance to the benefit of customers or their communities. Like druids they use conveyed icons, images, symbols and concepts of their tribes. But unlike druids thy often use drugs or very ascetic practices to induce or amplify the state of trance. This is very straining on body, spirit and soul. Many shamans deliberately pay this exorbitant price for the benefit of their tribe.
Celts and especially the druids amongst them acknowledge that apprehension of the other world can be attained by everyone with enough respect and attentiveness. – well that is to at least catch a glimpse. Who does not know the records of the boy who slept on a fairy’s mound – just to awake to his delight in midst a merry fairies party? – If this fellow was wise and did not luster after worldly riches, the story most certainly had a happy ending… The perception of the other world, diverse Genii locii (spirits of a certain place), Dryads, Undines, Sylphs and Salamanders and the very powerful archetypical gods of old principally is open to everyone. It just takes a certain kind of patience and training. A word of advice though: Do not be fooled by self-declared “clairvoyants”: Too often the only spirits they can see clearly are “money” or “self-importance”.
Exactly for this reason very early on, presumably somewhere between India and Greece there emerged almost identical traditions that capacitated not only the awareness of the supernatural but the integrity of the practitioners character as well. At the time good ole Aesop excogitated his fables, they were nothing but parables of cause and result.
Druids from the first to the last always were a curious lot: So up to this day we are trying to find out about the connection between certain causes and their consequences in nature. Physics, astronomy, medicine, philosophy and politics of the Occident all have their roots in the hunger of wisdom of their druidic forefathers. Even at the time of La Tène, the druids had such a vast body of knowledge, the apprenticeship for a druid easily lasted twenty years or longer. – But there was or is no such thing as a real common system of lore. (My own apprenticeship – without silly me noticing I was at it at all – lasted well more than 30 years)
Nevertheless there is a consensus a would be druid should master at least one of three paths and at least be an able adept in the other two. How he attains this goal is completely up to him and his abilities. In each of the three paths the incomprehensibility and the constant forming will of the one can be apprehended and understood. Be it the Gaia-concept of nowadays Ecologists, the acceptance of the manifest consequence of the infinitesimal tiny in the mathematicians fractals, the duality of wave and matter of the physician, or the realization of the illusion of might, wealth and power in social and politological sciences. Be it through archaic or modern ways of apprehension. Once you get the fact that behind and undividable interdependent with this material, measurable reality there is a second layer, then you instantly will be able to listen to the harmonious music of the elves with awe – right here and today wherever ground your shadow may be falling on. All hectic and egocentric snatching for security in a deeply insecure world becomes unnecessary and the now no more apprentice has become a Druid who is able to determine his way on his own, even if he continues pretty much the same way than before. Anxious hope has become certainty And constant fear has to yield to a cozy security. The unthinkable has become thinkable and therefore even the doors of time, space and lives are opening. All that is being now becomes animate with the One’s presence.
From this perspective it’s pretty logic to help others on their quest for their own certainty – be it alone through the urge to research – now fully awake and ablaze. Got the point now why we put such an emphasis on transmitting our knowledge orally? Everybody has to find his/her own reality. Form the certainty in his own mind. Just zealous repetition without any apprehension may be terribly scholarly but utterly senseless. That is the reason why druids have a reputation at being rather withdrawn from society and being counselors of kings and emperors at the same. In the holistic understanding of this and the other world(s) lies the key to the druids ability to cure and mend what can be mended. Therefore real druids never even have the slightest need to use any hallucinogenic substances or practices to gain their wisdom.
Nevertheless a word of warning: “Science without Religion is lame, Religion without Science is blind” (A. Einstein) Who gets lost in the cunningly laid out labyrinth of the might-obsesses tyrant Minos, can only be saved by the realization of love. Many have forgotten the names of their fathers and mothers by blind study – have become blind slaves erring around in the darkness of so-called science or economy:
Get the point: Science does create knowledge but not wisdom!!!
With this: may your way be a beautiful one, be it in Science, Religion, or Craftmanship (including arts).
Chose your path according to your abilities and your own free will, but never frown on a follower of another path.