After the ‘Age of Faerie’ was forgotten, the Danubian Druids became the mythological and legendary deities of the Celtic people, the Sidhe were thought to always have resided in the invisible world, and the era of magick ended. It gave way instead to a false lineage to rule Aeurope in the guise of ‘Holy Mother Church,’ while it was being run and transformed by the dark decisions of “powerful” people.
Although the Gnosticism of the original Christians inspired the secret gospels as well as Christ himself who was initiated in these mysteries, those of the Dark Ages who led under the name of Christ’s work developed a religion of propaganda, control and genocide.While the surviving members of the Elven-Ffayrie hold some resentment against specific ignorant members of the ‘Christian Tradition,’ they do not find any contradiction between Christ’s actual teachings and their own. The misuse of a ‘Religious Empire’ marked the beginning of the “Dark Ages,” a time when even Christians were leaving the Catholic Church to start their own protestant religions. In breaking with the original Church, however, these new religions continued in removing elements from the Bible and altering wording. No longer being a part of Rome, they also lost access to the Vatican records. During the Dark Ages a new version of the Bible emerged eliminating all references to the Elven-Ffayrie Histories, mysticism, reincarnation, some of the work of Jesus and several full ‘books.’ By this time, the Elven-Ffayrie Dragon folk were construed as “demons” and “devils” to the ‘New Church.’
The Church saw the Elven-Ffayrie as a threat. No longer would they be considered the true ‘Sons of God.’ No longer would they be thought of as the true ruling class of Aeurope. The ‘Time of Elves, Magick and Gods,’ gave way to the ‘Time of Men’ and their ways. The Elven Histories become fictitious mythology. For example, in one myth God comes to Lilith when she is bathing her children and asks her to present all them to Him. Being embarrassed by those who were not clean by the time of God’s arrival, hid away the unwashed. Knowing full well the truth, God asked her if she had presented all of them. She replied by saying, “Yes,” and those Elven-Ffayrie who had been hidden from God were cursed by being hidden from the eyes of Men. An even more disturbing genesis is found concerning the Nordic Elven-Ffayrie. In this version, the Elven-Ffayrie beings emerge or were born from the maggots who fed on the corpse of the Norse Wizard and Giant, ‘Ymir.’ Other legends of the Dark Ages depicted the Elven-Ffayrie as fallen angels. Concerning the ‘pixies,’ the Church explained that they were the souls of the children who died before being baptized into Catholicism.
As a result of an annihilated legacy, it is difficult for contemporary society to imagine what is was like in the Age of Faerie. Looking at the skeletal timeline in the appendix concerning Ancient Sumeria and Mesopotamia, it becomes clear when comparing it to the events of Elven History that the historical events themselves are not sufficient in understanding what life was actually like and what was happening on a cultural level beyond pottery and arrow-heads. While they certainly correspond with the Elven Histories, the historical events themselves reveal nothing concerning the traditions, rites and mythos of the people.
In ancient times the Druids handled all matters of authentic kingship. They would in fact designate the rulers and no Celtic King was complete without a ceremony overseen by a Druid Elf, and one of their representatives to “advise him” during his rule. The ‘royal line’ again being connected to the Elven-Ffayrie Tradition, and so they installed their own blood into that of Kings and Druids so that it would be maintained throughout generations alongside (but separate) from the general Celtic population. Some historians will actually distinguish between the physical characteristics and appearance of the Druids compared to that of the common Celt. It is for this reason that modern seekers or reconstructionists must be careful in not assimilating all aspects of “Celticism” that are not purely Druidic, “Alferic” or Elven, if their intention is to maintain an Elven-Ffayrie Tradition that is at all authentic.
During the time before the wretched Dark Ages, all the kings and priests were Elven-Ffayrie. We can assume that the 5th century King Arthur is probably the last of the great Pagan Celtic Kings prior to the control of the Empire. The leaders during the Dark Ages that thrust civilization into ignorance were not the great mystical seers and sages of the age prior which became known as “pagan” or “heathen.” During the Dark Ages, the Church was not the beacon of light it once was (or could be) and mainly ruled in an age of darkness. All of the magick of the prior world was marked “evil,” except that which was used by Moses and Jesus and those who could do ‘miracles by God’s hand.’ Indeed, the Dark Ages begins when Rome starts deciding the coronation of kings and replaces the Elven-Ffayrie, dispatching them much like the Jedi are ambushed and annihilated in “Star Wars: Episode III.” Only a select number of them survived and were forced “underground.” At the beginning of the ‘Elven Holocaust,’ political changes occur, further books are removed from the bible and it becomes a crime to even be Elven-Ffayrie.
In 751 AD, the last Elven Mergovians, ‘Keepers and Guardians of the Temple,’ said to have been descendents from Solomon’s ancient temple, are disbanded and excommunicated from Rome and the blessing of Holy Mother Church. They are replaced by the Carologins. Up until the 6th and 7th centuries, Gnostic Wizards and Drwyds actually worked closely with the Catholic Church. They saw Jesus as a figure of each of their own traditions. This disturbed the later heirs of the Church who saw the Elven-Ffayrie as a threat to the ‘Seat of Rome’ and the Vatican’s new power to select kings and rulers contrary to the wishes of the Drwyds and the Elven lineage. The ‘Sons of Man’ feared the ‘Sons of God’ would rebel and thus the ‘New Church’ was formed independent of them, with only a shred of the original Gnostic vision remaining. The focus of the Church now: to take control of Aeurope and eradicated “paganism”…
Neodruids… Modern druidism emerged with (and essentially as the answer to) the development of an urban-oriented industrialization of society in human civilization. The revival far predates both the modern New Age Movement and contemporary Wicca as an underground counter-cultural movement or secret society — both public and private.
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The early 18th Century revival in England coincides with the rebirth of the Freemasonic tradition. The Freemasons began to allow “Accepted Masons,” those who were not masons by trade, into their ranks. [Many founding figures of the early neodruid organizations were Masons and Rosicrucians.] Neodruidic revival occurred during the Anti-Witchcraft and Magick Acts (see Book of Elven Faerie or The Druid Compleat), so members were cautious not to be interpreted as “sorcerers” or “witches.” This forced many of the organizations to operate as ecological, charitable and social rotary clubs.
The sacred sites of the Celts and antiquarian interest in the Druids promoted a renaissance of “Celtic Reconstructionism” and neo-druidism. The interpretation of this revival, the differing beliefs and personal inclinations of individuals caused the first of many underground neodruidic schisms. [This entire blog/lesson is excerpted officially from ARCANUM by Joshua Free.]
John Toland originally sought to unify the antiquarian movement in 1717 when he founded the (British) Druid Circle of the Universal Bond [“An Druidh Uileach Braithreaches” (ADUB)]. It maintained international membership from the start and was rooted in Toland’s personal researches into the Druid Histories. [Toland’s secret society also went by the name of the “Ancient Druid Order” (ADO).]
Some “mesopagan” Druids, like Henry Hurle, saw neo-druidism as an extension, if not a purely Celtic equivalent, to Eurasian Freemasonry, which was revived in England in the same year and place [“The Apple Tree Tavern”] as John Toland’s ADO in 1717. Hurle led the formation of the “Ancient Order of Druids” (AOD) in 1781 emphasizing his background in Masonry, Rosicrucianism and the Kabbalah. Some members disliked the occult focus, preferring participation in the social-charitable organizations.
These members formed their own branch or offshoot called the “United Ancient Order of Druids” (UAOD) in 1833, which retained the “rotary club” ideals. Other Masonic-Druids joined the “Ancient Archaeological Order of Druids” (AAOD), which was formed by Robert Wentworth Little in 1874, later changing its name to the “Ancient Masonic Order of Druids” (AMOD) in 1886. These Masonic and Rosicrucian-oriented Druids went onto evolve the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (GD). Other Hermetic and Kabbalistic organizations of neodruids continued to form.
Once the revival had been organized it immediately became a public and national identity. Sacred sites such as Stonehenge and Woodhenge would entertain guests by the thousands during neodruidic activities. Large media events were planned around the dramatic reenactments and ceremonies performed by neodruids in full wizard’s attire. The more publicized displays coincided with the autumn equinox and summer solstice festivals. The full eight-fold wheel of the year, now common in the New Age, was not yet a part of the revival. [See ARCANUM for further information regarding this.]
In the 19th Century, when Quasi-Masonic neodruidry was developing, a separate nationalist movement was growing alongside. These “reconstructionists” sought to reinvestigate the Bardic Tradition as a national custom in Wales. Figures such as Iolo Morganwg (compiler of the Barddas), William Blake and Edward Davies all desired to preservation of the language and Druidism of Wales. This led to a revival of the “Gorsedd of Bards” and a “National Eisteddfodd” held annually in public to celebrate the Welsh tradition. With some offbeat claims of “authenticity,” the Welsh revival (and the more recent neo-Pheryllt system) has been subject to historical and mystical controversy in relation to other organizations and revival efforts.
Organized neodruidism did not reach America until the early 1900s as an extension of AAOD/AMOD. Though originally a more Masonic-based secret society, the “Ancient Order of Druids in America” (AODA), as they called themselves, evolved into a standard green magick system under the direction of John Michael Greer, including neo-paganism and sacred geometry. The 1960s displayed a more publicly visible forum for “reformed” neodruidism, evident by the Reformed Druids of North America (RDNA), founded by Minnesota college students: first as a rebellion to the religious requirements of Carleton College, but it became a widespread modern contemporary avenue toward New Age ideals.
Ross Nichols had been a member of ADO for a decade when Arch Druid Robert MacGregor Reid passed away in 1963. The election for a new Chosen Chief produced a schism in the organization. Nichols felt that the Rosicrucian-Theosophical approach to neodruidism did not “feel” truly “druidic,” so he formed the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD). The order still incorporated some Eastern philosophies but remained primarily Celtic. After his death, OBOD was passed down to Philip Carr-Gomm who jump-started the organization again in 1988. Most of the modern revival traditions of the 1990s-to-present seem heavily dependent on the OBOD materials and social networking. Most major contemporary neodruidic figures/authors have some connection to OBOD in England (or to COBOD, the Council of British Orders of the Druids).
Back in America, the RDNA tradition gave rise to an only slightly more solemn practice in the early 1980s under the direction of Isaac Bonewits. The new order, A Druid Fellowship (ADF) sought to provide for America what OBOD does for Europe. Both organizations eventually became an international success. But then, as is common in neo-druidism, another schism erupted. In 1986, some members broke away from ADF to form the Henge of Keltria (HK), which justifiably sought to remove the wiccan influence that overran the ADF materials.
The neodruidism of the 21st Century really belongs to the youth of society, the young and middle-aged seekers. At one time it seemed to be a social organization aimed at the older and more established working class. Today, the ecological responsibility proposed by the “Druid Way” speaks to those that fear the near-future state of the Earth Planet. It is the younger generations that are feeling the effects and fearing the future as they work to solidify their own lives on an ever-changing canvas. The long-term effects of crude oil use, chlorine-based refrigerants, freshwater pollution and air quality are beginning to take affect, though it seems the elder mongers with cash interests in these products simply don’t care about those of us that will still be alive in the oncoming decades. The world of neodruidism has come into existence among the common classes because of the calling felt to aid in the restoration and balance of Nature… —Joshua Free
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