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Тайны друидов We often write about Celtic priests, the druids. They today have fans and followers who offer their version of the history of the Celts. Most often it is about the legendary battle of the trees." Refer it to time, separated by about four centuries BC. From the battle counts era of prosperity in the life of the Celts. Complete this period, not even the conquest of Gaul by the legions of Caesar, and the assault by the Romans sanctuary druids and priestesses-druidess on the island of Anglesey in Britain in 81 ad In response to the attack, the Britons rose in rebellion. The head of it stood a woman-warrior Boadicea, still revered by the British. And yet in the first centuries of our era, the power of the druids weakened. Finally, after the destruction of another sanctuary avalon - legends carry this event for another five centuries later, begins the modern history of the Celts, that has preserved its culture in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the French Bretagne.

Priest-druid. The figure of the beginning of XIX century

Historians call the Celts "the people of the iron age", and their decline is attributed to the time after the capture of Caesar's Gaul in 58-52 BCE, the question remains how long retain its influence druids in Scotland and Ireland. Who can "judge" narrow specialists and followers of the druids, based on oral tradition? Whether there was in fact such legendary events like the "battle of the trees"? How can I trust a family tradition?

It turns out that we all sign an example that confirms long influence of druids in Britain, and accuracy of the oral tradition. Many people in Russia know - ancestor's paternal great Russian poet Lermontov was a Scottish folk singer-bard Thomas Lerman. He lived in the XIII century and was nicknamed Thomas Refmac. He then became a hero legends. In its time the Scottish folk song "Thomas Rifma" in Russian translated by S. Marshak. At the end of the poem of the hero of my ovate - disciples of the druids:
In green silk shod was That
In green velvet was dressed.
And about him at the edge of native
No one knew seven long years.

It is known that the period of apprenticeship of ovatow, including the study of the sacred verses, took exactly seven years, and all this time the students wore it green clothes. So popular tradition describes the rites of the druids. The preservation of the customs of the Celts it was in Scotland should not surprise us - Roman legions had not been able to conquer freedom-loving mountain-dwellers of the then Caledonia, the Romans had to erect a fortress wall along the border of the river tweed, in order to defend against their attacks. Remains of the wall are preserved up to now. It turns out that when the Romans fenced off from these places, they thereby made it possible to preserve the Celtic traditions and customs. So follow on legends, continuing a journey into the world of the druids.

In the second stage of training their students were called filename, although it is often confused with the bards (from the Celtic word "bard" is a modern name of author's song performers). Bards and then were folk singers, but not necessarily committed to the sacred hymns, unlike filitov. The latter should know by heart 750 special chants, and dressed in sky-blue - color symbolized the truth and harmony.

At the third stage of training, the druid, already ordained to the priestly rank, wore white robes. And among the main symbols of power of the druids was a wreath of oak leaves, the sacred tree of the Celts.

For dedication was considered appropriate only days of winter and summer solstice, spring and autumn equinox. The sun in the country of the Celts worshiped, its rise after the longest night, in a few days celebrated as the new birth of light. The peak of the holiday fell on December 25.

The druids believed in the transmigration of the soul that is reminiscent of Hinduism, but without the "classic" reincarnation. Historians believe this similarity is not random, in contrast, claim that the traces of the most ancient beliefs of the Indo-European tribes best preserved at the Western and Eastern edges of their habitats. Another interesting thing. Druids actively participated in the defense of their land, and Hindu Brahmans had no right not only fight, but also to observe the course of the battle. It is believed that the Celts preserved ancient customs, which have reached us from the epoch when there was a separation of powers among the secular and the spiritual. Therefore, in the life of their tribes druids played a very important role. No wonder establishing relationships with Celtic priests was so considerable to Caesar.

Many information about the world druids brought us this conqueror, who wrote the famous "Notes on the Gallic war. Caesar detail characterizes Celtic rituals, and its inaccuracies often due not ignorance, and political considerations. For example, Gallic gods he specifically calls out the names similar to Roman. 't written Caesar and what we Celts had their letter writing - it is called organicheskim - in honor of the legendary priest of Ulama who invented the writings that were strung on the thread of like beads. In organicheskih signs Celts used dvadcatiiy system account, like many other tribes, in which it is based on the total number of fingers and toes. But strange writing was hardly interested in the Roman Senate, to which Caesar paid up notes. But about the enormous influence that was used by the druids in Gaul, Caesar wrote. Still! It is beneficial emphasized the complexity of the solved military tasks. But only if Gaul and Britain the power of the druids was in ancient times so strong? What was their real sphere of influence? It turns out that it is much wider than the modern distribution of Celtic languages.

So, BC in the lower reaches of the Rhine lived Belge, which gave the name to the modern Belgium. Celtic tribe of Boyev, once invaded Italy, gave the name to the present city of Bologna. It gave the name and Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, and where the Celts later merged with the Slavs. But in the lands were the ancestors of the Slavs and the war... so far in the East of the famous grove, which lived there until the twelfth century the Slavs-bodrichi revered as the place of victory over Celtic their leader-the ancestor named Cheerful. Here we are in your journey into the world of the druids and reached the legendary battle of the trees."

Let's try to check the legend about the ancient battle. First of all, why the "battle of the trees"? Clearly, it is most likely about the tribes, the worshipper different sacred trees. And what we know about ancient totems of the Celts and Slavs? Now we consider the totemic prejudice or exotic, but once all earthlings believed in tribal totems. They were and plants, and animals. When two previously relatives of the people dispersed, mastering new territories, each of them usually is fixed and its special totem. So once was and Europe, including the Celts and Slavs.

Obviously, they have a time there was a clear distinction, the evidence is that different sacred animals. We have even the very name "bear" (honey charge) appeared because it was impossible because of the ban say the ancient Indo-European word. Is this not the best evidence of the special veneration of the bear Slavs? We Celts bear was also important animal, a symbol of the temporal power of the leader. But the power of the druids symbolized boar, and he was the principal. It is quite possible to imagine the differences between druid (boar) and the leader of the Slavs (bear)...

However, the battle was called "the battle of sacred animals", and "battle of the trees." We will try to understand in this matter. It is known that the Celts worshipped oak. What was the main tree among the Slavs?

Studies show that a sacred tree, the Slavs were considered maple. This conclusion follows from the works of the academician, ethnographer Nikita Tolstoy and his disciples. We are talking here about. In Polissya, at the junction of the territories of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, scientists had long figured out what plants decorate the houses in the villages of the Trinity. And it turned out that maple leaves are found almost everywhere, but the "second" plants in each region is different. Goes, they all meet local totemic plants, but the maple is a common symbol for the Eastern Slavs.

But then allegorical the name "battle of the trees" is no accident happens in the legends of the druids, perhaps maple oak once fought... Maybe once the Slavs was and wood calendar, something similar to a popular nowadays the reconstruction of the same calendar druids. Won't vouch for their accuracy. Judging from what we know about contemporary worship of the Sun, the most reliable emphasis four trees - oak, olive-trees, birch and beech. Each of them corresponds to one day of spring and autumn equinox, summer and winter solstice, respectively. It was in those days was a rite of passage in a priestly class. In a similar Slavic calendar main role was to play maple probably existed and the feast of maple.

Modern man can ask a fair question - why the priests were sure of the difference of their characters of people born in different seasons, under the auspices of different trees? There is hardly a case in astrology. Rather, it is worth mentioning a well-known fact - the lack of vitamins in the early spring and much more in the late summer and early autumn, when fruits ripen. Physiologists have long known that the children conceived during the period of lack of vitamins, usually on average weaker shaped in the period of their relative abundance. However, now it is a usual intake of vitamins all year round. As in previous centuries? Then the abundance of vitamins was clearly associated with the harvest. This is reflected in wood calendar. So, on may 21, the Celts saidif the pagan feast of the mother goddess Maeve. Its symbol was a sword, and she was a great warrior. Born on the day Maeve was considered strong, they patronized ash. But such people, on the basis of the average duration of pregnancy, were conceived at a time of harvest.

Thus, we can conclude that the typing of people "through the trees" was based on the knowledge of the seasonal patterns, now forgotten. Even adopted a Celtic "table of ranks" is connected with the peculiarities of the characters assigned to people, which "protects" a particular tree.

When lovers of fantasy dress up characters of the books, where in a fairy-tale form reflected knowledge of the druids, they hardly realize how powerful stratum of traditions affect. For example, popular in the USA, Halloween, during which costumed wear disguises pumpkin, dates back to Celtic Samhain - "the holiday of the dead" or "night of the wild hunt". Of course, some similarities remained, but very superficial.

Isn't there in the same English-speaking countries trace of any deeper knowledge of the druids? It turns out there are. For example, their sacred Scriptures, the more complex and archaic than the already mentioned ohimicheskie signs, left its mark in a typical Celtic patterns.

We often discuss the issue of whether there was once in Europe nodular letter known in other regions of the Earth. And here the traditional Celtic designs give a great resource for researchers. Especially interesting 60 triangular nodes patterns that are grouped in a clear sequence - in Ireland still vymazat on fisherman sweaters. Probably, except dvadtsatiletnej, druids in special cases used and more complex recording the first sixty numbers Uzelkov way. For example, when it was necessary to ensure the confidentiality of messages, for example, send appreciated in ancient astronomical information.

Recall that in the calendar of the druids four main tree and 18 less important. But the latter have their days twice a year. In the end, "wood calendar divides the year into forty unequal segments. It is not excluded that 20 letters organicheskogo alphabet and 40 wood periods together provide the key to sixty-secret digital patterns of the druids. Rather, even druidess - knitting-usually women.
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