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Southern Magic - History Tidbits

Druids and Celtic Ireland

By Carla Swafford

Only kings had more power and prestige than druids. Druids held roles as priests, prophets and astrologers. It was believed it took 20 years for them to learn their mystical powers and cast spells.

The druids were also educators, judges, healers and keepers of the calendar.

Druids were known to predict the future by watching the way a bird flew or the shape of its talons. They often chewed the marrow or bloody flesh of dogs, cats or pigs to see into the future.

Not only was it believed they could predict the future, but it was said by chanting and drumming their fingers, they could see someone's past.

The Celtic priestly caste, Druids, were exempt from military service and often acted as a mediator between warring tribes.

During the 6th Century A.D. Ireland, the average small farmer had four acres, seven cows, one bull, seven pigs, seven sheep and a horse.

A landholding group in Ireland was called a "fine." The fine consisted of four generations of male kinsmen and all other male kinsmen of a common grandfather.

To form surnames, the Irish added the prefix "Mac," meaning "son of" to the personal name of the father and occasionally the mother. "O" meaning "Grandson of" was also used. It wasn't until the 11th Century the prefix was used for more than one generation.

Though the Church frowned on the practice, a man could take more than one wife.

Taken from Magic Moments - October 2001 Volume 4/Issue 10