> I am thinking, particularly in the case of insular
> druids, that thier religion developed in situ, with
> mesolithic roots, and peaked perhaps, prior to the
> Iron Age, with the flowering of the megalithic
> culture. Certain motifs and themes seem to be fairly
> constant- sun, moon, axe or mace heads, deer antler,
> cattle bones.
> What evidence is found in extant mythology to support
> the line of argument that proto-druids borrowed from
> the Greek mysteries? For instance, just because I own
> a vase depicting Venus, doesnt mean I worship Venus.
> While there is very little, if any similarity between
> the insular Celtic deities and the those of the
> Greeks, the insular Celtic pantheon, as Kenneth
> suggests seems more closely related to that of the
> Vedic tradition.
Certainly, the Celtic pantheon dates back to the Neolithic, but this
pantheon is part of Celtic A, while the Druids are part of Celtic B.
Celtic A readopted the Druids and brought them into their, earlier,
religion in Roman times. The Druids were eliminated as a class, but
certainly, at least, the bards survived as it is very clearly a bard who
discusses the Ogmios metaphor with Lucian of Samothrace in the second
century A.D. in Gaul. (I mentioned this in an earlier message).
We hear that Brennus (the one at Delphi), mocked the Greeks for having
deities in human form. The gods, in the mystery cults, are not worshipped
like the mainsteam Greek religion did, but the devotees reenact the events
of the gods that are part of these cults. They saw these events as
metaphors of natural laws.
The Greeks all described the Druids in ways that identifies their beliefs
as being part of the mystery cults, and all of these are Greek and Roman.
The most notable aspect is that the Druids forbad putting their beliefs in
writing. This is shared by all of the Mystery Cults.
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