In the liturgical and interfaith churches, including the Anglican Church, Celtic and Druidic “Christianity” have been showing a remarkable revival, as we move towards the end of this millennium. Some Uniting Church interest, as seen at WCC gatherings, has arisen also. The Celtic dancing craze adds to the dangers, “RIVER DANCE”, the thrilling stage show which has swept the world, is an example of this. What is Celtic and Druidic “Christianity”? Beware the gullible and unwary!
The Celtic beginnings can be traced to the upper reaches of the Danube, maybe Switzerland or Austria, seventh century BC. The Celts only reached the British Isles relatively late in their history. Ireland, Scotland (both Pictish and Irish-Scot), Wales, Cornwall and the West of England, Northumbria and the Isle of Man have full sources of information still about the Druids and the Celts. These ancient religions are well and truly alive in the 1990s. Magical, violent, nature-worshipping religions, neither the Celts or the Druids were truly Christians at all. Although their paganism joined forces with a form of mythical perverted “Christianity.”
Frank Delaney wrote in his book “The Celts”: “The voyage from oaken grove to communion with Christ took several thousand years. Like a cabbalistic scroll it charts the Celtic, spiritual ascent through personal magic, tribal ritual, mythology, scripture. The earth itself was worshipped in dumb fright, and the spirit connected in awe with the inanimate - tree, river, rock. Ritualised recognition of the animals - beast and bird - was followed by a slow mythological shifting of shapes between animal and human.”
The Celts had petrifying, atrocious religious rituals, and certainly the revival of their brand of “Christianity” is a great cause for concern. They practiced human sacrifice for many, many centuries. Julius Ceasar reported the Druid and Celt custom of burning victims alive in wicker cages. These were sometimes fashioned to represent a giant man, stuffed with the chosen sacrifices, and then set alight. A cult film was made in the 1970s about this, “The Wicker Man.”
The Celts and Druids drowned victims, stabbed them ritualistically, impaled men and women and used these means to predict future events. Human sacrifice was primarily for purposes of divination. The Celts also placed huge emphasis on human heads, and these were collected after their bloody battles and preserved in special alcoves, they saw these as having supernatural powers which could be utilised spiritually. They also sacrificed animals to their pagan gods. Dagda, Maeve, Nuada, Lugh, Gobniu are some of the names associated with the divinities of the Celts and Druids.
Pliny wrote on the Druids, “Ritual of the Sixth day of the Moon”: “Having made preparations for sacrifice and a banquet beneath trees, they bring thither two white bulls, whose horns are bound then for the first time. Clad in a white robe, the priest ascends the tree and cuts mistletoe with a golden sickle, and it is received by others in a white cloak. They then kill the victims, praying that God will render this gift of his propitions to those to whom he has granted it.”
From Pharsalia I:Lucan, on the history of the Celts: “A grove there was, untouched by men’s hands from ancient times whose interlacing boughs enclosed darkness and cool shade, and banished sunlight from above....No rural Pan dwelt there, nor Sylvanus, ruler of the woods, no nymphs; but gods were worshipped there with savage rites, the Altars were heaped with hideous offerings, and every tree was sprinkled with human gore....The images of the gods, grim and rude, were uncouth blocks formed of felled tree-trunks.”
The Celtic and Druidic priests wore gold chains bearing Sun and Moon symbols, and they carried sceptres. “They may also have worn masks during rituals”, as recorded in “Cults” by Michael Jordan.
Here in Australia, the Brookfield Centre of the Anglican Church, under Archbishop Hollingworth, advertised in its magazine, “Songlines”, Spring 1994, pilgrim-ages to Ireland to visit ancient Celtic historical sites and centres. The magazine had an article called “Green Desert, White Martyrdom. Intro-ducing Celtic Christianity” by Marcus Losack, pp.9-12. Losack calls Celtic religion, “A unique and vibrant Christian spiritual tradition...” (p.9). He is the Executive Director of the Ceile De organisation in Ireland, which offers courses in Celtic spirituality! He is an ordained Anglican priest. Recommended reading are, “The Celtic Way” by Bradley; “Power of Raven, Wisdom of Serpent” by Jones; “Early Celtic Christianity” by Lehane; and “Soulfriend” by Sellner. Writes Losack, “Celtic Christianity recognised the need for wholeness and reconciliation.” (p.12).
The article by Marcus Losack was an edited version of a lecture given to 350 participants at the 27th International Conference of the Inter-national Ecumenical Fellowship[, Durham, England, July 1994. This is how the shocking article finishes:
“Interchurch and Interfaith pilgrimages are organised in increasing numbers, as devotees search for their pre-Reformation roots. The New Age Movement is not left out, and Glaston-bury, centre of occult and pagan activity attracts possibly the largest numbers of pilgrims. The 1988 ecumenical celebration mass for the millennium of the death of Anglican Saint Dunstan in Glastonbury attracted a gathering of some 14,000 pilgrims, led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.” (p.185).
There is a concentrated attempt being made by the New Age to merge Christianity and the Celtic religions. The books which go by the title "Pendragon" are in your Christian bookshops, also other Celtic material and music is now flooding into these shops. We have seen Pendragon, Celtic, books at Gordon Moyes' Wesley Cenral Mission, Sydney; at a Keswick Convention a couple of years back, at Mt Tambourine (Keswick is a evangelical convention). Watch out for King Arthur, Merlin, Camelot, the Knights of the Round Table etc. These are Celtic legends used to introduce unwary Christians into Celtism. Celtic Christianity now has its own Web Site on Internet! Steer clear of the Celtic/Druidic “Christianity” snare, it is wickedness, not of God at all, a Satanic, pagan cult. An Antichrist religious monstrosity!
Wendy Howard...editor of Despatch
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