It has long been the custom of historians to designate the megalithic monuments, stones, circles, cromlechs and dolmens of Western Europe as the handiwork of a Druidic caste. But Lewis Spence presents the evidence of classical writers that the shrines of Druids were chiefly situated in groves and afforested localities. He maintains that chronology makes it highly improbable that the stone circles of Stonehenge were of Druidic origin. The first literary allusion to Druidism (Sotion of Alexandria) can he dated circa 200 B.C. Yet Stonehenge is generally supposed to date from 2000 B.C. Spence believes that Stonehenge represents ancestral stones of an early tribe that changed its habitation from Pembrokeshire (source of the famous Stonehenge Blue Stones) to Salisbury Plain.
In this masterly evocation of a bygone age the reader will learn of the Druidic priesthood and its function; Druidic theology, ritual and places of worship; Druidic magic and system of auspices. The author coordinates this data with the theories of Frazer, Hocart, and others concerning the divine kingship and the worship of sacred trees.
Druids were skilled in the magical arts and it is possible that almost the entire system of Celtic occult belief had a Druidic origin. In this hook, however, Lewis Spence deals exclusively with those occult practices that are definitely stated to have issued from a Druidic source. The practices he describes in graphic detail include illusion and transformation, forms of divination, prophecy and astrology.
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