Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | March 30, 2009

Druids and Their Magic

Druids and Their Magic: the Evidence and Its Problems
18 June 2009 (Thursday)
A lecture by Dr Mark Williams (Cambridge)
Treadwell’s Bookshop. 7.15 for 7.30 start

Druids appear frequently in the rich saga literature of Early Ireland, engaged in a variety of eerie magical practices: clairvoyance, psychometry, cloud-divination, shape-shifting, and going into prophetic trances wrapped in the dripping hides of freshly-slaughtered bulls. And yet these actions, superficially so powerfully redolent of the pagan past, occur within literary texts which are products of a profoundly Christian, Bible-saturated medieval culture. How did early Irish monk-litterateurs envision the magic of their one-time rivals, the druids, and why on earth was imagining pagan magic of any interest for these ‘saints and acholars’? Mark Williams of the University of Cambridge attempts to provide some answers.
Seats are reserved by payment in advance, phone 0207 240 8906. Treadwell’s Bookshop, 34 Tavistock Street, Covent Garden London WC2E 7PB http://www.treadwells-london.com/lectures.asp.


Responses

  1. My friend Tanis Helliwell wrote a wonderful book (true) called Summer with the Leprecauns where she has a deep interaction with a little leprecaun (my spelling may be wrong on that word! ) man on Achill Island.
    In her second book ( not published yet) she has more interactions with him, and one of the things he tells her in it is that the Druids were actually taught originally in the purest form by the Elementals, the keepers of the the Earth.
    That made complete sense to me, and rings true.

  2. Druids & Their Magic – Hi Philip, wondering whether you will post any of this talk on your blog – I live in Australia, so unfortunately I miss all of these events.
    Yours in peace …. Lynne

  3. Sounds very interestinging

  4. I saw Dr Williams speak at the TDN Druid Camp in 2007 and I can say without reservation that his talks were the highlight of the camp for me (sorry PCG – I know you did a talk there as well!). Anyting Dr Williams has to say on the topic of either the history or contemporary practice of Druidry is well worth hearing!


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