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Category: Celts

Further thoughts on Boudica’s ‘Andred’

by totalgooched

In a previous piece we speculated on the origins of the goddess invoked by the Briton Queen Boudica in her famous last stand against the Roman invaders, in 67 AD.

https://5ocietyx.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/andred-ancient-goddess-of-the-druids/

On page 177 of Richard Carlyon’s excellent book ‘A Guide to the Gods’ we find a description of the Greek goddess Nemesis.

Nemesis

Goddess of destiny; alias Adrasteia, ‘the inevitable’

7

Wikipedia has a listing for ‘Adrestia (Greek: Ἀδρήστεια) in Greek mythology ‘she who cannot be escaped’ was the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite and known to accompany her father Ares to war. She was venerated as a goddess of revolt, just retribution and sublime balance between good and evil. Because of her role in revenge and retribution, she was usually portrayed with Nemesis, and sometimes identical to Nemesis herself, who had the epithet of Adrestia or Adrasteia.’

Were the Greeks known to the Druids, or more importantly, were the Druids known to the Greeks? The answer is, yes. In fact, the Greeks believed that the study of philosophy originated with the barbarian magicians, such as the Druids.

‘The earliest record of the druids comes from two Greek texts of c. 300 BCE: one, a history of philosophy written by Sotion of Alexandria, and the other a study of magic widely attributed to Aristotle. Both texts are now lost, but were quoted in the 2nd century CE work Vitae by Diogenes Laertius.[55]

Some say that the study of philosophy originated with the barbarians. In that among the Persians there existed the Magi, and among the Babylonians or Assyrians the Chaldaei, among the Indians the Gymnosophistae, and among the Celts and Gauls men who were called druids and semnothei, as Aristotle relates in his book on magic, and Sotion in the twenty-third book of his Succession of Philosophers.

— Diogenes Laertius, Vitae, Introduction, Section 1[56]

Subsequent Greek and Roman texts from the third century BCE refer to “barbarian philosophers”,[57] possibly in reference to the Gaulish druids.’

So its quite possible that the Greeks took some of the gods of their pantheon from the Druids, whom they considered philosophically superior, with Adrasteia being just one such goddess.

So in light of this information, wouldn’t it make much more sense that Boudica – who, having been humiliated by the Romans when they raped her daughters and stole her land, was leading a revolt against the invaders – was instead invoking the goddess of revolt, retribution and justice ‘Adrasteia’, rather than ‘Andrasta’, who was merely a mother goddess loosely associated with war? The incident with the hare seems to suggest that an element of redressing balance was present in the ritual performed by Boudica in that field many years ago, a retribution that would eventually befall the Romans, when centuries later it would be the Welsh Briton Queen Helena who effectively brought about the dissolution of their empire, by encouraging her son Constantine to adopt Christianity as the official religion.

queen-druid

Queen Elizabeth II in Druidic costume

taken from –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid#Greek_and_Roman_records

https://5ocietyx.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/andred-ancient-goddess-of-the-druids/

Andred, Ancient Goddess of the Druids?

by 5ocietyx

boudica

Andred is a little-known goddess of the pre-Roman British isles, whom the Romans referred to as Andraste. It was said by Roman historian Dio that she was invoked by Boudica before the Iceni rebellion of 60AD.

Boudica’s speech, taken from Roman History, by Cassius Dio:

Let us, therefore, go against them trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.”

When she had finished speaking, she employed a species of divination, letting a hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they considered the auspicious side, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Buduica, raising her hand toward heaven, said:

“I thank thee, Andraste, and call upon thee as woman speaking to woman; for I rule over no burden-bearing Egyptians as did Nitocris, nor over trafficking Assyrians as did Semiramis (for we have by now gained thus much learning from the Romans!),  much less over the Romans themselves as did Messalina once and afterwards Agrippina and now Nero (who, though in name a man, is in fact a woman, as is proved by his singing, lyre-playing and beautification of his person); nay, those over whom I rule are Britons, men that know not how to till the soil or ply a trade, but are thoroughly versed in the art of war and hold all things in common, even children and wives, so that the latter possess the same valour as the men.

As the queen, then, of such men and of such women, I supplicate and pray thee for victory, preservation of life, and liberty against men insolent, unjust, insatiable, impious, — if, indeed, we ought to term those people men who bathe in warm water, eat artificial dainties, drink unmixed wine, anoint themselves with myrrh, sleep on soft couches with boys for bedfellows, — boys past their prime at that, — and are slaves to a lyre-player and a poor one too.

Wherefore may this Mistress Domitia-Nero reign no longer over me or over you men; let the wench sing and lord it over Romans, for they surely deserve to be the slaves of such a woman after having submitted to her so long. But for us, Mistress, be thou alone ever our leader.”

Dio Cassius

Published in Vol. VIII of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1925

There are very few historical mentions of Andrad other than Dio, though some researchers have made comparisons to other goddesses, such as  NikeBellona, Magna Mater (Great Mother), Cybele, and Vacuna, as they are all goddesses who ride chariots. Our own opinion is that the Andred evoked by Boudica against the Romans bears more resemblance to the Egyptian deity Sehkmet.

Sekhmet, who is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians, was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Sekhmet’s name comes from the Ancient Egyptian word “sekhem” which means “power”. Sekhmet’s name suits her function and means “the (one who is) powerful”. She also was given titles such as the “(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles”, “Mistress of Dread”, “Lady of Slaughter” and “She Who Mauls”. She was evoked before war and could only be satisfied with the blood of battle.

Of course, many researchers will be happy to dilute Andred down to the mother goddess, or the moon goddess, and there are enough connections to make a safe assumption like that. However, it is our belief that as the Romans – let alone modern pagans – were never privy to the secrets of the Druids, we cant just accept the Roman reports. We must question the orthodox viewpoint, which was based on Roman hatred of the older religion of the Britons.

We can see the Romans and the Druids held opposite religious beliefs. Dio states that when Boudica released a hare as a divination technique  ‘it ran on what they considered the auspicious side‘. Maybe he said this because the Britons’ auspicious side was the opposite to the Roman side. Romans would divine with birds, so if a bird flew to the left (sinistra) it was a bad omen.

Were Boudica and her people practising a left-handed religion? The Druidic tradition perhaps? And was the ‘rebellion’ of 61AD just about Boudica’s mistreatment?  The passage of time between the two events doesnt suggest so, especially when we look at the other event of the year 61, the destruction of the Druid base at Anglesey. Were Boudica, and the number of British tribes who supported her trying to make one last strike for the rebellion against the Romans, a rebellion which had been virtually non-stop since the apparent Roman ‘invasion’? It couldnt have escaped Boudica’s attention that the Druids – the highest spiritual authority bar none in pre-Roman Europe – were about to be destroyed forever. As a result of the Iceni rebellion the Roman forces were drawn away from Anglesey, did this allow some Druids to escape and go into hiding?

A curious reference comes from the Anglo-Saxons. A beautiful ancient forested area in the English county of Sussex known as ‘The Weald’ had by Anglo-Saxon times retained the name Andredes weald, meaning “the forest of Andred”.

Andred's forest

Could this forest have been a sacred grove of the Druidic goddess Andred? Interestingly, the Weald encompasses Ashdown forest, the scene not only of the Winnie the Pooh books, written by British Intellience asset AA Milne, but also of the infamous Druidic ritual of WWII, where Crowley, Flemming, Churchill et al gathered to repel the German forces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sekhmet

Roman conquest of Britain: The Iceni rebellion

by 5ocietyx

Iceni coin, circa AD61

The Iceni were allies of the occupying Romans, but when Prasutagus the Iceni king and husband of the famous queen Boudica died he left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman emperor. The Romans, who only believed in paternal inheritance, ignored this and annexed the kingdom. Betrayed, the queen Boudica was flogged, her daughters raped.

In AD 60 or 61, the Roman governor of Britain Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was busy leading a devastating campaign on the Welsh island of Mona (Anglesey), a suspected hide-out for the British rebels. It was during this time, and apparently because of her disrespectful treatment at the hands of the Romans, Boudica led a united army of British tribes to revolt against the Romans.

A passage in Dio Cassius suggests Boudica used divination, and summoned the power of  Andraste, an ancient mystical British goddess:

“Let us, therefore, go against [the Romans], trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.” When she [Boudica] had finished speaking, she employed a species of divination, letting a hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they considered the auspicious side, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Boudica, raising her hand toward heaven, said: “I thank you, Andraste, and call upon you as woman speaking to woman … I beg you for victory and preservation of liberty.”

The army’s first port of call was the Roman-occupied Camulodunum (Colchester), former capital of the Trinovantes tribe. Boudica’s army overran the Romans, besieging the poorly defended survivors in their temple for two days before the city fell. Archaeology shows it was methodically demolished. The now legendary Legio IX Hispana (the Ninth Legion) were destroyed here, only the commander and some of his cavalry escaped. Still not satiated, Boudica and her army headed towards Londinium, a small Roman settlement barely twenty years old.

Roman Londinium

The Romans evacuated and abandoned Londinium. Archaeology shows that within the bounds of Roman Londinium a thick red layer of burnt debris covering coins and pottery dating before AD 60, whilst Roman-era skulls found in the Walbrook in 2013 were potentially linked to victims of the rebels. Verulamium (St Albans) was next to be destroyed.

In the three settlements destroyed, between seventy and eighty thousand people are said to have been killed. Tacitus says that the Britons had no interest in taking or selling prisoners, only in slaughter by gibbet, fire, or cross. Dio’s account gives more detail; that the noblest women were impaled on spikes and had their breasts cut off and sewn to their mouths, “to the accompaniment of sacrifices, banquets, and wanton behaviour” in sacred places, particularly the groves of Andraste. A lot of the more salacious information should be taken with a pinch of salt, as the Romans had no real way of knowing what happened to the cities after they had abandoned them.

The governor Suetonius regrouped his forces in the West Midlands, and despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.

The historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus tells us the crisis had almost persuaded Nero to abandon Britain when the victorious Suetonius decided to further punish the rebels, but an investigation headed by Nero led to Suetonius being replaced as governor by the more conciliatory Publius Petronius Turpilianus.

Could the traditional view of the Iceni rebellion beginning with a woman betrayed be another Roman invention which has passed over into common acceptance?

The fact is Boudica’s husband Prasutagus died in 50AD, and her ‘rebellion’ was not until eleven years later, eighteen years after the inital Roman ‘invasion’.  Prasutagus hadnt even faced the Roman’s as enemies on the battle field either, preferring to swear loyalty to the Romans in 43AD. Boudica displayed a knowledge of the old religion, summoning the goddess Andrad on the battle field, a goddess of whom virtually nothing is known. And finally, one other decisive event in British history was also happening at exactly the same time as the Iceni rebellion – The destruction of the Druid stronghold of Anglesey in Wales.

Map of Anglesey

Anglesey was the site of the Druidic sacred groves, and was possibly the centre of all Druidic knowledge and training. This was why it was so important for the Romans to completely destroy these ‘barbarian priests’ of the British isles, which was the European centre of the extremely ancient, influential and troublesome religion. As stated by Dio, Boudica also sacrificed prisoners of her rebellion in groves dedicated to the godddess Andraste.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Ninth_Legion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudicca

Boudica: Etymology and Profile

by 5ocietyx

Boudica (also known as Boudicca/Boadicea, Welsh Buddug (d. AD 60 or 61) was queen of the Iceni tribe of Britons who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. As all records of the British people were supposedly destroyed by the Romans, knowledge of Boudica comes only from them.

Tacitus and Dio agree that Boudica was of royal descent. Dio says that she was “possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women”, that she was tall and had hair described as red, reddish-brown, or tawny hanging below her waist. Dio also says she had a harsh voice and piercing glare, and habitually wore a large golden necklace (perhaps a torc), a many-coloured tunic, and a thick cloak fastened by a brooch.

 

Etymology of the name ‘Boudica’

Tacitus the Roman clearly spelled the name Boudicca. other Roman inscriptions spell the name as Boudica(Lusitania), Boudiga (Bordeaux), and Bodicca (Algeria)

Kenneth Jackson concludes the correct spelling of the name in the British language is Boudica, pronounced [bɒʊˈdiːkaː], and that the name derives from the Proto-Celtic feminine adjective *boudīka, meaning “victorious”, that in turn was derived from the Celtic word *bouda, “victory” (cf. Irish bua (Classical Irish buadh), Buaidheach, Welsh buddugoliaeth).

The closest English equivalent to the vowel in the first syllable is the ow in “bow-and-arrow”). The modern English pronunciation is /ˈbdɪkə/, and it has been suggested that the most comparable English name, in meaning only, would be “Victoria”. This led to a revival of Boudica during the reign of Queen Victoria, who was often portrayed as the rebel queen, heading an empire upon which the sun never set.

Brutus the Trojan King of Britain

by 5ocietyx

Someone once said the British are a bastard nation, in reference to there not being one particular tribe of British people who have inhabited the island for thousands of years, but more their being the result of a steady influx of foreigners. But the origin of the people who came to be known to the writers of history as British is still a hotly contested topic, one laced with centuries of intrigue and deception all of its own.

It is said in two of the most famous attempts at chronicling the nation – those of Nennius and Geoffrey of Monmouth – that the country was historically settled by a king known as Brutus, a member of a refugee community from the Trojan war. Both Geoffrey and Nennius claimed to have garnered their information from older sources, that we speculate have since been recovered and obscured by the Romans, or the Catholic Church, who both attempted to totally eradicate local historic knowledge during their repression and subjugation of conquered nations. In their tireless (and thankless) research, Alan Wilson and Baram Blackett have attempted to qualify the claims of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Nennius, and have in fact recovered many more folk stories that tell a similar story to the British works. But their research has been hampered by the red tape of bureaucracy, and a narrow-minded academia, who steadfastly refuse to accept anything other than an Anglo-Saxon origin for their people. The suppression of the Scottish, Welsh and Irish cultures by these same Anglo-Saxons continues to this day, and along with their admiration for Greek and Roman ideals, is the culture of what we know today as English.

Whilst exiled in Greece Brutus made himself known as a great warrior, to the point where he was seen as a potential leader and saviour. ‘His fame spreading over all countries, the Trojans from all parts began to flock to him, desiring under his command, to be freed from subjection to the Greeks.’ So already we have in the origins of Brutus an idea of escaping the Greeks, not admiring them.

During his messianic flight, Brutus and his group encountered a deserted island where they came across a temple devoted to Diana. Making libations to the Goddess he fell asleep by the altar, when he was visited in a dream by Diana, who said to him,

‘Brutus! there lies beyond the Gallic bounds
An island which the western sea surrounds,
By giants once possessed; now few remain
To bar thy entrance, or obstruct thy reign.
To reach that happy shore thy sails employ;
There Fate decrees to raise a second Troy,
And found an empire in thy royal line
Which Time shall ne’er destroy, nor bounds confine.’

They sailed west around Africa and stopped in France to do battle, before continuing on to the Isle then known as Albion, which was still inhabited by ‘the giants of old’. After quickly dispensing with the already dying race of giants Brutus and his people established their ‘Troia Nova’ – New Troy, in London, where Brutus was sworn in as king, upon the London Stone that now sits forlorn behind a faceless grill in Cannon Street.

The London Stone today.

The remains of this lost tribe, erased from the books of history by an establishment wishing to promote only classical Greco-Roman philosophies and practices, can still be decoded in place names and words of the British Isles. Wilson and Blackett claim it is the language of the Welsh, the Khymri, that is the original language of the Brutans, a language which came with the refugees from their homeland in the Middle-East. Interestingly, Wilson also claims the etymology of the English county name ‘Surrey’ is from Syria, where the Brutans originated. And phonetically, the Welsh, Cornish and French Breton languages are so similar, as to suggest that these are one tongue, separated only by passage of time. So place names such as ‘Ilfracombe’ in Devon, and ‘Blaen Cwm’ in Wales, ie. with the suffix ‘coom’ (which means ‘valley’ in Cymric), are actually no different when spoken – the Cymric pronunciation of the letter ‘W’ being an ‘oo’ sound. Swansea is known as ‘Abertawe’ to the Welsh, ‘Aber’ being a prefix for an estuary. As well as Welsh places such as ‘Aberfan’ and ‘Aberystwyth’, we see this word as far away as ‘Aberdeen’, which suggests the Scottish also once shared a common tongue with the Khymry of Wales.

The Druids, who dwelt all over Europe at one point, were said to have been destroyed finally by the Romans in Anglesey, the small island in the north-west of Wales. If its true that the Welsh were the unblemished descendants of the Brutans, then this chase into the Druid stronghold of Wales suggest to us that the Druids predated the Celts, who supplanted the British before the Romans in turn ‘civilised’ them. The Druids were wise men to the Celts even, who traveled across the Europe of their day to study under them. Old Welsh names for Anglesey include Ynys Dywyll (“Shady” or “Dark Isle”) perhaps for its former groves, and Ynys y Cedairn (“Isle of the Brave”) for its royal courts. (see Bryn Celli Ddu – the mound in the Dark Grove)

The Glastonbury Zodiac

In the Welsh countryside, Wilson and Blackett claim to have discovered an ancient zodiac, marked out with mounds and monuments, charting the positions of the twelve constellations of an older zodiac than we know today, much the same as Mary Caine’s Kingston Zodiac, and Katherine Maltwood’s now famous Glastonbury Zodiac, which include the Bird (phoenix, or dove?) instead of the Libra, or scales. Were these zodiac sectors the original boroughs of cities founded by these proto-Britons? It is said the zodiac we know today originated in the Middle-East with the Chaldeans, in around 700 BC, but that their zodiac contains the scales as Libra. It would then make sense that the older Brutan zodiac should contain a different sign for Libra, the Bird.

Below is an interview with the no-nonsense Alan Wilson, on his research into the two King Arthurs, which touches on the subject of the suppression of Brutus, as King of the Britons.

see also –

Britain: an Island of Tolerance

Origin of the Ancient Horn

by 5ocietyx

In a previous post (Jinn Witches of Britain) we tried to solve a riddle regarding the origin of the 16th Century colloquial British term for a witch, Jenny Horne. It was apparently in widespread use, but particularly so in Scotland, where the name was given for the last witch to be executed in Britain.

The root of the English word ‘horn’ comes from the Proto-Germanic ‘hurnaz’, which originates from the PIE *ker, and refers to the uppermost part of the head, in most cases of an animal, and subsequently to an instrument made from this part. The Latin word for ‘horn’ is ‘cornu’, which presumably also shares its origin in the PIE, as the Latin for a deer is ‘cervus’ whereas the Welsh is ‘carw’. A Uni-corn is also an animal with a single horn.

One theory suggests the origin for the place name Corn-wall comes the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘the Walha (foreigners/Ancient Britons) who live on the Cern (the ‘horn’ of the land)’. Another theory is that it comes from the Cornuvii, a tribe who inhabited parts of Britain when the Romans arrived, and who worshipped the horned god Cernunos, and so took his name in veneration. The ‘Cern’ in Cernunos relays across the ages the physical character of this Celtic god – he is always shown with antlers.

The dictionary of the Scottish Language tells us that the word ‘horne’ was used in 16th century Scotland to ‘proclaim an outlaw, three blasts being blown [from a horn] by the king’s messenger… in the phrases at the horne – outlawed, and to put to the horn –  to outlaw.’

Our previous summary was that the name Jenny (for a witch) came from the same root as the words ‘Jinni’, and ‘Genie’, both of which describe ‘a spirit which is not the soul, but which lives alongside us during our life’. So one satisfactory conclusion to our puzzle could be ‘Jenny Horne’ simply meant ‘a person with a dark spirit attached who has been outlawed’. Whether it is the person or the spirit that is outlawed, is yet to be discovered..

Bryn Celli Ddu – The Mound in the Dark Grove

by 5ocietyx

Another neolithic treasure from Anglesey, Wales, dated to around 4000 years ago.

taken from –

http://www.anglesey-hidden-gem.com/bryn-celli-ddu.html#C7

The Samhain ritual slaughter of the Ash?

by 5ocietyx

yggdrasil

Yggdrasil

Britain’s Ash trees are threatened by a fungal disease that has spread from the continent.

In September 2009 the aptly named Stephen Ashworth (see nominative determinism post) wrote to the Forestry Commission requesting a ban on European imports to prevent the disease spreading to the UK.

According to the Telegraph

The Forestry Commission, however, thought that the disease was caused by a fungus already endemic in Britain, making a ban illegal under European laws. It has since been discovered that the fungus is a new one.

The article goes on to say

In October 2009, Mr Burgess replied that he agreed that the situation was “worrying” but said “our hands are tied” by European legislation.

“I am sorry this is not the response you had hoped for but I hope you understand how our hands are tied,” he wrote. “All I can recommend for the moment is that the industry carefully considers where it sources its planting material and monitors it purchases for signs of ill health.

And therein lies so many things wrong with how Britain is governed. An incompetent and scheming officialdom with little to offer except hollow apologies and excuses and blaming the EU that they themselves have acquiesced to.

Due to official incompetence and EU interference and meddling a cull of British Ash trees is now underway and commenced in the week leading up to Samhain and Halloween.

It gets interesting when you learn the symbolic significance of the Ash. According to whats-your-sign.com

It’s mass, height, and deeply imbedded roots were all metaphors for the spiritually minded Celts (and us too). The ash speaks to us of growth, expansion, and higher perspective. If we think symbolically as the ancient Celts were apt to do, we can liken our own soul-growth with that of the ash. With greater (higher) attainment, the more we need to stay grounded (well rooted).

This concept falls right in line with the mystic message of the ash. Indeed, certain druid accounts indicate the realm between earth and sky were connected or held together by the mighty ash. Although it is associated with the element of air, the ash is also akin to the fire element for its amazing burning qualities. The wood of the ash burns with intense heat, even when green. This surfaced ideas of resurrection and renewal for the Celts.

The ash was commonly used for protective rituals because it was believed that helpful energies were contained within its great body. Specifically, the ash was thought to be the guardian of children, and was often used as a healing agent for childhood illnesses.

Its association with children may come from creation myths within Celtic lore. In some accounts the ash was considered the cradle of life, so too was it considered a gentle giant and a protector of youth.

Yggdrasil is a mighty Ash sacred to the Celts and Druids.

The disease and subsequent culling of Ash trees has echoes of the slaughter of livestock during the Foot and Mouth outbreak.

Anglesey skeletons suggest existence of ‘warrior elite’

by 5ocietyx

A recent find on the Welsh island of Anglesey is leading researchers to reassess previous ideas about the nature of the isle during the Viking Period (850 to 1,000). In the late 1990’s the bodies of two adolescents, two adult males and one woman were found.

‘Analysis indicates the males were not local to Anglesey, but may have spent their early years – at least up to the age of seven – in north west Scotland or Scandinavia.

Excavations this year also produced 7th Century silver and bronze sword and scabbard fittings.

Archaeologists believe it suggests the presence of a “warrior elite and the recycling of military equipment” during a period of rivalry and campaigning between kingdoms Northumbria and Mercia.’

taken from –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-20072974

Etymology of the name Arthur

by 5ocietyx

Bear

 

Arthur Look up Arthur at Dictionary.commasc. proper name, from M.L. Arthurus/Arturus, from Welsh arth “bear,” cognate with Gk. arktos, L. ursus (see Arctic).

taken from –

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Arthur&allowed_in_frame=0

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