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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/

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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

1717: Druidry and the founding of modern Freemasonry

by 5ocietyx

UGLE logo

United Grand Lodge of England logo

Both Freemasonry and Druidry held inauguration meetings in London in 1717 to form larger brotherhoods from regional orders.

On 24 June 1717, three existing London lodges and a Westminster lodge held a joint dinner at the Goose and Gridiron alehouse in St. Paul’s Churchyard, elected a gentleman, Anthony Sayer, to the chair as Grand Master, and called themselves a Grand Lodge. The United Grand Lodge of England was formed.

Awen symbol

Awen symbol

Not long after and not far from the Goose and Gridiron, the ‘Druid Circle of the Universal Bond’ (An Druidh Uileach Braithreachas) took place on the 22nd September 1717 on Primrose Hill with representatives from London, York, Oxford, Wales, Cornwall, The Isle of Man, Scotland, Anglesey, Ireland and Brittany.

Freemasons still meet in Freemasons Hall and Druids still gather in circles upon Primrose Hill.

Druids @ Primrose Hill

Druids @ Primrose Hill

Freemasons Hall

Freemasons Hall, London

Freemasons Hall

Freemasons Hall

http://www.irishoriginsofcivilization.com/appendices/druidicsymbolism.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Druid_Order

Etymology of the word ‘Vatican’

by 5ocietyx

Druids Ovates

The English-Latin noun vates /ˈveɪtiːz/ is a term for a prophet, following the Latin term. It is the origin of the English term ovate for an Irish bard.

In pagan Rome the vates resided on the Vatican Hill, the Hill of the Vatii. Indeed, the Vatican Hill takes it name from the Latin word Vaticanus, a vaticiniis ferendis, in allusion to the oracles, or Vaticinia, which were anciently delivered on the Vatican Hill.

Druids, Vates (or Ovates) and Bards represented the three classes of Celtic priesthood, according to the Ancient Greek writers. Druids played the important role in the Celtic society dealing with magic, religious rites, worship and sacrifices, judicial procedures, literature and language, philosophy, astronomy and medicine. Vates had the role of seers, prophets and performed sacrifices, while Bards were poets and musicians who collected oral traditions, serving to preserve history and spread the fame of brave warriors and kings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vates
http://www.memoryofstones.eu/2/druids_vates_bards_333035.html

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

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