In all my studies I have never heard of Female Druid Priestess. But after reading this article and thinking back over what I have learn about the ancient Celtics spiritual path and the duality of it I than wondered was this information did not come out until now. I am going to look for at least two other article confirming what this on days and I will post the links to them. I did a thank you ritual to Bridget for pushing to get this information to us. I would like to hear what you think of this especially if you follow a Druid path.
In medieval Irish legends they were called Banduri or Bandorai. Their existence was confirmed by ancient Greek and Roman writers. But who were the legendary female Druids?
The Druids were the ancient religious leaders, scientists and researchers of the Celtic society. For centuries, there was a common misconception that Druids were only male. However, numerous historical records attest to the fact that there were in fact women among their ranks.
The Wise Ones of Celtic society
The term ”Druid” comes from the Indo-European word ”deru”, which means ”the truth” or ”true”. This word has evolved into the Greek term ”drus”, meaning ”oak”.
The Druids were the intellectual elite. Being a Druid was a tribal function, but they were also poets, astronomers, magicians, and astrologers. It took them 19 years to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in alchemy, medicine, law, the sciences, and more. They organized intellectual life, judicial processes, had skills to heal people, and were involved in developing strategies for war. They were an oasis of wisdom and highly respected in their society.
Roman Accounts of the Druidesses
Gaius Julius Caesar was fascinated with the Druids. He wrote that they were scientists, theologians, and philosophers, and acquired knowledge that was extraordinary. According to experts in Caesar’s writings, the great Roman leader was well aware of the female Druids. Unfortunately, most of the Roman writers ignored women in general, so it is not easy to find reference to them in historical texts. However, Strabo wrote about a group of religious women who lived on an island near the Loir River. In ‘Historia’, Augusta is a description of Diocletian, Alexander Severus and Aurelian, who discussed their problems with the female Druids.
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2 thoughts on “Female Druids, the Forgotten Priestesses of the Celts”
I chose to read this article because some of my ancestors were from Ireland; Scotland, and England, too. Also,I have been to these countries a few times and am in love with everything about them.
This was a very interesting article because I never realized that some Druids were women; I had assumed Druids were only male.
It was also interesting (and inspiring) to find these female Druids were intellectuals as well as brave and cunning. I refer here to Queen Boudicca, who was referenced in the article as leading an uprising against the Romas. Very cool…and nice to learn about.
I am glad you found the information interesting and you learned something new from it.