Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

NEO-DRUIDISM

   Edward Davies, author of Mythology and Rites of British Druids, was one of those who, with Job Morganwg, regarded the Arkite theory as having its foundation in Genesis. But, as Professor Rhys says, "when one turns to Davies's authorities for his unhesitating statements of the kind, no doubt one is a little dismayed at first, and not a little inclined to doubt him altogether, and, in disposing of his Helio-Arkite absurdity, dispose of the Druids with them."
   The Modern Druidism, or Bardism, about which a few years ago there was considerable excitement in Wales, must not be confounded with the Druidism of Myfyr and Morien, who sought the revival of what was declared by others to be a mystical paganism. The Bardism of this century, brought forward by Welsh clergymen, like Ab Ithel, &c., was founded upon the so-called Welsh Triads of the Middle Ages, which were interpreted in a quasi Christian light, and presumed to have been the relics of the Scriptural Patriarchal system.
   The Rev. John Williams was, perhaps, the best exponent of Bardism, though all its advocates recognized in it the Church of England ideas of this century, and yet hardly of the High Church order. The Patriarchal Religion of Britain, by the Rev. Dr. James, made many converts to the system. But the ceremonies associated with it have something of the Masonic character. This is the Summary of the Bardo-Druidic creed:--
   There was one God. There were five elements--earth, water, fire, air, and heavens. The soul--refined, vital, and imperishable--is a lapsed intelligence, regaining happiness by transmigration. Creation improved as man improved, and animals gradually became men. Man develops by experience in different states of being. Celestial beings aid man in development. Ultimately all will be happy, and evil finally extinguished. All these views were gathered from the said Triads, though regarded by many pious Welshmen as teaching opposed to Christianity.
   Morien's reading of the Triads is something very different; for The Light of Britannia has no Bardo-Druidic creed.