I am excited about the new edition of my BRITISH HISTORY that will be available in July. FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS will offer 8 different history choices: American, British, World, Epoch I (Creation to the Middle Ages), Epoch II (The Middle Ages to French Revolution), Epoch III (French Revolution to Gilded Age), Epoch IV (Gilded Age to the Present). The following is a section on “Druids,” in my British History:
A druid was a member of the priestly class active in Gaul (Northern Germany), and in Celtic Britain. They were priest, judge, scholar, and teacher to their Briton communities. The core points of druidic religious beliefs included reincarnation and human sacrifice.
Druids were highly educated for their culture. Yet, they wrote nothing. Some Druids spent 20 years memorizing oral traditions of Druidic lore. The Druid priesthood was open only to males. All instruction was communicated orally so there was no record of Druid ritual or theology.
Druids could punish members of Celtic society by a form of “excommunication”, preventing them from attending religious festivals. Druids, then, had both priestly and political roles and were instrumental in maintaining order.
Druid religion included rituals performed at so called Druid temples, usually stone structures built into the side of a hill. Stonehenge may be an exception.
Stonehenge is a place of pilgrimage for neo-druids, and for certain others following pagan or neo-pagan beliefs, but it was probably nothing more than a burial site.
One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones. It included several hundred burial mounds.
Archaeologists had believed that the iconic stone monument was erected around 2500 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, have been dated to about 3100 BC.
Stonehenge was associated with burial from the earliest period of its existence. Stonehenge evolved in several construction phases spanning at least 1500 years. There is evidence of large-scale construction on and around the monument that perhaps extends the landscape’s time frame to 6500 years.
Scholars believe that Stonehenge once stood as a magnificent complete monument. This cannot be proved as around half of the stones that should be present are missing, and many of the assumed stone sockets have never been found.
One final personal message. If one asked this author, when I was an eight year old, what my favorite holiday was, he would have enthusiastically proclaimed: Halloween! Haunted houses, costumes, candy–it all captured his imagination. But that was 1961 and this is today.
Halloween clearly is not a Christian holiday. In fact it is anything but Christian. In fact the origins and traditions of Halloween can be traced back thousands of years to the Druids. The eve of October 31 marked the transition from summer into the darkness of winter. On this night, the spirits of the dead rose up. Demons, fairies, and ghouls roamed about the town. They destroyed crops, killed cattle, soured milk, and generally made life miserable . . . unless an appropriate appeasement was offered. Namely, a human sacrifice. So, anticipating these goblins, Druid towns annually, on October, chose young maidens and sacrificed them in honor of the pagan gods. This is not the same as having a Christmas tree, or believing in the Easter Bunny–Halloween is a celebration of death, destruction, and hell.
Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He is hope and mercy and love–not death, destruction, and murder. There are alternative celebrations you know. Some parents hold costume parties and have the kids dress as Bible heroes (no trick or treat though!). Other groups hold hayrides and harvest celebrations. Halloween is a time to rejoice in the fact that “the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8)!” God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). You were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light . . . and do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them (Eph. 5:8,11).