If male and female druids find a particular place in our jewelry inspiration, it is not just because they are part of the Celtic world. It is first for their link and their communion with nature, as well as for the important role of women which was often erased from history, like in many other historical cultures.
Druids and more specifically druidesses have a legacy because they were a historical reality. Literature sources describe their role and their knowledge which are rediscovered little by little. The same goes for shamanic roles of women in numerous cultures like Amerindians, in Asia…
The druid is a religious Celtic authority. He is a theologist, a philosopher, a knowledge and wisdom keeper, a historian, a jurist, a military adviser of the king, and sometimes a warrior. Druids would carry out divinations and were aware of omens.
He is the intermediary between gods and men.
Druidesses also had an important character in the Celtic culture.
Unfortunately, druids would not believe in writing. Their beliefs and knowledge were not written down. Everything would be transmitted orally and this knowledge eventually got lost. Our main knowledge sources are not direct and come from Greek and Roman writings. As for ancient written documents, there are just a few descriptions or stories about druids. Unfortunately, the internet was the perfect mean to drive a lot of fake information on their role or their identity to flesh out the topic.
A druid had authority on everybody, even the king, due to its relation with the divine. he would organized sacred ceremonies and would make certain sacrifices. They were also war advisers.
The Celtic religion would also give a sacred character to nature. The Celtic people would believe in the immortality of the soul, and also of reincarnation in plants or animals before being a human again. We also read that a part of the druids would not eat animals and would reject bloody acts like sacrifices.
We are not specialists of the Celtic people. In order to write this article, we read a lot of different sources. If you speak French, we advise you this particular website for the quality of its sources: the celtic tree
The origin of druids remains mysterious and there are several theories.
We personally like the idea of an ancient origin dating back to the Neolithic, and more particularly of the megalithic period.
These immense stone constructions are a mystery first because of their role and also for their construction. Dolmens and menhirs cover a big part of Europe and are still a mystery.
Some of these constructions show impressive sculptures and engravings that are still unexplained, but are probably about nature and its phenomenon that we evoked in different pieces in our shop.
Some of these dolmens and menhirs are the proof of an astronomical knowledge due to their orientation and of the first evidences of a calendar like for the Cairn of Gavrinis or the famous Stonehenge.
We also got interested by the Neolithic anthropomorphic steles because of the degree of details.
They are the first known human representations, and also where woman holds a specific place just like for the menhir of the lady of Saint Sernin that you can find in our shop.
We like to imagine a continuity of these first astronomical and botanical cognitions in the use of plants during the Neolithic.
This is a period when man starts to control his environment in a new communion with nature.
Celtic people had a deep knowledge in astronomy. Unfortunately, there are only a few traces as they did not believe in writing and to the necessity of writing down their discoveries. However, we have some testimonies like the one left by Julius Caesar in “the war of the Gaules” in which he talks about the stars that are an important topic among druids. They would get messages in the stars of the immortal gods.
They owned a calendar punctuated by celebrations linked to nature and its cycles, like the Coligny calendar, a bronze table of festivities in Gallic language.
Some sanctuaries were linked to the sun cycle and to its position at different moments of the year like the sanctuary of Averne de Corent. Others are linked to solstices (Puy de Dôme), to the sunrise and sunset during Celtic celebrations (Puy de Saint Romain). Others refer to stars.
We all have in our imaginary world a representation of druids and druidesses making rituals under the moon or during the equinoxes. This is why a certain number of jewels evoke the moon and its phases, sometimes associated with nature or to an animal totem. They celebrate the communion with nature inspired by Celtic people.
By his knowledge of nature, the druid is a healer who uses plants to make potions, filters and other medicines. These herbalists know perfectly these plants which fascinate us and which have a large place in our catalog.
They would consider plants like living beings with a spirit that one could communicate with. This was a gift from the gods and you had to respect it. They thought that the energy or the aura they had could have an effect on humans.
Their knowledge would come from their relation with gods who would communicate the proportions for preparations made with plants. These plants were very important for the Celtic herbalists and the picking would be made with a very precise ritual.
The main Celtic sacred trees were 7 and had to be in the sanctuaries or Nemeton. You could find: the holly, the birch, the willow, the oak, the hazel, the yew and the apple tree. Other tree species were also important such as the plum hawthorn, the ash, and the elderberry.
A sacred tree was chosen according to its age, its dimensions and other particularities. It represented the cosmic tree that would link the underworld through its roots to the celestial world with its branches.
The oak represents the divine power on earth. It is the intermediary between men and gods by representing the passage between these different worlds. The oak is all the more sacred if it hosts mistletoe. This is very rare as the oak produces a toxic enzyme for the mistletoe. It symbolizes strength and longevity.
The holly is also an important celtic tree which was certainly part of the Nemeton or sanctuary. It is the symbol of resistance, braveness, immortality and balance. It does not die in winter and keeps the warmth of the sun. The holly was considered as the twin of the oak bearing mistletoe. The holly would bring winter which was its season, whereas the oak would bring sunny days. It would protect against curses and poisoning.
The hazel is the symbol of knowledge protected by the shell of the fruit. This is why druids would use its wood for incantations and divinations. This is why oghams were engraved on its wood and would be used for oracles. This is also why its wood is still used today by dowsers to find hidden water underground. The hazel would be the keeper of the sources of sciences and would hide fairies and unicorns.
The birch symbolizes the union in the divine whiteness, thanks to the moon. It is the light tree of the Celts.
The apple tree symbolizes perfection and the link of love between man and nature. Its fruit, the apple, symbolizes science, magic and revelation.
The mountain ash is a protection tree. It was meant to protect from thunders. It would help with well-being and growth.
Due to its persistent leaves, the yew represents eternity from one side and death on the other side due to the toxicity of its wood and leaves. It is the link between the living and the dead.
You can find a lot of different plants used in the Celtic medicine and rituals. Druids also knew plants from abroad that they could get by “international” barters.
The most cited are mistletoe, wormwood (or Saintonge herb), yarrow, mugwort, burdock, betony, white broth, heather, centaury, celandine, comfrey, poppy, watercress, fern, henbane, black ivy, water lily, plantain, groundsel, elderberry, verbena, belladonna, fennel, horehound, mint, anise, basil, samola, selage, etc.
Druids would import plants such as iris, Illyria, myrtle, opium, pepper, ginger, incense, myrrh, gum tragacanth…
Here are some examples of the use of these plants:
Fern was a pest control and would help to heal wounds. But it could abort pregnant women or make them sterile. It symbolized memory.
Absinthe was considered as a pest control. It would help with stomach problems, would purify blood, it would cure eyes and ears and would calm headaches.
Yarrow would help to calm down inflammation and would help to cicatrize.
Mugwort, in bath, would have helped to abort and would relieve uterus pains. It could provoke menstruation.
Burdock would fight against temperature, intestinal pains and was an antibiotic for all kinds of wounds. Druids would use it as a purifier to strengthen immune defenses during winter.
Betony was used to cure migraines, vertigo and paralysis.
Centaury was a plant used to protect houses and food stock. Druids would also consider it as a wicking plant and a remedy against snake poison.
Celandine would help with sight.
Comfrey was useful to cure kidneys, lungs, throat, stomachache, bleedings and sprains. It could pick up the bones.
Verbena comes from the Celtic word ferfaen which means “sacred branch”. It was used to give prophecies. It would cure fever and would cure all diseases. To do so, It had to be gathered when there was no moon and no sun. It was at dawn or at twilight.
Waterlily would make people sterile and impotent.
The white broth was used as a torch so that the smokes would get rid of diseases and would act as a purifier for the room.
Poppy was used for babies. The petals were crushed in a porridge to make them sleep. As a drink, it would help cicatrizing stomach.
Fennel would help to purge and purify and would also help with cough and the vesicular. It would cure poisonous bites.
Ivy (hedera) is a symbol of protection and eternity. Its leaves would help with divination. It was used to heal eyes, cough and whooping cough.
Mistletoe represented eternity and had to grow on an oak tree so that the two could become sacred. Druids thought it could cure anything. Gathering mistletoe was a moment when the druid would cut the coveted plant with a gold billhook by letting it fall in a large sheet. It was a cure for a lot of diseases and more particularly sterility.
Plantain would relieve of headaches and stomachaches, wounds, snake bites, ulcers, bleedings and pustules. It symbolized generosity.
You have to consider that healers would also use other elements in their work such as water, earth, stones and minerals…
The Celtic world and more particularly with druids had established an important relation between animals and what they symbolized.
The weasel is the symbol of affection and vigilance, but also of unconsciousness and shameless cunning.
The bee for Celts is a symbol of wisdom and immortality. It gained this place thanks to honey which was used to make the hydromel (the nectar of gods).
The eagle is a druidic symbol of the air. The robin is one of the initiatory animals as well as the owl, the deer and the salmon. It is the snake’s opposite.
The skylark or alauda is a symbol between the human world and the gods’ world. It can fly between these two worlds an is the link between them.
The stoat symbolizes the indomitable maiden warrior. It evokes courage, nobility and purity.
The goose is associated with war and divination. For the Celts of Brittany, it is forbidden to eat it, just like the hen and the hare. It is often associated with the swan who is a messenger from the other world.
The bear was probably the most important animal until Christianization. It was replaced by the lion. You can sometimes read that it was considered as the ancestor of man, maybe due to its capacity to stand up and to walk on his two paws. It was the symbol of the kings and would evoke strength, courage, invincibility, and virility. The Gallic root of its name is “art” that you can find in the name of the famous Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.
The fossilized urchin would be a snake egg that you could get by respecting a certain ritual. It then symbolizes the egg of the Celtic world and would contain a lot of energy. If you succeeded in getting it, you could be protected of poisons, toxic vapors and you would not be defeated during a battle. It would have also facilitated the win of trials in front of kings. This egg would hold the treasures and the knowledge of the world.
The owl symbolizes knowledge, vigilance and hope in the afterlife. The owl evokes lunar and nocturnal knowledge.
The doe, through hunting, symbolizes the pursuit of wisdom.
The ram is a symbol of nature strength and virility.
The deer symbolizes longevity, abundance, and the cyclic renewal by the loss of his antlers. The Gallic god Cernunnos wears antlers on his head. It would refer to the cycle of life and death, just like the antlers. It would evoke virility and masculine fecundity, as a complement of the mother goddess.
The horse is associated with hunt and war, but also refers to the race of the moon and the sun. it can also be a symbol of water with the evocation of the waves.
The dog is a symbol of absolute courage. The Celtic dog is then associates with war. He is also a messenger of the afterlife. Some say that it would have taken the wolf’s place in different tales.
The swan, and more particularly in Ireland, is the messenger of the afterlife. It would be the shape take by the beings of the other world (sidh) when they come in the world of the humans. The swan is a royal symbol, but also of purity, light and feminity (due to its whiteness). It is associated with love.
The dragon is a symbol of strength coming from the earth an represents the emperor. It evokes power and fertility.
The lion is a symbol of courage and royal power. It evokes the warrior strength and is similar to the dragon.
The wolf is an important symbol for the Celts. For the Gallic people, it would be a symbol of warrior, courage and fidelity. It was slowly replaced by the dog.
The butterfly left a few traces. According to some people, it symbolized the soul without its terrestrial boy. It also evokes beauty, love and honor.
The fish is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge. It also evokes immortality, and more particularly the salmon.
The wren symbolizes the priesthood in opposition to the crow that symbolizes warriors. It is the bird of the druids.
The crow, like the raven, is a symbol of sovereign warrior and is associated with the war goddess Catudobua (who can take the appearance of a bird) and lug in its warrior aspect. It therefore evokes war and the battle field. It is also the symbol of hunting, wisdom and knowledge. The crow can also be the messenger of the gods.
The boar represents the fighting spirit, invincibility and the spiritual power (priests). It was hunt to get knowledge, but you have to ask permission to the gods before setting off in pursuit. It is the symbol of fecundity. It owns knowledge thanks to its consumption of oak acorns, the sacred tree. Therefore it represents the druid and his knowledge. Consuming it therefore gives youth, health and knowledge.
The salmon, like the boar, is a symbol of Celtic sacred sciences. It bears knowledge and wisdom. There is one particular salmon called the salmon of knowledge or Salmon Llyn Llyn. It would have eaten the 9 acorns of the knowledge tree in the rivers of Boyne or Shannon. He became enormous and owns the knowledge of the world. He is therefore wanted for the one who will eat it will have all the knowledge.
The snake is sometimes associated with hell and regeneration (for its moult). In other traditions, it is linked with fecundity because it excavates deeply in mother Earth to hide its eggs.
The bull is represented by three horns and evokes the god Enlil. He is very important in Gallic rites in particular because he must have been the challenge of numerous conflicts and robberies. He is the symbol of virility.
Our imagination is also marked by the image of the Celtic sanctuary: in the middle of nature, with sacred trees, next to a source of water, like a haven of peace where druids and druidesses dressed in white are in communion and communication with nature.
In Gallic language, the sanctuary is designated by the word Nemeton. These sacred places are numerous on the Celtic territory.
You can find neutralized weapons (broken and twisted). There are evidences of animal and human sacrifices.
We assume that druids would practice justice in these places, and probably magic, divination, or praying…
To choose these sanctuaries, druids re used Neolithic megaliths (dolmen and menhir), or would look for sacred trees, or water sources…
Because there are no written traces, the interpretation of the Celtic symbols is still a talking point. You can also talk about pseudo Celtic pattern because a lot of famous patterns that are used a lot actually come from Christendom or are more recent and more oriented to the selling business.
The Celtic cross: The crossed called Celtic or nimbus is a cross in which is a cercle and where branches protrude from the circle. There are 3 types:
The triskell: The triskell is a variant of the spiral pattern. Even if it is the most used pattern in Celtic art, it could be prior to the Celtic period. The rotation direction could be different.
It could symbolize the three worlds (physical, spiritual and celestial), the 3 phases of the movement of the sun (dawn, midday, twilight), the three elements (water, earth, fire), the 3 principals Celtic gods (Lug, Ogme, Dagda), the time (past, present, future), or the cycle of life (childhood, adulthood, old age). The triskell could also be interpreted more spiritually like perfection and balance between spirit, body and soul.
The most popular version is solar. Triskell means “three feet” and would be an Indo-European adjective for the course of the sun.
It could also refer to the order of the Celtic society in 3 castes: spiritual (bards and druids), temporal (kings) and material (artisan peasants).
The love knot: It is made of two intertwined hearts to show the infinite and indestructible link. It could have been offered by the Celts to seal their union.
The shield of protection: It would have been worn to be protected from dangers (enemies, bad spirit, disease…). Often with a rectangular shape, it would act as an amulet.
The tree of life: The tree of life is an important symbol as we have seen in the tree theme.
Sometimes called Crann Bethadh, it is often about a tree with intertwined branches opposed to another side with intertwined roots. It is often seen inside a circle
The tree is the representation of life and of the link between the sky, the earth, and the world of the dead. It evokes the link between man and nature, immortality, rebirth, fertility, longevity, wisdom and strength.
The Celtic spiral: This is the oldest pattern. It dates back to the Neolithic period and can be found on megaliths such as in Newgrange.
They could symbolize the energy from the sun, the radiance of Esther, harmony, the way to conscience, a map of stars and planets.
The triquetera or Celtic triangle: The triquetera is made of three intertwined ovals in the shape of a triangle. It often presents a circle in the pattern or enclosing the pattern which would refer to an unchanging eternity.
It could represent the cycle of life and could have protected from death. It would symbolie the triple divinity (the daughter, the mother and the grandmother). Others say that the 3 points would symbolize the three realms (earth, sea, sky), the three promises of a relation (love, honor, protection), the 3 elements (water, earth, fire)…
You can find it on runic stones from North Europe and on Germanic coins. So this is an ancient pattern but with a Northern origine, not a Celtic one.
Some people call it the trinity knot as a reference to Christianism: the father, the son and the holy spirit.
The nautical knot: It is a strip of two intersecting strands. It symbolizes love, friendship, affection and harmony.
The Celtic knots: The Celtic knot is carcterized by the fact of being a sole and unique wire, infinite with no beginning and no end. They are essentially decorative and can be found on monuments but also in manuscripts of Christendom from 450 after Jesus Christ. But we can find these patterns with Romans from the 3d century before Jesus Christ.
It symbolizes eternity and interdependence of life.
The Claddagh ring: It is often cited in the Celtic symbols. This ring shows a heart hold by two hands as a symbol of friendship and love.
Actually, this model comes from a fishermen village dating back to the the 17th century.
The awen: It is a celtic symbol of neo druidism. It presents 3 small circles where three lines start, inserted in a circle.
The name awen comes from the Breton or Gallic language and evokes the divine inspiration of the bard.
It represents the divine and spiritual enlightenment, and the communication with the gods.
Runes: Runes are not Celtic but Scandinavian. The confusion dates back to the 17th century when there is a new interest for the Celts.
The Celts would use different alphabets: Lepontic, Celtiberian, Greek, Latin and Ogam (Celtic alphabet).
Our vision of the Celtic world with druids and druidesses was shaped by the “romantic” period. And due to the lack of knowledge, a lot of symbols were imagined and invented.
Therefore, it is often disappointing to learn about the origin of some symbols. Indeed, you cannot forget that druids never wrote anything about their beliefs and knowledge. This is why we preferred to privilege what can be traced in history in our shop. You will find just a few classical symbols, and more evocations about nature (plants, trees, animals).
Nonetheless, the fantastical and magical side of druidism is part of the enchantment of this theme. Magical worlds often take their inspiration from Celtic and medieval beliefs. Who does not like the adventures of Merlin and of the Knights of the Round Table? Or Panoramix and his magical potion in Asterix and Obelix? Here, we find ourselves in the fantastical celtic culture, and also of the fantastical medieval.
This magical world takes its heritage in a lot of tales and Celtic legends. On top of the magic of druids and druidesses, you will find a lot of creatures like fairies, unicorns, dragons, witches, elves, magicians…. Here are some example of creatures and monsters.
Bun de cuailnge is a famous bull from the Irish legends. He has the intelligence of a human and mates with 50 cows every day whose calves are born the next day.
The addanc is a maleficent and violent monster of welsh and British legends. It is about a dragon-crocodile, beaver or dwarf. He lives in a lake and attacks all preys in his surroundings.
The anguipede is a creature of the Gallic legends. He is a tall person with a deformed baby head and whose body finishes like a snake tail.
The aos or aes sidhe is a supernatural people of the Gael Celts living in hills and ancient tumulus.
The banshee is a supernatural woman of the Irish legends. She is a magician and messenger of the other world. She sometimes seduces heroes to take them in the other world. Sometimes, she brings incurable diseases. She owns an important magic that can allow her to create an army, to make gold appear, to transform stones in sheeps… When she appears next to a human, it is an omen of death.
The cat sith or cat Sidhe is a big black cat with a white sport on the chest from the Scottish legends. This ghost haunts the Highlands and would maybe be a transformed witch.
The Cuelebre or culebre is a creature of the Spanish Celtic legends. It looks like a big dragon snake with wings. It shows green and red scales. Once adult, It dives under the sea to keep its treasures. He eats dead or alive men.
The dullahan or Gan Ceann (with no head) are a type of solitary Irish fairies. They can take off their head and place it under their arm or use it to play. They travel on a red eye black horse that throws fire with their nostrils. They use a made of a human spine. Only gold can make them go away. They kill humans with no pity. This myth probably inspired the legend of the headless horseman.
Fairies are generally female anthropomorphic magical beings that are able to gift babies; to fly and to curse… they are generally linked to the forces of nature. They are mainly inspired by the Celtic folklore and dates back to the medieval period. Some of them can help, cure, and guide… others play tricks to men, and can be bad. According to some people, if druids would respect woods and would go in there by respecting certain rituals, it was because it was where fairies were living. The famous Morgan and Viviane of the Arthurian cycle are fairies too.
The formori are humans or semi-gods of the Irish legends. They would have arrived in Ireland after the flood. They are sometimes described with an eye, an arm, and a dark colored leg. They are sometimes seen as giants. They were warriors and would have fought against all the Irish people.
We could also talk about dwarves who were condemned to live hidden, about giants and elves, without forgetting about the Knights of the Round Table, Merlin and the magical world they lived in. Other famous fiction characters such as Gandalf of the “Lord of the Rings” take us back to this Druid picture.
In our catalog, we have different jewels (mainly rings) for weddings on the tribal, Neolithic, Celtic, druidic themes in a spirit of nature, communion or related with legends.
We make the difference between the Celtic wedding and the druidic wedding as the first one will be more about a wedding theme or an atmosphere, whereas the second one involves a ceremony lead by a druid to seal a link.
Obviously, we have seen that the problem of Celtic sources and druidic weddings is often fanciful. But it shows a link and a communion with nature that is probably close to the druidic spirit.
|Melusine: this 6mm width ring refers to the fairy from the Celtic legends.|
|The door of the past: this 10mm width ring shows spirals and circles inspired by those discovered on the Neolithic megaliths.|
|Oak leaves: this 10mm width ring shows oak leaves, the most sacred tree for the druids.|
|The song of the forest: this 10mm width ring shows intertwined branches evoking the dense and secret forest of the druids.|
|Briar rose: this 7mm width ring shows a medicinal plant used by druidic herbalists.|
|Ivy crown: this 10mm width ring shows sacred ivy leave for the druids. You can also find this pattern on the ring Liseron with a narrower band.|
|Fern: this 10mm width ring shows fern leaves reminding of the plant used by the druids and the sacred forest.|
|Phases of the moon: this 6mm width ring shows different phases of the moon during its cycle. It evokes the dear moon of the druids.|
|Raden: this 8mm width ring evokes the ferns of the forest of the druids.|
|Wood: this 8mm width ring shows the lines of the tree wood to symbolize the link with the forest and its long history.|
|Ivy: this 4mm width ring celebrates the climbing plant used by the druids.|
|Stonehene: this 11mm width ring shows Celtic knots, symbol of infinity and the moon.|
|Birch: this 6mm width ring symbolizes one of the Celtic sacred trees.|
Except for the jewelry, we are not specialists in planning weddings. However, here you will find some links that will help you find inspiration in your researches.