German Druidism

From Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions, 1894

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Louis de Baecker, 1854, gave an account of Teutonic Druidism, similar to that of the Belgae of Britain, in his De la Religion du Nord de la France avant le Christianisme. He, unlike men of the Welsh Druidic school, joins Dr. Ledwich, and some Irish authorities, in tracing Druidism to the German and Scandinavian races; saying, "The religion of our pagan ancestors was that of Odin or Woden." But he evidently refers to north-eastern France rather than north-western, as he derives the religion from the Edda.

In the book Volu-Spa, or the Priestess, the first song of the poetic Edda, he discovers what Ossian and other British and Irish bards describe as Spirits of the air, of earth, of waters, of plains, and woods. "Caesar was deceived," says he, "when he said that the Germans had neither priests nor religious ceremonies; for Tacitus mentions them in his Germania in the most formal manner." By the way, if Caesar was so mistaken about the Germans, whom he knew so well, is his evidence about Gaulish Druids worth much?

Baecker's northern Gauls had priests of various kinds. The sacrificers were called Blodmanner, or Pluostari; the sustainers of order were Ewart and Gotes-ewart; the protectors of sacred woods, Harugari, Parawari, or Wihesmart; the prophets, Spamadhr, Wizago, Vitega, Veitsga, Weissager, Wetekey. The Priestesses were the Vaulur. The horse, bull, boar, and sheep were sacrificed. "It was in the middle of the wood," he writes, "that the Belgae offered their sacrifices." The Belgic Britons, doubtless, had a similar Druidism.

Caesar asserts that the Germans had no Druids, while he credits the German Belgae of South Britain with having them.

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