The Order of Druids in Ulster
How it all began...........
"The Old Gaelic Order" came originally from Phoenicia and they were Baal or Sun worshippers. They were Bards, Psychics, Healers, Walkers between the Worlds, Lawgivers and Makers, Priests and Kings. One of the first abilities taught to new Initiates was Telepathy. "The Order" at all times was to remain outside society; within it yet outside it at the same time. All knowledge came within the realm of "The Order", but they were particularly concerned with Astronomy because they had experience of so many significant calamities. It was thought that a full knowledge of Astronomy would enable them to predict conditions when these calamities were likely to take place and take some action to protect themselves. Another primary function of the order was to preserve language.
The Order of Druids in Ulster
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When the Druids came, many members of "The Order" infiltrated that order. Elsewhere in Europe the Druids carried out their ceremonies in oak groves. The term for oak is Druha, so they became known as Druidi or Druids. Now, in Ireland specifically the Druids worshipped The God of the Sunset, The Dah Ruah -The Red God. A priest of that order was called a Ceile Dah Ruah - a servant of The Red God. Over time this was shortened to Da Ruah then Druah or Druid. That's how confusion arises between the Druids on the Continent and the Druids in Ireland. They both have the same name for different reasons.
The order continued to survive by adapting itself, first to the Druids and then to Christianity. It kept its traditions and beliefs but operated inside the Christian Matrix. The members of the order were Priests and Kings, and in Christianity, this developed into Bishops and Herenachs about the 12th century. In Ireland eventually the Herenachs, not being Bishops anymore because of the suppression of Catholicism, integrated into Protestant religion. There was no change in the central purpose of "The Order" whatever guise they operated under.
Ben's earliest recorded ancestor was Lugar MacLugair. MacLugair seems to have been the most important figure in the 2nd century - he was a Lawgiver. He was described as the one who adapted "The Senchus Mor" the great compendium of Law to the Christian tradition. MacCugar was one of those characters who emerge every few generations and totally transform the character of a society. But because of the conflicts between Paganism and Christianity, he was written out history. MacLugair was the most important Druid of his time and a member of "The Order". He was Chief Druid of Ireland and Druid to the High King Leary and Druid to the Kings of Leinster.
It was originally the task of each member of "The Order" to be a compendium of all knowledge. If humanity was wiped out except for one individual, he should be capable of re-establishing everything from his own resources. Now because of the exceptional increase in knowledge techniques and skills, medicine, science, it would not be within the abilities of a single human mind to encompass everything. So the system was developed whereby three were brought together as a triad. The one who seemed most suited for a particular group of skills or awareness was trained in those and thus the full range of knowledge was divided up among them.
The first vigil or initiation partly required the candidate to spend several nights at "St Kevin's Bed" at Glendalough. Its old Irish name was Glen Da Lug (Glen of the God Lugh).
When a triad had to retrieve knowledge from the collective unconsciousness, one member of the triad was hypnotised and the third was the controller. Using this technique, vast amounts of information could be accessed from the collective unconscious.
The "Old Gaelic Order" had sacred dances, Kundalini exercises and created sacred space to commune with otherworldly beings. They celebrated the fire festivals and the solstices and equinoxes, although I'm not sure if these were a later addition. One of Ben's triad, the Astronomer, worked out the exact date they should celebrate. His dates rarely fell on the dates accepted today by pagan groups.