As you know, I recently finished my gift up for Carl McColman and sent it off to him. I’m not going to brag on that agian, although I am rediculously proud of it. What I’m contemplating this time is the whole “Druid with a rosary” thing.
Catholicism and Druidism dovetail very well. It has always been known in most forms of Druidism that the way of the Gods of the Celts was not the only way. It is even hinted in some areas that there is a deity greater than they are, similar to the infinate regression of the Mormons.
We know the Tuatha de Dannan had Druids with them. This means that their Druids were probably serving the same function that Druids of the Celts fulfilled, namely that of serving the spiritual/magickal needs of the Tuatha de. But the god forms that contemporary Druids worship and honor (and “contemporary” in this case refers to those Druids that have actual non-mythic records on them) are the Tuatha de themselves. Therefore the big “huh???” moment is “Who did the Druids of the Tuatha de Dannan worship?”
Kinda a chicken/egg thing.
It is implied (and I can think of no references off hand, so don’t hold me to this) that there is a deity greater than all others that is the one that the Druids know of, but not one that is worshiped since it’s so very remote.
So, it is not outside the realm of possibility that there was a conversion of the Druids to Christianity when it was proposed by (for instance) Patrick. Some of it may have been politically motiviated, some of it may have been “convert or die”, but it is not outside the realm of possibility that there were some who saw the way of Christ and converted out of a belief in it.
Even those who didn’t convert, their ways did infect the incomming Christian church. A perfect example of this is Brigit/St. Brigid. Here you had a set of priestesses who attended the eternal flame ofBrigit, taking care of it and ministering to those who came. Christianity rolls in and the flame is extinguished, but the temple is taken over by women and it is made into an abbey. Now nuns live there, tending a flame to St. Brigid, an eternal flame.
So the ways of the Druids were shifted to fit within a paradigm of Christianity.
Speaking AS a Druid, I can see how the teachings of Christ would have fit into the Druid’s worldview. Not the Gnostic gospels, but the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Those testaments and what is written there could have had a massive impact on the Druids of the time, showing that there is another way out there that is also a way of the Spirit. Some gnostic texts (from what I have been told of them) could also have fit in, like the Gospel of Thomas and now the Gospel of Judas.
I honestly believe that it is possible that if you took a Druid of the 400 CE time period, taught him modern languages, brought him forward to now, and dropped him in a Catholic Church in Ireland, that the Priest and he would get along swimmingly. There may be some cannonical differences (like the lack of women priests), but I think enough of the Druids survived to modern times thorugh the vehicle of the Catholic Church that it would be minimal conflict.
There is precident for this as well, look at all the hidden pagan influence in some of the books that were preserved by the medevial church in such things like the Book of Kells. I’ll be the first one to admit that there are portions that were deliberately re-written to fit with a Christian worldview, but I understand (from those who have studied these writings as I have not) that there are some hidden references as well.
So a Druid with a Rosary? I don’t think that a Druid would be out of place with a Rosary in any place. After all, a Rosary is a meditation tool, a way to help connect with the spiritual. Hazelnuts anyone?