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Ganga
February 17th, 2002, 06:18 PM
Were all the druids in earlier times vegetarian? Are druids vegetarian today?

Twig
February 18th, 2002, 02:07 AM
Greetings Ganga! :wave:

I am Twig, the moderator in this forest( along w/fluiddruid). Let me Welcome you as I see you are new here. I'm glad to see you delve right in with a question! for that is the purpose here, to help find answers.



And the Answer IS.......... we don't know. 8O I'm sorry but that is the truth. You see, we are left with very little archeological evidance because the druids had a verbal tradition so didn't write things down. :mad: :( VERY frustrating! The accounts of them are mostly from the Romans who viewed them as the enemy and savages. There is no record of eating preferance that I can think of but then again I am not a historian. ( related note- I am entering a course to remady this :D )

My personal opinion? Given the populus (sp?) at large did {Source-the contents of Lindow mans stomach!} and the nature of the Celtic peoples in general, I would therorize that they were meat eaters or had their choice. Couple in the fact that they sacrificed animals and I can't see them letting things go to waste well.....makes sense to me.

Anybody else?

As for me(Todays Druid ;) )....my g/friend just went to DQ for the latest hamburger special! :eek: :cool:

As I said, we welcome you to this community and this forum in Peace. If no one has said it yet, this whole community works on one basic principle, "Respect others and their Path. No matter what it may be". The strength is the simplicity, eh?

Peace,
Twig
:elf:

Theres
February 18th, 2002, 02:22 AM
as far as i know, they only ate 'Bran' muffins (or 'Pan' cakes!).

Twig
February 18th, 2002, 06:59 AM
Good One!

Ganga
February 18th, 2002, 11:09 AM
Thanks for your replies! I wonder where the opinion/fact(?) comes that Druids used to be vegetarian? That's what many people seem to believe. Well, animal sacrifices don't necessarily mean meat-based diet. In ancient India, people used to sacrifice animals but not eat them. Sometimes the priestly class would leave the sacrificed goat or other such animal for the hard-working labourer class to eat. Often the animal was sacrificed to test the potency of a mantra. Some mantras (spells, in English) had the power to bring a very recently dead person back to life (provided the body was not too damaged, I believe). To test the mantra and, more particularly, the ability of the priest (or the druid), an animal was sacrificed and then brought back to life. This was a long time ago, and I'm sure that the modern scientist doesn't believe in such a "myth". Anyhow, the modern scientist working only on the gross material level has been wrong before ;-) According to the Vedas, animal sacrifices are forbidden in this age, although goats are still offered to Kali Ma. She's about the only Deity in the Hindu pantheon who does accept meat-offerings nowadays. Some say that she doesn't personally accept the meat, but allows Her companions (ghosts, etc.) to devour it, leaving the remnants for the worshiper. I'm sorry I got a bit sidetracked, but since I equate the Druids with the ancient Indian Brahmanas and Rishis (not the modern brahmanas according to the present day, distorted caste-system), the topic is (hopefully) somewhat related.

Doctor Oakroot
February 19th, 2002, 06:56 PM
I read a book a few years back that presented and supported the theory that the Druids and the Hindus of the Rig Veda period were essentially the same group - or recently separated.

This makes some sense, since they were certainly linguistically one people at some time (along with most of the European peoples and the Tocharians in China, now extinct).

If I can find the book, I'll post a reference here.

IMO, the Druids and Bhramins of that period probably both ate meat.

BTW, bhramin is a pretty direct congnate with Latin "flamen" - a word that was used by early Christians to describe European pagan priests in general (although it referred to a very specific priestly office in pre-Christian rome).

Ganga
February 19th, 2002, 07:51 PM
Brahmins and Druids... Does this mean that I'm a Druid, too, since I have received my Brahminical initation into a Hindu lineage (nothing to do with any "birthrights", modern caste-system, etc.)?? And I've been trying to grasp the fact that I'm a witch;) No, I guess I'm a Brahmin (priestess)-witch. How's that sound?

Doctor Oakroot
February 20th, 2002, 09:13 AM
Here's the reference for the Druid relationship to Brahmins:

Rutherford, Ward. The Druids: magicians of the west: the doctrines, beliefs and practices of druidism. Aquarian Press 1983. pp 58 ff.

And Ganga, don't worry about whether you're a Witch or Druid... you're a Brahmin, related to other pagans but different in detail. Hinduism, like many other pagan faiths, has a strong ability to adopt other faith practices as they prove useful - so learn what you can from Witches and Druids and bring it back into your practice as a Brahmin.

Ganga
February 20th, 2002, 12:07 PM
"Hinduism, like many other pagan faiths, has a strong ability to adopt other faith practices as they prove useful"

How true! Thanks for the encouragement, Doctor Oakroot! It is so nice to be accepted as I am. (Someone in the Mystic Wicks told me earlier, "Don't worry. You are you")

I have been contemplating issues of self-identity lately. I am very attracted to witchcraft (and do practice it), but feel that I don't have to follow all the rituals of Wicca (as a religion). After all, rituals are external ways to focus the mind. But it is fascinating to know about Wiccan (and Druidic) rituals because they are very similar to Hindu rituals. I have also started celebrating sabbaths and esbaths in a very private, solitary manner. Hindu-festivals I celebrate with friends in a more grand way. Of course, esbaths are always recognized by Hindus. Full-moon day is called Purnima, and dark moon is Amavasya. New moon is also recognized and awed.

I know many Hindus who are very traditional. They may never consider performing a spell by drawing a circle, calling the elements, etc. but they do perform fire-sacrifices (or get a priest to perform one in their house) complete with all the mantras (spells), mudras (positions, hand-gestures), etc. And they wouldn't hesitate asking me for a protective amulet or prosperity charm if they knew I'm practising the craft. As it is, I'm new at this and sort of looking for my place still. It's getting clearer and clearer, though.

Thanks for suggesting that book. I'll look it up at the library or the Pagan store.

thefluiddruid
March 20th, 2002, 12:24 AM
If you study the old legands you will find that the idea of us being vegitarian is pure BS.
One of the more common Druidic rituals for inspiration was to kill a bull, eat it's flesh, wrap up in it's skin, and pray for inspiration in the form of dreams.

Earthcup
March 20th, 2002, 12:31 AM
*hopes they cleaned the skin first!*:eek: :sick: :D

Lavender
March 20th, 2002, 01:12 AM
:rotfl:

thefluiddruid
March 20th, 2002, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Earthcup
*hopes they cleaned the skin first!*:eek: :sick: :D
Actually no.
They used the skin fresh.
The ritual is supposed to connect the Druid to the spirit of the bull in some sort of way.
I wouldn't know how, as I have never done this cerimony.
Of course the point of this post is that Druids, as a group, were not vegitairians as some would claim.

Earthcup
March 21st, 2002, 03:19 AM
I can see how that might help them make a connection but I don't think it's something I'd want to try.

Maybe a skin nicely cleaned and tanned...:D

So when did the Vedics or Brahmins become vegetarian? If this isn't off topic....

Ganga
March 21st, 2002, 10:29 AM
When did the Vedics or Brahmins become vegetarians? Well, there are several opinions, and I don't want to start a debate (it seems that whenever vegetarianism is discussed, the non-vegetarians get very angry, and then the vegetarians start preaching, and the non-vegetarians get more angry and start preaching, too, etc., etc.), but my opinion is that Brahmins have always been vegetarian. Well, the priests of Goddess Kali might have eaten sacrificed meat. There is a mantra which is used when offering meat to Kali (I just found out myself). The translation is roughly: "Dear such-and-such animal, today I am sacrificing you to the Goddess, but I promise that in my next life, you can sacrifice and eat me."

Hinduism (which is, of course, a very modern term) is a very many-faced religion, offering something for everyone. The path I've chosen to follow has some very definite rules about vegetarianism.

Brightest Blessings to all of you, and Have a Merry Ostara!

Eric
March 23rd, 2002, 05:44 PM
Celtic Druids have never been vegetarians.

Modern neopagan Druids are sometimes vegetarians, but these practices are rooted in other influences, unrelated to historical Druidry.

Brahmins became vegetarians for the most part when the pendulum of emphasis swang from ancient Vedism to what would become modern Sanatana Dharma. Hindu ahimsa was not a native Vedic concept. :)

Azure
March 25th, 2002, 02:42 PM
Eric!
Surprised and pleased to see you here.
I have been in Colorado and haven't been near a computer in 10 days. Glad to see there are some pleasant surprises to come back to.

Twig
March 26th, 2002, 12:45 AM
Celtic Druids have never been vegetarians.

In the spirit of Truth, I have never seen conclusive evidance either way. Have I missed something?

I'm curious as to your sources for this claim. For the words are strong and carry the ring of authority to them.

Moderator Mode

Being this could be a volatile issue, I'll now have to ask for referances if anyone makes claims conclusively in the issue. This is a fundamental issue in my opinion and I want people to be SURE when they make a choice of this magnitude.

Peace
Twig
:elf:

ps-Nothing personal Eric. :)

Eric
March 26th, 2002, 08:31 PM
Nothing personal at all! I wouldn't take it as such. :)

First, I would submit that vegetarianism has never had much currency in Indo-European cultures themselves. The obvious exception would be Hindus, but even their sacerdotal caste (Brahmins) didn't take to vegetarianism until the original IE Vedic religion was rearranged by native Indian influences. This change took place over the span of time in which the original Vedic gods took backseat to what are now the familiar Hindu gods (for chronological reference).

Second, I would focus more narrowly on the surviving Celtic lore itself, both in outside rendition and native oral tradition. There's no suggestion that vegetarianism was present, much less prevalent, among the native cultures (including, of course, the learned and sacerdotal functionaries). The eating of meat is sometimes referenced as having mystical importance, such as Fionn and the salmon of knowledge, or a component of the tarbh féis.

Third, and lastly, I would consider (in a completely subjective and non-proving manner) UPG. While some people obviously find vegetarianism a fulfilling and helpful practice, I would submit that the rest of us see nothing wrong or spiritually backward about eating meat, in the tradition of our ancestors. :)

nicanfhilidh
March 27th, 2002, 01:15 AM
Originally posted by Éric
Nothing personal at all! I wouldn't take it as such. :)

First, I would submit that vegetarianism has never had much currency in Indo-European cultures themselves.

< ... snip...>

Second, I would focus more narrowly on the surviving Celtic lore itself, both in outside rendition and native oral tradition. There's no suggestion that vegetarianism was present, much less prevalent, among the native cultures (including, of course, the learned and sacerdotal functionaries). The eating of meat is sometimes referenced as having mystical importance, such as Fionn and the salmon of knowledge, or a component of the tarbh féis.


... as well as the imbas forosnai, which explicitly involved the eating of meat. See http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/4715/imbasforosnai.html for a very interesting essay on this.

Eric
March 27th, 2002, 09:25 AM
Thanks, Áine! Didn't know you were around. :)

bansidhe
April 2nd, 2002, 12:31 PM
ivee not seen any conclusive evidence either way, so im gonna sit on the fence for the meantime, although i quietly suspect they werent vegos.
im vegetariaan, but thats juss my choice, nothing to do with my religion! :)