Most belief systems of the modern age, no matter how old they are, are devoid of any form of violence within their tenets. For thousands of years, humans would wage war, pillage, kill, and torture in the name of their beliefs, but our modern moral compass has allowed us to worship in much more peaceful ways.
Druidry is very much the same: a peaceful belief system that centres around the worship and reverence of the natural world, but it does have both a dark and fascinating past that often included the practice of human sacrifice.
It wasn’t until more recent studies showed that the ancient druids engaged in human sacrifice, as almost all other societies did at one point or another. It usually revolved around offering a sacrifice to the gods in return for a good year of harvests, long before humanity understood the cycles of the climate and the seasons.
Researchers have found a lot of evidence of the sacrifices that were performed, and while no druid in today’s age would ever dream of doing such things, its history is interesting, nonetheless.
The Romans And Their Records
When the Roman Empire first entered Briton, it quickly turned into all-out war between them and the indigenous people of the island, one that the Romans didn’t have that much of a problem winning for the most part due to their numbers and vast resources. And because of that, almost all records of the ancient Celts and Druids come from Roman records, who were known for being fairly meticulous when it came to keeping historic records.
But like with most civilisations, there tends to be a bias toward the winning nation, and for this reason, there has long been doubt as to the evidence of the sacrifices that took place.
This is because historians believed the Romans would have made sure that they depicted their enemies as barbaric and savage, and human sacrifice was considered one of the most savage acts a group of people could perform, much as it is today.
But recent evidence has shown conclusively that the ancient Druids did, in fact, perform these sacrifices, and while we might view them as somewhat barbaric, it’s important to understand the context under which they were undertaken.
How They Were Performed
Human sacrifice is not the easiest topic to elaborate on, but it’s still interesting in terms of what took place. The Druids believed very much in the power contained within human blood, and therefore made sure that sacrifices were done in such a way that there would have been a lot of blood.
Lindow Man, a mummified bog-body that’s been preserved for 2000 years, it’s the best evidence we have of the sacrifices that were undertaken by the Druids. This man was part of a staged sacrifice when he was executed, and was found to have a range of fatal wounds across his body, including slashes to his neck.
It’s speculated that he was a Druid himself, and willingly participated in order to stop the advance of the Romans at the time, and it makes us realise how much we take for granted, such as our time of peace, comfortable homes and a wide choice of the best gaming sites.