Saturday, 16 April 2022

Druids in Before Beltane

Hello and welcome to Day 16 of my daily April posts about the writing of Before Beltane.

Including scenes with druids in my writing of the Celtic Fervour Series has been a challenge. Like most of the historical background to Late 1st century (AD) Roman Britain, writing about druids is difficult since they left no written records that are known about. I’ve always tried really hard to create believable worlds for my Celtic Fervour Series characters but when there’s little direct evidence, it's not simple. It’s the same when including scenes with druids as in Lorcan’s case, or the druid priestesses that Nara lives with on the crannog of the priestesses. Author interpretation has to kick in since authentication is impossible.

I’ve read many novels which have included druid figures that have been scary, designed to terrify the people of the world they inhabit. I’ve enjoyed the fantasy aspects, but when it has come to including druids in my own writing, I’ve wanted them to be aloof, highly respected, yet also believable – if also terrifying in some cases. They were men or women of religion but definitely different from the main population. Giving the druid characters life has meant enhancing their abilities, yet not to the point of being fantastical. I adore the druids in The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien but what they achieve is, for me, too much for my series.  

This is a relatively new video (2020) that has a wealth of interesting information that you may enjoy about druids. It also has loads of fabulous images that I can't include on my blog. 

As far as it is known, druids were the upper echelons of Celtic society. They were the shamanic priests of the religion and they were diviners. They were teachers and truth-seekers; they were scientists and healers; but highly importantly they were also the lawgivers and the judges. It seems to have been all of those incredibly important skills, especially the political and socially influencing ones, which were feared by Julius Caesar and other important Roman emperors who followed him. Across the Roman Empire there was a general tolerance of religions, since their legions were full of men from many different parts of the empire who worshipped their own deities. What Rome could not tolerate was the threat of the political power that the druids held.


There are many references to druid ways in Before Beltane. Nara has a novice priestess background and Lorcan travels with the Druid Maran and finds himself in the Sacred Groves. A fearsome place to be, those who unwittingly entered the hallowed areas of the Sacred Groves have not been normal afterwards. 

Lorcan of Garrigill, however, is a favoured one; his foretold future an exciting prospect that’s choc-full of dangers! 

And Nara’s prophecy sends her on an entirely different pathway from that which she was expecting!

Read about druids in Before Beltane -  Pre-Order an eBook  HERE or buy a paperback HERE

Happy Reading.

SlĂ inte! 

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