Nine Elements of the Druids

Nine Elements of the Druids

 

 

The importance/significance of the number three in Celtic mythology and spirituality has been documented in many sources. It makes some sense then, that three times three would be a particularly auspicious number. There isn’t much in the way of documentation to support this, however the speculation has a great deal of support in the Celtic Pagan Spiritual Community. There are probably as many different ways of looking at these nine elements as there are groups who consider them important.

The Nine Elements, and correspondences

Macrocosm

Microcosm

Directions

Sun

Face

South

Moon

Mind

Inwards

Sea

Blood

West

Wind

Breath

East

Sky or Heavens

Head

Above

Green-growing things

Hair

Outwards

Land

Flesh

Below

Stone

Bones

North

Clouds

Spirit

Through

As you can derive from this table, the Celts do appear to have grasped the concept of microcosm vs macrocosm quite well, albeit without the fance nomenclature.

The elements composing the tree principal realms of Land, Sea and Sky; also compose three of the most primary element of human life: Flesh (Land), Blood (Sea), and Breath (Sky or actually “wind”). Actually all nine elements would be considered needful for life, however these three would be the most obvious to our ancestors (with one obvious exception – the head – but we will get into that discussion in a moment. No _Highlander_ correlations yet!)

If a body lacked flesh, or that flesh became diseased or too old, the body died. If the body lacked blood, the body died. And if the body did not breathe – lacked wind – the body died. Simple, and I’m certain quite obvious to the ancient Celts.

The next most obvious fatal deficiency is the lack of a head. Physically, losing one’s head will in fact make you quite irretrievably dead. However, it is rather doubtful that the ancient Celts understood the finer points of neurology (although there is evidence that the ancients did practice some fairly advanced neurosurgical techniques). The ancients believed that the immortal spirit resided in the head: if the head were separated from the body (or in some cases, cut open sufficiently) the spirit of the person would leave – and the person would therefore die. Their ‘fire in the head’ would be lost (Insert _Highlander_ theme music here).

For those of you familiar with the _Highlander_ shows, perhaps their special effects aren’t that far from off. Upon the death of the physical body, the Celts believed that the spirit – the immortal being – was released, to be ‘reborn’ in another form. Contrary to the series, it isn’t re-absorbed by another immortal, but may be reborn as a new person, or into a spirit of an animal, plant or even an inanimate object: all depending upon the lesson needed by that particular spirit. The technical term here is transmutation. We’ll discuss this more thoroughly at another time.

The elements of “sun” and “moon” may seem a bit odd to our modern sensibilities, used to a more “scientific” analysis of the elements. Even for those more familiar with the Pagan (really Wiccan) wheel of elements will find the whole of the Celtic nine elements a bit unusual. In the Celtic elements, the Sun element takes on some of those properties familiar with the Wiccans’ fire element. The Sun correlates with the human face: preservations of this can be seen in common speech. A person’s face may be “shining”, or the Sun may be “smiling”. The moon, on the other hand, has long been associated with aspects of the mind. Specifically, the moon (in folklore) directly affects madness/sanity. Even today, common folklore reflects this: lunacy or lunatic (luna = moon). Superstision holds that the full moon drives a person insane. This may actually be related to superstitions regarding werewolves.

The correlations between the element of “Green Growing Things” and human hair may not be too obvious at first. It may have been as simple as the human hair being likened to the slow-growing English Ivy – they actually grow in length at about the same speed. This outward growth is a clear expression of the direction most associate with this element: that of “outwards”.

Stones were seen as the bones of the Earth: hard, shapable into toods, and maintaining the structure of the “body” (that of the person or the world). Even through the great stone circles pre-date the Druids (and perhaps the Celts), one has to wonder if there’s some relation between these stone monuments and the Celts own belief in the significance of the stones.

 

Source:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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