Master Of Druidry

Came in the mail today, my ‘credentials’ as a Master of Druidry.

Don’t get too excited about it. I got it from a place that is a bit of a ‘diploma mill’. Essentially, if you complete the work (that isn’t that hard) you get the certificate. ( 20 lessons, one a week, and a ‘thesis’ at the end).

More detail here:

Still, I realized that there was a relevance to what the Druids did and thought I ought to get a grounding in it. (That whole lunar cycle connected to weather, climate, cycles of life on earth and the collapse of civilizations). Druids spent a fair amount of time looking at the solar and lunar calendars and how they would interact. Exactly the kind of thing that is showing up to be the driver of weather / climate cycles.

So I went looking for ‘somewhere to learn Druid’ and, well, there are not a lot of choices! (And many of them are a ‘neo’ kind of touchy feely hyper spiritualism ( fine and all) and do nothing to cover the technical side of druidry. The ancient Druids were a diverse bunch – there were specialties that ranged from the equivalent of a lawyer to being a Ph.D. astronomy and navigation. The modern Druids spend most of their time on communing with trees in the forest and being spiritual, not so much on working out how to track Metonic vs Saros vs other lunar cycles and how they would relate to weather.

For those reasons, and more, I decided to go this route (along with picking up some selected books on Druids and the history of Druidism). At this point, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on what they knew. (At least, to the extent it survived. Much has been lost and is simply not known. One of the frustrations is realizing that I may have “mastery” of what is known about them, but it is damn little that is known. The rest I think I’ll need to rediscover / recreate.)

The “bottom line” (located conveniently here at the bottom ;-) is that you don’t build giant stone structures to track the moon and solar cycles over generational time scales just because you think “the moon is pretty” or decided there was a “Moon Goddess” to placate. Druids were master navigators ( Ancient Rome sent folks to the UK to learn navigation from them) and had a belief that nature let you predict future events, including natural cycles. Tracking the moon through 18-19 year cycles falls squarely into that ‘predict the future by knowing the past’ technology.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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41 Responses to Master Of Druidry

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: A few words on being spiritual: This implies a dichotomy which DOES NOT EXIST at all, the churchian new world orders wanted to cheat us by making us believe such thing called “spirituality”: “My teaching is more material than materialism”, said the late G.I.Gurdjieff, pointing to the obvious fact that there is not any discontinuity in the universe, I am absolutely sure the old druids would agree with me.

  2. philjourdan says:

    The ancient romans did not have much use for navigation. The Mediterranean is enclosed, so dead reckoning would normally work.

    The British Isles however are surrounded by the sea, so you had best learn to get back if you leave. The genius of the Romans was in knowing good knowledge when they found it.

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    The only differences are to be found in frequencies and density of vibrations, where as in a keyboard, every note contains within it inner octaves. Dimensions being, precisely that: dimension=size=wave length. There are higher pitches, ya know, but our approach it is always possible, real and feasible. Institutions, as the church/es wanted us to make us believe knowledge and “salvation” was only possible thorugh THEM,…of course, previously paying THEM a generous “alm”.
    May the Universe, in its grandeur, bless you for your awakening to its endless marvels!

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    In fact, the ancient Druids (to the extent I understand them correctly) would agree with you completely. There was no distinction made between “spiritual” and “material” ways of thinking. They did have the concept of death, and rebirth in a new ‘world’. A “life after this one”. ( One ‘open end’ for me is to figure out who had that idea first…) The Celts were renowned for their willingness to die in battle as that would just start their new life. Was this an echo of an earlier connection to Hindus and the cycle of life? Did Christians and Muslims pick it up from them, or from some other common root? Or was it an independent creation?

    At any rate, the view of “now” was that this was but one life, one turn on the wheel of life, and when this life ends, a new one begins. The “here and now” is as ‘spiritual’ as the ‘elsewhere and elsewhen’..

    There were 3 major divisions of Druidry. The Bards, the Ovates, and the Druids. The bards were the historians and keepers of songs. They were expected to move around the battle field observing the process so as to be able to properly commemorate it in song and tale later. Combatants were not supposed to attack them ( which likely lead to some surprises on encountering Romans and other uncouth sorts ;-)

    The Ovates were the practitioners. They did the day to day work of druidry. Resolving disputes between folks, doing practical medical treatment with plants (they had to know a large body of plants and their uses). They had to know how the world worked and how to apply that to human needs.

    The Druids proper were the elder senior members. After 20 years (or more!) of study, they would be considered the repositories of the the corpus of ancient knowledge. They were the ones who instructed the Ovates and Bards and resolved open questions of law, medicine, politics, etc. They would resolve disputes between tribes and push forward the arts and sciences of Druidry.

    There was a ‘spiritual’ aspect to many of the things they believed, but it was essentially woven in with the ‘practical’ aspects. So take ‘augury’. A druid might inspect the entrails and behaviour of approaching birds ahead of an advancing army. Then predict the outcome of the battle. Sounds like “stuff and nonsense”… except… armies ‘march on their stomachs’. If the birds act listless, and show low body fat and an empty crop; the approaching army is likely to also be hungry and weak. Telling your army to eat hearty and expect a great victory is going to raise their spirits. Saying you look forward to meeting those who die well in battle in the afterlife is a ‘spiritual’ aspect. Knowing that the approaching army has had to carry all their food with them and are tired and spent is a technical insight. All would be mixed in looking at the birds and making a pronouncement.

    Oddly, my Dad taught me to inspect bird crops to make statements about what their forage was like and was it likely to be a good year or not; were their likely to be many more birds, or was it likely that many would be starving once the cold came. What were they eating and thus where were they grazing. Sometimes I wondered if Dad was aware that some of that process was connected to Druidry. But I was all ‘modern scientific’ and would poo-poo some of the more mystical aspects of what he had to say. Still, I can look at a bird crop and make a pretty good call on where to find more birds, what they are eating, and is the year a good one, or going to be a struggle. Don’t know if that is ‘spiritual’ or not; but it’s nice to know ;-)

    Heck, to this day I watch which birds fly by when, and how they are acting, to make reasonably good guesses about what’s happening in the direction from which they are flying. Spiritual? Maybe. Or maybe just trusting that they have brains and make decisions based on what they see and know, and we can observe the consequences of those acts. Is it “spiritual” to ‘trust the birds’? I don’t know (and don’t see why I ought to worry it…). The simple fact is that I, and the birds, share this world and we can help each other to understand it and move through it. So I put out food and nesting places for the birds and they appreciate it. Sometimes “we talk”. ( I can now speak enough ‘raven’ to tell them to get the hell out of my yard when they are having a squawk fest ;-) The doves are less ‘chatty’ and mostly just like to feel accepted… though you need to be careful not to be ‘claiming turf’ when you think you are just saying ‘hello’… or they will abandon the area.

    Who knows… maybe I’ve always been a Druid at heart.. ;-)

  5. J Martin says:

    Druidic Musings from the Cheifio

    Musings from the Druid(ic) Cheifio

    A Cook Book for Druids

    Musings from the Cheifio, Druidic style.

    (Because we’ve all seen the Gangnam video by Psy.)

    Druidisicms from the Cheifio.

    Presumably a visit to Stonehenge in full regalia is next. Do Druids have regalia ?

  6. omanuel says:

    The imaginary distinction and conflict between physical (physics) and spiritual (religion) are at the root of society’s troubles today. Both paths lead to the same RTG, if practiced honestly, and the results keep mankind “right-sized” and able to live in peace.

    Compare, for example,
    a.) The insight and wisdom in this Native American prayer:

    Click to access Yellow_Lark’s_Prayer.pdf

    b.) The foolish illusions of guided, post-1945 science:

    With deep regrets,
    – Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  7. Zeke says:

    From the link: “The Celts and their prehistoric ancestors produced these monuments, and although the oldest historical references we have to Druids come from the Roman writers of the first century BC, nevertheless, the claim was made that Druidry represented a profoundly ancient philosophy of the same stature as Taoism in China, and perhaps even older.”

    I have been running into this Roman/Greek wall quite a bit lately; it seems we must rely quite a bit on the testimony of the Romans, which is very unfortunate and I find more and more to be full of distortions. In fact, between the Romans and Greeks, and Western Scholars, all of history could be quite a mess. (:

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    @J. Martin:

    A natural/white cotton or wool robe. That’s about it.

    Oh, and a rope “belt”.

    Need to get me one of those robe things ;-) Near the bottom of here:

    Some folks use a black robe instead of white. Individual choice. For some reason a bit unclear, women Druids tended to wear black robes a bit more often, but still varies by individual choice.


    Why “with deep regrets”? As long as you have lived your life well, you have nothing to regret… “Pity for others” might be more appropriate…


    Due to the Roman Empire essentially obliterating everything around it, our “history” tends to start with them, and they describe it all from a Roman POV.

    Lately we’ve found more ‘stuff in the ground’ that pushes history back a lot before the Romans. So we have Germans and Celts in Bavaria / Czech making beer and having a big party together… about 3000 BC IIRC. We have a red-head with R1b haplogroup as a sitting Pharaoh in ancient Egypt AND they have records of hiring Celtic armies as mercenaries. I’m pretty sure their Druids were around at the time… ( which might explain some of the interesting parallels of beliefs and technologies in what few cases we can identify… )

    Near as I can work it out, Germans and Celts (and possibly Slavs) all originated from near Anatolia about 9000 to 16,000 years ago as one group/ tribe and started to spread out. Later the Romans came along and scribbled over most of it, and the Greeks got the label of first culture of merit, and the rest was rampant fabrication.

    So for about 5,000 to 12,000 years we have Germans and Celts running around Europe and even down into Egypt. But NONE of that history is thought real enough to care about it…

    That, BTW, is part of why I ‘dig at’ bits of ancient history and archaeology from before the Roman / Greek empires… Celts were making advanced metal works and soap long before the Romans learned to pipe water (and started eating lead…)

    FWIW, I think the German root reaches back to the Hittites (or very near them) and the Slavs reach back to Thrace and the Celts are between them in N. Italy / Switzerland. Prior to that there was a more ‘single group’ character as they came from Scythia and Anatolia as individual tribes that were not yet differentiated into their modern forms enough to call them different.

    That we find 12,000 year old monumental architecture in Anatolia is not an accident. That we find an ‘unknown culture’ with a kind of writing in Bulgaria and related about 1/2 way from then to now is also not an accident. It’s one long span of migration and slow drift. Now we’re in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Argentina, etc. etc…. but speaking different languages…

    (Still seem to have a fascination for metals, weapons, technology, and beer, though. Some things never change ;-) And now that the USA has approved women in combat, the Celtic Warrior Women are making a return. Babes with Guns, what could be better? ;-)

  9. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Zeke: The perennial philosophy it is always the same. As the prayer of an american indian, cited above by Omanuel:
    Make me wise, so that I may know the things You have taught my People,
    The lessons you have hidden in every leaf & rock.

    Perennial knowledge openly shown in every symbol and how the universe works, in the plurality and singularity of every being…as the alchemists said: Our prima mater is to be found everywhere ….to be read in the dumb book, or to be heard in birds´song.
    @Omanuel: There is no need of any regret, objective phenomena are to be observed as under a microscope; there is no room neither for complaining or crying, just for enjoying the magnificent vista……and Buy more popcorn!

  10. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Omanuel: Let us think like the old indians thought: Let us wait until the fourth white bison is born….Now that the fourth one has been born, let us dance around the fire again!

  11. I thought Druids were Welsh folk (like me) who enjoyed Eisteddfods

  12. Sera says:

    Congrats! I don’t think it matters whether the course was easy or hard- only that it was completed with a strong heart and a curious/eager disposition. Cool breezes and calm seas.

  13. omanuel says:

    @E.M.Smith and adolfogiurfa

    Regrets that I did not figure out the source of solar energy earlier, nor see what was coming at our society until Climategate e-mails and documents revealed the stark facts about Al Gore and the UN’s IPPC in late Nov 2009.

    Before that I vited for Al Gore and believed the UN was working to make the world a better place, to promote peace and social justice in the manner of Brady’s conclusion for the last year:

    Fred Hoyle and George Orwell apparently worked together in 1945-46 to warn us that a tyrannical government would overtake formerly democratic western governments by 1984:

    I should have figured that out earlier too, especially after Fred Hoyle was excluded from the 1983 Nobel Prize in physics and astrophysics:

  14. Ralph B says:

    Unless you clubbed a few baby seals or spat on an orphan or stuff along those lines you shouldn’t have regrets. You can do a big face palm because you voted for Al, but look at the bright side now you have given us something to make fun of you about, and making others happy is a thing to be proud of (I hope you realize a am being facetious…somewhat :-))
    Life is good…have a beer, eat some bacon, smile

  15. omanuel says:

    Thanks, Ralph B. I’ll do that. I don’t take any of Big Brother’s warnings and concerns seriously after Climategate.

    I am intrigued by the actions and words of three key individuals (Kazuo Kuroda, Fred Hoyle, and George Orwell) in 1945-46 in warning us that a tyrannical government would overtake formerly democratic western governments (and the integrity of government science) by “1984”:

  16. Steve C says:

    Congratulations, EM. As far as I am aware, that makes you the highest qualified ‘oak-knower’ I’ve ever encountered, not that there’s a lot of competition.

    @J Martin – a visit to Stonehenge? I’m waiting for a set of worked-out plans for building one, now we’re in the presence of a Master … ;-)

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:


    Per “plans”… there’s one tiny little problem…

    The layout changes with latitude. Sorry, it just does.

    So at most you can have a method (or algorithm) but not a ‘plan’ unless you specify the latitude.

    As it has been on my ‘to do’ list for a very long time to detail how to make a Henge from nothing, and I’ve had a few bits already worked out (like how to make your unit of measure and mark out the circle), it is likely about time that I started writing it up.

    Realize, though, that each henge will be unique (by latitude) and that the most important parts are the rings of holes around the outside; not the standing stone circle.

    But, just to get you started, first off, you will need an area of relatively flat land with a distant horizon and not a lot of ‘crap’ in the way. ( That is, not at all like my back yard with houses all around and trees and such…)

    Place a pole, pit, or stone in the center of what is to become your henge. Attach a rope to a stick, and stretch it to the edge. Inscribe a large circle.. (That is the Aubry Holes circle). Now spend every night seated in the center of your neo-henge watching the sun, moon and stars. You are going to be marking the Equinox, and the two solstices. (One could always cheat and just look up the dates on a modern astronomy site… but it’s better if you know how to do it ‘long hand’). Each day the sun and moon will rise ‘further north’ or ‘further south’. Eventually there will be a ‘standstill day’. That’s the solstice. Run a line from the center of your henge to the perimeter circle where that body had standstill. Put a small round stone there. Do the same at the point of setting (i.e. other compass point). For the moon, there will be a 9.3 year cycle that takes it a little further, less, so for the next 18 years, watch for that and adjust two other stones for the major standstill point and minor standstill point. (Eventually you can remove the first stone… it was just a ‘right now’ solstice marker).

    Unless you are at the latitude of Stonehenge, you will not have the nice ‘box’ shape it gets:

    Newham had found an alignment for the equinoxes by drawing a line between one of the Station Stones with a posthole next to the Heel Stone. Moving away from the sun, he also identified a lunar alignment; the long sides of the rectangle created by the four station stones matched the moon rise and moonset at the major standstill.

    Two of the Station Stones are damaged and although their positions would create an approximate rectangle, their date and thus their relationship with the other features at the site is uncertain. Stonehenge’s latitude is unusual in that only at this approximate latitude (within about 50 km) do the lunar and solar events above occur at right angles to one another. More than 50 km north or south of the latitude of Stonehenge, the station stones would have to be set out as a parallelogram.

    And that is why you will have a henge, but it will look a bit different. At any rate, you want to mark the major standstill points with station stones and make the ‘box’ (even if it is a parallelogram). That lets you mark the turning points of the year.

    Yes, the seasons are not of equal size due to the elliptical orbit. Oh Well…. So you can either have 4 equal seasons, not tied to stellar / solar things, or 4 proper seasons with months of different sizes. Take your pick. I’m likely going for a ‘once a year’ sync with a solstice and 4 equal seasons, but if you like, you can put more 29 day months in the ‘short season’ and more 30 day months in the ‘long season’ and have the season changes on the equinox / solstice days.

    Next dig 56 holes more or less equally spaced around the perimeter – these become your eclipse counter. See drawing here:

    (Details on how to use it to predict eclipses ‘later’… You have digging to do now anyway ;-)

    Also dig the 30 and 29 holes of the Z and Y rings ( items 12 and 11 in the picture) and get a small stone to set in the holes (or a flower pot if you like… I like Marigolds ;-) This is your month calendar. (No, no stupid 31 day months. We don’t need honorifics to dead roman despots).

    Your main opening / avenue ought to point at the Summer Sunrise Solstice. This will vary dramatically between hemispheres and a fair amount with latitude.

    At this point you put a stone ‘out there’ where the sun rises aligned with your center stone at solstice sunrise. ( “heel stone”). One can be placed on each side of the sun to ‘frame it’ as it rises. (There is evidence for a second such stone). Realize that due to precession, these will get out of alignment in a few thousand years and you will end up abandoning your stone works if it’s just too damn big to adjust… ;-)

    At this point you have the basic Henge of about 3000 BC. Good for calendaring and solar, lunar, and celestial observations. You will want to find Sirius and eventually put a marker pole of some sort where it rises (it can be used to correct drift of the calendar – leap years- without resorting to funky mathematics – see the Egyptian Calendar).

    You can also predict eclipses, the seasons, the months can be kept in alignment, and all is good. Oh, and the lunar and solar calendars can be kept sorted properly…. though more on that later….

    Notice we do not have the ‘signature’ sarsens and trilithons? Those came much later and are not as ‘functional’. IMHO it was mostly a way to get a horizon line well above the ground clutter, but that’s another investigation.

    So that ought to be enough to keep you busy while I work out a more orderly set of ‘instructions’.

  18. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks! Now I feel at least a little bit better prepared to examine lunar cycles, and what they might let one do with weather prediction. ( I’m pretty sure the old Druids did some of that…)


    That’s one kind of Druid. The Bards, in particular, did oodles of oratory and history telling. The Welsh Celts had their Druids, but so did all the other Celts. Even those over in France. Over time those on the main land got stamped out and the remainder got shoved into a corner of the UK. (Eventually they, too, ended).

    So much lost. So much to regain.

  19. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: This is your month calendar. (No, no stupid 31 day months. We don’t need honorifics to dead roman despots).
    You got it right again, dear E.M.: The real FALL of the Roman empire is about to happen in these days: We still have too many roman institutions, as the convenient LEX ROMANA -Roman Law- (“Lex” -Law- for my enemies and PAX -Peace:peaceful and comfortable lives- for my political/business buddies). Buy more popcorn! The Druids and Druidesses silently walked around their round stonehenge during almost 13,000 years, just to witness this New Dawn!
    Those serpents of Ying and Yang, describing an everlasting dance of love, now emerge from the shadows of the nether world to see the light again.

  20. adolfogiurfa says:

    Let us glorify Nature and Eternity while watching those gigantic phantoms of darkness dissolve and die under the light of our 6th Sun, they will surely tumble down as the reptiles of the past fell down under the stones slingshotted by those minuscule creatures called men.

  21. Gail Combs says:

    omanuel says:
    29 January 2013 at 2:51 pm
    …I am intrigued by the actions and words of three key individuals (Kazuo Kuroda, Fred Hoyle, and George Orwell) in 1945-46 in warning us that a tyrannical government would overtake formerly democratic western governments (and the integrity of government science) by “1984″:
    For what it is worth I ran into this key point just recently. Pascal Lamy lets the cat out of the bag that the demise of the USA was planned all the way back in the 1930’s

    To govern this globalized world, writes World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy, existing institutions will need to be reformed to ensure they work together optimally.
    All had lived through the chaos of the 1930s — when turning inwards led to economic depression, nationalism and war. All, including the defeated powers, agreed that the road to peace lay with building a new international order — and an approach to international relations that questioned the Westphalian, sacrosanct principle of sovereignty — rooted in freedom, openness, prosperity and interdependence.

    In the same way, climate change negotiations are not just about the global environment but global economics as well — the way that technology, costs and growth are to be distributed and shared. Can we maintain an open trading system without a more coordinated financial system?

    Can we balance the need for a sustainable planet with the need to provide billions with decent living standards? Can we do that without questioning radically the Western way of life? These may be complex questions, but they demand answers.

    At the same time, globalization is blurring the line between national and world issues, redefining our notions of space, sovereignty and identity…

    The chaos of the 1930’s was INTENTIONALLY manufactured by the financiers/Wall Street who were most certainly NOT capitalists as Robert Minor showed in his 1911 cartoon “Minor was a talented artist and writer who doubled as a Bolshevik revolutionary, got himself arrested in Russia in 1915 for alleged subversion, and was later bank-rolled by prominent Wall Street financiers.”

    Congressman McFadden on the traitorous Federal Reserve: Quotations from several speeches made on the Floor of the House of Representatives, 1934

    I put up a lot of links on this topic in my comment Here

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  23. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; Congrats! Does this mean you are Master Druid or Druid Master? As you are over 60 and and a Master of Knowledge, I welcome you as a Wise Old Man. ;-) pg

  24. M Simon says:

    Important question: Did the Druids use tree rings in their marriage ceremonies? Heh.

  25. M Simon says:

    The 7.65 MeV state of C12 will be more commonly known if any of the p-B11 fusion devices is made to work. p + B11 = C12 + 7.65 MeV which shortly breaks down into 3 alphas with a total energy of 7.65 MeV. In that regard you might want to look up TriAlpha Energy. (note the deep pun?), Polywell Fusion, and Focus Fusion.

  26. M Simon says:

    I place no reliance on virgin or pigeon. My method is science my aim is religion. – AC

  27. M Simon says:


    I have been a very long time fan of “The Fourth Way”. In many ways the student exceeded the Master.

    Do not identify. Do not consider. Do not tell lies. Do not express negative emotions.

  28. M Simon says:

    Before that I vited for Al Gore

    I have you beat. In 2004 I voted for Communist Obama over Theocon Keyes. Knowingly. Given a choice of dictatorships I chose.

  29. Gail Combs says:

    M Simon says:
    30 January 2013 at 8:52 am
    …. In 2004 I voted for Communist Obama over Theocon Keyes. Knowingly. Given a choice of dictatorships I chose.
    I could not stand either so I voted Ron Paul in the hopes that there would be a big enough third party vote that it would send a message to the criminals in DC

  30. adolfogiurfa says:

    @M Simon: The student exceeded the master…Schools open and close. The fourth way closed in the 80´s, it´s over, it fulfilled its purpose. There are no master or students now, we are all students and masters, studying to become masters of ourselves. As for the preparation for the second effort, neither believing nor following our personal “soap operas”, in order to begin discriminating the worlds: To replace such a little world of cacophony with a cosmos of harmony.

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steve C:

    A nice description of alignments (both for the rings of holes and for the standing stones) here:

    So to make a Henge somewhere else, you ‘reverse engineer’ those alignments to your location. Start with the Aubry hole ring version. Do the stone one later.

  32. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail Combs:

    The notion that we are inevitably more “global” and interconnected is one of the Big Lies. Physics is not changed by more communications nor trade. The reality is that increasing technology ought to be allowing ever greater devolution of control to lower levels and ever more local customizing.


    Master Of Druidry.

    So I know a lot about it, but not necessarily well practiced (yet ;-) Like “Doctor Of Medicine”… it comes with practice… Oddly, since Druids did a fair amount of herbal medicine (and I’ve long been interested in same) I wonder if now I can act as an herbalist? Freedom of religion and all…

    @M. Simon:

    Alpha thrice but only one Omega (of a Be…) I guess I can live with that ;-) OK I’ll look them up…

    There are many types of Celtic marriage (with and without property from either spouse and with or without sharing it, plus a marriage for incompetent folks (hey, everybody needs love…) along with some choices as to duration. Yes, you can choose the length of the marriage and then renew it if you liked it… Much smarter, IMHO. So a rich and poor person might be married for 5 years with separate property, then later have a much longer term (or even lifetime) marriage with blending of property once they know it was a sure thing. Sure saves on all that divorce nonsense.

    I know of no use of tree rings in marriages. (Though they would for rings of people in the trees, and might use a ring OF trees for the ceremony…)

  33. Zeke says:

    Now that you are a Druid, I just want to say that my head is quite flawed. It would not dry properly, nor sit well on a shelf, and the river would never accept it as an offering either. It is good for nothing at all. (;

  34. Steve C says:

    @EM – Well, that’ll learn me! Make a jocular comment about henges and come away with a virtual instruction manual. ;-) Actually, I’ve idly wondered for years how small a henge could be made and still be usable. We trace light rays in school labs by lining up optical pins, so could a windowsill ‘mini-henge’ use something similar, using, say, sewing needles for sight lines and praying for the sun to come out to cast a shadow? (I’m already well-equipped with “microliths”, in the form of a bag of antique TTL chips from the days when they only had digits in the type number!) No problems with needing different plans for henges in different places, though – I’ve done that sort of thing (at kindergarten level) making cardboard sundials.

    It’ll have to wait awhile though. At the moment, I’m trying to reverse-engineer the Sager Weathercaster algorithm, so I can assess its accuracy. It seems to be more Gordian than I thought when I started …

  35. E.M.Smith says:


    Dust it with natron, pack in a box of salt, and let it sit a month. (Assure the brains were removed to a canopic jar). Then offer again to the river. Yes, I know, Egyptian influence. But Ramsis was a Celt, after all ;-) and they do a better job of drying.

    Alternatively, you can smoke it over a peat fire for a couple of days. (But I hate to see that much peat smoke wasted when it could be used for barley instead…)


    @Steve C:

    Well, you asked!!! ;-)

    It just happens to be one of my ‘someday tasks’ to build a Henge Of My Own, so I’ve been thinking on it for a while …

    Per size: Any size will do, but larger size is more (theoretically) precise. Things like diameter of solar disk vs degree span at the edge of the observing circle… but if you use the edge of the moon and sun, then very precise “stones”, small can work well too. For the ‘eclipse counter’ any size holes / rocks will do as it’s just a count keeper.

    You likely will not be able to measure the size of libration movement nor precession or similar more advanced stuff, but really, we already know that to so much precision more than a rock circle will give that all you really want is the ‘big lumps’. Calendaring. State of lunar cycles (Saros / Metonic / Precessional etc) and some idea what they mean for weather. (Though even there an on-line computerized source will be more accurate).

    So “for show” an play, “Chip Henge” is just fine ;-)

    (Guess that means I need to do the Trilithon and Bluestone description…. later though…)

    You know, pondering it just a moment… Using a ‘occluding disk’ with a small hole in it could let you make a ‘mini-sun’… so, for example, the solstice measure could have the disk with hole such that only on the solstice would the edge of the sun or moon disk illuminate the hole…then pins… Hmmmm “Mini-Henge” could just work…

  36. Graeme says:

    I just wondered whether you have a source for something you said ” Ancient Rome sent folks to the UK to learn navigation from them”.

    My knowledge of Britain around the time of the Roman conquest is very sketchy – translating Julius Caesar and Tacitus at school – but those works do not suggest any great sea-faring competence on the part of the indigenous Brits. There were trade contacts between Gaul and some British tribes but, as far as I know, little evidence of anything more ambitious than inshore/coastal fishing. Accounts of Celtic boats seem to describe very small craft – such as coracles. But, a wooden/leather boat is not going to survive 2000 years in the British climate unless it is submerged in an iceberg or peat bog or something similar.

    Then, prompted by philjourdan’s comment: “The ancient romans did not have much use for navigation. The Mediterranean is enclosed, so dead reckoning would normally work.”

    Again – just where did these Celts go a-voyaging? They do not seem to have gone rampaging around like the Vikings and Norsemen of 8 centuries later. And, of course, the idea of travelling around the Mediterranean using dead reckoning is a little ambitious – a few degrees wrong and you can find yourself in all kinds of difficulty, and the Med is noted for its very tricky winds, the Mistral, Simoon, Tramontaner, Levanter etc, which make life very tough for even the hardiest sailor. The Phoenicians must have had a well-developed navigation method to get between their various ports and, there was a long series of wars between the Romans and Carthaginians – 100 years before their first attempt to invade Britain. All this suggests to me that the Romans had navigational competence, whilst I know of few signs that the Celts had the same sort of competence – or that they needed it.

  37. Zeke says:

    EM Smith says: “Dust it with natron, pack in a box of salt, and let it sit a month. (Assure the brains were removed to a canopic jar). Then offer again to the river.”

    Ah excellent. There are some fine heads over on WUWT I hope you will be taking, and plenty of them. Very happy hunting, and congratulations. :)

  38. Zeke says:

    Perhaps I can have a certificate too if I can ever be of any assistance.

    Something like, “Friend to Druids; assistant in head taking; specializing in Malthusians, Collectivists and Tyrants; Virtuous offerer to the River”

  39. Zeke says:

    E.M.Smith says: “Near as I can work it out, Germans and Celts (and possibly Slavs) all originated from near Anatolia about 9000 to 16,000 years ago as one group/ tribe and started to spread out. Later the Romans came along and scribbled over most of it, and the Greeks got the label of first culture of merit, and the rest was rampant fabrication.

    So for about 5,000 to 12,000 years we have Germans and Celts running around Europe and even down into Egypt. But NONE of that history is thought real enough to care about it…”
    29 January 2013 at 1:03 am

    I am glad you have had the time and the prefrontal power to devote to this subject. I have found an interesting comment made by a scholar on the similarities between Etruscan myths and some from the Norse. And it is said that the Etruscans considered themselves to be from Anatolia.

    It suddenly dawns on me, this late in life, that the most important question is whether there are ancient city ruins on the continental shelves. Adolfo has archived a newspaper article here:

    There is a book

    which is very expensive but I might like to fast track that through the usual bogged down process with the mate. lol

    If you have ever looked into submarine arcaeology let me know if this is worth the price.

  40. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Zeke: Presumably Hyperborea (“beyond north”) or the legendary Thule was located under the Arctic seas…
    In Greek mythology the Hyperboreans (Ancient Greek: Ὑπερβόρε(ι)οι, pronounced [hyperbóre(ː)ɔi̯]; Latin: Hyperborei) were a mythical people who lived far to the north of Thrace. The Greeks thought that Boreas, the North Wind,[1] lived in Thrace, and that therefore Hyperborea was an unspecified region in the northern lands that lay beyond the north wind. Their land, called Hyperborea or Hyperboria – “beyond the Boreas” – was perfect, with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day, which to modern ears suggests a possible location within the Arctic Circle.
    Never the Muse is absent
    from their ways: lyres clash and flutes cry
    and everywhere maiden choruses whirling.
    Neither disease nor bitter old age is mixed
    in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle they live.

    Pindar, Tenth Pythian Ode; translated by Richmond Lattimore.
    Do you remember it in your dreams?…Back in time, when the north magnetic pole was located in what is now the antarctic.

  41. Zeke says:


    You have given me an enormous aid. There is a lot of reading and work to do in the Hyperborea entry from the link, but the reason I asked about the submerged archeology in the first place is because of the great continental shelves above Russia and Greenland. These look down at me everyday from my world map. This is where I thought there may be seaside cities of the Golden Age.

    The long lives and blessed state of the Hyperboreans is also interesting. This would be a subject which is lost to the understanding of subsequent ages.

    Again, taking clues from Roman and Greek writers must be done with caution, as they were not at all able to understand the better people before them or around them, because they were not conjugial, and corrupted the things they saw to fit their own lowness. What people used to make were statues and sculptures which communicated celestial things to delight the mind – but they were embodiments of ideas that are spiritual, or perhaps angels; not gods, and certainly not idols.

    Anyways, thank you Adolfo. The North Pole was previously very rich in life, as shown by the fossilized tree stumps, frozen animals with ferns in their stomachs, and in the lowest chaotic layer in the Greenland ice sheets.

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