Druidic Homes and Gardens

Archaeologists tend to determine dating of cultures and environments by examining lost or abandoned relics associated with unusual patterns or shifts in land and geological transformation. It has been difficult to "date" the Ancient Druids, as they were somewhat nomadic, but more so because they evidenced little in the way of material possession. As a People who felt it their duty to care for the Earth, they would have conscientiously avoided leaving their mark upon it.

If pollution serves as a library for future generations, then the Druids were rather sparse with their expressions. As naturalists, Druids would tend to have eschewed processed metals or other alchemically-altered tools or forms of support. As Druids tended to be cremated at death, and their belongings burnt with them, the culture of Druids left little evidence of their existence.

Druids tended to be somewhat self-contained, believing that what one could carry on his own back was sufficient material to subsist in many regions of moderate climate. There was the occasional acquisitive Druid who adored a broad and representative collection of herbs, rocks and stones, leaves or samples of bark representing various trees or plants, claws, teeth or bones of various animals, and other artifacts considered a "bibliophile" for other devic kingdoms on Earth. If the "library" was too large for one Druid to carry comfortably with his other belongings, other Druids would pitch in to transport part of the collection, so that the "Group Library" could be preserved and remain intact.

There were other Druids who tended to harbor collections of smoking pipes or musical instruments that had been carefully crafted and honed to achieve the best possible effects of clarity - either through quality of smoking material, or quality of musical resonance. Smoking was considered a small treat that could be indulged in by more abstemious Druids, and music was a universal joy to all Druids. Music was one of the "charms" that Druids used to communicate with plants and animals, and was intended as a method of relaxation, and also as a facilitation of expression for both Druids and other devic forms.

If there was a uniform "kit" for Druid assembly, this kit would include at least one ceremonial robe, a stave or staff, and most likely a set of runes or other divinatory tool. All three of these items were not considered public property, and were burned with the Druid at the time of his Departure from the material world. This was to prevent the accumulated Magic, and energy of personality, from being trapped in the third dimension, and also to prevent exploitation or any sort of necromantic resurrection, which Druids considered to be one of the most vile corruptions of Divine Magic possible, and took every step to ensure against its possibility.

The robes, though sacred, and treasured for what they represented in terms of accumulated Wisdom and experience, were not especially comfortable, as they were made of unrefined wool and were extremely itchy. The robes would be dyed according to the individual Druid's preference of harmonic color, and would be embroidered with runic and other symbols of magic. The ceremonial robes were always made by someone who was talented with creative expression, and was also known to have a great deal of regard and affection for the Druid, so that the energies of Love and Understanding, Compassion and Sympathy would be incorporated into the ceremonial robe.

The person who executed artistic design of the robes would also weave a symbol or two of his or her own into the fabric, to further strengthen the bond and harmony between himself and the honored Druid who would wear the robe. The person who fashioned the robe could also refashion his or her own robe, to add a rune or symbol to their own ceremonial robe, in honor of his relationship with the newly decorated Druid, so that their exchange could be mutual and equal in honor.

For non-special occasions, the comfort level of Druid refinery remained low, as they depended on unrefined wool, and would usually wear robes of various shades of green or brown. This was not done to camouflage themselves, as Druids did not consider any particular need to hide, but simply to resonate and harmonize with their floral environment. While Druids are typically known as tree-huggers, it is less that they were hugging the tree, as they were listening to the tree, and physical contact was the most effective conductance to telepathic thought. Druids loved trees, certainly, but not in the manner of a lovesick teenager, or with fanatic devotion people today seem to experience with televangelists and rock stars, both of whom often manifest creative hairdo's. Perhaps the fanatics are simply remembering a time when they, too, loved the bushy, leafy hair and tangled branches of the trees.

Druids were just as happy to wear furs, or depending on the weather, nothing at all, or a limited garb. Breeches were common for men, and women might wear the barest forms of wraps to cover the body but still remain comfortable, with body movement freely expressed. Druids would have loved to wear furs more often, as the Norse and Vikings did, but Druids were never really notable as hunters, and they depended on trade to secure furs. The furs were too valuable a commodity, and were treasured as blankets or as "walls" in their shelters, and often could not be spared for clothing. A Druid with an abundance of furs was popular indeed, and considered particularly blessed. The Druids with the most furs were considered the elite in interior decorating.

As Druids were not especially good at hunting, their yield of fur and meat left a bit to be desired, and again, Druids depended on their relationship with other nomadic cultures that might be willing to exchange a skin for healing or for blessing. Druids did not have a "conscience" issue regarding the eating of meat or the sacrifice of animals. All animal and plant sacrifices for human consumption were blessed, and were not wasted. The root of the matter was truly that most Druids considered themselves truly "too busy" with their studies to take the time to learn to hunt efficiently. Further, a Druid who hunted alone risked particular danger in the wilderness. A Druid who offered to hunt with a Nord friend was smiled at, and generally chucked under the chin for being precocious and charming.

The Ancient Druids were big by our standards. Druid males' height often reached a comfortable 6'5, yet were still dwarfed by their Norse and Germanic friends, who generally reached a stable height of 7 feet. As evolution has occurred for the race of homo sapiens, and a modern Druid of Celtic or Mediterranean origin is likely to crest at 5'10, whereas the Scandinavian cultures still produce tall and burly specimens of 6'4 or so. The Ancient Druids tended to be very furry, and silver or grey hair or streaks were considered particularly magical, and "greybeards" were much prized and sought after within the clan community.

While Druids did not excel at hunting, many became rather proficient at capturing boars, which were plentiful in the Celtic region. Modern Wizards still love pork, and the distant smell of cooking pork was enough to bring wandering Druids in from many miles, their studies and attentions abandoned for the time being, as the prospect of delicious food and a celebratory attitude were enticing prospects. Boar skins were then recycled as structural support for Druid homes to keep the wind out, but the coarseness of the skin prohibited it as a viable "fur" to use as a blanket in the cold winter months.

Druid homes were somewhat communal. Caves were considered "prime real estate", and depending on the proximity of a series of caves, Druids would comfortably establish and dwell long in that area, and all clan members participated in the clean-up and renovation of those caves. However, Druids did not just find caves and move in; first, the Druids had to establish residency, and ensure that there would be no neighborly quarrels with wolves, and also had to ascertain that the caves were not bat, spider or snake-infested. Druids actually feared wolves less, as wolves could be gotten around with meat, charms, numbers, and even cheap tricks.

Such tactics were not as effective with bats, spiders, or snakes, and Druids often faced the greatest challenges and tests of courage at the occasion of cave-inspection. There were plenty of Druids who, faced with this challenge, resigned themselves to sleeping between trees, and would establish tent-like structures with the use of furs, branches, and stones. Ideally, Druids preferred to live in somewhat hilly regions, so that the Earth itself would serve as a natural barrier against wind, rain, and cold.

If time and opportunity provided, individual Druids would establish small gardens. Many of these were herb gardens, with generally one or two fruits or vegetables, or roots. Cooking and eating were done by communal contribution, so different Druids would specialize in particular roots or herbs. There were just as many Druids who preferred to rely on the bounty of the Earth's garden, so rather than planting gardens for culinary yield, they simply kept basic herb gardens to cultivate ingredients for healing and other magical applications. Those gardens would, at most, encompass a 2x2 foot square of Earth. For dinner, those Druids simply plucked from nearby trees or shrubs, and hoped for the best.

Some Druids preferred to live close to the sea. In warm weather, the ocean provided its own natural amusements of swimming or other water-play; the sea also provided an abundance of fish and fowl, so there was generally plenty of meat to be had. Living close to the sea also allowed the Druids greater exposure and interaction with other nomadic cultures, and this was a great source of news and cultural expansion. Sea-Druids tended to be more comfortable interacting with people outside their own clans, as they were used to strangers, and were comfortable with making friends who represented other cultures.

There were and always have been solitary Druids, trained within the solidarity of a clan, who chose to strike out on his own, and in some fashion also represented an emissary, or public relations minister, of Druidism. These were the ones who were proficient at camp or temporary living conditions, were versed enough in the terrain and wildlife to be able to hold his own, and could interact freely and comfortably inside of other cultures. These Druids provided an invaluable service by carrying Druidic Wisdom to other cultures, sharing techniques of healing, or of education, and by occasionally being able to offer advice or insight regarding weather, migratory, or humanistic trends that might affect the culture for which he was interacting.

These Druids were known in our words as "untouchables"; they could touch and be touched, but could not be altered or transformed against their wills. This was a vital skill for Druids, as it meant that they could be One with One, and had apparently mastered the Magical Art of being able to practice Divine Expression and transference without fear of being weakened or corrupted by unknown quantities. Those Druids were elevated and perceived to be Wizardic, and had thus mastered all Earthly expressions of Magic and incantation.

These Druids were considered mysterious and wonderful by the people they came into contact with. Their aura of untouchability was a little disconcerting to those tribes or cultures who were used to voluble demonstrations of affection, but the Druids were recognized as inherently peaceful, if a little out of reach of Earthly understanding.

While the solitary Druids lived somewhat isolated lives, the clans of Druids were very interactive and interdependent. Some Druids complained of a lack of privacy when curious Druids were about. As Druids are curious by nature, this sometimes created conflict for Druids who tended to behave and express independently of the group. If two Druids were sharing their "circles of space" together, every Druid in the clan seemed to be aware of it within minutes, and would be smilingly interested in the actions and affairs of any Druid who seemed to be doing the least remarkable thing at the moment.

It is because of this lifestyle that modern Druids carry ancestral traits of secrecy and exclusion. Two Druids who feel attraction for each other cannot simply have a casual romance to explore their feelings without having the whole clan ready and eager to perform blessings, rites of harmony and melding of Souls, et cetera. Thus, Druids are very cautious and select in their tentative approaches to the opposite sex, in order to keep the decision and concern of Group Will from interfering with and dictating their private decisions. When a Druid is ready to "declare himself" or his intentions, he will do so, but would like to do so without the benevolent interest and active concern of every clan member.

Druids were a loving and affectionate community; they loved to learn, and never assumed they had reached the end of their learning potential. They marveled at personal expression, and never tired of the infinite possibilities presented by the Universe. Druids might experience angst from time to time, but as long as they were free to follow their inclinations, they were never bored, nor were they boring.

Love, Galadriel