The Lady Druids
Many people seem to forget that the ladies were as essential to the development and structure of Druidism as the gents were. In modern times, it seems that ladies can either be closet, or silent, Druids, or they can be Wiccan, but the two spiritual paths are not "brother and sister", and it is unfair to segregate the feminine contribution to the noble and ancient art of Druidism.
Yet, Modern Druidism does seem to be somewhat exclusive, if unintentional, but the effect is the same. Much of this continued segregation from what is noted to be a non-sexist community persists in sexism because of the false illusions of Druidism that have been passed down through generations. This is the sexism reflected in the "fork" of Druidic culture that occurred after the dispersal of the great Druidic tribes destroyed or disbanded through the efforts of Patrick and his Roman armies.
Many records were lost at that time, and it became a matter for future generations to have to piece together the archives that remained, and to try to make sense of those archives, and to do so in abeyance and conformity with Roman Law that pervaded the British Empire. There were intermarriages between single Druid women and Roman soldiers and aristocrats that further served to dilute the generational consciousness. There was no question as to whether the Druidesses chose to marry, and Roman Law did not allow them to express their preferences.
Thus, the long memories of Druidic women were suppressed, and at best was secretly relayed to their children, if those children appeared to have the essence of "Kindred". Those children born of Druidic/Roman marriages that produced children more likely to take after their Roman ancestors were not apprised of any of their Druidic mother's secrets, and she became a functional ghost of the family. A Druidess had no weapon to defend herself other than Silence, and the Druidic women taken captive as hostages to power and fortune simply kept their mouths shut.
Druidic women felt that the Druids who had died fighting were the lucky ones. Druidic women carried the burden of feeling the shame and scourge of their people inflicted upon them by the Christian invaders, yet knowing their roles as the flotsam and jetsam of war was not due to their abilities or talents as Druid prizes, but simply that they were comely, educated females of quality, as was customary within the Druidic culture.
Lady Druids became pawns much greater, and much bartered for, in the great struggle to Christianize the British Isles, but it was a galling fact, too well understood by Druidesses, that their wealth of position was due entirely to their physical attributes as breeding fodder for the Romans, the same people who absolutely scorned the intellect and wisdom inherent in females, and considered women to have the souls of dogs. Those Romans might not have slept with dogs, but they cared for their sensitive Druid wives as much as if they had been dogs, and treated them with about as much respect.
When Patrick invaded Ireland, with the intent of running the "snakes" out, he had absolutely no regard for the women and the children whose lives would be decimated by his egocentric actions. The warlords of Rome who invaded the British Isles did so because they felt the resistance and conflict was much less dangerous than in Rome, and so chose to exercise bestial acts upon a people not interested in war, because it was easier than having to return home to face the wargs who had a substantial ability to make every day a living hell for any person that was not well-placed in the military or the church. It was so much easier for the Romans to chop down defenseless Druids, and to carry the Druid women behind the hills and savage their forms, often leaving them for dead.
Many Roman bastards were born, and the Druidesses that did not commit suicide lived the rest of their lives in the utmost shame and self-repudiation. They fit in quite well with the Christian guilt culture well-established in Rome, and were not considered unusual in their despair. Roman women were already well indoctrinated into the shame culture, and the Roman males found nothing unusual in having uncommunicative, resentful wives, and never bothered to question the source of the hostility, but chalked it up to the "beastliness" of woman as attributed by the Roman version of the Christian orthodox, and it became the norm. Women considered "too happy" were conversely given the title of "slut" and were properly scorned and occasionally condemned as being unnatural, and were sometimes sentenced to death for their crime of "impure virtue".
The first, second, and third-generation Druidesses who remembered their homes and were later enslaved by the Romans remembered well their lives of solidarity and peace within the loving and supportive Druidic clans. The lady Druids remembered fathers, brothers, uncles, husbands, lovers, and friends who loved and revered the feminine form in all its expressions. The Druidesses remembered a time when men and women were equal within a culture, and all were free. All Druids were free to master whatever forms of Magic or Lore that suited them, and all were celebrated within the clan for their particular expression and contribution to the Whole.
Druidesses who had been esteemed by the Druidic clan for her notable skills in falconry, or esoteric mathematics, found herself the midwife and servant of a Roman soldier whose greatest expectation of his wife was that she tend to cleaning his war suit - the same suit that had been worn while destroying her home and those of the people she loved. Instead of being free to pursue her education and spiritual practice, it became the Druidic wife's job to cook, clean, and sleep with the very infidel who had raped and destroyed her heritage, and all that she had pride in. Any Druidic wife who even began to assert pride or recollection of her Druidic past was silenced and repressed for being a heathen violating the Roman laws of Christianity.
This same Druidess who had been told ten times of an evening that she was a heathen, tainted, and unholy, was also expected to lay on her back and be ministered to by the more "righteous" Roman husband. Some Romans did not even marry the Druidesses, but kept them as concubines, because their sense of virtue and piety simply overwhelmed their delicate sensibilities, and it was better to abase themselves in private without being legally responsible as to the welfare of those mating animals known as female Druids. The Church sanctioned sex on the part of males with a feminine form, as long as they did not respect or lend substance or credibility to their feminine counterparts created by the same God.
The Romans' amazing ability to separate their consciousness and any sense of responsibility to living form made it necessary for Druid women to learn this same ability to compartmentalize, which they learned to do to protect their emotional pride, since they were allowed no other, and were not given room to express pride in any other areas of their lives.
Not all Druidesses became captives of the Roman Empire, and many lived to hearty ages - alone. With the destruction of the Druidic solidarity, the Druids that remained in Ireland, Britain, and Gaul had to be rather select with their words, and could not afford to call much attention to themselves. They escaped the Romans' attention by appearing as beggars, or otherwise "used up" women, who would not inspire thoughts of lust, ambition, or bartering. These women were clever at applying mud and roots to make themselves appear ugly, and walking or carrying their bodies in such ways as to appear deformed or misshapen - not so unusual in the Roman's incestuous culture, and not worthy of attention, but effective for dismissal.
Most of these Druidesses merely continued their own Tradition as best they could without support of the clan, but a very few others served as spies, and were entirely instrumental in enabling the Barbarians to ultimately defeat Rome. The Nords, unlike the Romans, did not judge by appearance, and also by culture venerated Age (as ones who have survived the perils of Life must be Wise) and would see in the "hag's eyes" that she was no hag, but a bright and feisty Soul with the spirit left to discern Right and Wrong in the eyes of her own God, and not the God prescribed for all by the Roman Huns.
The Barbarians did eventually defeat Rome, and seemed to expire as a culture with the death of their greatest foe. The Norse remained evident as a Race through the Vikings, and later the Saxons, but the Norsemen as a culture were a tragic loss of a certain bonhomie of spirit and acceptance not truly known since the collapse of the Roman Empire. The Empire, itself, left the legacy of imperialism rampant within the third dimension, particularly the Western culture once claimed by Julius Caesar, and it seemed that the defeat of the Romans by the Nords was actually a prophecy of consequence set in motion after Julius Caesar challenged the Western World, and was not defeated until a half-millennium after his death.
The Druids that remained, free or captured, were all enslaved by constraint of the oppressive Empire, and particularly by the Christianity that was used as the primary excuse to trample and extinguish them. The Druids as a culture had been free of corruption, but the Roman invasion left their energies and consciousness upon the land, and "cemented" their own shortcomings and weakness into the culture by visiting their physical acts of violence upon the land and its peoples.
The saturation upon the British Isles of Christian guilt, hypocrisy, morbidity, and rejection and denial bit deeply into the Druidic Consciousness that overshadowed the thought-forms of the land, and was reflected as a virtual anesthetization of the people who were directly descended and indoctrinated from birth into a sacred Earth orthodoxy. Druids became numb with Fear, something they had not known before.
A side-effect that has not been properly recognized is the consequence of Anger as expressed by the Feminine Aspect, namely those female Druids who lived to harbor and propagate their anger through progeny, and to raise them with the same resentment and hatred of the Roman iconoclasts who had invaded their land and destroyed their culture. The hate was less about the Druidesses' natural emotions than it was what they absorbed and reflected as a result of exposure to Roman imperialism, due to their natural empathetic abilities to reflect the environment.
It was the Christian corruption of a pure spiritual thought-form that fomented and aggravated the disharmonious conflict between the Masculine and Feminine energies. Druids and Druidesses had no such conflict with those energies, but their clash with the abusively Masculine Roman Empire against the Femininely peaceful and prosperous Druid community created a canyon of astral and mental negativity, still in disrepair at this time.
It is this canyon of negativity that is still reflected today, when Druids and Druidesses are not allowed to share or interact between Orders, other than at "Druid conventions". That there is sexism and discrimination between Modern Druids at all is a reflection of how wide the chasm has become, and how much of it is a reflection of the bastardized Christianity established and supported by the Roman Empire, and further perpetuated through the ignorance and dogma of segratist-thinking spiritual groups.
The Druidic groups of today who continue to espouse that men and women cannot come together equally are obviously out of touch with the general ethics and principles of Druidism, or worse, are following the Christian example of reading this stone or that tablet out of context, and are in effect creating the "Church of the Gourd" and the "Church of the Sandal".
Druid males who do not attempt to accept, tolerate, or understand women are forcing them to become Wiccans, by virtue of tolerance and acceptance. A smart man would rather have a smart woman by his side, to correct his errors, and to provide additional insight and support of her own. There is nothing wrong with Wicca, in its purest form, but any man who forces a woman to adopt Wiccanism as a mode of expression is doing so out of a selfish desire to maintain exclusivism of intellect - precisely what the Romans have been doing for about 2,000 years.
Perhaps if some Druid males would be a little more receptive to the validity of a woman's Druidic imput, he might find the link he's been looking for, and together, they might form the energy of One.
Don't be a Roman.