Druid as Shaman Priest
In the third dimension, there was never meant to be a Soular expression of Priest, as there were for Warrior, Wizard and Thief. Priest was supposed to be a reflection of a function of the first three causes. However, with the splitting of the Realms of Air, Light, and Water, into Air, Earth and Fire, and Water, Priest has tended to represent the third-dimension reflection of the Soular and esoteric dysfunction that occurred in Atlantis during the Sixth Ray (Ideal) of Manifestation.
The Priest function, correctly aligned, is often associated with Shamanism. Whether positive or negative in expression, the function of Priest is to serve as a vessel to Spirit and to Consciousness. The Priest, in its purer function, is supposed to stand as a Guardian of the Portal of All Realms, and to embody the interpolation of Group Will.
Druids did not employ what we know as Shamans; instead, they relied on Lore Masters.
The Druid Lore Master who represented the Priest did not do so as political or social leader; the Lore Master did not attempt to dictate thought or expression, nor try to enforce a moral code of behavior, propriety, balance, or even harmony. The Priest's function was actually far removed from any position of judgment, power, or even opinion. The Priest, as expressed through the Lore Master, was the Voice of the People, and did not support an independent persona with power to affect the mental, physical, or emotional harmony of the Group.
The term, and concept, of Shamanism, originated within the Russian culture, was relayed and disseminated within the European culture and eventually infiltrated the American cultural iconography, and tainted the association of the positive magic done by some cultures of the Native American population. The term Shamanism was used as a label to define the magic of the Medicine Man - the Native American equivalent of Lore Master and Healer - but unfortunately carried the taint of being a mysterious, incomprehensible, yet apparently effective practitioner of Magic.
In other cultures, there are many forms of Shamanism , defined, developed and recognized in association with their particular cultures. In the Appalachian regions, secret cults have figures who serve so-called shamanistic expression, whose purpose is to "purge" evil from its followers by embodying the evil itself. By attempting to embody this evil for the sake of purging, what those people are actually doing is allowing that unfocused evil to be personified and reflected into the physical dense plane of awareness. Rather than negating the evil, they actually serve as lightning rods to station random, chaotic, and malevolent forces into the third physical dimension.
This is not a true function of Priest, or of Lore Mastery; rather, it is an abuse of the Divine ability to interact freely between the Veil of Duality, and of Spirit and Matter. The Being that does not discriminate between the two, nor discriminate between the Light and Dark energies of either form is actually serving as a door-jamb to stellar and cosmic evil.
Elder Druids did not hold "office"; as they were a democratic society, and mutually interdependent, they had no sense of delegation between higher purpose and expression. Each Druid had natural skills and particular studies which fascinated him, but no Druid held any particular ascendancy within the Group, and no one Druid represented the "Voice" of the Group.
All Druids were equally capable of communicating with the various devic realms; no Druid was singular in his ability to interact and relate with the plant, mineral, or animal kingdoms.
Shamans, today, are those who are consigned or delegated to communicate with the various realms, and this is the source of the power and importance that is thrust upon them, which they accept. Thus, rather than serve as functions of Priest, they become the embodied persona of Priest, and this is where imbalance of Community is founded and stationed.
The role of Priest needs to be reassessed, and realigned, within the third dimension. With the Soular evolution that has successfully transformed and transmuted Earth and its inhabitants, the function of Priest, particularly for the group, has become obsolete, yet has taken on a tenebrous and destructive life of its own.
The symbolism of Priest and Snake are practically entwined, particularly through the lore of Christianity, and we say it is the parable of snake, and its relationship to Humanity, that has become the symbol of Conflict in the third dimension. Those who handle snakes, in shamanistic rituals, are in fact allowing themselves to consort with and to channel the Consciousness of that Duality, only, there is no relationship of Lord and Servant, but rather an equal relationship of a Human that allows himself to express as a Snake, and the Snake is allowed to express as a Human, thus corrupting the Divine Duality of Nature. Human and Snake become One, in these exercises, and corruption is allowed and manifested within the third dimension.
Saint Patrick, in his call to exile Druids from Eire, referred to them as the snakes of Ireland, and is remembered for this noble endeavor. By labeling Druids snakes, he uttered the worst form of insult, and declared the greatest challenge he could, and the Druids responded by letting him have his way. The Druids won that battle by letting Patrick win, yet they lost the greater battle by not being able to keep their land free of corruption. To a great extent, they felt that the presence of Patrick already symbolized a snake in their garden, and rather than stay and fight, they abandoned the garden to snakes.
Thus, the Spirit of Snake was allowed into the Irish realm, and the consequence has been eternal conflict and a battling between the factions of Irish, amongst themselves, and against the world. The snake of doubt, confusion, and disharmony still resides in Ireland, and it is that snake which must be triumphed over. To live in harmony with the snake is to allow the Darkness of Duality to remain, and keeps the status quo in a fervor of chaos.
Druids, and other Magicians, have been very successful in their efforts to control, balance, and harmonize their relationship with this negative consciousness, which is actually a reflection of religion in its most animalistic, debasing form. Shamanism today carries too much weight as being a Spiritual reflection of Divinity, and of communication between the various realms, when it is really nothing more than the iconization and deification of various devic forms at best.
The idolatry of animal spirits, or bird spirits, or elemental spirits (the sun, the wind, the rain, etc.) are nothing more than attempts to corrupt and enslave the various devic forms - including that of snake. The snake, itself, is a reptile who serves his own purpose within the Wheel of Life, but whose magical properties and relationship have been devically enslaved to represent a symbol of a holy war that never existed. The snake is not a "dirty" creature, but has been made to appear so through the corruption of shamanistic and exploitative translation, and has enslaved that energy to carry an unusual amount of astral associative power to affect the minds and emotions of all humans within reach of that particular form of expression.
It is the form of religion, itself, that certain claims of shamanistic ability have abused the most, and thus created the worst astral and mental associations within the Mind of Humanity. Those modern Priests who abuse their shamanistic relationships are exploiting their own claims of Divinity by claiming to have the ability to receive and interpret the whims and fancies of any and all passing entities within their etheric space. Thus, the priests or shamans, or followers within the group, who fall to the floor and speak in tongues, are channeling, or pretending to, the incoherent, u\unfocused, and chaotic beings with vibrations similarly compatible and unevolved.
Humanity, far from perceiving those people as loony or demented, actually embrace them as miracles or signs of Divinity, as they have - or appear to have - the magical ability to perceive and to en-form the consciousness of foreign beings. These are humans who are so conditioned - by virtue of their religion - to think of themselves as at the bottom of the proverbial food chain, and they actually consider it an accomplishment of sorts to be able to channel nonsensical beings of nebulous or questionable origin and purpose.
Druids of old who channeled, did so knowing that were channeling Consciousness of compatible vibration, and in alignment with the Divine Plan. The Ancient Druids, before channeling, would specify beforehand the nature of the Consciousness they wished to receive, and would also form or direct a particular issue to be addressed. Unlike modern shamans or Priests, Druids did not simply turn on the faucet and let anything through; they were specific in their intent and purpose, and unlike modern cultists or religious followers, they did not attempt to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. They used their abilities to discern, and did not idolize that which they knew to be universally correct, and universally available, to anyone who bothered to take the time and trouble to discern the same answers or solutions for themselves.
Druids never gave up their relationship with the Mental Plane of Discernment and Thought. This is why they are still prevalent and successful as a Spiritual, rather than religious, group.
As Druidism was a Wave of the Past, it is becoming a Wave of the Future.