Druids: a Holy Female Sisterhood

Mugwort Zine, No. 3, Feb. 2001 © 2010 by Kathy V. CrabbeFemale Druids also known as dryads (Greek) or oak nymphs were oracular priestesses, each with her own personal tree spirit. Dryads were also known as priestesses of Artemis, whose souls dwelt in trees. Dryads could also assume the shapes of serpents and were called Hamadryads or Amadryades. Dryadism and druidism (Scottish) were two phases of the same religion, restricted to a female priesthood in the earlier, matriarchal stage, but later open to male priests as well. Irish churches were originally known by the old druidic name of dairtech, or "oak-house," a sacred grove. The Christian church attacked the Druids for their paganism, and also for their tendency to include sacred women in their ranks.

The "colleges" of druidesses, dryads, and high holy sisterhoods were later assimilated into Christian nuns. One of the three classes of druidesses consisted of secluded sisterhoods, such as the priestesses of Brigit, who lived in convent-like sanctuaries while tending perpetually burning sacred fires. Another less secluded class of druidess consisted of married women who lived at the temple and went home occasionally to visit their husbands. A third class was composed of temple servants who lived with their families.

There is no break between the ancient semi-magical formulae chanted by the Druids and later incantations of the wizard and “wise woman.”

Celtic Tree Oracle Deck: Vine Goddess, Silk dyes on silk, 7 x 10 inches. © 2010 by Kathy V. CrabbeThe Vine Moon ~ 10th Lunar Month Moon of Exhilaration September 2 - 29th

During the tenth lunar month, also known as the “Moon of Exhilaration” or Vine Moon we celebrate the Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The Vine Moon is dedicated to Dionysus, Osiris, and Bacchus and her five-pointed leaves are sacred to the White Goddess. The energies of this moon symbolize peace and enduring strength. The wild-growing vine or bramble also governs inspiration, imagination, poetry, and imagery.

The essence of strength contained within the Vine is retained in her wine.

My Handpainted Celtic Tree Goddess Deck ~ Inspiration

I have always been inspired by tales of the Celts and Druids probably owing to my red haired lineage and my collection of red-haired friends (and a red haired husband as well). So I painted a series of Celtic tree inspired Goddesses on silk for a hand lettered one-of-a-kind book that I later turned into a Celtic Tree oracle deck used for giving Soul Readings. If you would like a soul reading exclusively with this deck, just let me know ahead of time when you purchase your reading or to purchase a Celtic Goddess print or card please click the link.

Celtic Tree Goddess Deck, Silk dyes on silk, Set of 13 Cards. © 2010 by Kathy V. CrabbeRecommended Reading: Year of Moons, Season off Trees: Mysteries & Rites of Celtic Tree Magic by Pattalee Glass-Koentop