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> Neodruidism In Brittany, Translation Please?
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Posted: 04-Jun-2004, 07:47 AM
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Wanderer and Vagabond

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Hello again!

I found this article at

It looks interesting and starts out okay, but half way through it switches from English to French! And I don't speak a word of French! Can anyone translate the second half of the article for us?

My thanks in advance to anyone who can help out here!

Neodruidism in Brittany

Druids exist. Every third Sunday of July, it's possible to meet a few odd specimens in Brasparts, a small community in Finistère. With the blessing of the Great Druid Gwenc'hlan Le Scouezec, thirty of them commemorate the god Lug, on the occasion of Lugnasad, one of the great religious feast days of the Celtic calendar.

Gwenc?hlan Le Scouezec holds the ceremony in the open-air, in a meadow in which a circle of stones has been erected. The fifth Great-druid of La Gourzes de Bretagne claims to be a descendant of Iolo Mogannwg who is related to Welsh bardic tradition of the 18th century. Anyone can join the Druid's association. The only condition is the you must be able to speak Breton.

The druids of la Gourzees, the only ones to meet regularily in public, are not supported by everyone. They have been criticized for their folkloric character and their Seuls en Bretagne à se réunir régulièrement en public, les druides de la Gourzes ne font pas l?unanimité. On leur reproche, notamment, leur folklorisme et l?autoritarisme de leur chef. Ainsi l?écrivain Yann Brekilien, dissident de la Gourzes, a-t-il fondé sa propre assemblée : Kelc?h studi drouizes an hengoun (Cercle d?études des druides traditionnels). Cette obédience se veut plus en phase avec la recherche sur le celtisme. Ce néo-druidisme est ouvert à tous : chrétiens, païens, agnostiques. Il faut néanmoins être parrainé pour être admis comme disciple, et étudier pour accéder au rang de barde puis de druide.

Une troisième obédience, la Kreden geltiek hollvedel (Croyance celtique universelle), se veut plus discrète. Au contraire des deux précédentes, elle refuse tout lien avec le christianisme. Son chef de file, Alain Le Goff, se réfère à la franc-maçonnerie. Comment adhérer ? On ne choisit pas la Kreden, c?est la Kreden qui vous choisit.

Folkloristes ou non, ces trois ordres bretons ont le mérite de faire avancer la connaissance sur la matière bretonne et celtique. Gwen?hlan Le Scouezec a écrit de nombreux ouvrages dont la petite bible que constitue "Le Guide de la Bretagne". Yann Brekilien est un écrivain reconnu et engagé. Quant à la Kreden geltiek, elle publie chaque année des études et des recherches sur le celtisme dans sa revue "Ialon".

Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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Posted: 04-Jun-2004, 08:20 AM
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Here's a machine translation, which may give you at least a hint of the original.
In Brittany to be only met regularly in public, the druids of
Gourzes do not achieve the unanimity. One reproaches them, in
particular, their folklorism and the authoritarianism of their chief.
Thus the writer Yann Brekilien, dissident of Gourzes, it founded its
own assembly: Kelc' H studi drouizes year hengoun (Circle of studies
of the traditional druids). This obedience wants to be more in
phase with research on the celtism. This neo-druidism is opened with
all: Christians, pagan, agnostic. It is necessary nevertheless to be
sponsored to be allowed like disciple, and to study to reach the row
of bard then of druid.

The third obedience, Kreden geltiek hollvedel (universal Celtic
Belief), wants to be more discrete. On the contrary of the two
preceding ones, it refuses any bond with Christianity. Its Alain,
leader Goff, refers to the frank-maçonnerie. How to adhere? One
does not choose Kreden, it is Kreden which chooses you.

Folklorists or not, these three Breton orders have the merit to
advance knowledge on the Breton and Celtic matter. Gwen' hlan Scouezec
wrote many works of which the small bible that "the Guide of Brittany
constitutes". Yann Brekilien is a recognized and engaged writer. As
for Kreden geltiek, it publishes each year of the studies and research
on the celtism in its review "Ialon".

Síochán leat,
Clan Donald USA
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Posted: 04-Jun-2004, 07:47 PM
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Thanks MmD! I appreciate your help! At least now I can get the basic gist of what it said!
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Posted: 04-Sep-2004, 05:50 PM
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Here is some more info Ifound on druidism in Brittany at:

While I am unshakably Christian in beliefs, I still find this fascinating reading! Its arather long piece, though...


The Celtic stock is said to be one of the oldest of the world. As the years went by it spread down in regions that are now polar regions.
These were still joined to the Scandinavian folding.
The polar regions went through a first ice age and people went down to more temperate lands. This was the period of Atlantis, that lasted about 80,000 years.

The first teachers of the world were among the inhabitants of Atlantis. The Masters taught the working of metals, or culture ......
Unfortunately some tried to use these informations without knowing the laws of Wisdom, and through them hermetism became magic.
So from disasters to cataclysms Atlantis was swallowed up under the water. This was the historic deluge, eleven thousand years ago.

The inhabitants of the eastern parts of Atlantis managed to escape, taking refuge in Brittany, Ireland and Cornwall. And they met the peoples of the first megaliths
They identified the telluric cracks that criss-cross on the ground, they recognised the forces that radiate from Earth towards infinity during the day, and from sources of stars towards the ground at night
They adopted the oak tree as a symbol and named themselves Druids. Dolmens and menhirs were erected in the places where telluric cracks cross.

A thousand years went by and some tribes emigrated towards the Orient.
Then there was the Taurus era (5360 BC) and its wonderful civilisation whose emblem appears on Assyrian monuments and in the Egyptian worship of the God Apis.
The tribes had expanded in Africa, in Asia Minor, in Persia, then in India.
Only two new earth tremors urged the Kymric tribes to go back to the Occident, and this would lead to the epic of Hû Gadarn, the first Gaul, who tried to reunify the Celtic peoples from the Alps to Ireland around 450 BC.

The Druids endeavoured to join the forces of Celtic and Gallic peoples, to try and help the fusion of the races, with a common doctrine and religion


5th century BC : First iron age, incineration is replaced by the interment under a burial mound
As soon as the waters withdraw from the Baden-Alsatia plain, the Celts or Keltoï settle there. Besides in the South the Germans drive the Helvetians, a Celtic tribe, back to the Alps.
450 BC : Second iron age.
The Celts continue their migration towards the West to give birth to the Gallic people.
387 BC : The Celts crush the Romans in northern Italy and settle in Bohemia.
279 BC : They threaten the Greek treasure of Delphi, arrive in Thessaly and occupy the country now called Turkey.
113 BC : The Germans go down the Danube and ravage Gaul and northern Spain.
57 BC : Caesar's campaign against the Belgians, the most powerful Celtic people of Gaul. Then he campaigns against the Venetians, the Celts of Armorica. Eventually he crosses the Channel and invades Britain.
52 BC : The uprising of Vercingétorix, the leader of the Arvenian Celts.
51 BC : Gaul is pacified by the Romans. The Celts become Gallo-Romans, but some of them prefer to emigrate to Great Britain.
61 AD : Claudius' Roman legions occupy the South of Great Britain.
77 : Only the heights of Wales, of northern Scotland and Ireland remain Celtic.
When the Roman empire collapses, the Celts from the British Island, the Bretons, will cross the Channel to settle in Armorica, and they will call the country Brittany.


The beliefs have evolved despite the fact that invaders, and notably the Romans, attempted to eradicate them.

As years went by many druidic communities lived autonomously in Benedictine monasteries. The secrecy of such druidic communities was that of the Kings of France, in opposition to Rome, and in conflict with the German Roman Empire.

Thus for 18 centuries the Druidic order, after having supported Vercingétorix against Caesar, never accepted to bow to Rome, and thanks to the royal support, managed to remain alive and inward-looking, to recruit followers, to train and initiate the masters and to keep rites and traditions unchanged.
The necessity to gather in silence and in peace was behind the creation of some monastic orders whose cloisters were erected on the very places of the former temples.

The druids, though their life was underground, never lost contact with the history of France and always kept up their customs.
This was made through the Symbol of the Initiation Celtic Cross, and helped by the Companions in Duty who displayed it in many cathedrals.

It is true that in Brittany the saints are important and numerous, each of them has a particularity that consists in either healing or protecting people.
The people of Armorica would recognise in the attitude, in the teaching or the leading role of their saints those of the ancient Celtic druids.
Many legends were passed down by word of mouth, and several texts reached us that were written in old Breton, a language completely in keeping with the intellectual tradition of old Celts.


The Grand Masonic Lodge of England was founded in June 1717. In September the Irish freethinker John Toland called together the delegates of ten counties of the United Kingdom and Ireland as well as delegates of Brittany in order to set up a federation of the "Bosquets" of the Ancient Druid Order.
At that time there were druidic or bardic "circles" which were extremely exclusive, and now there still are groups known as "family or clan tradition" groups whose customs are passed down inside a same Celtic family.
The idea was clear, a return to the basic life of the Celtic civilisation, as opposed to the puritanism of the Christian religion that was imposed.
John Toland was the leading druid from 1717 until he died, then William Stukeley became the leader in 1722. He can be regarded as one of the fathers of contemporary druidism.

It was created on the initiative of the carpenter Henry Hurle, who founded the Ancient Order of Druids in 1781. This society had been set up to gather people. Any debate on a political or religious issue was forbidden.
A ceremonial that was very ritualistic and close to freemasonry was instituted. The order was led by a council of seven members.
In 1833, the coming out of divergent opinions caused a split and those who left created a new group called the United Ancient Order of Druids (U.A.O.D).

This third category was created in London by the Welsh. New cultural Welsh associations with a bardic tradition were founded from 1789 onwards, and they undertook to organise annual eisteddfodeau in the Welsh country.
In 1792, with John Toland's druidic meeting, Iolo Morganwg gathered a few bards for the first modern druidic Gorseed.
In August 1899, twenty Breton key figures were invited to the eisteddfod of Cardiff. As soon as they came back from Wales the new initiates decided to create an assembly of Bards and Druids on the pattern of the Welsh one. The Breton bardic association was not officially registered until November 1908 under the name of Gorsedd Barzed Gourenez Breiz Izel.


There are four different types of contemporary initiation societies :
- The societies which are druidic by definition
- The traditionally paganizing groups
- The esoteric groups
- The Celtic neo-Christians


These societies provide an initiation that claims to have its roots in druidism.
- The Druid Order (D.O.) London
- The Universal Druid Order (U.D.O) London
- The Ancient and Archaeological Order of Druids (A.A.O.D) London
- Mount Nuada of the Ancient Order of Druids Hermetists (A.O.D.H) London
- The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (O.B.O.D) London
- The Ancient Order of Druids (A.O.D) London
- The United Ancient Order of Druids (U.A.O.D) London
- The International Grand Lodge of Druidism (I.G.L.D.) London
- Gorsedd Beirdd Fnys Prydain (Assembly of bards of the British Island) Wales
- Breuriez Barzed Breiz (Fraternity of the bards of Brittany) Brittany
- Breudeuriezh Drouized Barzhed hag Ovision Breizh (Fraternity of the druids, bards and ovates of Brittany)
- Gorseth Kernow (The gorseed of Cornwall) GB
- Le Grand Collège Celtique de la forêt des chênes de Brocéliande (Grand Celtic college of the oak forest of Broceliande) Brittany
- Kenvreuriezh Predouriel an Drouized (Philosophical brotherhood of the druids) Brittany
- Le collège Bardique des Gaulles (Bardic college of Gaul) France
- La Fraternité universelle des Druides (Universal fraternity of Druids) France
- Le Collège Druidique traditionnel (Traditional Druidic College) France
- L'ordre monastique d'Avallon (Monastic order of Avallon) France
- Kenvreuriezh Drouized Kornog (Fraternity of the Druids of Occident) Brittany
- Kredenn Geltiek (Celtic Faith) Brittany
- Le collège des Druides, Bardes, Eubages et Ovates des Gaulles (College of Druids, Bards, Eubages and Ovates of Gaul) France
- Le collège d'études celto-druidiques (College of Celtic-druidic studies) France


These groups were created with isolated individuals who had benefited from authentic ancestral traditions. Some of these lineage begot the sorcerers, healers and midwives of our villages.
- Hereditary Witchcraft with a family tradition
- Gardnerian Witchcraft GB
- Alexandrian Witchcraft


These esoteric societies are influenced by Celtic customs
- Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia (S.R.I.A) London
- Golden Dawn London and Paris
- Stella Matutina (Star of the morning)
- The spiritualist circles
- The International Movement of the Grail (and the numerous societies "of the Round Table")


These initiation societies are clearly linked to the Celtic custom, but they take the form of Christianism, guilds, scout movements, freemasonry or the ecological movement.
- Patriarchate of Glastonbury (Orthodox Church of Britain) GB
- Eglise Celtique (Celtic Church) France and Belgium
- The Breton scouts Bleimor and Fianna
- Forever Forest (American environmentalist group)


Most of the groups hold their rites "facing the sun", the rites can take place outside or only inside as it was done in the Ancient Order of Druids.
The presence of circles of stones or of a dolmen is not always absolutely necessary.
The trees do not play a part in the actual initiation, though they are included in some ceremonies (mistletoe picking for example).
The rite of the bandeau or of the veil on the eyes was relatively abandoned.
In some rites the rose can be replaced, during winter, by honey.
The fire is a real wood fire or merely torches or candles. These items do not always have the same meaning, but the main one here is purification.
Only the Druidic College of Gaul and the Ancient Order of Druids use a sickle.
The rite that consists in taking the cloth is present in almost every case.
The laying on of hands seems to be the most common rite to pass on the initiation.
The giving of a new name also appears to be a widespread custom.
All groups demand the oath. The priestly aspect of the initiation is not always really asserted.


The regression phase consists in an "initiation death", this stage is distinguished by the following rites, according to the societies :
Isolation, going away, waiting outside, fasting, undressing, blindfolding oneself or wearing a veil, meditating, walking under a dolmen, death rite.

It is the recognition by the host group.
Choice or acceptance by the group, entering the circle or the triangle, cleansing by earth, air, water, fire, sun, the laying on of hands, a new name, clothes (cape, veil, bandeau, stole).

It comprises the passing on and the reception of a spiritual knowledge that enable the integration of the initiate in a world he should be able to master from then on.
Receiving a tradition, a filiation, a knowledge, the Book of Druidic Knowledge, symbols, taking the oath for the Order, an oath of secrecy, an oath for the use and control of powers, a blood pact.
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