Sunday 15 August 2010


Apparently, modern druids who dress up in white and hold hands at Stonehenge are unrelated to ancient Celtic druids of the Iron Age that were suppressed by the Romans - Getafix, the beardy druid from the Asterix series, encounters this suppression from the Romans as he hands out his magic potion to the Gaulish villagers. However, it seems we know very little about ancient druidism because they never wrote anything down and all reports about them are from people who didn't approve of what they did.
One thing we do perhaps know though about druidism is that our esteemed war time leader Winston Churchill was initiated into the modern druid society as a 33-year old, two years before he became Home Secretary. Pictorial evidence shows Churchill standing with a bunch of druids at Blenheim Palace on August 15th 1908 and it is a common belief that this was his ceremony. However, this photo seems to be the only thing that people base his druidism on and it could potentially be an example of a photo not really telling the whole story. He never spoke of druidism and the modern media has taught us the important and accidental lesson that we shouldn't trust them. Truth and newspapers are not a happy couple that wander through the park whispering sweet nothings to each other, but an ideological position that editors struggle to contort themselves into. Perhaps Churchill was a druid, but I don't think he brewed any magical potions for the British troops and when he became Prime Minister as a 65-year old, I'm pretty sure he'd left any hocus-pokery behind him.

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