Since early history man has had a belief in magic, in the power of an unseen force that could aid or influence the events of one’s life, throughout time many cultures believed that they could tap into this immortal power & the Celtic people were no different, in fact, due to the reputation of their Druid priests, the Celts are one of the cultures most famous for their belief in magic.
Writings from ancient sources such as Pomponius Mela give us a small insight into the use of magic by the Celts, in his works he writes of nine priestesses living on the Island of Sena who ancient people would travel to in order to be healed by their magic. These women were said to have a number of magical abilities, as well as being able to cure diseases that were otherwise incurable they had the power of foresight, the ability to shapeshift into any animal & was said to mutter incantations that could rouse the winds & seas.
There are a number of sources that record women’s involvement in magical rights, Pliny the Elder, writing of the Celts of Britain, wrote that women performed supernatural rights in a “state of nature”, naked with their bodies painted with blue & black patterns & Caesar himself recorded his discomfort with the presence of the female druid priestesses one of who used her magic to prophesize Diocletian’s rise to become Emperor of Rome.
The Druids themselves are one of the most iconic figures when picturing the Celts use of magic & have become almost a myth unto themselves so little is known about them. Nature & magic seemed to be central to their religious practises & the two were strongly linked, they worshipped surrounded by nature in sacred groves & used plants & trees for potions & elixirs as well as medical remedies.
As well as what has been historically recorded much of their surviving mythology demonstrates the Celts strong belief in magic, their deities possessed it in abundance & demonstrated their power with miraculous acts such as turning rivers red with blood to making rain turn to fire.
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