The aim of the Druid is to establish a group who by companionship, and unity shall reach a greater understanding of the powers latent within us.
Druids are not at any time bound to accept any specific religious beliefs, or political views, as every member has a right to his or her own views and can express them freely.
The Druids existed from a remote past as a powerful and influential brotherhood. What the date of foundation of this brotherhood was, if it was ever “founded” in the ordinary sense, none can tell.
But this we know, that all arcane wisdom ultimately derives from one source — the Divine Light. This Wisdom had its earliest homes in the Island Continents, Atlantis and Lemuria, that have now vanished beneath the waves. But before the series of catastrophies was completed the Ancient Wisdom was brought to other parts of the world, and so in this manner arose the Mystery Schools of Egypt, Chaldea, Greece, the Druid Mysteries of Great Britain and Gaul, the Hebrew Qabbalah and the Esoteric Wisdom of the Chinese, Hindus, Teutons and Scandinavians, Persians, Alchemists, Rosicrucians and others.
The Druids called themselves “Kymry,” “Equal in honour” (though not in privilege) for that is one of our principles. In our “Groves” as they are called, there are officers; but this is for functional purposes only, it does not indicate that one is of greater importance than another.
Ancient British tradition states that Hu Gadarn [a Welsh deity?] was the leader of the first colony of the Kymry in these islands, and that he established the Ancient Druid system wherever he went. His successor, Aed Mawr [the similarly pronounced Aed Mor in Irish would be “Great Fire,” or a suitable title for the Dagda] who is said to have flourished about 1000 BC is the reputed founder of the Druid Order in Britain, in the form that we know it today.
At that time the seats of the three Arch Druids of Britain were at London, York and Caerleon. There were also thirty-one other seats of learning which were the capitals of the various chiefs, and many of. them are now county towns.
It is said [by whom, exactly?] that at one time no less than 60,000 people attended these seats of learning for instruction, including many of the nobility of Great Britain, Gaul, and indeed farther afield.
After the introduction of Christianity into these islands, the Christian priesthood was very largely in Druid hands. There is nothing incompatible in the two systems for Druidry, though religious, is not strictly speaking a religion, but a system of mystical science and philosophy.
In this connection it may be remarked that ministers and priests of various faiths, including the Obedience of the Church of England, are members of the Order. Historians have often been puzzled by the ancient sect of the Culdees in these islands, who lived in communities. These were actually men who were both Christians and Druids.
After the coming of the Christian missions from Rome headed by Augustine, the Druids and the Keltic Christian church in these islands were persecuted; and the Druids were prohibited from officiating as Christian priests, in order that the power of Rome might be established throughout the land and made supreme.
Nevertheless the Druid tradition was never lost, though often endangered; and its continuity can be traced back from those times right down to the present day, the line of succession unbroken. [Where have we heard that before?]
It is preserved publicly in the ancient writings of the Bards, in Keltic mythology, (which, of course, must be interpreted in its occult sense like the Bible or the Book of the Dead), and it is also preserved in oral tradition.
The oral tradition is largely confined to Companions of the Order and it contains the Initiation Rites and Ceremonies, as well as a great deal of the occult philosophy of the Order.
The Druids are mystics; that is to say that they are partakers of the One Primitive and Universal Source of Wisdom which forms the basis of whatever is true in the world”s great exoteric religions.
It means that Druids, like other mystical brotherhoods, have that breadth of outlook which overleaps the narrow boundaries of a creed.