Why is Rewilding So Important?

How Wolves Change Rivers

When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 everything changed.

There was an excess amount of deer and there was almost zero vegetation there for other animals to survive…

The deer were forced to adapt to the wolves so they no longer went to places like the valleys where they were most vulnerable.

Those places immediately started to grow plants again, with some of the trees quadrupling in size!

Barren spots were turned into flourishing green areas with aspens and vegetation.

And this made the birds come back! As well as the number of beavers started to rise because they like to eat the trees!

The beavers started to build dams which provided homes for otters, muskrats, fish, ducks, reptiles and amphibians!

Then the coyote population started to drop, so more rabbits and mice began to rise so then came the rise in hawks, badgers, weasels, foxes, ravens & bald eagles!

THEN the number of bears started to rise because of the berries that were now growing on the vegetation!

Now get this, because the wolves caused the forest to regenerate, it actually changed how the rivers started moving and made the ecosystem even MORE friendly to animals.

So we owe a big thank you to wolves, and all other animals, for each being a puzzle piece to keep the ecosystem in perfect, harmonious balance.

If you want to see the full 4 minute video on this, check it out here! (It’s amazing!!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q

Or represent the animal that saved Yellowstone here…

Wear Saga

The Real Myth of the Quileute Wolf tribe

“Another legend claims that we descended from wolves and that the wolves are our brothers still. It’s against tribal law to kill them.” Jacob explaining the Quileutes to Bella

The Quileute tribe are a Native American people, currently numbering approximately 750.

The Quileute (also spelled Quillayute) people settled onto the Quileute Indian Reservation after signing the Treaty of Quinault River of 1855 (later reauthorized as the treaty of Olympia in 1856) with the United States of America. The reservation is located near the southwest corner of Clallam County, Washington at the mouth of the Quileute River on the Pacific coast.
Another legend claims that we descended from wolves and that the wolves are our brothers still. It’s against tribal law to kill them.

Quileute Tribe

CREATION STORY

It happened long ago that Q’waeti’ journeyed all over the land setting the people aright and instructing the people that would come in the future how they should act. Q’waeti’ instructed the people how to build houses.

One day Q’waeti’ came upon Beaver. Beaver was sharpening his stone knife, and Beaver was very stingy. Q’waeti’ asked what was Beaver doing. Whereupon Beaver said: “I am sharpening my knife in order to kill Q’waeti’,” said Beaver. Then Q’waeti’ took what Beaver was sharpening and stuck it on Beaver’s tail. Then he said: “You shall always have this stuck to your tail, and live in the water. You will just slap the water with your tail and dive when the people come.”

Then one day he came upon Deer. Deer was sharpening his shell knife. Thereupon Q’waeti’ asked Deer what was he sharpening it for. Whereupon Deer said: “I am going to kill Q’waeti’,” said Deer. Then Q’waeti’ seized the shell that Deer was sharpening. Then he stuck it on Deer’s ears. He said “When you see people you shall run frightened and stop, and look back.” Then Q’waeti’ went on his way.

Not long afterward he reached Q’wayi’t’soxk’a River. But he did not find any people. Then Q’waeti’ spit on his hands and rubbed them. Doing this he rubbed off the human dead skin into the water. Thereupon many people appeared. Then Q’waeti’ said to the people whom he had made: “You shall dwell here,” said Q’waeti’. “Your name shall be Q’wayi’t’sox (Queets.)”

Then Q’waeti’ reached the Hoh people. He saw that these people walked on their hands carrying their smelt nets between their legs. At that time all the Hoh people walked on their hands. They were called the Up-side-down people. Since that time the Up-side-down people were known as the first people who had existed. Then Q’waeti’ turned right side up the ones who walked on their hands. “You shall use your feet to walk,” said Q’waeti’ to the former Up-side-down people. “Go and fish smelt. You shall catch much fish when you fish smelt.” Ever since then there is much smelt at Hoh.

Then Q’waeti’ went on and reached the Quileute land. He saw two wolves. There were no people here. Then Q’waeti’ transformed the wolved into people. Then he instructed the people saying: “The common man will have only one wife. Only a chief may have four or eight wives. For this reason you Quileute shall be brave, because you come from wolves,” said Q’waeti’. “In every manner you shall be strong.”

Then Q’waeti’ reached the Ozette people (Makah.) There he saw two dogs. Then he transformed the dogs into people. Then Q’waeti’ gave instructions to the people how to search around the rocks for devil-fish, and to get all kinds of sea food. Then Q’waeti’ went on.

Then he came to the Neah people. He saw many people. The people did not know how to fish. So, the Neah people were hungry, about to perish. Then Q’waeti’ instructed one person how they should fish. Q’waeti’ instructed them how to troll when trying to fish. Ever since then there is much fish in Neah Bay. When Q’waeti’ finished he said that there would be much fish at Neah Bay.

Then Q’waeti’ went on setting aright and creating people, going around the land, and instructing them in what they should do in order to subsist.

Quileute Story

The Celtic Diet

Athenaeus was an ethnic Greek and seems to have been a native of Naucrautis, Egypt. Although the dates of his birth and death have been lost, he seems to have been active in the late second and early third centuries of the common era. His surviving work The Deipnosophists (Dinner-table Philosophers) is a fifteen-volume text focusing on dining customs and surrounding rituals. This is an extract about the eating and drinking customs of the Celts: –

“The Celts place food before their guests, putting grass for their seats, and they serve it up on wooden tables raised a very little above the ground: and their food consists of a few loaves, and a good deal of meat brought up floating in water, and roasted on the coals or on spits. And they eat their meat in a cleanly manner enough, but like lions, taking up whole joints in both their hands, and gnawing them; and if there is any part which they cannot easily tear away, they cut it off with a small sword which they have in a sheath in a private depository.

And those who live near the rivers eat fish also, and so do those who live near the Mediterranean sea, or near the Atlantic ocean; and they eat it roasted with salt and vinegar and cumin seed: and cumin seed they also throw into their wine. But they use no oil, on account of its scarcity; and because they are not used to it, it seems disagreeable to them.

But when many of them sup together, they all sit in a circle; and the bravest sits in the middle…and the man who gives the entertainment sits next to him; and then on each side the rest of the guests sit in regular order.

…And those who act as cup-bearers and bring round the wine, bring it round in jars made either of earthenware or of silver, like ordinary casks in shape. And their platters on which they serve up the meat are also made of the same material; but some have bronze platters, and some have wooden or plaited baskets.

And the liquor which is drunk is, among the rich, wine brought from Italy or from the country about Marseilles; and this is drunk unmixed, but sometimes a little water is mixed with it. But among the poorer classes what is drunk is a beer made of wheat prepared with honey, and oftener still without any honey; and they call it corma. And they all drink it out of the same cup, in small portions, not drinking more than a ladle at a time; but they take frequent turns…”

Athenaeus – The Deipnosophists

News Summary October 2017

Members

We have another 12 members join since the last newsletter, bringing our membership to 86. Our exclusive members group now has 47 members, but our main page has just topped 400 members, which is amazing for an Order that is just a few months old. We also have a new Astrology group on Facebook for those interested in Celtic Astrology. I think part of the success is the upsurge of interest in the Celts and the Wolf as a symbol of rewilding resonates with many of us.

It is good, though, to share feedback from members of the Order.

Loki Loraine Groves had this to say “Thank you for my first lesson, having pondered on it after I finished reading it, I have come to the conclusion that for now, I appear to have a bit of vate, bard and druid in my current practice, though I have no doubt, as I evolve one of them will become the most prominent.”

If you would like to receive lessons and become a member please contact us. Members have exclusive access to our new Facebook group, which you can join by sending a join request and answering the question.

Future secured for Shropshire wolf sanctuary (shared by Murray Stead)

A Shropshire-based wolf conservation centre is planning to create a sustainable future thanks to help from a group of businesses.

Wolf Watch UK was set-up by Tony Haighway when he rescued two wolves from a zoo in Southam, Warwickshire, which was closing.

The sanctuary, which is dedicated to the rescue, welfare and conservation of displaced wolves from captivity across Europe, is based in 100 acres of remote woodland in deepest Shropshire with Tony and his partner, Eva Dutton, and their team of dedicated volunteers looking after the animals.

Plans have been drawn-up by the Roger Coy Partnership Architects in Eydon, Northamptonshire, to construct a holiday lodge and educational facility, with Severn Oak Timber Frames in Lightmoor, Telford, manufacturing and building the structure for free and ListersGeo in Slapton, Towcester, Northamptonshire, providing the geotechnical expertise.

Saving the ancient seaweed-eating sheep of North Ronaldsay (shared by Murray Stead)

A campaign to save the unique seaweed-eating sheep of North Ronaldsay and to restore the historic 13-mile dyke which protects the rare breed has been stepped up.

Around 2,500 North Ronaldsay sheep inhabit the shoreline of Orkney’s most northerly isle and survive solely on the kelp churned up by the sea.

The 13-mile dyke which keeps the sheep on the shoreline is falling down – putting the future of the breed at risk.

Islanders are leading a campaign to restore the dyke and preserve the flock which is owned by around a dozen North Ronaldsay residents.

The dyke not only contains the sheep from other breeds but keeps them away from grass on the island given their special diet has made them vulnerable to copper.

Principles of rewilding

Rewilding Britain have published four principles of rewilding. As an Order we provide materials without cost, but if people do want to make a contribution, we ask that you send donations to rewilding charities, or wolf conservation projects. Rewilding Britain is one of the main charities we support.

Rewilding is all about people and natural processes working at scale for the long-term.

We define rewilding according to four key principles. These principles guide our approach to rewilding: –

1. People, communities and livelihoods are key

2. Natural processes drive outcomes

3. Working at nature’s scale is essential

4. Benefits are secured for the long-term

Iron Age skeletal remains discovered on Irish coast after Storm Ophelia

SKELETAL remains believed to date back to the Iron Age have been uncovered on the east coast of Ireland.

The remains, found at Forlorn Point near Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford, are believed to be over 1,500 years old, according to the State Pathologist.

The discovery of the complete human skeleton was made just one day after Storm Ophelia raged across Ireland.

Samhain

To find the origin of Halloween, you have to look to the festival of Samhain in Ireland’s Celtic past.

Samhain had three distinct elements. Firstly, it was an important fire festival, celebrated over the evening of 31 October and throughout the following day.

The flames of old fires had to be extinguished and ceremonially re-lit by druids.

It was also a festival not unlike the modern New Year’s Day in that it carried the notion of casting out the old and moving into the new.

To our pagan ancestors it marked the end of the pastoral cycle – a time when all the crops would have been gathered and placed in storage for the long winter ahead and when livestock would be brought in from the fields and selected for slaughter or breeding.

But it was also, as the last day of the year, the time when the souls of the departed would return to their former homes and when potentially malevolent spirits were released from the Otherworld and were visible to mankind.

On the Sequanii calendar found in Coligny the month of Samonios (which corresponds with the Irish Gaelic month of Samhain) has three special days marked after the mid month (which would be full moon) which indicates that it was originally a lunar commemoration prior to the enforced Roman calendar. So whatever day(s) you choose to commemorate or celebrate Samhain may your year ahead by blessed.

News Summary September 2017

Members

We have another 22 members join since the last newsletter, bringing our membership to 74. Welcome to the Order of Celtic Wolves and I hope that you feel not only welcome, but comfortable sharing your stories, thoughts and feedback. One of our newer members, Julie Sheard emailed me and I got her permission to share this: –

“Dear Andy

I have been reading about the history of the Celts dogs and found that the greyhound was associated with the Celts for hunting, companionship, healing and guiding spirits being the guardians of crossroads. I have my very own Irish Greyhound named Aoife who came to me at 3 years of age (a reject of the race tracks). She has changed my life completely, bringing me back to health, when I was suffering from ME. Her incredibly expressive eyes can tell me things without words and I love her with all my heart. She is now 7.

I came to France so that she could run across a field with no chance of harm. This evening we were all in the field (me, the 2 small goats and Aoife. She rolled in the grass, hid behind clumps of weeds and then would catapult out and give chase to nothing but her own soul. She would return and do a fly past, sending the goats into a fluster and then coming back to lean on my legs for a stroke before collapsing at my feet while her huge chest heaved oxygen back into her limbs by her huge and beautiful heart.

I did not know she was purely Celtic, thinking as many people do that she was related to the Egyptian hounds but it seems this is not so. She is a Celt!!

At the end of the racing life of many Irish greyhounds, they are sent to foreign lands where they are not honoured but treat cruelly. I wish I could adopt them all!

Kindest wishes to you

Julie”

Thank you so much Julie. I find it sad that greyhound racing still goes on, with my works Sports and Social even arranging trips to the Dogs. The Order of Celtic Wolves opposes dog racing and this inspired me to do a bit more research for this newsletter. Scroll on for article.

If you would like to receive lessons and become a member please email us. Members have exclusive access to our new Facebook group, which you can join by sending a join request and answering the question.

Wolf News

First UK litter of rare Hudson Bay wolf pups born in Devon

Tucked away in the quaint village of Combe Martin amidst the beautiful North Devon countryside you’ll find a special place… a unique research and education centre…. home for three packs of awe-inspiring wolves and wolf-hybrids.

A litter of wolf pups in Devon are believed to be the first of their kind to be born in the UK.

The Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in Ilfracombe said it was excited to welcome the first litter of “endangered” white Hudson Bay wolves.

The animals’ natural habitat is in Canada and Alaska and the park say the seven pups are “rare” with “only 12 registered collections in the world”.

The parents, Maska and Naira, came from animal parks in Amsterdam and Germany.

Park Director Dawn Gilbert said: “This is a rather large litter for a first-time mum. The average litter size is four to six and not all of them generally survive.

“It is still early days yet but the pups are making strong progress and mum Naira is carrying out her role brilliantly”.

The only other collection of white Hudson Bay wolves in the UK is at a wildlife park near Lincolnshire, but it is understood no litters have been born.

The park said it hoped to sell pictures of the pups to raise funds to build an extension to their enclosure to accommodate them all as adults.

Why Greyhound Racing Should Be Banned

Some 10-12,000 greyhounds are retired from racing every year because of minor injury, old age (3 years +) or under-performance. Sadly, the fate of these dogs is uncertain and it is feared that most end up being killed or badly neglected by their owners. Many simply disappear off the map once their racing days are numbered, with no indication as to where they have gone. Despite their long life expectancies of 12-15 years, racing greyhounds are usually retired between 2-5 years old when they are deemed ‘too slow,’ meaning most are still only youngsters when they are destroyed.

Thankfully, due to widespread interest in adopting retired greyhounds, many find themselves in forever homes once their racing careers have ended. However, due to the enormous number of greyhounds being retired annually, finding a home for each and every one of them is impossible. Also, due to the many misconceptions surrounding having greyhounds as pets i.e. their high exercise needs, hyperactivity and incompatibility with children, some people are reluctant to adopt them.

Thousands of dogs of many different breeds wind up in shelters every year and, unfortunately, greyhounds are not everyone’s first choice. For this reason, hundreds of ex-racing greyhounds are disposed of once their purpose has been served, whether humanely or otherwise. More disturbingly, many greyhounds have their ears cut off before being abandoned or killed, in order to remove the identification number that traces the dog back to its owner.

In 2007, a 57 year old man named David Smith was arrested after 10,000 slaughtered greyhounds were found on his property. In what was described as a ‘killing field,’ Smith had buried retired but otherwise healthy dogs after shooting them with a bolt gun. The unsuspecting dogs were taken into a shed, shot in the head, and dragged into a pre-dug ditch for £20 a time.

Smith admitted that, while his activities were unprofitable, they had got a little ‘out of control’ in the 18 months prior to his arrest. He also claimed that the dogs were only killed because they were unsuitable for re-homing, either because they were too aggressive or too badly injured. While Smith was prosecuted for owning a landfill site without a permit, his actions were not considered inhumane and his owning a bolt gun was perfectly legal.

Celtic News

Iron Age Coins Unearthed in England

According to a report, two men using metal detectors discovered a hoard of more than 280 gold and silver coins dating to the late Iron Age, and the period of the Roman Conquest, which occurred in A.D. 43. Adam Daubney, finds liaison officer for Lincolnshire County Council, said the coins are stamped with names like Dumnocoveros, Tigirseno, and Volisios, among the earliest personal names recorded in the area. They are believed to have been the names of local rulers. Fragments of a pot were found with the coins. University of Lincoln archaeologists surveyed the site and will continue their investigation into why the coins might have been buried.

News Summary July 2017

Members

We had 52 members join last month who were the first subscribers to receive the introductory lesson of the Order of Celtic Wolves. Initial feedback has been really positive. These are a couple of comments we have received from new subscribers: –

“Wow. That was great I enjoyed that. Just did the lessons. I’m definitely interested in bard and vate. Not sure if I’m up to druid, however, I will simply aim for it as a goal, the final step of my journey. I’m going to save up some cash for a book for shadows and grimoire for myself. I thank you again, and I am very happy and excited to be a part of this order and look forward to taking that journey and carrying the flag for the order as well. This came to me at the perfect time in my life. Blessed be.” Andy Miller

“I really enjoyed the first lesson. Thank you for it.” Josiah Goodwin

“I first of all completely agree that there should be no hierarchy in a group, order or coven.” Sean Delaney

If you would like to receive lessons and become a member please email us. Members have exclusive access to our new Facebook group, which you can join by sending a join request then confirming your email after receiving a message from Andrew Gibbons (Admin).

If you want to contribute to next month’s members section please email us.

Blessings to you all.

Wolf News

Wolf Centre

A Special Place

Tucked away in the quaint village of Combe Martin amidst the beautiful North Devon countryside you’ll find a special place… a unique research and education centre…. home for three packs of awe-inspiring wolves and wolf-hybrids.

Set up by Shaun Ellis in 2010, The Wolf Centre is not an “attraction” nor even a “zoo”… it is a place to discover, to learn, to savour!

Wolves arrive in Devon as part of bid to re-introduce them into the wild

Elvis, Sting, Lemmy, Moby, PJ and KD have all arrived at their new home in Devon.

This musician monikered group are six wolf cubs, and they have come to Devon as part of a campaign and research project that could eventually lead to the species being reintroduced to the wild in the UK.

The pack is settling into its new surroundings at Wildwood Escot in Ottery St Mary and is currently in quarantine after being shipped-in from Sweden.

The Wildwood Trust said the arrival of the wolves has been highly anticipated by visitors and marks a significant moment for the Trust in its newly acquired Devon location.

The Trust is working to protect and conserve Britain’s most endangered wildlife and reintroduce animals to where they once lived. If wolves are reintroduced to the wild in the UK, it is likely to be in Northern Scotland and it may not happen for several years.

Celtic News

5000 year old burial site found near Stonehenge

Students and archaeologists from the University of Reading have found a burial site dating back 5000 years in Wiltshire.

The monument was discovered between Stonehenge and Avebury as part of the University’s final Archaeology Field School in Pewsey Vale.

At the site a Neolithic long barrow burial mound – known as Cat’s Brain – was found and is the first, in half a century to be investigated in Wiltshire.

The monument, which predates nearby Marden Henge by over 1,000 years, may contain human remains buried there around 3,600 BC.

Further evidence pre-Roman Britons had wine culture

Archaeologists from the University of Exeter have been excavating an ancient settlement at Ipplepen in Devon this month and have discovered shards of Roman pottery, almost certainly from amphorae used for transporting wine and oil.

Since excavations have been conducted on the site since 2009, the settlement’s position within Roman Britain has been well established, with coins, part of a Roman road, enclosure ditches and a cemetery all dating to Roman times having been discovered.

The latest finds however push back the known occupation of the site by several hundred years to the 4th century BC, and the Roman artefacts uncovered are thought to come from a time well before the emperor Claudius launched the major invasion of 43AD or even before Julius Caesar’s minor incursions in 55 and 54BC.

Professor Stephen Rippon of the University of Exeter, told the BBC: “When we started excavating we thought that the site was only used during the Roman period, but the appliance of science has shown that it was occupied for well over a thousand years.

“Our excavations have given us further insight into how people made a living too.”

The finds suggest that not only was Celtic Britain enjoying a more active trading relationship with the continent than might previously have been supposed but ancient Britons – at least the nobility – also enjoyed luxuries such as wine and olive oil; although one cannot discount the possibility that the amphorae were reaching Britain empty of their original contents, as the pottery was considered valuable in and of itself. The discovery of wine paraphernalia in what was ancient Germany and Denmark is sometimes considered to be part of a trade in or general gifting of trinkets between the empire and the peoples beyond its frontiers rather than an indication of an active wine drinking culture.

Precession of the Equinoxes

Did our ancestors know about the precession of the Equinoxes (i.e. every 100 years the zodiac moves back 1.4 degrees) and the cycle of the year?

The following examples illustrate how the knowledge of ‘the great cycle’ was stored around the ancient world.

Although there is no written testimony of a recognition of precession before the Greeks, it is clear from Greek testimony (such as from Aristotle), that Egyptian and Babylonian sciences were shrouded in mystery and only available to the ‘initiated’. However, this lack of written evidence by no means precludes such knowledge from being understood, as the numbers that represent the precessionary cycle (see above), can be found in the dimensions of ‘sacred’ structures and mythologies from around the ancient world as the following examples illustrate: –

Turkey – First recorded division of the sky into 12 equal parts. Metsamor was identified by Livvio Stecchini as an ancient oracle centre. It lies at the foot of Mount Ararat, and archaeology has shown that the area was home to a sophisticated culture that was present in Anatolia from c. 6,000 BC.

Sumeria – Gudea, a ruler of ‘Lagash’, of Sumeria, recorded that he was given instructions in a vision. “A wise man that shone like the heaven,“ by whose side stood “a divine bird,” “commanded me to build this temple”. Gudea employed a male ‘diviner, maker of decisions’, and a female ‘searcher of secrets’ to locate the site. He then recruited 216,000 people for the job.

Babylon – The Babylonian historian Berossus (third century BC) ascribed a total reign of 432,000 years (120 shar’s of 3,600 yrs each), to the mythical Kings who ruled the land of Sumer before the flood. He also ascribed a period of 2,160,000 years to the period ‘between creation and universal catastrophe’.

The King-List known as W-B/144, records the following:-

‘when kingship was lowered from heaven, kingship was first in Eridu’

The following lengths of time were given for each ruler:-

Alulim – 28,000 yrs
Alalgar – 36,000 yrs
Enmenluanna – 43,200 yrs
Enmengalanna – 28,800 yrs
Dumuzi – 36,000 yrs
Ensipazianna – 21,600 yrs
Uburtutu – 18,000 yrs

The Sumerian text W-B/62, adds Larsa and its two divine rulers to the King-List, also multiples of 3,600.

We can be fairly sure that the Sumerians were aware of the cycle, as we can see from the table above that it offers a natural division of both time and space into 360°, from units of 6 and 10. The Sumerians are the earliest culture to measure both time and space in units of 6 and 10. A system called the Hexi-decimal system.

Remarkably, time and space are still measured today by the same units of measurement. For example, we can see the year divided by 12 months, with each day being divided by 24 hours, each one divisible by 60 minutes, and each minute by a further 60 seconds. Similarly, the earth is divided by 360 degrees, each degree being divisible by 60 ‘minutes and each minute by a further 60 ‘seconds’ of an arc.

Since the Druids were noted Astrologers, it is reasonable to assume that they too were aware of the cycle and the precession of the Equinoxes. The tropical Astrology used today is based on the position of the Vernal Equinox (March 21) at 0 degrees Aries from research from 2000 years ago.

However, as we can see from the ancients Astrology our zodiac needs updating in line with the Sun’s precession through the Zodiac, since they kept diligent records and were aware of it. We are indeed in the age of Pisces and many of us have the Sun sign that precedes that which we have been led to believe is our true sign.

The Origins of Astrology

The oldest records of Astrology were discovered in Mesopotamia, with a hoard that also shows the earliest accounts of creation and a worldwide flood, which predate the accounts of Hebrew scribes by over a millenium. Four pioneer archaeologists stand out, Henry Rawlinson, Austen Layard, Paul-Emile Botta and native Kurd Hormuzd Rassam. During the mid to late 1800’s, these brave men (who risked life and limb to remove massive stone tablets) laid the foundation for Mesopotamium archaelogy. Rawlinson was the first to decipher the Assyrian language, now called Akkadian.

Of particular interest is the library of King Ashurbanipal (king of Assyria from 668 BC). He was particulary learned and was able to read ancient cuniform tablets in Akkadian and the earlier Sumerian languages. As well as being a competent mathematician, he was also an accomplished Astrologer. He received his education from Balasi, a famous Astrologer of the time. His library was a time capsule and he set out to preserve these texts for future generations. A book was also discovered, with ivory pages and wax impressions of cuneiform tablets. This includes the Astrological writings, Enuma Anu Enlil, named from it’s opening words, “When the Gods Anu and Enlil..”, informing us that Astrology was the concern of these two gods. Anu was the God of heaven and Enlil was the God of Earth. Even in today’s Astrology, the relationship between the two realms (both physically and spiritually) is key to Astrology.

The Mesopotamiams viewed both realms as complementary, depending upon one another. The earliest Astrological predictions were concerning Kings and affairs of the nation, or catasphrophies, which we now refer to as Mundane Astrology. None concerned personal birth charts. An early text, though, provides the first mention of a Zodiac and the first indication that it was divided mathematically into 12 regular signs. A tablet recording Venus setting in the sign of Pisces dates from 446 BC and the Babylonian diary for 464 BC used both zodical signs and fixed stars to coordinate stellar geography.

Astrology was to change, however, after the Persian invasion of Assyria. The emphasis moved from mass “Mundane” Astrology to the individual natal or birth charts. This new perspective was supplied by Zoroastrianism, who believed in a supreme God, Ahura Mazda, together with an immortal soul with a free choice of good and evil. The first known natal chart, from Babylon, dates from 410 BC, probably April 29th. While it uses zodical signs, there is no mention of degrees.

The mention of degrees, however, does occur in three tablets from 258-235 BC, which give zodical degrees for the Sun and all planets, except the moon.

The Druids, however, placed great emphasis on the moon and the Persian influence on the Druids is undeniable. The Dasturs of Zoroastrianism are very similar to the Celtic Druids. Astrologers of the ancient world were called Mage, or Magi and Julius Caesar applies this to the Druids. Unfortunately, records of Druid Astrology don’t occur until the 6th century, but at that time, the zodiac was very much preserved as it is today. There are some exceptions, such as Leo, being identified as a Hound. However, the majority of signs have been preserved as they were from the earliest writings.

Druids and Astrology

One clear night before dusk, as far away from light pollution as you can, go to a high place, either a hilltop or if you live in a flat area, travel away from the buildings and do not obscure your view by the trees. Observe as the sun sets in the West. What do you notice?

Take a pencil and paper and draw the pattern of the stars in the West as they appear. You may see a bright star appear soon after the Sun sets. If you look carefully through binoculars, you will see that this bright star may have a crescent phase, or be full, or any stage in between (just like the moon). This is not as star at all, but a planet. Named both the morning star and the evening or falling star, watch Venus is it descends. It will not stay around for long and notice that it disappears in the West (the same as all the planets).

You may also see a fainter star (usually below Venus). This is Mercury and like Venus, never stays long in the night sky and quickly descends.

You will notice that when other stars appear you may be lucky enough to draw them around Venus and Mercury. Concentrate on the Western horizon. The stars in the West are said to be in descent.

If you turn directly towards the East you will notice other constellations appear. Draw them. These stars are in ascent.

Lay on your back and dot out the patterns you see above you in the night sky. You will notice that slowly, the stars and constellations stay fixed in their positions and always move like the Sun from East to West. If you did this over a few nights, you would notice anomalies. These anomalies are the planets. It make take a long time to notice anomalies with Jupiter and Saturn. That is because they travel much slower through the constellations than planets that are nearer the Sun.

You may notice a red star, however, changing position. Some nights it will be further East in the constellation than the previous night as it travels through the zodiac. Other nights it may seem further West and move eccentrically (this is of course, the planet Mars that lies before the asteroid belt and Jupiter. This is what is known as retrograde movement. Of course, planets all go around the Sun in the same direction, but don’t forget that the Earth is a moving object too and planets travel at different speeds. So as the Earth also travels around the Sun and the zodiac, as we pass planets, or as they go towards the Sun in their orbit, their position is not fixed.

Astronomy and astrology can be taught in books, but to get a deep appreciation and awe look up at the night sky and observe. Personal experience and observation cannot be found in books. However, once you gain that awe you are ready to progress with a much deeper appreciation than any head knowledge can bring.

Before continuing, purchase a planisphere, or Atlas of the night sky. You will see the constellations you have marked out and be able to identify them. For thousands of years humankind have charted the skies in the same way and been filled with awe and wonder. We now know that everything in the solar system doesn’t revolve around the Earth, but the Sun. We also know that some of the stars we see are thousands of light years away and not a canopy around the Earth with pin pricks of light shining through holes.

However we live on the Earth, so the place where we live is our own Universe. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. So what we see is from our own personal viewpoint.

Druids as Astrologers

Do we really know that much about the Druids?

Historians generally recognise that a lot of the Roman writings that indicated Druids were cannibals, or performed human sacrifices was propaganda to try and bring land under Roman rule. It is the same as the parliamentary debates today. Lies are levelled at opposing parties to undermine their rule, with the soul aim of usurping and taking control. Don’t let the propaganda mislead you.

Though Pliny recognises the priestly functions of the Druids, he applies the name magus (indicating links with magicians of the East) to them. In Irish ecclesiastical literature drui is used as the translation of magus. Magi is used in Latin as the equivalent of druides. The Tuatha De Danaan learned Druidry from the four great master Druids. Thus in Ireland at there is clear evidence of the great magical power claimed by druids.

What is magic? Energy exists on many different levels. Magic is science that science cannot yet explain. If you brought someone from the 1700’s and showed them the technology of today that would be magic to them. The healing qualities of plants are now appreciated by scientists worldwide, but those women who lived in rural areas, who offered herbal cures and remedies were own time considered witches and during the witch trials were burnt at the stake.

Astrology is the same. It has universal links with religions all around the world and the earliest mentions go back to at least Babylonian times. The Bible is full of Astrology. Ezekiel’s description of wheels within wheels, could easily describe an ancient planisphere with extra wheels added for the planetary movements. The Magi were able to locate Jesus by following astrological signs in heaven. Interestingly, the Magi is also translated as Wise Men. The links between the Magi and those with the wisdom of the oak (the Druids) shows a Universal bond between Astrologers worldwide.

Stone circles such as those found at Stonehenge are aligned with the summer solstice or the moon at 15 degrees in Scorpio. Julius Caesar identified Druids with astrology. We are following in the footsteps of our ancestors by observing the same stars they did, combining their mythology that has passed onto us using their Gods to identify the planets. Astrology has been passed down through thousands of years. The Babylonian zodiac is not unlike the Western zodiac used today, so it is likely that a similar zodiac was used by the Druids.