A Druid Glossary
Alban Arthan – the Druid festival of the Winter Solstice, loosely translated as ‘The Light of Arthur’.
Alban Eilir - the Druid festival of the Spring Equinox, loosely translated as ‘The Light of the Earth’.
Alban Elfed - the Druid festival of the Autumn Equinox, loosely translated as ‘The Light of Water’.
Alban Hefin – the Druid festival of the Summer Solstice, loosely translated as ‘The Light of the Shore’.
Awen (Welsh) – Inspiration, the gift or blessing of the gods generally, or the Goddess Ceridwen, Patroness of the Bards, specifically. Equivalent to Imbas (Irish).
Bard – in ancient times, a poet and storyteller who trained in a Bardic college. In modern times, one who sees their creativity as an innate spiritual ability, and who chooses to nurture that ability partly or wholly with Druidism.
Beltane/Bealteinne – the Druid festival dedicated to celebrating Spring and the union of God and Goddess. Meaning ‘The Good Fire’, Beltane celebrations usually include leaping over a bonfire. Celebrated around 1st May in the Northern Hemisphere, 1st October in the Southern.
Druid – in ancient times a philosopher, teacher, counsellor and magician, the word probably meaning ‘A Forest Sage’ or ‘Strong Seer’. In modern times, one who follows Druidry as their chosen spiritual path, or who has entered the Druid level of training in a Druid Order.
DruidCraft – a type of spiritual practice that combines Druidry with the ‘craft’ of Wicca, or when written with a small ‘c’ can refer to the ‘craft’ of Druidry.
Eisteddfod (plural Eisteddfodau) – A Bardic festival and competition of the performing arts, from the Welsh, meaning ‘a session or assembly’. Usually opened with a Druid ceremony.
Equinox – the times in Spring and Autumn when day and night are of equal duration. They represent times of balance and also turning points of the year as the seasons change, and are celebrated in Druidry with ceremonies.
Fferyllt – Druid alchemists, said to have lived in Snowdonia, Wales.
Gorsedd (plural Gorseddau) – A term used in Welsh Druidry to describe an Assembly or group of Druids. The term means literally 'high seat', and originally referred to prehistoric sacred mounds, which were used as places of assembly for the inauguration of kings, law-giving, and festival celebration. A Druid Gorsedd usually opens an Eisteddfod.
Imbolc/Oimelc – the Druid festival of the Goddess, particularly Brighid, celebrated around 1st February in the Northern Hemisphere, 1st August in the Southern.
Inner World – Our personal inner world that exists in our imagination or psyche that can sometimes connect us to an objective, transpersonal Otherworld.
Lughnasadh/Lammas – the Druid festival of the Harvest, celebrated around 1st August in the Northern Hemisphere, 1st February in the Southern.
Nwyfre – the Druid term for ‘Life-force’, probably derived from an ancient Celtic word ‘Naomh’ – firmament.
Otherworld – The world or reality that exists in parallel with the physical/everyday world, that we visit sometimes in dreams or meditation, and that Druids believe we travel to on the death of the physical body. Used synonymously with the term ‘Spiritworld’.
Ovate – in ancient times a prophet, seer, healer and diviner. In modern times, one who studies or practices herbalism, healing and divination within a Druidic context, or who has entered the Ovate level of training within a Druid Order.
Revival Druidry or ‘The Revival Period’ – the time during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries when Druidism was rediscovered and reinvented.
Samhuinn/Samhain – the Druid festival of the Ancestors – a time for honouring those who have died, celebrated around 1st November in the Northern Hemisphere, 1st May in the Southern.
Solstice – the time in Summer when the day is longest, and in Winter when the day is shortest. They represent times of powerful celestial and terrestrial influence, and are celebrated in Druidry with ceremonies.
Spiritworld – The world or reality that exists in parallel with the physical/everyday world, that we visit sometimes in dreams or meditation, and that Druids believe we travel to on the death of the physical body. Used synonymously with the term ‘Otherworld’.
Summerlands/The Blessed Isles/Hy Breasil – terms used in Druidry for the realm that exists in the Otherworld to which we travel on the death of the physical body.