Practices of the Druids - Fact & Fiction
It has to be noted that from the Roman invasion of Gaul and its subsequent occupation for over a century, Druidism bore no real comparison to what was being practiced in Britain. Britain was still acting independently and as such the Druids had lost connection with those in Gaul who were now mixing or completely changing to a Roman based religion, believing in Roman Gods and practicing Roman traditions, becoming completely polytheistic.
The Gaulish Druids as can be seen from early Roman writings were not indicative of the British Druids who's religion had not been destroyed by foreign rule. In Gaul Druidism was ultimately outlawed and destroyed by the Roman Emperor Tiberius or Claudius depending on which historic author you read. Their practices were barbaric according to reports far from Druids of Britain where it all began.
Many people claim stone circles especially Stonehenge are Druidic centres of worship but this is a false claim by the neo-Druidic revival in the 17th Century. We have never claimed these falsehoods and now archeology has shown the stone circles to predate Druids by at least 2000 years.
Druids would not erect such harmful structures on the world, neither would they clear woodland for such a purpose. Druids venerate the Oak tree in particular, but all trees help life on earth and so would not be cut down without it being used for a noble or worthy cause, in the making of shelters for example.
An absence of stone temples in Britain which were evident in Gaul, shows that British Druids survived the Roman invasion without any loss of its religious doctrine. It was neo-Druids that later formed fake stone circles and claimed rights to ancient ones in error. This is the reason nothing architecturally exists in Britain, Druids used natural spaces, clearings and groves.
The Druids promoted a life in harmony with nature and didn't scar it with man's feeble attempts to copy what nature has perfected. Druids used groves and natural clearings in forests to worship in.
Likewise Druids never performed human sacrifices in Britain, they protected the life of all living creatures, neither did they take part in battles but were instrumental in keeping the internal peace of Britain through knowledge and debate, by judging rightly the opposition of peoples, being the healers and rulers through wisdom not might, which is why when the Romans eventually tried to destroy the Druids after years of persecution they were met with people who did not fight back with weapons.
The Druids taught to abstain from wrong doing and practice courage.