Just an excuse for a bit of fun
Rethinking My Beliefs
As readers know I am not at all a religious person. The belief system I find closest to my view of life is Druidism. Now Druids have suffered a lot from the negative spin put on their role in history by early Christian public relations consultants. There is no evidence they sacrificed virgins, put people in wicker men or did unspeakable things to goats – and anyway so long as the goats did not mind, where is the problem?
The Druids and their successors the Celtic Christians were not big on God, not in the least Jesusy (Jesus, like Madonns had to reinvent himself a couple of times before he really took off – something to do with virgins for them both I think.) The things Druids prized above all were learning and creativity. Apart from that all you had to do was live in harmony with nature. This is the philosophy I found appealing.
Now, after coming across a very informative website yesterday, I find I may have been wrong about the Druids and will have to rethink my position. To my absolute horror I learned that the Druids invented THE MULLET, the hairstyle so beloved of British soccer stars and American truck drivers (and Billy Ray Cyrus.)
The Celtic church was less centralised than the Roman church, being somewhat more monastic than heirarchical, and also used a different way of calculating the date of Easter. Some of these monasteries were headed by women, including Abbes Hilda of Whitby who hosted the Council of Whitby, where it was decided to join with the Roman church and the rest of Europe.
There is debate among historians as to how distinct the Celtic church was from other forms of Christianity of its time, but there are some unique elements nonetheless. One unique feature of the Celtic church was the cut of the tonsure, which was bald in the front and long in the back, unlike the Benedictine tonsure, which is short all around with a bald spot in the centre. The Celtic Christian art of illuminated manuscripts, such as the beautiful Book of Kells, is another uniquely Celtic contribution to Christianity. Its symbol is the Celtic Cross, a cross with a circle around its centre.
A good site to read on Druid beliefs
But if you just want the bit about the mullet, go to page 5 and read the paragraph on Celtic Christianity (which contains some shocking revelations for Christians) Open minded people who have only ever been aware of the Christian calumnies against the European pagan beliefs will be surprised at hom much Christianity stole from the beliefs and learning of the Druids.