With the Druids there are four essential terms that must be understood if one hopes to truly make a connection with the historical druid ancestors. These terms have been passed down from antiquity some of them perhaps having their linguistic origins there. As I said, I disagree with how many modern druids interpret these concepts. This is only to be expected for three reasons. The first is the one mentioned earlier, historical data, the second is because I am a Christian and that tends to color every aspect of my life as it should lol, and the third is because I what I have experienced and been taught of the spiritual realms personally. So I have redefined these terms to be more correct and in keeping with the realms of Spirit as I have encountered and interacted with them.
The first term is the term ANNWN pronounced AH-NOON. Despite modern popular belief Annwn in the stories is not the Celtic underworld, but rather the Celtic other world. We can from certain stories speculate very reasonably, that the druids of ancient times did believe in a type of dark underworld, however it is unclear if any name was given to this realm other than to call it an underworld or a dark world. There are historical sources that seem to suggest that one possible name for the underworld is antumnos or ande-dubnos which literally means underworld. In modern Neo-Druidic, thought these terms all become one in the same. I think this assumes a great deal we don’t have a right to assume and seems to mix too much of the Norse cultural outlook with the Irish, and Welsh cultures. Dark in this case doesn’t mean evil. It didn’t refer to spiritual darkness or evil, but rather literal darkness. It was a realm where both good and bad spirits dwelled. Some of the spirits were probably thought to be the gods of chaos and primality. They may have believed many of these spirits to in fact be bad nor negative in some way. However there were also primal ancient beings, who were powerful and wise teachers to be found in underworld journeys. It is possible that they believed a soul after dying would take a brief respite in the underworld before waiting to be reborn or reincarnated but this is unclear. They could have just as easily believed that the soul would transition from form to form immediately upon departing a body; this is anyone’s guess. We know from the myths, the druids believed that a soul might become anything and everything, some may have believed however that once it reached the state of being human it would never become anything less than, it would only stay the same until lessons were learned or it would go on to become more. This is how the Indo-European concept of reincarnation would differ from the eastern Hindu ideas. However it is also possible that some believed like the Hindu’s that immoral behavior in life would lead to punishment by reverting to a less evolved form of some sort. We have no real way of Knowing anything past that they did believe in reincarnation by all accounts and that a soul started out as some form of life that was less conscious that human beings. One historical song speaks of a soul starting out as a plant, then entering a series of transformations as animals of different kinds, until finally becoming a man. Having said all of this, Annwn was not this underworld but a parallel world that was an in-between realm; between the realm of spirit and the realm of the physical world. Today in many traditions Annwn has become synonymous with the concepts of Avalon, Tir Non Og, and in Christian terms The Veil; a wonderful mysterious place often seen as a holy island where fantastic things happened and where fairies dwelled; a realm of spiritual priests and priestesses. Avalon is what can be understood as the Holiest point in the veil between the worlds. This veil permeates through and is superimposed over all worlds. So Annwn becomes then, the bridge that travels through all places, realms, realities, and plains. In my tradition this is where Angels, Elementals (Fairies), and Totem animals live. It is also then the realm of The Guf or the hall of souls from the Hebrew tradition, where a soul waits to be born into the world, or reborn into the world as the case may be. It is here then that souls which leave this world (and go to the light of heaven briefly for a life review or judgment) goes before being reincarnated or allowed to stay permanently in Gwenfydd or Heaven.
(My Awen Symbol)
The single spiral represents the feminine energies, the mysteries, entrance into the otherworld, and also the sun. So the triple spiral could be seen as a triple solar symbol which would sometimes but not always be viewed as a masculine symbol. However in my tradition the triskili is more in-tune with the feminine energies and mysteries while the Triscal is more in keeping with the masculine energies.
Unlike other triple moon symbols or full moon symbols, the triple crescent is to me a very masculine symbol. It represents the warrior or father aspect of a man. Sometimes it is seen with stag tines on top and then it becomes the crest of the white stag; a symbol for both royal and spiritual warriors. It is a great symbol for male “light-workers” to use. It represents the male mysteries.