In his debut novel, The Celtic Conspiracy, Thore D. Hansen weaves a thrilling tale of international intrigue, religious oppression, and treasure-hunting, all set against the backdrop of Celtic history. Druids—a people who are often mentioned but seldom understood—play an important role in the novel's plot. So we asked its author, an avid student of religious history, to help us separate Druid fact from Druid fiction.
Statement: All Celtics who followed the Druidic belief system were Druids. Fiction. Druids were members of the priestly class in Celtic culture, and they played many roles in society. They were early scientists as well as lawyers, healers, warriors, artists, alchemists, and soothsayers.
The idea of "sin" is unknown in Druidic thought. Fact. Druids don't have objective standards of value or absolute truth.
Druids had naturopathic treatments for many modern ailments, including cancer. Fact-ish. Druidic knowledge of medicinal herbs was extensive, but we don't know exactly what they could and couldn't treat reliably.
Druids were part of ancient Roman society. Fact. Druids worked as teachers for rich Roman families. By A.D. 330, most Druids had been forced to convert to Christianity or had escaped to Britain.
Druidic texts have been found in archeological sites across Europe and Asia. Fact. Although it is important to note that Druids used letters only for day-to-day correspondence and record-keeping (e.g., court decisions). It was forbidden to write down anything about the Druidic belief system.
Druidism is the official state religion of Ireland. Fiction. But since 2010, Druidism has been a recognized state religion in the United Kingdom.
The modern Supreme Court has ruled on historical crimes against Druids. Fiction. This is true only in The Celtic Conspiracy, in which the Supreme Court hears a case regarding the modern-day Catholic Church and crimes committed against Druids by the Roman Empire and early Christians.