What exactly is a “Druid?”

The exact origin of the word “Druid” is unclear, but most scholars speculate that it comes from the Irish-Gaelic word doire, meaning “oak tree.” In Celtic lore the oak is also a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. There is also the Irish word draoidh, meaning “magician” or “sorcerer.”

If we combine the meanings of these two words, we get a picture of the Druids being people of great wisdom who were also magicians or sorcerers. Druids were and are concerned with the natural world and its powers and spirits. They considered trees to be sacred, and the king of trees, the oak, was the most sacred of all. So a Druid’s power derives from the natural world.

If you spend much time reading about the myths and legends of ancient Ireland and Scotland, you will also recognize a firm belief in spirits of nature, spirits of the land, and spirits of the Otherworld. Druids in these legends and myths were quite adept at passing between the worlds and had extensive rites and rituals for doing so.

In other words, Druids were and are the shamans of the Celtic world.

This book is our effort to create a guide for those seeking a basic understanding of the Way of the Druid. It is written for those new to Paganism and nature-centered spirituality, but those who have been studying the path for quite a while may also find much that is useful here.

The Black Mountain Druid Order is a Druid Order with an emphasis on shamanic practices. Those of you who follow a Druid path may find much that looks familiar, but also much that may not be so familiar unless you have also studied shamanism. Our Order’s roots in Druidry are evident, but as we continued to learn and grow we expanded beyond the boundaries of modern Druidry as usually practiced and into the world of Celtic shamanism.


The significance of the number three resonates throughout Celtic forms of spirituality. There are triple Gods and triple Goddesses, and threefold paths of many kinds. One way that this obsession with threes manifests in the Black Mountain Druid Order is through the First Triad. This First Triad is the threefold path that makes up the Way of the Druid. The First Triad consists of the Earth Path, Sun Path, and Moon Path. The Earth Path deals with our relationship to the Earth, the Sun Path deals with our relationship to spirit and to the divine, and the Moon Path deals with our relationship to ourselves.

Earth Path:
Ogham, Animal Wisdom, Deep Ecology

Did you know that the Black Mountain Druid Order offers a FREE course in Foundational Druidry as practiced by our Order?
Click here to learn more.