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The Veil Of Isis: Or, Mysteries Of The Druids

by William Winwood Reade

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Book Description
The Veil of Isis, Or, Mysteries of The Druids is a fascinating and absorbing book that offers fresh and stimulating insights. W. Winwood Reade's impressive work is a significant contribution to the reconstruction of Celtic history; a readable, balanced and valuable history and a landmark in the neglected terrain of the ancient Druids. This splendid study masterfully reconstructs the great history, myths and theology of the ancient Druids and illuminates the early religions that spawned them. The book begins with the ancient tales of Osiris and Isis, and what follows is pure enchantment as you enter the long-suppressed mysteries of the Druids.

Through careful and thorough exploration of the rich remnants and writings of Britain's ancient people, Reade provides a startling account of these political and religious rites forever surrounded by aura and fantasy. Translating mythic and mystical experience into elegant, poetic language, Reade reconstructs the development and eventual decline of this secret society.

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Druids and Celtic pre-history are examined and revealed in this marvelous blend of history, scholarship and conjecture.

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Kessinger Publishing reprints over 1,500 similar titles all available through Amazon.com.

Excerpted from The Veil of Isis or Mysteries of the Druids [E-BOOK: MICROSOFT READER] by W. Winwood Reade. Copyright © 2001. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
Distinct from these southern tribes, were the inhabitants of the Cassiterides, who wore long black garments, and beards falling on each side of their mouths like wings, and who are described by Pliny as “carrying staves with three serpents curling round like Furies in a tragedy.”

It is probable that the nudity of the northern nations did not proceed from mere barbarous ignorance. We know that savages are first induced to wear clothing, not from shame, but from vanity; and it was this passion which restrained them from wearing the skins of beasts, or the gaudy clothes of their civilized neighbors.

For it was their custom to adorn their bodies with various figures by a tedious and painful process. At an early age, the outlines of animals were impressed with a pointed instrument into the skin; a strong infusion of woad, (a Gallic herb from which a blue dye was extracted) was rubbed into the punctures, and the figures expanding with the growth of the body retained their original appearance. Like the South-Sea Islanders they esteemed that to be a decoration which we consider a disfigurement, and these tatooings (which were used by the Thracicans and by the ancient inhabitants of Constantinople, and which were forbidden by Moses, Levit. xix. 28.) were only displayed by Southern races as a kind of war-paint.

Like the Gauls, who endeavored to make their bright red hair rough and bristly not for ornament, but as a terror to their enemies, these Britons on the day of battle flung off their clothes, and with swords girded to their naked sides, and spear in hand, marched with joyful cries against their enemies.

Also upon certain festivals they, with their wives and children, daubed themselves from head to foot with the blue dye of the woad and danced in circles bowing to the altar.

But the Picts, or painted men, as the Romans named them, colored themselves with the juice of green grass.

Hunting was their favorite exercise and sport, and Britain which was then filled with vast swamps and forests afforded them a variety of game.

The elephant and the rhinoceros, the moose-deer, the tiger and other beasts now only known in Eastern climes, and mammoth creatures that have since disappeared from the face of the earth made the ground tremble beneath their stately tread. The brown bear preyed upon their cattle, and slept in the hollow oaks which they revered. The hyenas yelped by night, and prowled round the fold of the shepherd. The beaver fished in their streams, and built its earthen towns upon their banks. And hundreds of wolves, united by the keen frosts of winter, gathered round the rude habitations of men and howled from fierce hunger, rolling their horrible green eyes and gnashing their white teeth.

Their seas abounded with fish, but since they held water sacred they would not injure its inhabitants for they believed them to be spirits.



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