On fields of knowledge

gobshites

I don’t want to get into any flame wars here, but I have to respond to an article by Lora O’Brien: What is the Difference between Druidism and Paganism? It’s a short piece, but it’s so wrong that I can’t even get annoyed about it.

In the 1800s CE, ‘Druid Revivalists’ began to practice… something they said was Druidism. These were British upper class dudes, for the most part; sometimes well meaning, but also incredibly ignorant about factual history by modern standards.

And some of them just plain made shit up, probably to inflate their own egos and reputation. Some of that shit is still being practiced as ‘ancient’ parts of festivals and seasonal celebrations for the tourists in Wales.

We’re looking at you, Iolo Morganwg (Edward Williams).

Just… Lora: stick to what you know. You’re great on the Irish stuff. I admire what you’re doing with your school. I enjoy reading your posts. I’m going to buy your book. But you have no idea what you’re talking about when it comes to Wales, and to Iolo Morganwg. If you want to be educated, well, I’ve already written a lot about him, and there’s a lot more to come, because the man was a genius, and a hugely important and influential figure in Welsh culture, and beyond. For what it’s worth: the National Eisteddfod of Wales, with the Gorsedd of Bards, and the Druidic rituals provided by Iolo, are not for tourists. They’re a critically important centrepiece of contemporary Welsh-language culture.

Sorry, Lora, but you’re simply not in the same league as Iolo Morganwg. Neither am I, of course; very few people are. But you don’t get to dismiss him like that, because he achieved, and contributed, far more to his people and his culture than you or I can dream of.

Image credits:

The Gobshites by Michael Femia on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons licence.

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