Friday, September 27, 2013

Truth and Sacrifice

This is an excerpt from a chapter on Sacrifice in my book, The Power of Truth, the second book in my Ogham Keys to Wisdom series and classes. The following pages attempt to investigate the why of human sacrifice rather than dwelling on the physical evidence or the morality of the practice. Other works are referencd that discuss these approaches to the subject more fully. My intent here is to give the student and the researcher a feel for what is happening or being attempted on a spiritual or magical basis.

In the first book of this series, Opening the Pathways, the idea that everything in creation came about from the body of an original ‘Cosmic Man’ was introduced (the Seven Part Adam; Vedic creation tales and even the Norse Ymir). There is no reason to think that the Druids and Celts held a different belief. In fact, the many tales and placename stories of Irish tradition identify parts of the landscape as having been parts of a deity’s body or even as being people who have been turned to stone. Other parts of the land have been sculpted by heroic or god-like deeds (such as the tops of mountains having been sheared off by Fergus’ using his sword Caldebolg. The idea of sacrifice forming or creating these parts of the universe, a being or an object being a proper offering was also presented. The Druids were pictured as claiming that they had created the world and in a sense, this is very true. Ritual sacrifice is how everything in this world or the next is renewed through spiritual exchange. The food of the gods becomes the food of the people. The worship of the people is the spiritual food of the gods. The parts of our being have a corresponding quality in the DĂșile of creation.  One part equates and feeds the others whether in a person or a cosmic world.

The idea of sacrifice pleasing the gods is one that the Irish had no problem understanding when Christianity was first presented to them. They had long been offering sacrifices to their traditional, native deities. Human sacrifice was possibly also seen in a ritual and religious context. What happens in these rituals and how the power of truth is reinforced through ritual action and sacrifice was the central point of a class I once taught on the subject[i]. An edited version of the class log and notes follows.

[i] Compuserve Celtic Section of the NewAge Forum, circa 1993.


The matter of human sacrifice by the Celts and the Druids is a topic that creates, at once, a sense of horror and wonder for us in this modern age.   In our present age, separated from the phenomena of death as we are, even animal sacrifice shocks our senses.  The much more controversial subject of human sacrifice is almost beyond our comprehension.  We should endeavor to look beyond our immediate "surface reactions" to this sensitive topic if we wish to understand why and what was done b our ancestors.  As we delve a little deeper into the primal Celtic soul and psyche, perhaps our study will allow us to understand why such sacrifices occurred. 

We shall seek understanding of this powerful and terrible practice to understand it and how this practice was replaced by less drastic symbolic sacrifices and practices. Almost every religion n the world has travelled this road in its rituals and developing symbols. The Druid way leads in this matter, rather than being a throw-back or repressive example of this philosophy. Understanding how and what comes into play during sacrificial actions and worship are the heights of knowledge in religion and philosophy.

In today's Celtic workshop, we shall attempt to cover the available evidence for such acts of sacrifice among the Celts and Druids.  We shall also attempt to classify the many types of such sacrifices, their methods and their means, as well as their meanings.   

We have evidence that the Celts and Druids performed human sacrifices.  Today's Celtic workshop will allow us all to discuss this sensitive topic interactively.  Before we start, I thought I would list the available sources that I've studied and considered in preparing for this workshop: 

·         The Writings of the Greeks and Romans.

·         The Writings of the Christian Scribes.

·         The Continued Existence of Folk Customs.

·         Similar Practices among Other Cultures.

·         Archaeological Evidence.

·         Psychic and Mystical Evidence 

What was the purpose of human sacrifice? 

In some religions, sacrifice is an act performed to influence the gods.  In others, it is a symbolic return to the gods of their blessings.  In still others, it is a freeing of life-force to empower Magical workings.  Sometimes, the giving of life in ritual demonstrates belief in deity.  Other times it is done to redeem the spiritual cost of mundane actions done in this world.  This is done by sending a tribal member to the Otherworld.  The sacrificial victim then becomes the representative of the people performing the sacrifice.  Also, custom/tradition might dictate that victims are to be sacrificed in response to certain events (such as: funerals, droughts, bad harvests, rain, volcanoes, auguries, battles, plagues, comets, meteors, astrological signs, building foundations, earthquakes, etc.).  So far we have defined the following reasons for human sacrifice:

·         Influence Deity

·         Return of Blessings

·         Empower Magic

·         Demonstrate Belief

·         Payment for Mundane Aid

·         Otherworldly Advocate

·         Custom/Tradition 

I'm sure there are other reasons that humans were sacrificed but they escape me for now.  I thank the Workshop for all of their inputs particularly.  :) My "gut feeling" is that the Celts and Druids engaged in human sacrifice for just about all of the above reasons.  

Who was sacrificed?  I suppose this varied, based upon the need.  The list of sacrificial victims goes from kings to criminals, from priests to babies, from prisoners of war to witches.  Just about anyone could have been sacrificed at any time for what was thought to be a sufficiently good reason. 

 Kings were sacrificed for the biggest Magics.  This included better weather, victory in war, improving the harvest and protecting the tribes.  Children and babies were also sacrificed for improving the crops as well as for dedicating buildings and sacred sites.  Prisoners (whether criminals or war captives) were the normally preferred sacrifice for most mundane reasons.  This was a matter of practicality as well as religion.  The tribe could not afford to house and feed large numbers of prisoners.  Letting them go, meant they would return to fight and destroy another day.  Knowing you would be sacrificed by your enemies tended to dampen one's enthusiasm for making war in the first place.  Using prisoners for sacrifice was the easiest way to generate a lot of energy for "Blood Magic" quickly.  This was simply a case of turning the enemy's Power back upon them. 

 In the next part of my presentation, I will give the details (archaeological, literary, historical and Magical) that show how, why, where and when such sacrifices were done by the Celts and the Druids.  For those interested in reading more about Celtic/Druidic sacrifices, I'd recommend: 

·         "The Life and Death of a Druid Prince" by Ann Ross and Don Robbins.

·         "Druids, Magicians of the West",

·         "Celtic Lore" and "Celtic Mythology" by Ward Rutherford. 

·         "The Coming of the King" (F) by Count Nicolai Tolstoy.  

·         "The Quest for Merlin" by Count Nicolai Tolstoy.  

·         "Lammas Night" (F) by Katherine Kurtz.  

·         "Druids" by Stuart Piggott.  

·         "Bard" (F) and "Druids" (F) by Morgan Llewellyn.  

·         "Myths and Symbols of Pagan Europe" by H.R.  Ellis Davidson.  

·         "The Religion of the Ancient Celts" by J.A.  MacCulloch 

·         "The Encyclopedia of Celtic Wisdom" by Caitlin and John Matthews.  

·         "The Celtic Druids' Year" by John King, 

·         "Mythic Ireland" by Michael Dames. 

·         "Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend" by Miranda Green. 

·         "Earth Memory" by Paul Devereux.  

 (F) above stands for historical fiction.  

Many other excellent works exist on the Celts as well as the subject of sacrifice and blood Magic, but these are the sources I've reviewed preparing for this workshop. 

Adam of Bremen refers to a sacrifice of animals and men held every ninth year at Uppsala in Sweden (I'm including examples from the Norse as well as the Celtic sacrificial practices.):

"It is the custom moreover every nine years for a common festival of all the provinces of Sweden to be held at Uppsala.  Kings and commoners one and all send their gifts to Uppsala, and what is more cruel than any punishment, even those who have accepted Christianity have to buy immunity from these ceremonies.  the sacrifice is as follows: of every living creature they offer nine head, and with the blood of those it is the custom to placate the gods, but the bodies are hanged in a grove which is near the temple; so holy is that grove to the heathens that each tree in it is presumed to be divine by reason of the victim's death and putrefaction.  There also dogs and horses hang along with men.  One of the Christians told me that he had seen seventy-two bodies of various kinds hanging there, but the incantations which are usually sung at this kind of sacrifice are various and disgraceful, and so we had better say nothing about them."

It's typical that opposing sides in a conflict would attempt to pervert the most sacred practice of the opponent.  A willing sacrifice for the clan is a noble deed, whereas, an involuntary sacrifice or execution is just the opposite.  Accounts by Strabo and Julius Caesar also mention the "Wicker Man" (large figures of wickerwork into which victims were placed to be burned).  Strabo describes such a construction as "...  a colossus of straw and wood".  He goes on to say that cattle, wild animals of various kinds and human victims were thrown into these.  The ashes were thought to aid the growth of crops.  Caesar described them as structures "...with limbs woven out of twigs, filled with living men and set on fire so that the victims perished in a sheet of flame'."

In his 'Gallic War, Julius Caesar describes offerings made by Celts in Gaul to a god he called Mars:

"...  when they have determined on a decisive battle, they dedicate as a rule whatever spoil they may take.  After a victory they sacrifice such living things as they have taken, and all the other effects they gather into one place.  In many states heaps of such objects are to be seen piled up in hallowed spots, and it has not often happened that a man, in defiance of religious scruple, has dared to conceal such spoils in his house or to remove them from their place, and the most grievous punishment, with torture, is ordained for such an offence.  (Loeb translation)."

In "Ynglinga Saga", Snorri tells us about a Swedish ceremonial sacrifice of their king Domaldi:

"The first year [of the famine] they sacrificed oxen, and there was no improvement in the harvest.  The next autumn they sacrificed men, but the harvest was as before or even worse.  and the third autumn many Swedes came to Uppsala when the sacrifice was to take place.  the chiefs took counsel then, and decided unanin my opinionusly that the famine must be due to their king Domaldi, and that they must sacrifice him for a good season and redden the altars with his blood, and this they did."

Posidonius tells us about the Celtic custom of taking heads:

"They cut off the heads of enemies slain in battle and attach them to the necks of their horses.  The blood-stained spoils they hand over to their attendants and carry off as booty, while taking part in a triumphal march and singing a song of victory; and they nail up these first fruits upon their houses, just as do those who lay low wild animals in certain kinds of hunting.  They embalm in cedar-oil the heads of the most distinguished enemies and preserve them carefully in a chest."

According to Strabo, the Cimbri (a Celtic tribe) were said to have used prisoners, taken during battle, for divinations within ritual.  The prisoners would be consecrated for sacrifice, then either impaled on stakes or hung above enormous bronze bowls. Their priestesses would climb ladders to cut the throats of the victims, collecting the flow of blood within the waiting bronze bowls below. Based upon how the blood flowed into the bowl, the grey-haired, white-robed women could determine what the outcome of the battle would be. Other victims were disemboweled for the purposes of augury. This blood was also said to be used to "drench their altars".

There are also historical references to sacrifice in Irish sources. Children were said to have been sacrificed to the idol called Crom Cruach according to the "Dindshenchas": (This is reminiscent of the Phoenician/Carthagean practice). This practice was said to have started with the Irish king Tigernmas about 1000 BCE:

"For him ingloriously they slew their wretched firstborn with much weeping and distress, to pour out their blood round the Bent One of the Hill.  Milk and corn they used to ask of him speedily in return for a third of their whole progeny; great was the horror and outcry about him."

In another story, Conn the Hundred-Fighter, had become enamored of a faerie woman to the extent that the Land itself was suffering.  The people were without milk and corn for a year. The Druids consulted their science and their wisdom to determine how the blight should be ended.  The Druids determined that the son of a sinless couple should be found and brought to Tara and slain.  His blood had to be mingled with the soil of Tara to return blessings to the Land. 

Conn himself went in quest of this child and found him in the household of Daire Degamra from the Land of Wonders and Rigu Rosclethan from the Land of Promise.  The child's name was Segda Saerlabraid and even though his father would not give him up, he chose to willingly go with Conn, King of Ireland. 

When the Druids saw the boy their counsel was to slay him and then to mingle his blood with the earth of Ireland so that the blight could be lifted and its prosperity returned.  Conn and his son Art as well as Finn stood together against the Druids and the clamoring of the men of Ireland, protecting the boy.  The boy himself then asked that he should be put to death if it was for such a noble purpose and to if it was to save such a noble land as Ireland. 

Just as this deed was about to be done, a mysterious woman appeared leading a cow which was also carrying two bags, one each on either of its sides.  When the Druids themselves could not determine the mystery of the woman and her cow, or even the bags themselves, she was then asked to explain.  She said that the single cow before them had come to save the innocent youth and to rescue the prosperity of Ireland. It was itself to be slain in his place and after this deed was done, her blood was to be mixed with the earth. 

After the cow had been slain and her blood scattered and mixed with the earth of Tara, then the two bags were opened to reveal their mysteries.  One bag was found to contain a single bird with one leg only, while the other bag held a similar bird, but this one having twelve legs instead of two or one.  When the two birds were released they immediately flew into the air and began to fight.  Amazingly, it was the one legged bird that prevailed and not the bird of twelve legs as had been expected.

The Druids could not determine the meaning of this conflict and once again the woman was consulted by all.  She then read the signs, stating that it was the Druids that should be hanged and that the boy should be spared. Everyone agreed that this must be a true saying, since the Druids had failed in their attempts to read the mysteries. The Druids must then be the bird with twelve legs and the boy may have been represented by the victorious bird with only one leg. And so it was that the young man was not put to death. 

The woman then further prophesied that Ireland itself would be without one third of its produce until Conn could put away his faerie woman, Becuma Cneisgel. The woman then left, taking Segda with her, while refusing all payments, jewels and treasures that were offered. This is how Segda Saerlabraid was saved from the blades of the Druids and was not sacrificed for Conn's folly of the faerie lover.

Now that we have listed some of the ancient comments about human sacrifice by the Celts, along with a few modern ones.  Let's see what a shamanic source has to say about life-force as well as sacrifice:

The nature of power as life-force: why is it important?  Not hard to say, without life-force (which is also known as "power") spirit cannot manifest (nor hold a manifestation) within the physical realm.  The smaller the life-force the less spirit is able to manifest.  The greater the life-force the more Spirit is able to manifest itself and its Will on the earth plane.  Looking at it in a purely physical human example - a 300 lb body builder can do more work than a sickly 98 lb weakling.  They can work "bigger".  They manifest life "larger" than someone who is physically weak (for whatever reason). 

When the body can no longer produce, channel, & contain life-force we say it "dies".  The only difference between a body which is "dead" and one which is "alive" is the amount of life-force in each of them.  When a body looses so much life-force that it can no longer maintain/contain the physical manifestation of Spirit, then the spirit MUST leave that body.  In order to manifest spirit on the physical plane you need 3 things:

A physical container of some kind

This can be a human body, a rock or crystal, a drum or a rattle, an animal, a plant or any similar device.  Normally these are "natural" items i.e., not plastic (although I suppose that something synthetic technically could be used...  I don't think it would really work all that well as there is no natural resonance within it that could maintain the force...  kind of like running power into a battery that just wont hold the charge). 


 Once you have the container it must be empowered with sufficient life-force to enable a spirit to "live" within it.  Otherwise it's just an empty shell (whether it's a still-born baby or a "pretty crystal" that's use resides in an amethyst crystal wand or deer horn knife that you use in ceremony.  They are essentially the same.  Power dispersed = energy (static, direct, alternating, auric, etc.) Power condensed = physical manifestation (anything from a brick wall to a brain tumor).  Likewise power which is "de-condensed" will "un-manifest" - this is the way that a shaman would cure a tumor, for instance.  He would pull the power out of the tumor until the physical manifestation just disappears as well. 


There is no manifestation of any kind anywhere without the condensing of power into physical matter.  This is done through a focusing of the will. One of the basic "physical laws" of power is that it will flow from a greater concentration to a lesser concentration.  The flows of power should be channeled to flow under control and to be contained within the desired boundaries. On a personal level, this is important to know as we come into contact with beings of power (incarnate humans and discarnate who-knows-whats alike).  If we have more power than those around us they will be drawn to us seeking our power like moths that are attracted to a flame. This can be distracting and counter-productive to our own intentions. We must be careful not to carelessly attract them to us (or allow our personal power to flow away from our own workings).  On the other hand, if they are more powerful than we are, then we must be careful to shield ourselves to ensure that our personal power does not flow from us to them without our conscious intent or permission.  It is vital to be able to "hold your power".  Here are several experiences/examples of empowering bodies for magical workings to illustrate how this all works:

It is said by some shamans, that there are spirits in other realms who wish to come to this plane of existence.  One of these realms is that of "crystal people".  These are certain spirits which resonate particularly well with crystals and who very much want to come to the earth plane.  In exchange for assistance in manifesting in this realm they will perform certain "services" for the person who makes this possible.  Some of these might include protecting the keeper of the crystal in which they live, giving them the ability to discern truthfulness from falsehood, the ability to journey to a certain realm or plane more easily.  The shaman going to the other plane to negotiate the arrangement will find out what the entity/spirit is capable of doing for him.  He will then find out what the spirit needs in return (must be empowered daily, kept in salt water when not being used, smudged with cedar once a full moon, whatever, etc.).  If the service offered and the price asked are agreeable to both parties the shaman extends a crystal which he has cleared/cleaned and empowered and the entity enters the crystal and is brought back to this realm when the shaman returns from his journey to the land of the crystal people.  Had the crystal not contained enough power to "hold" the spirit within it then the crystal spirit could not have manifested life on this plane.  If the crystal becomes disempowered then the entity within it will literally "die".  It is a great responsibility.  Rather like having a physically dependent child to care for who must be fed, exercised, and companioned regularly or they cannot live. 

Another use of empowered/enlivened objects for shamans and medicine people is to use an arrow or weapon of some kind either for protection or as a form of hunting medicine (in the Native American or tribal sense).  I have seen a spirit caught and placed within an arrow.  The shaman then used that arrow by directing the spirit in the arrow to "guard his back" or "assist him in bringing down game to feed his family."  This focused intention and empowerment then becomes the entity's "prime directive" until it is released, the directive is changed, or the physical body loses its power and the entity/spirit slips free from it. 

Power is something that must be continually (or at least regularly) supplied.  It's like supplying your body with fuel so that it can continue to live.  You can't eat once or twice a month and still expect to live...  let alone do any kind of work, play, or activity (like magic maybe ) if it's has no fuel to run on.  It's like expecting a car to run the Indy 500 with no fuel in the tank....  just doesn't work.   
Patricia : I don't know of a reading resource to direct you to.  The experience came from working with a man who was shaman who took several of us on the journey there and back.  Do you have a specific question about them? They are spirits who exist in a different plane from us who are very interested in manifesting here on the earth plane. My perception of them was that they are rather small in size, non humanoid, and the realm is not anything that I have a physical earth correspondence for.  it was rather light, sparkly and not well focused (could have been my own lack of ability to see on that plane) NO.  It is a journey through specific landscape and not so much of an "inner journey"

OK we are covering a lot of ground today....  so bear with me....we will eventually get to Lindow Man and his threefold death. First, I wanted to talk more about the principals of life-force, energy and sacrifice.  and How that is all directed.

Assuming a willing sacrifice exists (and religions have been founded on just that basis), the person to be sacrificed should build as much power within himself as possible prior to the actual sacrifice and he should practice "loading up" on power and releasing it beforehand.  He must "stretch" himself in his ability to hold more and more power every day so that he can hold the maximum amount of power possible for the sacrifice. 

Other people can assist with this by "pouring" power into him.  Be very careful not to pour too quickly nor provide so much that his power envelope is stretched to the point where it would develop "holes".  The group should stand in a circle and build the power by whatever means they choose, and then the head of the circle should funnel the power through him to the sacrifice through a golden power conduit/cord into the third chakras or from the leader's hands into the third chakra of the sacrifice.  This should be practiced for some time before the day of the actual sacrifice to stretch and strengthen the sacrifice's power carrying "muscles", as it were. 

When "fully loaded" the sacrifice's body should feel as light as a feather to him...  almost as though it's not there it is so easy to carry.  When he feels that he is almost about to "float away" or when his envelope has gotten thin like an overfilled balloon and is beginning to show thin spots (before there are actually holes) stop pouring the power.  < 
People who are stoked up hardly even notice that they are carrying a body with them at all - just a side note.>> 
A second note here....  the person being sacrificed should be in good shape physically.  A well toned/muscled, healthy body is capable of holding and carrying much, much more power than is an old, worn out or overweight or sick body.  The sacrifice should be as whole, hale and hearty as possible.  If he does have a problem (overweight, out of shape, tumor, broken bones etc.  these should be healed or fixed before the time of the sacrifice.  Never sacrifice anything or anyone but your absolute best.  I mean think about it.  Would you prefer to have a healthy warrior guarding you, fighting to protect you, working on your behalf...  or would you rather hand your best sword to someone who can't even lift it or who will tire before the battle is halfway over and thereby leave you defenseless?

The power should be returned to the people gifting it or grounded into the earth or sent out on a specific working once it is built and transferred successfully.  This refines the sacrifice's technique of releasing the power to do work.  At the appointed day and time the power is once again built and poured into the prepared sacrificial vessel.  The person has built his own power as high as it will possibly go.  He has been gifted with as much power as he can possibly carry.  At the height of this gathering of power he is sacrificed.  His spirit is released...  is set free from his body.  It takes all of the power that used to be used to animate his body (which is considerable), all of the power he has personally built on this day, and all of the power that he has been gifted with in once massive, powerful "discharge".  (I always see it in my mind as almost being like a rocket taking off or a "super eagle" taking flight.) Once on the other side, freed from the limitations of incarnation on the earth plane and able to see things more clearly, the sacrifice takes the accumulated power and does whatever working he has been chosen to do.  He becomes a warrior/guardian/magician on the other side working in connection with and for the benefit of this side of the curtain. 

I imagine that there is at least one person on this side of the curtain who is chosen to continue to work with the spirit/sacrifice on the other side for at least a year.  In some tribes it was a common practice when someone crossed over for a close relative/friend/mate to be relieved of duties for the span of one year so that they could "funnel" information to this side from the one who just crossed over.  This is done by prior arrangement, at least with the people that I have talked to.  It was done so that the tribe could benefit from having someone able to see, hear, and understand things affecting the tribe and give advice/information from that freed/unlimited persective of being on the other side of the curtain. 

Now we all ready to discuss the events leading up to the sacrifice that was made at Lindow Bog in 60 C.E. by a Celt that we have come to know as Lindow Man or as he is called by Anne Ross and Don Robbins......  Lovernios.  The year 60 C.E. was known as the Dark Year because this was the time when Bodicea was defeated with the resulting slaughter of most of her troops.  The Romans determined to end the power of the Druids in England as a political force.  To do this they attacked the sacred Isle of Anglesly also called Mona (or Mons). 

The Romans were led by their general Suetonius.  He was pretty much known as a really hard nosed, blood and guts type of general...  took few prisoners.  As the Roman troops stood across the Menai straights watching the Druids cast spells and hurl curses at them, they also saw Druidesses in black robes and wild hair running among the men building power against them.  Many of the troops wanted to flee and to desert but their leaders threatened them and whipped them back into shape and they attacked fiercely.  The results of this battle against largely undefended Druids were that thousands upon thousands of Druids were slain by the single-minded Romans.  Some of the Druids were able to flee into the hills to lead the guerilla warfare that lasted for the next 400 years.  The Romans had defeated the power of the Druids.  Enter the next phase of the conflict.  The Druids realized that they could not defeat the Romans head-on so they did what they had always done after a defeat.  They went to the Gods.  All the life-force, energy, power, and spirit of countless Druids had been freed by their deaths during the slaughter at Mona, but remained unfocused, a waste, without form. 

In the nights after the battle a Druid prince landed on the Isle of Mona too late to help stop the carnage but not too late to be the focus for one of the most powerful workings in the history of the Druids.  The Sacred Grove had been destroyed and cut down so this mysterious Druid Price who we shall call Lovernios made his way up the river past were present day Liverpool is to landfall near another sacred site called Llyn Cerrig Bach.  "The Lake of the Small Pebbles" It was there that he was to start the rituals that led to his eventual sacrifice. 

The time of the year was Bealtaine.  His last meal was one of a traditional Bealtaine cake which consisted of a variety of grains which were blackened This blackened bread is always the last meal of the ritual sacrifice in Celtic tradition.  This tradition of receiving the blackened cake persisted in Scotland until the last century.  At the time of Bealtaine a cake would be cooked and divided into many pieces and placed into a hat.  One piece would be blackened with charcoal.  The men and young boys would select pieces from the hat.  The person drawing the blackened piece would be known as the "devoted one". 

In modern times the devoted one was not sacrificed but was required to perform some sort of deed.  This deed could be called something called "Riding the Lord" which basically consisted of being hazed around the bounds of the village.  Another version of this type of deed might be found in the devoted one having to jump the Bealtaine fires three times where everyone else only had to jump the fires once.  These customs have persisted for thousands of years and on this night the devoted one was the Divine Victim, Lovernious. 

When the body of Lindow Man was recovered from the bog it was discovered that he had suffered a threefold death.  His skull had been crushed by a blow from a war ax or a ceremonial ax that came from above.  His throat had been garroted and at the moment of death his throat had been cut with a knife strike from below....  bleeding his blood ritually into a cauldron.  This threefold death is symbolic of his dedication to three different Gods.  These gods represent the three different worlds. The Skyworld, the Middleworld, and the Otherworld.  Ross and Robins think that this sacrifice was to the gods Taranis, Esus, and Teutates.  Are these the three gods of Danu perhaps? Perhaps not.

Why the threefold death? And what elements do these deaths represent?  It is my contention that death occurred because he was sacrificed to the Three Worlds and the primary elements that they represent. The blow from above crushed him to the element of earth below in the form of the ax. The middle death was given to the element of air due to the garrote (cutting the connection between Earth and Sky). The upward blow of the knife, that cut his throat, represents the element of water due to the loss of blood. It also freed his Spirit to the Sky.  These three elemental deaths: loss of breath, loss of blood, loss of awareness, left Lovernious as a being of Fire and Spirit.  He became a shamanic entity, a willing sacrifice to focus the lifeforce of the Druids on their magical working.  His body was cast into the lake at Lindow, its name meaning "Black Lake" in Welsh.  He was returned to the Mother Goddess of Life and Death just as the sword Excalibur was cast into the lake of the Lady.  His body returned to the Mother, his spirit and lifeforce, his fire performed the magical working.  This all happened in 60 C.E.  This is within decades of another similar sacrifice on the other side of the world where another great magician did a great working. 

This date, this Dark Year of the Druids, 60 C.E., marks the time when the Roman Empire quit growing and began its long decay.  The willing sacrifice and death at Lindow by Lovernious  was said to have been accomplished to prevent the Romans from going to Ireland and into Scotland.[i]  It was not a case of magic against spears.   It was a case of Druid Magic and Spirit working its Way and its Will upon the soul of the empire.  There have been other bodies recovered from bogs such as Tollund man and those found at Borremose.  None is so clearly the work of Druid Magic and sacrifice as the case of Lindow man.  The king or the prince was sacrificed to the Land and to the Lady, to the three gods of Danu as it has always been. 

To my brothers and sisters in Europe where this story still lives and where this magic still works I say:

“When you visit a sacred site...  when you touch the spirit of a stone monolith or circle... open the pathways within yourselves and talk to our brothers and sisters from the past.  Within each of these circles is a fellow Druid and Celt.  The spirit of each of these rocks talks to us.  They live for us.  They are there to connect and reconnect us to the land.  Many a foundation was secured by such as sacrifice.  Merlin himself narrowly escaped being sacrificed to secure Vortigen's Tower.  These sacrifices were all willing.  They were all a threefold death to free the fire of the spirit and to lock the magic of the "devoted ones" to the sites. 

I'm not sure where I read this but someone (perhaps R.J. Stewart) once did a psychic working at a sacred site in Brittany, I think, and talked to such a Devoted One.  He stepped from the rock and his spirit wondered where the people were?  What was the focus of their spirit?  Why did they no longer love the land? The stones looked on in silence but they are not silent to those who listen.  Lovernious speaks to us across two thousand years through stone, through water, through his death and through his sacrificial offering.  The Lady of the Lake has given us back a Druid Prince.  The magic continues and now it is up to us to do the work. 

[i] Anne Ross, The Death of a Druid Prince.