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MYTHOLOGY & HISTORY

DRUIDS IN STYRIA

In the 19th century Austrian linguist Franz Ferk began looking for traces of Celtic culture. He discovered remarkable accounts from people in a small Styrian mountain village regarding the mistletoe harvest by Celtic Druids in the Alps.

When the Trunen (Druids) go to harvest mistletoe, the Hopatatsch (the high priest) leads the procession, wearing black robes on a black steed with silver bridle. The Master of Ceremonies rides barefoot at his side on a white steed with golden bridle. He carries a golden sickle in his hand which ends in a snake's head. When they arrive, they ride around the "mistletoe bush" three times. Then the lower Druids come with their large, snow-white cloth and spread it out under the tree. The Master of Ceremonies then rides to the "mistletoe tree," says his prayer, puts on a white robe and cuts the "mistletoe bush" with a golden sickle whose handle must be wrapped in a white cloth. The mistletoe is caught by the Druids below in the large white cloth.

 

From: [1] From: Franz Ferk: "Über Druidismus in Noricum." [On Druidism in Noricum] Graz 1877; pp. 46.

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