Please read Chapter One of our textbook for this course, DJ Conway’s, By Oak, Ash & Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism

Why Celtic Shamanism, and How It Pertains to Druidry…

This lesson was created by Merlyn Marcus

DJ Conway, author of By Oak, Ash and Thorn, asserts that others besides the Druids must have been healing and working spiritually in Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. This is probably true. She calls these people shamans. (The plural for shamans is often times written as shaman, the letter “s” at the end is dropped).  It is quite likely, however, that the Druids may have worked closely with the Celtic shamans and would have known some – if not all – of their techniques. The author often mentions the Celtic bard Taliesin as she teaches us about Celtic Shamanism. Taliesin, as she demonstrates, was a shaman. But as a bard, Taliesin was also a Druid. It is our belief today that to be an effective Druid or Dryad (female Druid), one must employ the skills of Celtic Shamanism as well as know the beliefs of the Druids. In this course, we will teach you both.

Now we’ve seen how Celtic Shamanism pertains to Druidry. But why Celtic Shamanism? Why not Native American or Aboriginal Shamanism?

First of all, these types of Shamanism are all very similar. But second of all, Celtic Shamanism is the best branch for those of us not descended from Native Americans or Aborigines, which is the vast majority of us. Most of us “native” English-speakers descend from Anglo-Saxons, Celts, Irishmen, Germanic or Scandinavian folk, etc. Thus, these are the most effective beliefs for people of European ancestry.

Celtic Shamanism can exist along with any other Celtic-based religious system, which is why we include it in our Druidry course. It is not a religion in and of itself, but is more a science. It is the science and study of the Otherworlds and our Otherworld-selves.

Celtic Shamanism is a means of healing the Earth, others, and yourself. A shaman can’t truly call him or herself by that title until they have attempted to heal their own rifts and eliminate their own barriers. A shaman can’t begin healing others until they know how to heal themselves. If you consider it, this makes perfect sense. How can you heal someone else’s afflictions when you aren’t sure how to heal your own?

Today’s Celtic Shamanism is not a replica of the shamanism of ancient times. Ancient shamanism employed nearly impossible initiations and hallucinogenic herbs which often hurt the potential initiate and sometimes killed them. Celtic Shamanism has left this behind. Shamanism does not need hallucinogens, but instead relies solely upon meditation to bring the shaman to a higher state of awareness.

Celtic Shamanism is not for the timid. It will change your life and even change how others view you. It will change things for the better, however, and it will make you an exceptional healer of the Earth and of others. In time, you will be able to help others heal physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. You will face your own fears and barriers and learn to knock them down. You will learn to face the challenges of life in ways you never though possible. Light and Strength to you on your journey!

Answer the following questions and do the exercise at the end.  Cut and paste the questions into an email, insert your answers, and send to the Mystery School with the subject line: “OAT 1 CeltShamanism from _________ (your magikal name)”


1. What were Celtic alternative healers called?

2. T/F – A Druid can also be a shaman.

3. Which Celtic bard does the author often mention?

4. T/F – The bard mentioned above was not a Druid, but a shaman.

5. What are two other types of shamanism? Why don’t we practice them instead?

6. T/F – Celtic Shamanism is a very powerful religion which does not support Druidry.

7. What three things can a shaman heal?

8. T/F – Celtic Shamanism today is not an exact replica of ancient shamanism.

9. What are two major differences between ancient Celtic Shamanism and the Celtic Shamanism of today?

10. T/F – Shamans can heal others before knowing how to heal themselves.


Memorize the Immrama poem printed at the beginning of the textbook. It will be used in your first initiation.

Back to Celtic Study Hall | Back to Top

Northern Way Study Halls  | Veli Celtic Study Hall | Top | Site Map


Page Design & Misc. Graphics~ Caileadair
Created: 5/10/07