Remember Getafix? To be more precise remember the famous druid from the comics Astrix, the druid who made this magic potion that gave the gouls the strength to beat up the numerous legionaries. Getafix, the druid whose potion obilix fell into as a child..anyways aside from the comics aspect of druids how much do we really know about them? Do we have any concrete ideas about who they were, what their beliefs were and whether druid groves have survived up till today or not? To know the answers to these questions you would have to finish reading this(maybe a bit boring) article.
The word Druidae is of Celtic origin. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder believed it to be a cognate with the Greek work drus, meaning "an oak." Dru-wid combines the word roots "oak" and wid stands for" knowledge". The oak (together with the rowan and hazel) was an important sacred tree to the Druids. In the celtic society the name was given to learned men and women possessing "oak wisdom". Besides observing that the name 'Druid' is derived from "oak", it was Pliny the Elder, in his Naturalis Historia (XVI, 95), who associates the Druids with mistletoe and oak groves: "The Druids...hold nothing more sacred than the mistletoe and the tree on which it grows provided it is an oak. They choose the oak to form groves, and they do not perform any religious rites without its foliage..." Pliny also describes how the Druids used a "gold pruning hook" or "sickle" to gather the mistletoe.
The Druids emerged from the ancient Celtic tribes, at a time when the people had to live close to nature to survive. By the light of the storyteller's fire, and with the play of the harp, the Druids dreamed magic for their people. In the deep woods they would gather, bringing together their mysticism and philosophy, their insight and learning. Their spirit emerged from the the tides of the sea, the light of the sun, the wind in the Oak, the cry of the deer. In this way, they created an institution that inspired, frightened, and uplifted their world.
The mythologies describe Druids who were capable of many magical powers such as divination & prophesy, control of the weather, healing, levitation, and shape changing themselves into the forms of animals.
It was John Aubrey, writing in the 17th century, who first thought it a "probability" that stone circles, such as Stonehenge, "were Temples of the Druids" and called his text on stone circles the "Templa Druidum". Later, in the 19th century, Sir John Lubbock dated Stonehenge to a period much earlier than the time of the Druids; nonetheless the view was maintained by a minority that Druids were pre-Celtic inhabitants of Britain and that the religious beliefs and practices for which Stonehenge was first built are ancestral to those of the later Celtic Druids.
Julius Caesar's "Battle for Gaul" written in the first century BC also gives a full account of druids and of the power and respect they wielded over their people. Attempts to curb their power had been made many times as they were the keepers of knowledge and prophecy but throughout time they went on playing a vital role in the Celtic society.
All spiritual beliefs grow and change. Some beliefs change the mode of rituals and through the course of time some beliefs die away. But Druidry is probably not one of them. It has changed but it has not been totally wiped away from the face of the earth - maybe it is experiencing a Renaissance. Druidry has become a vital and dynamic Nature-based spirituality that is slowly but steadily thriving over the world.
By Ishita Rahman
Worst Case Scenario
If you're a convicted criminal on parole or simply a lazy guy on vacation (like me), then you may have nothing much to do all day except loitering away until even that seems to get boring. Under such circumstances, a major part of the day is spent in front of the screen of the TV (Satan's jewellery box). At that point of time you find many new programmes on TV and even many new channels. Well, you always knew some of them were there but forgot about them due to busy time schedules (which, by the way, don't exist anymore). Thus just like Christopher Columbus discovered America and the Red Indians discovered that the white settlers were up to no good, I discovered "Worst Case Scenario", this really weird show on AXN.
It's basically about what to do when you're in the worst of situations. For example, what to do when you get caught in a fire, what to do when your car brakes fail, what to do when you're sliding down a hill and blah blah blah. The show is supposed to keep you prepared in times of peril so that you can escape with you life. According to me, this is simply outrageous. Do people have nothing better to do than get caught in a fire, ride a car that doesn't work etc? The people who made the show surely expect the viewers to have really bad luck and prone to die young. The show could prove to be really bad for people with heart problems, intentionally hoping to make life worse and short as if they'd gladly say "You could die terrible deaths, dude! So watch our show on prime time and save your butt!" For sanity's sake, we haven't even stopped learning how bad life can be; don't come and show us how much worse death can be!
That was the humanitarian (?!) aspect of the show. The other stupid part is the instructions. Do this, don't do that, remember this, don't forget that etc. They were once talking about this worst case scenario where you're driving out of a multi-storeyed parking lot when your accelerator gets stuck and you can't stop the car. Very soon your car will jump out and come crashing down towards the ground. In this case, what are you supposed to do? Well, you're supposed to try to slow the car down, time your jump out of the car, jump with your hands around your head and other things I forgot. Man, first of all, I've never heard of people having horrendous accidents this way. People die this way only in horror movies. Secondly, when you're about to have a fatal accident, you aren't supposed to remember such lectures on how to survive. What you can remember at most is that you won't stay alive to get married within the next decade or so. Just think of it, people can't even remember answers in an exam hall, and here you're supposed to remember how to save your life! Well, most probably we aren't even supposed to watch the show. Life is hard around here there is already abundant stuff we need to do to survive. The show is definitely meant for people living in rich countries like America. There you can end up getting a decent job in spite of being expelled from school and technically uneducated, and even if you're jobless, there's always the life-saving unemployment dole to the rescue.
The show could be a lot better if they'd stop talking about jinxed accidents and deal with "worse worst case scenarios". For example, it would be really helpful if they'd tell you what to do when you're about to deliver a public speech and suddenly discover that you've forgotten what to say, or even worse, that Nature is urgently calling you. Then they could advise you on how to maintain your sanity when you see the biggest loser in your class walking away with the hottest girl in your class. They could even suggest ways to take revenge on your new snobbish teacher who deprived you of an A in your assignment. You can see how bad life is. We have to deal with worst case scenarios day and night. Impending death certainly doesn't need to be the worst of things. It can rather be the answer to all your woes and sufferings. It can be the key to your freedom. (Am I getting too philosophical around here? I surely don't want to know what hell's going to be like!)
By Hamdu Mia
Since its establishment in 1987, South Breeze has always been a very good and well known school. Over the years it has produced brilliant students with outstanding O level results. But definitely the best thing about the students of South Breeze is that they are usually very well-mannered. This is not only because of what they learn at home but also because South Breeze maintains a very high level of discipline and order. In this school, good behaviour is something that the teachers want to see first of all in a student. Even then, all these rules and regulations never spoil the fun we usually have at school.
To help the school carry out its rules there is the school's own discipline committee which consists of the some of the strictest teachers. But there are also a few very responsible students who always come forward whenever help is needed. They are very well mannered and they will always set a very good example about themselves for the other students to follow. They are the school Prefects.
When we start thinking about Prefects, the first word that comes in our minds is 'perfect'. The Prefects of South Breeze School are quite capable of being associated with the word perfect.
Prefects are selected usually from the classes V, VIII, IX and X. They are divided into two groups. Four students are chosen from class five to be Prefects for the junior section. The ten Prefects from classes eight, nine and ten have to look after the senior section. There is a different committee for the selection of Prefects. The class teachers first send the names of those students who they think are capable of becoming prefects to the principal's office. These students have to be good in everyway possible. First of all they themselves have to follow the school rules properly. Secondly they have to be very responsible. They also have to have a good reputation and work hard in class. Lastly, while choosing the names the teachers always have to keep in mind that they choose someone with leadership qualities- that is they have to select someone to whom the others will listen.
After the prefects have been selected they are all called to the principal's office where the principal tells them that first of all they themselves have to behave properly and follow certain rules. They will always have to be impartial and honest with their duty. When they agree to all these things they are told about their individual duties.
The next day in the assembly the Prefect's badges are given to them in front of the whole school. From then onwards, till the end of the term they have to serve the school. They have to do all kinds of work like keeping track of latecomers, checking if everyone is in proper uniform, making lines in the assembly, etc. It is very nice to see the Prefects walking proudly in the school grounds with their badges shining.
The prefects also have to do certain things like volunteering for the Science Fair, Parents Teachers Meetings, etc.
Personally, we have also been prefects and had a memorable time working together. It is always great to know that one is able to work for the school. It feels good (though some of your mischievous friends might not like you) to be a Prefect, it feels better to help maintain the school's discipline, but it surely feels the best to be a student of South Breeze School.
By Shamsun Nahar and Fiona Khondoker
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