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The ancient Druids were the priest class of the Gallic and Celtic cultures, and contemporary groups such as the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, and the Ar nDraiocht Fein (ADF) base their contemporary system of Druidry on aspects of ancient Celtic practices and knowledge. These modern Druids have their own religious system, which includes specialized forms of healing, though few boundaries exist to dictate those forms. At its core, Druid healing involves encouraging both physical and spiritual health through diet, exercise and energy manipulation.
While Druidry is an organized spiritual tradition, Druidry groups encourage their members to determine their own personal beliefs in deities, magic and other spiritual topics. This means there is no one right or true method for Druid healing. Many 21st century Druids use at least one popular alternative healing modality as part of their personal practices. These methods of healing can include reiki, healing spells or rituals, and herbalism.
Druid healing often involves the healing herbs traditionally used by the Celtic people and other European groups. While some herbs, such as St. John's wort and vervain, are taken internally as teas or tinctures, other plants are used in a more symbolic manner. Mistletoe is a highly poisonous plant that is sacred to the Druids and is used for many purposes in rites, including Druid healing rituals. There is some proof that the ancient Druids used mistletoe as part of their practices, but it is unclear what meanings they ascribed to the plant.
Druid healing spells and rituals usually combine some form of incantation as a request for healing and the visualization of healing energy or light being sent to the person being healed. Healing herbs may also be burned as incense or strewn around the area to increase the strength of the spell. Many Druids also practice forms of meditation that are helpful for lowering stress and releasing unwanted energy that can lead to health problems.
Druidism is a religion that puts great emphasis on respecting nature and being at one with the natural world. Health through a good diet and regular exercise is also important. Druids believe they can help heal damage done to the natural environment through spells and rituals, but that they must first be healthy themselves. Druid healing can be used for healing a condition or disease that is already developed, but Druids generally see prevention as the best way to deal with health issues.