Druids of legend started out as priests of an old Celtic religion. Through the years, they blurred into political figures or wisemen or soothsayers or doctors. Basically, they were the educated class of Celtic history.
The Historical Hoopla
There’s not really much written historical evidence for druids. We get some stories from the Romans or the Greeks and we’ve uncovered a little bit of archeological evidence. Of course, some of those accounts state that the druids preformed animal and even human sacrifice in their religious practices.
Druids are also accredited with the building of Stone Henge, although that can’t be verified accurately. Of course, we’ve also got this cool thing called the “Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe” where white-clad druids climbed a sacred oak, cut down the mistletoe growing on it, sacrificed two white bulls and used the mistletoe to cure infertility. Nifty, huh?
Julius Caesar even writes about the druids and their practice of human sacrifice.
More Modern Representations
Druids in modern paranormal fiction tend to be more like knowledgable witches or sometimes a different religious group gaining power by ritual. Sometimes they are keepers of knowledge or healers, in accordance with their more historical representation.
The most common picture of a druid is an elderly person in white robes in the middle of stonehenge, usually with a sacrifice.