In Forest Park Cemetery, Forest Park, Illinois, a monument to the Druids was erected in 1888. The monument stands in the centre of concentric circles created with logs. The circle was the symbol of the Supreme Being.
Other symbols associated with the order include the all-seeing eye within the triangle (a gateway between this world and the next symbolizing the all-knowing God).
There is a shrouded figure of a Druid at the top of the monument with long beard and sad face so often associated with Merlin. He carries a sickle with a blade shaped like a crescent moon over his shoulder (a crescent moon is a symbol of immortality). His other hand rests on a harp, which bears the head of a young man.
The Druids is an ancient fraternal organisation founded in London, England in 1781 that still operates today. The fraternity (AOD Ancient Order of Druids) is not a religious organization. They do not discuss religion or politics in the Groves (equivalent of a Lodge). The mantra is to preserve and practise the principles of justice, benevolence and friendship as in the Seven Precepts of Merlin (the most well-known Druid in history).
- Labor diligently to acquire knowledge, for it is power.
- When in authority, decide reasonably, for thine authority may cease.
- Bear with fortitude the ills of life, remembering that no mortal sorrow is perpetual.
- Love virtue-for it bringeth peace.
- Abhor vice-for it bringeth evil upon all.
- Obey those in authority in all just things, that virtue may be exalted.
- Cultivate the social virtues, so shalt thou be beloved by all men.
The Druids revered the oak tree which is the derivation of their name. All their rites and ceremonies were performed only in the presence of an oak tree. Mistletoe, a potent and magical plant which grew on oak trees was believed by the Druids to have been placed there in a lightning strike by the hand of God.
The fraternity spread throughout the world, and the first Grove of Druids was instituted in the City of New York in 1830, and by 1883 Chicago, Illinois, was home to sixteen lodges, called Groves.
Winston Churchill was inducted into the Albion Grove of the Ancient Order in August 1908.