SEATED ON A SOLITARY ROCK on the banks of the Saone, in a forest dedicated to Belenus, the bard Cervorix taught his disciples. Accompanied by an ivory lyre with golden strings, a gift from the Druids of an island in the Seine, he sang about the marvels of the universe and the rhythmic and eternal course of the stars.¹ Suddenly, the horizon darkened and black clouds approached. Nocturnal birds began flying above the bard’s head. A great storm was unleashed, a hurricane whipped the trees, and the wolves howled in the mountains. Then Cervorix raised his voice and thundered:
“Man is material. His corporeal wrapping prevents his soul from leaving and represses his authentic desire to quit the Earth for a happier world. What is life? Nothing! Celtic sons, live in peace, think of eternity, and say to all you see that you have known the bard Cervorix.”
After he had spoken, he broke his lyre and threw himself into the waves. Ever since, the rock has borne his name.
The following day, the Druids piled up firewood and placed his corpse on it, covering it with flowers and aromatic herbs. Toward midnight, when the seven stars of the Big Dipper reflected the seven holes of the altar in the water, the Druids set the funeral pyre on fire. Two Druids, a woman, a virgin, and a bard circled the fire. One Druid threw a cup of amber into it, the other an ivory lyre; the woman threw her veil, the virgin a locket of her blond hair, and the bard his cape, white like irises.
His ashes were gathered up and deposited in a crystal urn, on which the Druids engraved this inscription:
“Mortal man! Don’t forget from where you come and where you’re going. Look at this dust. He was what you are; you will be what he is.”
Once a year, Apollo went to the land of the Hyperboreans and, as Hölderlin said, was closer to the “men who loved him.”
He crossed the sea pulled by swans in a chalice that Hephaistos had fashioned of precious gold, and fell asleep under the tree of the world. Its branches extend over the universe and in its foliage, the sun, the moon, and the stars rustle like golden fruits. It was thought that the Garden of the Hesperides was in the land of the Hyperboreans, a mansion for the fortunate from which God, always in his sacred chalice, symbol of eternal rebirth, leaves for the Orient to begin the day.
It is said that Pythagoras was Apollo in flesh and blood, and that he had come from the land of the Hyperboreans to preach a new doctrine of salvation to mankind. As we have seen, there were other authors in antiquity who claimed that the Pythagoreans were none other than Greek Druids. Could the Hyperboreans have been Celt Iberians?
We can answer this question affirmatively. To find the Garden of Hesperides, you have to look to the land of the Hyperboreans. The ancients called the Iberian Peninsula Hesperia; Apollo was the supreme God of the Druids and the Hyperboreans. Both peoples lived in forests in a sun-drenched land with pleasant temperatures. The Hyperboreans fed themselves exclusively with fruits and never slaughtered animals. The Druids believed that the souls of men were enclosed in the bodies of beasts, and because of this they refused to eat meat. We also know that they refused to use arms and that, consequently, they never took part in wars or conflicts of any sort. The Hyperboreans sought freedom from worldly life by throwing themselves into the waves. Regarding the bards, we already know how Cervorix died.