Many forms of modern Druidry are Neopagan religions, whereas some are instead seen as philosophies that are not necessarily religious in nature.
Originating in Britain during the 18th century, it was originally a cultural movement, only gaining religious or spiritual connotations in the 19th century.
The core principle of Druidry is respect and veneration of nature, and as such it often involves participation in the environmental movement. Another prominent belief amongst modern Druids is the veneration of ancestors, particularly those who belonged to prehistoric societies.
Arising from the 18th century Romanticist movement in Britain, which glorified the ancient "Celtic" peoples of the Iron Age, the early Druids aimed to imitate the Iron Age priests who were also known as druids. At the time, little accurate information was known about these ancient priests, and the modern Druidic movement has no direct connection to them, despite contrary claims made by some modern Druids.
In the first half of the twentieth century, modern Druids developed fraternal organizations modeled on Freemasonry that employed the romantic figure of the British Druids and Bards as symbols of indigenous British spirituality. Some of these groups were purely fraternal and cultural, creating traditions from the national imagination of Britain. Others merged with contemporary movements such as the physical culture movement and naturism. Since the 1980s some modern druid groups have adopted similar methodologies to those of Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism in an effort to create a more historically accurate practice. However, there is still controversy over how much resemblance modern Druidism may or may not have to the Iron Age druids.