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Crime News

What Is The Druid Religion One Of The 'Unbelievable' Survivors Is A Member Of?

Actress Annaleigh Ashford plays Lilly in Netflix's "Unbelievable," a Druid woman who drank kava kava tea the night of her attack.

By Gina Tron
Annaleigh Ashford G

The new Netflix series “Unbelievable," inspired by a true story, takes on the tale of how a serial rapist was tracked down and captured, thanks to the determination of two bold female detectives — but not before he attacks multiple women, including a Druid and a teen who is charged with filing a false report when she told police about her rape.

The eight-episode series is an adaptation of the 2015 Pulitzer-winning ProPublica and Marshall Project in-depth story about the case, and in addition to following the two detectives, it also depicts the serial rapist's real life victims.

The Druid survivor, named Lilly and played by actress Annaleigh Ashford, actually dives head-first off her second floor balcony to escape the predator in the show. She's injured, suffering shattered bones in the fall, but she did avoid being assaulted; the rapist flees after her jump. That's actually based on fact: A 46-year-old artist broke three ribs and punctured a lung after she leapt out her bedroom window, a seven foot-plunge, to escape the real-life attacker.

In "Unbelievable," when the two detectives are investigating the slew of attacks, they knock at Lilly’s door only to find her mother. Her mom tells them Lilly isn’t there. 

"She'll come back when Spirit releases her,” the mother tells the detectives. "It's Alban Hefin. In my daughter's faith, it's one of the year's most sacred days when the veil between our world and the world of Spirit is especially thin."

What is Druidry?

Druidry is a modern religious movement which focuses on connection with the natural world.

The word Druid has been around since the B.C. ages, and Druids were often high-ranking religious leaders back in Celtic culture, according to the Smithsonian.

Druidry.org describes the religion as a “spiritual way and practice that speaks to three of our greatest yearnings: to be fully creative in our lives, to commune deeply with the world of Nature, and to gain access to a source of profound wisdom.”

The website hints that it does have ties to the Druids of the ancient past.

It states, “Druidry appeals in particular to people who have become disenchanted with much of conventional religious practice, and who are seeking a sense of spiritual connection with the land, and with their ancestors.”

Druid beliefs focus on the “fundamentally spiritual nature of life.” While some members “will favour a particular way of understanding the source of this spiritual nature, some believe there is only one Diety, often referred to as Spirit or Great Spirit. Many believe in an Otherworld and reincarnation."

So what is Alban Hefin?

Albin Hefin is another name for Midsummer, the period of time centered around the summer solstice. To many druids, it “is the turning seasons and the cycle of life, death and rebirth,” according to Druidry.org. It appears members of the religion will often partake in a ritual to celebrate this event, such as the one the Grove of Nova Scotia Druids organized over the summer.

As for kava kava, which Lilly was drinking before her attack, it’s not mentioned in any available Druid literature and it appears it has nothing to do with religion.

It is connected to nature, though.

It’s the root and underground stem of a plant native to the islands of the South Pacific, called kava. It’s used as an herbal way to reduce anxiety, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It can be consumed as a tea, as the character Lilly did the night of her attack.