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Author Topic: Defining the Celts  (Read 7219 times)
Juni
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« Reply #15: September 07, 2009, 01:05:24 am »

No, I guess not.  Groups of people moving from one geographic area to another frequently brought deities with them and also absorbed the local ones. 

I do wonder, though, if other people have the same sense about Brighid or any other Celtic deity.

I get a very primordial sense about Danu, strengthened by the fact that a name seems exceptionally secondary with her, but I've never had that feeling with Brighid. But my...idea (for lack of a better word- I just finished a paper for class and I'm a bit fried!) of her also seems considerably different than yours, if I've understood correctly. Specifically, I do feel that justice is important to her, but no more important than anything else she has an interest in.

And I think what I meant by being both pre-Celtic and Celtic at the same time, that I failed to actually articulate: she could exist as she is as pre-Celtic and still be something that defines and shapes what it is to be Celtic. If that makes any sense.
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« Reply #16: September 07, 2009, 05:15:52 am »

This is intriguing to me.  I've been leaning to the idea that Brighid is actually a pre-Celtic deity.  Obviously, that's just UPG.  At least, I think it is.   Undecided

I'm well familiar with all the lore about Her and that She is considered one of the Tuatha De Danaan.  But She just seems so much more primordial to me.

I can't comment on any of the other Celtic deities, though.  But assuming I'm right about Brighid, and others are also pre-Celtic, how does that affect a "Celtic Path"?

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this.

Kinda of had the same thoughts, for a sec Wink
But I feel very rooted in my home area here and thus I have a Gaulish-Roman-Germanic heritage.
Of course I also could lean towards a Roman or a Germanic path. It is my personal preference that I want it to be a more Celtic one, because I'm drawn towards that the most. Also I feel that I have every right to decide about the 'flavor' of my path.

Dana and Cern (as I call my deities) might be older, way older and it is 'just' UPG that I think they are.
But this makes them even more connected with the land and the peoples that lived here throughout the ages. (Settlement started here in the Neolithic Period, that's a long time for man, not so long for the gods, I guess.)

I'm thinking about how to include the other continental Celtic deities and it seems that the Germanic tribes 'left' Wodan, Donar and Holla here. But like with the Roman influences (f.ex. who the heck is the gaulic-roman Mercury really?) I'm not sure if Wodan might could be Taranis and Holla maybe Aericura. People tend to mean the same god and change names. It's a complicated matter.

MI, I think the question is: Do you wish to be on a Celtic path?
Are you attracted by it and does it work for you to approach your goddess via the Celtic lore?

Maybe your Brighid is my Dana - our UPG does not fit the 'regular' thoughts about the goddess(es), so what?
Maybe She is something totally different. As long as it works out, I'm not worrying too much, I must admit Wink
Not that I don't care about historical correctness and scholarship - I do! - but if it doesn't lead me anywhere? Then I have to find my own answers.
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« Reply #17: September 07, 2009, 09:15:26 am »

I do identify with the concept of a Celtic path, but I'm not sure I qualify, based on the list.  While I acknowledge all of those elements as important to a Celtic way, I'm not sure how many are important to my way.   Wink

Still thinking...

I hear you. Several of these points are important to me in the same way--for instance, I love history, the mysterious and complex, and give a lot of attention to my family/community and to myself, and so those are all naturally a part of "my path" but aren't necessarily consciously so.

Of all of these points my path is really firmly based on three things: my relationship with Brighid, my conscious thinking of things in terms of Celtic cosmology, and of course, the point about "poetry". These, I think, are weighty enough to qualify my path as at least a "Celtic inspired" of "Celtic rooted" one.
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« Reply #18: September 07, 2009, 11:38:02 am »

MI, I think the question is: Do you wish to be on a Celtic path?
Are you attracted by it and does it work for you to approach your goddess via the Celtic lore?

I think so...  To be honest, it's the archeology and art and symbology that really attracts me, even more than the values.  I think it's really a chicken-and-egg sort of situation.  Did Brighid help to inspire what the Celts were/are?  Or did what the Celts were help to define what/who Brighid is?

I don't know.

But yes, most of the time I do feel connected to Her via the lore.  It's difficult, of course, because of the blurry line between the goddess and the saint.

How do other people handle that?

Maybe your Brighid is my Dana - our UPG does not fit the 'regular' thoughts about the goddess(es), so what?
Maybe She is something totally different. As long as it works out, I'm not worrying too much, I must admit Wink

Maybe.  I don't know.

I'm pretty convinced She is Brighid.  But I'm also convinced She is known by other names in other geographic locations -- like Sulis in Britain.  So it's definitely possible She is your Dana.

I don't want to hijack this thread though, so maybe we could discuss that in another thread?
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« Reply #19: September 07, 2009, 11:43:03 am »

I get a very primordial sense about Danu, strengthened by the fact that a name seems exceptionally secondary with her, but I've never had that feeling with Brighid. But my...idea (for lack of a better word- I just finished a paper for class and I'm a bit fried!) of her also seems considerably different than yours, if I've understood correctly. Specifically, I do feel that justice is important to her, but no more important than anything else she has an interest in.

Interesting!

I don't necessarily think that social justice is more important to Her than any of Her other areas.  I actually think all of the others (poetry -- which I interpret as learning/knowledge in a modern context, smithcraft, and healing) are *part* of justice. 

So, while I might have emphasized that aspect as more meaningful *to me*, I don't think it's more important *to Her*.  It's just how things seem to manifest in my life.  If that makes any sense.

Are there other ways that your idea of Brighid different from mine?  (That's not supposed to sound argumentative!  It's supposed to sound curious.   Cheesy  )

And I think what I meant by being both pre-Celtic and Celtic at the same time, that I failed to actually articulate: she could exist as she is as pre-Celtic and still be something that defines and shapes what it is to be Celtic. If that makes any sense.

Yes, that makes sense. 
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« Reply #20: September 08, 2009, 09:33:34 am »


Question:
Do you mind, if I take such things like these points over to my German blog?
I'm working on structuring and developing my path there at the same time and this here is great input.
(Vice versa I'd bring stuff over, if I got something that's worth it, of course.)
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« Reply #21: September 08, 2009, 12:24:55 pm »

Question:
Do you mind, if I take such things like these points over to my German blog?
I'm working on structuring and developing my path there at the same time and this here is great input.
(Vice versa I'd bring stuff over, if I got something that's worth it, of course.)

Go right ahead. They're only mine in rephrasing. I'm glad you found them useful!
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« Reply #22: September 09, 2009, 06:19:45 pm »

I may be mistaken, but here I'm taking the very broad meaning of "poet" and "poetry"--one who creates (mythic/symbolic/metaphorical) meaning out of hir life; one who makes art--"poetry"--out of/in hir life. I don't think ERL intended to say everyone needs to be a poet in the literal definition of the word. If she did intend that, then I would be in agreement with you.
Whereas what I thought of was a somewhat different broad/non-literal sense of "poet".  It didn't come together in an articulable way until the other day, while net-spelunking in connection with something else (hence the posting delay), when I came across the Wikipedia article on mathematical beauty.

It seems to me that the ability to perceive why something in mathematics is beautiful/elegant, even if the math itself is a bit over one's head, is a mark of a poet - and likewise related uses of the concept of beauty/elegance in other fields.  I don't mean that one isn't a poet if one can't perceive it in any particular instance, just that the capacity of such perception in general is, IMO, illustrative of what a poet is in the broader sense - and probably more relevant to the context of a Celtic path than writing bad verse.  (On a side note, even when speaking of poetry in the narrow sense, I'd say it wasn't the writing of verse, however good or bad, that makes a poet, but the need/calling to create poetry even if it's not very good.)

Just some thoughts to throw into the pot.

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« Reply #23: September 09, 2009, 10:09:28 pm »

I don't mean that one isn't a poet if one can't perceive it in any particular instance, just that the capacity of such perception in general is, IMO, illustrative of what a poet is in the broader sense - and probably more relevant to the context of a Celtic path than writing bad verse.

Is "poetry" in the context of what we're calling a "Celtic path" limited to words?  Or are other forms of art included?
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« Reply #24: September 09, 2009, 11:07:31 pm »

Is "poetry" in the context of what we're calling a "Celtic path" limited to words?  Or are other forms of art included?

I don't think it should be limited to words.
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« Reply #25: October 01, 2009, 10:07:16 pm »

8. Reverence for the Community (Tribe, Hearth)
Again, another obvious one. Tribal society, family society. Today this may translate to many different sizes and kinds of communities, but the love, respect, cooperation and ethics needed to make any community work was essential to the Celts.

I just wanted to chime in that this is (or should be) true of mundane communities as well as religious ones. Too often I see people put a lot of time and energy into building a religious community, but they don't really have good relationships with coworkers, neighbors, family, etc. Or they're good at meeting each others' magical needs (sending energy and prayer requests, etc) but not the mundane.

Case in point: we've had a dustup in my Wiccan familiy about people not cleaning up after rituals and not donating to help with the costs of having permanent meeting space. As a community, we've put our metaphysical needs over the mundane and now we have to bring that back into focus and re-emphasize the need for everyone to take personal responsibility in doing his/her part to tend to the mundane needs of our community.

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