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Author Topic: Reformed Celtic Polytheism in practice  (Read 7377 times)
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Last Login:February 05, 2021, 09:36:51 pm
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Religion: Misticism
TCN ID: Juni
Posts: 2302

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« Topic Start: September 03, 2009, 09:45:02 pm »

One thing that has never come together in this SIG is a working practice that could be used by any Celt. We've tried, a few times if I recall correctly, but the fact that the Celts were not even linguistically unified as the ancient Greeks and Egyptians were has made this difficult. In our efforts to revitalize the SIG, Finn and I went back to the beginning: the original article Randall posted about Reformed Hellenic Polytheism. What we've got below is just a prototype for everyone to pick at; our goal was to make something that could be used with any or all of the different Celtic cultures. The individual aspects, like figuring out more specific and relevant holiday practices, when to honor what deities, etcetera, will be explored in other threads (feel free to start them if you feel the urge!)- I'd like this one to focus on the practice in general. The rough draft:

Beginners interested in Celtic polytheism can have a hard time deciding where to begin. There are so many different kinds of Celtic paths out there that it can be overwhelming for the new student to make an appropriate choice for themselves; many languish in the land of research and never foray into the wonderful wild that is practice. Celtic scholarship is also notoriously lacking in primary sources, given that their traditions were handed down orally, and both informed and uninformed secondary approaches attempt to fill in the gaps. It can be difficult to find the best resources amidst the Roman propaganda, early Christian veneers and Romantic re-imaginings.

To that end, we have constructed a basic form of Celtic polytheism that can be adapted to any of the Celtic cultures, and most importantly, practiced while learning. For the beginner Celt, we propose a simple calendar of four major holidays, two to three minor holidays a month, and a regular daily practice.

The major holidays are well known in the pagan world, even outside the Celtic realm; they are Imbolc, on February 1st, Bealtaine, on May 1st, Lughnasadh, on August 1st, and Samhain, on November 1st. Though the names may change from culture to culture, within the Celtic world they are widespread holidays. The major holidays would include a feast, a sacrifice or offering to the gods, augury, and reading of appropriate myths. These simple (but meaningful) practices are both manageable for the individual, and scale well for larger groups.

The minor holidays would likely be celebrated on Sundays; they are the day most people are likely to be free from work obligations, and it is appropriate to honor the gods on the first day of the week. Minor holidays could be held on two or three Sundays per month, celebrating the gods individually. Smaller feasts would be appropriate, as well as offerings or libations, activities related to the deity being celebrated, and study.

Daily practices would include prayers to the gods, with purification rituals and offerings or libations optional. Regular attention to ancestors and land spirits would also be historically accurate and appropriate, in the form of libations and prayers for the former, and offerings for the latter.

This, of course, is only a springboard into the world of Celtic polytheism, but it's a good start for any Celt with an interest in real, meaningful practice.

A big thanks to Randall, whose Reformed Hellenic Paganism article was the driving inspiration.


.: .:. updated 30 June :.

"I don't go anywhere without my mutated anthrax! 'Fer duck huntin." - Futurama

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