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Author Topic: Paths and roles - which do you follow?  (Read 22586 times)
Garnet
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« Topic Start: May 06, 2007, 07:15:33 pm »

(If someone wants to retitle this thread, feel free!)

Some people follow different paths or adopt different roles from Celtic culture: outsider, warrior, bard, healer, priest, etc.  Is this something that should be part of RCR?  Which paths do people here follow?  What does this mean?  Does it relate to deities and spiritual practice?  How?
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Garnet
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« Reply #1: May 06, 2007, 07:30:51 pm »


Some people follow different paths or adopt different roles from Celtic culture: outsider, warrior, bard, healer, priest, etc.  Is this something that should be part of RCR?  Which paths do people here follow?  What does this mean?  Does it relate to deities and spiritual practice?  How?

I'm on a warrior path, and have been for awhile, to the point that I sometimes forget to mention it.  It runs deep and started before my hiatus from magic.  (Its current form began sometime around when my hiatus did, and has grown and changed since.)  These days, it's meeting challenges and speaking up and being courageous and (theoretically) getting myself in shape.  It's related to my path as a whole, and also is part of what I do to honor Scathach.
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« Reply #2: May 06, 2007, 10:02:02 pm »

Some people follow different paths or adopt different roles from Celtic culture: outsider, warrior, bard, healer, priest, etc.  Is this something that should be part of RCR?  Which paths do people here follow?  What does this mean?  Does it relate to deities and spiritual practice?  How?

Replying to myself again...

I found the section of the CR FAQ that talks about paths.  It's here.  It's also got a link to the part about outsiders.  It's a pretty useful introduction.
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« Reply #3: May 07, 2007, 10:31:24 am »

(If someone wants to retitle this thread, feel free!)

Some people follow different paths or adopt different roles from Celtic culture: outsider, warrior, bard, healer, priest, etc.  Is this something that should be part of RCR?  Which paths do people here follow?  What does this mean?  Does it relate to deities and spiritual practice?  How?

I'm still trying to formulate a proper answer to this, in terms of my own practice, but here's something:

I think that these roles were important to Celtic society.  Many times, these roles dissolved into one another or a person would be many things at the same time (druids were healers, priests, judges, etc. etc.).  I think they should be regarded as options within RCR--the practioner can choose to follow a path of a healer or a warrior or not.  In this way, RCR begins to look something like a large, loose tribe, in which many different people have many different skills, and add to the benefit of the "tribe".

We would be a tribe that looks different from the ancient Celts', obviously.  We worship many different gods, look to many different countries' traditions and lore.  And we certainly aren't a real tribe that say, needs more warriors than healers to protect from cattle raids.  Wink  But the tribe was an important (the most important) unifier in Celtic society, and to look upon RCR as a kind of... extended tribe might be useful.  These roles can provide a framework and a system of living that might otherwise be difficult for some to find or create on their own.

Just some thoughts.
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« Reply #4: May 07, 2007, 11:24:10 am »

I'm on a warrior path, and have been for awhile, to the point that I sometimes forget to mention it.  It runs deep and started before my hiatus from magic.  (Its current form began sometime around when my hiatus did, and has grown and changed since.)  These days, it's meeting challenges and speaking up and being courageous and (theoretically) getting myself in shape.  It's related to my path as a whole, and also is part of what I do to honor Scathach.

Here's my "Me, too" post but substitute Scathach for Brighid.

I'm still firmly entrenced in the "mother" role and my kids are really young but  I am slowly affording myself more "Me Time" which I am using to develope my warrior path. 
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« Reply #5: May 07, 2007, 05:40:00 pm »

I think that these roles were important to Celtic society.  Many times, these roles dissolved into one another or a person would be many things at the same time (druids were healers, priests, judges, etc. etc.).  I think they should be regarded as options within RCR--the practioner can choose to follow a path of a healer or a warrior or not.  In this way, RCR begins to look something like a large, loose tribe, in which many different people have many different skills, and add to the benefit of the "tribe".

I agree with you that roles can be "pure" (as in bard alone) or multiple.  I'm reminded of Lugh who bears the epithet Samhildánach, which basically means multiple skills.  If I remember correctly, when Lugh tried to join the Tuatha de Dannan, he had to provide the doorkeeper with a skill no one else possessed in order to gain entrance.  They went through quite the list, including warrior, swordsman, weapons maker, poet, magic and bardic talents...  you get the idea.  Each time the doorkeeper tried to turn him away because the tuatha already had someone with that skill.  Only when Lugh asked if there was a single warrior who had all of them at once was he admitted. 

Roles are useful for focusing one's spiritual practice, I think.  We focus on both the warrior and bardic roles (since we make our living by writing and/or performance). 
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« Reply #6: May 07, 2007, 06:43:39 pm »

(If someone wants to retitle this thread, feel free!)

Some people follow different paths or adopt different roles from Celtic culture: outsider, warrior, bard, healer, priest, etc.  Is this something that should be part of RCR?  Which paths do people here follow?  What does this mean?  Does it relate to deities and spiritual practice?  How?

I follow a bardic path, though I use the term filé rather more than bard.  It seems to tie in to an "outsider" role as well, though I am still unclear as to how prominent and important the outsider role is.  This is a very recent development in my path lately. 

In any case, my path focuses on poetry, story, the Word, nature, creativity, art, and the power of creation.  As a writer and an art student, my work informs my spirituality, and my spirituality informs my work.
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« Reply #7: May 07, 2007, 08:26:42 pm »


Hmmmm.  I've never really thought about this in these terms before.

I guess I'd have to say I'm on a blended path.  What is it a blend of?  Ummmmm.  I guess the Organizer/Manager Path + the Mom Path + the Outsider Path (that's for the social justice stuff).

And I'm "me too-ing" Sparrow's "me too" about Brighid.  But ya'll knew that.   Wink
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« Reply #8: May 08, 2007, 12:51:19 am »

I follow a bardic path, though I use the term filé rather more than bard. 

We use that term as well...  except in general conversations where bard is more accessible as a term.
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« Reply #9: May 08, 2007, 12:18:49 pm »

(If someone wants to retitle this thread, feel free!)

Some people follow different paths or adopt different roles from Celtic culture: outsider, warrior, bard, healer, priest, etc.  Is this something that should be part of RCR?  Which paths do people here follow?  What does this mean?  Does it relate to deities and spiritual practice?  How?

I have a bit of a hard time with this. I'm a storyteller, and devotee of Brighid, but I've never considered myself a bard; a devotee of Morrigan but never considered myself a warrior. I suppose it's because they both seem like titles that someone much more...accomplished/capable? than myself would take on. That, and I don't like "taking on" titles, I prefer them to be...bestowed? It's a personal quirk.

I do think this is something that should be part of RCR; in a "diaspora", as we mostly are, a little extra guidance can be helpful.
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« Reply #10: May 08, 2007, 02:15:55 pm »

I have a bit of a hard time with this. I'm a storyteller, and devotee of Brighid, but I've never considered myself a bard; a devotee of Morrigan but never considered myself a warrior. I suppose it's because they both seem like titles that someone much more...accomplished/capable? than myself would take on. That, and I don't like "taking on" titles, I prefer them to be...bestowed? It's a personal quirk.

I do think this is something that should be part of RCR; in a "diaspora", as we mostly are, a little extra guidance can be helpful.

I agree.

I don't think I would ever call myself a warrior. LOL  Based on the FAQ "warrior path" would be the best fit for me, but  meek little me feels a little uncomfortable with the warrior claim. After thinking about it though I thought the term was fitting for the kinds of things I am trying to achieve for myself and my views on social justice/activism/charity which can be a battle a lot of the time . On that front,  I would be Infantry as opposed to a General   Cheesy).
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« Reply #11: May 08, 2007, 02:24:05 pm »

I don't think I would ever call myself a warrior. LOL  Based on the FAQ "warrior path" would be the best fit for me, but  meek little me feels a little uncomfortable with the warrior claim. After thinking about it though I thought the term was fitting for the kinds of things I am trying to achieve for myself and my views on social justice/activism/charity which can be a battle a lot of the time . On that front,  I would be Infantry as opposed to a General   Cheesy).

I agree.  I'm uncomforable with using the term "Warrior", as well.  I think it's because it feels somehow pretentious (sp?).  Also, the way I think if social justice, I think "Outsider" is a bit more appropriate for me.  I think of a Warrior as someone who fights on behalf of the clan.  I think of an Outsider as someone who challenges the clan's norms.  Applying that to a modern social justice paradigm, as someone who works as an advocate, Outsider is a bit more descriptive.

I think...
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« Reply #12: May 09, 2007, 01:37:08 am »

I have a bit of a hard time with this. I'm a storyteller, and devotee of Brighid, but I've never considered myself a bard; a devotee of Morrigan but never considered myself a warrior. I suppose it's because they both seem like titles that someone much more...accomplished/capable? than myself would take on. That, and I don't like "taking on" titles, I prefer them to be...bestowed? It's a personal quirk.

I do think this is something that should be part of RCR; in a "diaspora", as we mostly are, a little extra guidance can be helpful.

I don't think of them as titles per se, but rather as functions.  For example, when you make your living selling ideas (which, I guess writing is), you need a bit of the warrior in you just to withstand readers' reports, story editors, crazy clients....  the list goes on. 

Really, looked at in a broad way, a warrior function is likely useful in most peoples lives...  we've all got battles to fight and friends and family to protect, even if the sword is more metaphorical in this day and age. 
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« Reply #13: May 09, 2007, 07:43:37 am »

I don't think of them as titles per se, but rather as functions.  For example, when you make your living selling ideas (which, I guess writing is), you need a bit of the warrior in you just to withstand readers' reports, story editors, crazy clients....  the list goes on. 

Really, looked at in a broad way, a warrior function is likely useful in most peoples lives...  we've all got battles to fight and friends and family to protect, even if the sword is more metaphorical in this day and age. 

So for those of us who are stuck with "traditional" word associations,  can someone maybe cobble together some modern functions that would go with some of these old terms?  Unfortunately after two kids and fourteen years on third shift, my brain just doesn't work like that anymore Embarrassed
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« Reply #14: May 09, 2007, 05:54:46 pm »

So for those of us who are stuck with "traditional" word associations,  can someone maybe cobble together some modern functions that would go with some of these old terms?  Unfortunately after two kids and fourteen years on third shift, my brain just doesn't work like that anymore Embarrassed

Well, for example, being a mother certainly call for warrior spirit these days.  Ideally, you teach your children a code of conduct (honor), when to surrender, negotiate or fight (warrior stategies), and to have the strength of heart to take resposiubility for one's own actions.  When you protect your children or loved ones from harm, you are excercising a warrior function.  When you protect yourself from attack at work, you are using a warrior ethic.  For example, one of the most historically documented Celtic warriors is Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, who led a revolt against the Romans.  After her husband's death and over a dispute with the Romans, Boadicea was publically whipped and her daughters raped.  The outrage caused her to lead the Iceni into war (which demonstrates that the role of wife and mother does not preclude a warrior role).

The Filid class (fili is singular) in Celtic society fulfilled a wide variety of roles, including entertainment and preservation of history.  They wrote and recited poetry, tales, myths and perserved geneologies...  all basically aimed at creating an oral history of their clan and culture.  The lowest level was that of bard -- basically a poet with a beginning level of poems and a smaller repetoire.  The highest level was ollamh, which basically meant twelve years of aprenticeship in which they mastered a huge amount of material and became expert in all the different poetic styles of the time. 

In a contemporary sense, since we are not participating in a large public religion anymore, I can see the fili role in a wide variety of activities.  We consider ourselves filid on several levels:  first, we learn and use the tales of the Celts as part of our ceremonial practice;  we are active in learning all we can about Celtic history as a way of perserving that;  we make our living through creative writing and our Celtic spirituality influences that both directly and indirectly.

However, there could be easier, less formal ways of connecting with the fili function.  By investigating, documenting and perserving your clan (family) history, you participate in that function.  You might keep a blog, write personal poetry, telling your own stories to your children, learning about Celtic history and myths...   all of these may not make you filid in the formal sense (as in --  this is your life goal), but it is a way of connecting with and valuing that function.   

One could view healing in a similar fashion...  people with an interest in herbology, who make soaps, aromatherapy products, make their living through reiki or massage or medicine...  basically any activity that results in increasing the physical or psychological well-being of those around them are connecting with the healer as a function. 

It's really a matter of engaging one's creativity.  There are naturally grades of interaction, which is why I use the term role or function rather than title.  Not everyone, for example, can become a full-time fili, but there is nothing that says you can't tap that function as a way of interacting with the gods/desses. 

Edited by Dru to add missing word.  
« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 08:11:10 pm by Drunementon » Logged

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