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Author Topic: Seeking advice on finding gods and paths  (Read 16186 times)
Juni
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« Reply #15: January 05, 2010, 08:20:01 pm »

there's something about Celtic Recon that doesn't sit right with me.

There's a lot more to Celtic paganism than just Celtic Reconstructionism; if you continue to feel the call of the Celts, there are many other paths that you may feel more comfortable with.
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« Reply #16: January 05, 2010, 08:40:19 pm »

there's something about Celtic Recon that doesn't sit right with me.

You don't have to be a CR just because you're drawn to Celtic deities or spirituality.

Many of us here on TC have the same kind of "pull" to all things Celtic.  Most of us value historical research very highly and read everything we can.  But many of us are developing our own paths, some more and some less based on CR.

In my case, for example, I am pretty far from CR.  Although I believe in the all the deities, I have a relationship only with Brighid -- and it's a little unconventional.  (F'ex, She has made it clear to me that I'm not to reach out to other god/desses, although I think I could respond if one contacted me, which I doubt will happen.)  And, while I have done a lot of research on Celtic history and on CR, I do virtually nothing that is typical of CR.  I do very little ritual, and what I do is very informal.  I acknowledge the holidays, but Imbolc is the only one I actually celebrate.  I am familiar with the values that are common among CRs, but I haven't codified a particular set for myself.  Etc.

All this is simply to suggest that Celtic Reconstructionism is not the only way to "do" Celtic spirituality.

Something else that's sort of bewildered me is that the seeking I'm doing right now grew out of a need for a female divine presence in my life, but I'm getting more of a pull from the men, specifically Cernunnos and Tyr. I have a pretty strong feeling about following the Celtic or the Norse paths, but whenever I research anything, I feel totally overwhelmed, and I don't know if it would be weird to try both and see which one works out. Any of you wiser folk have suggestions for this?

I'm not 100% sure what you're asking here.  Are you asking if it's OK to try to develop relationships with both Cernunnos and Tyr to see if one works out better than the other?

If that's the question, I don't see why you can't.  Lots of people have relationships with more than one deity, some work with entire pantheons.  You might well find that they each have something specific to offer that you need for different reasons or at different times.  Or you might find that one has a short-term task for you, while the other plans a longer-term relationship.  You won't know until you give it a try.

One word of caution, though.  If you do reach out to both, and decide later that you don't want to pursue things with one, I'd advise you to end the relationship respectfully.

As for being overwhelmed, as kemet83 said, that's very common.  I think it's much more unusual to NOT be overwhelmed.   Wink  There is a LOT of material, some good, some bad, some parts of which contradict other parts.  Most of us have been studying the cultures we're interested in for many years.  And there's ALWAYS more to learn.  Remember, you don't have to learn it all at once -- even though you want to.   Wink  Pace yourself or you'll burn out.

My method was to make a list of all the books I wanted to read (compiled from the various Celtic reading lists available).  I prioritized them, and just went down the list.  When I finished one book, I thought about whether it had changed my interests so my priorities changed, and re-evaluated the list as I went.  Eventually, I noticed that I was particularly interested in the material about Brighid.  So I started to focus on that.  Once I exhausted all that material, I went back to other subjects.  Taking notes as you go might help you too.  I used tape flags to mark things in my books with a color-coded system.  

It doesn't really matter what system you use.  The end result will be the same.

I hope these ideas help a little.
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« Reply #17: January 06, 2010, 12:38:01 am »

There's a lot more to Celtic paganism than just Celtic Reconstructionism; if you continue to feel the call of the Celts, there are many other paths that you may feel more comfortable with.

I'm curious now...what are some of these? It's hard to search for Celtic paganism and not get pages upon pages of Wicca (which isn't a path I'm drawn to) or straight CR.
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« Reply #18: January 06, 2010, 10:41:54 am »

I'm curious now...what are some of these? It's hard to search for Celtic paganism and not get pages upon pages of Wicca (which isn't a path I'm drawn to) or straight CR.

My mind doesn't seem to be working at full capacity today; right now only two groups are coming to mind, ADF and OBOD.

ADF, which means "Our Own Druidry" in Irish if I recall correctly, is not specifically Celtic in orientation, but I believe it does incorporate a lot of Celtic mythology into the core practice and can be made a specifically Celtic path by the practitioner. There are several members on the board who have either completed the beginner's training or are working their way through it right now that could tell you more about it.

OBOD is the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, and is a modern Druidry path- honestly I don't know any more about it than that, but it is Celtic in focus, and they do have a beginner's training course.

And there's also the Henge of Keltria, another modern Druidic group; as I recall, they used to consider themselves recons, but given that the label was so obviously misapplied they seem to have moved away from it.

There's also a number of members on TC that have forged their own way in Celtic paganism (as Moon Ivy mentioned) who rely on historical information in a similar manner as recons, but use the information differently. Moon Ivy and Finn spring readily to mind; the Celts are one of the three ancient cultures I draw my inspiration from, and there are a number more of us over in the Hazel & Oak SIG. The drawback to finding your own way, of course, is that you generally lack a community of co-religionists.

I'm sure there are other groups that I am either unaware of or just not thinking of at the moment, that other members could direct you to.
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« Reply #19: January 06, 2010, 04:47:53 pm »

I feel comfortable with pretty much everything in Asatru, except for seidr magic.
That shouldn't be an issue; seidr isn't a "core" practice in Asatru.

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« Reply #20: January 06, 2010, 04:59:58 pm »

I'm curious now...what are some of these? It's hard to search for Celtic paganism and not get pages upon pages of Wicca (which isn't a path I'm drawn to) or straight CR.

I cannot stress the importance of research and education enough. However, as this is a spiritual journey you are attempting to embark upon there should be a spiritual part to it. Once you have a good idea of the basics of several religions you should feel free to move on to other methods.

I hesitate to suggest divination as it can be iffy to the most well-trained oracles and or seer, but if you know someone whom you trust and who is gifted, it might be a good question. Seeing as how you are drawn to Celtic and Norse paths, a runic reading might be worth a try.

Also, during research, try not to limit yourself to only Celtic and Norse traditions. I know it is always the most fun to learn about your interests, but their are parallels between certain religions that can confuse you. What comes to my mind is Roman settlement of Northern Europe including Germania, Briton, and other areas where Celts and Nordic peoples originally dominated. There was, after a time, an amount of syncretism. If you think about the majority of written sorces we have about Norse and Celtic religion, you'll see it was written only after the encroachmemt of christendom. More importantly, the myths are generally set at a time before the Roman invasion. *shrug* Something to think about.

Dreams are always a good source to monitor. Your sub-concious can tell you a lot, particularly when you are seeking. Also, some may criticize me for saying this, but I have found it to hold true for me. If you have ever been under the influence of psychotropic or hallucinogenic drugs, what you saw or heard may be a good indication of who may be calling you. It could all just be induced by the drug, but I certainly feel my own halucinations were guided in my one experience with halucinogens. Recurring dreams or fantasies can be especially helpful in pointing you in the right directions.

Think about all of your favorite things. Especially those that you have felt drawn to from childhood.
Anything you keep ties with through adolescence might beimportant. This, I think, is because we go through so many changes during puberty that anything your brian holds onto is generally inportant to you on a psychological or possibly religious level. Your favorite animal, color, vacation spot, music, etc etc etc. These were some of the strongest indicators I received while seeking.

Also, be mindful of your self ad your emotions.
 
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« Reply #21: January 06, 2010, 05:09:05 pm »



I don't mean to take up too much space, but I thought of something else that I am
not sure has been really mentioned. If it has been gone over, my apologies for the redundance.

Do not underestimate the power of interpersonal communication in your research. As you're doing here, do not hesitate to come to others for help or advice. You should also, if you haven't already, consult with those on paths related to your interests.
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« Reply #22: January 06, 2010, 11:25:46 pm »

I cannot stress the importance of research and education enough. However, as this is a spiritual journey you are attempting to embark upon there should be a spiritual part to it. Once you have a good idea of the basics of several religions you should feel free to move on to other methods.

I think that's the point I'm at right now, I just need to find something that would work.


Quote
Also, during research, try not to limit yourself to only Celtic and Norse traditions. I know it is always the most fun to learn about your interests, but their are parallels between certain religions that can confuse you. What comes to my mind is Roman settlement of Northern Europe including Germania, Briton, and other areas where Celts and Nordic peoples originally dominated. There was, after a time, an amount of syncretism. If you think about the majority of written sorces we have about Norse and Celtic religion, you'll see it was written only after the encroachmemt of christendom. More importantly, the myths are generally set at a time before the Roman invasion. *shrug* Something to think about.

I'm definitely aware of all the cultural mixing that went on, which is why I can't quite get on board with the really strict Recons. I have a pretty decent background in the Greek gods, and I've always felt a bit of a connection to Artemis because to my 12 year old mind she was the most "bad-ass".  Wink

Quote
If you have ever been under the influence of psychotropic or hallucinogenic drugs, what you saw or heard may be a good indication of who may be calling you. It could all just be induced by the drug, but I certainly feel my own halucinations were guided in my one experience with halucinogens. Recurring dreams or fantasies can be especially helpful in pointing you in the right directions.

Unluckily for me, I rarely remember my dreams. I've never used any drugs, but I have read some accounts of people who have had very spiritual experiences in such situations.

Quote
Think about all of your favorite things. Especially those that you have felt drawn to from childhood.
Anything you keep ties with through adolescence might beimportant. This, I think, is because we go through so many changes during puberty that anything your brian holds onto is generally inportant to you on a psychological or possibly religious level. Your favorite animal, color, vacation spot, music, etc etc etc. These were some of the strongest indicators I received while seeking.

Also, be mindful of your self ad your emotions.
 

I remember a moment from when I was about 8 years old. I was sitting in the living room with my dad and the TV was on in the background. An advertisment for a travel show about Ireland and the British Isles came on and I was totally spellbound. My dad sort of chuckled and said "The little bit of Irish in you is that strong, is it?" A lot of the things you mentioned (animal, color, music...) all kind of point that way as well.

I think what sort of puts me a bit off the Celtic path is the tendency to romanticize and soften it, and the Celts were not a soft people! I also seem to have little interest in the mythology for some reason. I know that's probably kind of silly, but it's just sort of there.
I've been talking to an Asatru friend of mine about this, but I don't know anyone who is on a Celtic path that I could talk to face to face. So I'll be relying on the Celtic folks here.  Cheesy
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« Reply #23: January 06, 2010, 11:57:29 pm »

I think that's the point I'm at right now, I just need to find something that would work.
Great! That is usually the funnest part IMHO.

I'm definitely aware of all the cultural mixing that went on, which is why I can't quite get on board with the really strict Recons. I have a pretty decent background in the Greek gods, and I've always felt a bit of a connection to Artemis because to my 12 year old mind she was the most "bad-ass".  Wink

Definitely, strict recon is a little much for me as well. I previously identified as a Hellenic recon but  am now using the term Hellenic polytheist.

Artemis would probably have been Diana to the Celts and ancient Irish due to the Roman influence but I am sure you knew that!  Tongue Artemis is one of the deities I am closest with along with her twin. I was initially drawn to Apollon, which is what I was referring to when I mentioned my hallucinations, dreams too. After I felt the connection to him through my visions of wolfs (which had also been my favorite animal from early childhood) I was led also to his sister.
Unluckily for me, I rarely remember my dreams. I've never used any drugs, but I have read some accounts of people who have had very spiritual experiences in such situations.

I have the same problem with dreams! It is an excercise in discipline, much like meditation to address your last question which I failed to do previously. Or so they say, I wouldn't really know.

Ohhh yes, I had a very spiritual experience. Apparently I was very religiously grandiose.  Shocked
I remember a moment from when I was about 8 years old. I was sitting in the living room with my dad and the TV was on in the background. An advertisment for a travel show about Ireland and the British Isles came on and I was totally spellbound. My dad sort of chuckled and said "The little bit of Irish in you is that strong, is it?" A lot of the things you mentioned (animal, color, music...) all kind of point that way as well.

That is definitely a good memory to have when seeking. I have always felt drawn to my Scottish and Irish heritage, especially when watching Braveheart or listening to Irish oi punk, but never was I called to the religion though it does interest me on a mundane level.
I think what sort of puts me a bit off the Celtic path is the tendency to romanticize and soften it, and the Celts were not a soft people! I also seem to have little interest in the mythology for some reason. I know that's probably kind of silly, but it's just sort of there.
I've been talking to an Asatru friend of mine about this, but I don't know anyone who is on a Celtic path that I could talk to face to face. So I'll be relying on the Celtic folks here.  Cheesy

Not silly at all! That's another tip, don't discard any genuine feelings you have about spiritual matters.

Yes, I am not very familiar with any Celtic recons or other Celtic believers, but I have a friend or two who are Ásatruar.
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« Reply #24: January 07, 2010, 12:46:19 am »


This is something else I just remembered/realized. I have a bookshelf in my room that I set up before I started seeking anything. It has my wood flute and penny flute on one side, my knives on the other, an oil burner, an incense burner, a figure of a horse, and a triskelle medallion on it, all placed very deliberately. It just struck me as odd that I had chosen those things.
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« Reply #25: January 07, 2010, 02:11:49 am »

This is something else I just remembered/realized. I have a bookshelf in my room that I set up before I started seeking anything. It has my wood flute and penny flute on one side, my knives on the other, an oil burner, an incense burner, a figure of a horse, and a triskelle medallion on it, all placed very deliberately. It just struck me as odd that I had chosen those things.

Interesting to be sure. Now, I don't want to give the impression that every little thing is a sign or omen. However, when you are being tugged by someone then you woyld be wise to look into anything that seems significant to you. Just take it all with a grain of salt and don't be foolish thinking that the way you tie your shoes or that chinese place you always enjoy are signs pointing you in the right direction. Taste in art and decor could definitely be a sign though!

The triskelion and the horse are particularly interesting to me. Perhaps a horse god/ess? The only deity associated with horses that I can think of off the top of my head is Poseidon so I am afraid I am no help there.  Cheesy Though I am sure you have already researched the associations.
 
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« Reply #26: January 07, 2010, 12:39:21 pm »

The triskelion and the horse are particularly interesting to me. Perhaps a horse god/ess? The only deity associated with horses that I can think of off the top of my head is Poseidon so I am afraid I am no help there.  Cheesy Though I am sure you have already researched the associations.

The ones that come to my mind are Epona and Rhiannon. If I am not mistaken they are Celtic goddesses.

There's also Odin and his eight legged horse Sleipnir, who is Norse.
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« Reply #27: January 07, 2010, 01:01:01 pm »

The ones that come to my mind are Epona and Rhiannon. If I am not mistaken they are Celtic goddesses.

There's also Odin and his eight legged horse Sleipnir, who is Norse.

Kind of a loose association here, but I was guided to Manannan Mac Lir through His horse - Enbarr or Splendid Maine, among other names.
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« Reply #28: January 07, 2010, 04:09:31 pm »

The ones that come to my mind are Epona and Rhiannon. If I am not mistaken they are Celtic goddesses.

There's also Odin and his eight legged horse Sleipnir, who is Norse.

Oh right! I had forgotten Epona! My favorite horse from Zelda.
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« Reply #29: January 08, 2010, 01:19:28 am »

The ones that come to my mind are Epona and Rhiannon. If I am not mistaken they are Celtic goddesses.

There's also Odin and his eight legged horse Sleipnir, who is Norse.

Epona was the one that came to mind. I didn't know Rhiannon had horse associations, but I don't know much about her. Horses are probably my most long-lasting obsession. My room was covered in them when I was little. (Actually, it still is!  Wink) It kills me that I can't seem to secure a way to be around them.
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