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Author Topic: Norse & Celtic Crossover?  (Read 12265 times)
Maythe
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« Reply #15: May 15, 2011, 02:04:59 am »

There was also a lot of exchange back and forth (physical and cultural, I would venture to say) on the continent as well, not just in the British isles. Consider the fascinating mess of Gallo(Celt)-German-Roman stuff around the borderzones, for instance.

While I may be biased (since I am interested in incorporating aspects of both Celtic and Germanic heathenry into my life), I do not see the two conflicting overmuch and they do have a lot in common, at least superficially. HRED's Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe points out many of the similarities between the two.
For example Nehellenia... a goddess honoured in Germanic, Celtic and Roman areas. I think the Anglo-Saxons are also likely to have mixed with the Britons somewhat after the Romans scarpered...? I haven't looked into that much yet but it seems probable. Our Kindred has a couple of friendly local Druids who come along to our semi-open blots. 
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"I have in this War a burning private grudge - which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler... Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light." J.R.R. Tolkein

My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink

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« Reply #16: May 15, 2011, 02:58:49 pm »

For example Nehellenia... a goddess honoured in Germanic, Celtic and Roman areas. I think the Anglo-Saxons are also likely to have mixed with the Britons somewhat after the Romans scarpered...? I haven't looked into that much yet but it seems probable. Our Kindred has a couple of friendly local Druids who come along to our semi-open blots. 

The issue really is what is Celtic. The word only refers to a language when you try and apply it to different cultures things get squiffy. For example we know continental celtic cultures had square sheilds, leaf shaped slashing swords, chariots and oppidia coinage. In Insular celtic cultures we have round shields shirt rapier stabbing swords, no chariots  and no coinage.That means a different style of warfare and a different economy.  On the surfaace 'Celtic' languages are similar but because the term Celtic can refer to speakers seperated by vast distancess lifestyle can be significantly different. Meaning the concepts the words contain, while they may appear similar, may also be significantly different.

For example we have pre roman man made temples in the continental cultures but no temples in the insular only enclosures open to the air. The funerary styles differ too so we might find that how deities were worshipped and how the afterlife was concieved of were different...

To use an historical method of justification you have to codify an uncodified celtic religion and then mesh it with something else that may be equally as diverse. You can do it if you want to and ca be a happy neopagan but you cannot feasably use any kind of pseudo academic justification to gain the pretence of being a happy academition
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Maythe
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« Reply #17: May 16, 2011, 03:06:31 am »

To use an historical method of justification you have to codify an uncodified celtic religion and then mesh it with something else that may be equally as diverse. You can do it if you want to and ca be a happy neopagan but you cannot feasably use any kind of pseudo academic justification to gain the pretence of being a happy academition

Lucky I'm not an academition then isn't it? Wink I'm kind of lost on your point here... The Celts weren't one homogenous mass of people, they were hugely variable. Yep, same goes for Germanic cultures. So trying to historically accurately recreate a single pan-Celtic (or pan-Germanic) religion is not feasible. Yep, with you there. But are you suggesting in the places the people we call Celtic and people we call Germanic came together there was no cultural mixing?

Given we can't recreate a pan-Celtic religion, since there wasn't one, individuals 'following a Celtic path' (for want of a better term) have to either choose not to recreate or choose the culture/worldview/religion of a specific time period and place to recreate. Should one be choosing not to recreate, but draw from diverse sources within the broad area of one culture, it seems reasonable that a person might choose to acknowledge influence from surrounding cultures which share roots.
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"I have in this War a burning private grudge - which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler... Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light." J.R.R. Tolkein

My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink
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« Reply #18: May 16, 2011, 09:29:02 am »

Lucky I'm not an academition then isn't it? Wink I'm kind of lost on your point here... The Celts weren't one homogenous mass of people, they were hugely variable. Yep, same goes for Germanic cultures. So trying to historically accurately recreate a single pan-Celtic (or pan-Germanic) religion is not feasible. Yep, with you there. But are you suggesting in the places the people we call Celtic and people we call Germanic came together there was no cultural mixing?

My point was you have to have x = celtic and y = heathen before you can get xy. Since it isnt possible to define either meaningfully xy is meaningless. In any posh specky way. Its just not possible to justify the practice with anything other then "I do what I want to right?" In fairness if you asked Niall Naoi Giallach or Magnus Barelegs to justify what they did theyd tell you to f off or just murder you... if youre a celtic heathen why bother putting on the pretend specky glasses so the book worms wont give you grief? Channel the heros of the past and do your thing.

Anyway Yeah there was definately cultural crossover but Europe is/was a real melting pot and IMO its a mistake to project todays nation states where everyone in the political boundry is supposed to be of one culture back into the past because thats not how things were. Take the Gundestrup Cauldron as an example. It is an Iron Age cauldron found in Denmark with celtic art on it. That should be an example of Celtic Heathen but europe being a melting pot youre never going to get anything that is purely celtic or purely heathen - that is a modern idea. The gundestrup cauldron was made in Greece and it has some roman charactors on it and thats the best youre going to get for a celtic heathen cross over... part Germanic, Part Celtic, Part Hellenic and part Pax Romana. Thats europe.

Another issue might be, say we have a celtic and heathen crossover, will what that produces be anything we can identify as celtic or heathen or would it be something new? Take Normandy, the name means northmen because Vikings settled in Celtic France ignoring the other cultures there can we find anything in the normans that we would call Heathen or Celtic? They are vikings and they interbred with celts... but I cant think of anything that would make them comparable. They werent sailing off to the crusades in Dragon ships, they werent riding around in chariots...

Its grand to say "Im a heathen Celt, there might have been lots of them historically" in conversation but IMO youd want to build the foundations of your house out of something more solid then that.


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Given we can't recreate a pan-Celtic religion, since there wasn't one, individuals 'following a Celtic path' (for want of a better term) have to either choose not to recreate or choose the culture/worldview/religion of a specific time period and place to recreate. Should one be choosing not to recreate, but draw from diverse sources within the broad area of one culture, it seems reasonable that a person might choose to acknowledge influence from surrounding cultures which share roots.

Ah the auld celtic neopaganism. I dunno that Id go for that version either, its hard to be celtic anything when drawing on the past. My personal approach to celtic neopaganism would be to look at the folk traditions first and only then go back in history when you want to paganize things or fill in percieved gaps. The word celtic in its origins and practical application is modern in concept and is applied to modern political boundries and modern people so if you want to find something that resembles the term celtic then you really need to be looking at something modern.

If you do the folk trad stuff youre actually going to spend your life meeting people and doing things instead of reading a book and having fantasy role play rituals. Its not only a better 'Celtic' thing its a better more fulfilling life.

Well all that is just IMO obviously.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 09:32:45 am by Nuadu_Of_Kildare » Logged
Maythe
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« Reply #19: May 16, 2011, 10:51:29 am »


Ah I think I'm with you now and I mostly agree!
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"I have in this War a burning private grudge - which would probably make me a better soldier at 49 than I was at 22: against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler... Ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light." J.R.R. Tolkein

My new blog: Maytheweed's Words

I'm on Ravelry as a newbie knitter - PM me if you want to friend me Wink

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