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Author Topic: Rituals and Devotions in CR and Celtic Polytheism  (Read 6367 times)
Geroth
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« Topic Start: June 26, 2011, 08:07:53 am »

Hi, I am relatively new to Paganism but I am keen to learn more about CR and Celtic tradition in general. I read a little bit about it on the CR FAQ but it didn't really go into much detail about rituals. How exactly do you do rituals and devotions? Is there any form of set ritual structure? Also, I feel attracted to the Norse god, Thor. Is possible to include him in Celtic rituals?
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harzgeist
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« Reply #1: June 26, 2011, 01:42:28 pm »

Hi, I am relatively new to Paganism but I am keen to learn more about CR and Celtic tradition in general. I read a little bit about it on the CR FAQ but it didn't really go into much detail about rituals. How exactly do you do rituals and devotions? Is there any form of set ritual structure? Also, I feel attracted to the Norse god, Thor. Is possible to include him in Celtic rituals?

I looked into CR rituals myself lately and I found the following two websites quite helpful:

http://www.gaolnaofa.com/ - the site has information on how to do a solitary ritual, and also about daily devotions, prayers, etc.

http://tairis.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=101:welcome&catid=35:home&Itemid=1
this site seems to focus more on Scottish Recon, but there's also a lot of information on Irish CR (and possibly Welsh, I haven't looked into their information on Wales).
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UlsterYank
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anmericeanach
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« Reply #2: June 26, 2011, 02:55:47 pm »

I looked into CR rituals myself lately and I found the following two websites quite helpful:

http://www.gaolnaofa.com/ - the site has information on how to do a solitary ritual, and also about daily devotions, prayers, etc.

http://tairis.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=101:welcome&catid=35:home&Itemid=1
this site seems to focus more on Scottish Recon, but there's also a lot of information on Irish CR (and possibly Welsh, I haven't looked into their information on Wales).
Two great sites, and a good member behind both Wink
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Seren
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« Reply #3: June 26, 2011, 04:18:12 pm »

Two great sites, and a good member behind both Wink

*blushes furiously* Thanks. Tairis is all my own work, but I only contribute bits towards Gaol Naofa; there's a few of us who contribute to the site there, including Gorm.

[/quote]
Hi, I am relatively new to Paganism but I am keen to learn more about CR and Celtic tradition in general. I read a little bit about it on the CR FAQ but it didn't really go into much detail about rituals. How exactly do you do rituals and devotions? Is there any form of set ritual structure? Also, I feel attracted to the Norse god, Thor. Is possible to include him in Celtic rituals?

There isn't a set ritual structure as such, though there are some elements that tend to be quite common to a lot of practitioners; certain groups might have their own rituals and set structures, but that doesn't mean that they're universal throughout CR.

Offerings and simple prayers form the backbone of Gaelic practice for most (I can't speak for other Celtic traditions), and a lot of festival practices are drawn from the living traditions still found today, in addition to folk customs that have been recorded over the past few centuries. Of the websites you've been pointed to, I'd recommend taking a look at:

Ritual Within Gaelic Polytheism - will give you an introduction and a general overview
(De)constructing Reconstructionist Ritual - a little more in-depth, kind of a companion piece to the first article, with a list of some ritual examples you can look at
Daily Rites - will give you an idea of some examples of what can be done on a daily basis
Daily Practices - could do with an overhaul but that's the intro to some examples I give on my own site

As a general rule, non-Celtic gods don't tend to be mixed in with CR practices. In some instances there can be precedences for syncreticism (e.g. Gallo-Roman practice), but if it's not historically attested then it can't really be called reconstructionist per se. Some might argue that since syncretism is attested at all, then it's OK to syncretise at will. Others argue that in trying to reconstruct practices, it's best to start with what we know from the sources, and stay more strictly within those lines (it could be argued, for one, that syncretism is only really found when we see instances of conquest from those other cultures that syncretised with the native practices). There's also the question of at what point a culturally-focused path strays too far from that culture, and adding in other culture's gods raises issues for both sets of gods from a recon perspective...It's a tricky issue, from a strictly reconstructionist perspective, to be honest. Many end up deciding to either forge their own path, or choose to honour gods within their own cultural practices.
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Geroth
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« Reply #4: June 27, 2011, 12:21:00 am »

I looked into CR rituals myself lately and I found the following two websites quite helpful:

http://www.gaolnaofa.com/ - the site has information on how to do a solitary ritual, and also about daily devotions, prayers, etc.

http://tairis.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=101:welcome&catid=35:home&Itemid=1
this site seems to focus more on Scottish Recon, but there's also a lot of information on Irish CR (and possibly Welsh, I haven't looked into their information on Wales).

Thank you so much for the links. I am also curious to hear how you celebrate festivals and holidays such as Imbolc, Samhain and Bealtaine from a solitary perspective?
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Aster Breo
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« Reply #5: June 28, 2011, 12:23:29 am »

Thank you so much for the links. I am also curious to hear how you celebrate festivals and holidays such as Imbolc, Samhain and Bealtaine from a solitary perspective?

Seren's website is really fantastic and comprehensive.  You really can't do better than that for info on this topic.

That said, there are a few books that might also interest you.  Fairly recently (within the last few years), a couple of books have come out:  Celtic Flame: An Insider's Guide to Irish Pagan Tradition, by Aedh Rua, and Celtic Spirit-Fire: An Adventurous Journey Into The Sacred World, by Michael J. McCoy.  I have them, but have not read them completely, so I can't recommend them.  However, they can certainly provide some ritual structures and examples, as well as inspiration.

An older book, The Apple Branch:  A Path to Celtic Ritual, by Alexei Kondratiev, is somewhat dated, but still useful.  It was written before the Celtic Recon "movement" really got started, so it's a bit on the "Wiccish" side.  Still very good for the history and for inspiration, as is all of Alexei's work.

You should definitely check out Erynn Laurie's website.  She has a section on rituals, which provides some excellent examples. 

You might also want to look at the IMBAS website.  Although the organization is basically defunct, the site still has good material, including (IIRC) at leastjavascript:void(0); one ritual example.

We have a Flamekeeping Cill (the kind of Flamekeeping that honors the Irish Goddess Brighid, not the Flamekeeping path developed by TC's own HeartShadow, which has nothing to do with Brighid or anything Celtic) here on TC.  Take a look at the threads in the Cill SIG for discussion of how Cill members celebrate Imbolc.  If you're specifically interested in Imbolc, I can provide a few resources on that festival.

~ Aster
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