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Author Topic: Festival calendar & daily practices  (Read 13261 times)
disillusioned
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« Topic Start: March 28, 2007, 02:58:04 pm »

Randall's gonna poke me 'cause I'm so totally copying his idea in the RHR sig. Tongue

Starting a religion can be such a nebulous thing if you don't start with a baseline.  Sometimes, the easiest thing to start with is "not re-inventing the wheel" as it were.  Perhaps begin with an existing calendar of major and minor festivals and what that looks like, and what daily practices, if any, would look like.  Of course, taking into account that the festivals of continental Celts weren't always the same as those of those on the islands.

Here seems to be a useful article by Chavi on the non-Wiccan wheel of the year:
http://www.ecauldron.com/wheelnonwiccan.php

That seems to focus on only four festivals.  Another page includes solstices/equinoxes:
http://www.greenspirit.org.uk/resources/CelticYear.htm

I know it seems like such an obvious thing, but I also think that not everyone may be entirely clear on what's an actual Celtic holiday and what was co-opted from other cultures, blended into Wicca, and then spun out on the other side, mistaken as Celtic.  Know what I mean?
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« Reply #1: March 28, 2007, 03:08:16 pm »

Perhaps begin with an existing calendar of major and minor festivals and what that looks like, and what daily practices, if any, would look like.  Of course, taking into account that the festivals of continental Celts weren't always the same as those of those on the islands.
*snip*
I know it seems like such an obvious thing, but I also think that not everyone may be entirely clear on what's an actual Celtic holiday and what was co-opted from other cultures, blended into Wicca, and then spun out on the other side, mistaken as Celtic.  Know what I mean?

Thanks for getting this one started, Aelf'en.

A question was recently posted on a different thread, asking about Celtic recon holidays (http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=408.msg5681#msg5681).  Here's the answer I gave to that one.

Quote
As far as we know, the ancient Celts celebrated the fire festivals (aka the quarter days or cross quarter days):  Samhain, Imbolc, Beltain, Lughnassadh.  There is no evidence that they celebrated the solar festivals (equinoxes and solstices), but there is also no evidence that they did NOT celebrate them.

See:

http://paganachd.com/faq/index.html  (general CR FAQ)
http://paganachd.com/faq/ritual.html#whatholidays  (specifically about the holidays)
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/223216.html  (recent relevant conversation on the CR LJ community)

Others chimed in with a couple of thoughts about festivals in honor of specific deities.

My personal feelings on this are that the fire festivals are necessary for the path we're building. 

I would be perfectly OK with the solar festivals too because, hey, more parties -- what's not to like about that?  Festivals for specific deities would also be OK by me (also on the theory of more parties are good) once we figure out which deities we're deling with.
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« Reply #2: March 28, 2007, 03:43:24 pm »

  Festivals for specific deities would also be OK by me (also on the theory of more parties are good) once we figure out which deities we're deling with.

How are we going to figure that out? Has somebody already put together a list ?

I'm only familiar with the Irish and Welsh Gods. I don't have a clue about the Scottish or Continental  Embarrassed
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« Reply #3: March 28, 2007, 03:50:55 pm »

How are we going to figure that out? Has somebody already put together a list ?

I'm only familiar with the Irish and Welsh Gods. I don't have a clue about the Scottish or Continental  Embarrassed

If we're going to sit down and think about specific deity holidays, then we do need to make lists- Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etcetera. I'll start a thread for the Irish pantheon, as they're who I'm most familiar with.
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« Reply #4: March 28, 2007, 08:10:01 pm »

If we're going to sit down and think about specific deity holidays, then we do need to make lists- Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etcetera. I'll start a thread for the Irish pantheon, as they're who I'm most familiar with.

This is something that I was going to post to that follows along with the "Defining Celtic" thread.  Maybe it would be a good one and I bow to your knowledge on this but,  What pantheons would be considered Celtic?   Would it be worth posting a new topic on this as well?
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« Reply #5: March 28, 2007, 10:22:12 pm »

This is something that I was going to post to that follows along with the "Defining Celtic" thread.  Maybe it would be a good one and I bow to your knowledge on this but,  What pantheons would be considered Celtic?   Would it be worth posting a new topic on this as well?

While I do think it's useful to get lists of the Celtic pantheons out there (and sorry I'm not much help on that), I'm wondering if there are steps that need to come first.

I don't think that all of the people who are participating in this project will agree to all worship the same pantheon, and I don't even think that's necessary.  But I do think we need to figure out some foundational principles and festivals that will form the basis of this religion.

There are just too many deities that fall under the heading "Celtic".  But if we can figure out some kind of common themes for honoring and celebrating them, maybe the specifics of the pantheons can be left to personal choice?
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« Reply #6: March 28, 2007, 10:39:25 pm »


I want to expand a little on my last post.

I really didn't mean to say that we shouldn't be thinking about pantheons.  I truly apologize if it sounded that way.  I think a person's choice of pantheon and/or promary deity is HUGELY important.  As I said in some recent post in some thread (they're all starting to run together), I believe my relationship with Brighid is what is driving my interest in this project.  So, I definitely do not mean to minimize the importance of pantheon.

However, I'm worried that this process that we've just begun is going to get derailed if we start trying to reach some kind of consensus on what pantheon we should be focusing on.

So, I'm suggesting that we ackowledge that the choice of pantheon is going to be a personal thing.  I'm going to focus on the Irish pantheon -- and even more specifically on Brighid.  Another participant will choose to focus on the Welsh pantheon or the Gaulish, etc.

I hope that made sense.
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« Reply #7: March 28, 2007, 11:24:00 pm »

I want to expand a little on my last post.

I really didn't mean to say that we shouldn't be thinking about pantheons.  I truly apologize if it sounded that way.  I think a person's choice of pantheon and/or promary deity is HUGELY important.  As I said in some recent post in some thread (they're all starting to run together), I believe my relationship with Brighid is what is driving my interest in this project.  So, I definitely do not mean to minimize the importance of pantheon.

However, I'm worried that this process that we've just begun is going to get derailed if we start trying to reach some kind of consensus on what pantheon we should be focusing on.

So, I'm suggesting that we ackowledge that the choice of pantheon is going to be a personal thing.  I'm going to focus on the Irish pantheon -- and even more specifically on Brighid.  Another participant will choose to focus on the Welsh pantheon or the Gaulish, etc.

I hope that made sense.

I think part of the problem is that the pantheon choice isn't the only difference. The Celts had in some cases extreme differences, and what works for a reformed Irish Recon might not necessarily work for a reformed Welsh recon. I hate to use this analogy because it's not quite right, but it's like taking various Christian denominations and trying to make a practice they will share- it just won't work because there are some fundamental differences.
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« Reply #8: March 28, 2007, 11:29:28 pm »

I think part of the problem is that the pantheon choice isn't the only difference. The Celts had in some cases extreme differences, and what works for a reformed Irish Recon might not necessarily work for a reformed Welsh recon. I hate to use this analogy because it's not quite right, but it's like taking various Christian denominations and trying to make a practice they will share- it just won't work because there are some fundamental differences.

Maybe we need to look at this from another perspective...

Here's an article that was written several years ago to describe Celtic reconstructionism:
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=trads&id=6645

What are we trying to do that is *different* from that?
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« Reply #9: March 29, 2007, 11:50:02 am »

Maybe we need to look at this from another perspective...

Here's an article that was written several years ago to describe Celtic reconstructionism:
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=trads&id=6645

What are we trying to do that is *different* from that?

One more thought...

Maybe what we need to think about isn't so much about the beliefs and pantheons (orthodoxy?), but about the actual day-to-day, what-we-actually-DO *practice* (orthopraxy?)...?

Maybe we're looking for a ritual structure (possibly mostly for solitaries?) to hang a set of existing beliefs on?
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« Reply #10: March 29, 2007, 01:06:58 pm »

One more thought...

Maybe what we need to think about isn't so much about the beliefs and pantheons (orthodoxy?), but about the actual day-to-day, what-we-actually-DO *practice* (orthopraxy?)...?

Maybe we're looking for a ritual structure (possibly mostly for solitaries?) to hang a set of existing beliefs on?

I personally found that it's easier (so to speak) to figure out beliefs first, because in many cases the practice will evolve from those beliefs.
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« Reply #11: March 29, 2007, 01:14:10 pm »

One more thought...

Maybe what we need to think about isn't so much about the beliefs and pantheons (orthodoxy?), but about the actual day-to-day, what-we-actually-DO *practice* (orthopraxy?)...?

Maybe we're looking for a ritual structure (possibly mostly for solitaries?) to hang a set of existing beliefs on?

That's my feeling as well.  The legends, or translations of, the Heros and Gods seem eady enough to get your hands on.
I'll have to start reading more about ritual practices. Because I haven't found a community and I am at home most of the time with the kids, I have to do my own thing most of the time. The only dates I really celebrate are Imbolc  and Winter Solstice. I also include Summer Solstice but don't go to the same lengths as the other two and apart from Imbolc none of it is based on historical practices.

I would love to have something of meaning for the other holy days as well.

I don't know. Would it help for people to list what they do on their celebratory days and who or what they are honoring. with references to historical resources for us to mull over?

The other thing I was thinking is that I don't know about anybody else but I don't have the foggiest idea where to start. Maybe could start by tieinng the stuff together that  makes sense and weeding out the stuff that is too specific to one area. Then decide later on how it's all going to fit together in a useable way. I guess what I am saying is maybe to collect the information in one place first and then pick and toss later. I suppose thats what we are starting to do already. It would be nice to have contributing ideas from all the areas. What do we do if the only input we get is from Welsh and Irish followers? Do we not include Cornish or Manx, etc? Would it be difficult to add them later? I have way more questions than answers.




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« Reply #12: March 29, 2007, 04:34:12 pm »

I think part of the problem is that the pantheon choice isn't the only difference. The Celts had in some cases extreme differences, and what works for a reformed Irish Recon might not necessarily work for a reformed Welsh recon. I hate to use this analogy because it's not quite right, but it's like taking various Christian denominations and trying to make a practice they will share- it just won't work because there are some fundamental differences.

This is something that I really haven't considered, and may be one of the most important aspects of using the term "Celtic".  You are correct in every aspect and I think that it would be more beneficial to lay down a set of ground rules to say. 

When you consider the fact that many Celts fought against themselves from tribe to tribe then I think the main thing here will be that the term "Celtic" is going to be a bit broad of a term to use.  Something like "Scottish Celtic Reconstructionism, or Gaelic Celtic Reconstructionism" would be more close to the mark for much of this.

Just MHO after the fact.
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« Reply #13: March 29, 2007, 04:37:13 pm »

That's my feeling as well.  The legends, or translations of, the Heros and Gods seem eady enough to get your hands on.
I'll have to start reading more about ritual practices. Because I haven't found a community and I am at home most of the time with the kids, I have to do my own thing most of the time. The only dates I really celebrate are Imbolc  and Winter Solstice. I also include Summer Solstice but don't go to the same lengths as the other two and apart from Imbolc none of it is based on historical practices.

I would love to have something of meaning for the other holy days as well.

I don't know. Would it help for people to list what they do on their celebratory days and who or what they are honoring. with references to historical resources for us to mull over?

The other thing I was thinking is that I don't know about anybody else but I don't have the foggiest idea where to start. Maybe could start by tieinng the stuff together that  makes sense and weeding out the stuff that is too specific to one area. Then decide later on how it's all going to fit together in a useable way. I guess what I am saying is maybe to collect the information in one place first and then pick and toss later. I suppose thats what we are starting to do already. It would be nice to have contributing ideas from all the areas. What do we do if the only input we get is from Welsh and Irish followers? Do we not include Cornish or Manx, etc? Would it be difficult to add them later? I have way more questions than answers.

OK then with this, why not figure out what Comonalities are within the majority of the Celtic groups and start there?  Granted that the Pantheons will differ as some of the history and stories but there is a reason that all these groups are considered "Celtic".  What are those comonalities and how can we place them all within a religion?
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« Reply #14: March 29, 2007, 06:40:15 pm »

OK then with this, why not figure out what Comonalities are within the majority of the Celtic groups and start there?  Granted that the Pantheons will differ as some of the history and stories but there is a reason that all these groups are considered "Celtic".  What are those comonalities and how can we place them all within a religion?

But hasn't this already been done?  The essay I referenced in my post above (here, again, for ease: http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usma&c=trads&id=6645 ) does a good job of laying out core beliefs of the CR movement (at least at the time).  There are other sources for those ideas, as well:

http://www.imbas.org/articles/following_a_celtic_path.html
http://homepage.eircom.net/~shae/chapter5.htm (and other essays in this collection)

(Strangely, I don't think the CR FAQ does a very good job of actually laying out *beliefs*, despite a section called "Theology".)

So, given that a lot of people have already collected the information I *think* we're struggling with, my question is what are we trying to do that is DIFFERENT from what these CR folks have already done?

We don't need to reinvent the wheel.  We just need to figure out how we want our wheel to be different.
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