CHAPTER XXV SURVIVALS OF THE CELTIC PAGANISM INTO MODERN TIMES . True Celtic polytheism or Celtic paganism is virtually impossible to... Read more. For me, I usually practice as a solitary pagan, but there have been times when my friends celebrated with me. The wren, too, is hunted to death upon St. Stephen's Day in Ireland. The sun-god himself is said to have instituted the August festival called "Lugnassad" (Lugh's commemoration) in Ireland, "Lla Lluanys" in Man, and "Gwyl Awst" (August Feast) in Wales; and it was once of hardly less importance than Beltaine or Samhain. Then all would race headlong down the hill, shouting a formula to the effect that the devil would get the hindmost. I would love to know if you could recommend some literature to read. We have shown what can be gathered of the broken remnants of a mythology as splendid in conception and as brilliant in colour as that of the Greeks. So, Think of the Celtic Warrior as the beginner - to - intermediate manifestation of the Celtic Pagan. 3 And it was when she was "a-maying" in the woods and fields near Westminster that the same Gwyn, or Melwas, under his romance-name of Sir Meliagraunce, captured Arthur's queen, Guinevere. Its crime is said to be that it has "a drop of the de’il's blood in it", but the real reason is probably to be found in the fact that the Irish druids used to draw auguries from its chirpings. It was the beginning, too, of the ancient Celtic year, 2 and omens for the future might be extorted from dark powers by uncanny rites. 407:4 Morte Darthur, Book XIX, chaps. 271, 275. To some of these still-half-believed-in nature-gods offerings were made down to a comparatively late period. I usually leave out berries and mini muffins in my flower garden. As Celtic Pagans do not follow the Wiccan Reed, and intead follow the Values system including Honor, Justice and Courage; it is obvious that being able to protect ones loved ones and those under your protection is an important aspect fo the Celtic Pagan. 417:2 Dr. Whitley Stokes: Three Middle Irish Homilies. Therefore you must make your choices based on the cosmic right vs wrong - and follow through with them no matter what. 1 Caesar noted the custom among the druids of constructing huge wicker-work images, which they filled with living men, and set on fire, and it can hardly be doubted that the wretched wolves, foxes, and cats were ceremonial substitutes for human beings. * Wicca does not require a connection to ancestors or the land (many Wiccans chose to honor the land and their ancestors, but it is not required). Great and powerful sun, we honor you this day and thank you for your gifts. 414:5 Gomme: Ethnology in Folklore, p. 78. The passing of persons and cattle through flame or smoke was explained as a practice which interposed a magic protection between them and the powers of evil. Is Gwyn ap Nudd often thought of in his own valleys of the Tawë and the Nedd? 2 But of late years the well-spirits have had to be content with much smaller tributes--such trifles as pins, rags, coloured pebbles, and small coins. The second is the practice of a symbolic human sacrifice by those who have forgotten its meaning, and only know that they. I run my fingers over the ink on my body and I can feel the blood of my ancestors flowing through my veins. 403:2 Charles Godfrey Leland: Etruscan Roman Remains in Popular Tradition. Of these great solar periods, the first and the last were, naturally, the most important. As the Sun, he nurtures the crops while they grow. Have the stable-boys of to-day still any faith left in Finvarra? to a quite different, and much lower, kind of imagination. We shall get, therefore, more satisfactory evidence of the nature of the Celtic paganism by examining such customs than in any other way. Also, when I perform my ritual I like to listen to music, my favorite song for this occasion is “Litha” by Lisa Thiel. Its colossal fragments are perhaps too deeply buried and too widely scattered. If you want to perform a Litha ritual on your own, here’s how you can do that. Whether the great edifice of the Celtic mythology will ever be wholly restored one can at present only speculate. Their king, Brude, received him contemptuously, and the royal druids left no heathen spell unuttered to thwart and annoy him. p. 399. [paragraph continues] I cry out upon the mountains, fountains, or hills, or upon the rivers, which now are subservient to the use of men, but once were an abomination and destruction to them, and to which the blind people paid divine honour." The first--called "Beltaine" in Ireland, "Bealtiunn" in Scotland, "Shenn da Boaldyn'' in the Isle of Man, and "Galan-Mai" (the Calends of May) in Wales--celebrates the waking of the earth from her winter sleep, and the renewal of warmth, life, and vegetation. The animal gods either found themselves the heroes of Christian legends, or where, for some reason, such adoption was hopeless, were proclaimed "witches' animals", and dealt with accordingly. 1 At midnight the people rose, and, going to the nearest woods, tore down branches of trees, with which the sun, when he rose, would find doors and windows decked for him. The colossal human sacrifices of the druids horrified even a people who were far from squeamish about a little bloodshed. St. Columba, when he went in the sixth century to convert the Picts, found a spring which they worshipped as a god; he blessed it, and "from that day the demon separated from the water". 414:2 Rogers: Social Life in Scotland, chap. 6 In some cases these wells were resorted to for the cure of diseases; in others, to obtain change of weather, or "good luck". But there is yet something sinister in the air; the "fairies" are active and abroad, and one must be careful to omit no prescribed rite, if one would avoid kindling their anger or falling into their power. The Dee received divine honours as a war-goddess with the title of Aerfon, while the Ribble, under its name of Belisama, was identified by the Romans with Minerva. 3 It is needless to multiply instances of a still surviving cult of water, trees, stones, and animals. 1 At Kirkcudbright, it was St. Cuthbert, and at Clynnog, in Wales, it was St. Beuno, who was thought to delight in the blood of bulls. At a well in the "Devil's Causeway", between Ruckley and Acton, in Shropshire, lived, and perhaps still live, four frogs who were, and perhaps still are, believed to be "the devil and his imps"--that is to say, gods or demons of a proscribed idolatry. In addition to the revival of Greek, Germanic, and Slavic forms of paganism, there is also an attempt to revive Celtic paganism. 2 The genius of a well in Banffshire took the form of a fly, which was also said to be undying, but to transmigrate from body to body. At the midsummer bonfires in Ireland all passed through the fire; the men when the flames were highest, the women when they were lower, and the cattle when there was nothing left but smoke. It was on Beltaine-day that the Gaelic gods, the Tuatha Dé Danann, and, after them, the Gaelic men, first set foot on Irish soil. Next: A Few Books upon Celtic Mythology and Literature. 4 Similarly, too, the worship. This festival was a sad one: summer was over, and winter, with its short, sunless days and long, dreary nights, was at hand. I found that there was a point in history where most of Europe was polytheistic and worshiped the divinity of the natural world. 1 The Tweed, like many of the Greek rivers, was credited with human descendants. The secular arm had no power in Scotland and in Ireland, consequently the battle between Paganism and Christianity was fought upon more equal terms, and lasted longer. come out and play amongst the humans. Christianity, following the Roman rule, completed the ruin of paganism in Britain, so far, at least, as its public manifestations were concerned. 1 The descendants of the Romans and Etruscans hold that the old Etruscan gods and the Roman deities of the woods and fields still live in the world as spirits. Whatever may have been the exact meaning of the Celtic state worship, there seems to be no doubt that it centred around the four great days in the year which chronicle the rise, progress, and decline of the sun, and, therefore, of the fruits of the earth. them began early. They are still celebrated by the descendants of the Celts, though it is probable that few of them know--or would even care to know--why May Day, St. John's Day, Lammas, and Hallowe’en are times, of ceremony.
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