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- April 11, 2020 at 1:00 pm #9926DowrgiParticipant
There’s a lot of stuff on the net about Celtic/druid starlore, but I think we have to dismiss a lot of it as spurious – sadly. I’m talking about the stuff that purports to be some kind of long lost ancient knowledge or what is patently just every other tradition’s starlore translated into <choose Celtic language>. I feel that this is a great shame as we are told by the ancient sources that the druids of old were respected astronomers; it seems as if much of their knowledge has long been lost. Nevertheless, I have put together a few bits and pieces that are traditional ideas from Wales and Cornwall and were not reinvented in the 19th century by characters like Iolo Morganwg.
The Milky Way is known in Welsh traditions as Caer Gwydion (Gwydion’s Fort) as well as Bwa’r Gwynt, Heol y Gwynt and Llwybr y Gwynt (the Arch/Road/Path of the Wind). The connections between Gwydion and the wind would be interesting to explore. Caer Arianrhod (Fort of Arianrhod) refers to the Corona Borealis. In Hanes Taliesin, Taliesin claims to “know the names of the stars from north to south” and to have spent “three periods in the prison of Arianrod”. In addition, there is a place off the coast from Dinas Dinlle (Fort of Lleu) near Llandwrog in Gwynedd, Wales called Caer Arianrhod. The potential Taliesin, Arianrhod and Ceridwen connections with this are far too many to go into here, but well worth investigation.
Other starlore names that may have a strong connection to genuine folk belief and survivals in the Celtic countries include Y Saith Seren Sirion (The Seven Cheerful Stars) – the Pleiades – and given their connection in Classical mythology (Greek) to the sea, I am tempted to see a connection with the Irish poem Cétnad nAíse in which the Seven Daughters of the Sea are invoked for protection, although I hasten to add that this is my own conjecture; Llys Dôn (The Court of Dôn) refers to Cassiopeia and Telyn Arthur (Arthur’s Harp) refers to Lyra.
In terms of folklore, it is/was a widespread British superstition that it was unlucky to point at or attempt to count the stars – they were obviously held in reverence. And a very typically Cornish tradition, also found in South West Britain, and which I was also taught to do, was to bow to the new moon and turn your coins over in your pocket or take a silver coin, spit on it three times while bowing to the new moon and turning it over in your fingers. The symbolism of the silver coin and the moon is quite clear. Curiously, it was considered unlucky to do this or see the new moon through glass!
Anyway, I hope this has added something to our knowledge and been interesting. Has anyone else got any bits and pieces to add?
A couple of references:
Daearyddiaeth, Robert Roberts (1816).April 11, 2020 at 2:30 pm #9931Anonymous
As druids we can work with the energy of the stars and sun and moon. An example of this is cutting herbs at the right time of the stars and moon, so that the herbs will have the maximum spiritual energy in them. Further, I would point out that there is a complete druid library on the astral planes, for druids who can enter the astral world and pass the gatekeeper at the hinge, none of the druid knowledge has been lost, you just have to learn how to access it. There are many druids in the spiritual world that are happy to help druids in the mundane world. The spiritual world is real, and right next to us. I think one key to the spiritual world’s power, is just asking. You have to ask to receive. That is the way the universe works. And a power animal may show you more about the druid spiritual world so pay attention to the animals and birds when they show up because they may be sending you a message. And why should people assume that the druids were not in contact with the extraterrestrials. I say they were, and did go to other planets and took rides in ET ships. The ET’s have been here for a longer time than the druids. However, I think too many druids are what I call harry potter druids, who don’t believe in the spiritual world. Harry Potter Druids think that being a druid is a big act, and they like the pretty dresses and robes that druids wear, and they like the partying that sometimes goes on at pagan gatherings, and they don’t think anything about being a druid is real. I like to party too, but the Harry Potter druids have no real interest in anything but partying. Still, there is great magic in the stars, and I want to learn the names of the different stars and constellations, and I want to learn about all the different herbs, and be able to recognize them. Stars are awesome and inspiring. I hope that all of our fellow druids and druidesses will inspire each other to be healthier and more spiritual people. We are stardust. And all things are interwoven, so the stars do influence us. Oh, it is so cool how the galaxies revolve in giant spirals. Still, this is all just my opinion. I encourage all druids to think for themselves and question authority. However, I think most of us would agree on some universal laws, like karma, which is also what justice is in the druid prayer that is said at the poetry contests. I am starting to get off course, so I will end this with saying that the spiritual world is right next to us and interwoven with us and the answers are there if you ask, but you have ask the universe, and have to tell it what you want. I would quote scripture, but I am not sure that is really in the theme of being a druid, and there is a little Harry Potter in me that does enjoy the whole game and culture of being a druid because we are all actors on the stage of life to some extent. And what would a Kiss Concert be with out all the flash pots and costumes. Hey, it is better than dressing up in a coat and tie and talking about nothing but sports while getting wasted on beer. So, get a glass of milk from the cow in the moonbeam and some red mushrooms with white spots for your salad, and some starleaf brownies, and some druid gummy bears, and enjoy the stars. What do you think? Best, Star-Tree
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