- June 16, 2020 at 8:07 am #11143
I don’t live in the world of myth, I live in the Celtic Otherworld. Implying something is mythic is to see things as not real.
The idea that myth means something that is untrue – “just a fairy tale” – and so in is a fairly recent development from the 19th century and seems to have formed part of our modern materialistic way of thinking, but I don’t think ancient peoples saw things the same way. Myth illustrates or expresses a truth, very often it is not obvious because only by exploring the myth and its mystery can a person arrive at the truth underlying it. Myths are not meant to be read like history books or chronologies and I think it’s foolish to do so because you run the risk of missing out on the actual message. Unfortunately, our modern way of thinking does not seem to like anything that is non-analytical and we try to apply empirical and analytical or materialistic thinking to areas in which they are not necessarily suited. Now, there’s nothing wrong with analytical and empirical thinking in the right place, for example, a medical trial or an engineering project, but I don’t think it’s always suitable for other realms. Imagine different ways of thinking as tools, you wouldn’t use a screwdriver when you needed a saw and you wouldn’t try to hammer a nail with a spirit level, but you would use all of these tools in the right way for the right job, would you not?
I have a difficult time remembering any real stories that have spiritual lesson in them. Perhaps you could point some out, and refresh my memory. Are there any Celtic sermons on the mount? or parables in the myths that can teach us some profound lesson of how we as druids can live a better spiritual life.
Well, that is part of the hard graft we have to put in to work along our respective paths. There is no need for a “Celtic Sermon on the Mount” because we already have a Sermon on the Mount and there is nothing that precludes anyone following a druid path from taking those words to heart and learning from them or applying them to their life.
In terms of what I think you may be looking for, you could try Tecosca Cormaic (The Instructions of King Cormac), Audacht Morainn (The Testament of Morainn), Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu (The Wise Sayings of Flann son of Oswiu), and even look at the Senchus Mor and consider the ancient Irish legal system known as Brehon Law. These are interesting as they give a very good insight into notions of morality and justness in ancient Gaelic society even if the language and the references may seem obscure to us in today’s world.
/|\June 19, 2020 at 4:15 pm #11175PeteParticipant
Do you know of any standard services for the 8 yearly celebrations, and do you know of any standard prayers that are said at druid gatherings.
The BDO bardic course gives a ritual outline as well as a look at the themes around the wheel of the year which can be used within ones seasonal rituals.June 20, 2020 at 3:17 am #11179
Dear Pete, Thank you for that information. I have just started the BDO bardic course, so I will keep and eye out for the rituals. I know that in Chief Greywolf’s book he made some correspondences between the different Celtic Gods and Goddesses and the different seasonal rituals. I am in the process of trying to have more contact with the Celtic Otherworld and the Celtic Gods and Goddesses, so I am trying to incorporate a lot of having a relationship with the Celtic Gods and Goddesses into the rituals. I feel that it is going to be some work to form close relationships with the Gods and Goddesses, but I feel also that it will be worth it because I am hoping that they will teach me more about druidry, and I feel that they have the authentic keys to druidry. I also think that they may test me before they give me a lot of knowledge about druidry, because this is how myth talks about building a relationship with them is often described. So, I think they will test my metal before they give me a magic swoard, but I seek the knowledge of druidry and like any pilgrim on the druid road must be ready to face the challenges. For me, I am finding that the spiritual side of druidry is fantastic, and gives me great hope and strength, knowing that I am not alone, and that the presence of the Celtic Otherworld is supporting and uplifting me in my everyday life. I can feel the presence of the faery folk when I play my harp, and from time to time I get a quick glimpse through the mist. However, being brought up in the Christian Church, I fear that many of my beliefs can be colored by the lens of christianity, and it is always a struggle to see in new ways with an open mind. But, I feel each person comes to druidry in their own way and own time. And the way I am approaching it is just one of many paths on the spiral pathway. I wish you well, and hope you have a most magical Summer Solstice. A Thousand Blessings, BlueFalconJune 20, 2020 at 9:40 am #11182
@Bluefalcon One book which I read recently which I found very interesting was Irish Paganism by Morgan Daimler, another good book by her was Irish Gods, Irish Goddesses, both from the Moon Books series. Both of these books revealed new knowledge to me about the Tuatha De Danaan, an exciting area which I have just begun to study. For me this has proven to be a very good starting place. I had not previously seen knowledge of the Tuatha De summarised together in one place before, and I felt grateful. Morgan Daimler seems to know what she is talking about and gives some good background. I think there are examples of ritual and practice but these are not very long, it really needed a bit more in this area. Morgan Daimler has written other books which look very interesting and which I think might be worth a look. I think BlueFalcon that she is one author whose work you should look at to further your understanding. I empathise with your dilemma with Christianity, I think you are doing really well to have come this far.June 21, 2020 at 12:56 am #11190
Dear David, first, May you have a most magical Summer Solstice, I wish you well. Looking for who would be the goddess and gods of the Summer Solstice to celebrate, I found the Celtic Druid web page, who are in Ireland, near Castlerea in North Roscommon. And I have been interested in this group for some time because they seem to be very Irish and Celtic. So, from their site, “ This longest day is sacred to the White Mare Goddess, who was known in Wales as Rhiannon, in France as Epona and here in Ireland She is called Éatain Eachraidhe (sometimes also spelt Edaín). In the recent destruction of the sacred valley in the Royal City of Tara the remains of a high status female (with horse and giant dog found nearby) was kept totally under media wraps. The high status female is wrapped in black plastic and stored in a warehouse in Drogheda. But Her spirit has returned to native consciousness and once again Éatain, the White Mare Goddess, is honoured with ceremony on Tara on the longest day of the year.”
And they also say “ God, Goddess and the Four Archangels
This longest day is sacred to the White Mare Goddess, who was known in Ireland as Éatain Eachraidhe. This was the Iron Age expression of the goddess, in the preceding age the goddess was honoured as the White Cow or Boann / Boyne the sacred river that flows before Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth.”
So going with this information, I am thinking that the goddess to be honored and form a relationship with on Summer Solstice is Rhiannon. So that is a good place for me to begin.
Further, I am starting to think that there are three branches of druidry, one is the Gaul branch with the god Cernunnos, and found from Rome to Germany to France. Two is the branch of the Norse, which is found in southern England near Stonehenge, and three is the branch of the Tuatha de Danann, found in Scotland and Ireland. And just like there are different branches of other religions, I see no reason to think that there are not different branches of druidry, so we are all not exactly talking about druidry in the same way. Some people are more Gaulish druidry, and other more Tuatha Druidry. This make sense to me. What do you Think? A thousand Blessings BlueFalcon.June 21, 2020 at 6:44 am #11193
Thank you Blue Falcon, I hope that you had a magical solstice too. I was not able to think of anywhere where I could witness the actual sunrise and sunset so I was forced to settle for the English Heritage virtual sunset and sunrise from Stonehenge. I am certain that I saw people standing on the public footpath some with banners, how they managed to get away with that I do not know. I will look for the Celtic Druid web page. Thank you for sharing your knowledge this is most interesting. I was not aware that there actually was a Norse branch of Druidry, I thought that the Vikings and the Anglo Saxons postdated the Druids and the Celts? I was wondering about Cernunnos this time, have considered him some time ago in another thread. He is not part of the Tuatha De Danaan so must be Gaulish or Roman. That would put him within an entirely different pantheon, unless you want to mix gods and goddesses from different pantheons.June 21, 2020 at 8:39 am #11197DannorixParticipant
Cernunnos is part of the Gaulish pantheon, together with Gods like Teutates, Esus, Taranis and Goddesses like Nantosuelta, Cathubodua, Rosmerta. A famous source for images of these Gods is the Pilier de Nautes, found where the Notre Dame in Paris now stands. It also has the image of the Bull with the Three Cranes, Tarvos Trigaranus. Since first starting with Druidry, I always felt particularly drawn to the Gaulish pantheon, but unfortunately the sources are much scarcer than for the Welsh and Irish deities. When you are interested, I can highly recommend The World Of the Gauls by Antón Busquet. Absolutely profound, should be a classic.
June 21, 2020 at 6:43 pm #11212
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Dannorix.
Hi Dannorix. That is an excellent book and I really like the way the author goes into the language and etymology of the Gaulish words, because the thought behind the word can reveal a lot.
Many years back, I was lucky enough to visit Paris and I headed for the Musée de Cluny (Musée du Moyen Âge) where I saw the famous Pillar of the Boatmen, so that was a great experience.
I agree with you about the Gaulish pantheon. What’s more, I am extremely cautious with all of these so-called Welsh and Irish deities because, to be honest, I’m not always convinced that they were deities. I notice a modern tendency to see gods and goddesses everywhere and I often wonder why there can’t be supernatural beings, entities or just magic without umpteen gods and goddesses which are very often based on modern speculation rather than historical or traditional ideas. Anyway, that’s just my take on things.
I hope you don’t mind, but I think I’ll add your book and reference to the Bookshelf thread in the Bardic Forum because I think it would be really useful for many here.
/|\June 23, 2020 at 4:31 am #11229
We swear, by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. Mark, oh spirits and hear us now, confirming this, our sacred vow.
this is what they were saying on top of Glastonbury tor, and they said it twice, and Carr Gomm ran around pointing a wand at everyone. they also chanted the awen. I don’t really know what this is all about because what are they standing for? They also had a ceremony with a sword and they put it in the earth, it looked like a solstice celebration. They said the sword was born in fire. I don’t get what the sword was standing for except it was a cool sword. I saw a druid who I think I know who it was pull a sword half way out and put it back in on the astral plane not long ago, and I took it to mean, peace, and all is well. Usually they pull a sword half way out at the poetry festivals, and I think at one time they pulled the whole sword out when they did the is there peace question. Anyway swords are impressive when playing at being a druid. I wonder if any real druids ever pulled out swords. I do know that you can cast a magic circle with a sword. But you can also do that with an athame or a wand. I think the anglo Saxon druids liked the swords and the Tuatha de dannan Druids like the athame, but probably it would be best just to use a wand, more natural. the anglo Saxon druids are like the Catholic Church, they like lots of flashy things, just like Biggie small.the real druids probably just used a tang or a staff.
For the bulk of the population living in Britain through the Roman invasion of AD 43, the Saxon invasions of the fifth century, the Viking attacks of the ninth, the Norman invasion of 1066 or the civil war of 1642–51, the basic rhythms of life, assuming they didn’t live right next to a battlefield site, would have continued as normal.
Russell, Miles. UnRoman Britain . The History Press. Kindle Edition.
Swords are a real show of power, like a big phalic, and there really is no need for ego in being a druid. In fact I think it is more about being in harmony, and not being powerful, and asking permission of a rock before you move it. But many druids have dreams of power, which is the wrong way to go about being a druid unless you are in a dungeon and dragons game in your mind. Peace BlueFalconJune 23, 2020 at 10:16 am #11233
I wonder if any real druids ever pulled out swords.
Good point/question. On the one hand, we have this idea of druids not getting involved in physical conflict between Iron Age Celtic tribes and walking between warring armies to bring about peace, so that would suggest at least not getting involved in the actual combat side of things. Nevertheless, in 1988 a grave was excavated in Deal, Kent, that contained the remains of an Iron Age warrior with his sword, scabbard, shield and a type of crown that has led many to speculate whether the Deal Warrior might have indeed been a druid. If this is the case, we would at least have a druid with a sword.
/|\June 23, 2020 at 4:27 pm #11235
I am aware that the Pendragon of OBOD, Dave Smith aka Damh the Bard, possesses a sword which he refers to in one of his house broadcasts as the Order’s sword. “Behold, the Order’s sword. May it be ever with us, if our lake be stilled”, he says. I am guessing that this is a standard part of OBOD’s liturgy, as you refer to Bluefalcon. I think that the sword represents fire while the wand may represent air, so these magical tools would be tied to the four elements as ritual tools (I don’t know what earth and water would be?) I think that a sword is meant to be or can be consecrated by being brought into contact with the four elements, hence it would have to be buried or stuck into the ground at some point; I have read of this happening somewhere but can’t remember the origin of the custom offhand. I know that members of the OBOD Druid grade may use swords in ritual. I have witnessed this being done. I am not sure where the custom of showing a sword part drawn comes from but I have heard of this before. It may possibly come from Iolo Morgannwyg and the Welsh Gorsedd, I would have to look into that one. I have seen this custom being enacted at a ritual in Glastonbury. The sword was part drawn out of its scabbard and put back in again three times, each time it was drawn out the sword bearer asked the assembled audience “Is there peace?” and we all had to respond, “There is peace.” I think this custom is part of the Welsh National Eistedfodd and has been adopted by some British Druids.
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