brittany ireland

‘Celtic’ Witchcraft

I remember in my early days trying to find resources on historical Celtic witchcraft. I wanted to learn about the witchcraft from the places I descended from. So, I searched for answers. I read book after book on the supposed witch practices found in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland (Raymond Buckland never steered me so wrong, and that’s really saying something). However, I remember feeling…unsatisfied. It didn’t seem historical or based in any pre-Gardnerian lineage. It seemed like Wiccan influenced witchcraft based in Gaelic and Gallic mythology. However, the authors of the books were claiming that it was truly historical and traditional. Lo and behold, I was correct. So then came the question “What is historical ‘celtic’ witchcraft and where can I find it?” 

First of all, there is no one Celtic witchcraft. The word ‘Celtic’ applies to both Gaels and Gauls (though it’s said that Gauls aren’t included in that term at all, but for now, we’ll use it). There are six nations covered under ‘Celt’; Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, The Isle of Man, and Cornwall. Any witchcraft that originates from those lands can be considered ‘Celtic’, but the use of that term can create confusion and misinformation. Though they may look similar at times, and though they are all witchcraft, they are not the same. Methods changed from environment to environment. The witchery has always been based in the Land. 

I’ll briefly describe the practices and lore found in each land, but it is by no means exhaustive. 

Cornwall

In the circles of traditional witchcraft, Cornish witchery has been made very clear and accessible with much thanks to the wonderful Gemma Gary. Cornwall has perhaps one of the strongest histories of magical practice out of the Celtic Fringe. Not only witches, but Pellars (cunning folk), were a large part of the culture. Folk magic, the basis of both witch and pellar magic alike, ran rampant through Cornwall. The Pellars of Cornwall held a very strong likeness to witches, so much so that some folklorists consider them the same. The Pellars made it a point to have a wide range of services available to their customer. That meant that they would both curse and cure. The magic of Cornwall often came in the form of small spell bags filled with either powders, folded written charms, or other magical ingredient. These bags did a number of things, from love conjuring, curse breaking, and spirit banishing to healing, luck magic, and finding lost possessions. According to Cornish witch lore, a witch’s power fluctuates with the seasons, and it was in the spring that a witch’s power was renewed. The different pellars and witches of Cornwall would also clash through reputation of power. Though they clashed, the witches of Cornwall would also gather for their sabbats, which were a strange thing to behold to outsiders. Witches, both young and old, would dance with the Devil around fires, faster and closer to the flames with each pass, and never be singed. The ability to spontaneously disappear is spoken of (which may suggest flying). Black animals, especially black cats, are often spoke of in Cornish witch lore. The association with witch and toad is especially strong here, and it can be seen as a familiar, a shapeshifting witch, a charm, or an indicator of a witch. 

Wales

Witchcraft that comes from Wales can be particularly tricky to find. The term ‘Welsh Witch’ has been popular since the early days of Stevie Nicks. This makes it notoriously difficult to find any historical references on actual Welsh witches. In actuality, there were two kinds of magical practitioner in Wales. The first was a wizard (known as a cunning man in England) and the second was a witch. Wizards were very popular and plenty in number in Wales. Their practice was based mainly in healing the ill and livestock. They also did favors, like giving love potions and undoing witch spells. One Welsh tale, however, tells about a conjuror who is unable to undo a witch’s spell on a butter churn, so the farmer must turn to another witch to reverse it. Welsh witches were thought to have great power. They were able to raise the dead, curse their enemies, and according to older legends, shape shift and fly. Observing the myth of a sorceress named Cerridwen and the legends of Morgan le Fey and Nimue, there comes a general idea of what a witch was in Wales and Welsh legend. The idea of someone brewing potions and poisons was most definitely associated with witches, but more broadly, elements of water and weather seem to have importance. Interaction with the fairies also holds a very strong importance in Welsh craft. Walking between worlds, particularly this world and the world of the Fairy (Avalon, anyone?), was a skill that many wizards, witches, and heroes of Welsh myth acquired. All in all, the witchcraft in Wales is quite similar to the witchcraft found in England, as is the interaction between Wizard (cunning folk or Wise Men and Women) and Witch. 

Brittany 

In Brittany, a very strong fear and dislike for witches is found that is unlike Wales. Witches in Brittany were thought to be many in number. The legends suggest that they targeted farmers especially, making sure always to turn milk sour and spoil butter. They were also accounted to be particularly dangerous and vicious. Any man who watched their Sabbat would either not be found, found dead, or found scared witless and unable to speak. The witches of Brittany, however, were also sought out by the townsfolk. Indeed, there were witch doctors to fix their issues, but the witches were sought out for love spells and favors. Witch-cats are also mentioned, which could be either a reference to familiars or shapeshifting. Most strangely, Breton witches are said to very rarely cast spells on their targets and instead cast spells on the animals and possessions of the target. Every village is said to have a local witch. Some villages are said to be completely filled with witches. Many of them carry cane-like sticks with which they cast their spells. They were also said to be skilled in spells to find things, like lost objects and buried treasure. The line between village conjuror/wizard and witch is difficult to draw here. They may choose to help or harm, depending on their inclinations. For that reason, they still hold a strong reputation in Brittany, despite it being a place noted for its skepticism. 

The Isle of Man

On the Isle of Man, both witches and magicians were an important part of the environment. The first thing you’ll find on the witches from the Isle is that they practiced much magic involving the weather and the sea. Magic was used to help the fishermen catch more fish, make sure the winds were good for travel, and settle storms at sea. A charm was made by a witch and given to a sailor that stored the winds inside. When he was at sea and in need of a gust, he would use the charm. Interestingly, the line between witch and cunning person seemed to blur here. Cunning folk were known as Charmers and Witch Doctors. Witches, however, were employed when needed. There was a perceived difference between the magic of different kinds of practitioners. Do not be mistaken, though. The fear and dislike of witches still existed. Many farmers feared the wrath of witches, especially when their crops failed and their cattle died. To reveal the witch responsible, they would burn whatever died. The person in pain the next day was thought responsible. As throughout all of Europe, witches were thought to have gained their power either through birth or through the Devil’s grace. However, witches were looked upon differently in the Isle than other places. Because of its long associations with magic, it had many kinds of magical practitioners and witches were not always considered to be the most powerful of them. Magicians, who practiced an art to compel and work with spirits and powers beyond other kinds of practitioners, were revered. They were usually compared to the image of Manannán Mac Lir, considered both a sea god and a powerful magician. The ability to fly and walk between worlds was also attributed to the witches and magicians of the Isle of Man, most likely due to the latter. 

Scotland

Witchcraft flourished in Scotland perhaps as much, if not more than, in Wales. Scotland’s witch trials are famous, and perhaps the most famous among them was Isobel Gowdie. In her free confession, she detailed a story that most labeled imaginary. She spoke of fairies, elf bolts, curses, shapeshifting, flying, and lewd activities with the Devil. When comparing it with the confession of Alison Pearson, another Scottish witch she had never met, a Scottish fairy tradition begins to appear. Alison also details stories of going under the hills to meet the fairies, as well as them making elf bolts. More trials begot more folklore and legends. Stories of witches working the weather to destroy crops, sink ships, and cause havoc spread. More tales of a Man in Black appearing to future-witches and witches alike began to run rampant. John Fian, a male witch, was famed for his botched love spell, teaching witchcraft, harshly bewitching people whom he didn’t like, and attempting to sink the fleet of King James VI with a storm. Much of Scotland’s witchcraft was influenced by Gaelic legend and myth. Scotland’s witchery was not Gaelic alone, however. Norse invaders came and brought their magic with them. In Orkney, a Scottish Isle filled with witch history, the Vikings came often. Their language and culture mingled with the Scots’. Soon, cunning women were referred to as Spae Wives. The word Spae comes from the Old Norse spá,which means ‘prophesize’These spae wives told fortunes, created charms, and protected against foul magical play. The witches of Scotland, however, proved a match for them. They killed cattle, cursed babies, and brought general havoc with them. 

Ireland

Historical Irish witchcraft is perhaps the most difficult to find out of all the Celtic regions, and this is for a few different reasons. The first being that many lineages of Wicca have taken Irish mythology and applied it to the Gardnerian influenced witchcraft that they have. Many times when the word ‘Celtic Witchcraft’ or “Celtic Wicca’ comes up, this is what is being referred to. The second reason that it’s difficult to find is because the witch trials in Ireland are few and far between. The trials barely touched Ireland, amounting to a whopping 4 trials. The generally accepted reason for this is that Ireland was extraordinarily lax with its witchcraft laws. Most times, using witchcraft against another person’s possessions or livestock resulted in prison time. Only by harming another magically would a witch be executed. Interestingly, many people took this as a sign that Irish witches were generally less severe than their other Celtic counterparts. Florence Newton, the famed witch of Youghal, put the assumption to rest. When a woman refused to give her any food, she kissed her on the street. The woman became extremely ill and began to see visions of Florence pricking her with pins and needles. Florence also kissed the hand of a man in jail. He became very ill, cried out her name, and died. In a Northern Ireland trial, eight women were accused of causing horrific visions and poltergeists in the home of a woman. The ability to create illusions is a trait attributed to fairies in Gaelic myth. Those fairies are said to have taught the witches their skills in both Ireland and Scotland. Irish witches were said to turn themselves into animals, especially hares and crows, to spy on their neighbors. They would also place spells on those whom they wish in their animal form. They were also said to have used bundles of yarrow and branches of elder to fly. These sticks they flew upon, before brooms, were known as ‘horses’. They were said to fly up out of the chimney of their own homes. A tale of witches using red caps to fly also appears in Irish lore. This is another example of their strong ties to the fairies. The similarity between Irish and Scottish witchery has been noted, as they both have strong ties to Gaelic lore.

Witchcraft from the Celtic lands is a complex and unique thing, changing between each of the six nations. To lump them under a single title would be to lose the subtleties and differences between each. Saying that Irish witchcraft and Welsh witchcraft are the same is a fool’s lie. Saying that they are similar is true. Shapeshifting, flying, fairies, storms, and charms are found in each. But they are different.
It isn’t a bad thing when the myths of these lands are paired with Wicca or Wiccan influenced witchcraft. However, the historical practices from those places mustn’t be overwritten. 

The 6 Celtic Nations and Gallaecia

These 7 regions are the native lands of the modern Celtic tribes. 6 of the 7 native Celtic lands are officially recognized as Celtic Nations.

Scotland, Ireland & North Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany are officially recognized as Celtic Nations by the Celtic League. Recognition is received for having strong cultural, and genetic ties to the ancient Celts, as well as having a native Celtic language.

The cultural region of Gallaecia (Galicia, Asturias, Norte, and sometimes Cantabria, and León) however, is not officially recognized as Celtic Nation. This is mainly due to the fact that Gallaic, the native language of the Gallaecians, has been extinct for over 1000 years. Despite being qualified in nearly every way, the lack of a speakable native Celtic language is what prevents each part of Gallaecia from becoming a Celtic Nation.

(The map pictured above was drawn for me by my lovely girlfriend, princessbevry. Please do not remove the original caption. Thank you!)

Faerie Path

It is a route taken by the faeries, commonly in a straight line and between sites of traditionally significance, such as faerie forts or raths (a class of circular earthwork dating from the Iron Age), mountains and hills, thorn bushes, springs, lakes, rock outcrops, and Stone Age monuments. 

Folklore 

In some parts of Ireland, Brittany and Germany, there were faerie paths that while being invisible, had been seen as geographical locations by the country people, and that building practices were adapted to ensure they were not obstructed.

The Corpse Roads of Europe are believed to be faerie paths. In Germany and the Netherlands, these tend to be straight invisible lines and are known by a variety of names including Geisterweg (“ghost-way” or “ghost-road”) and Helweg (“hell-way” or “hell-road”) in German and Doodweg (“death-way” or “death-road”) in Dutch. A similarly straight road did however run straight over various burial mounds at Rösaring, Lassa in southern Sweden.

In Ireland, people who had illnesses or other misfortune, were said to live in houses that were “in the way” or in a “contrary place”, obstructing a faerie path. An example of this faerie path straightness is provided by an account concerning a croft (now a cattle shed) at Knockeencreen, Brosna, County Kerry:

In an interview in the 1980s, the last human occupant told of the troubles his grandfather had experienced there, with his cattle periodically and inexplicably dying. The front door is exactly opposite the back door. The grandfather was informed by a passing gypsy that the dwelling stands on a fairy path running between two hills. The gypsy advised the grandfather to keep the doors slightly ajar at night to allow the fairies free passage. The advice was heeded and the problem ceased. It so happens that the building is indeed on a straight line drawn between two local hilltops, and is, moreover, at one end of a long, straight track.

It was believed that a house built on a faerie path would suffer from midnight noises or supernatural manifestations. Bad luck in the form of sick farm animals or personal illness could be the result and one remedy was to build small fires in several places along the faerie path, using fire from the blessed fire of Saint John’s Eve that was lit every year at sunset on 23 June.

Irish faerie paths are said to also exist under water, reminiscent of causeways in marshes at sacred sites and those to crannogs and other islands. These paths, only used by the faerie folk, ran from one island to another and were paved with coral, making them and their travellers visible to fishermen in their boats above.

Detection

Before construction of houses, builders used the technique of mapping out the floor plan in the earth and placing a pile of stones at each corner and leaving it overnight, if the stones were undisturbed it was safe to build, otherwise the work would not continue. There is another theme that states if one’s house is on a faerie path, one must leave the doors and windows open at night, front and back, to allow fairies to pass through. Builders were also advised against using white quartz in their stonework, as it is said to be a faerie stone.

A building placed on a faerie path would be demolished by the faerie folk, at least twice, often remaining standing however on the third attempt.

Walking Alongside The Paths

Although it is usually said that they should be avoided, some are reputed to be beneficial to humans - such as the “trods” of West England. These are a straight-line faerie path in the grass of a field with a different shade of green to the rest. People with rheumatism sought relief by walking along these tracks, though animals avoid them. Great danger was still very much associated with using these paths at times when a supernatural procession might be using them.

  • The Tylwyth teg of Wales have paths on which it is death for a mortal to walk. 
  • The Breton Ankou, who is king of the dead, and his subjects have their own particular paths along which they process.

So this is an Outlander AU I’ve been playing around with ever since I watched Arrival. It’s a bit, err, weird so I wanted to see if people would have an interest in it before I dive in completely! 


PROLOGUE

October 26, 2018

Weird dreams since it all began. Everything—so vivid. Shadows exist there, and have discernable shapes. I can do more than sense a presence behind my back; I can see it in the shifting, shadowy bodies approaching. Light, all this light.

In my dreams, there is so much of the old life. Strawberries, as big as child’s fist, that I can smell and touch and taste. Little seeds on my mouth; crunchy. I think of sand as I bite, and then it’s there, it’s all there: a beach where the water isn’t frozen. Watergate Bay, I think, in late July. I stand on the shore, watching the waves roil, when a sweat bee lands on my arm.

I don’t swat at her, just let her suck the honey right out of me. (People cry over daffodils these days, but I say fuck the daffodils. I’d weep if I saw a bee.)

There are faces in my dreams, too. And though I canna remember them when I wake, I know there is a woman. Sometimes a kid appears—the woman’s? I have no idea—but she’s got spider legs and freckles like you wouldna believe. She laughs and she laughs, a paintbrush in her hand, and she is forever laughing, this girl, a beautiful, bird-like laugh and —

They do make me think, these dreams. All I do is wonder:

What are these dreams, and who are these people?

What will happen to all the kids and that little girl with the legs and the freckles and the laugh?

What will happen to me or to that strange woman?

What will happen to any of us?

     

It is so dark, Jenny. The whole world’s gone dark.

Your brother,

Jamie


CHAPTER ONE

April 16, 2018

Eleven days ago, human existence divided into two parts: Before Darkness and After Darkness. The latter, pessimists will argue, is ignorant and misleading. Who is to say, they ask, that there will be an After? Who is to say that this isn’t the state of our lives, our world, our humanity for the rest of eternity? Darkness, darkness, and more darkness.

It’s funny: the line between B.D. and A.D. is a meager span of eight and a half minutes. Or, if you want to be precise—to make the time sound shorter, like we couldn’t have seen it coming—a matter of 510 seconds. That is how long it took for our planet to realize it no longer had its mother, the Sun, to offer her steadfast care of yellow light and warm hugs. For those 510 seconds, us earthly billions scurried like ants, oblivious to the growing shadow of the palm that was slowly, slowly descending.

Smash—darkness.

No more sun.

B.D. becomes A.D.

I could tell, ye ken? I could tell something wasna right. Felt a chill right down my spine, I did.

This is a quote from a farmer in the Shetland Isles whose potato crop, in just a few short months, will die out. Travelers will sink their teeth into the greening skin, desperate for a taste of an uncanned vegetable. The solanine that poisons their insides in exchange for this token of the B.D. world.

This same farmer—the man who claims he felt the cold finger of imminent doom—will meet an ironic death: hypothermia, in his own bed. It will be 43 below on that day, a temperature even his warm-blooded wife, long in the ground, would have blanched it. There will be no one to mourn him, save the travelers eating the toxic potatoes, and even they will fall not long after.

His son lives in Stirling with his own wife, and he will not know of his father’s death when it happens, but deduce its occurrence from the prolonged silence. Silence, in the A.D., is none of the things it once could have been. Not anger or disinterest or dementia. Only death—the certainty that something wasna right.

But this is months away yet, and so the son, named Ian Murray, has no reason to assume the frozen corpse of his farmer father. As of this moment, it has been eleven days since the sun vanished, and outside Ian’s home is one of the hundreds of Sites. He flocks there, as everyone within the vicinity does, to see the strange phenomenon at the Killin stone circle. It floats over the rocks that no one—not even Ian, who lives just three sloping hills away—ever paid much mind in the B.D.

But now: crowds surrounding them. Children on parents’ shoulders, sound booms and camera crews, iPhones perpetually raised and Instagram filters debated.

Mayfair or Ludwig? Which d’ye reckon will make it brighter? I need my cousin in Wisconsin to see this.”

“She’s already seen it, ye clotheid. This shit’s all over the news!”

And it is. Every broadcaster all over the world has come to Britain, Ireland, Brittany, England, Scotland, Bulgaria, Israel, and Poland, setting up camp by every ancient stone circle now glowing with—

“Light!” people cheer.

“Light!” people hiss.

“Light!” people cry. And they cry and cry and cry. Has anything ever been more beautiful than this, they ask? These perfect lights—the only natural light left in the entire A.D. world—dancing above the standing stones?

“Like fairies.”

Bigger than fairies.”

Eventually, the parties of gawkers are broken up and ushered back to their homes. They trudge through the all-consuming dark, seeing almost nothing, but hearing the chatter of hope and fear buzzing around them. They cannot do anything except sit in front of their televisions or their radios, waiting for answers that will arrive when it is nearly too late. Their screens already black, the electricity out entirely. Everyone huddled close under flickering candlelight, still whispering, whispering:

“What are the Orbs?”

“Where do the Orbs come from?”

“Why are they here?”

And so on the evening the Orbs first appear, Ian and his wife return from Killin circle, trying (and failing) to make sense of these lights that have appeared in their recently lightless world. They sit at their rickety IKEA table, listening to their children in the living room—“Is this the end of the world?” one of their daughters asks—before they finally call the wife’s brother. No one in the Murray household has the foresight to understand that the bulbs above their heads, the sound of Doctor Who, and the cell phone they are dialing might eventually disappear.

“Jamie,” Ian says into the receiver, “Jamie?”

And Jamie Fraser, having been brutally awoken that morning, rubs his face and thinks, Aye, that’s me all right. The badge swinging from his neck proclaims himself so: Dr. James Fraser, Solar Astronomer.

“Jamie, what the Devil is going on?” This, from Jenny, Ian’s wife, who is convinced that the Orbs are a government hoax. Those damn bastards, she keeps muttering, those damn bastards.

Jamie is leaning against a tree, feeling the weight of his badge and, thus, his responsibility dragging him to the ground. He has been avoiding the glare of the floodlights, which are now shining so brightly on the uniformed men and his impossible task. He does not want to get used to them, this artificial light. Wants to forget them so that, when such forgetfulness becomes necessary, they are impossible for him to miss.

“I’ve no idea.”

“D’ye think it’s aliens or some sort?”

“Dinna be daft, Ian, this has the English written all over it. Those damn bastards.”

“We’ve only been here since this morning, Jenny. We willna ken any answers for a while.”

“Weel, where are ye?” Ian asks. “Are ye here? In Stirling?” And Jamie, against his will, looks at the Orb over the clefted rock. It dims, brightens, then dims again. No discernable pattern in its behavior, though Jamie feels as though it is calling to him. Close your eyes. Listen.

“Today’s been such a blur, I—I honestly canna remember. I woke up wi’ a man banging on my door in Glasgow, and then I was in a helicopter on my way here.”

“Christ,” Ian says.

Jamie looks off into the distance, at the small but blinking city, and imagines it several months from now. A ghost town, perhaps. A crater of an even deeper blackness where the signs of life he is watching now have dwindled into nothing. How long though? How long will it last without the sun?

“We’re stationed no’ far from Inverness, but I’m no’ sure what stone circle this is.”

“As long as it isna Stonehenge,” Jenny replies, bursting with a knowledge gleaned from the Killin crowd. “Two people dead there. A sacrificial ritual before the police arrived.”

Jamie almost laughs at the idiocy of it all, but then a stern voice takes his attention. It crackles from a walkie-talkie carried by one of the army bigwigs.

Craig Na Dun? Craig Na Dun, are you there? They’ve found two more Sites in the Orkneys. Over.

The 13 Native Regions of The Modern Celtic Peoples

Here is an updated map of Celtic native regions. It’s often easy to find maps of the official 6 Celtic Nations, with Galicia and Asturias sometimes included. However; Norte, Cantabria, León, Cumbria, and Devon are rarely included.

So here is a map including the 6 official Celtic Nations, and the 7 unofficial Celtic regions. I wanted to be inclusive of all regions as to be respectful to those individual cultures of Celtic heritage.

The 7 unofficial regions aren’t officially recognized due to a lack of speakable native Celtic languages, however their natives are still Celtic peoples nonetheless.

(Map drawn for me by my girlfriend princessbevry)

Covering mirrors, stopping clocks, bacon fat, greenery over doorways, and my grandmother.

As most of you know by now, I’ve been trying to write down everything my grandmother taught me because I’m the last one who has this information now that she’s gone. Most of what she taught, I’ve traced back to ancient Irish polytheist culture and I’ve seen more links to Celtic (Ireland, Scotland, Brittany) culture in letters from previous generations. However, there are a couple of mysteries I haven’t solved yet.

  • When a person died, my grandmother covered mirrors and stopped clocks. I thought, being a child, it was just her weird grandma behavior but then I saw a character in Fried Green Tomatoes do the exact same thing.
  • When I had little cuts, my grandmother put raw bacon on the wound with a bandage tied around it overnight. I have very distinct memories of me being a small girl trying to resist what she was doing because kids at school had Barbie Band-Aids, not cloth bandages with raw bacon inside.
  • I also remember watching my grandmother hang pieces of evergreen (?) over the household’s doorways when we got our Christmas trees. When people suggested we get a plastic tree, she took that as an insult to our home. Our Christmas trees were very carefully chosen and only certain types of trees were allowed. There was no mention of Jesus in our home at Christmas, although it was important that my grandmother be “seen” at church. I knew the church stuff was fake even when I was small but I never knew why (as an adult I found out we were taught to be seen at church so nobody would know we were pagans).

So I’m pretty sure the green stuff over the doorways were old Irish traditions but I have no idea where the mirror coverings, stopped clocks, and bacon fat came from. Are these aspects of American folk magic? My grandmother learned everything from central Missouri and older Iowa relatives. Does anyone know anything?

The Beast of Gévaudan / La Bête du Gévaudan : a man-eating beast which terrorised the former province of Gévaudan in France. The beast was described as an enormous wolf-dog hybrid with immense teeth and tail, and killed its victims by tearing off their throats with its teeth. The real beast never was captured and its still remains a mystery.

Here’s the debut of my Hetaween series, that will represent a country as a creature of one of their dark myths and legends. Here is Francis Bonnefoy as the Beast of Gévaudan, a french mythological creature. The next coming is England and I think i will draw Brittany, Ireland and Egypt, if you have any suggestions feel free to ask !

anonymous asked:

Galicia is not Celtic. They do not speak a Celtic language, and their application to join the Celtic League in 1987 was rejected. The sixth Celtic nation is Mann.

You are correct in that there are six officially recognized Celtic Nations (nations being used to denote a shared cultural history rather than sovereignty): Brittany, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. 

Territories in Northwestern Iberia, however, including Galicia, are sometimes included because although there is no longer any Celtic language spoken there, these territories share culture and history with the officially recognized nations.

Most of Europe had a large Celtic influence before the expansion of the Roman Empire, and places where that influence has survived deserve to also be recognized.