Hello everyone! My name is Geia. I have been in the community for a little while. In that time I have decided I want to pursue the path of a Earth witch with celtic roots. My deity is Gaia so I feel like its very fitting. I need some more Earthy blogs to follow tho because a majority of the blogs I do follow are eclectic/water/cosmic/astral which aren’t really calling me right now. I also want to follow some more of my fellow Aussies.
Please reblog if you:
Practice traditional geomancy
Are a druid
Are a green witch
Are a crystal witch
Work with animals
Work with Gaia/any other Earth deity
Work with tree/plant spirits
Work with the fae of any type
Are an Aussie witch
Have a celtic background
Work with Norse gods
If you are interested in any of the following feel free to follow me. 🌱
I’m writing this in response to this post, which the OP acknowledges is what they have learned and does ask for corrections if others have better sources; so this is a fleshing-out that I hope will be useful.
I think the main thing that’s getting in the way here is Peter Berresford Ellis’ work. He has some great stuff, but he’s very prone to poor citations and not clearly marking when something is his own guess or not, which can perpetuate things as truth that he possibly never meant to be promoted as such. I feel like he thinks he’s writing in to a vacuum sometimes. I haven’t read his Druids myself, but I’ve read his Celtic myths & legends compilation in which he includes a creation myth which he’s written himself — a lot of people think this is a legitimate historical record of a creation myth because it’s not super clear (I did myself when I was younger). From others who have read Druids, I understand that it suffers from similar problems.
I cannot go point-by-point with the original post to clarify and redirect; it would be impossible in the space of an afternoon. One could write an individual book breaking down each of Ellis’ points. As such, I’m going to go over what I see as the most immediate issues, and hopefully this will encourage any of you to go and explore further.
Throughout this post, I am going to cite Nerys Patterson’s Cattle Lords & Clansmen: The Social Structure of Early Ireland for my examples.
The Unusefulness of “Ancient Celts" As a Term
First, and most importantly: conceiving of a group of “Ancient Celts” is rarely useful. A lot of the usage in scholarly works today comes from Caesar’s writing which is one of our main primary sources, but when Caesar is referring to Celts, he is generally referring to the Gauls. Gaelic and Brythonic languages share Celtic roots as well, but what happens is that when you think of Gaels and Brythons as “Celtic,” you then start to apply to them information about “the Celts” that really only applies to Caesar’s observations of Gaul. Brythonic cultures certainly had some interchange with Celtiberians and possibly Gauls, but Gaelic ones almost certainly did not, and the Romans never got to Ireland.
This renders statements by Ellis like this one totally unuseful:
“Tree worship exists both in Celtic tradition and in “the agricultural tribes of India,” as “every village was positioned near a sacred grove” (Ellis 40)”
The Celts covered such an impossibly vast area, there is no way that we can possibly verify a statement such as this. Further, “villages” is not necessarily a useful term, particularly in regards to Irish history and the structure of the tuath. Early Irish structure was far more complex than to be able to just generally make statements about “villages,” and I would suspect that’s true of all the cultures that come under this Celtic umbrella. Patterson’s work covers this in great depth.
All of this stated, we see that most of the points under the original post’s section “Ancient Celts Were Pretty Advanced” are not at all applicable or useful; it’s impossible to make any blanket statements about Celtic philosophy, or the rights of Celtic women or the roles of druids (see my section on castes below). A lot of the points aren’t technically untrue, but when you look at the history you see that modern discourse has childishly simplified a lot of facts about societal interactions, in such a way that tends to promote the bizarre sort of Advanced Feminist Celtic Mythological Personage Thing.
Breaking Down Blanket Statements
I’m going to gloss through one example of this to give you an idea of what I mean by this. Let’s take “Officials were elected and property was more or less shared.” Again, one could do this with any of the statements, such as “Celtic women could do [xyz]” or “the ancient Celts seemed to have the best healthcare system.“
I’m going to break this statement down from an Irish perspective. See all of the nuances and differences I’m describing here. You can imagine that you would be able to find this amount of nuance and difference for every country and culture under the Celtic umbrella, for every single one of these general points. It should be pretty obvious how unuseful these blanket statements are (and why it’s impossible for me to break down all of these fully in the space of this afternoon).
All of this is cited from Patterson’s work. Page citations are in parentheses.
Kinship was the focal point of societal organization, and it influenced economically productive social relationships (such as guilds), economic actions that individuals could or could not take, and who was liable for which defaults and debts. Kinship obligations may have been the origin for the way various levels of society interacted with each other. (11)
Irish law tracts appear to have largely been written by subject matter experts rather than law-focused academics, which is what provides a lot of granular detail within these relations (for example, we have a tract with lengthy descriptions of legally acceptable forms of fencing for different kinds of agriculture). (15-17)
Irish farming was migratory, and necessitated people moving between different types of lands and pastures and ecological “chunks,” if you will — communities were identified in terms of descent, rather than territorial boundaries, because the land was only important in terms of what physical resources it could provide. The job of a tuath’s king was to ensure peaceful interactions between its people, regulating such things as how many animals each farmer could have on a given piece of land. Ensuring that land was shared and used properly, and that those who used the land worked in sync, meant that people weren’t ruining each other’s crops or effectively limiting resources for one another’s livestock. (84-108)
Certainly, inheritance of ruling positions wasn’t, say, determined by descent by a monarchy, but it wasn’t exactly elected, either; kinship relations may have roughly determined individual’s roles within society (8-12). As such, when a king passed on, there wasn’t a de facto “heir apparent,” but it wasn’t an election so much as a scuffle.
Castes & Vedic Roots
In early Irish society, we do not have a clearly defined “caste” system, and as such, druids couldn’t be clearly labeled a “caste” of their own. Again, social strata and relationships were faceted and would vary depending on the situation at hand. One law tract, for example, made distinctions between nemed, privileged, and non-nemed, and between sóer (free) and dóer (bond). There were both kinds of both; that is, you could be privileged and be bonded to someone, or you could be free but unprivileged (Patterson 40). The status of Irish druids varies by law tract. In Uraicecht Becc, we’re shown that druids in Munster were fairly prestigious, and were grouped with wrights, blacksmiths, braziers, whitesmiths, leeches, and lawyers, who would all have had a status similar to that of a lesser lord. In other tracts, the druid isn’t much more than a commoner (Patterson 41).
Vedic roots for Celtic society and religion are overblown; the above information on castes is one example. The influence of this Indo-European “lens” in scholarship has a lot to do with budding nationalist feelings in Ireland and other parts of Europe that wanted to distinguish themselves firmly as un-British, and has scholars to overlook a lot of discrepancies with actual Vedic and Indo-European culture (Patterson 18-20). Again, this could be a full essay in itself; what you should be taking away from this is that Vedic roots for religion is unfounded, and has led to the appropriation of Vedic traditions of reconstructionists to fill in gaps. Though many Celtic societies had druids and other parallels that we are aware of (such as the lack of a creation myth), “Celtic spirituality” cannot be generalized. All of these cultures’ religions were distinctive from one another and largely tailored to their locale, rhythms, and needs.
If the signs had to learn a new language which would they choose and why (assuming their first is English)?
Arabic, for the challenge and from their connection with politics and adventure.
Taurus- Gaelic, it would be an interesting language to learn yet safe since in Ireland and Scotland most, if not all people would still speak English. With Celtic roots you could say it is an earthy and beautiful language too.
Gemini- Japanese, this communicative and intellectual sign could take on one of the hardest languages to learn.
Cancer- Spanish, they would seek it out due to their practical trait.
Portuguese, it would be a fun and daring language to learn.
Virgo- Latin, the roots to everything, perfect for their intellectual mind.
Libra- French, the language of love would of course appeal to them.
Scorpio- Russian or German, this intense and strong sign would be interested in intense and strong places and languages.
Sagittarius- Hindi or Bengali, these languages would entice Sagittarius’s curiosity.
Capricorn- Chinese, due to their practicality and entrepreneurial spirit.
Aquarius- Rarer languages like Native American or Polynesian languages, this sign is all about being “different” after all.
Pisces- Korean, the media and culture of South Korea and its influence might interest Pisces.
The triquetra also called the trinity knot, or Celtic triangle is a symbol that originated in the celtic culture over many years ago. The triquetra looks like a continuous knot, made up of three interlocked vesica pisces, that may sometimes have a circle that will interject it’s three interlocked loops. It has been used to represent the trinity from not only the pagan celtic roots it was brought up in, but also the other traditions that discovered it afterwards. These trinities were three commodities that did not oppose each other, but were much more supports, that would keep each other in balance. Much like a three-legged table counts on all of its legs to stand. The circle that is sometimes interjecting the triquetra is there to represent unity, protection, and connection for the trinities that the knots represent, and the Eternal infinite power, and wisdom they can bestow.
The triquetra has meant so many things to so many different people throughout many different places in history, and has become a symbol that has taken on many different forms of energy over its long-standing career as a symbol. These energies are the beautiful imprints of people throughout history, and these can still be felt, and seen through the symbol today through the meanings, and energies of the symbol. The triquetra can be used to represent the goddess, and her representations of the triple goddess which are Maiden, Mother, and Crone. It was also used in Norse culture to represent odin, and was greatly connected to the Valknut, and Horn Triskelion. It has also been used to represent the threefold law in Wicca, and has even been used in Christianity to represent the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triquetra also applied in Greek culture to represent the three fates of Greek mythology. This symbol can be used to represent any type of Trinity, or construct that works in the energies of 3. This symbol has been used in countless traditions, and cultures wherever a trinity has taken shape, but for whatever it represents, it is a powerful symbol nonetheless, that we all can learn from no matter what tradition, or culture we are.
The triquetra can also be used in magick in many different types, and forms. It can be used as a symbol of protection to ward off negative entities, and energies. It can also be used as a symbol of healing, because of its balancing properties in which it represents the three states of the body which are mind, body, and spirit, and can balance them together to allow your being to work in harmony with it self. It can be used to invoke any Trinity, or deity that is represented by it, and can even be invoked, and banished much like the pentagram. From starting at the very top of the triquetra, and going right for invoking, or starting at the very top and going left for banishing. The triquetra is a very versatile symbol that has withstand the test of time, and has been adapted, and used by many different types of cultures, traditions, and people.
Part 3 sees Jamie and Bree collecting water for the Sian - a blessing that is carried out in the morning of Hogmanay with water, traditionally from the river. The story Jamie tells Bree is of my own creating so any inaccuracies about folklore are my own fault, but the premise of the tale is rooted in Celtic faerie stories.
This chapter was a bit rushed as I really wanted to get it up before I go on holiday - maybe it could use a little polishing but I hope you will like it for what it is. Thank you for reading as ever, let me know what you think or any questions you have :) Han xx
Brianna was always eager for any chance to ride one of the
Lallybroch horses so when her father had requested her company fetching some
sort of special water, she had been only too pleased to go with him. Especially
as she had heard him laughing with Mama in their room and knew that if he was
in a particularly good mood he would almost certainly let her urge Aoileann to
a gallop across the meadow which led to the river.
However as the horses made their way into the woods Bree
felt a calm descend over her and no longer wanted to gallop furiously toward
their destination. She was happy listening to her father point out which birds
made which call and asking him questions about the woods. The air was cold and crisp
and everything seems to be tinged with a faint blue light as the afternoon
bowed gracefully toward evening and their shadows began to lengthen across the
“What makes the water we’re fetching so special, Da?”
“It is the source we are collecting it from. Your Aunty will
have told ye of the ‘saining’ or Sian,
Jamie gave her a sidelong smile and Bree could tell that
there was more to come. She hoped it would be one of his stories, about the
Auld Ones or mythical creatures or ghosts that roamed the Celtic isles.
Sometimes his stories would absorb her so much that when they were over it
would take Bree a while to remember where she was and the best ones made Da’s
eyes light up with the telling and his voice would get that deep far away
quality as if he was travelling the tale with her for the first time.
“Yes, the blessing of
the house and the animals and people to ward off spirits and bring good luck.”
“Aye, and the place
we gather the water for the blessing is an ancient river crossing. It is what
ye call a living and a dead ford. Have ye heard of such a thing mo chridhe?”
Bree shook her head and grinned at the flash of excitement
on her father’s face.
“Ach weel let me tell ye of it.”
Jamie shifted himself in the saddle as if settling in for a
long journey and Bree copied his movements faithfully, making sure that she
held her head as high as he did.
“Ye’ll maybe no ken this but rivers are the dwelling places
of the goddesses of the Auld ones. The waters are their kingdoms and any human
that enters their depths must accept the rule of the Auld ones. That is why ye
must no’ fight the current should ye ever get too deep, ye must show respect to
the goddess by swimming wi’ the pull of the water, allowing her to court ye and
release ye at her will.”
Jamie’s voice was softer than usual, his accent broadening
as he spoke and his eyes rested on the path ahead of them as Bree watched him
“The old folk of believed the goddess is the one who decides
what the river will do, where it will bend and where it will flood and where
the creatures of the land may cross safely to the other side. Before men built
bridges to satisfy their own impatience they relied upon the kindness of the
river goddess’s to provide them safe passage for whilst the deer was given
strong legs to spring across and squirrels given agility that they might leap
from branches, man needed to ken humility and so he waited on the river’s
Jamie paused to take a drink from his water pouch and
watched out of the corner of his eye as Bree squirmed impatiently. Fighting
back a smile, Jamie offered the flask to her but she shook her head
“No thank you, carry on Da … please.”
Jamie nodded and thought for a moment before reigning in and
swinging down from his saddle.
“The path ahead is too narrow for both horses. We’ll tether
Aoileann here and ride together.”
Bree would normally have pestered to be allowed to ride on
but she was far too invested in the story to waste time bartering with her Da. Aoileann
was tethered to a nearby oak and Bree settled in the saddle between Jamie’s
legs within a couple of minutes and they set off again.
“Where was I?”
“Man had to learn humility…”
Bree prompted and he nodded slowly as if to himself.
“Och, that’s right. Weel, twas not only the living who
needed a place to cross. Spirits needed to cross from this world into the next
and though they could have chosen a passage between the trees or cliffs or over
the sea had they wished it, they chose the rivers for they are the most
beautiful of crossings in the Highlands and so the goddess of each river made a
special ford, a ford where both living and dead might cross in harmony and go
on their way in peace.”
“Wouldn’t the spirits mind sharing their crossing?”
Bree asked curiously and Jamie grinned
“No, their journey in this world is at an end and as they
cross into the next, it pleases them to walk alongside a living soul one last
time. The spirits who cross at such fords are not the same as the likes of the
Bree shivered at the mention of that particular ghost story.
The tale of the Wild Hunt had given her the creeps and made her reluctant to
blow out the candle at bedtime for several days after the telling of it. She
huddled closer into her Da’s chest now, surreptitiously putting her hand on his
sleeve, feeling better for having a grip on him, certain that if anyone could
protect her from the less friendly spirits of the woods, it was her Da.
“So where we’re going now, to the living and dead ford, it
is a spirit crossing?”
“How will we know if … well if someone is trying to cross it
while we’re there?”
Bree bit her lip; the last thing she wanted was to get in
the way of a spirit crossing.
“I doubt ye would feel a thing unless they wanted ye to, but
we willna be there long. We will fill up our flasks and be on our way.”
Jamie reassured her as the ford came into view between the
Jamie lifted Bree down and handed her a flask, she edged
toward the water but kept a tight grip on his hand, blue eyes wide with
trepidation. Jamie had seen her look so when she was about to try a food that
was new to her or confess to some wee foolishness to her Mam that she wasn’t
sure would earn her a scolding or not.
watched her with a curious mix of pride and awe that he so often felt when his
daughter was alone with him and his attention could be devoted solely to her.
He had spent many hours; countless hours really, imagining the child he and
Claire had created. He had usually, to his shame, imagined a boy sometimes with
Claire’s dark curls and other times with his flaming hair. He had imagined the
detail of his son’s face, small dimples when he smiled and the high arch of his
feet. He had brought to life in his mind the crease of skin at the laddie’s
elbows and the high giddy sound of his laugh and yet for all his imagining and
dreaming nothing had prepared him for the reality of Brianna.
found himself enthralled by everything she did, her wee quirks and the thoughts
she cared to share with him were treasures that he hoarded greedily and stored
against the burden of the years he had lost with her.
the stories he told her he wove the culture of their people and tried to impart
the wisdom that he had received from his own father’s tales. Jamie wanted
Brianna to have the world laid at her feet and he would do all he could to
place it there, but he also wanted her to understand the soil on which she
stood. To know the history of her country, to feel that Scotland was in her
bones not just in her heritage and so he told her tall tales of kelpies,
faeries and maidens in lochs and he brought her to the places that she might
feel the connection most strongly, hiking in the hills and riding through the
forests of their home so that whatever the future held, she would always ken
that she had a place here at Lallybroch, a door that would never close and a
welcome that would never expire.
“Should I just … you know … take it or do I have to say
Bree whispered. Jamie considered her for a moment and then
dropped to a crouch, the shallow water lapping over the toes of his boots. He
closed his eyes and turned his face up to the sun
“Ar n-Athair a tha air nèamh, Gu naomhaichear d'ainm. Thigeadh
do rìoghachd. Dèanar do thoil air
an talamh mar a nìthear air nèamh.”
wasn’t sure why the Lord ’s Prayer came to his head but he saw no reason why it
was any less valid than another offering of respect and the Gaelic seemed to
please Brianna, who with a sigh of relief that he seemed to know the right
words to appease the river goddess and spirits alike, let go of his hand and
dipped her flask into the babbling water, murmuring a shorter verse of prayer
that Ian had taught her, eyes tightly closed, claiming what she needed before
carefully tightening the lid and handing it over to him.
My work is an investigation into rituals and religious practices, inspired by my Celtic roots and ancestry, as well as the notion of ‘home’ - a feeling that as an outsider in a foreign country has a strong impact upon me. My pictures take the notion of ‘home’ to a primitive and natural level; reflecting upon the human body’s relationship to the natural world and to mankind’s relationship with nature itself. This fascination with the natural world is a lasting inspiration in all my work; Born in a coastal region of South England, the violent forces of nature, particularly the ocean, have always played a strong part upon my imagination and practice.
May the 4th be with you!! also my dear departed papa’s birthday!
Above is his most famous, award winning (an Eanes Chair) photo… and best seller for Spencers’s Gifts… alas sold all rights (don’t tell them).
plus his favorite ‘Bond’ selfie from high up in a glider. His dayjob was architect…mostly large office buildings in the philly area… and a museum in valley forge… but his passion was photography. I was with him age 6 as the early morning light filtered through the pines in the poconos of upstate pa.
by Charles Martin Ogg
thanks dad for the inspiration!
now you know my ‘secret identity…’ here’s what i say to those who have asked or guessed…Tiernan Og, what’s in the name:
My ‘given’ last name is an Anglicization of Og, reflecting my Scottish/Celtic roots. Tiernan is a Scottish name, usually a last name, meaning ‘Lord.‘Being also of Irish origin, my ‘chosen’ name (or pseudonym) is a play on Tir Na Nog, a mythical Irish/Celtic realm Wikipedia says is the 'Land of the Young’ … or 'Land of Youth’… ’ one of the names for the Otherworld… a supernatural realm of everlasting youth, beauty, health, abundance and joy.'So given my deep spiritual connection to nature, Tiernan Og seemed appropriate, in the tradition of the 'green man.’ And I rather like Tiernan as a first name.
My work is an investigation into rituals and religious practices, inspired by my Celtic roots and ancestry, as well as the notion of ‘home’ - a feeling that as an outsider in a foreign country has a strong impact upon me. My pictures take the notion of 'home’ to a primitive and natural level; reflecting upon the human body’s relationship to the natural world and to mankind’s relationship with nature itself. This fascination with the natural world is a lasting inspiration in all my work; Born in a coastal region of South England, the violent forces of nature, particularly the ocean, have always played a strong part upon my imagination and practice.
The Signs As Learning New Language, Which And Why They Choose It.
Aries- Arabic, for the challenge and from their connection with politics and adventure.
Taurus- Gaelic, it would be an interesting language to learn yet safe since in Ireland and Scotland most, if not all people would still speak English. With Celtic roots you could say it is an earthy and beautiful language too.
Lughnasadh usually occurs between the Summer solstice and Autumn equinox, for the Northern Hemisphere it’s usually July 31st - August 1st and it signifies the beginning of harvest season. Lughnasadh has Gaelic and Celtic roots and is generally celebrated today by Irish, Scottish and Manx people, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans.
Dun Brython - Brythonic polytheism site, aimed at Iron Age religion rather than medieval; many shared concepts and deities with Gaul The Mabinogion - a website devoted to the Welsh Mabinogion and its history
The Ancient Celts by Barry Cunliffe Celtic Ornament in the British Isles by E.T. Leeds Celtic Warrior: 300 BC – AD 100 by Stephen Allen and Wayne Reynolds The Celtic World edited by Miranda J. Green The Celts edited by Venceslas Kruta et. al. Chronicle of Celtic Folk Customs by Brian Day Coinage in the Celtic World by Daphne Nash Dictionnaire de la langue gauloise by Xavier Delamarre Fiery Shapes: Celestial Portents and Astrology in Ireland and Wales 700-1700by Mark Williams The Forts of Celtic Britain by Angus Konstam and Peter Bull The Gallic War by Julius Caesar The Historical Atlas of the Celtic World by John Haywood The Life and Death of a Druid Prince by Anne Ross and Don Robins The Philosopher and the Druids by Philip Freeman Rome’s Enemies (2): Gallic & British Celts by Peter Wilcox and Angus McBride Rome’s Enemies (4): Spanish Armies by Rafael Martinez and Angus McBride War, Women, and Druids: Eyewitness Reports and Early Accounts of the Ancient Celts by Philip Freeman The World of the Celts by Simon James The World of the Druids by Miranda J. Green
Celtic Myths and Folklore:
Albion: A Guide to Legendary Britain by Jennifer Westwood Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs The Mabinogion translated by Lady Charlotte Guest The Tain translated by Thomas Kinsella
Celtic Curses by Bernard Mees The Celtic Gauls: Gods, Rites and Sanctuaries by Jean Louis Bruneaux Celtic Myths by Miranda J. Green Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend by Miranda J. Green The Druids by Stuart Piggot The Gods of Roman Britain by Miranda J. Green Les dieux de la Gaule by Paul-Marie Duval Monnaies gauloises et mythes celtiques by Paul-Marie Duval Pagan Celtic Britain by Anne Ross Symbol & Image in Celtic Religious Art by Miranda J. Green
Halloween was not really celebrated across all of the United States until the mid-19th century when the influx of Irish immigrants escaping the potato famine brought with them the tradition of Samhain, celebrated the night before Celtic New Year, on November 1st.
Prior to coming to America, the Irish used to carve faces into turnips and leave them outside with candles in them to ward off evil spirits. We carve pumpkins today because they were much more plentiful in America than turnips.
Traditions like bonfires and costumes date back to the ancient Celtic festival that celebrated the end of summer harvest and the coming of winter. They believed the ghosts of the dead returned to earth on Samhain, so they built bonfires to sacrifice to the Celtic deities and hear prophecies being told by Druid priests. Costumes were worn to confuse and scare away the spirits.
After the Romanization of Celtic lands, Samhain blended with the Roman festivals of Feralia and Pomona, from which came the traditional of bobbing for apples - the symbol of the Goddess Pomona.
In 1000A.D. the Church tried to replace the popular Pagan festival with a Christian holiday, All Saints’ Day, a day to honor the dead. They kept many of the traditions of Samhain, and began calling the day All- hallowmas, from the Middle English Alholowmesse. But the celebration of Samhain on the night before All-hallows continued, and eventually All-hallows eve was cemented as the real holiday. The name Halloween evolved from All-hallows eve some time later.
Despite its roots in Celtic Paganism and failed adoption by Christianity, Halloween has been celebrated as a secular holiday in America since the turn of the 20th century.