+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    Newbie chris_pagan is on a distinguished road chris_pagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Last Online
    18 Dec 2014 @ 06:59 PM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Richmond, KY
    Religion
    Simply a Pagan looking for his path.
    Posts
    2

    Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    ((I was suggested to re-post my introduction from the intro board here in order to get the questions I had in it better seen and answered. Sorry if it seems like I'm spamming or being redundant! I'm still getting used to using forums so I've got some kinks to work out.))

    I'm Chris, and I'm really new to Paganism. I'm trying my best with what I have and I'm currently practicing in secrecy, but I'm making progress. I've worked the most with Cernunnos and have been working to get to know him and establish a relationship with him, but as for a specific path, I'm not sure of. I'm having a bit of a problem there, actually.

    You see, I'm more drawn to reconstructionism than Neo-Pagan religions due to my interest in culture and history. I've got a particular interest in two cultures actually- Gaelic and Norse. I feel a very strong connection with both cultures and feel drawn to their Gods and ideas. Unfortunately, I'm unsure about practicing a syncretic path. There certainly is a historical basis for practicing a Gaelic and Norse syncretic path- just look at the Norse-Gaels, they rules parts of Ireland, dominated the Irish sea, and ruled the Isle of Mann for many years, and millions of Celtic people today are descendants of them. And all the evidence 110% points to them having a culturally syncretic way of life between the two cultures.

    Despite this, many still have issues with blending Gaelic and Norse practices in a historical context. Not only that, but we don't really have anything that tells us what exactly these practices were. We know the cultures and beliefs blended, but how they did remains a mystery.

    If I were to go on and mix these two systems, which would take years of learning to do properly and in a culturally respectful manner, there's no doubt that I'd be ostracized in the Celtic or Heathen Recon community. I'd never be able to have a group to practice with, which is something I really would love to have at some point. I'd kinda be out on my own, which would really suck. I'm also having trouble finding sources from those who have blended the two paths, and what I do find is spotty with little useful information.

    So I suppose my questions here would be-
    1) Does anyone have experience with Norse-Gael syncretism?
    2) Does anyone know any sources concerning Norse-Gael culture or beliefs?
    3) Do you think that someone who practiced a Norse-Gael syncretic path would be accepted as a member of the Norse or Celtic Recon community, or even the wider Heathen community?

    And finally as an opinion question-
    4) What do YOU think of Norse-Gael syncretism? Is it legitimate in a recon setting, or should cultures always be separate from one another? If you're a Norse or Celtic Recon, would you or a group you practice with accept someone of that type of faith?

    Thanks guys, I'm looking forward to reading your replies and getting to know everyone here!

  2. #2
    Banned Achievements:
    Three FriendsVeteran10000 Experience Points
    Juniperberry is a glorious beacon of light Juniperberry is a glorious beacon of light Juniperberry is a glorious beacon of light Juniperberry is a glorious beacon of light Juniperberry is a glorious beacon of light Juniperberry is a glorious beacon of light Juniperberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Last Online
    3 Mar 2016 @ 02:30 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Arizona
    Religion
    Heathenry, Whimsy, Christianity
    Posts
    1,891

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_pagan View Post

    I'm Chris, and I'm really new to Paganism.
    I forgot to greet you in your original intro so, Welcome!



    Unfortunately, I'm unsure about practicing a syncretic path. There certainly is a historical basis for practicing a Gaelic and Norse syncretic path- just look at the Norse-Gaels, they rules parts of Ireland, dominated the Irish sea, and ruled the Isle of Mann for many years, and millions of Celtic people today are descendants of them. And all the evidence 110% points to them having a culturally syncretic way of life between the two cultures.
    Since there's such a long and varied history of pre-christian religions in NE, most recons chose a certain time frame and location to reconstruct. It sounds like yours would be that particular time and place that you described above.

    Despite this, many still have issues with blending Gaelic and Norse practices in a historical context. Not only that, but we don't really have anything that tells us what exactly these practices were. We know the cultures and beliefs blended, but how they did remains a mystery.
    IMO, the "what's and why's" of practice are more important than the "how's". Once you know *why* they felt their lost practices were important to their belief system, and *what* they were trying to accomplish, you can then figure out *how* you can revive that same intent. Is that type of information available?

    If I were to go on and mix these two systems, which would take years of learning to do properly and in a culturally respectful manner, there's no doubt that I'd be ostracized in the Celtic or Heathen Recon community.
    I'm recon and I have absolutely no issue with your interests.



    1) Does anyone have experience with Norse-Gael syncretism?
    Sorry, no. But read up on the matronae votive stones, H.R.E.Davidson's books, and use Google Scholar.


    3) Do you think that someone who practiced a Norse-Gael syncretic path would be accepted as a member of the Norse or Celtic Recon community, or even the wider Heathen community?
    Yep.
    Last edited by Juniperberry; 22 Jun 2014 at 09:57 PM. Reason: fix

  3. #3
    Newbie peorth is on a distinguished road peorth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Last Online
    23 Jun 2014 @ 12:19 AM
    Country
    USA
    Religion
    Heathenry
    Posts
    1

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_pagan View Post
    So I suppose my questions here would be-
    1) Does anyone have experience with Norse-Gael syncretism?
    2) Does anyone know any sources concerning Norse-Gael culture or beliefs?
    3) Do you think that someone who practiced a Norse-Gael syncretic path would be accepted as a member of the Norse or Celtic Recon community, or even the wider Heathen community?

    And finally as an opinion question-
    4) What do YOU think of Norse-Gael syncretism? Is it legitimate in a recon setting, or should cultures always be separate from one another? If you're a Norse or Celtic Recon, would you or a group you practice with accept someone of that type of faith?

    Thanks guys, I'm looking forward to reading your replies and getting to know everyone here!
    A syncretic Norse-Gael practice is something that has crossed my mind, as many of my ancestors trace back to Scotland (Isle of Lewis) and from there to Norway. I know you specifically mentioned Ireland in your post, but perhaps this website could be of interest to you- Orkneyjar: The Heritage of the Orkney Islands.

    At the moment, I'm content with worshipping the Norse gods while honoring all of my ancestors. There are not many Celtic deities that have "stayed with me" or really clicked for me the way the Norse deities have- except for Bride/Brighid. So maybe one day I will have a small altar devoted to her.

    While the wider Heathen community is very Norse and Anglo-Saxon specific, I wouldn't see a problem with being accepted simply because you follow a syncretic path. I would, however, follow host rules when it comes to hailing the gods and goddesses during blot or sumbel.

    I would love to hear of any information that you find that helps you construct your practice.
    Last edited by peorth; 23 Jun 2014 at 12:14 AM. Reason: spelling

  4. #4
    Senior Master Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsTagger Second ClassVeteran
    Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Last Online
    18 Apr 2016 @ 07:34 AM
    Country
    USA
    Religion
    Clann Bhride
    Posts
    597

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_pagan View Post
    2) Does anyone know any sources concerning Norse-Gael culture or beliefs?
    Gaelic culture was just becoming thoroughly Christian when the Norse showed up, but some level of syncretism did occur in the folklore. The Highland Cailleach lore mixed with Norse legends of malevolent giantesses- in the Scottish Lowlands, the Cailleach was called the Gyre Carling, a name of Norse origins. A lot of the Fianna lore mentions Lochlann (their word for Scandinavia). Also, check out whatever you can find on the Galloglass warriors.

  5. #5
    Senior Staff Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation Second ClassVeteran10000 Experience Points
    Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    21 Mar 2017 @ 07:38 PM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Washington, DC Area
    Religion
    Clann Bhride
    Pronouns
    she/her
    Posts
    2,687

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbride View Post
    A lot of the Fianna lore mentions Lochlann (their word for Scandinavia).
    Interesting. So... Stupid question: How would you recommend researching this? Any particular books come to mind?
    "The status is not quo." ~ Dr. Horrible

  6. #6
    Senior Master Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsTagger Second ClassVeteran
    Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Last Online
    18 Apr 2016 @ 07:34 AM
    Country
    USA
    Religion
    Clann Bhride
    Posts
    597

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by Aster Breo View Post
    Interesting. So... Stupid question: How would you recommend researching this? Any particular books come to mind?
    For Highland Fianna lore in English translation (but also including the original Gaelic), see "Popular Tales of the West Highlands" vol 1 and 2, and "More West Highland Tales" vol 1 and 2, both collected by JF Campbell.

  7. #7
    Senior Staff Achievements:
    Three FriendsRecommendation Second ClassVeteran10000 Experience Points
    Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo is a glorious beacon of light Aster Breo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    21 Mar 2017 @ 07:38 PM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Washington, DC Area
    Religion
    Clann Bhride
    Pronouns
    she/her
    Posts
    2,687

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbride View Post
    For Highland Fianna lore in English translation (but also including the original Gaelic), see "Popular Tales of the West Highlands" vol 1 and 2, and "More West Highland Tales" vol 1 and 2, both collected by JF Campbell.
    Thanks!
    "The status is not quo." ~ Dr. Horrible

  8. #8
    Master Member
    Achievements:
    Three FriendsVeteran5000 Experience Points
    Hyacinth Belle will become famous soon enough Hyacinth Belle will become famous soon enough Hyacinth Belle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    20 Mar 2017 @ 06:53 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    PA, USA
    Religion
    Taoist Heathen
    Pronouns
    she / her / hers
    Posts
    435

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_pagan View Post
    So I suppose my questions here would be-
    1) Does anyone have experience with Norse-Gael syncretism?
    2) Does anyone know any sources concerning Norse-Gael culture or beliefs?
    3) Do you think that someone who practiced a Norse-Gael syncretic path would be accepted as a member of the Norse or Celtic Recon community, or even the wider Heathen community?
    Welcome to TC! 😃 You might find this thread of interest!
    "Silent and thoughtful a prince's son should be / and bold in fighting; / cheerful and merry every man should be / until he waits for death." ~ Havamal, stanza 15

  9. #9
    Senior Master Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsVeteran
    Materialist is an unknown quantity at this point Materialist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Last Online
    15 Feb 2016 @ 09:00 AM
    Country
    USA
    Location
    Illinois
    Religion
    Loka Dharma
    Posts
    605

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilbride View Post
    Gaelic culture was just becoming thoroughly Christian when the Norse showed up, but some level of syncretism did occur in the folklore.
    (for chris_pagan) And this is the hitch I see with a Norse-Gaelic historical syncretic path. I'm reading Viking Scotland by Anna Ritchie, and there is some evidence for Norse pagan and Scottish Christian fusion, but the immigrants quickly assimilated with the natives and in less than 200 years pagan artefacts and burials ceased being made.

    So it sounds unlikely, if there were still Scottish pagans remaining during the Viking Age, that they would have had enough time to combine the pagan paths before they became Christian. I'm guessing this is more so in Ireland, who were the ones that converted Scotland.

    Not that this automatically illegitimizes your quest-it's your religion, do what you want with it-it just means you might have to figure out how to combine the two.

  10. #10
    Senior Master Member Achievements:
    1000 Experience PointsTagger Second ClassVeteran
    Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride has a spectacular aura about Gilbride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Last Online
    18 Apr 2016 @ 07:34 AM
    Country
    USA
    Religion
    Clann Bhride
    Posts
    597

    Re: Norse/heathen folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism

    Quote Originally Posted by Materialist View Post
    So it sounds unlikely, if there were still Scottish pagans remaining during the Viking Age, that they would have had enough time to combine the pagan paths before they became Christian. I'm guessing this is more so in Ireland, who were the ones that converted Scotland
    Folklore of likely pre-Christian and Gaelic origins ("those mountains were made by big giant goddesses carrying rocks") was combined with concepts of Christian origin ("the old woman who made that mountain is like an old lonely nun or cailleach) and then with folklore of Norse pagan origins ("giant women who make mountains are scary monsters") to produce the concept of "The Cailleach." Or at least that's one theory. Anyway, my point is that the ideas mixed naturally in the oral tradition.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Celtic folk: questions on Norse-Gaul syncretism
    By chris_pagan in forum Hazel and Oak: A Celtic Polytheism SIG
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23 Jun 2014, 07:28 AM
  2. Norse Hairstyles
    By Gore in forum Crafts and Hobbies
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 30 Mar 2014, 11:56 AM
  3. Questions about Norse religion
    By MattyG in forum Asatru and Heathenry SIG
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 20 Oct 2013, 03:52 PM
  4. Norse Paganism Questions
    By RusWarrior in forum Paganism For Beginners
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 31 Dec 2012, 06:32 PM
  5. Starter books on Norse/Heathen/Asatru
    By DancesWithHorses in forum Books and Other Resources
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 7 Jul 2012, 02:47 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts