collapse
2020 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $710 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 21 October 2020: $558 donated. Only $152 more needed! Thank you, donors!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* Recent Posts

Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset by Sefiru
[October 19, 2020, 07:12:35 pm]


Re: Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by entwife
[October 19, 2020, 12:06:02 pm]


Re: Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by PerditaPickle
[October 19, 2020, 07:15:27 am]


Re: Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by ehbowen
[October 18, 2020, 09:50:51 pm]


Dreaming of Moonlight on Water by entwife
[October 18, 2020, 03:14:20 pm]

Author Topic: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!  (Read 2198 times)

TheHumanAxiom

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Posts: 32
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« on: September 17, 2013, 04:32:04 am »
Greetings! I debated whether this post belonged in the Paganism Beginner's forum, but it is so specific to Celtic-informed paganism that I thought it might be more appropriate here. I hope that is alright!

A brief background: I was told early in life that a significant portion of my heritage was Welsh... Now, as an adult, I know my parents were making an educated guess, but I still strongly identify with the presumably Welsh parts of my background (nurtured by early experiences of being the only one in US high school classes that knew Wales even existed! ;)) I want to develop a practice that leans towards the Brythonic side of Celtic, but I'm also under the impression that there isn't as much surviving knowledge about Brythonic/Welsh practices, values, etc. compared to Irish or Scottish practices.

I know I will need to research more on my own and that it will be important to be well informed about all of the various Celtic beliefs, practices, etc. At the same time, I want to begin some early, foundational practices ASAP - practices that will nurture my spiritual needs while I am busy researching, and that won't be needlessly irrelevant to my later practices, or worse, interfere with the direction I want to take.

So in that vein, my two questions...

1. Is there any specific animosity between different Celtic backgrounds that I should know about as I begin my studies? (E.g., do most Celtic deities get along reasonably well - knowing there are always exceptions?)

2. How relevant and applicable are Irish or Scottish practices to Brythonic practices? I am definitely open to evolution in my interests, but with an early leaning towards Brythonic deities, I'd like to have some sense of how to process books that have a lot of, "The Irish/Scottish did X, and valued Y, and their deities tended to do or like Z."

Should what I read of Irish or Scottish practices and values directly inform what I do, even if my current goal is to eventually approach and form relationships with Brythonic deities? Or are there too many fundamental or broad differences between what the Irish or Scottish did and valued vs. what the Welsh/Brythonic did and valued?

Of course, as a disclaimer, I've gathered from what I've read here while lurking that our knowledge of historic practices is incomplete and uncertain, and that these broad group characterizations may be somewhat simplistic... But at the same time people still seem to find these distinctions at least somewhat useful (?). In other words, I don't expect gospel, I just want a little guidance. :)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 04:34:54 am by TheHumanAxiom »

Gilbride

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 597
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 07:13:47 am »
Quote from: TheHumanAxiom;122107
Is there any specific animosity between different Celtic backgrounds that I should know about as I begin my studies? (E.g., do most Celtic deities get along reasonably well - knowing there are always exceptions?)....How relevant and applicable are Irish or Scottish practices to Brythonic practices? I am definitely open to evolution in my interests, but with an early leaning towards Brythonic deities, I'd like to have some sense of how to process books that have a lot of, "The Irish/Scottish did X, and valued Y, and their deities tended to do or like Z."

 
Brythonic includes not just Wales and England but all of what is now Lowland Scotland too. And probably most of the Highlands if scholars are right about the Pictish language.

In ancient times, Britain was closely linked to Gaul while Ireland was more of an outlier. Towards the end of the Roman empire, Irish raiders started colonizing Wales and managed to establish a kingdom there for a while. A lot of the similarities between Irish and Welsh lore are more likely to date from this era than from a common Celtic root. (For instance, the Irish story of Suibhne Geilt could be borrowed from the Brythonic story of Myrddin Wyllt and the Welsh story of Taliesin has several parallels with the Irish story of Finn and the salmon of wisdom.)

In general, the medieval Welsh literature is more removed from any pagan roots than the medieval Irish literature. For instance, the Irish stories sometimes refer to characters as deities, but the Welsh stories never do. Anne Ross's "Pagan Celtic Britain" will tell you a lot more about Brythonic deities than the Mabinogion will. For reliable commonalities, see Sharon MacLeod.

Cabal

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2012
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 1344
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Belgae Polytheism
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 09:32:35 am »
Quote from: Gilbride;122114
Brythonic includes not just Wales and England but all of what is now Lowland Scotland too. And probably most of the Highlands if scholars are right about the Pictish language.

In ancient times, Britain was closely linked to Gaul while Ireland was more of an outlier. Towards the end of the Roman empire, Irish raiders started colonizing Wales and managed to establish a kingdom there for a while. A lot of the similarities between Irish and Welsh lore are more likely to date from this era than from a common Celtic root. (For instance, the Irish story of Suibhne Geilt could be borrowed from the Brythonic story of Myrddin Wyllt and the Welsh story of Taliesin has several parallels with the Irish story of Finn and the salmon of wisdom.)

In general, the medieval Welsh literature is more removed from any pagan roots than the medieval Irish literature. For instance, the Irish stories sometimes refer to characters as deities, but the Welsh stories never do. Anne Ross's "Pagan Celtic Britain" will tell you a lot more about Brythonic deities than the Mabinogion will. For reliable commonalities, see Sharon MacLeod.
What he said. Brythonic Celts seem to be more related to the Gauls in general, especially with language. But you will find in Wales hints of Irish mythology and lore.
"In Hell, everybody loves popcorn."

PaganNotPerfect

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 67
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2013, 07:28:53 pm »
Quote from: TheHumanAxiom;122107
Greetings! I debated whether this post belonged in the Paganism Beginner's forum, but it is so specific to Celtic-informed paganism that I thought it might be more appropriate here. I hope that is alright!

A brief background: I was told early in life that a significant portion of my heritage was Welsh... Now, as an adult, I know my parents were making an educated guess, but I still strongly identify with the presumably Welsh parts of my background (nurtured by early experiences of being the only one in US high school classes that knew Wales even existed! ;)) I want to develop a practice that leans towards the Brythonic side of Celtic, but I'm also under the impression that there isn't as much surviving knowledge about Brythonic/Welsh practices, values, etc. compared to Irish or Scottish practices.

I know I will need to research more on my own and that it will be important to be well informed about all of the various Celtic beliefs, practices, etc. At the same time, I want to begin some early, foundational practices ASAP - practices that will nurture my spiritual needs while I am busy researching, and that won't be needlessly irrelevant to my later practices, or worse, interfere with the direction I want to take.

So in that vein, my two questions...

1. Is there any specific animosity between different Celtic backgrounds that I should know about as I begin my studies? (E.g., do most Celtic deities get along reasonably well - knowing there are always exceptions?)

2. How relevant and applicable are Irish or Scottish practices to Brythonic practices? I am definitely open to evolution in my interests, but with an early leaning towards Brythonic deities, I'd like to have some sense of how to process books that have a lot of, "The Irish/Scottish did X, and valued Y, and their deities tended to do or like Z."

Should what I read of Irish or Scottish practices and values directly inform what I do, even if my current goal is to eventually approach and form relationships with Brythonic deities? Or are there too many fundamental or broad differences between what the Irish or Scottish did and valued vs. what the Welsh/Brythonic did and valued?

Of course, as a disclaimer, I've gathered from what I've read here while lurking that our knowledge of historic practices is incomplete and uncertain, and that these broad group characterizations may be somewhat simplistic... But at the same time people still seem to find these distinctions at least somewhat useful (?). In other words, I don't expect gospel, I just want a little guidance. :)

 
I echo the statements that Brythonic Paganism is closer to Gaulish than Goidelic. There are similarites to both. As Britain is between them. I would first recommend learning about the Gods. Then the cultures of those that honour them to get more of a picture of the context in which they were honoured.

Be prepared to be in a minority amongst "Celtic" Pagans. Not that it is much of an issue. Unless you are looking for a lot of fellow Brythonic Pagans. Here is a great site to help you out, along with this one: http://caerfeddwyd.proboards.com

PaganNotPerfect

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Posts: 67
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 01:01:37 am »
I echo the statements that Brythonic Paganism is closer to Gaulish than Goidelic. There are similarites to both. As Britain is between them. I would first recommend learning about the Gods. Then the cultures of those that honour them to get more of a picture of the context in which they were honoured.

Be prepared to be in a minority amongst "Celtic" Pagans. Not that it is much of an issue. Unless you are looking for a lot of fellow Brythonic Pagans. Here is a great site to help you out, along with this one: http://caerfeddwyd.proboards.com
 
I suggest small, simple practices to get more in touch with the gods. Small offerings, which of course, vary by deity. You would first have to decide exactly who it is you wish to honour. You can then honour more gods and make offerings to them as time goes on.

The thing is, it's tough to tell someone exactly how they should honour the gods. It would also depend on the person's take on their way of Paganism. Some are eclectic, some reconstructionist, I am neither. Or, perhaps I'm in between. I only honour Brythonic deities, Taranis in particular. However, I do not consider myself a reconstructionist.

I do not know if you have heard of the term Unverified Personal Gnosis (UPG). Basically, a personal belief derived from experience, instead of history. Although I strive to maintain relevance, I am an independent person, so I go my own way and honour the Gods in such a manner. As I believe that Paganism of the past was the UPG of our ancestors. As their beliefs and ways evolved over time, mine do as well. I am unapologetic of the way I go about my practices, and I am equally unapologetic on my beliefs.

Since I "do my own thing" I will not attempt to tell you how to practice in any great detail, because that is up to you. I use history as a template, and then adapt practices to suit me. For example, I give Taranis offerings of hard cider, though I try to get Strongbow, or Crispin's hard cider, sometimes Angry Orchard is all that is on hand. Our ancestors made do with what they had, I do the same. So don't feel guilty if you can't do something perfectly.

Once you have an idea of what gods you want to honour, what to offer them sometimes reveals itself. For example, milk is a good offering for Brigantia. Prayers, poems, and songs can be offerings as well. I'm more than happy to help with any questions you may have, amongst others on this site. Either through private message, or openly through Hazel and Oak. Take it one step at a time. Good luck! :)

Here's another site with lots of information: http://celtnet.org.uk/
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 01:05:17 am by PaganNotPerfect »

Materialist

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 605
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 11:53:47 pm »
Quote from: TheHumanAxiom;122107

 At the same time, I want to begin some early, foundational practices ASAP - practices that will nurture my spiritual needs while I am busy researching, and that won't be needlessly irrelevant to my later practices, or worse, interfere with the direction I want to take.

 
I have found in my research that the pagan religions of Britain and Rome were vary similar to each other. Studying Roman religion, of which much more is known, will give you an idea of what British religion was like.

For your first question, no, British religion was rather syncretic; a dozen gods could be worshiped in the same temple. For your second question, it would be a waste of time. Two different cultures.

For foundational practices, the center of a ritual was the sacrifice. Britons made offerings into fire or pits dug into the ground. The thing being offered could be anything. If you have a fire place you can offer a bit of food into it; if you have a backyard you can dig a little hole and put a little food in that, or a libation. If you are city bound you can fill a flower pot with some soil, dig  a hole in the middle and offer a little water into it, or even have a little bonzai tree (some ritual pits were large enough to have entire trees in them), and when you water it you can turn it into a religious act.

Aster Breo

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2912
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 96
    • View Profile
Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 11:47:48 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;124807
I have found in my research that the pagan religions of Britain and Rome were vary similar to each other. Studying Roman religion, of which much more is known, will give you an idea of what British religion was like.

Doesn't this depend on what period of time you're talking about?
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Gilbride

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 597
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2013, 07:02:39 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;124985
Doesn't this depend on what period of time you're talking about?


It certainly does. Romano-British religion, like Romano-Gaulish religion, used far more iconography than the native religions did before Roman contact. Brythonic religion also has certain elements in common with Goidelic religion that may or may not have been present in Gaul but were definitely not part of Roman religion, such as the concept of the tribal king marrying the goddess of the tribal territory.

Materialist

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 605
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2013, 06:07:10 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;124985
Doesn't this depend on what period of time you're talking about?


For you and Gilbride: well, TheHumanAxiom mentioned paganism practiced by various peoples speaking a language derived from Celtic, with a leaning towards Wales, so I gave a rather makeshift description of pagan practices known from England and Wales, from the early historical period. Do you prefer the paleolithic era or something? Or should I have asked which pre-christian century was being referred to?

Aster Breo

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2912
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 96
    • View Profile
Gaulish, Brythonic, Goidelic, oh my!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2013, 06:35:47 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;125130
For you and Gilbride: well, TheHumanAxiom mentioned paganism practiced by various peoples speaking a language derived from Celtic, with a leaning towards Wales, so I gave a rather makeshift description of pagan practices known from England and Wales, from the early historical period. Do you prefer the paleolithic era or something? Or should I have asked which pre-christian century was being referred to?

Wow. No need to be nasty.

I asked the question because my understanding is that religious practice in Britain was actually not much like Roman practice until Rome invaded Britain, when people in Britain adopted many Roman practices.  For example, British practice didn't use anthropomorphized images of the gods until after romanization.  So, it seems to me that the specifics of British religious practice would depend on the time period.

But I'm not an expert. Which is why I asked.
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
5 Replies
2212 Views
Last post March 26, 2012, 06:37:20 pm
by RandallS
1 Replies
2862 Views
Last post June 17, 2012, 12:03:50 am
by Celtag
16 Replies
5654 Views
Last post July 01, 2013, 07:51:30 pm
by Phouka
4 Replies
1969 Views
Last post August 29, 2014, 07:16:13 pm
by MattyG
2 Replies
1108 Views
Last post May 17, 2016, 07:34:46 pm
by YungMeatRabbit

Special Interest Group

Warning: You are currently in a Special Interest Group on the message board with special rules and focused discussions.

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 55
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall

SimplePortal 2.3.6 © 2008-2014, SimplePortal