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Author Topic: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?  (Read 2386 times)

Asch

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2013, 04:12:19 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;102953
No worries - and I'm sorry for getting stressed at you. I hear comments from a lot of Americans on this subject that are along the lines of "What are the Brits calling druidry??" - almost as though we borrowed it from America. :D: Paganism generally is very different in the UK from the US, and there are going to be marked differences in what we call certain things. Just as an example, you never hear witches calling themselves Wiccans here unless they're part of a coven. When I first encountered an American neo-Wiccan, I got very confused. :)

You're right that what often gets called 'Celtic' is part of our cultural influence. There's been a bit of (what I consider) an anti-Celtic backlash in the UK recently, and that probably affects where I'm coming from when the term is used. This is complicated by the fact that I do call my personal practice Celtic. I'm just an oddbod with a strong interest in my Irish and Welsh ancestry. A lot of the UK druids think I'm very strange... (If you were ever to visit my OBOD grove, I would suggest that you never use the term Celtic around them. It's one of the words that has people rolling their eyes. Also frowned upon is singing 'John Barleycorn'.)

 
Maybe it would be useful to define the British Pagan def of Celtic as compared to the American?

Sophia C

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Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2013, 07:26:43 am »
Quote from: Asch;102954
Maybe it would be useful to define the British Pagan def of Celtic as compared to the American?

Hmm. Well, I'm not sure I can cite sources or anything more than anecdotal evidence (although I really want to do some sociological research on UK Paganism - so maybe I'll be able to give you ethnography in a few years!) But I suspect that Celtic is mainly defined here by Neo-Pagans - these days - as "What the Romans mistakenly called us". It is argued about in academic settings, and that's part of what Pagans are acknowledging, I think. I went to a fantastic talk at my university by John Collis -     http://www.shef.ac.uk/archaeology/people/collis - who uses argues that Celtic is not an appropriate term to use for the tribes of the British Isles, not just because he considers most modern concepts of Celtic culture to be a modern invention, but also because there is very little evidence of migration of continental Celtic tribes to Britain. (There was nearly a stand-up row between him and a professor from the Celtic Studies department. It was great.)

I also think a lot of British people feel excluded by the concept of Celtic. It doesn't feel like their heritage, to a lot of them. That's why a lot of UK druids look to Norse and Germanic influence, for example. We're used to 'Celtic' being a nationalistic thing that is not usually intended to mean the English. And as much as we know that's based on modern nationalistic constructs, we still experience these constructed differences today.
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Micheál

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2013, 08:18:57 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;102953
Paganism generally is very different in the UK from the US, and there are going to be marked differences in what we call certain things. Just as an example, you never hear witches calling themselves Wiccans here unless they're part of a coven. When I first encountered an American neo-Wiccan, I got very confused. :)

Very true, a Gardnerian friend of mine covered this well in her blog recently...
http://www.trailing.wellofwisdom.net/2013/02/europe-vs-usa.html

Quote from: Sophia Catherine;102953

You're right that what often gets called 'Celtic' is part of our cultural influence. There's been a bit of (what I consider) an anti-Celtic backlash in the UK recently, and that probably affects where I'm coming from when the term is used. This is complicated by the fact that I do call my personal practice Celtic. I'm just an oddbod with a strong interest in my Irish and Welsh ancestry. A lot of the UK druids think I'm very strange

'Celtic' is used a lot more in general in Ireland, and Irish stuff plays a big role among pagans here, but certainly not the only ones as well as there's a big Norse crowd too(that still ties to heritage&history). Might be an insular thing again lol

Gilbride

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2013, 09:05:43 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;102949
I'm sorry, but to say we are 'de facto Celtic' is reductionist.


This is true, but the word has always been used by Celtic scholars to mean just one thing- the Celtic language family. Archeologists use it differently, to refer to a particular material culture, but the two usages don't overlap perfectly. This is pretty much the origin of the recent controversy, because Brythonic was definitely a Celtic language regardless of whether archeologists call the ancient Britons "Celts" or not.

Vale

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2013, 04:46:17 pm »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;102949
No, because Celtic is not our only cultural influence. We also (actually, mainly) have Brythonic and Germanic, and all kinds of other influences. And as I said, revival druidry was not solely influenced by Celtic ideas (though those were very strong). ADF druidry is very different from OBOD druidry, which acknowledges a lot of cultural-spiritual influences for British neo-druids. And OBOD has more in common with other British druid orders than any of them do with ADF.

I'm sorry, but to say we are 'de facto Celtic' is reductionist. To some extent we probably are less focused on our Celtic heritage because it's just 'there' - but lots of other aspects of our heritage are just 'there', too. That cultural mixture is what it means to be British, and that's a big part of what modern British druidry is drawing on (IMO). A lot of the British druids I know have problems with the concept of 'Celtic' in the sense that it doesn't really mean anything. I would tend to agree. In Britain our primary heritage is Brythonic, and many British druids take a lot of their influence from what we know about those tribes (which were *not* all 'Welsh'). My ancestors were Gaelic. I mainly use the term 'Celtic' with Americans, because it's widely used among American druids, CRs, Wiccans etc, but if I use it in Britain I will very quickly be asked "What exactly do you mean by Celtic?" and be told to get specific. Which is fair enough.

It's in America, in what is essentially the 'Celtic' diaspora, that there is a strong focus on that concept. I usually see a brief nod to the controversy over the concept, followed by never mentioning that again. It's not the same for those of us who are very aware of our mixed ancestry in an island full of cultural mongrels and spiritual magpies. There is a lot of influence of the 'Celtic revival' in UK neo-druidry, but it is understood that is not our only influence. OBOD were doing druidry in its own way before ADF was invented, and it has just as much right to use the term. It's using it in the way that neo-druidry has been using it since the nineteenth century. This is not a new thing that is "happening" here!
 
I feel a bit like I'm being talked about like an alien here. Of course British druidry is going to be different from American druidry. We are a very different culture - despite that being masked by our sharing a language. Remember that things are often seen differently in diaspora from places where they stayed indigenous and part of the big melting pot of cultural influence.

If you want to find out more, people who write about this very British style of druidry include Cat Treadwell and Emma Restall-Orr. The British Druid Order is the perfect example of it (I'm thinking of re-starting their bardic grade course), and the Druid Network is to a slightly lesser extent. The British druid orders are NOT the same as ADF druidry, and British druidry deserves respect as its own spiritual movement with strong modern cultural influences.


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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #20 on: March 27, 2013, 04:53:29 am »
Quote from: Asch;102954
Maybe it would be useful to define the British Pagan def of Celtic as compared to the American?

 
This thread from the archive forum is pertinent here - I was thinking its differentiation between anthropological and Romantic usage was relevant, but when I went to get the link, I noticed that it also touches on UK vs US/North American usage (via how those relate to anthropological vs Romantic), so even more relevant than I thought.

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Phi92

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2013, 05:23:33 pm »
I appreciate every opinion and I'm glad so many people answered! :)

I follow an eclectic path with druid influences, among others.

Druidry and other pagan paths should be open to various cultures and every should be able to participate, regardless of native culture or interest in one particular culture.

That's my opinion :)

Rhyshadow

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2013, 05:29:17 pm »
Quote from: Phi92;103389
I appreciate every opinion and I'm glad so many people answered! :)

I follow an eclectic path with druid influences, among others.

Druidry and other pagan paths should be open to various cultures and every should be able to participate, regardless of native culture or interest in one particular culture.

That's my opinion :)

 
One thing I noticed in another thread is the desire to learn N/A practices. Realize that they are still living, breathing things and to them, people taking bits and pieces of their lifestyle at whim is very insulting to them.

I'd be careful where you pull from.

Phi92

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Re: Is respect and love for Celctic Culture required to be a druid?
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2013, 05:48:46 pm »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;103390
One thing I noticed in another thread is the desire to learn N/A practices. Realize that they are still living, breathing things and to them, people taking bits and pieces of their lifestyle at whim is very insulting to them.

I'd be careful where you pull from.

 
I think nobody would mind my paganism since it's pretty simple and various elements are present in various cultures. I didn't borrow anything specific enough to be called a thief or something. I base my paganism on ideas, philosophy which is common with a lot of traditions :)

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