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Author Topic: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.  (Read 3541 times)

ethelwulf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2014, 07:18:18 pm »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;142542
Part of the problem is that there isn't any one thing that can be defined as Celtic paganism. Which Celts? What kind of paganism? Recon? Druidic? What kind of Druidry? Etc, etc.

Me, I've never had an issue connecting with Irish Gods. Since I've been to Ireland, that connection is better, yes, but... they are out there and accessible when they want to be, no matter where you're standing.

 
I can agree with the first paragraph now better than ever. It took some time to remove the preconceptions that always affect us as we look at a subject. The problem I had and I am sure others trying to understand paganism is that it changes. The paganism of Ireland and the British Isles changed over time. I understood this while reading an outstanding book  "Old Norse religion in long-term perspectives" which has multiple authors. They trace a range of evidence from literature to archeological findings and follow the changes of the Norse pagan religion from a shamanic based religion in pre Roman Scandinavia to the end of the Viking era and the end of pagan religion outside of the Sami people (who are often left out of Europe despite the fact they are a part of Europe).  By the end we find a well developed pantheon with clear definite roles reflecting the significant influence of Rome. These gods and goddesses in many ways are different that the gods and goddesses of pre Rome Scandinavia.

           There is no reason to believe the same was not happening to the Celtic pagans as well as the Germanic pagans outside of Scandinavia. Thus I finally understand why there are so many views and the division between those focusing on the gods and goddesses and those focusing on other aspects like myself and yet still see it as Celtic paganism.

      I appreciate your insight on how you can contact the gods and goddesses even though I find it difficult to see how that is done. I have read many different posts explaining it but I still do not understand how you know the spirit/deity you are connecting with is in fact the Spirit/deity found in the literature or archeological record. One response I had seen in the past answered it in that it really did not matter, they were still connecting with a spirit/deity with the aspects they were looking for. Many of the Celtic deities we know very little about so how would you know who you are contacting other than the name. Would you be just as likely connecting with a spirit/deity of the area you are in with similar aspects? Are there many different deities associated with the sun for instance or the moon that would respond to your request? Those are the things I am still trying to understand.

Phouka

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2014, 11:50:30 am »
Quote from: dragonfaerie;142542
Part of the problem is that there isn't any one thing that can be defined as Celtic paganism. Which Celts? What kind of paganism? Recon? Druidic? What kind of Druidry? Etc, etc.

Me, I've never had an issue connecting with Irish Gods. Since I've been to Ireland, that connection is better, yes, but... they are out there and accessible when they want to be, no matter where you're standing. And honestly, I think that is because the Gods aren't limiting. People are. People have defined them as belonging to this town or this well or this river. And while those things may be theirs, I think there's a level of transcendence there because the Gods (and the fae, and all those types of beings) are not entirely of our reality. Perhaps it's easier to talk to Brigit at a well in Ireland, but that doesn't mean you can't reach her anywhere else.

Call it galactic skype if you want. Now that these Gods have worshippers all over the world, and are known beyond their ancestral tribal lands, I don't see them ignoring us or being aloof because we aren't all in a field in Ireland or Scotland or Wales or Brittany. They're here for us if we ask them to be.

Karen


I agree with your interpretation Karen. Macha came to me and claimed me as a priest 15 years ago. I did not go looking for her. I was perfectly happy with Epona. I don't see that the gods have any problem commuting to America, Portugal, or any other land. At this point, just as other pantheons, they come when and where they want to; and claim whom they want, whether as dedicant or clergy.

Phouka

ethelwulf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2014, 03:11:20 pm »
Quote from: Phouka;142843
I agree with your interpretation Karen. Macha came to me and claimed me as a priest 15 years ago. I did not go looking for her. I was perfectly happy with Epona. I don't see that the gods have any problem commuting to America, Portugal, or any other land. At this point, just as other pantheons, they come when and where they want to; and claim whom they want, whether as dedicant or clergy.

Phouka

 
I am asking this question to help me understand and not to question anyone but how do you know it is Macha you are connecting with?  Is it Macha one of the  daughters of Partholón, Macha, daughter of Ernmas, of the Tuatha Dé Danann or Macha Mong Ruad? What do you know about this goddess and from what source? These issues make it difficult to progress in this area of paganism. How do you deal with some of these problems?

veggiewolf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2014, 07:00:18 pm »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142862
...These issues make it difficult to progress in this area of paganism...

How so?
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ethelwulf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2014, 09:30:27 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;142886
How so?

 
That statement was in reference to my difficulty progressing in believing in specific gods/goddesses from our past. I do not understand how you know who you are connecting with? We know so little about our ancestors connected with their gods or goddesses  and very little about the deities themselves. How do we know who we are connecting with?

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2014, 10:32:44 am »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142946
That statement was in reference to my difficulty progressing in believing in specific gods/goddesses from our past. I do not understand how you know who you are connecting with? We know so little about our ancestors connected with their gods or goddesses  and very little about the deities themselves. How do we know who we are connecting with?

 
You never know, which is fine, because it doesn't actually matter.

To the extent someone does care, a person can check for consistency of behaviour, both internally and with the surviving lore, and act accordingly.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

ethelwulf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2014, 11:19:28 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;142954
You never know, which is fine, because it doesn't actually matter.

To the extent someone does care, a person can check for consistency of behaviour, both internally and with the surviving lore, and act accordingly.

 
Why does it not matter?  If it does not matter why even refer to the name of a goddess or god? Checking for consistency of course is a problem with many of the gods and goddesses of northern European's past because of the lack of information we have as in the case of Eostre or Hreda.

Sophia C

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2014, 11:35:17 am »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142959
Why does it not matter?  If it does not matter why even refer to the name of a goddess or god? Checking for consistency of course is a problem with many of the gods and goddesses of northern European's past because of the lack of information we have as in the case of Eostre or Hreda.

 
It doesn't matter because we're talking about spiritual things, not history or statistics or geophysics.

You can have a fair idea who you're dealing with without needing to be absolutely 100% certain.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
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ethelwulf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2014, 12:38:27 pm »
Quote from: Naomi J;142963
It doesn't matter because we're talking about spiritual things, not history or statistics or geophysics.

You can have a fair idea who you're dealing with without needing to be absolutely 100% certain.

 
I understand that it does not need to be 100% but I would think it would be more that 0%. When you are trying to contact the goddess Macha for instance in this case or Hedra or Oestra, how do you know you are contacting that goddess?  There must be something you base it on or why even apply the name Macha.

Sophia C

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2014, 12:47:36 pm »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142971
I understand that it does not need to be 100% but I would think it would be more that 0%. When you are trying to contact the goddess Macha for instance in this case or Hedra or Oestra, how do you know you are contacting that goddess?  There must be something you base it on or why even apply the name Macha.

 
This is where you end up going back and forth across the fine line between research and mysticism. As Darkhawk says, you can check for agreement with the facts of your research and internally. So, someone who is getting a sense that their deity is associated with the area of Yorkshire and the concept of victory may do research and find Brigantia. If the deity doesn't seem to 'fit', internally, they may go back to the drawing board.
"We're all stories, in the end. Make it a good one, eh?"
- Doctor Who

Phouka

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2014, 12:53:57 pm »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142862
I am asking this question to help me understand and not to question anyone but how do you know it is Macha you are connecting with?  Is it Macha one of the  daughters of Partholón, Macha, daughter of Ernmas, of the Tuatha Dé Danann or Macha Mong Ruad? What do you know about this goddess and from what source? These issues make it difficult to progress in this area of paganism. How do you deal with some of these problems?

 
I am becoming a priest of Macha the Warrior, She is on the battlefield taking heads of the honorable dead. She revels in war and is one of the3, 7 or 9  goddesses of the Morrigan. There are 2 other Machas within the mythological cycles of Ireland and they may have formed a triune although there is no archeological or anthropological evidence of this.

How do I know which Macha called me? When you have a lucid dream and see a black haired woman covered in blood with a sword in one hand and a severed head in the other and she says 'Your will be my priest', there's little ambiguity as to whom has chosen you.

Phouka

ethelwulf

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2014, 04:01:38 pm »
Quote from: Phouka;142973

How do I know which Macha called me? When you have a lucid dream and see a black haired woman covered in blood with a sword in one hand and a severed head in the other and she says 'Your will be my priest', there's little ambiguity as to whom has chosen you.

Phouka

 
I am not trying to be difficult and I really want to understand, but how do you know that was Macha? Could it be a vision of a different spirit? And if it is Macha does she indicate why she wants to be her priest?

Allaya

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2014, 04:17:46 pm »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142996
I am not trying to be difficult and I really want to understand, but how do you know that was Macha? Could it be a vision of a different spirit? And if it is Macha does she indicate why she wants to be her priest?

 
I'm not sure what you're after here. There is no bouncer checking IDs at the door between worlds and you can't ask for a deity's badge number when the stop you on the street.
Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.  — Shirley Chisholm
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Rayne

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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2014, 04:36:45 pm »
Quote from: Allaya;143002
I'm not sure what you're after here. There is no bouncer checking IDs at the door between worlds and you can't ask for a deity's badge number when the stop you on the street.

 
I can think of numerous questions why ethelwulf might have asked about clarification. Namely curiosity about how one person came to such a determination for scholarly reasons or even personal ones. (Not to imply that ethelwulf is or isn't working out who or what is coming to visit in dreams...just saying)

Some deities are indeed easier to identify than others, some (according to UPG I have seen here at TC anyway) appear to have a grand time of sending us on wild goose chases to figure it out.
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Re: Wanting help to understand celtic pagan tradition.
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2014, 04:44:09 pm »
Quote from: ethelwulf;142959
Why does it not matter?

 
Subjective experience will always remain subjective.

As long as someone's looking for some kind of objective methology they're going to fail.  Hanging one's value of success on a task that has no means to achieve anything other than failure is foolhardy.  Objective methodology for determining the identities of spiritual entities is impossible, and thus I choose to believe that it does not matter, because to believe otherwise is a course leading only to suffering and failure.

Subjective affirmation is just plain good enough.
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