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Ross Posted on: 23-Oct-2017, 08:28 AM

Replies: 4
Views: 1,272
Hi Kittye,

Welcome back from your travels. What instrument(s) do you play in your performances?
  Forum: Introductions  ·  Post Preview: #316264

Ross Posted on: 16-May-2016, 06:24 AM

Replies: 2
Views: 2,272
Greetings and welcome JohnnyK.

I’m an NY UpStater born and raised, though relocated now to Southern New England.

Hope you enjoy the site.
  Forum: Introductions  ·  Post Preview: #315085

Ross Posted on: 13-Mar-2015, 12:42 PM

Replies: 3
Views: 1,305
Enjoyed it very much.... thank you.
  Forum: Celtic Music  ·  Post Preview: #312117

Ross Posted on: 19-Dec-2014, 09:03 PM

Replies: 7
Views: 1,142
Hello JoeB and welcome.

I’m in Connecticut and I started violin/fiddle a year ago October. Of the various instruments I've learned to play, the violin is definitely the most challenging.

All I can say is give yourself time, be sure your instrument is well set up and strung good strings and use the best bow you can acquire. The bow is as important as the violin… especially as a beginner.

Good luck with it all.smile.gif

  Forum: Introductions  ·  Post Preview: #311839

Ross Posted on: 07-Oct-2014, 01:26 PM

Replies: 0
Views: 4,135
My great grandmother’s maiden name was McCargar, which by its spelling alone indicates Irish origin, however, she made it clear to everyone in the family that she and her parents were staunch Presbyterians who came to Canada from Scotland via England. She married and lived most of her adult life in northern New York State not far from the Canadian border from around 1900 to the early 1960’s. Regrettably, nothing was ever written down or passed along regarding her history.

The family name doesn’t trace back far at all. I’m curious if there are any McCargar’s (or descendents of) amongst the Celtic Radio membership.
  Forum: Genealogy & Family History  ·  Post Preview: #311277

Ross Posted on: 02-Oct-2014, 09:45 PM

Replies: 5
Views: 1,011
Welcome Hank,
Loreena has been one of my favorites for several years… an unmistakable voice and the mystical character of her melodies is truly captivating. I play guitar, mandolin and am learning fiddle (a humbling instrument).

The reverse of you, I married one of six German daughters, have four children (two still in college)and am caught in a constant swirl of family events and happenings… thank God the food and drink is incredible. I’m of both Scottish and Irish decent and this site is a great refuge… enjoy.
  Forum: Introductions  ·  Post Preview: #311253

Ross Posted on: 22-Nov-2008, 05:36 PM

Replies: 8
Views: 1,149
Well said Stoirmeil. I agree completely with your take on the nature of community rites and traditions.

What I hear from you, Breandán, is really pretty refreshing. It sounds like, as a group, Celtic Reconstructionists make every attempt to be broad, balanced and well validated. I like very much what I hear.

I have occasion to sit in and listen to the conversations of some young pagans (15 – 25 y/o) in our community… Celtic, Goddess, Druid, etc. What I frequently hear is a mix of historic information, fantasy Sci-Fi, New Age Spiritualism and various agendas. I get concerned because these very serious young people are liable to form lasting dysfunctional perspectives about religion, life, the world, themselves, etc. It’s like watching people living on a constant diet of junk food.

I have no struggle with UPG, (quite the opposite really). I have a great deal of respect for it as a viable source of spiritual information, guidance and context… if it’s derived in an honest and untainted guest for knowledge. It’s more the tendency I witness for some (not applying this to you or CR) to extrapolate a ‘truth’ from a collection of disconnected and often misunderstood or misrepresented bits of information. It makes me shudder… like fingernails on a chalk board.

You sound like you have an admirable perspective and depth of knowledge, as well as a substantial and balanced support community. We could do well with such influences in our section of the country.
  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #268550

Ross Posted on: 22-Nov-2008, 03:28 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714

I’ve been a technical analyst for thirty years, so that’s what I tend to gravitate to. My habitual response is to explain it all… a bit overbearing perhaps.

I’d be interested in your impressions of this set of verse. Is it pagan? Is it Christian? I think it’s spoken in the innocence of traditional and cultural contexts rather than as a formulated subversion of Christianity. There’s a balance a natural aspect to it that I find powerful.

I'm sure Stoirmeil will enlighten us with nuances that neither of us has contemplated.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268545

Ross Posted on: 21-Nov-2008, 09:28 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714
I’m sorry. I hope I’m not insulting your intelligence by pointing out things that are, in all likelihood, apparent.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268488

Ross Posted on: 21-Nov-2008, 09:20 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714
The gaidhlig is below. I’m struck with the degree of license taken by the translator. He/she has ornamented quite a bit. For instance, the last two lines are exactly the same (literal): ‘Moon, bright of the season’, yet the translator renders them somewhat embellished.

Notice too that ‘A Ghealach’ is in the form of a direct address as I might speak your name to you, A Stoirmeil (Stormy) or A Mhairread (Margret), A Dhonnchaidh (Duncan) in personal conversation. It does not translate to ‘the moon’(an ghealach) as an object, but actually addressing “Moon’, first person, followed by gheal (bright) as an adjective. So, the speaker is not referring to the moon, but rather speaking to it... very personal. Just an observation.

AN ainm Spiorad Naomh nan gras,
An ainm Athar na, Cathrach aigh,
An ainm Iosa thug dhinn am bas,
O! an ainm na Tri tha d’ ar dion ’s gach cas,
Ma’s math a fhuair thu sinn an nochd,
Seachd fearr gum fag thu sinn gun lochd,
A Ghealach gheal nan trath,
A Ghealach gheal nan trath.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268487

Ross Posted on: 21-Nov-2008, 11:28 AM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714

IN name of the Holy Spirit of grace,
In name of the Father of the City of peace,
In name of Jesus who took death off us,
Oh! in name of the Three who shield us in every need,
If well thou hast found us to-night,
Seven times better mayest thou leave us without harm,
Thou bright white Moon of the seasons,
Bright white Moon of the seasons.

While initially invoking the individuals of the Christian Trinity, the beseeching addresses the moon. To me this implies an assumed subservience of the moon’s spiritual essence (The Goddess?) to the will of The Trinity.

Is this a calculated association or simply a mingling of habits and tradition with little thought given to the views of the Christian Church toward the beseeching of powers other those of The Trinity?

The annotation indicates that the practice continues in our current time. There’s an interesting note about the local clergyman not wanting his daughter to openly display her regard for the moon. Yet, apparently he did not tell her it was wrong or blasphemous. His concern seemed to be more in an embarrassment before the bishop than the wrath of God. It would seem that the custom was strong within himself and he exercised tolerance, but was quite aware of the gap between church doctrine and local tradition.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268453

Ross Posted on: 20-Nov-2008, 08:50 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714
I like, but I’m not sure which point we’re going back to.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268428

Ross Posted on: 20-Nov-2008, 07:17 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714
Sunshine indeed. I had no idea that fanning a small brand would yield such illumination… I should have known. I agree whole heartedly about the nature of theology being ‘the problem’. There’s often less peril in what God/the gods are or are not, than what some may insist they be. My gut tells me that the intolerant nature of monotheism has more to do with the insecurity of the devout than the personality of the god. The god holds all the cards. Why be intolerant of those you know to be playing a losing hand? You get to say ‘I told you so’ in the end.

I’m undecided as to whether language has truly done us a service… lifted us. I sense that something innately innocent and human (there’s a set of paradoxical adjectives) was lost once we contrived to substitute verbal structures for active expression. Language has given a tremendous boost to the potential for the lie… (I guess that could contribute to the separate part)… yes I know… cup is half empty.

Jay , I apologize sincerely for this flagrant high jacking of your thread and wish that I could promise that it will never happen again.

I frequently apply a good dark beer (as a preventative measure) whether queasy or not. With that, I’ll go visit the refrigerator. wink.gif

Blessings to you both. beer_mug.gif
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268424

Ross Posted on: 20-Nov-2008, 12:04 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714
Let me see if I can apply coaxing breath to these latent coals. smile.gif

I struggle with deity gender orientation in general, be it implied or absolute. Perceiving a set of attributes or behaviors as gender associate seems ever to be part and parcel of the way we mortals make relevance of our world… to the point of bestowing gender linguistic inflection to inanimate objects. I doubt in my mind that the deities see themselves as confined by the limitations of any such earth-born physical appointments… assigned merely to satisfy the context of stories, lore and perception in attempts to filter grand things through woefully inadequate senses.

The wisdom, in my assessment, of that or any honest religious text lies in the recognition and acknowledgement of the critical roles that are eternally played out to our benefit and the humbling of ourselves to the powers that perpetuate them… not in demanding recognition of gender or any other attribute that we perceive that we personally (through no credit to ourselves) share with a deity that dutifully executes their high role.

I acknowledge that history has never been balanced in matters of gender, race, nationality, etc., but agenda is a great blinding veil and pitied are those that pursue and propagate such rather than seeking to bind themselves to truths of substance. Present company excluded, yet bated none the less.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #268376

Ross Posted on: 14-Nov-2008, 09:10 PM

Replies: 19
Views: 1,714
I’ve been looking through it since Stoirmeil sent the link to me, (many thanks) and it’s truly a fascinating view of the mingled Christian and pre-Christian beliefs. We frequently think of a culture as being one or the other at a particular time in history, as though the two are mutually exclusive, oil and water, but these writings clearly illustrate a different reality. People are able to extract faith and devout worship freely, without exclusivity or internal dilemma. Sometimes the non-specificity of deity in the text underscores the seamless amalgam.
  Forum: The Book Stop  ·  Post Preview: #267897

Ross Posted on: 13-Nov-2008, 07:05 PM

Replies: 8
Views: 1,149
Hi Breandá,

We keep bumping into one another. I’ve been engaged in studies of pagan ritual and religion for several years beginning in the early 70’s with the Native American Sun Dance. Most recently I’ve been researching Northern European (Celtic) rituals. Although I’ve endeavored to practice various rituals as appropriate, I wouldn’t consider myself a reconstructionist.

Two issues have become obvious to me over the past forty or so years. The first is that much of what is considered standard knowledge and understanding regarding a religion and its associated rituals is far from accurate or complete. Beginning in the middle ages, many groups sought to confuse, omit and misrepresent the truths. That trend has accelerated today where nearly every demographic that wants to empower itself takes the pieces of ‘ancient wisdom’ it likes, rejects the rest and fills the holes with their own ‘ancient truths’.

The second observation is that ‘the ancients’, be they Celtic, Greek, Egyptian or whomever, lived life on very different terms from us. Almost all of the rites and rituals of the ancient religions point to the aspects and the inner workings of the human psyche. Symbols such as the Sun, Moon, Earth and Stars are metaphorical. The terms of their worship was not practiced in the Judeo/Christian perspective of God(s) that has been dominant for centuries and had a transformational effect on our modern-day perspective of ancient Gods. It is not enough to uncover and reconstruct the implements, words or tasks of a given ritual. One must also understand the social context, timing and effect of the ritual’s meaning and impact on the human psyche of the people with whom it originated… that is the key to its magic and potency. That magic and potency is unquestionably accessible and much needed in our modern age, if truly and completely understood.

If your group is able to reconstruct that, I applaud and envy them. They have my sincere respect. I wish you all the best in your practice with them.
  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #267821

Ross Posted on: 08-Nov-2008, 03:44 PM

Replies: 6
Views: 521
Hello and welcome Boandyr. I’m sure you’ll find a lot of things to enjoy in this community. May I ask why you’ve chosen the Manx Gaelic dialect as a new language? Are there any teachers or speakers in you vicinity?

fáilte agus ádh mór ort
(Welcome and good luck)
  Forum: Introductions  ·  Post Preview: #267345

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Ross Posted on: 05-Nov-2008, 07:46 PM

Replies: 15
Views: 686
In the Scot’s Gàidhlig: Fàilte, Ciamar a tha thu fhèin? Tha sinn toilichte tha thu còmhla ruinn. Welcome, how are you? We’re glad to have you with us.

Always glad to know someone with a taste for an cànan nan gàidheal.
  Forum: Introductions  ·  Post Preview: #267103

Ross Posted on: 20-Oct-2008, 01:52 PM

Replies: 5
Views: 671
Horses are such characters. If you have never seen laughter on a horse's face, just plow into the dirt and look back.

Flora, I’ve had that ‘looking back’ experience more than I care to think about. I have to say though, I’ve seen what looked like sincere apologies from a choice few.

Think of the broad spectrum that horses participate in. From physical therapy for the handicap to grueling cross country races.

Your right, we use horses for a wide range of activities. The down side is that most of them are high-paced and high-pressure. Even the 4-H show pony can suffer from training backlash and be in need of some down-time and a head to hoof massage. It’s the other side of the coin that I find most heart-wrenching…. the horse that suffers neglect, physical and psychological deterioration. A one-hour work up doesn’t buy much for those horses, but they love the attention. I have a couple of long-winded stories about some exceptional come-backs.

Ross, how did you come to be a Reiki Master?

I’ve found that Reiki can help me as well as the horse. Horses are very perceptive animals. They have a kind of radar that picks up on the emotional and psychological projections of people and animals around them. I’ve learned that I can better relate my intent to the horse, evaluate its state and reduce its anxiety if Reiki is part of my approach. I’m also better able to manage my own energy level throughout the massage session.

What's a typical thing you'd see that needs massage therapy?

While massage can be a valuable therapy contributing to physical recuperation from an injury, it’s used more for relieving the aches, pains and anxiety from exercise fatigue or (the other side of the coin) inactivity.
So, the typical thing that needs massage is the whole horse. There may be areas that reveal more pain or stiffness than others, but muscle groups seldom work in isolation. There are techniques for locating and assessing local pain and that’s important for gauging the intensity of the massage (not wanting to induce more discomfort while working an area), but in the end, the best results come from working all areas thoroughly.

Horses are stoic and tend to hide pain, but once you learn how to ask and interpret the answer, the conversation can become very interesting.
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #265185

Ross Posted on: 19-Oct-2008, 09:11 PM

Replies: 13
Views: 900
in most healing traditions, including mine, it's recognized that the healer who neglects his own energies won't keep healing for long.

Healing (or better described as conduction) came to me as an unexpected guest that I invited to stay. I would work with some horses (mostly rescue finds) and my world would come unraveled. Though there was no apparent trauma to the horse, I would walk away after a session adrift with indefinable despair and depression… drained. Just about the time I had decided to stop massage practice, I came in contact with people who gave light to my experiences. They explained that a door of sorts was ajar and to some degree I could choose to walk away or walk through. I walked through, but with none of the professional training or insight that someone like you possesses. Finally, I’ve learned to use Reiki, meditation and ritual to keep from using my energy and hitting the wall over and over… not that it always works. As long as I’m detached and just a conduit I’m usually OK, but without observation and control, any focus becomes intense focus and energy and clarity build their own momentum. It's a real buzz at the time that it's going on, but the let down can be hard.


I guess it's of a piece with the vigil candle, Ross-- which is a solitary and quiet ritual on the night of the ritual itself, but which travels with me in mind to meet whatever comes.

There it is. How did you know... or more critically, why did I not understand that? Thank you.

Don’t assume that I’ve contemplated it all. I travel by wits and perception… and the occasional crumb that’s falls in front of my nose.

  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #265145

Ross Posted on: 19-Oct-2008, 04:05 PM

Replies: 5
Views: 671

I’m a certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist and Reiki Master practicing in Southern New England. I thought I’d run a post here to see if we have any equestrians and horse-lovers. No biz promo, just a spot to talk and think about those big (or not so big) critters that warm our hearts and give us so much enjoyment.

If you ride, own, do neither or wish you could do both, pull up a hay bale and let’s talk horse.
  Forum: Animal Talk  ·  Post Preview: #265106

Ross Posted on: 18-Oct-2008, 10:45 PM

Replies: 13
Views: 900
Yet, the planter chances self-reproach and the healer risks despair. Though at our center may burn a flame, we are not the sun and cannot claim the gift is ours. We are the hollow bone and not the tune. Some may be warmed while others dance and a wounded soul made whole. I’ve known it to be so. Still, some may not survive the frost and the song might not be heard. Some dire wounds refuse to mend. What then? The gardener and the healer mourn the loss and judge themselves unworthy of the task.

I keep my hearth with herbs and clutches and bank my fire against the season cast. My hands will fill with heat if summoned. These things are sure and are not questioned. I have planted and I have been a healing host. I’ve gladly given what they seek, but do not know to ask. I begrudge none of it, but I do not savor the cost. The ritual, yielding to the rhythm of place and purpose, cycle and season… my heart says heed, my spirit says be warded.
  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #265022

Ross Posted on: 18-Oct-2008, 04:41 PM

Replies: 13
Views: 900
Interesting suggestions, Flora. I see that there’s an ‘Animal Talk’ forum. Perhaps I’ll float an equine massage topic out there later today and see if there is enough interest to do more. Are you a rider?

My professional knowledge of horses is limited to their muscle and skeletal structure as well as the role confirmation plays in their susceptibility to strain… and, of course, how to relieve muscle and tendon pain through massage techniques. I hadn't made any connection between horses and things Celtic.

I imagine it would be O.K. as long as I don’t solicit clients.

Forging and metal work is much more broad and probably more akin to Celtic cultures. I’ll see if there’s an existing forum in which to float a discussion of Scotch/Irish metal traditions. Though far from an expert (if there is such), I’d welcome an exchange of information on the glories of Celtic smithies… today and years passed.
  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #265011

Ross Posted on: 18-Oct-2008, 12:28 AM

Replies: 13
Views: 900

A potent memory and poetic gift. Thank you.

Unless I miss my guess, the winds through this weekend should contain all of which you describe. They’re sure to be a vehicle for poignant meditation… providing both earthy incense and evocative song. I plan to immerse myself as often and as long as possible.

As for the messages of season and change in the body... they definitely bring an inescapable awareness. It may be that I’ve been fortunate that they’re only subtle whispers for now and I’ve always moved forward with a degree of haste. Every season has its beauty. Any darkness is that of fullness, as in a rich soil or a well steeped and robust tea. The winds of autumn carry a song and a scent that’s heavy with fulfilled promise, achievement and plenty. Decline is only preparation for renewal. So say the seasons.
  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #264961

Ross Posted on: 14-Oct-2008, 07:20 PM

Replies: 13
Views: 900
Hi flora,

I think I get what you’re saying. We kind of hold a place in time. What we have is owed in part to the family members that came before and in all likelihood thought of us only in the terms of concept and commitment. If we’ve taken that and used it to contribute to the continuum, then we can be proud of our personal place in time and feel as though we’re a durable link in the chain.

Looking back helps us evaluate ourselves in the present and maybe how we want to be regarded by future generations of our lineage. It makes families strong, memories rich and mortality a little less of a bitter wine. A somber wind indeed, but one I like to breathe in deeply.

  Forum: The Grove  ·  Post Preview: #264679

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