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> The Celts, History and background of The Celts
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scottish2 
  Posted: 10-Nov-2001, 10:52 AM
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Very interesting Article Paul. Was well worth the read.  :)
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NightHawk 
Posted: 18-Jan-2002, 08:58 AM
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The Six Celtic Languages

There was a unifying language spoken by the Celts, called not suprisingly, old Celtic. Philogists have shown the descendence of Celtic from the original Ur-language and from the Indo-European language tradition. In fact, the form of old Celtic was the closest cousin to Italic, the precursor of Latin.

The original wave of Celtic immigrants to the British Isles are called the q-Celts and spoke Goidelic. It is not known exactly when this immigration occurred but it may be placed somtime in the window of 2000 to 1200 BC. The label q-Celtic stems from the differences between this early Celtic tounge and Italic. Some of the differences between Italic and Celtic included that lack of a p in Celtic and an a in place of an the Italic o.

At a later date, a second wave of immigrants took to the British Isles, a wave of Celts referred to as the p-Celts speaking Brythonic. Goidelic led to the formation of the three Gaelic languages spoken in Ireland, Man and later Scotland. Brythonic gave rise to two British Isles languages, Welsh and Cornish, as well as surviving on the Continent in the form of Breton, spoken in Brittany.

The label q-Celtic stems from the differences between this early Celtic tounge and the latter formed p-Celtic. The differences between the two Celtic branches are simple in theoretical form. Take for example the word ekvos in Indo-European, meaning horse. In q-Celtic this was rendered as equos while in p-Celtic it became epos, the q sound being replaced with a p sound. Another example is the Latin qui who. In q-Celtic this rendered as cia while in p-Celtic it rendered as pwy. It should also be noted that there are still words common to the two Celtic subgroups.

As an aside, take note that when the Irish expansion into Pictish Britain occurred (see below), several colonies were established in present day Wales. The local inhabitants called the Irish arrivals gwyddel savages from which comes geídil and goidel and thus the Goidelic tounge.

source: http://www.ibiblio.org/gaelic/celts.html

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maggiemahone1 
  Posted: 18-Jan-2002, 10:37 PM
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MacFive and NightHawk your info on the Celts were very interesting and enlightening. I'm glad to know that Ireland and Scotland were from the same tribe, since my ancestors came from Ireland. I thought I might put my 2 cents worth in.
Music was very significant in Celtic society.  It is believed the Celts may have assigned certain modes of music to different seasons and time of the day. They believed music had healing qualities and could calm a savage.  Their great love for song and story nearly amounted to an addiction. (I can relate to that).  This explains the high power of the Bards, who were the masters of the harp among other things.  The 3 basic instruments of the Celts were the harp, the pipe, and the crotta, which is similar to the fiddle.
Symbols, such as the celtic cross, show up often in stone work and art work.  The cross contains the elements of the mortal journey toward eternal life.  The cross holds the processional paths each must travel to reach the center.  The spirals in the pattern represent the entryway to the peace of joy of eternal life.  maggiemahone1
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NightHawk 
Posted: 19-Jan-2002, 08:55 AM
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Hi Maggie,

you are absolutely right about the importance of music and symbolism for the celtic culture(s). And, as you mentioned the 'Celtic Cross' and it's symbolic meaning, just have a look at following article. It surely will be of interest for you.

Mide
By C. Austin

Ireland today is composed of five provinces: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Mide. Mide is the otherworld dimension which exists to holds the dynamic tension of the other four provinces inplace.

Although the modern geographer may insist Ireland consists of only four provinces, the Old Irish word for province is "coiced," literally meaning "a fifth". The dispute and designation of the territory of the provinces of Ireland goes back to an account written in the old Irish text known as "The Settling of the Manor of Tara."

This account retells a story which Fintan, son of Bocha, related to a group of warring Irish noblemenin around 550 A.D. Fintan related the chronicle of the settling of the provincial boundaries of Ireland by a supernatural being. The stranger, a fair giant known as Trefuilngid Tre-eochair, controlled the rising and setting of the sun and he ratified the arrangement of Ireland into four quarters and a centre - the mandala of life. Fintan then told of how he and Trefuilngid named the attributes which had been associated with each province throughout time. These qualities and the territorial boundaries combine to make each province a distinct region, not only in space but in character.

To the West and Connacht came the foundations of Learning and Wisdom, teaching, science and judgement. From the North and Ulster came the Battle - pride, war, conflicts and contentions. To the South and Munster came Music, poetic arts and advocacy. The East and Leinster brought Prosperity, abundance, hospitality and dignity. And from the Centre, from Mide, came the Kingship and Stewardship which holds the other four provinces fast into one island community.

The motif of the circle surrounded or bisected by the four directions or cardinal points is found throughout history and is sacred in many cultures. This circle or "mandala" in Sanskrit, is a physical symbol by which the creator makes the invisible world visible. In Native American, Hindu and Buddhist traditions the mandala is used for healing and to facilitate an encounter with the creative life force.

Mandala or circle forms have emerged throughout Ireland. Gold ornaments dating from 2,000 B.C.depict a cross surrounded by a circle with a distinct centre. This same symbol evolved into what is seen today as the Celtic cross. Even the well known Brigid's cross represents four directions leading from(and to) the centre of the cross.

The Centre is marked by a glacial erratic known as the Umbilicus Hibernia and it represents the intersection of the four points and the moment which exists in neither time or space where the mystic meets the mundane. The Hill of Uisneach is the area of the annual Beltaine Festival and it is from that Centre, from Mide, where the factions of Ireland are drawn together in a taut, interrelated web. The numinous energy which pours from the Centre illumines the landscape and animates the very rocks and trees - an "atmosphere" remarked upon frequently by visitors to Eire.

As with the great land works of the Celtic world, the five-fold "map" of Ireland provides a bridge for the individual to unite in the interplay between the divine and the earthly. From the Centre, in that moment out of time, one can know the grace to let go of the visible minutiae of everyday living and take one's rightful place in the cosmos.

source: http://www.celtic-connection.com/myth/uisneach.html

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Posted: 04-Oct-2001, 07:10 PM
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Who are the Celts? Something I have been thinking about alot is the distinction between Irish, Scottish and Welsh peoples. What is most interesting is that at one time all these cultures were part of one group of people called "The Celts." I found this excellent article about 'The Celts' over at the Gaelic and Gaelic Culture website. It answered alot of questions I had about the originals of the Clans of Scotland and the Scottish People. Thought it would be appropriate for this forum!

Who were the Celts?
The Celts were a group of peoples that occupied lands stretching from the British Isles to Gallatia. The Celts had many dealings with other cultures that bordered the lands occupied by these peoples, and even though there is no written record of the Celts stemming from their own documents, we can piece together a fair picture of them from archeological evidence as well as historical accounts from other cultures.

The first historical recorded encounter of a people displaying the cultural traits associated with the Celts comes from northern Italy around 400 BC, when a previously unkown group of barbarians came down from the Alps and displaced the Etruscans from the fertile Po valley, a displacment that helped to push the Etruscans from history's limelight. The next encounter with the Celts came with the still young Roman Empire, directly to the south of the Po. The Romans in fact had sent three envoys to the beseiged Etruscans to study this new force. We know from Livy's The Early History of Rome that this first encounter with Rome was quite civilized:

The Celts told the Roman envoys that this was indeed the first time they had heard of them, but they assumed the Romans must be a courageous people because it was to them that the [Etruscans] had turned to in their hour of need. And since the Romans had tried to help with an embassy and not with arms, they themselves would not reject the offer of peace, provided the [Etruscans] ceded part of their seperfluous agricultural land; that was what they, the Celts, wanted.... If it were not given, they would launch an attack before the Romans' eyes, so that the Romans could report back how superior the Gauls were in battle to all others....The Romans then asked whether it was right to demand land from its owners on pain of war, indeed what were the Celts going in Etruria in the first place? The latter defiantly retorted that their right lay in their arms: To the brave belong all things.
The Roman envoys then preceded to break their good faith and helped the Etruscans in their fight; in fact, one of the envoys, Quintas Fabius killed one of the Celtic tribal leaders. The Celts then sent their own envoys to Rome in protest and demand the Romans hand over all members of the Fabian family, to which all three of the original Roman envoys belonged, be given over to the Celts, a move completely in line with current Roman protocol. This of course presented problems for the Roman senate, since the Fabian family was quite powerful in Rome. Indeed, Livy says that:

The party structure would allow no resolution to be made against such noblemanm as justice would have required. The Senate...therefore passed examination of the Celts' request to the popular assembly, in which power and influence naturally counted for more. So it happened that those who ought to have been punished were instead appointed for the coming year military tribunes with consular powers (the highest that could be granted).

The Celts saw this as a mortal insult and a host marched south to Rome. The Celts tore through the countryside and several battalions of Roman soilders to lay seige to the Capitol of the Roman Empire. Seven months of seige led to negotiations wherby the Celts promised to leave their seige for a tribute of one thousand pounds of gold, which the historian Pliny tells was very difficult for the entire city to muster. When the gold was being weighed, the Romans claimed the Celts were cheating with faulty weights. It was then that the Celts' leader, Brennus, threw his sword into the balance and and uttered the words vae victis "woe to the Defeated". Rome never withstood another more humiliating defeat and the Celts made an initial step of magnificent proportions into history.

Other Roman historians tell us more of the Celts. Diodorus notes that:
Their aspect is terrifying...They are very tall in stature, with ripling muscles under clear white skin. Their hair is blond, but not naturally so: they bleach it, to this day, artificially, washing it in lime and combing it back from their foreheaads. They look like wood-demons, their hair thick and shaggy like a horse's mane. Some of them are cleanshaven, but others - especially those of high rank, shave their cheeks but leave a moustache that covers the whole mouth and, when they eat and drink, acts like a sieve, trapping particles of food...The way they dress is astonishing: they wear brightly coloured and embroidered shirts, with trousers called bracae and cloaks fastened at the shoulder with a brooch, heavy in winter, light in summer. These cloaks are striped or checkered in design, with the seperate checks close together and in various colours.

The Celts wear bronze helmets with figures picked out on them, even horns, which made them look even taller than they already are...while others cover themselves with breast-armour made out of chains. But most content themselves with the weapons nature gave them: they go naked into battle...Weird, discordant horns were sounded, [they shouted in chorus with their] deep and harsh voices, they beat their swords rythmically against their shields.

Diodorus also describes how the Celts cut off their enemies' heads and nailed them over the doors of their huts, as Diodorus states:

In exactly the same way as hunters do with their skulls of the animals they have slain...they preserved the heads of their most high-ranking victims in cedar oil, keeping them carefully in wooden boxes.

Diodorus Siculus, History.

What is a Celt and who are the Glasgow Celtics?
The people who made up the various tribes of concern were called Galli by the Romans and Galatai or Keltoi by the Greeks, terms meaning barbarian. It is from the greek Keltoi that Celt is derived. Since no soft c exists in greek, Celt and Celtic and all permutations should be pronounced with a hard k sound.

It is interesting to note that when the British Empire was distinguishing itself as better and seperate from the rest of humanity, it was decided that British Latin should have different pronunciation from other spoken Latin. Therefore, one of these distinguishing pronunciational differences was to make many of the previously hard k sounds move to a soft s sound, hence the Glasgow and Boston Celtics. It is the view of many today that this soft c pronunciation should be reserved for sports teams since there is obviously nothing to link them with the original noble savegery and furor associated with the Celts.

The Six Celtic Languages
There was a unifying language spoken by the Celts, called not suprisingly, old Celtic. Philogists have shown the descendence of Celtic from the original Ur-language and from the Indo-European language tradition. In fact, the form of old Celtic was the closest cousin to Italic, the precursor of Latin.

The original wave of Celtic immigrants to the British Isles are called the q-Celts and spoke Goidelic. It is not known exactly when this immigration occurred but it may be placed somtime in the window of 2000 to 1200 BC. The label q-Celtic stems from the differences between this early Celtic tounge and Italic. Some of the differences between Italic and Celtic included that lack of a p in Celtic and an a in place of an the Italic o.

At a later date, a second wave of immigrants took to the British Isles, a wave of Celts referred to as the p-Celts speaking Brythonic. Goidelic led to the formation of the three Gaelic languages spoken in Ireland, Man and later Scotland. Brythonic gave rise to two British Isles languages, Welsh and Cornish, as well as surviving on the Continent in the form of Breton, spoken in Brittany.

The label q-Celtic stems from the differences between this early Celtic tounge and the latter formed p-Celtic. The differences between the two Celtic branches are simple in theoretical form. Take for example the word ekvos in Indo-European, meaning horse. In q-Celtic this was rendered as equos while in p-Celtic it became epos, the q sound being replaced with a p sound. Another example is the Latin qui who. In q-Celtic this rendered as cia while in p-Celtic it rendered as pwy. It should also be noted that there are still words common to the two Celtic subgroups.

As an aside, take note that when the Irish expansion into Pictish Britain occurred (see below), several colonies were established in present day Wales. The local inhabitants called the Irish arrivals gwyddel savages from which comes geídil and goidel and thus the Goidelic tounge.

The Irish and the Scots Are From the Same Tribe
Ireland used to be divided up into five parts, the five fifths. There was a northern fifth, Ulster, a western fifth, Connaught, a southern fifth, Munster, an eastern fifth, Leinster and a middle fifth, Mide. Click here to see a map of the five fifths.

The Ulster Cycle is a set of stories which are grounded in the five fifths. Indeed, they are primarily concerned with Cú Chulainn, the Ulster hero and his king, Conor Mac Nessa in their wars against the king and queen of Connaught, Ailill and Maeve. These figures play a prominent role in the what may be the greatest story of the Ulster Cycle, the Táin Bó Cúailnge, The Cattle Raid of Cooley.

Sometime after 300 AD, Ulster became steadily less important in status among the five farthings and the ruling family of Mide, the Uí Néill Sons of Niall started to take over large parts of Connaught and most of Ulster. A similar move was made in Muster by the ruling family of Munster, the Eoganachta family. Thus was Ireland divided almost entirely into two halves.

The people of Ulster were pushed to a small coastal strip bordering the Irish Sea. The kingdom changed it's name to Dál Riata. Yet eventually Dál Riata fell under the rule and influence of the Uí Néill. This family, not content with the boundry presented by the sea, launched colonies across the Irish Sea into then Pictish Britain. Thus was Scotland founded, for it was these Uí Néill that the Romans called Scotti, not the original Picts.

Indeed, it was this Irish Expansion which led to Christianity in Scotland in 563 AD. St. Columba, the patron saint of Scotland, was a member of a powerful family in Dál Riata and in order to keep his ties in Ireland he settled on an island that was close to both Scotland and Ireland, Iona. Of course, even more bizarre is the fact that St. Patrick, the man responsible for bringing Christianity to Ireland in the first place, was from Wales.

Credit for this article goes towards the Gaelic and Gaelic Culture website.


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NightHawk 
Posted: 16-Jan-2002, 04:37 PM
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Hi all,

just to add something to the most interesting topic 'The Celts' I found following article on url:  http://www.celtic-connection.com/myth/banshee.html

Slàinte

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The Banshee, Celtic Death Messenger
By C. Austin

As we move into the darkest months of the year, it seems appropriate to visit a a spectre as ancient as life itself - the death messenger or Banshee.

Throughout history and across cultures there are stories and myths of beings that forewarn of human death. Just as the joy and desire to live is innate to most humans, so is the fear and dread of death. Seeing a ghost is not as alarming as the chilling knowledge that "as I am, so you shall be". Because mankind lives at the behest of the beautiful sometimes cruel powers of Nature, a prophecy of death returns a bit of order to those struggling to see a tapestry of cosmic or divine purpose.

In past centuries (and even today) humans look for signs of eccentricities of domestic time to portend the snipping of the thread of human life. Clocks chiming irregularly or stopping, roosters crowing at night, candles melting in winding sheets or bees swarming at doors or windows to accompany a soul in flight. Birds perching at windowsills or housetops such as owls, robins and ravens have often been seen as harbingers of gloomy news. In Scotland, the "bean-nighe" or washing woman is seen by travelers around pools or fjords washing the shrouds of those who are about to die, singing a dirge or crying. The bean-nighe will tell for whom she is keening and also the fate of those travelers who would dare to ask her. The bean-nigh is thought to be the ghost of a woman who died in childbirth. The feminine gender of this grieving spirit is a theme found again in the exclusively Irish form of the "bean-si", or banshee.

The banshee tradition occurs throughout Ireland and nearby islands. The gaelic terms used most frequently to describe the banshee are the "bean-si" (a female dweller of a sidhe, or fairy mound), the "bean chaointe" (a female keener, a term found in east Munster and Connaught) and the "badhb" (referring to a more dangerous, frightening bogey). Although "bean-si" implies an Otherworld or fairy being, the banshee is a solitary creature without male counterpart who never partakes in communal human or fairie social enterprise. Speculation also links the banshee with the mystical race Tuatha De'Dannan, from whence the fairy folk are descended. There is little folk evidence to support Christian explanations that the banshee is a devil who wails for the souls that are lost to her as they ascend to heaven, or that they are familial guardian angels or souls of unbaptized children or even the souls of women who committed the sin of pride in life.

The mourning of the deceased is not just the affair of surviving relatives in Ireland. In years past, the measure of a person's respect and stature in the community could be seen in the number of mourners at a funeral and the breadth of their grieving. Professional women keeners, often old women, were paid in drink to weep at the graveside of eminent figures in the community. The Church frowned upon the entanglement of these often alcoholic women and their funerary services, perhaps giving rise to another theory that banshees are the ghosts of professional keeners doomed to unrest as a result of their insincere grieving. Interestingly, this does touch on a basic component of the banshee legend: that banshees follow certain families. If banshees are the ghosts of deceased keeners, their accompaniment is probably due more to a sense of loyalty than a sense of guilt.

More likely the banshee should be thought of as the "spirit of the family", a spirit who attends to the family in a time of transition. The banshee is described as a wee woman with long white, blond or even auburn hair who appears in the vicinity of the birthplace of the soon to be deceased. When seen, she is wearing the clothes of a country woman, usually white, but sometimes grey, brown or red. The former hues represent the colors of mourning while red is associated with magic, fairies and the supernatural. In some accounts she is seen combing her hair as she laments. She is heard more often than seen, wailing as she approaches the abode in the late evening or early morning, sometimes perching on the windowsill two to three hours or even days before a death. As she moves off into the darkness witnesses describe a fluttering sound, such as the sound made by birds flying at night. Hence, the mistaken belief that banshees manifest as birds such as the crow. The inaccurate association with crows is probably due to confusion of the banshee with the primitive Celtic goddess Badb, the goddess of war who appeared frequently in the form of a crow.

Banshees also wail around natural forms such as trees, rivers, and stones. Wedge shaped rocks known as "banshee's chairs" are found in Waterford, Monaghan and Carlow. Although there have been reports of banshees accompanying Irish families who emigrated to the Americas, it appears the banshee more often grieves for an emigrant at the ancestral family seat in Ireland. Stories are told of the misfortune visited upon men who interfered with the banshee by taking her comb or challenging her. These tales point up the value of courteousness towards women, the avoidance of drink, violence and late hours.

There is historical precedence for the banshee's appearance as a female spirit. In Genesis, Eve delivers the apple to Adam. In the Christian myth, Mary delivers Christ unto the world, in ancient Greece women prophesied the message of the gods to mortals who sought their divine purpose at the Oracle of Delphi. Women "deliver" children into the world. As death is as natural as life, it is appropriate that the banshee, a feminine shade, provide the message which ushers a soul along on its journey.

The announcement of the banshee was heard by non-relatives and friends, not usually by close family members of the dying. With this warning, friends from far and near would travel to the failing individual knowing it was the last chance to say goodbye. Upon being told of the banshee's pronouncement, surviving family members could admit the finality of the situation and accept the support of the community that had gathered around them. The visitation of the banshee gave the tribe the opportunity to talk openly about the death with family members and thereby ease the mourning process. Although human death is inescapable, the foreknowledge of such an event does provide advantages, to the soon-to-be-deceased, the survivors and the community -- thereby honoring both the living and the dead.
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NightHawk 
Posted: 18-Jan-2002, 09:07 AM
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Who are the Celts?


The ancient culture of the Celts dominated a huge portion of Europe for more than a thousand years, and their importance and influence in European cultural is only now being recognized and "rediscovered."


The Celts enjoyed life. Family, food and feasting were important in early Celtic societies, and Celts were superior artists, poets, stoneworkers, metalworkers, and warriors.  They had unique languages and alpha characters, most of which survive unto this day.


The heritage of the Celtic tribes was transmitted via verse.  Instead of committing their history to the written word, the Celts immortalized their history in songs and poems.  The Celts educated themselves on subjects as diverse as religion, geography, philosophy, and astronomy, and they were known as famed orators all across Europe.


The Celts were centuries ahead of other Western cultures in their recognition of the equality of women.  Celtic women had the same rights and privileges as their menfolk, and served as teachers, leaders, merchants, and even warriors.


Why did the Celts fade from glory?  There were many factors, but one that stands out was a lack of cohesion among the Celtic tribes.  Each was an independent unit, totally self-supporting and sufficient.  When the Romans set out to conquer Northern Europe, the disorganization among the Celtic peoples significantly decreased their chances of successfully defending their individual homelands, and one by one, most of the Celtic tribes were defeated by the advancing Roman Empire.

source: http://dixieline.homestead.com/Celtic.html


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NightHawk 
  Posted: 19-Jan-2002, 08:42 AM
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The Druids--Walkers Between Worlds
By C. Austin

The very word "druid" conjures an image of a people clad in mystery who practised human sacrifice and left behind monuments such as Stonehenge and Newgrange. Theories of their origins range from prosaic stories of Mediteranean adventurers of 3000 B.C. to fantastic accounts of aboriginal peoples who received "otherworldly" teachings from space beings who visited earth.

Druids did practice some form of human sacrifice and most likely followed the Celts from continental Europe in about 300 B.C. Both Stonehenge and Newgrange were built and deserted by the time druids arrived in Brittania and Ireland.

Philosophically, druidry shares its belief in a magical world view with those who practice wicca, earth magic, shamanism and even medieval alchemy. Druidry also holds common beliefs with Christianity. These similarities allowed for the relatively easy assimilation of the Irish druids into the early Celtic church. The druids were not overthrown by St. Patrick at the Hill of Tara, they walked quietly into the they walked quietly into the future as lesser members of the Christian clergy in order to survive.

Druids did not comprise a priesthood as is commonly thought. They were a segment of society made up of poets, seers, law-givers and bards. Both women and men were druids and undertook approximately 12 to 20 years of training in their respective fields.

Teaching of theoretical and practical knowledge was oral with required memorization of long dialogues and phrasings. Althought a druid may have studied cosmology, astrology or poetry, each was called upon by his or her community to offer practical advice for living, whether a matter of the heart, the harvest or the hereafter.

Within druidry, the "ovate" class was composed of women and men gifted with the unusual skill of precognition or prophecy. The ovates observed nature and made rites and sacrifices in accordance with their observations. Human sacrifice of criminals and prisoners was Human sacrifice of criminals and prisoners was performed but later evolved into symbolic ritual.

The class of judges or law-givers was known as "brehans" and the remnants of their druidic circuits are still found in the British judiciary system. Fair compensation for injustices and the power of truth were the mainstays of druidic law. In a violent and fractured society, the structure of druidic law was both abided and feared.

The poets or "fili" were the bards and their poetry and stories preserved the lives and histories of chief and king. History sometimes blurs the line between druid and king because it was the druid's word---not the king's---which declared succession and familial rights. As a repository of wisdom and history, the druids over time were considered semi-divine.

Mythologically, the "good god" of the Celtic Assembly was also a druidic wizard. Dagda, king of the Tuatha de Dannan, was a crude and cunning trickster who oversaw the weather, the harvest and the performance of miracles.

Stones, wood and earth forms and the energies they channelled were of prime importance to the druids. Celtic scholar Caitlin Mathews suggests that the druid is a "knower of the woods" or "wood sage." This quality of "knowing" allowed the druid to traverse the space between the seen and unseen worlds---a result of knowledge and acceptance of the natural world and her rhythms.

Sites described as having particular significance to the druids of Britain and Ireland include the standing stone sites of Avebury, Rollright, Stonehenge and Callanish. Also revered were Glastonbury, the Scottish Isle of Iona and Ireland's Boyne River valley sites as well as the great hill of Tara.

Druids made use of groves of trees, the oak being the most sacred. With its phallus shape, the acorn held the potential for the mighty oak, the long lived tree of wisdom. Mistletoe or "All Heal" was sacred also for its healing properties and because it seemingly grew from the air or "spirit."

Caitlin Matthews notes the "function of the ovate is still very much associated with people of Celtic extraction today, many of whom possess the `second sight'." The druid is not gone. Each time you or a friend expresses their surprise at "knowing" something was to happen or "sees" the near future in a dream, you are rekindling the ancient spirit of the druid, a walker of worlds in time with nature.

source: http://www.celtic-connection.com/myth/druid.html

Slàinte (b)

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NightHawk 
Posted: 20-Jan-2002, 03:59 AM
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Celtic scripts

One of  the characteristics of the Celtic culture, although developed far ahead to most of contemporary cultures, was that it passed on knowledge, myths etc. through songs and mouth from generation to generation rather than through written words.

Yet, not widely known, the Celts, at least those in Ireland, had an alphabet to actually write down information.
It is said that the so called Ogham-alphabet essentially was a tool for ?magical? purposes.
This is really nothing to wonder about since in Celtic tradition the physical and spiritual world inseparable belonged together.

Fact is that a few scripts using this alphabet survived time because they had been written on standing stones. Today there are some 300 of them known in Ireland, about 27 in Scotland and 40 in Wales. Evidence that the development of this alphabet has to be credited to the Irish Celts can be drawn from the fact that for instance the 40 known scripts in Wales are to be found in regions settled by originally ?Irish? Celts. It is also known that words written on all of those stones represent an early Irish language dated from about the 6th century. This also corellates with the dating of the stones to times between 5th and 7th century.

Typically the script consists of a series of notches and lines called ?flesc?. They are arranged along a vertical baseline scratched into the surface of the standing stones.

Slàinte  (b)

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NightHawk 
Posted: 29-Jan-2002, 10:01 AM
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Imbolc ? the celtic feast of light and the ongoing life

As we approach February 1st it may be of interest that it represents one of the major celtic feasts. As the official beginning of the spring it is one of the four quarter-days  in the Celtic calender of the year like Beltaine (May 1st), Lughnasa (August 1st) and Samhain (November 1st).

The name ?Imbolc? is a celtic term describing a certain feeling inside the body. In this context it  defines the ?pregnancy? of ?mother? earth who, at this time, is about to give birth to the new light and the new period of growth in nature.
There is also the explanation that it derives from the term ?oimelc?, a combination of ?oi? = sheep and ?melcg? = milk, thus explaining the beginning of spring to be the time of beginning lactation of the ewes.

In this context it is clear that ?Imbolc? is one of the major events in the cycle of the celtic year. It is the first part of the overall trinity of beginning, being and passing away.

The goddess representing Imbolc is ?Brighid?, part of a trinity herself.
She is daughter to Morrigan, the earth-goddess and her mate Dagda, the chief god in Irish mythology.
Morrigan had three daughters, all of whom are called Brighid or Brigid.
Brighid is believed to be the female ancestor of the Irish people.
She wears three mantles and is the matron of poetry, smithcraft and healing.
Additionally, poets and artisans call her the mistress of inspiration and prophecy.  

Slàinte  (b)

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Posted: 29-Jan-2002, 11:00 PM
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Nighthawk,

Just finished reading your posts. You certainly have a wealth of information on Celtic history and culture! Thanks for posting this great information, I really enjoyed reading through it!
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  Posted: 02-Feb-2002, 12:27 AM
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NightHawk,  I was reading your article about the Banshee and it brought to mind some of my relatives that believed in signs of death.  When I was growing up I was told of certain signs that was supposed to meant death.  Someone knocking at you door in the wee hours of the mourning and no one being there.  A certain way a dog howled meant death.  A bird flying up against your window. Sometimes someone would see a woman in black or white.  

I have a 7 year old granddaughter and sometimes she sounds like what I think a Banshee would sound like.  Her scream can make your ears ring.

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Posted: 04-Feb-2002, 10:37 AM
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There must be a meaning ... somehow ...   ;)

"IF YOU SEE A CELT RUNNING, DON'T STOP TO ASK WHY...........RUN".

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  Posted: 07-Feb-2002, 08:12 PM
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Queen Boudicea

The Iceni was a tribe of Celtic origin that occupied an area roughly that of present day Norfolk and Sulfolk at the beginning of the first mellennium.

Queen Boudicea was married to King Prasutagus of the Iceni.  On his death in 60A.D. having no male heir he left his personal wealth to his 2 daughters and the Emperor Nero hoping in doing so to win imperial protection for his family. His attempt of appeasement failed.  The Romans humiliated his family, making slaves of his relatives and annexed the kingdom.  Boudicea (according to the anals of Tacitus) was scourged and her daughters "outraged" (flogged and raped).  All the Iceni chieftains were stripped of their ancestral lands.

When the principal governor Suctonius Paulinus was absent  Boudicea gave vent to her anger by raising  a powerful rebellion against East Anglina.  The rebels burned Camulodunum (Colchester) which was not well defended, Verulamium, the mart of Londinium (London) and a military garrison.  The rebellion  was not some minor uprising.  By the time it was over according to Tacitus, Boudicea had slaughtered 70,000 Romans and their followers including the Ninth Legion led by Petillus Cerials which was cut to pieces.

Boudiceas luck held until the battle of Mancetter, where she and her army was defeated by the Roman general Suctonius Paulinus.  Boudicea refused to be the last pawn of the Romans and took her life by poison.

Dio Cassius wrote of Boudicea: huge of frame and terrifying of aspect with a harsh voice.  A great mass of red hair fell to her knees.

What did the Celts Accomplish

The Celtic people were responsible for developing the first recognized and genuine art style in central Europe.  In addition, the Celtic Knight brought forth the Age of Chivalry and its notions.  Not to mention the wonderful inventions that the Celts contributed to such as chain armor, horse shoes and the spoked wheel.  Celtic farmers pioneered the usage of fertilizer and crop rotation.

The more I read on these Celts I realize they were not only great warriors, but they were highly intelligent and contributed so much to the world with their creativeness.  A people to respect and admire.

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Falachaidh 
  Posted: 15-Apr-2002, 02:17 PM
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From what I've been told, Queen Boudicea had children. One of my very good friends claims his ancestor to be the Queen herself. I have a book titled, Warrior Queens, and her story was of great interest to me. Check out his information.
I know him to research everything he puts on the web in full. He is very proud, which of course, being his friend, makes me proud. He does have some links associated with Boudicea.
*prays they work when you click on them!*


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