Finding The Celtic Path in the Aquarian Age
The ancient and the modern Celt are bonded by their common use of symbol, religion, history, customs, art and culture and specially language. Being a Celt in name does not mean you come from a blood group or race or a place. Thousands of years ago, everyone could become a Celt by adopting the mannerisms, speaking Celtic, respecting the system and contributing to the community and being involved in 'pagan prayer' this is still true today.
Even though the northern lands above the Alps were controlled by �Celts� for 500 years before the Roman Empire there was never an actual Celtic Empire in existence. It is very important to be aware of this. No Celtic Empire could exist because it was a way of life not a system of control. When the Roman Empire absorbed these �Celtic� lands, the Celtic Culture survived. Ireland was not invaded or conquered by Rome and it was in Ireland that the Celtic Culture blossomed and achieved its highly magical artistic expression during the European Dark Ages.
There are three main strands of research for discovering the �Celtic� world � archaeology, language and written works. All three �strands� need to be wrapped around each other to support and strengthen our understanding. It would not be a wise move to base your research on any culture by study on only one strand when three strands are available to you. Three is a particularly Celtic number.
Archaeology is a modern discipline that is largely uncontaminated by the prejudices of the Greco-Roman scribes who were the spin doctors of their times. Archaeology is a science and works with hard fact. This allows patterns in land use or pottery styles or technologies to be identified and shows / defines economic and trade contacts between cultures at various time periods. This complex science extends from laboratory analysis of pollen grains found in layers of earth (showing us the staple foods in region / time) to the composition of metals and to the development of the geometric patterns in their elaborate decoration. On its own, Archaeology can only supply part of the picture but the part it does supply can validate the discoveries in understanding languages and in deciphering the written word.
Celtic Languages are now seen as one branch of the Indo-European linguistic family. Philology is the complex study of languages and the development of words / concepts through time. Six distinct Celtic languages still exist (or existed until recently) and these are called
Q-Celtic �Irish, Scots Gaelic and Manx,
P-Celtic � Welsh, Breton and Cornish.
These six Celtic languages are from the edge of the Roman Empire and survive only because the lands that they were spoken in were never fully conquered by Rome. It is not just the language that survives but inside the language we can see the relationship of the individual to the universe.
A favourite example is in the Irish phrase � �T� tuirse orm� which when properly translated means � �I have tiredness upon me�. Now it is very important to realise that the wrong translation is � �I am tired� because it was not what was being said. To have tiredness upon you is not the same as to actually be tiredness. Having tiredness on you retains the reality of an independent you with something over or on you but being tiredness is akin to shape shifting because you have lost your individual identity and become tiredness.
Celtic literature has been found hidden in many strange places such as ancient books of law, calendars and texts on coins, stone inscriptions and of course � the writings of the Greek and Roman scribes. We are told that the Celts did not leave us any written records. But this is not completely true. The Celts believed in the magic power of the Word and wrote in Greek, Etruscan and Latin. There was a proscription on writing anything that may be considered Druid knowledge being written down in a Celtic language. But this seems to have changed when the conquered Celtic lands had a new language in which to write.
A �Celtic Literary School� emerged in the first century of the common era (CE) with authors from Cisalpine Gaul, Iberia, Provence and later from Gaul proper. The European Druids forbade writing of their knowledge in the Celtic language but this does not seem to have applied to Ireland. In the great Irish sagas we have the Druids reading and writing in a distinctly Irish alphabet called Ogham. Ogma was the god of eloquence and learning and was the inventor of the Ogham alphabet while also being the god of the Druids.
The Book of Rights written (it is said) in the 5th century CE by Benignus tells us that Patrick burnt 180 books of the Druids. In the 7th century CE book the �Life of Patrick� and in the 9th century� Tripartite Life� both give us clean records of Patrick fighting the Druids before the High King Laoghaire where the king proposes that a Christian book and a Druidic book should be thrown into some water as an ordeal. These Christian sources demonstrate that Druidical books (i.e. Celtic books) existed in Ireland long before the arrival of Christianity and that they caused these pagan works to be burnt. The Christians (and later the Catholics) repeated this crime against knowledge where ever they went. The world famous illuminated books of Catholic Ireland with their incredible ornamentation are a Celtic legacy.
The definition of a Celt from the past � is often given as one who spoke a Celtic language. Today, this has been revised to define a modern Celt as one who is respecting the system of nature and is contributing to the community while holding a firm belief in truth as the highest principle sustaining creation � The Truth before the World or as said in modern Irish � An Fh�rinne in aghaidh an tSaoil.
The Celtic Path in the Aquarian Age
Many people claim Celtic identity these days. This is done mostly by the descendents of the emigrants who have been dispersed to the ends of the world. Various aspects of the ancient Celtic traditions survive in different parts of the world. Most people in Europe can claim to have Celtic language speakers as their ancestors. These ancestors shared a common language, seasonal customs, sacred geometry and a spiritual culture across a vast area that is now called Europe. There has been continual emigration from Europe since the times of the expansion of the Roman Empire so many people far away from Europe can also claim to have Celtic blood in their veins.
Today, it is said that Ireland is the only independent republic Celtic state where a Celtic language is still spoken and where this language carries political and cultural importance. But this independence exists only since 1921. Famous names such a W B Yates, Douglas De Hyde, Maud Gonne etc., energised national consciousness as Irishness with politics, magic and language revival initiatives while Pearse, Collins and De Valera called for the blood sacrifice of violent insurrection and between them they achieved a success that today is an independant republic. Unfortunatly the model of society that prevails for the majority today in Ireland is mostly TV culture and consumerism. But there are many strands of the Celtic Path available to the diligent researcher - music, stories, monuments, traditions and an overall way of being - happy and free.
Underpinning the ancient and modern Celtic Culture is: a deep respect for the beauty and harmony of Nature; a wish to partake in the conscious dance of life; a deep need to connect to the ancestors; a strongly felt desire to do that which is right; to have and inspire real courage and harvest the knowledge of the ages to raise ones consciousness. You do not need a genetic or blood link to be on a Celtic Path - you just need to have the right mind-set. Ultimatly, its all about making the right choices and our courses hope to show you some options to cause you to be looking in the right direction so that you regain your freedom of choice. Taking charge of your own life while holding the highest ethical values and giving and getting respect is the way of the Celt today.