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Pàganachd agus Págánacht

Gaelic Polytheism / Celtic Reconstructionism


May 5th, 2008

Journal of the Royal Irish Society of Antiquarians @ 04:36 pm

eireannoir:
I read in the archives of CELTIC-L that Kevin Danaher had an article published in the Journal of the Royal Irish Society of Antiquarians regarding Irish Sweat Houses, but no volume number was given. Does anyone know which this appears in? I happened to find a good many available through Internet Archive, but I can't download them all at the moment due to their size just for one article (alas, I still have dial-up). If anyone has any information I would be very grateful.

PS: here's the link to the page where I found them in case anyone else would like to download them to read.

x-posted to cr_r
 

April 30th, 2008

Turning Point : Third Point : Gateway @ 07:02 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Reporting from: Taigh na h-Aibhne
Is upon me: calm calm
Listening to: Óró 'Sé do bheatha abhaile

Thoughts on the history of Celtic Reconstructionism, 1985 - 2008

Recent heated discussions in the online Celtic Reconstructionist (CR) communities have brought to the fore some issues central to who we are as a community and a movement. Veterans of any sort of social, religious or spiritual movement, or students of history, may see some common patterns here:

◊ Something starts out small and controlled. Doesn’t mean anyone is particularly trying to “control” it – usually there’s no one outside the movement who would perceive the group’s efforts at self-definition as anything but that: self-definition.

◊ After a period of time, the movement becomes popularised. It moves beyond the realm of the small handful of people who’ve developed and defined it, into something that a larger group of people identify with.

◊ Once a large group of people identify with it, they are also invested in helping define it, and in making sure that the movement reflects their individual personal experiences and goals.

At this point, the people who initially developed the movement, and those who popularised it, can have a variety of responses, often determined by personal temperament as well as how much of their time, work and identity they have invested in the tradition. This turning point has happened with other traditions such as Wicca and Asatru, and it is now happening with CR. Opposing viewpoints are clashing… but also, a gateway is opening.

Where we've been, where we are, where we may be going

Whether you pinpoint the birth of the Celtic Reconstructionist movement to the early discussions and rituals with our groups in the mid-1980’s; or to Imbolc of 1992 when I first published some explanation of what we'd been doing1 and, in the next issue of the same magazine, Kym Lambert ní Dhoireann agreed with me and mentioned the term we'd been using for this ("Celtic reconstructionist")2 – leading to exposure in the community at large; or to a few years later when the development of the World Wide Web led to much wider exposure and successive waves of new people coming in from the midwest and west coast; CR is now either a young adult or a teenager. I personally put the “birthtime” of CR in a liminal zone – somewhere in between the proto-CR rituals and discussions among my groups and friends in the mid-'80s and the time when we began to speak of it to a larger audience (late '80s and early '90s) and it grew beyond a handful of us. Either way, the birth was not one moment in time; it was a process of streams converging until something new emerged.

CR did not emerge fully-formed from anyone’s head. It was a process of collaboration and experimentation. As a living tradition, that journey is never-ending. Yet at the same time there have been a series of turning points. This is one of them.

We are going through a growth process similar to adolescence – some surges forward are happening, internal conflicts are arising, and some factions are splitting off. This is a natural process, and one I feel we’d be better to name and accept rather than try to control.

I realize that some observers of, and participants in, the recent discussions probably see me as one of the people who is trying to be too controlling. Let me say this: For everyone, there is their first few years of CR – where they explore it, see how it does or doesn’t match up with their life, decide whether it is for them, decide whether they need to make any personal changes (or whether they should try to change the tradition to better suit them, which is problematic, but some have been trying to do that...). My first years of CR consisted of a handful of people hanging out in my living room, or talking around the coffee at Pagan gatherings, or doing ritual experiments in the woods. Again, all of this happening with just a small handful of close friends. For years, whenever we tried to talk to others in the Pagan community, they didn't know what we were talking about or why we'd want to do such an odd thing. We were outsiders to the Pagan community. After Kym, Paul and I started sharing what we were doing with a larger audience, via our writings in the Pagan zines and Paul's and my early writings online, more people picked up on the name and some of the ideas. I was surprised people picked up on our terminology, as "Celtic Reconstructionism" is an awkward name, but it happened. In the early years of expansion I think we were so happy to find others who were interested in any degree of authenticity, or doing what might be similar things, that we got along well; either most of us agreed on the core principles and goals of the movement, or I believed that we agreed. Starting from these small and very personal beginnings... this is the reason I have an attachment to what CR means, and what CR is. I am not its only mother, but I think it’s understandable that at times I feel like it’s my baby.

Our baby is now a boisterous adolescent, and it often hates its parents more than anything else in the world.

Mathematically, we have reached a point where there are too many people who identify with the term “Celtic Reconstructionist” for us all to agree about what we believe, what we practice, what our boundaries are and, at times, even what the words “Celtic Reconstructionist” mean. Conversations of self-definition that happened decades ago, that I thought everyone was clear on, are being repeated recently and it’s all a bit surreal to me. Yet at the same time, I know this is natural in the growth process of a movement. I don't necessarily like it, but I know it's natural.

To backtrack a bit: After more people got online in the 1990s, many more people were drawn to CR than we had ever foreseen. But very quickly, this new influx turned the fledgling CR forums into places I did not want to be. We almost instantly switched over from arguing with the Wiccans who swore Wicca was Celtic, to creepy fights with newcomers who just wanted to yell about who had read the most books, and never discuss spiritual practices. I suspected most of these newcomers didn’t even have spiritual practices. I was disgusted, and I left all those forums for a few years. I considered no longer calling myself CR. I went back to just working with my in-person group and developing our own CR traditions – Nigheanan nan Cailleachan, agus Ora nam Bandia.

In 2003, Kym got a handful of the old guard to join the brand-new cr_r forum on Livejournal. I was skeptical, but I agreed to try. We dedicated ourselves to discussing actual practices, and a group of us got together to write the CR Essay. The CR Essay was written by whomever wanted to participate, which wound up being about a dozen people, and a handful of us did most of the writing. There are things I would change about that essay, as some of the phrasing was either too vague, or in more Neopagan terms, as opposed to terms more suited to discussions of traditional cultures. But we were writing it as something to post on WitchVox, so we oriented towards that audience.3

Three years later, a slightly different group of us got together to write The CR FAQ, and we vetted all the answers with anyone who chose to participate on cr_r. Like with the CR Essay, we advertised it on all the major lists, and welcomed input. Those with a lot of input were invited to join the core group writing the text on the CeltiWiki. After the fact, some people complained that they weren’t invited, but we chose to invite those who were already contributing writing of some sort in the community – at the very least message board posts with some content to them, on one of the major forums. At this point, it was harder to work together, as there were already some pretty serious differences of opinion among a number of the contributors. But, with struggle and perseverance, we managed to come to consensus on some basic principles, despite our differences.

That moment is gone, and will not come again.

As noted earlier, the number of people who self-identify as Celtic Reconstructionists is now far too big for every one of us to completely agree on who does and doesn't fit under the CR umbrella. We all have our opinions; we all believe we are right. Contrary to what recent events may have led some to believe, I don’t enjoy arguing about these things. I never have. I do it when I feel it needs to be done, for I am protective of those people and principles to whom and which I am committed. Some may feel I am overly protective of CR, but I hope that what I have touched on about my background helps explain this, as well as possibly explain the behaviour of many of us who identify as CR (or any tradition or group or movement).

With the FAQ, we have the basic principles we agreed to. Undoubtedly, some will want to debate interpretations of those principles. I don’t expect everyone to agree.

We have reached the point where the adolescent has not only left home, but we have realized the adolescent is actually a loose conglomeration of different groups, individuals and traditions. At this point, we need to acknowledge that “Celtic Reconstructionism” or “Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism” is not only an umbrella term, but it’s become so big that, beyond the basics we’ve agreed to in the FAQ, it’s barely more precise than saying “I’m a Christian.” Or, "I'm Norse." What kind of CR are you? If you have a tradition, what is its name? Not the name someone else has come up with, but a name for your specific practice, which is a branch, or maybe a subset, or maybe an offshoot, of CR.

There is great power in naming. It is a spiritual journey that a group or individual needs to take to truly find their place, their identity, their spiritual power.

It’s time for those who are arguing about who gets to define or redefine CR to do some soul-searching, to look at the roots of their beliefs and practices, what those things are for them now, as well as where they are headed, and name it.

For me, naming the tradition “Celtic Reconstructionism” wasn’t the choice to name a tradition based on the above principles. I wish I could say it was, but the truth is, it happened by accident. I was just using descriptive terms for what we were doing, and had no idea they would be picked up and codified as a name for the tradition. If so, I would have suggested something far more poetic!4

After our initial sharing of basic CR concepts with the broader community, a small number of us continued to develop these ideas and practices in person and, through their writings in Pagan zines, Kym and Paul in particular did a lot to publicize these concepts to a broader audience. My part in the developmental work in that period was mainly in the ceremonial and trance-priestess department, along with Gaelic folkloric input from my family of origin, my background in comparative religion, and my years of experience as a ritual priestess. Paul and I are also to blame for people on the Internet being exposed to the name CR and our ideas behind it, as we had been online since 1985, and started posting about it online around the same time, first on the CompuServe Religion forums, then the GEnie Celts forum, Podsnet and, once it was begun in 1994, the early days of Nemeton-L.

For the first few, in-person years of my contributions to the movement, I didn’t think I’d read enough of the old Celtic texts to qualify as CR myself, even though I was one of the few people reviving, defining and building the Gaelic Polytheist traditions. As I was having success at finding things through metaphysical means, I actually felt at that time that it was a strength to not have my nose buried in the books, as I couldn't have my visions and inspirations biased by scholarly expectations. But as I studied more, I found that study of the lore helped my spiritual work, instead of interfering with it. As time passed I became more dedicated to the language work. This happened because I was visited by ancestors and deities in a series of key dreams. They spoke to me in Gaelic, so I had to learn Gaelic to understand what they wanted of me, to progress on the path, and to help build CR. I am still learning. It’s not easy. But you know what, it’s been the most rewarding thing for me. What is rewarding for you?

In an earlier post on cr_r, Paul Pigman spoke of how the language, music and folk practices that we preserve and continue forms the “bright cord of tradition” at the center of what we do, a link to our ancestors and Deities that transcends our individual lives and experiences. A couple others took exception, one even claiming the cord, if it exists at all, is "dingy." My question is: if you haven’t found that bright cord at the center of your spiritual practice, why are you doing it? And if that bright cord isn’t of a specific Celtic culture, why do you identify as CR?

I have named what we do Nigheanan nan Cailleachan,5 for my extended family, over multiple generations, has seen many times that we are Daughters of the Storm Hags. When we include the male members of the family, we are Clann nan Cailleachan – Children of the Storm Hags. In broader terms, our tradition is Ora nam Bandia - Song/Prayer of the Goddesses. In broader terms,  Ioma-Dhiadhachd Ghàidhealach / Ildiachas Gaelach - Gaelic Polytheism: As traditional as possible; reconstructing only when the earlier, polytheistic version of a practice has been fragmented; and rooted in the languages, music, and traditions of the living cultures.

Who are you?

Kathryn Price NicDhàna
April 30, 2008
Taigh na h-Aibhne


May be linked to, reposted or quoted as long as text is unaltered and the above attribution is included. Copyright ©2008 Kathryn Price NicDhàna.



Notes

1. Theatana, Kathryn [K.P. NicDhàna] (1992) "More on Names", Harvest, Southboro, MA, Vol. 12, No. 3, Imbolc [Feb] 1992, pp. 11-12: "As time passes and I get to know the Goddesses more intimately, I've also had these same feelings of discomfort about white Neo-Pagans taking the names of major ancestral Goddesses like Rhiannon, Cerridwen or Danu - in this case it's more the hubris angle than the cultural ignorance/racism reason. ... My experience is that as we move to deeper and deeper levels with the Deities who guide us, They demand more and more of us. Often these demands include developing and/or reconstructing Their traditional forms of worship. (As in, you may be able to get a Deity to show up within a ritual structure foreign to Their cultural tradition, but it may not be what They want to work with over the long haul.)"

2. Lambert, Kym [K.L. ní Dhoireann] (1992) "Celtic God/Goddess Names", Harvest, Southboro, MA, Vol. 12, No. 4, Spring Equinox [March] 1992, pp. 11-12: "I'd like to add a couple of comments to Kathryn Theatana's letter in the Imbolc issue... Kathryn's 'digression' about the fact that '... you may be able to get a Deity to show up within a ritual structure foreign to Their cultural tradition, but it may not be what They want to work with over the long haul' is a good point. It is also one that is too often overlooked or misunderstood by a Pagan Community too focused on Wicca. ... There are lots of other Pagan religions, old and new. (By the way, I'm not Druidic either - I fall into that wholly unromantic sounding category of Celtic reconstructionist.) Like Kathryn I'm really glad to see these topics being discussed and hope the discussion continues. Perhaps it will lead to more understanding of non-Wiccan Pagans and more information about reconstructionist forms of Paganism."

3. I now regret having posted on a site with "Witch" in the name. But at that time it was the central networking site for contemporary Pagans, there were no alternative Polytheist sites, and some were concerned that if we did not post something there, that Wiccans or others with no connections to our communities would try to define it for us.

4. Varn, C.D. (2007) "An Interview with Kym Lambert", The Green Triangle, Jan. 2007: "It will always amaze me that this term, this path, has developed any sort of a following at all. When Kathryn NicDhàna, Paul Pigman and I were sitting among their books one night and Kathryn, we think, first uttered the term in the context of such a path, my thought was 'This is perfect, it's so unromantic and cumbersome that no one else will want use it!' (this being around '90 or '91 when there were huge fights about the titles 'Witch' and 'Druid')."

5. Grammatically, Nigheanan nan Cailleach and Clann nan Cailleach are more proper. We named the traditions when we were beginners at Gaelic, and I've tended to stick with this spelling to make sure people know we are talking about the Storm Hags and not just The Hag. Your mileage may vary :-)



crossposted to caitriona_nnc, paganacht, cr_r, and Amhran nam Bandia
 

April 5th, 2008

Learn Irish with Liam Ó Maonlaí @ 06:31 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Reporting from: In the twilight woods,
Is upon me: grateful grateful
Listening to: Liam Ó Maonlaí - Sadhbh Ní Bhruinneallaigh

The ever-fabulous Liam Ó Maonlaí recorded a beginner's Irish class last year for the Irish Independent, and it's now available online. It's designed so you can just listen and repeat phrases, but if you like, there are also PDF transcripts so you can see how all the words and phrases are spelled.

Learn Irish with Liam Ó Maonlaí

I haven't listened to the entire series yet, as my computer was having a bit of trouble with some of the sound files. However, I liked what I heard enough to buy the CDs - they were available free in that issue of the Independent (Good for them!). I also want to thank Liam for doing this course, and for all the great work he's been doing in the areas of trad music and Tara preservation.

Those of you who are not familiar with Liam's work in traditional Irish music may be familiar with his band Hothouse Flowers.

Some videos:

Liam Ó Maonlaí agus Hothouse Flowers as Gaeilge: "Cailleach an Airgid"



Liam Ó Maonlaí agus Hothouse Flowers as Béarla: "Don't Go"

 

March 25th, 2008

Irish Voice Article: Celtic Reconstructionism, Part II @ 01:35 am

paul_hamish:
Is upon me: satisfied satisfied
Listening to: "Holy Smoke" by Steampacket

The article which caitriona_nnc mentioned in an earlier post ("Reconstructing Ireland at Home" by Andrew Nusca) is now available online at http://www.coveringreligion.org/2008/index.html under a slightly different title: "Celtic Pagans: Reconstructionists in America." The page is in frames so you have to click through story "2" in the cycling picture window. A pdf version showing exactly how it looked in the Irish Voice can be found here. Funny, my "trance-y" expression in the accompanying picture seems strangely reminiscent of seasickness. Guess I was stuck in the "sea" bit of "Land, Sea and Sky".

crossposted to paganacht and cr_r
 

March 15th, 2008

Lisa Feeney update: @ 05:37 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Muireann reports:

"I have just heard from Phil Cantwell, confirmed from the RL camp, that
Lisa has left the tunnel and has left in the company of her parents and
gardaí.
That is all I know as of now."
 

Irish Voice Article: Celtic Reconstructionism and the Fight to Save Tara @ 03:17 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Is upon me: accomplished accomplished
Listening to: walk through the fire - cast of btvs

The current issue of The Irish Voice includes an article on CR and the Tara Preservation effort: "Reconstructing Ireland at Home - Andrew Nusca provides a fascinating look at a sect of paganism as practiced by Celtic Reconstructionists here in the U.S."

It's a full page article on page s-23 in the 2008 St. Patrick's Day supplement, included in the Vol. 22 No. 11 issue (Wed., March 12 - Tues., March 18, 2008). The cover has pictures of Hillary Clinton, Sean Hannity, Celtic Woman and, something I got a laugh out of: "Oh Danny Boy - Just Shut Up!" The Irish Voice is published in Manhattan and covers both Irish and Irish-American news.

The article is very pro-Tara and gives a positive portrayal of CR. Andrew Nusca interviewed a handful of us involved in the preservation efforts, and quotes two of us who are CR, along with quotes from a Wiccan of Irish heritage and a more secular activist from Ireland. It features a picture of three of us leading a Págánacht/Pàganachd Bhandia ritual at a Celtic festival.

As someone with a history of being misquoted in interviews, I am pretty pleased with how it came out. I would have framed some of it slightly differently, but all in all I think he did a very good job. The only place I am noticeably misquoted is where I think I said, "It's through these sacred sites that you can make connections with the otherworld..." Which appears in the article as "sacred areas that you can make connections with the underworld..." Still, not a major change. I'm sure since we were talking about tombs and burial mounds at that point in the discussion he just misheard me. Hopefully the Christians won't think I'm talking about Hell ;-)

The issue also includes a letter from Maireid Sullivan, on p. 33 of the outer section, addressing some things we can to do to keep Tara in people's awareness. Many Irish politicians are currently abroad, appearing at St. Pat's functions. She asks us all to bring up Tara with them, even if it's just yelling out, "Save Tara!" She also suggests dancers put "Save Tara!" on their sashes, and that anyone performing or marching in parades fly banners, or wear T-shirts with these words.

Andrew says the article will also appear online, but I don't think it's up yet. I'll post a note when it's available. In the meantime, the hardcopy version is available on newsstands now.

The Irish independent is running a poll about the situation at Rath Lugh: "M3 stand-off: Does it bother you that the building of the M3 may be affecting a site of archaeological importance?" The poll is down a bit past the middle of the main page, on the right.

In Lisa Feeney news (she is the amazing young woman locked in the tunnel at Rath Lugh), last I heard she is in good spirits and holding out. The media attention from her risking her life for Tara has brought wide media coverage (Google "Lisa Feeney" and Tara or "Rath Lugh"), and yesterday a hundred new protesters showed up at the site. Rath Lugha Abu! Tara Abu! Lisa Feeney Abu!

crossposted to paganacht, cr_r, and my lj
 

March 13th, 2008

The Historical Importance of Rath Lugh... @ 09:01 pm

caitriona_nnc:

... and its relevance to us now.


"One of the physical features in the area of the Gabhra Valley that they could have imagined as being the “great Rath” and commemorative mound of the dead Fianna is the present-day Rath Lugh."

from "The Tara Skryne (Gabhra) Valley in Early Irish Literature"
by Dr. Muireann Ní Bhrolcháin

As Dr. Ní Bhrolcháin explains in the linked article, it is sometimes difficult to find written references to Rath Lugh in the mythology. I tend to concur with her position that this is due to name shifts over the centuries, and that Rath Lugh (more correctly "Rath Lugha") plays a crucial role in mythology, history and the current metaphysical lay of the land.

The current road plans intend to pave over at least one of the holy wells of Rath Lugh, and pave over or bulldoze into the tombs. The outer edge of the Rath and the forest around it have already been badly damaged. Anyone with the slightest interest in Irish history and Irish mythology must realize the importance of this sacred site, and protect it.
 

The Battle of Rath Lugh @ 07:22 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Reporting from: not at Rath Lugh, dammit
Is upon me: rapidly changing with updates
Listening to: Uh, it's some Nick Cave song in other room

Today the Gardaí stormed and dismantled the camp at Rath Lugh. Protestors say the Gardaí are being "vicious." At least three people have been arrested, two of them dragged down the unstable esker. Five more have cemented their arms to the fence. It is unclear whether they have cut off the power and, hence, the air supply to Squeak, the brave young woman we saw interviewed in the tunnel video.


Squeak on the ramparts at Rath Lugh, before entering the tunnels below the proposed roadway


The Gardaí and Road Crew first told the media they would not try to remove our warriors from the tunnels. But last update has the fire brigade arriving en masse. Squeak is now locked by the neck to the jack holding up the roof. If they attempt to pull her out, the tunnel will collapse. She may already be fighting for her life, if they have cut off her air supply. They are risking her life to build an illegal, unnecessary road that no one really wants. Either they don't understand, or they don't care, that Tara is important enough that these brave Irishwomen and Irishmen are willing to die to prevent further desecration to our sacred sites. Would they bulldoze Delphi to shave ten minutes off their commute?

updates coming in quickly...Collapse )

and crossposted a bit
 

The Courageous and Beautiful Pixies in the Tunnels of Rath Lugh @ 01:43 am

caitriona_nnc:



I go into more detail about the current situation, and include up to date contact info, in my most recent post on Pàganachd Bhandia. The protesters at Tara are putting their bodies on the line, and they need our support: funding, supplies, words of encouragement, energy, and more bodies to help hold the line. http://nicdhana.blogspot.com/2008/03/brilliance-and-bravery-at-rath-lugh.html

The situation at Tara is critical. If you've ever thought of going, now is the time.

PS - I have created a feed for TaraPixie's Videos from the Front Lines. Subscribe to tarapixievideos for the latest footage from protesters struggling to hold the line against the road crews.

Also, keep an eye on her page here: http://www.livevideo.com/tarapixie for more suggestions on coming to the camp and supplies they need. Such as:

COME TO TARA AND JOIN THE PROTESTS

Show your support by being present at the sites. Any amount of time you can give is very welcome. Although some have, many protesters have experienced no violence from security or Gardai. But if you are not comfortable with direct action there are other things you can do; become a legal observer - This is a very responsible position as direct action is not a spectator sport. Bring your camcorder or camera. It is important to show our side of the story.

The Camp always needs food, financial, moral and spiritual support. We also need mobiles, car phone chargers, flasks, batteries, rain-proof clothing, chains and locks.
 

March 11th, 2008

Chicago parade - Save Tara contingent @ 02:54 am

caitriona_nnc:
Tags: ,

Chicago's Irish Freedom Committee is inviting all those who want to protest the destruction of Tara to march with them in Saturday's Downtown Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade.

More Info

If I were in the city for this, I'd make an exception to my usual avoidance of the parade. Go Chicago Celts! And if anyone knows of similar events at other parades, please post them.

crossposted a bit
 

February 22nd, 2008

Tara pilgrimages - first hand accounts needed @ 08:34 pm

caitriona_nnc:

Would any of you who have made the pilgrimage to Tara, or who are planning to go, and who would be open to talking to a friendly reporter about their feelings about the site, and what it means to them as a CR (or Celtic Pagan, or just a person of Irish heritage) please email me promptly?

I am helping a reporter who is writing about the spiritual aspects of the Tara preservation effort, and specifically what the site means to Pagans/Polytheists. He would especially like some first-person accounts from those who have been there and felt the spiritual importance of the site. The visit to Tara doesn't have to have been recent. He is experienced in writing about religious and spiritual matters, has interviewed a variety of Pagans before, as well as people of other religions, and promises not to bite ;-) I enjoyed speaking with him.

I think that helping people understand the spiritual/religious, as well as the historical, importance of the place is an important part of swaying public opinion. The most recent poll shows Irish support for preserving Tara is now up to 80%.

I can be reached at kathryn ( at ) bandia ( dot ) net, or this screen name at livejournal dot com. You could also comment here, if you prefer, with a way for me to contact you. His deadline is Sunday, so prompt responses are needed.

NOTE Those living elsewhere than America who would want to discuss this, also feel free to contact me. I'm sure voices from other countries would be welcome, as well.

cross-posted to my lj, paganacht, and cr_r
 

February 16th, 2008

MPH @ 12:02 am

migfcruz79:
I've noticed that the Multicultural Politheistic Hearth forum went off-line, probably for the long inactivity period. Anyone knows if anyone made an archive of the topics it contained? It's a pity to loose all that information (maybe i'm just a wako who would backup the internet if i could, afraid of situations like that :P)....
 

December 31st, 2007

Irish classes, Northampton Massachusetts @ 04:29 pm

caitriona_nnc:
While classes in the Boston, Worcester and Springfield areas of Western MA (usa) have been an option for a long time, those in the Northampton area will now have the option of a more local class.

Beginners Gaeilge classes Northampton, starting in JanuaryCollapse )
 

November 9th, 2007

Tara - Samhain 2007 aftermath @ 03:56 pm

caitriona_nnc:

We've been hearing from participants all over the world about their experiences with the Tara ritual.

Some of the accounts are in locked posts, but here are some of the public ones:

* Our correspondent Carmel, who was one of the main organizers of the ritual fires in Ireland, and at Tara itself for the ritual, has posted a report, complete with great pictures. It's fantastic to see the faces of the people, the land, and the fires we were sending energy to, at the moment it was all happening: http://www.tarataratara.net/Tara_photos_SacredFire.htm

* My report (made while really tired, but still), plus reports from a handful of folks: http://caitriona-nnc.livejournal.com/183232.html

We've heard from groups and individuals in fourteen countries, twenty-one US states, and nineteen areas of Ireland who participated. Our oldest participant that we know of was eighty, and the youngest an infant in his mother's arms.

I know I've got other public accounts bookmarked, so I'll try to add them here later. If you want to add your account, feel free to post or link it here!
 

October 30th, 2007

Samhain Tara ritual coordination @ 02:48 am

thewronghands:
Is upon me: determined determined

For interested participants, the site for caitriona_nnc's and my "I Stand With Tara" ritual is now complete; we've got HTML and printable PDF versions of the ritual, explanatory briefing, and optional additions all up at http://www.paganachd.com/tara for your viewing pleasure, as well as the awesome original "Tara's Dancers" art that _graywolf_ created in honor of the effort.

Thanks again to everyone who has commented with support and participation! We've been just floored by the response. As of this writing, we have folks in ten countries and fifteen US states committed to participating.

Countries: Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Russia, Canada and the United States
US States: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington

The Irish coordinators we're working with have so far received fire-lighting pledges from four countries and nineteen areas of Ireland:

Areas of Ireland: Antrim, Armagh, Cork, Down, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Laois, Leitrim, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford, and West Meath
Countries: Canada, the US, Wales and New Zealand

Needless to say, we're delighted. If you don't see your area on the list and are planning on participating in the ritual, please drop us a comment here or a line at the address on our site so we can add your location to the list. The full list will be archived online at the "I Stand With Tara" community & networking section. Again, thank you all so much for your assistance, and we're looking forward to Samhain!
 

October 18th, 2007

I Stand with Tara - Samhain Ritual @ 02:49 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Reporting from: taigh na h-aibhne
Is upon me: accomplished accomplished
Listening to: song for teamhair - Liam et al

On Samhain night, Oct. 31 2007, people all over the world will be uniting in a ritual to help protect and preserve one of the most sacred sites in Ireland, and indeed the world: The Hill of Tara and the surrounding Skryne Valley, in County Meath, Ireland.

As many of you know, the site is still threatened with destruction. We are working together with activists in Ireland to help stop this, both with this-world activism and with a ritual we've written to help support the activists spiritually.

In the time of our ancestors, Tara was the center of a ritual complex, where signal fires were lit to mark the holy day, and whose light spread out from hilltop to hilltop across the land. Now, the center has been neglected, so much so that some think it is no matter to desecrate it. So we meet on Samhain to add our energy and prayers to revitalise and resacralise Tara.

In the past, the signal and sacred flames were taken from Tara; but on Samhain we will all unite to send the power and blessings back to Tara, to rebuild the source. We will light our individual fires on hilltops and in fields, and in homes around the world. We will have people climbing the surrounding hills all across Ireland, and in many countries the world around. We will unite our flames with the center. We will unite to protect Tara.

Read more at http://www.paganachd.com/tara

At the end of the pre-ritual briefing we've posted information on how to help physically - by writing letters, sending money, calling with moral support, or going and standing in front of bulldozers. Our other offering is this ritual, which I wrote together with thewronghands, after we both got some heavy requests from the spirits.

Note - I will be adding more graphics and smoothing out the visuals of the site a bit more in the coming days, but all the info should be there. We welcome your feedback! If you plan on participating in the ritual, please consider letting us know. We may be posting a list of participants on the site. If you write us, let us know how you'd like to be named. We suggest using one of the formats in the ritual, explained in under the "Introduce yourself (threefold) and Lighting the Signal Fires For Tara" instructions on the pre-ritual briefing page (http://www.paganachd.com/tara/pre-ritual.html).

cross-posted to caitriona_nnc, paganacht, and a handful of other places. feel free to re-post this message and link to the ritual on the website
 

KILLYOUANDEATYOU article published @ 02:22 am

thewronghands:
Is upon me: cheerful cheerful

caitriona_nnc and I are pleased to announce the publication of our new article, KILLYOUANDEATYOU! Or, A Well-Intentioned Celt's Guide to Non-Celtic Bioregions. This is a companion piece and forerunner to our upcoming ritual to help protect Tara and the Skryne Valley. In KILLYOUANDEATYOU, we discuss different methods for trying to establish a relationship with the land, and the various results and experiences we've had while trying these things in wildly varying geographic locations. We hope that it will be useful not just to people connecting with their localities for the Tara ritual (which will be published tomorrow or the next day), but also for anyone interested in exploring such a connection in their particular locality. At the least, we hope you get some enjoyment out of it; in the process of learning how to do this, we've had spectacular trainwrecks as well as spectacular successes, and some of them *are* funny in retrospect.

We welcome comments and feedback. Thanks for reading, and we hope to publish the Tara ritual Real Soon Now. [grin] We'd also like to thank paul_hamish for his helpful efforts in web-wrangling and codemonkeying, without which this whole thing would have taken much longer.

(Cross-posted to paganacht, cr_r, and our personal journals.)
 

October 15th, 2007

Samhain Ritual for the Hill of Tara (and the Tara Skryne Valley) @ 08:37 pm

caitriona_nnc:
Reporting from: on the mountain
Is upon me: hopeful hopeful
Listening to: Song for Teamhair, Liam Ó Maonlaí et al

In a few days thewronghands and I will be posting a CR Samhain ritual we've written for the protection of Tara. We were hoping to have this live on paganachd.com before the weekend, but we're still putting the finishing touches on it. We weren't going to announce it until it was done, but today we found out a few other people have also come up with a very similar idea, using the same imagery. Major Shared Gnosis is at work here! We were already co-ordinating efforts with folks on the ground in Ireland, but now it seems there's going to be lots more of us.

The idea is for people all over the world to re-light the signal fires for Tara, but this time we are sending the energy back - focusing the light and protection back at Tara, from wherever we are in the world.

There's been a bit of synchronistic discussion about it here: http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/254906.html and now some folks are going big-media with the concept, as seen here: http://tarawatch.org/?p=536

We'll post again when the ritual is live. It will probably be at http://paganachd.com/tara Hope to "see" you on Samhain!
 

Pàganachd agus Págánacht

Gaelic Polytheism / Celtic Reconstructionism