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Kendrah
November 15th, 2005, 02:32 PM
I've been fuddling around with druidism for the past week, thinking that's what I've been wanting. However, after researching Bile and Morrigan and studying the (sometimes) cross celtic culture mythes and such, as well as finally understanding what the celtic gods (to me, at least) are, then I've come to the conclusion that I want to look more into reconism.

I'm not interested with a lot of made up mythology and gods to please the modern movement -- I want to know what really happened!! (People having communions with spirits that tell then XY&Z is what practice that needs to happen now is all fine and dandy, but I'm not really wanting to look at this from that angle.)

Does this sound like fodder for a decent recon? Or maybe I should keep trying? I know that whatever I do with this will become UPG but I'm feeling this great push for history and mythology and comparitive looks at the different god/desses and heros.

This kind of thing is all new to me. I work with energy and various spirits, but not with mythology, history, and gods. I'm kinda confuddled at the push I'm feeling. Wondering if I should go for it. '_' Is it worth it? What steps should I start with?

Ahhh! Driving myself crazy! Help!

Gnoblod
November 15th, 2005, 02:43 PM
I'm not interested with a lot of made up mythology and gods to please the modern movement -- I want to know what really happened!

How do you mean this? :) I'm not trying to be obtuse.

Kendrah
November 15th, 2005, 02:52 PM
Well, you know, like with druidism, they have holes so they fill in things or they bend things around their prespective (a bit of this is natural, but not to the extent I've been seeing.)

I also know that a lot of what we know about has been spung and slanted and looked at through colored glasses by the peoples who first wrote about them (christian monks, rome, etc.) I think it's hard enough to piece together what's going on without adding all the new age gumble in. (Not that it's a bad thing, just saying from my pov.)

I just want to read the myths and history without a lot of controsions or creative mythos/history in the mix. I hope I'm making sense.

Gnoblod
November 15th, 2005, 03:17 PM
Well, you know, like with druidism, they have holes so they fill in things or they bend things around their prespective (a bit of this is natural, but not to the extent I've been seeing.)

Well, yes, but some more than others. Ignore the neopagan groups and look at traditionalists to get a closer picture. Their material varies from group to group, but it's usually because they're going on what's been passed down in families. There's no way of knowing whether or not it's exactly what people believed two-thousand years ago, but there's no way anyone could remotely suggest it's not "authentic", either.


I just want to read the myths and history without a lot of controsions or creative mythos/history in the mix.

That might be difficult. Even the most "authentic" recollections differ from place to place, like the beliefs they spring from. :)

Kendrah
November 15th, 2005, 03:20 PM
Yes, I know. But that's what makes them so fasinating, to read all the different versions and see how it changed over time. But it's hard enough to deal with that along and keep it straight without adding all the new age stuff on top.

Gnoblod
November 15th, 2005, 03:29 PM
Then don't add the New Age stuff on top. _wiz_

Kendrah
November 15th, 2005, 03:34 PM
I'm just excited. Easily excited.

Londubh
November 15th, 2005, 06:56 PM
So, just read some history and mythology books. How hard is that?

Even they will not be without bias, but there will be no new age gobbley-gook on top.

Kendrah
November 15th, 2005, 07:55 PM
So, just read some history and mythology books. How hard is that?

Even they will not be without bias, but there will be no new age gobbley-gook on top.


Apartently very hard... ;) Hey, could ya pm me with yer cell?

Seren_
November 17th, 2005, 07:58 AM
It can be hard finding decent books on Celtic history. A lot of them, although popular, are out of date now and methods of research and interpretation have moved on. There's no "perfect" book on the subject (like anything else), but there are a few authors that are generally reliable - look out for Miranda Green and Barry Cunliffe in particular. They don't focus exclusively on Ireland, but getting an idea of Celtic history in general might be a good starting point before getting more specific. ETA: They're also reliable in an academic sense, but not such a dry read as so many academic books can be.

The older books are still worth reading, but would perhaps be better read when you have a better idea of the subject so you can spot the obvious clangers. The older books tend to draw some conclusions using little or no evidence to back it up (like a bog body was sacrificed on Beltane - how the hell can you tell that from what's now basically a well preserved piece of leather?!). That was an academically sound approach at the time they were written, but not any more.

Reading up about Christian Ireland is also a good idea, because all the myths we have were written down in the Christian period and it's helpful to understand the situation they were recorded in. An excellent book on the subject is Early Medieval Ireland by Daibhi O Croinin. It's very accessible.

Starting out can be a bit overwhelming, but you've got to start somewhere. Investing in some books is worthwhile, but if you're not ready to commit hard earned cash then these are some websites you might find useful in the meantime. You can find a lot of the myths online (which I've included), but to get a really good understanding of them it's best to buy books again (they have notes that help point out all the nuances and meanings etc). Imbas has a yahoo group that you might find helpful too.

Celtic Reconstructionist (and related) websites
Imbas (http://www.imbas.org/" target=_blank)
Tuatha (http://www.celtictale.com/" target=_blank) - a CR group in Colorado
Erynn Rowan Laurie's website (http://www.seanet.com/~inisglas/" target=_blank)
Brendan Cathbad Myers' website (http://wildideas.net/cathbad/" target=_blank) - with essays, articles and information on druidry and Celtic history
Mary Jones (http://www.maryjones.us/index.html" target=_blank) - extensive website, including an encyclopedia of all things Celtic
DeDanaan - some well researched articles (http://dedanaan.com/" target=_blank)
Clannada na Gadelica (http://www.clannada.org/)

Archaeological, Historical and Cultural Resources
Celtic Art and Culture (http://www.unc.edu/courses/pre2000fall/art111/celtic/" target=_blank)
Ireland's History in Maps (http://www.rootsweb.com/~irlkik/ihm/" target=_blank)
Celtic - Journal of the School of Celtic Studies (http://"http://www.celt.dias.ie/publications/celtica/" target="_blank) - some of the newer editions have been put online
Irish Archaeology on the Internet (http://www.xs4all.nl/~tbreen/links.html)

Articles and essays
Summerlands Public Library (http://www.summerlands.com/crossroads/publibra.html" target=_blank)
Shee-Eire (http://www.shee-eire.com/" target=_blank) - lots of stuff about Ireland
Words for what we do: a glossary by Erynn Rowan Laurie (http://www.druidry.org/obod/theorder/archive/erynn-words.html" target=_blank)
Imbas Forosnai (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/4715/imbasforosnai.html" target=_blank) by Nora Chadwick
Essay on Awen/Imbas by Searles O'Dubhain (http://www.summerlands.com/crossroads/library/awenimba.htm" target=_blank)
The Cauldron of Poesy (http://www.obsidianmagazine.com/Pages/cauldronpoesy.html" target=_blank) by Erynn Rowan Laurie
Teacht Na nGealt (Celtic Writing) (http://snlemons.iweb.bsu.edu/otherCelt.htm" target=_blank)
Airmid of Ireland by Erynn Rowan Laurie (http://www.seanet.com/~inisglas/airmid.html" target=_blank)

Mythology and Literature
Luminarium (http://www.luminarium.org/mythology/ireland/" target=_blank) - lots of resources for Irish myth and literature
Táin Bó Cúalnge (http://vassun.vassar.edu/~sttaylor/Cooley/" target=_blank)
Cath Maige Tuired (http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/cmt/cmteng.htm" target=_blank) translated by Elizabeth Grey
CELT - Corpus of Electronic Texts (http://www.ucc.ie/celt/" target=_blank) - an excellent resource
Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions) (http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/leborgabala.html" target=_blank)
The Celtic Literature Collective: Irish (http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/irish.html" target=_blank)
Irish Script Onscreen (http://www.isos.dias.ie/" target=_blank) - includes the Book of Leinster
Medieval Irish Poetry (http://www.dnaco.net/~mobrien/irishptr/index.html" target=_blank)
The Ulster Cycle (http://www.geocities.com/patrickbrown40/links.htm" target=_blank)
The Triads of Ireland (http://w3.lincolnu.edu/~focal/docs/triads/triads.html" target=_blank)

The Dagda
December 16th, 2005, 12:11 AM
Reading up about Christian Ireland is also a good idea, because all the myths we have were written down in the Christian period and it's helpful to understand the situation they were recorded in. An excellent book on the subject is Early Medieval Ireland by Daibhi O Croinin. It's very accessible.

daibhi o cronin was my lecturer in uni., he is more interested in the study of early christian, into medieval ireland, if you want to read fact (and i cant blame you for pointing that out, cause there is a lot of pap trown bout, r so ive noticed) on the time periods in question, when these religions were spawned, the best source of info is not historians, but archaeologists, another of my lecturers, prof john waddell, has a book called "the prehistoric archaeology of ireland". it deals (in chronological order) with the first post glacial colonists, the first farmers (builders of many things attributed to the celts by some) through to the cult of the dead, into sacred circles, enigmatic monuments, wealth and status (consolidation of, 900-500 BC) into ritual sites, and then into protohistory, with the arrival of the first celts.
if you read this, get your time frames correct (or at least have a general idea, which youd be surprised some dont), then once you have fact on your side, you can cut through a lot of the c rap, and take what you want from the stories which have been passed down. thats all you can do, if you want to avoid the pitfalls of someone elses interpretations , which do not necessarily bare any more weight than your own.

another book worth givin a look is pre-christian ireland(first settlers to the early celts) by peter harbison.

anyway hope that was of some help.

WyrdSmyth
December 16th, 2005, 01:05 AM
I can recommend a book which, if you can keep your mind open to many possibilities, will take you on a quest for where the early sumarian, egyptian, judaic religions seemed to "sprout" from - the Tuatha D'Dannan? Personally, I believe in the spirituality of the God and the life force of the Goddess - harmony, balance or equalibrium. This book does not dispute this concept: Uriel's Machine by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas.

Seren_
December 16th, 2005, 06:24 AM
daibhi o cronin was my lecturer in uni., he is more interested in the study of early christian, into medieval ireland, if you want to read fact (and i cant blame you for pointing that out, cause there is a lot of pap trown bout, r so ive noticed) on the time periods in question, when these religions were spawned, the best source of info is not historians, but archaeologists, another of my lecturers, prof john waddell, has a book called "the prehistoric archaeology of ireland". it deals (in chronological order) with the first post glacial colonists, the first farmers (builders of many things attributed to the celts by some) through to the cult of the dead, into sacred circles, enigmatic monuments, wealth and status (consolidation of, 900-500 BC) into ritual sites, and then into protohistory, with the arrival of the first celts.
if you read this, get your time frames correct (or at least have a general idea, which youd be surprised some dont), then once you have fact on your side, you can cut through a lot of the c rap, and take what you want from the stories which have been passed down. thats all you can do, if you want to avoid the pitfalls of someone elses interpretations , which do not necessarily bare any more weight than your own.

another book worth givin a look is pre-christian ireland(first settlers to the early celts) by peter harbison.

anyway hope that was of some help.


Thanks, I've been looking for a good book on the archaeology of Ireland. I'll definitely put Waddell's book on my list. Which uni were you at?

The Dagda
January 1st, 2006, 01:16 AM
i attended N.U.I.G for an arts degree, under o'cronin and waddell, although i am now studying for an enviornmental (proactive) science degree! any i hope you enjoy the books as much as i did, they dont have much drama, but they do have concrete fact!