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IvyWitch
July 31st, 2007, 08:21 PM
Actually, only two questions.

First, do most CR's focus on one specific culture? Is it frowned upon to be "pan-Celtic" in CR, worshiping God's from several Celtic pantheons? Or, is this alright as long as it's not in the same rite?
That's something I've wondered about, and hadn't found a clear answer anywhere.

And also, are there issues of compatibility with modern hedge/kitchen-witchery and CR? Are there practices in CR that are mainly hearth-based? I would assume so, but again I figured I'd ask.

:)

David19
August 1st, 2007, 07:04 AM
I'm not a Celtic recon, so I think there are much smarter and knowledgable people than me on this board, but from what I've seen, most CRs seem to focus only one specific Celtic culture (e.g. Ireland, Britain, Gaul, etc).

As for Kitchen witchery or hedge witchery, I think they are compatiable, as I believe in Celtic socieities, there was a focus on the hearth, which kitchen witchcery focuses on too.

Here are some links which might help you more:

CR FAQ (http://www.paganachd.com/faq/) - really great site for Celtic Reconstructionism, IMO.

Paganachd (http://www.paganachd.com/index.html) - site which hosts the FAQ, but has some other useful links too.

IMBAS (http://www.imbas.org/)

Multicultural Polytheistic Hearth (http://www.cyberpict.net/mph/) - has a recon forum (http://s2.excoboard.com/exco/index.php?boardid=5203), for many different recons, but with a large Celtic population.

Celtic Reconstructionist Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_Reconstructionist_Paganism) - info, links and book recommendations.

Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism (http://www.ecauldron.com/reconcelt.php) - Cauldron article.

Celtic Reconstructionism (http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=uswa&c=trads&id=6645)- Witchvox article

Hope this helps.

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
August 1st, 2007, 07:21 AM
Most CRs do in fact focus on a specific culture, however it's not necessarily frowned on, as we will blend cultures where it was evident that there was blending (for example I focus on the Scots Gaelic culture, particularly that local to the islands off the western coast where there was a lot of blending with Germanic people, Nantonos focus on the Gauls and in that case there was a lot of blending with the Romans). Following it from a more Pan-Celtic approach though is not something I usually see and that's probably because the cultures while there are many similarities, also had some huge differences (for example I would find it hard to blend the Welsh with Scots or Irish). I think that you're best off studying each of the Celtic cultures individually and finding out which of them appeals to you most.

I don't see that there are any issues at all with compatability between CR and hedge or kitchen witchery as based on my research the religion of the lay person (meaning not the Druids) was very heavily focused on the family and the home. For examples of this take a look at the Carmina Gadelica (part of it can be found online at Sacred Texts). It is full of charms, prayers, etc that deal with the home/hearth and family.

Morr
August 1st, 2007, 07:27 AM
Yup, what Morag said.

I focus on the Irish Celtic culture and spirituality.
My path is centered around my Hearth and family. Unfortunately, last night the oven broke so now I have no oven (the stove works though). Meh.

I involve some Kitchen Witchery in my practices, though not exclusively. I think Kitchen Witchery is influenced by the modern Wicca approach to some degree, and so I do not really use those aspects of Kitchen Witchery. I enjoy making the Kitchen the center of my home, thereby my Hearth. I enjoy cooking for my family and having the smell of fresh food/baked goods in the house. I like to nurture my family. I don't really use the corrospondences much, that are used in Kitchen Witchery, when it comes to modern Witchcraft. I use more of an instinctive approach.

So the two kind of merge together in my personal path. The Irish were very big on the family and tribe. The Hearth was the center of the home.

The Hearth is also much more than just a kitchen where food is prepared -- It is also the place where the family would gather to share their daily events, talk, listen and tell folk stories, sing, celebrate, mourn and ust spend time together.

Seren_
August 1st, 2007, 07:47 AM
Most CRs tend to focus on a specific culture these days, but that's not to say that everyone does. Since CR refers a lot to academic scholarship, this seems to be a reflection of modern scholarship focusing on the specific Celtic cultures, rather than the pan-Celtic approach that used to be taken.

Generally speaking, I think pan-Celticists would argue that their approach gives a more complete picture of Celtic practice, since so much has been lost. Those who focus on a particular culture would argue that each Celtic culture has very specific differences and nuances in practice, and these shouldn't be ignored - so while Lugh/Llew/Lugos might be found in various forms in Gaul, Wales and Ireland, a pan-Celticist would focus on the similarities of them, but a cultural-specific CR would emphasise the particular differences between the cultures and the context they're found in. But there can be crossovers like in Scotland, because it's Gaelic heritage comes from Ireland, so a Scottish recon like myself might find it helpful to refer to Irish practice and belief sometimes...

As for mixing pantheons, personally I wouldn't mix deities that weren't historically mixed (in a particular ritual), but I don't know what a pan-Celticist would say...That said, in separate rites I wouldn't have a problem. Then again, it's not up to me, it's up to whether or not They want to be together in a ritual, no? This bit of the CR FAQ might help. (http://paganachd.com/faq/intermediate.html#noncelticdeities)

One thing about CR is honesty. So long as you're not claiming what you're doing is authentic when it's clearly not, it's considered OK. So (IMHO) modern hedgewitchery is fine so long as I'm not claiming it to be otherwise. If I can do something according to an existing tradition that I know of, then I'll do that - so for protection I'll make charms of rowan and red thread, say. But otherwise I'll do what comes to me at the time.

I'd consider my own path to be 'hearthy', so yes it does exist. If you'd like me to expand on that I'm happy to answer any questions you have :)

ETA: Three posts while I was typing! :lol: I see the others have said it better than I can...

ap Dafydd
August 1st, 2007, 07:49 AM
People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that there was a single Celtic culture that was unchanging no matter where and when you're talking about. But if you're looking at CR then you need to be specific about the when and the where and only after that to try to fill things out with analogies from other Celtic lands and times.

So as usual with anything Celtic, the answer's both no and yes

gwyn eich byd

Ffred

skilly-nilly
August 1st, 2007, 11:06 AM
As for mixing pantheons, personally I wouldn't mix deities that weren't historically mixed (in a particular ritual), but I don't know what a pan-Celticist would say...That said, in separate rites I wouldn't have a problem. Then again, it's not up to me, it's up to whether or not They want to be together in a ritual, no? This bit of the CR FAQ might help. (http://paganachd.com/faq/intermediate.html#noncelticdeities)

One thing about CR is honesty. So long as you're not claiming what you're doing is authentic when it's clearly not, it's considered OK. So (IMHO) modern hedgewitchery is fine so long as I'm not claiming it to be otherwise. If I can do something according to an existing tradition that I know of, then I'll do that - so for protection I'll make charms of rowan and red thread, say. But otherwise I'll do what comes to me at the time.

I'd consider my own path to be 'hearthy', so yes it does exist. If you'd like me to expand on that I'm happy to answer any questions you have :)

ETA: Three posts while I was typing! :lol: I see the others have said it better than I can...


I think you said it really well, myself! :graduate:

I particularly like the honesty point.

The culture, to me, is the starting point so I don't think you can mix cultures that weren't mixed ( as M˛rag said). But there's just not enough saved from the past about practices and also we live in this world, not theirs. I'm only really familiar with the Irish and they (and probably other Celtic-group cultures) placed a lot of importance on 'where you are'.

For example, I know from research that there were a multitude of local Land Spirits that were communicated with. I take that knowledge and communicate with my local
spirits. But I would never think nor say that the Ancient Irish acknowledged Long Yellow, the God of Traffic Lights, even though I do.

Another example; by reading the Carmina Gadelica it is clear that the average person placed a heavy emphasis on charms and protections in their daily life, and many hearth charms are in literature (some people smoor hearths nightly still in Ireland), Starting with this, you can incorporate your own Kitchen Witchery and Hearth Magic. Since there's a place for it already you can put your own practices in that place.

But (imo) you can't put in things that have no pre-existing place for them. Many people are very fond of the 4 Elements system and feel that the Earth Air Fire Water really resonates. If you wanted to be an Irish ReConstructionist you would have to accept that this cosmology isn't valid for the Path and can't be used---the place it would go is filled with the 3 Realms and 9 elements and there's no room for it and no way it could be conflated in.

So my answer is no and yes too.

Seren_
August 1st, 2007, 11:18 AM
I think you said it really well, myself! :graduate:

I particularly like the honesty point.

Thanks :)



Another example; by reading the Carmina Gadelica it is clear that the average person placed a heavy emphasis on charms and protections in their daily life, and many hearth charms are in literature (some people smoor hearths nightly still in Ireland), Starting with this, you can incorporate your own Kitchen Witchery and Hearth Magic. Since there's a place for it already you can put your own practices in that place.

That's really interesting, skilly. Do you know of any charms the Irish had/have that they used as they performed the smooring? I've often wondered, but I've only ever seen them recorded in Scotland.

skilly-nilly
August 1st, 2007, 11:52 AM
That's really interesting, skilly. Do you know of any charms the Irish had/have that they used as they performed the smooring? I've often wondered, but I've only ever seen them recorded in Scotland.

Bridget-based. If you watch The Secret of Roan Inish the Granny smoors just after she gives the Gran-Pa a hard time about following 'heathenish' customs. So it's meant as a kind of joke (not against heathenish customs, though) but she mutters.
I'll look through my books when I get a chance but I don't know that there's any text; folkloric researchers from the past have commented on the practice but I think that the people they were reporting were largely speaking Gaelic and I don't know if any of them translated the charm apart from mentioning Bridget.

I think it's multicultural (and so borrow-able); I have always thought that Dylan Thomas' poem for his daughter is a home-charm as well:

Under the prayer wheeling moon in the rosy wood
Be shielded by chant and flower and gay may you
Lie in grace. Sleep spelled at rest in the lowly house
In the squirrel nimble grove, under linen and thatch
And star: held and blessed, though you scour the high four
Winds, from the dousing shade and the roarer at the latch,
Cool in your vows.
http://www.undermilkwood.net/poetry_incountrysleep.html

Seren_
August 1st, 2007, 12:37 PM
That's a beautiful poem, skilly, thanks for posting it. I haven't seen that film so I'll keep an eye out for it.

Morr
August 1st, 2007, 01:36 PM
Lovely poem Skilly! And thank you for the link!

I agree -- In my Kitchen Witchy practices I do not use the 4 elements. I do not follow them, I follow Land, Sea and Sky as the ancient Irish did. I guess I kind of adjusted the modern day practice of Kitchen Witchery to the old practices of Ireland.

Then again, Hearth magic and emphasis on the Hearth and family ARE originally a huge part in Irish spirituality and culture, so it wasn't a big change or adjustment to begin with.

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
August 1st, 2007, 03:25 PM
But there can be crossovers like in Scotland, because it's Gaelic heritage comes from Ireland, so a Scottish recon like myself might find it helpful to refer to Irish practice and belief sometimes...

I feel the same way as a Scottish Recon and definitely reference the Irish to fill in some gaps where they exist, as well as some backfill with the Germanic since my focus is mainly on areas that were heavily influenced by them.


One thing about CR is honesty. So long as you're not claiming what you're doing is authentic when it's clearly not, it's considered OK. So (IMHO) modern hedgewitchery is fine so long as I'm not claiming it to be otherwise. If I can do something according to an existing tradition that I know of, then I'll do that - so for protection I'll make charms of rowan and red thread, say. But otherwise I'll do what comes to me at the time.

I'm really glad that you brought this up as I feel it's very important to be honest about what is and is not authentic. It does everyone, especially yourself a disservice to claim something as authentic when there is no evidence for it. I don't really claim to follow hedge or kitchen witchery, and tend to keep my focus on anything that leans that direction on what is attested to in the lore, but I really don't see that there should be any clash between the two as the examples are there that something akin to it was practiced. As long as we're clear that what we're doing now is not necessarily the same as what they were doing then (unless of course as per your example of the rowan and red thread there is direct evidence) the two actually blend very well.


ETA: Three posts while I was typing! :lol: I see the others have said it better than I can...

Not at all better than what you said. I think all of us, and those who posted after focused on different aspects of the OP's question and together they provide a more complete answer. :-)



But (imo) you can't put in things that have no pre-existing place for them. Many people are very fond of the 4 Elements system and feel that the Earth Air Fire Water really resonates. If you wanted to be an Irish ReConstructionist you would have to accept that this cosmology isn't valid for the Path and can't be used---the place it would go is filled with the 3 Realms and 9 elements and there's no room for it and no way it could be conflated in.


And I really like this point. While there is a lot to fill in and that is missing, where there is direct evidence available I feel it is best to stick with what we know rather than to ad-lib or try to blend in something that just doesn't mesh. I would no more try and work with the concept of the 4 classical elements in CR than I would try to incorporate the ancient Irish Potato Goddess. I think this all ties back into the honesty issue.


Bridget-based. If you watch The Secret of Roan Inish the Granny smoors just after she gives the Gran-Pa a hard time about following 'heathenish' customs. So it's meant as a kind of joke (not against heathenish customs, though) but she mutters.

That is probably my favorite scene from the whole movie. Seren, you simply must rent or buy this movie. It's wonderful. :-)