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Nuadu
November 5th, 2008, 04:08 PM
I dont know alot about Celtic Reconstructionism and Im new Irish Paganism so I was wondering what the Celtic Reconstructionalists view on the afterlife is? I can see 3 options that may be acceptable in an empirical rational kinda way from Irish mythology, Genealogy and folklore but I havent looked at any other cultures.

1. Reincarnation?

In Irish Mythology there are stories like The Story of Tuan that involve pagans being reincarnated through various animal forms until they are reborn as human to retell the mythology they witnessed to Christian Monks. There are also Gods and places associated with the dead in mythology Drowned Gods like Donn and Ladru and offshore sacred sites like Bull Rock or Tech Duinn where the Gods of the dead rule. Those two things might compliment each other if you look at Ladru as guiding the dead into their next life.

2 An Afterlife in the otherworld?

In the Irish Dynasic Genealogies there could be an alternative because the great families are decended from Gods like Lugh, Nuadu, Fionn and famous ancestors become deified like Niall mac eochaid Mugmedon, Aed Slaine and Labhraid Moen. That would mean that people exist in the otherworld alongside Gods after death.

In Folklore the Otherworld and the afterlife are thinly separated Ghosts are sometimes presented as fairies and vice versa. People are abducted into the sidhe and live forever watching over their families. That might reflect the tradition in the Genealogies and the Christian afterlife entering the folkmind may be the reason for the separation in the folklore.

3. A combination of both

It isnt necessarily reincarnation or a direct afterlife because there is evidence of both things the truth might be a combination of the two. Reincarnation until you have advanced enough spiritually until you are capable of entering the otherworld and capable of sharing in the same form of existance as deities. There is clearly a high qualification for earning admittance to the otherworld.
In the mythology Gods only converse with the best of people and occasionally appear just to slaughter and cause trouble with the rest that might indicate the average joe soap wasnt welcome in the otherworld.
In Folklore the Fairies abduct the most beautifull and talented of people into the sidhe and beautifull children are watched over carefully.
The for me is would reincarnation be the way of self improvement. It wouldnt be fair if you were born ugly or disabled that youre condemned to pop off the face of existance.

Which of them is it?
Is it any of them?
If you arent sure do you have any thoughts on the subject?

skilly-nilly
November 8th, 2008, 01:43 PM
It's an interesting question, but not one that there's a lot of lore on (as far as I know). The answers are largely inferential from reading and UPG from experience.

Some Roman commented that the Celts were unafraid to die in battle because of their belief in afterlife and reincarnation, but that doesn't say much about what those beliefs were, just that they were strong.

There is quite a lot of lore in which individuals are sequentially different animals (which would posit cross-species reincarnation), but the stories never mention if this is unusual or universal.

In folk-lore, Tir na Og is often described as 'as much more beautiful than Ireland than Ireland is more beautiful than the rest of the world'. There is also a less-common supposition that the Other World is 'the good place' and that this world is 'hell'. Terry Prachett gives that belief to the "Pictsies" in his Wee Free Men series and when I read it there I remembered reading it elsewhere in folklore but I can't recall just where.

My UPG supports it as well, I believe that the Other World is the Place where what we want to be true is so. I side-step the whole judgement/ condamnation/ earning a place issue by believing that we all see ourselves clearly There-- so the people who behavied badly here go There with full realization of it.

childofbast
November 8th, 2008, 06:23 PM
'My UPG supports it as well, I believe that the Other World is the Place where what we want to be true is so. I side-step the whole judgement/ condamnation/ earning a place issue by believing that we all see ourselves clearly There-- so the people who behavied badly here go There with full realization of it."

This is an interesting view that seems to allow for other religious possibilities, I would think. Very intriguing. Thank you for sharing!

~Melanie

odubhain
November 23rd, 2008, 08:18 AM
I dont know alot about Celtic Reconstructionism and Im new Irish Paganism so I was wondering what the Celtic Reconstructionalists view on the afterlife is? I can see 3 options that may be acceptable in an empirical rational kinda way from Irish mythology, Genealogy and folklore but I havent looked at any other cultures.

1. Reincarnation?

In Irish Mythology there are stories like The Story of Tuan that involve pagans being reincarnated through various animal forms until they are reborn as human to retell the mythology they witnessed to Christian Monks. There are also Gods and places associated with the dead in mythology Drowned Gods like Donn and Ladru and offshore sacred sites like Bull Rock or Tech Duinn where the Gods of the dead rule. Those two things might compliment each other if you look at Ladru as guiding the dead into their next life.

2 An Afterlife in the otherworld?

In the Irish Dynasic Genealogies there could be an alternative because the great families are decended from Gods like Lugh, Nuadu, Fionn and famous ancestors become deified like Niall mac eochaid Mugmedon, Aed Slaine and Labhraid Moen. That would mean that people exist in the otherworld alongside Gods after death.

In Folklore the Otherworld and the afterlife are thinly separated Ghosts are sometimes presented as fairies and vice versa. People are abducted into the sidhe and live forever watching over their families. That might reflect the tradition in the Genealogies and the Christian afterlife entering the folkmind may be the reason for the separation in the folklore.

3. A combination of both

It isnt necessarily reincarnation or a direct afterlife because there is evidence of both things the truth might be a combination of the two. Reincarnation until you have advanced enough spiritually until you are capable of entering the otherworld and capable of sharing in the same form of existance as deities. There is clearly a high qualification for earning admittance to the otherworld.
In the mythology Gods only converse with the best of people and occasionally appear just to slaughter and cause trouble with the rest that might indicate the average joe soap wasnt welcome in the otherworld.
In Folklore the Fairies abduct the most beautifull and talented of people into the sidhe and beautifull children are watched over carefully.
The for me is would reincarnation be the way of self improvement. It wouldnt be fair if you were born ugly or disabled that youre condemned to pop off the face of existance.

Which of them is it?
Is it any of them?
If you arent sure do you have any thoughts on the subject?

The Druids were said to have taught that the souls goes from one body to another and that death was only a doorway between lives. That Celtic people sent messages and grave goods along with the remains of those who had died implies that they considered them necessary in the next life. Classical historians also report that the DRuids taught that the person who had died would at some point be reborn into this life again.
.
The Otherworld is generally pictured to be a bright, summery and happy place when mentioned in Irish myths. To get there one usually had to have some powerful Draíocht or the assistance of an Otherworldly being. Rarely a person would be said to have wandered into the Otherworld on a journey, a voyage or when traveling through a mist.

http://tinyurl.com/6dpmn2
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ffcc/ffcc260.htm

Here's some interesting ideas on the Celtic Otherworld:

http://dedanaan.com/the-celtic-spirit-world/celtic-otherworld/13/

The Otherworld or a new life are most probably "not as we have been told they are" as Odran said to Columcille.


As the tradition relates, Odran was alive when he was buried and the
monks met to decide who would be buried under the entry stone. Later
they dug him up and he was said to still be alive or to have come back
to life. When asked how the afterlife was, Odran said, "It is not as we
have been told." Upon hearing this, Columcille said "A sod upon Odran!"
and he was reburied.

Searles O'Dubhain

Nuadu
November 23rd, 2008, 06:04 PM
Ah Searles you are quickly finding a place in my heart. The Voyage of Bran is one of my favorite myths. The article EVOLUTION OF THE HAPPY OTHERWORLD IDEA raised some interesting questions too. The division of the otherworld into a heaven and hell.

Like is there an Irish Otherworld and a separate Underworld. There should be a minimum number of well known Irish Death gods\guides to the underworld for want of a better term to describe them and if there was no separation between the two the guides to the otherworld and the guides to the underworld could be included in the number...

It could also be that I just dont know enough yet to make up the number...

anyway Id rather not get that Sod onto me hahaha