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Thread: Celtic - Irish? - Recon Beginner

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    Celtic - Irish? - Recon Beginner

    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!
    -Kendrah


    'We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.'
    -T.S. Eliot

    "Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."
    -Stevie Smith

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    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.

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    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.
    -Kendrah


    'We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.'
    -T.S. Eliot

    "Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."
    -Stevie Smith

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    Gnoblod's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.
    -Kendrah


    'We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.'
    -T.S. Eliot

    "Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."
    -Stevie Smith

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    Gnoblod's Avatar
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    Then don't add the New Age stuff on top.

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    I'm just excited. Easily excited.
    -Kendrah


    'We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.'
    -T.S. Eliot

    "Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."
    -Stevie Smith

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    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.
    "Trust not those...without some touch of madness."


    blackbird, blackbird, teach me your song.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Londubh
    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?
    -Kendrah


    'We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.'
    -T.S. Eliot

    "Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
    (Still the dead one lay moaning)
    I was much too far out all my life
    And not waving but drowning."
    -Stevie Smith

  10. #10
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    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
    Tuatha - a CR group in Colorado
    Erynn Rowan Laurie's website
    Brendan Cathbad Myers' website - with essays, articles and information on druidry and Celtic history
    Mary Jones - extensive website, including an encyclopedia of all things Celtic
    DeDanaan - some well researched articles
    Clannada na Gadelica

    Archaeological, Historical and Cultural Resources
    Celtic Art and Culture
    Ireland's History in Maps
    Celtic - Journal of the School of Celtic Studies - some of the newer editions have been put online
    Irish Archaeology on the Internet

    Articles and essays
    Summerlands Public Library
    Shee-Eire - lots of stuff about Ireland
    Words for what we do: a glossary by Erynn Rowan Laurie
    Imbas Forosnai by Nora Chadwick
    Essay on Awen/Imbas by Searles O'Dubhain
    The Cauldron of Poesy by Erynn Rowan Laurie
    Teacht Na nGealt (Celtic Writing)
    Airmid of Ireland by Erynn Rowan Laurie

    Mythology and Literature
    Luminarium - lots of resources for Irish myth and literature
    Táin Bó Cúalnge
    Cath Maige Tuired translated by Elizabeth Grey
    CELT - Corpus of Electronic Texts - an excellent resource
    Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of Invasions)
    The Celtic Literature Collective: Irish
    Irish Script Onscreen - includes the Book of Leinster
    Medieval Irish Poetry
    The Ulster Cycle
    The Triads of Ireland
    Last edited by Seren_; November 17th, 2005 at 08:02 AM.

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