Friday, March 30, 2012

Lá Bealtaine Survey

The National Museum of Ireland is currently conducting a survey in Ireland to up their efforts to collect May Day / Lá Bealtaine customs for their Archives.

If you live in Ireland and would like to take part in this, please visit this link for more information.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What is Celtic Reconstructionism, or, How do I know if I'm CR?

You'd think after years of discussion and a FAQ website and book detailing the tradition that the online community would already have an idea about what Celtic Reconstructionism (CR) is. Alas, based on threads in various online fora, I can see that is not the case. There are people—who claim to be CR or to teach CR—who don't seem to even understand what exactly Celtic Reconstructionism is. They post links to foundation work like the FAQ, and yet don't appear to have even read it (otherwise would we really be constantly re-hashing these things?).

So here's my thoughts:

Celtic Reconstructionism is a way of life. It encompasses your entire worldview, your being. Celtic Reconstructionism is about living every moment of every day within tradition, religion and culture. As a Gaelic Polytheist (or Gaelic Reconstructionist Polytheist), my thoughts, words, beliefs and actions are filtered through Gaelic culture and its accompanying worldview. I don't think simply as a modern polytheistic American or Irish-American; I think like a Gael.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

"The Luck of the Irish" and a Link Round-Up

Ah. March 17th - Lá Fhéile Padráig, or St. Patrick's Day, if you will. Or as some of us like to call it, “Cultural Cringe Day.” To a good many of us (whether Christian or Polytheist), this is a day to celebrate our heritage, our ancestors, and the obstacles and adversities that the Irish people have endured. To others – the majority, it seems – it's a day to get shitfaced and generally act like a tit.

A great deal has been said about this day both in terms of the cultural side and in terms of St. Patrick misconceptions amongst Pagans (many of which are included below in the links), however, I would like to talk about an aspect that has always bothered me: the so-called “Luck of the Irish.” 

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Paddy, not Patty.

"Each and every year millions of Irish, Irish-ish and amateur alcoholics are needlessly distracted from their Holy Tradition of drinking themselves into a stupor in the name of Saint Patrick, a Roman Briton slave holding the dubious honour of bringing Christianity to an island that would use it as another convenient excuse to blatter the hell out of each other for centuries.

The source of this terrible distraction?

An onslaught of half-hearted, dyed-green references to St. Patrick's Day as St. Patty's Day."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2012

From March 5th through 17th, join people the world over as they celebrate the Irish language.

Gaeilge abú!

For more details, check out

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Meaning of Ritual

Have you ever come across a quote that succinctly expresses what it is you've been trying and trying to say but with no avail? That happened to me recently when I came across one by Chinese philosopher, Xunzi, on his thoughts about ritual. While Xunzi was a Confucian I still feel that his 3-part quote transverses cultures, and its origins matter little compared to the message it contains. Either way, it got me to thinking which is always a good thing. Especially since the blog hath been dryeth due to busyness.

The usual disclaimer applies: all you see below is my opinion and my opinion only. I am not speaking for other Gaelic Polytheists or Celtic Reconstructionists.
The meaning of ritual is deep indeed. He who tries to enter it with the kind of perception that distinguishes hard and white, same and different, will drown there.
Ritual is ultimately a mystery. We can try all we might to classify it into formulas or categories but if we give too much into the temptation to do such (until we reach a point of overthinking everything we do), we then lose sight of what ritual is truly for – creating bonds, conveying beliefs, commemorating life moments, and expressing devotion – and we drown.

The religiosity of Gaelic Polytheism is not defined by a system of beliefs (though shared belief does have a place); rather it is a collection of rites, rituals and observances. This is what makes Gaelic Polytheism orthopraxic rather than orthodoxic. While belief is important, what is even more important is what we do and how we do it.