Showing posts with label Celtic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celtic. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Dark Side Of CAMELOT

Idylls of the King 3.jpg

"Idylls of the King 3" by Gustave Doré - Enid, by Lord Alfred Tennyson. London: Edward Moxon & Co., 1868. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

What if that magical world of Arthur had really existed? What if we only had part of the story? What if Camelot still existed? No longer in the hands of Arthur or his knights, but in the hands of Morgen le Fey and her court who are determined to reconstruct the Round Table and use it for evil? It would be the ultimate tale of good versus evil.

That is just what Kinley MacGregor, medieval historian and New York Times best-selling author (writing as Sherrilyn Kenyon), does as she exposes the dark side of one of the literature's most beloved legends in her upcoming novel, "Sword of Darkness". "Sword of Darkness" is the first novel in her much-anticipated new series, "The Lords of Avalon," which marks a complete departure from MacGregor's lauded works of medieval Scottish romance, and the first instance in which she introduces elements of the paranormal, for which her alter ego Kenyon is famed, in her pantheon of works with Avon Books.




In "Sword of Darkness," Camelot is not ruled by King Arthur and his sword of Excalibur, but by Kerrigan, champion of evil, and his sword of Darkness. Kerrigan is the male counterpart to Morgen le Fey, the magical enchantress who presides over the creatures damned by the Celtic god Balor, and who pursues the one thing that would eclipse good from Camelot once and for all. This compelling new novel from beloved author Kenyon is truly a remarkable retelling of one of the literature's most beloved legends.



Thursday, September 21, 2017

CELTIC Motherhood Symbol

In Celtic tradition matrilineal or ancestry was surprisingly passed down through the mother’s line and not through the father. In light of this, the most important male in the family would be considered the oldest kin or relative of the mother, perhaps an uncle rather than a grandfather as there may not have existed a lineage to her through a grandfather. Any important bloodline in this culture would have come through the Celtic mother and this tie to the mother was so tight that her sister’s children would have been considered siblings to her own children instead of cousins.

Celtic motherhood demanded the utmost reverence and admiration and in fact, rape was considered a crime of the absolute highest severity. Rape was not pardonable and the punishment meted out was very serious and afforded absolutely no leniency.

The land was owned communally and wealth was dependent on the size of their cattle herds. Women were considered equal to men and were allowed to own their own property, choose their own husbands and go to war. In fact, Celtic women were allowed to divorce and gain their husband's property if he was unable to perform his marital duties.

With this in mind, the Celts had their own form of child-rearing, they left it to someone else to do and many of their offspring were in fact raised by foster parents.

Celtic traditions and Mother Goddesses

Celtic traditions can be traced as far back as 3,000 years and today many people are becoming more and more attracted to them. Celtic traditions are steeped and grounded in harmony with nature and the environment, something many New Age advocates practice today and it is with thanks to these ecologically aware people who are in tune with nature that the ancient Celtic traditions are being shared and kept alive. In fact, the only way traditions can die or be forgotten is if people cease to honor and practice them.

The Mother Goddess is a common feature in Celtic religion and many dedications remain on record that shows Celtic mothers either as a single entity or in groups of three often holding a cornucopia of fruit. Women were also depicted as full breasted figures who were nursing infants.

Mother Goddesses were used as symbols of creativity, birth, fertility, and nurturing, sexual union or even sovereignty while at other times they can be seen depicting punishment. Their children can also be seen as either helpful to the community or dangerous and the circumstances of their birth may have lead to curses or hardship.

However, while many mother goddesses fulfill roles in the symbolism of the Celts, they aren’t limited to motherhood only. Quite often tales about them mention their having had children in passing only, so motherhood cannot be seen as being a central facet of their identity. In Celtic symbolism, Mother Goddesses were also Goddesses of warfare, healing, and crafts.

Celtic Motherhood Symbols

One of the well-known symbols is the Celtic knot motherhood which has the appearance of two hearts one of which is lower than the other and both hearts are intertwined into one unbroken knot. If children were added to the symbol they were represented by dots, one per child which were placed anywhere either inside or outside the motherhood symbol.

Another Celtic Motherhood symbol is the Triple Mother Goddess symbol also known in ancient Britain as “Matres Domesticae”. This symbol does not depict one goddess but three feminine forces combined to make the mother goddess symbol. Three was a number that held mystical significance for the Celts as they believed that the trinity of these figures held powerful magic.

This Celtic Triple Mother Goddess shows the trinity holding symbols from the harvest or from the hunt, in a more tame state; this is a figure of a good harvest and health. The Triple Mother Goddess symbol also symbolizes the three stages of life, representing crone, mother and maiden and their coming together signified the power of unity.

The triple Mother Goddess symbol is considered to be a significant Celtic symbol of motherhood as the Celts believed that the mother goddess is the highest symbol of the child-mother relationship.



About the Author: Tim Lazaro - Tim Lazaro is a Celtic Symbols enthusiast. - 
Articles Source: EzineMark.com Celtic Motherhood Symbol



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Connection Between Northern European Astronomy and Their Gods and TREE OF LIFE

Each generation in a tribe confronted numerous challenges it had to successfully meet, if the nation was to survive. These included clan obligations, religious relationships, camp work, acquiring stories, and so on. To acquire the vital necessary learning, the cultures put sophisticated systems in place for the tribe to utilize. These duties were rooted in their special perspective on the nature of humans and of the environment. The ancients considered themselves part of the natural world. They believed everything came from the same source thus a bear, wolf or fish was our brother or sister and part of the evolutionary tree for a purpose. A bear being a relative is far more likely to be treated with kindness then an object, most urbanized people have become - disconnected from their brother A Tribe members life was shared with all creation in a common world. As they examined the natural world, they discovered in nature its marvellous detail of how it functioned. Each tribe reproduced habits of the species they observed so they to lived with the flow. In other words each 'fine' of the tribe replicated an animal's teachings into tribal life & some began to see the written history of these animal gods in the stars as well. All ancient mythology is but symbolism for a sort of Genealogy of the Tree of Life.

The world tree Yggdrasil. At the foot of the t...
The world tree Yggdrasil. Photo: Wikipedia


The Magnificent Celtic World Tree bridged with the Milky Way as its massive roots that extended down to the Earth., is also what was considered to be the origin of all peoples, each symbolized by an animal sitting in the tree. Each tribe was a descendant from these animals brothers or gods or a particular tree, river and so on. And just as the animals were sacrificed in the circle of life, so were they. But all came from the World tree, even the winds and other trees. So many tribes chose the tree, animal, constellation, or mountain that they would most see, as being their Mother or Father God. Whether the tribe was Japanese, Indian, 1st nations and so on, we are all from the one tree. Some tribes had a turtle instead of tree, but all mean the same thing. This is what comprises the ancients universe and understanding of its powers. We can see with this tree, in the Welsh Celts of the Arthurian cults who used his court warriors to help Culhwch (Kul oo k) finding the ancient animals to look for Mabon - blackbird, Stag, owl, eagle, and salmon. Ysbaddaden (pronounced - (Is ba thad'n) - which means Chief Giant.) gives Culhwch several tasks in order to win his daughter Olwen (means "white footprint" because she left white flowers where she walked). It is my opinion, giving the knowledge that the Celts well into the Roman times had Tree Gods they were descended from, that Ysbaddaden might have been the world tree - "Chief Giant" tree, though I cannot prove this theory. The Blackbird replaces the Hawk in Norse myths.

An illustration from a 17th century Icelandic ...
An illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript shows a hawk, Veðrfölnir,
on top of an eagle on top of a tree, Yggdrasil.
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
In the Norse Tree

The Norse decided on the frost giants (being the giants (possibly huge planets) of fire and ice in the voice or sea space who break up and become earth and planets but they too came from the tree with the rainbow bridge (milky way), and in its branches were also the similar main ancient animals of creation which included an eagle and it's knowledge, a hawk called Vedrfolnir, a squirrel called Ratatosk who runs up and down through the ash tree and carries malicious messages between the eagle and Nidhogg. There are also Four Stags run in the branches of the ash which feed on the foliage and represent the four directions. Their names are: Dain, Dvalin, Dunyr, Durathror. Again all these constellations can be found in the sky. The hawk sits atop the eagles head in the sky.

Dain (dormant) - one of the 4 deer constellations in the branches of the World Tree, an elf name who most likely gave birth to the elves.

Dvalin (sleeper) - one of the 4 deer constellations, a dwarf name and the 2nd smallest deer is most possible the ancestor of the Dwarves.

Duneyr (drooping-ears) - the second largest of the deer - could be the ancestor to whomever mythical creature had drooping ears.

Durathror (sluggish beast) - the largest of the deer. Another constellation long forgotten.

Ratatosk (gnaw-tooth) - the squirrel constellation. Is the main stars in Cassiopeia, with his feet, body and two stars for its tail visible.

Geirrod- the eagle constellation, unnamed among the Norse but whose name we find as "Garuda" in Hindu mythology. Some called it the swan. (We call it Elyrch (which means swan in Pwkatta - pronounced Eleerpuh)

Vedrfolnir (wind-parched) - constellation for the hawk upon the eagle's head.

Nidhogg (poison biter) - constellation of a serpent at the foot of Yggdrasill's root. The constellation some say is the same as Scorpius, who resides just at the base of the tree's root. But I read too many others that say the snake is like energy coiled & can move up and down the tree. It is the bridge to otherworld knowledge with sheds its skin and begins anew in each phase of learning.

In a poem called "Grimnismal", there are four stags on the bottom roots, and four harts at the top boughs, making 8 turns of the wheel. An eagle at the top of branches and a snake at the bottom. (The eagle is now seen as Cygnus the swan in Summer).

One tells of the thunder god Thor helping out the hero Aurvandil by carrying him in a basket back from the frozen north. On the way his toe slipped out and became frost bitten, so Thor broke it off and threw it up into the sky to form a star.

An Anglo-Saxon (Celtic /Scandinavian tribe) version of Aurvandil is Earandel, meaning 'morning star'.

A giant named Thiassi, carried off the goddess Idunn to attain youth from her eternal apples, was killed by the gods after they rescued her. To atone for this deed Odin took the old giant's eyes and threw them up in the sky as his punishment. These stars could only be the twin stars Castor and Pollux.



Other myths associations with Constellations

Grendel - In mythic terms, is a major character who disappears beneath a lake or sea implies that it is a constellation which sometimes slips beneath the celestial equator. From northern Saxon regions, like England, a good proportion of the constellation Scorpio is below the horizon, and one of the zodiacal constellations. Checking on position, I found that Scorpius' position makes it seem that it drowns in the mythic waters. Scorpius is also a clawed creature who loses a claw and its shoulder in the sky, as the same in the story of Beowulf.

Grendel's mother - There is a small constellation adjacent to Scorpius called Lupus, the wolf. It too 'drowns' in the mythic waters just before Scorpius. There is if we read closely, a reference to her being a "wolfish-swimmer". Lupus has associations with Pan and fauns, and in the Roman culture, its festival survived way into the Christian times.

Vidofnir - cock/rooster that is perched upon the highest branch of the World Tree most likely would be Polaris, the North Star or magnetic north. It is golden and shines like a thunderstorm. An immortal guard watching over the world. A symbol of the heralded 'sun fire'. On earth his totem crows at dawn for the victory of light and life returning. Among Germanic tribes he is a spiritual guide. This same 'son' is also Arthur - the pole star who has a wagon or plow. If wer changed the V to W we get "Widofnir" which means (Weaver of the winds), the name of the skies of Vanir, regarded as the Norse deity of fertility.

Horses of Many Cultures

Sun /Star Horses - In the Prose Edda, most are described as the mounts of various gods. The horses seem to be involve either the sun and moon chasing or carrying the sun to next zodiacal sign or adventure. Sleipnir (son of Svadilfari) is the most famous of horses only because he was Odin's mount. Goti is Gunnarr's horse. Grani was Sigurdr's horse. Gulltopr (also called "Gold-Top") was Heimdallr's horse. Hoof-Tosser, Kertr, Slangvir were others. Vakr was Morn's horse. All-Bright, Alsvidhr, Arvakr, Early-Wake, Gladr, Gullfaxi, Sheen-Mane, Shining-Mane and Skinfaxi. There are also night horses and some of those names mentioned are Fjarsvartnir - Frosty-Mane.

These can go in any sign as they are always pulling the sun God or Night Star God on its course. They might be legends of but one tribe. So you ca really put in any animal for each 'fine' (smaller groups part of a larger tribe but function as an independent unit as well).

Auriga, the Charioteer or Waggoner in early days the Wainman, is the French Cocher, the Italian Cocchiere, and the German Fuhrmann. Its key star was considered a she goat and sometimes a unicorn then the myths went to the major constellation of Capricorn, the Turks had is a a mule.

The Sacred Horse is a potent symbol of intelligence, speed, grace, strength, virility, & fertility. It was once seen in the constellation now called Pegasus. Called Epona to some Celtic tribes and so on. Its flowing mane representing the brilliant rays of the sun as the Horse is a beast which carries the Sun's wagon, or the Moon's, across the sky. According to Kristian Kristiansen, in an article called rock art and religion, Horses appear on many early Bronze Age rock carvings showing ancient scenes of fertility rites. He/She believes that Horses were the symbolic twins who would be both ships & horses, night (ship) and day (horses). Horses were actually consulted by priests who would decipher their movements, and sounds. Horses were kept as sacred in many temples up to Christianity who then, as we see in mock humour in the movie "A Knights Tale," would desecrate a church. The church tried to cover many things from pagan past.

Arthurian Horses - Spumador ("the foaming one", sea foam and cloud); a horse of Arthur's.
Bel Joeor - horse - Tristan / Passe-Brewel or Passebreul horse - Tristan.
Berring - horse - Lancelot. Chestnut Long-Neck (Lively Steed of Britain) horse - Kai (Kay).
Cloven-Hoof (Plundered Horse of Britain) horse - Owain (Yvain).
Drudwyn horse - Mabon / Gwynn Dun Mane - Mabon. Dun-Grey (Pack-Horse of Britain) - Rhydderch Hael.
Gringalet, Gringolets, Gringuljete horse with the Red Ears - Lahelin, Orilus, Urjan, Lischois, & Gawain.
Llamrei - Arthur.
Caw of Scotland - Pale Yellow of the Stud (Bestowed Horse of Britain) horse - Lleu.
Passelande - Arthur. Lluagor (the opener of the host) - Caradawg's horse.
Arthurian. The word "Nightmares" is a name which was derived from the Celts who thought they were brought by a visiting horse Goddess such as Epona - Night, the moon, mystery, and magic.

Norse Horses - Gyllir, Blakkr, Hamskerpir, Silfrintoppr, Hrafn, Sinir, Amfaxi, Skeidbrimir, Hœnir, Gardrofa, Glaumr, Tjaldari, Glenr, Lungr, Valr, Marr, Vigg.

In most Celtic myths the horses are black or white, thereby providing more evidence of night and day or dark half and light half of the wheel of the year.

So in conclusion we see in many cultures that whether it be deer, birds or other animals - they represent the four directions. Even A first nations tribe showed this in an opening ceremony at the 2010 Winter Olympics in B.C. Canada - Each animal represented one of the constellations of the Four Directions, the White Buffalo (north), the Eagle (east), the Wolf (south) and the Bear (west).


    By Brahva Cwmevos
    Copyright April 2, 2012
    Bibliography -
    This article was from my head but over the years I have been influenced by the Writings of Kristian Kristiansen, Eddas, and other Celtic scholars such as Mathew and Caitlin, Peter Ellis, JeanMarkale and so on.

    Brahva Cwmevos
    Chieftain of 1st Maers Khohias Tribe
    (Northern European based but accepts all cultures)
    Canada


    Article Source: EzineArticles


Saturday, April 1, 2017

CELTIC LETTERING - The Ogham

Some unique symbols of Celtic origin are found in ogham inscriptions. Ogham is used to represent the old Irish language. It is also referred to as the “Celtic Tree Alphabet” which is based on a high medieval tradition that ascribes the names of trees to individual letters.

The Origin of Ogham

Today only about 400 ogham inscriptions survive and these are found on stone monuments found in both Ireland and Britain stretching from the south of Ireland across into south Wales as well as south eastern Ireland, western Scotland and around the Devon and Cornwall border in England. The majority of the inscriptions bear personal names. The origin of the word ogham is not clear but one possible explanation comes from the Irish og-úaim which means ‘point seam’ and refers to the seam that is made by the point of a sharp weapon.



Ogham stone, Irish National Heritage Park  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Text reads BIVAIDONAS MAQI MUCOI CUNAVA[LI], or in English, "Of Bivaidonas, son of the tribe Cunava[li]"

The creation date for ogham is after the 4th century. Classical inscriptions etched in stone around the Irish sea have been found dating back to the 5th or 6th century. It is assumed that there were writings on wood and other perishable materials, but none have stood the test of time and so this cannot be authenticated.

It is clear however that the ogham alphabet was modeled on a different script and there are those who consider it to be a cipher of its template script. There are a large number of scholars who consider this template as being the Latin alphabet, but others favor the Greek alphabet. However, the origin of Runic (ogham runes) can explain the presence of the “H” and “Z” letters which are not used in Irish as well as the consonantal variants of “U” vs. “W” which are unknown in either Latin or Greek writings. The Latin alphabet is a favorite contender as being the origin of this script because it was around in the 4th century while the runes were not widely spread at that time.

The ogham symbols found on stone inscriptions in Ireland and Wales are considered Primitive Irish and the transition to Old Irish only takes place in around the 6th century and since ogham inscriptions consist almost exclusively of personal names and marks that may or may not have depicted land ownership, the linguistic information that may have been seen from this Primitive Irish period is restricted to phonological developments.

Non-monumental uses

It is presumed that early ogham was used for short messages on wood or metal in order to relay messages or stake ownership of the object that was inscribed.

These messages may have been cryptic but some were also used for magical purposes, there is also evidence that ogham was used to keep records or to make lists such as business transactions or genealogies and still more evidence exists that ogham may have been used for finger and hand signals.

Later on ogham ceased to be used for practical use but it has retained its place and is used by Gaelic scholars as the basis of grammar as well as the rules of poetry. Until modern times, the Latin alphabet was taught using letter names derived from ogham and that were borrowed from the Beith-Luis-Nin along with the medieval association of each letter to a different tree.

Ogham Letters

Ogham letter names are interpreted as the names of trees or scrubs in both the Auraicept na n-Éces (‘The Scholars’ Primer’) and In Lebor Ogaim (‘The Ogam Tract’) and were first discussed in 1685 by Roderic O’Flaherty, but he took them at face value.

The Auraicept gives a short phrase for each letter that traditionally accompanies each letter name, it further explains their meanings and identifies the tree or plant that is linked to each letter. Out of the twenty primary letters what have tree names only five are considered comprehensible in the Auraicept.


This ancient Tree alphabet dates back to the Old Irish period around the 10th century and it also post dates the Primitive Irish period too. Its origin is possibly due to the letters being called ‘feda’ or trees or ‘nin’ meaning forking branches because of their shapes. Some of the words were indeed named after trees while some other letter names fell out of use as independent words and were then free to be claimed as Old Gaelic tree names.

By Tim Lazaro

Tim Lazaro is a Celtic Symbols enthusiast. For more great tips and advice on Symbols of Celtic [http://www.allaboutcelticsymbols.com] origin, visit [http://www.allaboutcelticsymbols.com].Article Source: EzineArticles



Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Elegance Of CELTIC HARPS

Celtic harp
Celtic harp 
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The harp is a musical instrument that has a lot of strings wherein the strings of this instrument are in a perpendicularly positioned to its soundboard. There are various types of harps and they also have varying characteristics but they all basically have a neck, strings and a resonator. There is this one called a frame harp that has a pillar, while those that do not have pillars are known as open harps. This musical instrument also comes in different sizes which also varies how it can be played.

One specific example of a small harp is the famously called Celtic harp or also referred to as lever harp, folk harp or even Irish harp. Lever harps are so called because the levers are used as a mechanism to change keys. These levers are attached to the harp and they are pushed against the strings so that they will become shorter and it will also cause the string to sharpen. These Celtic harps are usually the ones used for training before advancing to a Concert Harp. However they are also a very beautiful instrument to play with and they are also used by professional harpists all over the world.

When I think of harps, only one thing comes to my mind and that is an angel, a cupid or a beautiful lady that looks so pure and pristine playing this instrument. It creates such a beautiful music and it especially evokes beautiful imagery and deep emotions. This heavenly made instrument however, comes with a very expensive price that sometimes you just think that you would rather enjoy listening to it being played rather than than playing it yourself. Harps with time tested brands and are synonymous with top quality craftsmanship and high performance can range from ten thousand dollars for beginner or student type harps to sixty thousand dollars for the limited, custom built harp models.



For every problem, they say, is a solution; and for our expensive harp problems there are used Celtic harps widely available in your local store or if not in the Internet. You have a wide variety of used Celtic harps to choose from, you will have no problem at all picking out the perfect set that will suit your taste and preference. With these instruments already available to people with different budgets, playing a Celtic harp will no longer be exclusive to the cupid.



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Great House Warming Gift Idea For Every Budget - CELTIC Snail

English: The white-lipped snail (Cepaea horten...
The white-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eventually, someone you know will move house - and this idea will come in very handy indeed when you want to come up with a house warming gift that is a little bit more meaningful and interesting than just handing over a pot plant.

There is an old Celtic tradition which involves the humble snail.

Now the snail carries its house on its back and so it is never homeless; but more, the spiral design of the snail shell was always very special to the Celtic people, so it makes perfect sense that any kind of snail makes the perfect house warming present.

To be warm, safe, snug and protected inside one's own home is a wonderful idea and the snail symbol, or the more abstract spiral, lends itself to all manner of wonderful house warming gifts.

You can make a card very easily by cutting out a spiral and affixing it with glue; any snail motif on a greeting card, or a picture of a snail drawn or cut out from another source will make the house warming card special.

Snails are very popular as ornaments, so you can get an enormous variety of all sizes of snail figurines, from small brass snails to large garden ornaments made from marble and they're all easily found, online and off.

An exotic snail shell, or the shell of a sea snail is an extension of this idea and particularly good for beach front properties.

As the basic snail/spiral shape is natural and easy, you can even just find a beautiful stone and paint a spiral on it for a superb and extremely personal and lovely house warming present; further, it is the type of gift that the recipients will treasure and keep, and that will remind them of you and your good wishes every time they see it.




There are many other ways in which the snail design can be used for house warming gifts. If you really need to give a pot plant, you can decorate the pot in which it comes with a spiral. Any budding artist can make and paint a basic snail from self hardening clay; snail and spiral mobiles are easy and always fascinating, too. You can make a small painting that can be hung in a hallway and depending on the recipient, grandchildren can get involved, just the same as famous interior designers, artists and goldsmiths - it only depends on your budget.

I think that the idea of the Celtic house warming snail is a wonderful way to convey good wishes to someone in their new home, and to give them your intention that they should always be snug, happy, well cared for and safe.



Sunday, May 29, 2016

CELTIC Tapestries

Viking ship, detail from the Överhogdal tapestries
Viking ship, detail from the Överhogdal tapestries
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The artistic designs from the Celtic period are very popular in various forms. People enjoy them in pictures and even in body tattoos. One way to decorate your home may be to add Celtic tapestries. They are available in many different sizes so you will be able to find what is the most appealing to you. They also feature various designs and colors so you won’t have to settle for anything less than what is a perfect match for the décor.

There are so many Celtic designs that you can choose from for a tapestry that you can allow your individual style shine through. Choose from intricately designed knots, dragons, dancers, the pentacle star, and even the Celtic tree of life. There are also plenty of other significant symbols from the Celtic period.

One of the most popular designs for a Celtic tapestry is the Phoenix. This is to celebrate the cycle of rebirth that connects the soul of each person to everything else in the world. Herne the Hunter is a symbol of strength and the circle of life. The Gateway tapestry shows the connection between Heaven and Earth. This is a great Celtic tapestry to have in memory of someone that has died. There is also the web of life design that reminds us how each action we take leads to a series of others.

The craftsmanship behind Celtic tapestries is unlike anything you have every seen before. You can be sure people will give you plenty of compliments on them. Many people believe they are a symbol of good luck too. You can even give a Celtic tapestry to someone you know that has been having a rough time of things lately.


You will find the biggest selection of Celtic tapestries online. There are thousands of different ones to choose from. The largest sizes are 83 x 93 inches so you can definitely fill up a wall in a room with this type of design. The costs for them depend on the materials they are made from. Most Celtic tapestries are made from 100% cotton so they are very affordable. Those that are made from silk are going to be much more expensive.



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CELTIC Otherworld and the Legend of KING ARTHUR

A general description of the Celtic Otherworld
Many of the Celtic myths and stories are related to the otherworld. These are 'magical' worlds that exist in different dimensions inhabited by numerous 'other beings'. The dimensions include the worlds of faeries and dragons, the land of the dead and many other entities such as demons and gods.

The Round Table experience a vision of the Hol...
The Round Table experience a vision of the Holy Grail. From a 15th century French manuscript. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The otherworld was not some distant world that was considered inaccessible, but was believed by the ancient Celts to be a dimension that was parallel to that of earth's and could be entered into at any time or place. Those that entered these worlds are believed to be exposed to a wealth of knowledge - especially so to those who are seekers of truth, poets and philosophers.

Portals existed in specific places where entry could be made but were also protected by powerful otherworld magic to prevent unauthorized entry. These worlds were also known to exist on subterranean levels and could be entered through portals in caves, hills or mountains.

The extent of the otherworld is too vast for the mortal mind to comprehend. It was generally accepted that the invisible inhabitants live in many magical kingdoms and regions and only privileged mortals were allowed to enter these realms. It is also well known that time has no effect on the people of the underworld as they remain young and do not age.

King Arthur - a beautiful tale a mortal strongly connected to the otherworld
One of the most beloved tales of the ancient Celts is that of the magnificent King Arthur. Arthur was the son of the High King Ambrosius Aurelanius and was given to Merlin the Druid soon after he was born. He was raised and trained by the magician and educated about the otherworld. As a young man Arthur successfully removed a magical sword that was lodged in a stone and became king. This sword, which was called Excalibur, was originally the possession of "The Lady of the Lake" - which was otherworldly.

Lady of the Lake Legend
The domain of this lady was known as the Isle of Avalon. Famous knights like Lancelot and Bors were raised in the Lady's underwater palace. Lancelot became known as Lancelot du Lac (of the lake). The Lady of the Lake, Niniane, eventually caused the death of Merlin the wizard by sealing him in a rock. Merlin has foreseen this happening but was so in love with the lady that he ignored his vision. Merlin taught Niniane many lessons in sorcery and in return wanted her to return his love. This ended in tragedy as he paid with his life.

King Arthur became the most famous and just ruler of Camelot and with Excalibur and his faithful Knights of the Round Table he won many battles. His downfall came when his favorite warrior and most trusted companion, Lancelot du Lac, had an illicit affair with his wife Guinevere. In the Lancelot story he left Camelot and went on the holy grail quest. This he undertook in an attempt to cleanse himself of the sins of adultery.



The Holy Grail is the cup that was used by Jesus in the last supper. It was also used to catch His blood while hanging wounded on the cross. According to legend Sir Lancelot du Lac was one of the first Knights of the Round Table to become a Christian. He never obtained the Holy Grail but his son, Sir Galahad had much better success.

Known places of the location of the Otherworld
The island of Ireland has many places where the Otherworld can be reached. The island was said to be inhabited by a group that called themselves "People of the Sidh". They were also known as "Fairy Fort". This fort was a subterranean area that was hidden from the outside world by powerful magic. The province of Munster is said to be the location where the otherworld can be entered.

    Tim Lazaro is a Celtic Symbols enthusiast. Visit All About Celtic Symbols for more expert advice on Celtic Myths and Stories [http://www.allaboutcelticsymbols.com/CelticMyth.xhtml], Tree Astrology, Celtic Tattoo design, and other helpful topics you can use right now to gain a better understanding of Celtic art.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Is HALLOWEEN a Satanic Ritual? Pre-Historic Celts - Halloween and Samhain

Halloween's Ancient Origins
How many of us really know the meaning behind Halloween? Most of us enjoy Halloween, that is with the exception of a few Religious Zealots who believe that it's devilish, and perhaps also a few overly concerned mothers. Halloween has been celebrated differently, at different times and different places. Its lore is nearly as diverse as the costumes that you see parading around on Halloween night. But Halloween has always been a bit of a mystery, and filled with contrariness and revelry, a necessary release of social tension.

Samain
Samain - Photo  by Feans 
Halloween is so much fun, that we almost forget it's a holiday (Holy-Day). At least the Christian Evangelists have, who claim that it is evil and demonic. The founder of the Christian Coalition, Reverend Pat Robertson even went so far as to call it a 'satanic ritual' and did his utmost to have it banned in 1982. He completely ignored the fact that Halloween is most definitely a Christian Holiday and one of the most important ones at that.

It has been celebrated by the Christian Church for over fourteen hundred years, and is one of the six holy days of observance, when high mass is held. Sunday is also one of the six holy days of observance!

You probably know that Halloween is the 'All Saints Day' of the Christian world. Correspondingly, the following day of November 2nd, is 'All Souls Day'. This juxtaposition of days is meant to insure that the Heavenly Saints will look after the souls of the dearly departed. Halloween or 'Hallowtide', as it was once known, was not always observed on the 1st of November, but a much older festival was.
Halloween inherited some of its supernatural flavor, and the tradition of bonfires from this ancient festival but surprisingly little else. Most of the customs we celebrate today, such as wearing costumes and trick-or-treating, originated in Medieval times.

Halloween and the Pre-historic Celts
Imagine what it would be like if you could travel back in time, to a time long before Halloween was celebrated on the cobbled streets of Medieval Europe. Our time machine may not be able to transport you bodily, but it will transport your mind back in time, to explore the ancient festival that Halloween eventually replaced.

It is into the pre-historic world of the Celtic tribes that our journey will take us, and this is where it gets a little tricky, because the Celts didn't use writing. Julius Caesar tells us that, 'They consider it improper to entrust their studies to writing'. The myths, history and tradition of the Celts, were orally recounted, and passed on by the Druidic bards, who sang their sagas at festive gatherings.

"These sagas were part of a long vernacular tradition that was written down centuries later, probably in corrupted and abbreviated form. These stories should be read as clues to the mystery of ancient lore and to the art of storytelling, rather than as straightforward evidence of social practice."1

The Celtic tribes were the fiercest enemies of Rome, and sacked it on four occasions. Yet, much of what we know about the Celtic culture was written by the Romans. What do you think your enemies would write about you? What the Roman's did write, was generally filled with horrifying tales and pernicious propaganda. As exemplified by the Hollywood film, Wicker Man, which was loosely based on Roman accounts of the Celtic celebration of Halloween, their Sahmain.

The most reliable source for us to understand the mysterious culture of the Celts, is by way of their stone age monuments and gold and silver artifacts. Even with our time machine, it is a seemingly impossible task to date the line that divides pre-historic Europe from Celtic Europe, or indeed to tell if such a line even exists. All that we can know with any surety is that the obscure origins of the Celtic tribes lays somewhere between 34,000 years ago, the age of Ireland's old mound of New Grange, and 3300 BC, marking the first construction of Stonehenge.


From Julius Caesar, we also learn that the Celts were divided into aristocratic tribes. They lived in circular houses and formed cozy communities ruled by king like chieftains. We also know that their legendary festivals were held in huge rectangular halls. Some people believe that these were an early prototype of the Medieval Cathedral.

The Celtic Sagas tell us that they were a mystic Culture. Like Halloween itself, the Celts existed between the very real world of daily practicalities and an enchanted world, filled with fairies, fey and supernatural feats. They lived their fearless lives with great zeal and fervour. The Celtic women were the most liberated women in the ancient world. They enjoyed sexual equality and fought side by side with their men in battle.

The men fought without clothes or armour. Can you imagine what they must have looked like? Their naked bodies would have been a terrifying sight. The men were completely shaven except for a moustache, and a wild mane of hair highlighted with powdered limestone. As you may have seen in Mel Gibson's movie 'Brave Heart', some of the men even dyed their bodies blue and wore amulets and huge torcs around their necks.

Halloween and the Ancient Festival of Samhain
Thousands upon thousands of years before the dawn of the Christianity, around the 1st of November, the Celtic tribes celebrated what has become Halloween. It was their Harvest Festival of Samhain (pronounced 'sow-win'). The Celtic calendar of festivals was based on cycles of nature and the agricultural year. They celebrated the Solstices and Equinoxes, as well as the Cross-Quarters in between - Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, Samhain. 2

The eight spoked wheel of the Celtic year, perpetually turns on and on. At each of its eight points, the natural rhythms of the seasons, of our personal lives, of our communities and of the heavens, come into alignment. Like nature itself "people are moved by the rhythms of the earth, its tides of ebb and flow, caused by the cycles of the sun and moon. While the moon magnetically controls the waters, the sun controls the seasons. With the withdrawal of the sun's light, warmth and energy, like nature itself, we automatically draw our energies inwards in order to sustain life".

The Celtic Halloween - Samhain, marked the beginning of the sun's journey into the wintery underworld. The harvest was reaped, the fields lay fallow, the livestock was ritually culled and its meat salted and smoked in readiness for the coming cold. The agricultural year had come to its end, and on Samhain, the Celtic New Year would begin.

Daylight is the summer of the seasons while nighttime corresponds to the winter. The line that divides day and night is at it's thinnest at twilight, at dawn and dusk. Samhain was the dusk of the seasons, when the sun of the old year passed away and entered into the underworld. It was the twilight season, when the veil that separates the world of the living from that of the dead and supernatural, is at its thinnest. So thin that cracks open between the worlds, allowing fairies, ghosts and other supernatural beings to enter the living world.

Samhain was a time of supernatural intensity, when an immense amount of spiritual energy poured into the world. It was a time when divinations were performed to see what the coming year had in store. It was a time of purification and a time of magic and ritual to appease the dead.
In Celtic mythology, Samhain was the day when the tribal god, the Dadha, made love with Morrigan, the raven goddess of war. You might know of Morrigan because in later ages she played the role of the evil sorceress in the legend of King Arthur.

After our brief journey back in time, some of you may be thinking, that even if Halloween isn't Satanic, then Samhain sure sounds like it could be. To put the matter to rest once and for all, there is no way it could be. There is no corresponding god, angel, or any utterly evil being in the Celtic pantheon. In closing, I will once again quote from Nicholas Rogers' extraordinary book, 'Halloween - From Pagan Ritual To Party Night'-
"The belief is satanic cults blossomed only in the late medieval era when it formed part of the persecutory discourse against heretics and witches - long after the demise of Samhain."4

Foot Notes
1. Rogers Nicholas, 'Halloween - From Pagan Ritual To Party Night', Pg 18, Oxford University Press
2. The Cross-Quarter festivals of the Celtic calendar.
A) Imbolc, the spring festival was celebrated on the 1st of February.
B) Beltane, the summer festival was celebrated on the 1st of May.
C) Lughnasadh, the autumn festival was celebrated on the 1st of August.
D) Samhain, the winter festival, like our Halloween, was celebrated on the eve of October 31st and the 1st of November.
3. Paterson Jacqueline, 'Tree Wisdom', Pg 83, Thorsons - Harper and Collins
a 4. Rogers Nicholas, 'Halloween - From Pagan Ritual To Party Night', Pg 13



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Standing On The Shores Of LOCH NESS

Locked in the vaults of Scottish legend lies an enigmatic stretch of water famous the world over. Within the wells of Celtic folklore, the mystery of Loch Ness has baffled scientists for decades.

Loch Ness sits in the north of Scotland, near the town of Inverness. It forms part of a series of lochs running from the Irish Sea on the east coast, over to the North Sea on the western shoreline, almost dividing the country in half.

The rocky shoreline of Loch Ness, Scotland
The rocky shoreline of Loch Ness, Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Loch Ness is the deepest body of water in the United Kingdom. Despite its natural beauty and standing as a tourist attraction in its own right, of course the real reason Loch Ness achieves cult status is the legend of the Loch Ness Monster.

Since those first blurred, black and white photographs from the first half of the twentieth century, the legend of the Loch has kept the world captivated; countless scientific expeditions have failed to reach a conclusion, elevating the monster myth.

Standing on the shores of Loch Ness, I have come here to experience the aura and mystery which has besieged the entire neighbourhood.

Drawn by a desire to meet the land and its people, I headed north from England, navigating the secluded mountain roads and low winter sun.

The journey trod a magnificent path through the bleak Scottish mountains, the neighbouring landscape carpeted with a blanket of snow. An immense feeling of isolation gripped me along the open roads, greeting little other traffic.

This was quintessential Scotland, just as nature had intended. Vast, wide open spaces, with barely a sole to witness, civilisation stripped to its bare bones. Life’s fundamentals were all this place required.

The water rippled gently about my feet as I stared deeply across the water’s surface, clear, but for several birds bobbing on the surface. I felt the answer to the legend was out there somewhere, but it was going to take a better man than me to work it out. I was simply here to enjoy the ride.



There’s a romance about the uncertainty. The enigma drives the tourist trade, on which the livelihoods of many people depend. But it’s not just about money. The people here are proud to be associated with such an iconic landmark.

To be honest, I’m undecided whether the truth – either one way or the other – is what people really want. I get the impression the majority of locals feel the same way.



Friday, March 25, 2016

CELTIC Music - The Tin Whistle

The Tin Whistle (sometimes called a pennywhistle) is a simple and cheap instrument. It's simply a metal tube with six fingerholes and a mouthpiece (much like a recorder); it has a range of about two octaves. Costs range from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars -- although some of the best players play only the cheaper brands.

Tin Whistle - Irish Trad Music
Photo  by IvanWalsh.com 
The tin whistle is a simple instrument -- and it's simple to play, and simple to play easy tunes. But -- it's not simple to master! The instrument may be cheap, but you'll have to pay for mastery ... by practicing! The haunting whistle tunes from the movie "Titanic" illustrate the deep soul found in this instrument.

This instrument is commonly made from metal (usually brass) with a molded whistle mouthpiece. By playing it open (not covering any of the six fingerholes), then by covering each fingerhole in turn, you can play the 7 notes in a diatonic (a simple Do-Re-Mi scale -- essentially the white keys on a piano) scale. Blow a little bit harder and you'll play the same note, but an octave higher. While it is a diatonic instrument, you can achieve sharps and flats by half-covering fingerholes.

Since there are essentially only two open notes -- a note, then the note an octave higher when you blow harder -- each tin whistle is said to represent a certain Key signature. For instance, if the open note sounds a "D", then the whistle is considered to be in the key of D. Many players carry a small set of whistles in the most commonly used keys.

Some people don't realize you can actually tune a tin whistle! You do so by sliding the metal barrel of the whistle in and out of the mouthpiece head. Some whistles have the head glues securely to the barrel. You can usually loosen the glue by holding the joined portion under hot running water. Don't use boiling water -- this may melt the plastic whistle head!



Key signatures commonly found in celtic Music are "D Major" and "G Major". By default, all tin whistles are in a Major key (since they play a diatonic scale). However, if you begin your scale with all the fingerholes covered (instead of all fingerholes open), then you're beginning one step higher than a diatonic scale -- which results in a minor key signature! For instance, a tin whistle in "D" can play in E Minor if you begin your scale by covering all the fingerholes. Interestingly enough, the chord sequence "E Minor" and "D Major" is commonly found in Celtic Music. (This is the same chord sequence used in "What Would You Do with A Drunken Sailor".) A whistle in "G Major" could easily play in A Minor (A Minor and G being another commonly found chord sequence).




Sunday, March 6, 2016

CELTIC REIKI, Drawing Energy from Nature

Energy flows fro m the hands of a practitioner towards the person being healed. This is how reiki healing is conducted. Using the life force energy that is present in and all around us to heal and re-establish balance in one’s being is one of the basic beliefs of reiki.

And taking this life force energy a little further, practitioners have entered into realizations and developed several reiki techniques to promote healing faster. One of which is a version called Celtic reiki.

Celtic reiki utilizes the energy flows present on Earth and specific plants.  Practitioners of this reiki use not only the universal “life force” energy present in all things but also the specific energy found in nature to heal those who needs healing.

This reiki system comes from the religious beliefs of early Celts. To the early Celts, trees are important aspects of their religion believing that trees have their own spirits. They gave the trees such high regards that they even patterned their writing system based on the trees.

The Celts’ Ogham, which is the ancient writing of Celtic people, uses symbols or letters that are cut as a series of notches and symbolizes different kinds of trees. Each letter represents a different kind of tree, specifically chosen for qualities that can be linked to spiritual concepts.


Some of the trees that are represented in the Celtic alphabet include the silver fir, birch, hawthorn, heather, ash, oak, willow, elder, yew, grove, ivy, hazel, and honeysuckle. Practitioners of Celtic reiki use the symbols from the Ogham.  This reiki also follows the Celtic philosophy of bravery, honor, integrity, valor and reverence.

But even though Celtic reiki draws influences from ancient Celtic religion, the practice itself is not a religious one.  But rather it is a therapy that aims to treat the mind, body and spirit. It is not connected to any religion and as such can be passed down to everybody regardless of age, race, gender, and culture.

Celtic reiki was created by Martyn Pentecost. It was developed further Julie Norman. Practitioners of this reiki see this technique as a beautiful and earthy form. Having foundations on earth energy, this reiki has to channel the energy vibrations from the earth, specific plants, trees and the ocean through the root chakra as opposed to the crown chakra that is where conventional reiki channels the energy.

The techniques developed by Pentecost between 1998 and 2000 are used for therapy and goal creations. Combining the concept of the original reiki and the various Celtic beliefs and rituals, the Celtikc reiki techniques were created to handle day to day activities like tackling issues of prosperity, finance, work, and building relationships.

People who are interested in plants, trees, and tree and plant legend or lore, are often drawn to the Celtic reiki belief. Men in particular are drawn closer to the Celtic reiki because it seems that this reiki has more masculine types of energy. But in reality, Celtic reiki is regarded as an equal among the other kinds of reikis.

The Celtic reiki treatment usually lasts for an hour and involves placing the hands in strategic locations and in specific sequences that will elicit a deep state of relaxation.

A student achieving attunement means having been open to the tree and plant energies, the ethics of stuff, the various Celtic symbols, hand placements, moon phases, and the various aspects of soul journeying, retrieval, and realization.