Saturday, August 10, 2013

Musings...Of...A...Celt


Not going to Ireland has somehow caused me to reflect more on, not what I have left behind, but what is emerging from within. The more I am blessed to wander WITH nature I find an ever deepening connection with the roots of my religious beliefs. We, as Christians have to have a tremendous reverence for the Jewish Tradition of belief because our founder was Jewish. Do we not refer to the Old Testament as, The Jewish Scriptures? What place of reverence do they hold in our Liturgical Celebrations, and private devotions? So too does Celtic Spirituality has its roots in the religion of the Druids and their pre-Christian beliefs and practices. The genius of those who brought Christianity to The Celts of Ireland, was their innate ability to take that which was already present, and as it were, Baptize it. "The Druids had a strong sense of the supernatural, the survival of the soul after death, and the immanence of the gods. Many divinities were worshipped in groups of three, or triads…Druid practices also included a sense of sacred places, particularly woods, groves, rivers and springs."(Leaver) There are many, many holy wells, still visited by people, which were regarded as "holy" even before Christianity came to The Celts. The Irish Celts were Christianized without one person being martyred. That is almost beyond belief as The Celts were a very feared, and warlike people. The Romans never got to conquer Ireland. "The Roman conquest of Ireland" came at a later date. (As we used to say, "Enough said." I'll say no more.)

     So my ancestral belief is in the sacredness, the holiness of not only what is seen, but in the unseen as well. God has blessed me with the great desire to read. I was a reader from my earliest years. I was exposed to a world that had its origin in the imagination, and not in any perceived reality. The world I was introduced to could not be analyzed or measured to provide imperial information. I was introduced to a world beyond time and space. The story would begin long, long ago, in a place far, far away. It was a long, long time later, I came to find out that place, far, far away, was deep within me. There was no, "long, long, ago," there was the sacrament of the present moment; the sacred now, in which all is present. "Myth, never was, but always is."(Rohr) In those long winter nights, reading, yes, by oil lamp, I found myself lost in the mists of history. The Tuatha De Danaan were a mysterious people, imbued with miraculous powers. They were defeated in battle but retreated to the underground, where they made their homes. Throughout Ireland you will see particularly, trees and small mounds of earth out in the middle of the fields. They will not be cut down, or not leveled off, no way. It is common knowledge, just ask, who dwells there, and you do not mess. I was very young when I saw a small whirlwind approaching and I was pulled, unceremoniously I may add, out of the way. I was told to never stand in the way of such a whirlwind. I remember asking, Why? That whirlwind is the Siohe Gaoithe (The People of The Wind) on their way from one dwelling place to another. The invisible world was just another reality in the creation I was to live in. That invisible world I was to learn had its good and helpful presence, but it also had its evil realities. The Leprechaun was a real good guy, but slick. He had his pot of gold, but ever hear of anyone getting to keep it? On top of being the shoemaker, he was the master trickster. The Puca, and the Banshee were a manifestation of the dark side, which was a reality to be confronted and so dealt with. In that world there was the presence of both good and evil. They were both going to be encountered. With the encounter, knowledge was to be gained.

To be continued…