Influences on Druidry & Celtic Spirituality

October 9, 2015 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

It can be hard to explain what all is included in Druidry & Celtic Spirituality- I found it more useful to describe some of the major influences (many of them of course are the same as those in other parts of Neo-Paganism and the New Age) It can be helpful to keep these influences in mind when looking at books and other sources!

Romanticism- reaction to the Enlightenment, urbanization and industrialization- emphasis on individual artistic genius, emotion over reason, folklore, fairy tales, nature, the “Noble Savage” (identified with Celtic cultures)

Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish and Breton nationalism (sometimes led by individuals from outside those cultures) Revival of interest in native literature and mythology- sometimes forgeries (MacPherson’s Ossianic Cycle, Iolo’s Barddas) and tampered manuscripts were added to drum up nationalist interest

19th century antiquarians who had interesting theories about megalithic monuments, ley lines, Druids as mystical “proto-Christians”, folk etymology like Beltaine comes from the name Ba’al

Gardnerian Wicca & Ceremonial Magic (Gardner was buddies with Ross Nichols, founder of Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids)

Goddess & women’s spirituality, matriarchal pre-history theories- Robert Graves, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s novel the Mists of Avalon, Jungian archetypes for female empowerment!

Looking to Celtic Christianity as a way to reconnect with nature, honor the feminine (actual historical Celtic Christianity may be disregarded!)

Arthurian Legend- Grail mysticism- legend of Joseph of Arimathea bringing Grail to Glastonbury

Environmental and peace movements- in U.S., U.K., Ireland and elsewhere- Hippie, Peace Convoy, and other countercultural movements

Indo-European studies (ADF)

New Age “awareness” and consumerism- workshops, conferences, publishing, alternative healing

Folk music & cultural revivals

Riverdance and related rise in interest in Irish dance

Opposition to destruction of sacred/historical sites, lobbying for access to sites

Michael Harner’s Core shamanism

Reconstructionism as a methodology

Fantasy novels and science fiction, medieval and Iron Age re-enactment

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Entry filed under: Celtic/Druid. Tags: , .

Shamanism Part 3- Other Words, Other Worlds The Swastika -or- How Cultural Appropriation Hurts

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