Many of our readers at About Pagan/Wiccan are interested in the magic, folklore, and beliefs of the ancient Celts. Learn about the Celtic gods and goddesses, the tree months of the Celtic year, and books to read if you're interested in Celtic Paganism.
If you're interested in following a Celtic Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list. Although there are no written records of the ancient Celtic people, there are a number of reliable books by scholars that are worth reading. Some of the books on this list focus on history, others on legend and mythology. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you need to understand Celtic Paganism, it's a good starting point, and should help you learn at least the basics of honoring the gods of the Celtic peoples.
The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Most contemporary Pagans use fixed dates for each "month", rather than following the waxing and waning lunar cycle. If this was done, eventually the calendar would fall out of sync with the Gregorian year, because some calendar years have 12 full moons and others have 13. The modern tree calendar is based on a concept that letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponded to a tree.
Wondering about some of the major deities of the ancient Celtic world? Although the Celts consisted of societies all over the British Isles and parts of Europe, some of their gods and goddesses have become a part of modern Pagan practice. Here are some of the deities honored by the ancient Celtic peoples.
A reconstructionist, or recon, tradition is one based upon actual historical writings and attempts to literally reconstruct the practice of a specific culture. Let's look at some different recon groups out there in the community.
For many people, the term “Celtic” is a homogenized one, popularly used to apply to cultural groups located in the British Isles and Ireland. However, from an anthropological standpoint, the term “Celtic” is actually fairly complex. Rather than meaning just people of Irish or English background, Celtic is used by scholars to define a specific set of language groups, originating both in the British Isles and in the mainland of Europe.
Ogham staves are a popular method of divination among Pagans who follow a Celtic-focused path. Although there are no records of how staves might have been used in divination in ancient times, there are a number of ways that they can be interpreted. There are 20 original letters in the Ogham alphabet, and five more that were added later on. Each corresponds to a letter or sound, as well as a tree or wood.
The Tarot layout known as the Celtic Cross is one of the most detailed and complex spreads used. It's a good one to use when you have a specific question that needs to be answered, because it takes you, step by step, through all the different aspects of the situation. Basically, it deals with one issue at a time, and by the end of the reading, when you reach that final card, you should have gotten through all the many facets of the problem at hand.
Looking for a list of baby boy names with a Celtic background? Be sure to check these out!
Looking for a list of baby girl names with a Celtic background? Be sure to check these out!