Saturday, October 28, 2006

Who's a Celt now ? - 5

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

While they wanted to present Wicca as the indigenous religion of Britain, the founders of contemporary Witchcraft were not so much caught up in the "Celtic" mythos. Some, in fact, favored the Saxon.

By the 1970s, however, "cardiac Celts" were everywhere. Writers such as John Sharkey formulated a magickal Celtic mythos: his book Celtic Mysteries was at the top of my first coven's reading list. It had all the pieces of "Celtic" special-ness, including "Celtic Christianity" but also a great deal about the Triple Goddess, whose explication owes more to the genius of Robert Graves than to any Iron Age Celtic poem.

Needless to say, my fellow Witches and I were reading Graves' The White Goddess along with Celtic Mysteries. Since Sharkey's ideas of Celtic Paganism were largely derived from Graves, correlating the two was easy.

All "Celtic Paganism" owes a huge debt to Graves, since before he came along, the only Celtic Pagans getting any attention were the Druids, and there was no Goddess religion there!

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