Triskele

The spiritual development of the Celtic folk soul - Part 1

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Content

  1. Celts
  2. Hyperborea
  3. Trotten mysteries
  4. Druids
  5. Triad
  6. Spirituality
  7. Druids and cromlechs
  8. Righ nan Dul
  9. Shrines
  10. Celtic High Crosses
  11. Bards
  12. The word
  13. Vates
  14. Hu, Ceridwen and the Mysteries of Hibernia
  15. Taliesin

 

 

Fragment from The song of the great world

 

I will adore my Father,

My God, my strengthener,

Who infused through my head

A soul to direct me.

 

Who has made for me in perception,

My seven faculties.

Of fire and earth,

And water and air,

And mist and flowers,

And southerly wind.

 

The Book of Taliesin - Kanu y Byt Mawr [1]

 

Introduction

A lot has been written about the Celts and there is actually something for everyone that will appeal to him or her.

Much less has been published about the spirituality of the Celtic people, and it is precisely this that we would like to draw your attention to.

The Celts were a fierce and warlike people, but they also had a completely different side: they were also very spiritually minded. However, in order to properly understand their mental state, we must take into account the fact that their consciousness was very different from that of modern man. The spiritual leaders of the Celtic people, after a long training period, possessed clairvoyant qualities. They could contact the gods in their temples, which were often situated high in oak forests.

It is also important to keep in mind that the written language did not yet exist.

Everything was memorized and remembered and they used a special way of doing that, which we shall discuss later.

That we actually know so much about the Celts we owe to the bards who in later times wrote down many of their hymns, songs and praises.

 

Celts

The Celtic peoples are descendants of the Indo-Germans and form a race that was closely related to the Germans.

"Keltoi," derives from the old Irish word "celt," meaning "cloak" or "clothed," which contrasted with the semi-naked, non-Aryan people of central and western Europe.

Originally the Celts had a tall slender figure, their hair was blond or red and their eyes blue.

The Celts moved to the Danube and the Black Sea, to Greece, to the Balkans, to Italy, to Spain and to Portugal. Having penetrated all of France (Gaul) and part of Iberia, their invasions branched out to the overseas lands of Britain and Ireland. Although they were a minority in Ireland, their active nationality led to a 'Celtisation' of the island.

In principle, the Celtic primordial population forms the basis of the entire European population and everywhere in the European blood flows the legacy of the ancient Celts.

The Celts always showed a certain respect for the local religious traditions and sometimes incorporated them into their own culture. Hence the Celts, with their imaginative, sensitive culture, have transplanted their own druidic teachings onto the older, megalithic population of Western Europe. That this 'transplantation' would bear fruit, we can read from the enormous cultural bloom that the Celts have brought about.

The Celts only came to the western areas between 1000 and 500 BC. Around 800 they arrived in southern France and Spain. In about 500 they reached Britain, and in the following centuries they expanded their territories over Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Despite the language differences, these peoples of western France, Ireland, England and Scotland formed one great Celtic whole.

In exoteric life, the Celts were known for their immense ferocity: to them life had little value and all that mattered was a hero's death. They fought over the smallest things. The heroic time of the Irish kings, for example, is one long litany of mutual wars and somewhat explains the fighting spirit of today's Irish.

Alexander the Great once asked the Celts what they feared most. They answered him,

Nothing. We fear only one thing: that heaven might fall on us.

It was by no means a boast, however, that they feared nothing, but that they feared the sky with its star, sun and moon, was true. Equally great was their fear of the earth, water, and air, for they knew the gigantic powers of the starry sky as well as the elements of the earth world. The Druids used their knowledge and experience to tame and appease those elements, and where possible to make them subservient to humans.

However, the Celts also had another side that contrasted strongly with their fighting spirit: they were very spiritually minded [2].

In order to properly understand the Celts, it is necessary to study the spiritual leadership of that people, and this was dedicated to the learned initiate, the Druid. They had so much power that the druid was above the king! So the highest authority was assigned to the class of the ruling Druids and that says something about the spiritual interest of the Celts!

Among the Celts, people were found who could perceive the elements of beings in nature, as we see the material sphere today. The world of the elements, of water and earth, was not closed in and people had direct contact with the nature spirits, about whom one could speak, as we speak of trees, plants, mountains and clouds.

All the former leaders of mankind in the second and third post-Atlantean culture period were able to perceive the super sensible nature, because they could separate their own etheric body from their physical body. This etheric body then became the bearer of certain transcendental powers and brought about a clairvoyance that the spiritual leaders of the Celts, the Druids, wielded.

One may wonder where the Celtic Druids got their inspiration from and that is explained in the next chapter.

(To be continued in part 2)


References:

[1] Haycock, Marged [ed. and tr.], Legendary poems from the Book of Taliesin, Aberystwyth: CMCS Publications, 2007

[2] Rudolf SteinerDer Zusammenhang des Menschen mit der elementarischen WeltGA 158 (1993), (English: rsarchive.org) and Exkurse in das Gebiet des Markus-EvangeliumsGA 124 (1995), (English: rsarchive.org)

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