Your Celtic Story
As Claire and I travelled English speaking lands of USA, Australia and New Zealand during the past 12 months most people wanted to share, or hopefully discover, something of their Celtic Stories. We met aborigines, Cherokee, Navajo and other tribal people who sought for stories from Ireland and Scotland, even Wales and England, to help them rebuild their culture that was watered down and sent down the drain during Colonial times.
I find this is the same for everyone. The school system is a duplication of training that is a powerful brainwashing to prepare us to enter into a now worldwide economic structure that has evolved as the next stage after colonialism. The USA is a network of states that networked tribal nations to attempt to follow a duplicated constitution that is looked to as the leader of all thought and action. The EU is evolving the same way.
The World is also evolving the same way with dreams of combining nations in Africa and South America. China and Russia have also done this to extreme.
Doing this has provided us with huge benefits in comfort, nutrition, health, abundant and support, though all of those can be questioned too. However, the downside is that each extra comfort can also add to the worries we have in life and take away more of our awaking space, and sleeping space.
For example, 15 years ago most of us never worried about mobile phones and computers breaking down or having to spend hours a day commuting our children to all kinds of activities, yet how many emergency situations have our mobile phones been so helpful for?
Each lifestyle culture has taken more of the “story” away from us. Even our dream time is getting reduced and reduced as more and more people deprive themselves from more and more sleep. Without connection to our story we become empty, disconnected and wonder where our “roots” are. Depression, violence, even suicide, steps in. Look what happens to rock stars and film stars when they are forced into a “bubble” that detaches them from regular people as suddenly so many people want what they think they have. I will write about “the stage” later.
We wish to help you use your vacation time to re-visit your story
At our Celtic Bards School we invite you to space, guidance and support for you to find a week or two to re-connect to your story which you can take home as a new guidance for all things in your daily life. Too many people sacrifice following their story to become servitude to the “stories” of education system teachers, religious leaders, cult leaders, politicians (maybe), but perhaps worst of all today, media advertising and the news reports this sponsors. Being a downtime economically, all of these “systems” are packed into “multi level marketing” schemes and their lures.
Yet, all of the individuals in these “systems” having loving hearts that they attempt to share “undercover”, in “brown bags” and “in dark unseen corners”, and these are the people we speak of who inspired our lives. If the “system” discovers them sharing their “hearts” they are banished. The movie “Dead Poets Society”, a good example of portraying this.
We like to think that we are like that proverb, where you are the horses being brought to the waters of our Celtic Bards School, but what you drink is up to you.
Come here, be a child again.
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
W.B. Yeats of course. (listen to Claire’s interpretation here)
From The Land?
I read a lot of motivational quotes “new age teachers” about how we are the “power, the divine, all is possible, we are in control” and so forth but “new age” is usually a re-cloaking of the “old age” that is in the business of creating fear and then stepping in with a resolve that invites you to have faith and trust in. The truth is, usually, don’t trust the fear, especially a new fear created!
I have noticed that during the last 20 years people have become more and more afraid of nature and the direct products of nature. For example, soap is no longer good enough for us. We are told it does not cover many of our “hygiene” needs, and bathroom cabinets are becoming bigger and bigger with all these things we are now told we need to be more hygienic, along with several herbal remedies and even drugs to take from worrying about being hygienic and nourished. Sadly when these new products hit the land and water through our sewerage systems they can take 100s, even 1000s of years to breakdown and re-join nature, whereas soap “rejoins its maker” at the same pace as rotting potato skins in a compost heap.
We have a garden labyrinth to dramatically allow people into the spirit of nature with safety with all kinds of distractions in smells, sounds, touch and colours. Labyrinth makers make their labyrinths uniform so as not to distract the walker from his or her meditation. That is not our design. We have a centre for that, once our visitors have entered and fully sensed and bonded with nature again.
We are surrounded by ancient sacred sites and trust their positioning as being focal points of the spirit of nature around us. It is from these points our visitors have been awaken themselves with spirits and guide of inspirations, fairies being a good name, and I like Harvey from the James Stewart movie, as an imagined friend can be a great guide until you learn and evolve to become that friend.
That’s what I believe a Bard is, a carrier of an imaginary friend born from the soil, rocks, waters and woods of the land. So what they share with others are lies, true lies. They are lies that bring truth to the beholder!
I’ll write a separate chapter/article on that soon.
Fear of nature is in the beholder. A venomous snake can bite and kill, but it does not mean that every time you meet a snake it will bite you. If you pay attention to the snake it is extremely unlikely that it will bite you. I don’t recommend you try this at home though, partially because having a snake at “your” home is not the snake’s home. That’s not paying attention to it.
We have no snakes in ireland, and I do not think we have anything venomous in nature or carriers of disease other than maybe flies. Even strings from nettles have nutritious value.
Why the Celtic Bards School?
I some ways this is a wee bit of satire on what folks envision as a school as we do not have much in the way of books, AV gear, tables, desks, research archives and the familiarities of today’s education “system”.
Yet, yes, we are deeply a school, very much in the sense of its original word, the ancient Greek word, “Skhole”, loosely meaning a place where one spent leisure time to share inspirations and discoveries. I was tempted to replace the word “School” with “Skhole”, but suspected it may invite many references to mis-spellings by the Bash Street Kids in the British Beano comic, but then humour is so important. I may use that word yet :-)
There is the Yiddish word “Shul”, said to be from a Germanic and probably ancient Gaul word which is for a place of learning that is much more serious than as a place of leisure. I do not think we’ll use that.
In ancient Sumerian times, the earliest of scribing there is a word that “scholars” say sounds like é-dub-ba-a and sort of translates as “in this place we start with the letter “a”, and was therefore a name for a school then. Hmm, we will not use that name either, especially as the Ogham alphabet starts with B, beith.
The Ogham Language?
I both love and despise the Ogham language. Its connection to tree wisdom and links to ancient mystery make the Ogham language a fascination and draw for people to Ireland, especially to our area where it was first taught in Ireland.
The outside of our labyrinth garden spells the Ogham language with trees.
I’ll write an adaption from the ancient Auraicept na N-Eces text on the origins of Ogham.
What are the place, time, person, and cause of the invention of the Ogham (Ogam)?
In the time of Bres, son of Elatha king of Ireland, was the time it came to Ireland and was adapted for here. Its person of introduction and teaching was Ogma son’ of Elatha, son of Delbaeth, brother to Bres.
Ogma was a harper bard well skilled in speech and in poetry, and developed the Ogham language from Sumerian and Babylonian, maybe also Hitite, scripting, as a means of musical notation. Alas, to put music into notation takes away its bardic communication spirit.
The ingenuity of the Ogham language was then developed by Ogma as a means of capturing speech from a moment of time so that moment of time may be learned by others and spread to others exactly as scribed, or in early days, exactly as hand, arm and body gestured.
This brought about a system of learning where people could elevate themselves to a “higher order” that excluded rustics and herdsmen until they dedicated their lives to learning this exact language.
What is the first name that was written by Ogham, in what letter it was written, and why is b the first letter of the Ogham alphabet?
Ogham from Ogma, was first invented in respect to individual sounds in relation to matter. Bardic poets began to preserve moments of time of their poetry so that the same words can be used again by either themselves or others. Of course, this led to the early days of detaching from the true spirit of bardic inspiration and into bardic performance from script. Having said that, the Gaelic language, for a long long time, remained the main language of poets while the Ogham language became the language of scribes, and later, through evolved alphabets, the printers texts.
It is said that the father of the Ogham language was Ogma, but the mother of the Ogham language was the guided hand, then later the scribing knife of Ogma.
It is said that the first thing scribed by Ogma was the letter “b”, and its remarkable that the anglicised name of the tree of that letter today also begins with “b”, Birch.
It is said Ogma inscribed the letter as a warning to Lugh to be kind to his wife, his Cailleach, his link to the goddess or she will be taken away from him into faeryland, and with seven “b’s” be ordered to receive seven strokes of the Birch. Ogma ordered that women will be protected from mistreatment by their men with a birch. If their men failed to honour the birch they will be punished with it.
That is why the “b”, now Birch, takes precedence over the entire Ogham alphabet, for it is in birch that Ogham was also first written into.
So we begin with “b” for birch to protect women on earth, then came “L” for Luis, the mountain ash, the Rowan, the tree of Morrigan, the tree of courage, virility, bravery and focus on men. Luis from Li sula, meaning delight of eye, the quicken tree, the tree of flame, with every berry hiding the star of David, the Deravid, the Druid, below.
It is to the flaming tree the men, the stewards of earth call upon, to also learn how to be at one with the Beith, the Birch. And so, the Ogham language formed into union into a circle to capture moments of time and archive them and eventually be texts.
I believe Texts are to Inspire, not Teach
I treat texts like maps, as signs of tracks, that are wonderful records of alignment to any place or thought we may find ourselves in. They are the words of people who have been here before and what they discovered, saw, sensed and recorded.
At our Celtic Bards School we invite you to create more tracks for people to refer to, create more texts and today we can also add photography and video that capture moments of time.
This text, itself, is a map, maybe a psychic or dream map that we hope will inspire some of you to come here, and then let the inspiration of land, nature and the greater spirit to take over and charge up your bard within.
To keep it simple, this is a place to respond, write, photograph, film
and even perform and publish
These tasks will bring you back on track into your own story rather than live within the stories of others and trapping them into their own, often destructive, bubbles.
Though I have already written about this, I think I’ll hold off due to the vast input here.
“Finding Your Celtic Story From The Land”
“and its Ancient Sacred Sites”
is my book in progress, release date is Samhain, this year, 2009
In addition to expansion of info above there will be lots of hands on suggestions and recipes such as making Brigid's crosses, labyrinths, tree crafts, straw crafts, and all crafts as tools to explore and express the bard within rather than just make things that “look nice”.
There will be all kinds of tree wisdom, geology wisdom and spiritual guides wisdom such as insight and encouragement for the fairies, angels, goddesses, gods, and even “Harveys” that many of us have, keep secret and too hidden. Several humourous stories on that theme to share too.
A bit about tracing both your recent and ancient Irish ancestry included to.
Publishing price will be €20 plus shipping, with a limited time post publishing discount of €15 plus shipping.