About tony

Elder Tony is the current president of the Henge of Keltria. He is Editor-in-Chief of "Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick." Tony was elected to the Council of Elders in 1996 and reelected in 2005 for a second nine-year term.. He held the position of Archdruid from 1996 until 2009. He lives in Georgia with his wife and three cats.

Keltrian Druid Altars and Shrines

Altar, in the traditional sense, means a place of sacrifice. Keltrian Druids, like most modern religions, find the modern altar to be more of a ritual tool storage table than anything else. It is still a sacred place, and the objects on the altar are made sacred through consecration before being placed upon it. The tools used during the ritual are there, used when needed, then replaced.

Keltrian Druid altars may be as simple as a table with a couple of candles, a pair of vessels for Earth and water, and an incense burner. Other altars may hold many optional tools such as a candle snuffers. In either event, the altar holds the tools during the ritual. An altar is populated with sacred tools before the ritual begins. The tools are removed immediately following the ceremony and, once the tools are removed, the Keltrian altar is dismantled.

Shrines, on the other hand, are places that remain set up indefinitely. Typically, a shrine is a place dedicated to a specific entity of awe and respect where that entity may be venerated. The most common Keltrian Druid Shrines are dedicated to the Ancestors, the Nature Spirits, or the Gods. They too can be simple or complex. I have neighbors who don’t know I am Pagan and have seen my Ancestor Shrine, which is a wall in my den with photos and some mementos of my ancestors on it. Nothing spooky, just photos and objects that remind me of my ancestors. I see the shrine every day and think of them. When people visit, I often point out each of my ancestors to the visitors and explain how they are related to me. My earliest ancestor image is a circa 1881 drawing of a 4th Great Grandfather.

pencil sharpener water pump

Water Pump reminder of my great-grandmother.

Objects you keep with your shrine may be directly related, that is to say something from the individual, or the object might be something that reminds you of something about the ancestor.  For example, on my Ancestor Shrine, I have a metal pencil sharpener in the shape of a hand water pump. In the early 1960s, my great-grandmother still had a hand pump in the kitchen drawing water from a shallow well.  Whenever I see the pump, I remember her and my helping by priming the pump and getting the morning water started. I think remembering her and the morning ritual helps keep me in touch with my great-grandma and my other ancestors.

Do you have a shrine? Is it a Keltrian Druid Shrine?  If so, who is it dedicated to; the Ancestors, the Nature Spirits, or the Gods and Goddesses?

Below is a photo of an altar from a Keltrian Gathering. Please share a photo of your Keltrian Druid or personal altar, ritual table, or shrine. Tell us a bit about it and why the objects on it are important to you.

Walk with wisdom,
- Tony Taylor

Altar - Keltrian Druid - Gathering 2012

Keltrian Druid Altar (Gathering 2012)

  • Three cauldrons, for Ancestors (water), Gods (charcoal & incense), and one of Nature Spirits (earth).
  • Grove Candle and a God candle and a Goddess candle.
  • Two Chalices (one for water one for mead).
  • Sacrificial Branch and Sickle.
  • Bell Branch.
  • Shell for calling Manannán mac Lyr.
  • Offering Bowl.
  • Oil for blessing, mistletoe extract, and incense (also spare charcoal).

Support the Henge: Shop with the Amazon Affiliate Program

Did you know that you can support the Henge of Keltria without it costing a cent? It is really easy! Just use our direct Amazon link throughout the Yule-tide season.

To help the Henge, go to http://tinyurl.com/gnhchas .  That will bring you to an Amazon page having searched for Keltria in the Books section. Once there, you can go anywhere on Amazon and the Henge will receive a small percentage of your purchases. You don’t pay any more and the Henge benefits.

Next Bookmark the page.  Then use that bookmark whenever you want to purchase on Amazon.

Better yet, to the left of the web address box is a little green lock. Drag it and drop it to your bookmarks bar and use it there. (the bookmarks bar is right under the URL entry space.) Then you can then use the Amazon button you just created to go to Amazon and while there the Henge will benefit from anything you purchase.

Easy-pea-zy.

While you are there, if you don’t already have a copy, order the Book of Keltria: Druidism for the 21st Century.

amazon

Annual Meeting Ballot Results.

Election Results:

Congratulations to TopazOwl, who was reelected to a third term as Trustee.
Congratulations to Ulchabhán, who was elected as Trustee.
Congratulations to BeanSidhe, who was appointed and confirmed as Secretary of the Henge of Keltria by the Board of Trustees.

Bylaws Amendment #32

Cover - Bylaws 2016During the Annual Meeting of the Henge of Keltria on 9 July 2016, the membership voted to approve Bylaws Amendment #32. I have updated the Bylaws to Version 2016 and made them available to the public for free download from the website. See: http://www.keltria.org/acrobat/Bylaws-2016.pdf

Print Copy is now available from Lulu Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

 

The Henge of Keltria Book of Ritual Released

The Fifth Edition of the Henge of Keltria Book of Ritual was released 17 Feb 2016.

Book of Ritual
The Henge of Keltria Book of Ritual provides the fundamentals of Keltrian Druid Ritual practice including when and where to perform Druid rituals as well as how to follow the Keltrian Druid ritual formula. Appendices include ritual tools, music, meditation practice, and sample scripts of various Feasts.
Price: $15.95
Ships in 3-5 business days

Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe

From the President

Photo of Tony Taylor taken by Karl

Tony Taylor

The Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe and Annual Meeting of the Henge of Keltria is held at various locations in the United States. The site location is selected by the Board of Trustees based upon proposals submitted by the membership. The following is a list of past gatherings.

  • 1999 – Camp Gaia (Kansas City) KS
  • 2000 – Quincy (Boston), MA
  • 2001 – Coon Rapids, MN
  • 2002 – Syracuse, NY
  • 2003 – Coon Rapids, MN
  • 2004 – Clarksburg, WV
  • 2005 – Chittenango, NY
  • 2006 – Clarksburg, WV
  • 2007 – Shreveport, LA
  • 2008 – Letchworth State Park, NY
  • 2009 – Bangor, ME
  • 2010 – Cumming, GA
  • 2011 – Ham Lake, MN
  • 2012 – Cumming, GA
  • 2013 – Estes Park, CO
  • 2014 – Vestal (Binghamton), NY
  • 2015 (Proposed) – Decatur, GA
    (For information regarding any of the gatherings, please contact the Henge Office.)

       

 

Spoken Irish Project⁠

image of the Doegen logo
Doegen Records Web Project

Ireland – An archive of spoken Irish has just gone online. Called the Doegen Records Web Project, it consists of sound recordings made from 1928 to 1931. A total of 136 speakers from 17 counties recorded 400 stories, songs, prayers, charms and parables. The archive can be searched by title, speaker, county and keyword. Access is free. [Doegen Records Web Project] http://www.doegen.ie/

[Originally Published in Henge Happenings #101 -- Imbolc 2014 -- Page 6.]

Knitting is a Service Too

By Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor taken by Karl

Tony Taylor

I received an email from a long-time member asking what could she do for the Henge. Although she does not practice Keltrian Druidism, she loves the Druid way. She enthusiastically supports the Henge while celebrating with a local grove of another tradition.  She also has skills in many disciplines; she writes poetry and songs, shares her plant knowledge and lore with others, and gives psychic readings. Her degree in pastoral studies aids her in her daily work as do the Gods and Goddesses.  She also mentioned that she knits.  I went on-line and looked once again at examples of her knitting - impressive, beautiful work. Clearly, she is a very talented person and has much to share.

“Ah-ha,” I exclaimed aloud.

In Keltrian Druidism, we think of the Bard, Seer, and Druid as paths or areas of service rather than levels of accomplishment. That is to say, Keltrian Druids of all levels of accomplishment act as Bards, Seers, and Druids. Anything you do that honors the Ancestors, reveres the Spirits of Nature, or celebrates the Gods and Goddesses is a service to them.

For example, we celebrate Boann at the Feast of Flowing and at the Feast of Flowering.  Boann represents the woman cycle of life during which an individual takes care of self. We always need to be cared for like the Maiden, take care of others as a Mother, and take care of our community, which is the responsibility of the Crone. These are the four stages of care in our lives. Throughout all of our lives, we have times where we take care of ourselves; however, the other three phases of life are never excluded as we do so. In other words, the characteristics of all of the Gods and Goddesses are within you. They ebb and flow in their influence in your daily life. Similarly, you do things that fit the path of the Bard, the Seer, and the Druid every day.

The key to being a Keltrian Druid is service to the triad. Keltrian Druids, first and foremost, consciously honor the Ancestors, revere the Nature Spirits, and celebrate the Gods and Goddesses of the Irish Celtic pantheon. I encourage members to share their knowledge, skills, and abilities with the other members. Members can share through writing, song, photographs, workshops, pretty much any medium that will print.

In our knitter’s case, if she decided to knit a pouch for ritual use, she could write about the iconography she used. For example, if a Keltrian sigil, awen symbol, or maybe a cauldron representing The Dagda, were used she could describe why she chose that specific iconography. She could  explain the specific purpose for which the pouch is intended and the method used to consecrate and dedicate it for that purpose.  Photos of the pouch, possibly even in a simulated ritual setting, could accompany a potential submission for publication. (Note: Photos during actual rituals are not appropriate.)

Knitting as type of knot magic and is quite ancient.  Concentrating on the pouch’s use or the intended recipient while working on it creates an object of both beauty and power. Such a work is easily service to the Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and Gods as well as to the Henge.

Follow me on Twitter: @tonytaylor50 and @Keltria
Friend me on Facebook - Search for: Tony Taylor Keltria
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[Originally Published in Henge Happenings #100 - Samhain 2013]

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From the President – Samhain 2013

By Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor
Tony Taylor, Editor
Keltria Journal

[ Note: This is from Last Year's Henge Happenings, Issue 100, Samhain 2013.]

This, our 100th issue of Henge Happenings, marks twenty-five years of publishing the newsletter.  Over the years it as gone from a one-page, dot matrix printer letter to a replacement of Keltria Journal and on to it’s current form.  I hope you find Henge Happenings useful and informative.  I want to thank all of the contributors, officers, editors, and proof readers we have had over the many years.  It has been a great twenty-five years.

Wren and I were “Special Guests” at the 46th Annual Fall Gathering of the Tribes & International Leadership Conference, held September 5th - 8th, 2013 near LaFayette, GA. The event was sponsored by Celtic Church of Dynion Mwyn. Wren gave a workshop about ritual based upon the new “ritual” chapter which will be in the Book of Keltria. I gave a workshop regarding views of deity (theisms) which I have given before at other venues.  It is also covered in greater detail in the forthcoming Book of Keltria.

Publications

Speaking of which, the Book of Keltria is coming along nicely. The new theology and ritual chapters that replaced the previous correspondence course material is completed. The “Gods” is currently in a new rewrite to include more about myths and mythology as well as the Gods and Goddesses we celebrate.
I am working on a substantial rewrite of the Book of Ritual.  I am adding a lot of fresh detail plus additional notes for solitaries. I would like to have the new version available shortly after the Book of Keltria is available, however, I suspect it may not be ready until next spring.

Help Wanted

I am looking for individuals who will help with many of the Henge Projects. They include the following:

  • Keltria Listmaster (Admin.)
  • Keltria.org WordPress Administrator
  • Keltria.org Webmaster
  • Keltria.org Administrator (inc. eMail)
  • Keltria USPS Mailbox
  • Henge Happenings Editor
  • Henge Office Manager

I will work with anyone who volunteers to help them come  up to speed.  If you are interested, please contact me at tony_taylor@keltria.org.

-TT

[Positions lined through above have been filled.  Thank you new volunteers.]

 

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe

The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe: Goddesses, Sacred Women and the Origins of Western Culture

[Originally Published in Henge Happenings #99]

McFarland Publishing announced the release this fall/winter of Sharon Paice MacLeod’s new book, The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe. Sharon is a Henge member and Keltria Journal author.

According to the publisher,

This book is an exploration of the spiritual traditions of ancient Europe, focusing on the numinous presence of the divine feminine in Russia, Central Europe, France, Britain, Ireland and the northern regions. Drawing upon research in archaeology, history, sociology, anthropology and the study of religions to connect the reader with the myths and symbols of the European traditions, the book shows how the power of European goddesses and holy women evolved through the ages, adapting to climate change and social upheaval, but always reflecting the importance of living in an harmonious relationship with the environment and the spirit world. From the cave painting of southern France to ancient Irish tombs, from shamanic rituals to Arthurian legends, the divine feminine plays an essential role in under- standing where we have come from and where we are going. Comparative examples from other native cultures, and quotes from spiritual leaders around the world, set European religions in context with other indigenous cultures.

I am definitely looking forward to reading it. To order, see McFarland Publishing’s web site, http://www.mcfarlandpub.com or Amazon.Com to purchase.

- TT

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