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.

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[Originally Published in Henge Happenings #100 - Samhain 2013]

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HH-99 – From the President – Lughnasadh 2013

From the President

 Lughnasadh 2013

By Tony Taylor

Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe and Annual Meeting

Photo of Tony Taylor with deer staff

Tony Taylor

Wren and I have been busy with our many projects. Certainly the 2013 Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe and Annual Meeting of the Henge of Keltria was at the top of our list.  Every gather is great, but this year was among the best.  I hope we will have the gathering hosted there again sometime.

I enjoyed the field trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park, as well as workshops by Topaz Owl, Eibhlean Owl, and Steward of the Wood. It was really nice to meet our OBOD guests and a newer member from California who drove over 1000 miles to the gathering. She easily earned bragging rights for driving the longest distance to attend. There were many opportunities to connect with the nature spirits. Marmots, pikas, elk, magpies, and humming birds visited us throughout the field trip.

Book of Keltria

The big project Wren, Karl, and I are working on is the new Book of Keltria, which is our correspondence course in book form. There are new theology and ritual chapters replacing the previous versions of the correspondence course material. Also the Gods chapter has undergone substantial rewrite. A big change in the theology chapter is that the “beliefs” have been replaced with “hallmarks” of Keltrian Druidism. The fundamental difference between the beliefs and the hallmarks is that within Keltrian Druidism, what you believe is not as important as what you do. Hallmarks are based upon actions rather than words.

Book of Ritual

Another big project underway is a substantial rewrite of the Book of Ritual.  There are many things that were not covered adequately in  previous versions of the Book of Ritual. I hope to get this information incorporated and a new edition released soon after the Book of Keltria. This expanded edition will provide details on the how, what, and why of Keltrian ritual.

 

From the President – Beltaine 2013 (Public Version)

By Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor with deer staff

Tony Taylor

Amazon Affiliate Program

Thank-you to all who make purchases through Amazon.com using the Henge as a referral.  Your support is greatly appreciated.

For those who don’t know about the Amazon Affiliate program, the Henge earns up to 4% on your purchases. There is no additional cost to you and you can buy anything sold on Amazon.  It is easy and it benefits the Henge.

To use the program, go to the Henge of Keltria Recommended Reading page.  Add this webpage to your favorites and use it regularly.  Once there, just click on the “Powered by Amazon.com” logo on the upper left and away you go.

Alternately, go directly to Amazon using our tag and add that address to your favorites or bookmarks. Either way, you access Amazon quickly, easily and support the Henge of Keltria and Keltrian Druidism.

Druidic Donations Requested

Chaplain Bradley at the Madison (Florida) Correction Institution requests Druid reading materials for inmates at his facility.  If you have something to donate, please send them to:

James L. Bradley, Senior Chaplain
Madison Correctional Institution
382 SW MCI Way
Madison, FL 32340

or you may contact Chaplain Bradley directly for more information at via email at bradley.james@mail.dc.state.fl.us or via telephone: (850) 973-5506.


For the members version of this posting please see the Members Page.

The Members Edition contains information on:

  • The Gathering of the Keltrian Tribe
  • Henge of Keltria Elections
  • Keltria: Journal of Druidism and Celtic Magick
    • “In the House of No Stories: Finding the tales of my ancestors” by Jenne Micale
    • “Sat-Navs and Seanchchaís: Finding your way through stories and landscapes” by Isolde Carmody and Chris Thompson
    • “Storytelling: Life Viewed Through a Mythic Lens” by Daphne Bishop
    • “Storyteller, Mythology and the 21st Centur” by Mary Gavan
    • “Cattle Raids” by Caillean ap Gwynedd

    Print copies of Keltria Journal Issue #42 are available via MagCloud.

  • Photo Art
  • Keltria Website Access
  • Board of Trustees Actions News
  • and Other Projects

 

 

 

Ancestors

From the President

Ancestors

by Tony Taylor

Photo of Tony Taylor with deer staff

Tony Taylor

Wren, GreyBoar, BeanSidhe, and I recently hosted a booth at a small Pagan gathering near Atlanta promoting The Henge of Keltria. It was an excellent opportunity to network with people I seldom see and meet new folks. We all enjoyed sharing how and why Keltrian Druids celebrate the Triads and the wheel of the year with people from a variety of paths.

While conversing with a young Druid of a different tradition about Ancestors, Wren brought up the subject of genealogy as a tool for knowing one’s ancestors better and how it enriches that part of the Triad. He seemed a little surprised at first, his previous experiences with people using this area of study was usually someone attempting to prove lineage to royalty or a relative of renown. For him, like many, the concept of “ancestors” was rather nebulous and shrouded in the mists of time along with the Gods and Nature Spirits.  Several of us joined in the conversation explaining why genealogy is an important tool in our spirituality.

One of the three foundations of Keltrian Druidism is to “honor the Ancestors.” For many Keltrians, “Ancestors” include those who helped us form an understanding of our spiritual selves, those who impacted us directly, and those who are genetically related to us.  The first two are easy for us to remember and honor because they affected us during our lifetime; we remember them.  Those who died before us, whose impact upon us is indirect, but still important, are much more difficult to honor because we really don’t know them.

We use the tools of genealogy to learn and understand more about those ancestors we have never met.  Through that understanding comes the ability to honor them.  Learning and understand their lives, their aspirations, and their challenges may be the key to understanding yourself and your values.  For example, neither my 2nd great-grandfather, his siblings, nor his wife could read or write.  All of his children attended school and received an education, even though the school was over 5 miles distant and a difficult walk during the rough Minnesota winters. I believe that my belief in the importance of an education came from him.  This genealogical history provides material for me to honor him. Not only do I know his name, but also I know many things that were of importance to him.

Our knowledge of our ancestors provides the context for us to honor them. Without my 2nd great-grandfather’s name, without knowledge of his experiences, without knowing some of his values, I would not be able to honor him.  Genealogy, from the Keltrian perspective, is not about learning of a royal bloodline or finding lost cousins. It is about the having the knowledge of our Ancestors making it possible to honor them better.