Do You Feel It?

The earth is waking up again. The sun feels warmer, the days are getting longer. The snow is beginning to melt away and the world feels like it is humming, getting energized. The winter has been long and may feel everlasting, but surely change is in the air.

The Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere takes place today, March 19, at 11:49 p.m. EST. Thus, Spring will arrive. If you are like me and are living in a colder climate of North America, it may not seem very…”spring-ish” outside. The temperatures are still low and more snow is sure to fall in the coming weeks. However, the forces of nature are at work, bringing us closer to the powerful energy of samos! Watch for the arrival of migratory animals, glimpses of newly greening grass through melted snow, and buds on the trees. It is truly an exciting time of year, full of metamorphosis.

I will be celebrating the arrival of the Spring Equinox beginning at sundown today and through until sundown tomorrow. I plan to light some candles in the evening, meditate, and encourage our waking sun through its journey. The following day, I plan to paint some eggs, symbolizing the impending fertility of nature. Some I may choose to paint with symbols of the goals I wish to come to life this year. I will bury these eggs in the earth so that she may help them grow. I may also do some “spring cleaning”, and decorating of my apartment to reflect and attract a more bright environment.

Do you observe the Spring Equinox? What do you call it in your religion, belief system, or community? What do you do to celebrate? Tell me in the comments below!

-Tara Ashleigh

Celtic Reconstructionism: What is it?

What is Celtic Reconstructionism? Celtic Reconstructionism can refer to a pagan or christian way of spiritualism. My personal path is Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism, and thus will be the main focus of this blog. Simply, it is a movement which aims to preserve ancient Celtic traditions and practices in the modern world through a historic lens. When talking about the ancient Celts, however, things are never quite that simple. I will try my best to give a brief overview, granted I am still learning more and more everyday!

To understand Celtic Reconstructionism, we must first know who the Celts were. The Celts are believed to have originated in central Europe and are known to have spread across Western Europe. Evidence of the Celtic culture evolving dates back to as early as 1200 B.C., with the earliest writings being documented to the 7th or 8th century B.C. The Celts were comprised of several groups with shared languages, beliefs, cultures, and traditions. The impact of these peoples and their cultures is still seen predominantly through Ireland and Great Britain.

The Celtic language is part of the Indo-European language family, and is separated into two groups: Insular Celtic and Continental Celtic. Use of Continental Celtic declined after the Roman Invasions in Celtic regions and are no longer in use today. Insular Celtic is divided further into two groups: Brittonic and Goidelic. Brittonic consists of Breton, Cornish, and Welsh. Goidelic consists of Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx. There are many revival efforts to keep the use of the Goidelic language branch alive. Being apart of the revival of one or more of these languages is often seen as a key component of Celtic Reconstructionism, as it brings oneself closer to the ancient Celts and ensures the survival and continuation of the culture.

The heart of Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism is of course the beliefs and traditions of the Ancient Celts. This is where things get a bit tricky. Due to the effects of having a largely spoken history, a (biased) written history created largely by the Romans, as well as the eventual decline (read: eradication) of the culture we are left with a history that is sparse and up to many interpretations. As Celtic Reconstructionists, we try our best to study the history, archaeology, and surviving traditions of ancient Celtic culture to piece together our best understanding of their beliefs. It is such a fascinating topic and I really could write on and on forever, but will force myself to stop for today. We will have many days to discuss and learn from now on. What we know about the Celts, their traditions, culture, beliefs, and language will all be explored in this blog.

I am very excited to share my path with you. I Welcome You Under the Holly Tree.

Further Reading: