Monday, February 26, 2007
Tiobraidarana... A Fountain of Perception, Enligtenment
Anois osclaím an doras. Anois téim i mbéal an dorais. Anois dúnaim an doras i mo dhiaidh.
(Now I open the Door. Now I enter the Doorway. Now I close the Door behind me.)
There are a few, humble but bold people around the world attempting to recreate and preserve the noble ways of their Gaelic ancestors. This is not 'historical reconstruction' or role-playing, but a genuine attempt to maintain a tradition which goes back over 2000 years. I have recently been trying to define the modern trend of reaching back in time to define a native spiritual path for the present, particularly amongst individuals of Celtic origin, but the best I can do for now is to allow them their own voice and present their efforts:
Mothú Treibhe - A Sense of Tribe
With the defeat of the Irish forces at the battle of Ceann tSáile in 1601, the outcome of the Elizabethan conquest of Ireland was assured. This was a major turning point in Irish history and in the following centuries, the old aristocratic order disappeared and without the leadership and protection of the old clan system our lands were confiscated. The English, in order to enforce strict rule upon the Irish, carried out a policy of forcing all of Ireland to abandon its traditional language, customs and law, replacing them with those from England. With the defeat of the old order, the social and political pillars which upheld and maintained our traditional culture crumbled and the effects of this cultural upheaval are still apparent in Irish society today. Thankfully, however, this brutal policy of cultural repression did not have the desired effect.
So what is Craobh Chrua all about? Well, in a word "Culture". We're trying give the 'clan' a modern expression by bringing together people who have a sense of personal responsibility towards the welfare of our cultural heritage and to encourage this sense of responsibility among others. If Irish people resign their traditions and their heritage to the past, they will be the poorer for it. Our traditions have survived all attempts to put them down and will continue to do so as long as there are people who work for the well-being of the tradition. Culture outlives generations.
Although Craobh Chrua is still in it's youth, we have high hopes, plenty of ideas and I personally intend to make this my lifes work.
Stiofán Ó Broin, Craobh Chrua.
Tuatha is a small group of dedicated seekers located at the foot of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We have been active a little over two years now and welcome anyone interested to join us. We seek to become more and more a "tuatha". "Tuatha" (pronounced 'TOO-uh') is a Gaelic word that means "people, land". Tuatha, to us, means "the people and the Land are one". We celebrate the turning of the year and the changing of the Land by celebrating the Four Celtic Festivals. We long to learn more and more about the Celtic spirit, the Land of Colorado, each other, and ourselves.
We look to the Celts of the past (and the present) for inspiration in how to live, work, love, and prosper, in our lives today. We call on many Gods and Goddesses to help us in anyway they wish. Our goals are lofty. We hope to live and die without regret.
For many of us, the act of listening to the deeds of the Cuchulainn, or the tragic death of Dierdre, is more stirring to the blood and spirit than can be expressed. We study Irish Gaelic, Celtic forms of folkdance, Celtic star lore, wilderness survival, martial arts, meditation, parenting, public speaking, herbalism, prayer, storytelling, Celtic music, and a thousand other things besides. We welcome those who wish to help preserve the Celtic spirit, and be a part of a Tribe in the truest sense of the word.
We believe the Land of Colorado is sacred. We love her rivers, lakes, wildlife, people, mountains, trees, waterfalls, and stones. Getting to know Colorado is a large part of our spiritual life. What is the spirit of a Ponderosa like? What wisdom and stories does the spirit of Mount Shavano hold? How do we learn from Colorado and Her spirit tribe? These are the questions that enflame and enliven our souls:
The Butterfly Tradition:
The Butterfly Tradition of Druidry was created on Samhain 1990 by three college students: Saymion Odinson, Sean Clark, and myself. Our purpose, at the time, was to venture on to the path of neo-druidry and explore different Pagan and Occult traditions.
Our focus was on neo-druidry taken from Irish lore and tradition. We embraced the Tuatha de Dannan, each in our own way, and ran off into the woods to frolick and play in the shadows there. As modern-day druids we revere all of nature and our hearts yearn for the emerald shores of Erin. But above all we love our local environment. Idaho is full of sacred spaces and over the life of Butterfly we have found hundreds of places that hold special meaning to us. In particular we have made a special connection to Caribou Natl. Forest, She has given us much so we honor her when we can and try our best to heal her with our hands.
The first rule set forth for the Butterfly Tradition was that it would eventually, upon gaining over a dozen initiates, be released. We agreed to start out on our own at that point and engage the world as solitaries or as members or founders of other Traditions. It is the whole idea of the Butterfly: change. Kind of a forced metamorphosis planned from the start. Well, here we are, 16 years later, and near enough to our limit that Butterfly is evolving and changing on its own. Half of our number lives in the State of Oregon, while the other half reside here in Idaho. We still practice most holidays together but each of us has begun to walk differing paths over the years. We will always be Butterfly Druids but we will also flutter off to cause our own set of chaotic events and as a result become something new.
My greatest hurdle of all has been the death of my brother, Saymion last year. He died of a heart attack at the age of 33, leaving behind his beloved son, Noah, and a group of druids and druidesses that miss him dearly. Saymion and I, together with Sean Clark, started this tradition together. In fact we were together at its inception...
One day we sat in the woods in the early days of January. The snow was over a foot deep and we had hiked a mile into the trees off the road. It was hovering around 5 degrees that morning and it had been below zero for a week. We sat in silence and began a meditation only to see a tiny moving object in the trees. Nothing else stirred in that coldm but we watched as a small butterfly fluttered towards us. All of the insects were dead or sleeping by this point so we were surprised to see its aproach. It flew up to us and fluttered about our heads, making three complete circuits around us, before it flew away into the trees. In a world of white silence, it was a wondrous gift to meet this colorful spirit that day. So we called the dream The Butterfly Tradition.
In the ancient times the butterfly was a symbol of the soul... that life energy of a loved one, flying away to the Otherworld. It is silent yet it sings with color and merriment. I dedicate this site to my best friend and brother, Saymion, and to all the butterflies in the group who have flown up to me over many, many cold winters since we began. I love you all.
Pàganachd Allaidh is Gaelic for Wild Paganism and is our own path of Celtic Reconstructionism, not a generic term. This is an involved path, which will be described with out a lot of detail further down the page, and we only recognize those who have actually trained with us as being Pàganach Allaidh. We are willing to share some of our ideas.
Rath De ort (The grace of God be with you)...
Posted by David John Drew at 10:21 AM