Saturday February 11th – Wales v England 4.50pm - Scoreline Prediction
Wales Grand Slam Scoreline Prediction Forum
Wales 26 - England 13
Americans are ignorant of much that is outside their own state or country. Their lack of geographical information (or anything non-American) is the stuff of legends. The vast majority of Americans can't even tell you the name of the capital of Canada. I blame the educational system. :-/
I wish I could answer your questions, but I am not an expert on such matters. I do know that each group or clan (whatever the smallest stable social unit was called) had a druid, and one of the jobs of that druid was to memorize the genealogy/ancestry of each person in the tribe/group, so that unions between 2 people who were closely related wouldn't happen. Since unions generally arose from two members of neighboring groups, the druids involved had to take these lineages into account as well. (No wonder it took 20 years to become a druid, because this wasn't their only job!) So I expect that neighboring groups, being variously related to each other, would naturally form larger clans/tribes. So I am looking at the situation from the bottom up, but here is a good overview from the top down: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_tribes#Great_Britain There were larger family groups, as can be seen on the maps. My Welsh ancestors were likely Silures, and I posted a story which mentions them in the Pagan and Druid Brothers and Sisters group here. (As an aside, there is recent genetic evidence showing that the Basque people of Iberia are more closely related to the Welsh and the Irish than they are to the French and the Spanish. This lends support to the Irish (alleged) mythology that the Celts came to Ireland from Spain.)
As for the origins of the Celts, I wrote this little bit once about the Goddess Danu for another site:
"Danu is the name of one of the great Goddesses in the ancient world She is a Hindu primordial goddess, where the word Danu describes the primeval waters which this deity embodies. In Celtic spirituality Danu is the mother goddess of the Tuatha De Danaan (the people, tribe or nation of Danu). The river Danube and at least three other European rivers (Dniestr, Dniepr and Don) were named by the Celts in her honor. All Celtic tribes honored Danu as well as other forms of the Goddess. The connection of Danu to the Hindus and the Celts speaks to their common ancestry.
"According to Irish legend, the Celts came to Ireland from Spain (this branch was called the Milesians, or sons of Mil). When the Celts landed on Ireland, the Tuatha kings feared that the Milesians were invaders, and killed their leader, sending the rest back to Spain. The Milesians returned to Ireland, and the Tuatha and the Milesians fought for control of the country, with the Celts being the eventual victors, in no small part due to the power of the Celt druid Amergin, who cast powerful lays (sung spells) to assist the avenging Celts."
Of course the first artifacts discovered by archeologists which represent a true Celtic culture came from Austria, and then from Switzerland, so technically, up to the time that the first signs of an established Celtic culture can be determined, these peoples are referred to as proto-Celts.
Finally, I live in an area which was primarily Yokut land, but much of my contact with the local natives from which I started becoming aware of the spiritual overlap was due to two sources: the local Mono people (related to Northern Paiute and Shoshone) and a Lakota elder.
In my researches, I found some stuff you might find of interest. I wrote a little booklet on the Celts, and this is part of it:
The Celts were not patriarchal. Robert Graves has traced their ogham script back to Anatolia, and relates the original Celtic people to the remains of the neolithic matriarchies of the Near East. Since ancient Anatolia (now Turkey) was once called Galatia, and branches of the Celts were called Galateans, or Gauls, this connection makes sense. [btw, the Galatians in Turkey were the first Celts to be Christianized, as evidenced by Paul's letter to them in the New Testament.]
The Roman historian Tacitus wrote of the Celts: "Their wives are to every man the most sacred witness to his bravery. Tradition says that wavering armies have been rallied by women... they believe that the sex has a certain prescience, and they do not despise their counsels nor make light of their opinions."
The Celts did not believe in capital punishment. Their tribal councils were attended and often presided over by women, and their inheritance of property and also kingship was matrilineal. Their male leaders were elected, and they had a reputation for democratic practices. As the Celts moved into new areas, they assimilated much of the native Neolithic culture. Ancient pre-Celtic influences survived liberally among Celticized people in Ireland, Wales, Brittany and the Basque country.
In Celtic law and custom, women were relatively free and powerful. They enjoyed greater economic, social, and sexual autonomy than women in modern day Britain, France or America. The early Celtic Christian church was suspect to the Roman Catholic orthodoxy precisely because it was pro-woman -- women celebrated mass. Women priests, called conhospitae, administered the sacramental wine while the male priests distributed the wafers. St. Patrick and Roman Christianity finally ended Druidic worship in Ireland, but the Irish church retained much of its pagan mysticism. Wales and Ireland, even in medieval times, preserved Celtic language, art, and literature, including the visionary ollave and bardic tradition of the Goddess with its sacred tree-alphabet.
The tuath (tribe) was the basic political unit in Ireland, owning the land communally. Cattle, not land, was the basis of wealth and the medium of exchange. Women also owned herds. The ruler of the tuath was commonly a man, but the queen was entitled to one-third of all war booty. There were many famous queen warriors, like the British Queen Boudicca in 61 BC. Powerful legendary women, like Queen Maeve of Connaught, were undoubtedly based on real people.
Celtic women owned their own property and were free to choose their mates, or husbands. In marriage, women didnt enter legally into the mans family, but retained independent status and property. Desiring divorce, the woman simply took back her belongings and dowry. Marriage was not a religious ceremony, and there was no concept of adultery. There were even annual marriages, entered into by both women and men, in which both parties agreed to be bonded for one year; at the end of each year the bond was mutually renewed, or abolished. Polyandry was practiced by some tribes; children belonged to the tuath. Legal contracts were made by the wife independently of her mate, and women were often the economic heads of families, with daughters inheriting equally with sons. Celtic heroes were named after their mothers -- and heroism was not confined to men. When upper-status Celts officially mated, she gave him a fine horse and a sword -- and he gave her a fine horse and a sword. The mutual exchange of nobility was the ceremonial band.
Fascinating. In my druid studies, I have had occasion to converse with some local First Nations people, and have found numerous similarities between druidry and Native American spirituality... which only makes sense, when one considers that most peoples who live close to the earth would come to understand a lot of the same principles.
I have to believe that the store security people got a bit of a tongue-lashing from the legal department.
Well, Rhian, by the looks of your map, someone didn't check with the weatherman, or somebody has it in for you. hehe Let's see: August on the eastern seaboard and the gulf coast will likely have you dealing with hot and humid weather... can you say muggy? How about double muggy? Congress isn't in session because they all want out of DC due to the abominable weather conditions. I was in DC in August once, and it was 100% humidity (raining) and 99 degrees F. That's a little over 37 degrees C. Then, after heading west from San Antonio to LA to Vegas, Salt Lake City, and back across Nevada, you won't have to worry much about humidity... there won't be any. But the temps can easily reach 105-110F (~40-43C). My advice? Reschedule your trip now... barring that, make sure you stay in the Bar Car, and make the bartender your best friend... maybe even offer to adopt him/her. From the Bay Area to the Pacific Northwest, you'll be happy. Good luck to you! (And I don't blame you for skipping Fresno... too hot to think here in the summer.)