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  • Welsh Paganism

    Ive recently become very close with my bloodlines and found out Im more than half Welsh, so Ive been trying to know as much about the country as possible, and I was very interested to know that about every country in the Celtic Nations had their own version of Paganism. Of course though, at least most of the information from their lives as pagans and their beliefs was destroyed during the christianization of Europe. But Im also aware some people still know a lot of about it. So, for those of you who are actually going to respond correctly, I'd like to know everything I can about Welsh Paganism, gods, beliefs, ect. Thanks!

  • #2
    I'd say your best bet is to look into Welsh mythology. Remember, however, that these manuscripts were recorded during the Medieval period and so were likely not written by pagans themselves. I'd start with the Mabinogion. There's also a lot of information out there on Welsh deities, or at least modern interpretations of them.

    That's all I've got I'm afraid, I'm sure someone else could be more helpful in terms of actual practice. I imagine as with many other Celtic cultures, most of what you'll find is recorded by Roman sources and might not be exactly reliable. Folklore and mythology is a good place to look for clues.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I looked around and found that book earlier. Thats about the only thing I can find that relates directly to Welsh Paganism.

      Originally posted by Aruinn View Post
      I'd say your best bet is to look into Welsh mythology. Remember, however, that these manuscripts were recorded during the Medieval period and so were likely not written by pagans themselves. I'd start with the Mabinogion. There's also a lot of information out there on Welsh deities, or at least modern interpretations of them.

      That's all I've got I'm afraid, I'm sure someone else could be more helpful in terms of actual practice. I imagine as with many other Celtic cultures, most of what you'll find is recorded by Roman sources and might not be exactly reliable. Folklore and mythology is a good place to look for clues.

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      • #4
        Don't give up though, I'm sure there are people here who know much more about it than I do and can give you some good info. Just wanted to give you a place to start.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Angladd View Post
          Ive recently become very close with my bloodlines and found out Im more than half Welsh, so Ive been trying to know as much about the country as possible, and I was very interested to know that about every country in the Celtic Nations had their own version of Paganism. Of course though, at least most of the information from their lives as pagans and their beliefs was destroyed during the christianization of Europe. But Im also aware some people still know a lot of about it. So, for those of you who are actually going to respond correctly, I'd like to know everything I can about Welsh Paganism, gods, beliefs, ect. Thanks!
          Not necessarily "destroyed", more along the lines of "taken over". Folk practices that date back before Christianity are still in practice to this day in some areas.

          As for the rest of your question, here's my advice;
          1) Here's a website that gives you links to a few other sites in regards to specific groups, organizations, and traditions.
          2) Before delving into ANY of these, learn some about Welsh history AND culture...AND continue to learn about them while you're starting out upon your Pagan Path. IMHO, it's necessary to understand the land and it's history for something like this. For one not to know about the land and history, you can't get a true sense and feel for the traditions.
          3) Yes, read the tales in the Mabinogion.
          4) The Arthurian Tales are just as much a part of Wales as Taliesin or Branwen. Take a look at some of Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight's works in regards to Arthurian/Welsh practices, I think you'll find them interesting.
          5) Although it's been fairly proven that he made up/cobbled together a lot of things, read The Barddas by Iolo Morganwyg. Sure, the man had flaws, but his work spawned the Welsh Gorsedd.
          "Cattle die, kinsmen die, one day you yourself must die.

          I know one thing that never dies:
          the dead man's reputation."


          Havamal- Sayings of the High One

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          • #6
            You might also want to check out the Celtic Myth Podcast, its free on itunes (and I think they have a website somewhere) they cover welsh and other Celtic mythology in the way it was intended to be, orally. I have always had trouble connecting to Celtic mythology because it reads so horribly... It is pre-literate after all. However, when heard it makes sense, and is actually not as horrible to listen too... There are still moments of disinterest, but these pass quickly to the flow of the myths/stories.
            Look into modern Druidism and similar via the OBAD.
            Avoid, like the plague, anything by McCoy, not because she is a bad author, but because she doesnt have the nuance to parse out the difference between Welsh and Cornish practices... Ya, the big book of celtic deities is a nice starting place, but dont let it be the ending.
            Mind timelines, every mythology and practice changes over time. What you might consider Welsh may have only been particular for one part of Wales at one point in time and subsequently been enveloped by something larger.
            What am I reading? I don't know yet, you haven't asked a question! Open for readings, but just for fun.

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            • #7
              Very good advice from Myrddyn Emrys.

              It is also is a question of where you want to float in terms of reconstructionism, because quite a lot of modern "Celtic" Paganism references Welsh practices, OBOD and Ellen Hopman's group fr'instance. Learn to recognize the different form of Gaelic, and you can see the Welsh influence readily.
              *I am a mystic and work through Imbas rather than re-constructive archeology. Lore, history, and research are vital tools and permit us to validate and amplify communications we recieve. Disagreement and referencing of materials are also welcome benchmarks. What I say is not the 'Truth' but only my perception/opinion/belief and I am happy to give the same consideration to everyone else's point of view.*

              http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

              "everyone [is] entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Stephen Colbert

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              • #8
                Originally posted by skilly-nilly View Post
                Very good advice from Myrddyn Emrys.

                Learn to recognize the different form of Gaelic, and you can see the Welsh influence readily.
                It's generally the other way around but the traditions (Welsh and Irish) do have things in common.

                Searles O'Dubhain

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                • #9
                  You might find these sites useful, Angladd:

                  http://www.dunbrython.org/
                  http://caerfeddwyd.proboards.com/

                  Searching for 'Brythonic Paganism' might get you better results; it's the language of the pre-Christian people of what's now Wales and England spoke, which later evolved into Welsh, Cornish, Breton and Cumbric (Pictish might also be related).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by odubhain View Post
                    It's generally the other way around but the traditions (Welsh and Irish) do have things in common.

                    Searles O'Dubhain
                    While I understand every individual word here the whole does not convey meaning..... some verrrrry esoteric joke about Merlin and Welsh?
                    *I am a mystic and work through Imbas rather than re-constructive archeology. Lore, history, and research are vital tools and permit us to validate and amplify communications we recieve. Disagreement and referencing of materials are also welcome benchmarks. What I say is not the 'Truth' but only my perception/opinion/belief and I am happy to give the same consideration to everyone else's point of view.*

                    http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

                    "everyone [is] entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." Stephen Colbert

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by skilly-nilly View Post
                      While I understand every individual word here the whole does not convey meaning..... some verrrrry esoteric joke about Merlin and Welsh?
                      There's no joke in it at all. I plainly stated that Irish mythology and traditions influenced Welsh mythology and traditions more than the reverse occurring. I attribute this to the fact that Irish raiders once occuppied parts of Wales during the time of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Evidence of this influence can be found in the Welsh tales and their major mythical families. Some mention of this idea can be found in another discussion forum where the influence of both cultures on the Lord of the Rings is discussed: http://www.mythicalireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=18.

                      There was a lot of back and forth exchange of cultural ideas and concepts between Wales and Ireland in the first millenia so it will be a great debate and investigation to see who influenced whom. Here's a few links to kick things off:

                      http://clasmerdin.blogspot.com/2011/...val-welsh.html

                      John Koch's Celtic Encyclopedia

                      http://www.volny.cz/enelen/baud/baud1916c.htm


                      Searles O'Dubhain
                      Last edited by odubhain; August 5th, 2011, 10:25 AM. Reason: Added Links; corrected typo

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                      • #12
                        Hellooooooooooo Welsh. Friend. Welsh friend.

                        Sorry, I get overly excited--my grandmother is from Wales. I'm interested in this as well, and there's a really great book I've started reading (my grandma has had this on her shelf since before I was born, and I recently bought my own copy to read): "A History of Wales" by John Davies.

                        I also own: "The Welsh Fairy Book" by W. Jenkyn Thomas, "Welsh Herbal Medicine" by David Hoffmann, and "Wales: Myths and Legends" compiled by Beryl Beare. Hope this helps, and let me know if you come across anything in your exploration.
                        "Be evil--you smile more."

                        --Brady, our beloved GM, during a WoD session.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Angladd View Post
                          I'd like to know everything I can about Welsh Paganism, gods, beliefs, ect. Thanks!
                          are you still here? still looking?

                          ~ Mairwen

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