Maps and Clans
Welcome to the Maps and Clans page: on this page you will find a map of the homeland, which you may print out and use, or you can make one yourself. Mine is very rudimentary but I find it good enough. Some creative people make maps of surpassing beauty, with great detail and color and if you are capable of this it makes a great heirloom for the family.
There are eight Islands which are explored in the section marked Islands. Each is presented with a sample meditation and exploration. As you become stronger in your journeying, you will find your own themes upon which to meditate. Til then enjoy and find useful those presented here.
Also on this page you will find the Archetypes, a list of the archytpes found in the Homeland. Most are forest dwellers although several archetypes are also found o the sacred isles. These are by no means the only dwellers in the Homeland, but it will help you greatly to familiarise yourself with them, and to set out on your journeys to meet them. Again you will eventually meet all manner of Otherworldly dwellers, but these are the ones to practise on.
Also you can see many charesterisics of these figures in your self and in others, and we will go through several in a lifetime. Try to identify yourself and others with the Archetypes, and see what this tells you about where you are in you life.
I have also included a little glossary and list of the Deities whose names tend to pop up in these pages. This is no substitute for extensive reading of the Myths and Sagas of celtic Ireland (or wales if you are so inclined) The Seanchas Mor, The Leabhair Brannach and the Ulster Cycle are extremely good places to start.
|Map of the Homeland: why not make your own?||Glossary The following words and names crop up time and again,|
The Farmer.....No-one has quite the same relationship with the land as the Farmer, whoose rythms of living are controlled almost entirely by it. The Farmer protects the land, and takes from the land, a proud and selfsufficient figure, epitomising stabitlity and respectability. Continuity and security are his virtues/ complacency & provincialism are his shortcomings.
The Hunter....The Hunter is at one with the animals and the forest, although he can also be encountered on the plains. He lives his life by the rythms of the animal life, their habits and migrations determine his day. His virtues are flexibility, adventure and a profound understanding of the burdens of life and death: his shortcomings are lack of stability, and secrecy.
The Weaver....Weaving was the gift of the Gods, the skill needed to clothe and adorn, the one thing marking even primitive man from his neighbours being his clothes. The ability to weave turned one product into another almost magically: thus the weaver is more than a little magical, and unlike the hunter and farmer who tap into th natural magic around them, he creates it, an art, and therefore can be seen as a prototype witch. The Blacksmith is likewise one such creator of magic. Weavers are spiritual, creative, mystical, very wise and welldisposed to help travellers: they can be very withdrawn rely heavily on themselves and refuse help,even if they need it.
The Peddler, sometimes called The Tinker.....A peddler travels, a living connection between each settlement, attuned to a larger rythm of life, connected to the landscape because they travel over it so often. Sometimes untrustworthy but always merry, the Pedler teaches us Life lessons, sometimes by leading us astray and sometimes by confounding our expectations and showing their natural dignity and honour. They have their own code, just as the warriors and hunters do, and they represent secret societies, mysterious interventions, the hidden life that throbs behind the facade of mundanity.
The Healer....The healer is often but not exclusively female: if male is usually older, gentle and literate. The Healer is attuned to the animal life, rather than the land, but can sense any disturbances in the land, and can heal it if it is troubled. The healer represents also spiritual and emotional wellbeing; virtues include patience, compassion, love and understanding and shortcomings include shortsightedness, rooted in the present, a desire to "fix" people and situations.
The Warrior...The Warrior is fierce, courageous, brave and honourable, living outside the mainstream and upholding society from without. The Fianna of Irish Legend were "outlaws" but at the same time greatly honoured; a warrior therefore often has to work outside the rules other people take for granted, taking greater risks. They uphold the law but often circumvent it; because of this they have to have faith in and adhere strictly to their own codes of honour. They kill/die so others can have quality of life. They are often able to observe things within a society that others miss, because of their unique standpoint. However, remember that no successful society can be ruled by warriors, rather the king/queen must be able to command their loyalty and obedience/
The Chieftain...The Chieftain is often mstaken for a warrior, because at first glance he seems to have many characteristics e.g. fierce demeanor and pride. However the Chief is a more complex entity again. He is Warlike, and Peaceful: Sternly Judge and COmpassionately pardon. He represents many things, including: Authority, Stability, Justice, Power, Inheritance, and War/Peace.
The Mother...This most universal symbol can be either purely mortal, a representative of earthly woman in her aspect of Mother, or more a divine event, e.g. Mother Earth herself, or the fertility Goddesses, or the classic Madonna and Child(surprisingly often encountered by even utterly pagan travellers, leading me personally to suspect this to be an image long part of our psyches, before Christ (of course, that's merely an opinion!:)) In Ireland of course there is an added dimension, because of the Fosterage system. Tealte (Tailtu, Teltu) is the Foster Mother of Lugh, and his devotion to her was equal to any natural child's. This image can speak volumes to us about our place in the world, our commitments, our needs, security, unconditional love and the ability to love beyond ourselves, unselfishly, as in the case of the foster mother.
The Bard.....Music is part of the Irish cultural landscape int he same way that the colour "green" is part of its physical landscape. It is an allpervading force and one which we utilise to the full; rythm, chanting songs, music, all these tools are used to give power and force to our spells, and cooking is often done to crooning, to give magic to the food. The Bard can weave three main spells with music: he can put to sleep, move to love or entrance with a special song. He is an enabler: because of him the court is merry, thoughtful or sad: he sings in praise or in condemnation, makes or breaks reputation. While music in even its most primitave form can be an effectual tool, the Bard represents the highest application of that art, the refined power that mastery brings.
The Filí........The Filí are the poets proper who not only compse but remember stores of poetry, lines of heritage and achievement. They represent continuity, inheritance, posterity. They also like the bard can make or break reputations, condemn or praise, and most of all can foretell the future; the greatest poets are seers; they represent divination and destiny:
The Brehon.....The Judge or Brehon is one of the great Archetypes. He embodies the Law; he is above the king and more powerful than any other authority. The Law is both protection, and Justice but also something to be feared. The Brehon can be both a sign of great good, but also a warning that payment is due, or payback imminent for any one of our actions. Whichever the meaning it is only important to pay attention and to examine our actions - only neglecting his vision will lead to trouble; recieving a visioin of him in itself is always a good thing, it means you are moving in your life, making progress....only the moribund have no spiritual debts to pay!
The Woodsman... Like the Hunter, the Woodsman belongs in the Forest, but unlike the hunter he is the protector of the forest intself, and concerned with the plantrather than the animal life of the forest
Druid: Wide ranging assumptions are made about Druidic religion and status, but the historical empirical and literary evidence leads most scholars of repute to believe that Druids are a class of intellegentsia, not unlike the Brahman class of India, under which one might find the following professions. Bard (poet musician) Fili (poet) Ovate(diviner) Brehon (judge). Each of these professions involved a great deal of prestige and responsibilty and all were attributed with supernatural prowess to a greater or lesser degree.
The image of Druids that one sees today among neo-pagan groups is largely based on a romanticised ideal which started in France and gained massive popularity in niineteenth century England. Neo-pagan groups such as OBAD have evolved a system of mysticism and instruction which while worthy enough in themselves are based on these misconceptions. Be wary of anyone giving definative and indepth representations of druidic philosophy/religion there is no way they can be anything but reconstructionist and all too often, unlikely to be overly concerned with the cold historical fact!
Cailleach: pro. kai-yack A Cailleach is a Hag, or Old Woman, and has a very particular meaning in Irish folklore and Culture. The Cailleach is the wise woman, who lives on the mountain, overlooks the ordinary lpeople below, takes care of the dark primal areas of existance so that they can live happy undisturbed lives. She is a stern grandmother, but a wise one, a powerful friend and a devastating enemy. Early tales tell of her striding across the landscape dropping rocks from her apron to make the landscape. She oversees the births and deaths, she challenges authority and bestows sovreignity . The most famous Cailleach is found in Beara pro beera or bare-a, on the Cork-Kerry border in South-western Ireland: the Cailleach Beara. Others include the Cailleach Duibhneach and Cailleach Laisneach. The Cailleach is not the Crone of wicca, nor does she take her place in any maiden/mother/crone trilogy. She is in herself many things, and yet one; a cailleach is also capable of appearing young and beautiful, or as a Fury, or as herself, even as a Hare or deer.
Clann: pro Clon means Family. both immediate family and the extended family "tribe".
Tuatha de Danaan pro two-a-ha day dan-on or tooha day dan-in The People of Danaan. The later celtic societies encoded their history in a group of sagas, including the Book of Invasions, in which they recount a tale of five invasions, a folk memory of different cultural and societal changes*. In this they decribe how the good People of Danaan, the godlike race that inhabited Ireland prior to the celts. These tuatha are in fact the gods of the celts, they retreat to the hollow hills of ireland and the mysterious isles and interact only occasionally with mortal man. The celts, originating from the mouth of the Danube river, were devoted to Danu, their main mother goddess, and thought it fitting that Ireland should be the home of her children, the Danaan. Also, this history established a sense of legitimacy for the celts, and celtic culture as people who were entitled to settle in Ireland, as related to and nearly concerned with the Gods of the place.
*in fact, prior to the celts were the Neolithic settlers, who built Newgrange: it used to be thought that celts arrived in great numbers and became the precominant race. In fact it now seems likely that a sizeable but hardly overwhelming contingent of celts settled and their culture and new technology were embraced by the original Neolithic settlers. If this is so, the celt's Tuatha De Danaan stpries show an appreciation for the people so ancient whose amazing structures dominated the landscape and who's descendents intermarried with the new celts.
Cailleach, see above in glossary.
Morrigan.......The Morrigan gets a special place of honour in my family's pantheon. She is our Mother and Sister. She is three in one, incorporating the three fury like aspects of war. In fact she is one of the few legitimate examples of a three in one goddess, and it is very interesting to note that it is not in the sense of "Mother Maiden Crone": She is the Washer at the Ford, seen washing the bloody armour of soldiers about to die in battle: to see her meant you were about to fall. She gives unflinchingly but takes unmercifully. More than any other goddess she personifies the sacred balance of Life itself; she is a representative of fertility and a goddess of sovreignity but also of destruction and death. Her emblem is the Raven, and this is the emblem of my Clann.
Danu: see Tuatha de Danaan above. Danu is the goddess of the celts, the mother figure fomr whom all other gods spring. The river Danube is named after her as are many european placenames.
Dagda......Dagda, the consort of Danu and Father of the gods.
Boann pro bow-on (rhymes with dough-on).......Boann is one of the chief dieties associated with Newgrange tomb site in Co Meath, eastern Ireland. The river Boyne on which it is built is named for her, Sacred white Cow being one translation given for her name. She almost certainly predates celtic Ireland, and the celts themselves had several myths explaining her origin. She is a tremendously important deity of the land.
Cliona: pro clee-ona. CLiona resides in the Ninth Wave of ever Set, she is a dughter of the sea gods and is an instrinsic part of the mystery and wonder of the Sea. She is heavily associated with the Sacred journeys, mystical dreams, soul journeys, Imrama, imbas.
Mannanan Mac Lir: The great Sea God, who rides across the sea on his chariot and whose consort is Fand (lover of Fionn Mac Cumhaill). Manannan is the power and strength of the sea, its power to nurture and feed and its danger and storminess. He is the guardian of the Homeland, and the symbol of Male virility and power; in a very feminine environment of the sea/water.
Maeb: In many of the sagas Maeve is presented as a warrior queen rather than a Goddess but even her name, Maeve (maebh, Maeb, mab) has survived as queen of the faeries in england and queen of the otherworld ni Ireland. Maeve rules Connaught, western Ireland and is a goddess of sovreignity, and of war, a ruler first and foremost and a provocation to the Men around her, from her own warriors to Cú Chulainn.
Fionn Mac Cumhaill: the Legendary Warrior, whose Fianna, a band of warriors, were the Samurai of celtic Ireland, and hero of the sagas. His story is told from his glorious youth, his profile within the Fianna, his early loves and adventures, right through to his rather bitter old age, spurned by his young fiancé Grainne who ran off with Diarmuid his protegé. He is the arch-warrior & leader, used to exemplify or warn against many of the virtues and dangers of a warrior's life.
Cú Chulainn: born Setanta, trained as a warrior by the Druidess Scealtach of Scotland (at a time when Scotland was firmly under Irish rule! the word scot is the Roman term for Irish...indeed all of scotland's history was initially controlled by Clanns in Ulster.(Northern Ireland)) Cú Chulainn was the fierce warrior of Ulster -named the hound, or Cú, of Chulainn because of an incident in his youth. He fought against Maeve in the savage wars between Connaught and Ulster, an almost indefatigueable killing machine. He was closely associated with the Morrigan who would look after her favourite warrior if he obeyed her but punish him if he stepped out of line. His death has become synonomous in Modern Ireland with an honorable death, as he lashed himself, dying, to a tree inorder that he would die standing upright, not crumpled on the ground, and he fought on until his last breath.
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