Welcome to Everything you want to know about The Celts

Hello there! We are a modern day Northern European Style tribe called Maers Khohias. We are of both Norse and Celtic decent here. Come sit. Warm yourself by our fire!! We want you to feel at home as we share some of our Celtic tribe's hospitality. Come. Join in our sitting circle, round the central cauldron and have something to eat, in our Celtic round house. Once fed, sit back, relax, read and listen to some of our stories. Here you will find great information, taking you back in time to meet the ancestors.

If you have the opportunity to come in person to Crawford Bay, BC and take in our courses taught at our school, you'll hear more information, on the Celts and the Vikings, not shared here, as well as live music. We'd love to hear your stories too!!

In no time, you'll be dancing, sharing some good mead or ale and adding to the rooms boasts and toasts.
We Northern European Celts and Vikings are waiting for you.

Having and event? We offer lots of props to choose from as well as great musicians and entertainers. This will be the icing for your Celtic or Viking medieval style event. Need some costumes or warrior gear? We shall help you there too. ... Or Maybe you are the studious type and want to study Celtic ritual, dance, music and beliefs, or have a you have a gift. If so you might want to take a course from our Druid/Bard schools. See here.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tall Celtic Walking sticks or Staffs

A walking stick is a device used by many people throughout history to Dark Ages times and perhaps further.  To the Celts, it was of prime importance. In ancient times, they were used as a weapon to defend against threat or in offense. Some were even are made to conceal some sort of blade, like a sword or knife. Swords, once an important Celtic symbol, fell out of use because of the newly developed weapons that could reach further distances, like guns and cannons. Swords, once a Celtic symbol of status and wealth, became less and less used and the next best thing that to replace them was a Celtic Walking stick. In fact, they became so popular that everyone strove to purchase one to add to their wardrobe accessories. In addition to its value as a decorative accessory, it fulfilled some of the function of the sword as a weapon. Many types of wood were used to make them but in more ancient times, the wood chosen was of great importance!
The wood along with the Celtic symbol design, on the walking stick, depicted the person and who he/she was. For example, some have a compass in the handle for the astronomer or seamen, and others may be devoted to a country past time such as fishing, golfing, breeding animals, merchants, farmers, Chieftains or riding. Of course the Chieftains, high ranking warriors, would have elaborately decorated walking sticks. Most likely they were buried with them.  Many are adorned with items that match a persons personality or mood. They can also reflect the season or a person's individual power animal or family crest or totem. Later on they still reflected the profession, like the English Bobby!
Walking sticks, or Staves, were also used by religious men, like the Druids, to show their position originally. The type of wood, the Celts used for wand or staff showed how high a rank the Druid was - 6 yrs of school for Vate, 12 for a Bard and 18 for Druid and some 20 years. Later the stick was adopted by the Christian faith and bishops, archimandrites and Abbots used them. They even adopted some of the colors, though over the years this was dropped. The religious leaders carried a darker wood and the walking sticks were straight not curved like a candy cane. They used silver as a grip at the top and a metal cap at the tip. The walking stick used by the leading man like the Arch Druid or Christian headmen was of plain wood, and had absolutely no decorations on it. The walking stick was given only in Initiations of both Druidism and Bishop rites at the beginning of their service. No one else had the right to carry it until such time one of the same rank you were going in to gave it. Any wand or item given for that particular sect and service was returned when you were finished that service, or passed on to the new person taking over.  As you can see, walking sticks vary in both size and shape. The artwork and sometimes even the beauty of the wood alone, have lead to the popular hobby of collecting them! Celtic ones are still elaborately carved with Celtic symbols, woodburned Celtic symbols, painted or plain. Some would show the hereditary badges or totem of the tribe or clan!
Walking sticks can be used to trek through rugged terrain, used to reach hard places or to clear away the wilderness foliage make a walkable path and avoid injury. They are great to use or leverage in gaining momentum to climb steeper hills, or to break a fall, or go slower going downhill. They are a must, in my opinion to bring on any outdoor adventure, as they can save a life when it comes to crossing a body of water or avoiding falling in a hole and test the ground or ice.
When purchasing one from an online store, it is good to put on a hand strap when you get it home. Most walking sticks craftsmen will drill this hole, and add a leather tie, for you at no extra charge or very minimal. You will want this if you are going anywhere so it can go around your wrist and you will not lose it in an accident. Also as a handle on the bigger ones called Staves, some may have a special grip where you place your hand for greater comfort. As a general rule of thumb, buy a walking stick staff of 3" shorter than you are. The larger and stronger the man, the larger and stronger the stick.
What are Nordic walking sticks? This term is used when telling you that there are two sticks, like ski poles. You'll want at least two kinds of walking sticks, one for cold climates, such as winter in Canada, and one for warmer weather. A winter walking stick will have a, a metallic cleat attached to the bottom in lieu of the rubber tip. Some are made so that the bottom converts into two styles, so you don't ruin indoor floors. These come in a set! They are winter walking sticks. The Norse people lived in a rugged world, and sometimes the weather was nasty. These Nordic walking sticks are all the rave in Europe today! They are becoming more popular in US and Canada as the world is reawakening to become more conscious of their health. Buying a walking stick and pedometer, and putting them by the door, will remind you that you need to finish your 10,000 steps per day. Walking with two walking sticks in the correct length radically reduces the stress to the knees, hips and back.
The collecting of walking sticks is a great hobby to take up for those searching for something to collect. Their value will never decrease and they are many types - ancient, modern, and hidden compartment ones like - hidden swords, hidden pool cues, hidden liquids (these are called tipplers!)," or compartments to hide precious stones, smokes, or matches for the survival campfire, and money. No matter what the reason, walking sticks are an investment that can't go wrong! All walking sticks are a great conversational piece as well as some having absolutely stunning - carved, painted or wood burned, designs! If you are big on the hidden sword canes, make sure it is legal in your country! Still today, people spend hundreds, even thousands, of dollars for them, as they are and most likely always will be, a hot collectible!

Brahva Cwmevos
Copyright 2009

Celtic Jewelry

Celtic Jewelry today is making a huge come back. Maybe because people are awakening to a whole new outlook on life, and society is changing as we head towards the new Aquarius age! Celtic Jewelry was highly prized by both men and women alike. Each piece told a story of who that person was, their status and their tribe's wealth. Today, people are finding the same thing and are identifying who they are through nature and symbols. Celtic jewelry is very unique in this way. No other jewelry has such deep meaning and beauty!
In ancient days, we know that bronze, silver and gold were all used by Celtic craftsmen and we've found Celtic jewelry dating from 2000 BC to around 550 AD. Celtic symbols were definitely the focus of the piece and most likely individualized to the person it was being made for. Today, the makers of Celtic jewelry are keeping to this tradition, making these pieces highly coveted once more.
So what kind of Celtic jewelry was made in ancient times? In fact, the Celtic jewelry found has been rings, bracelets, pendants, rings, hair pin decoration and brooches were found right across the Mediterranean so we know that the business of trade was successful for the lucky tribes who had a blacksmith.
The ancient Celts saw fire, which was used to make Celtic Jewelry, as a means that had transformative properties which would be the highest form of spiritual communication. On Celtic statues and art forms all around, they incorporated the design of three flames or sunrays on the faces of their deities, and on pictures of their clansmen and women. Great for woad design! These flames were drawn as three lines going up and outwards, fanning out on the forehead with the base of the three lines meeting at the bridge of the nose. Modern Druids are using this sign and it is called Arwen. Arwen is a Celtic concept of balance bringing together three things - the physical, knowledge & inspiration, and the spiritual. This might be something you'd like for the Celtic jewelry for your modern day clan.
The ancient Celts also honored the earth as their mother Goddess. They believed that when a kinsman/woman passed on, they had to be buried in a womb like cave facing west so that they would be reborn in the Celtic otherworld or Underworld. Some British and Welsh tribes call it the Isle of Avalon. But all Celts believed the afterlife continued on an isle across the sea. If someone you know has gone through a tough time, an earth symbol on their Celtic jewelry would be a great symbol to be reborn into a new phase!
Celtic jewelry also had creatures or animals. Totem animals were the earliest form of Gods. Gods changed into land areas where these animals came from, like the Salmon became a river Goddess and later, when males became more dominate, river Gods. When they were Christianized from 400's to 1700's CE, in more remote areas, these Gods became mythical beings like wizards, sorceresses, fairies, leprechauns and heroes. The air Gods became Sylphs. These come in the form of butterflies, after a loved one dies or when they wish to communicate something other than comfort they appear as sparkly, whirly, zoomy, flashy things written about in a few cultures legends. They were in the skies or air and only a few people can see them. Some say people who become more aware of their bodies, like a pregnant women, can experience this phenomenon. And others believe that these are actually butterflies. A symbol of the butterfly in Celtic jewelry is for those who are cocooning into a new phase of life, who are intuitive or needs strength for something.
Celtic knots, swirls, are a distinct style of Celtic artwork in Celtic jewelry, although truthfully there is no known actual symbolism that we know of. It doesn't matter though, as a few symbols have shed light on what they mean by studying other cultures. We know myths changed as society changed so we can take the myths of old and make them our own. After all, each tribe developed their own unique stories so we can too!
You can read more about Celtic symbolism on each piece of Celtic jewelry you look at and find the perfect piece for your friend or loved one both male or female!

by Laurie-Lee Mills
Celts and Vikings Mythology Shop selling renowned Celtic Jewelry in Canada

Copyright Notice:
The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to use this material to distribute for non-commercial educational purposes provided the copyright notice is and my permission notice are preserved on all copies.
Celtic Jewelry - Copyright Laurie Lee Mills December  26, 2009.  Cannot be used without permission from Author.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Celtic Masks

Celtic Masks & other Tribal masks:  From the beginning of recorded history, masks have been worn for many reason and by all ancient cultures. The ancient Celtic and Viking peoples used tribal masks as a powerful mediator between the worlds, to frighten away spirits who might be angry, or to represent a Nature spirit - God.  I do know that the Vikings used masks and helmets to scare their enemy.

            Even the origins of scary Halloween masks go back to the old Celtic festival of Samhuinn (Scottish spelling).   These Celtic masks were used to blend in with the dead who were believed to be able to cross over during this time of year because this is the time when the Ovates would do their rituals to help the recently deceased cross over, hence the veil was thinnest.  Some of these spirits might have held a grudge or were kind of scary so they would use turnips (pumpkins in North America) and Celtic masks to frighten them away from themselves and their homes. One theory is that the people wore these costumes and Celtic masks to mimic the evil spirits and gain their goodwill and not damage crops or their things.

Owning and Storing a mask:  When using a Celtic tribal mask in ritual, always remember that the Celtic mask should never be taken lightly.   If you are going to learn to use a Celtic mask, you must remember to revere it as a sacred object.  Wrap it in a sacred cloth and store it in a respected place.  When the Celtic mask is used a lot, it will become a living being with its own power.  By putting his own self inside and allowing his body to be shared by the spirit the animal mask represents, the Shaman becomes that spirit.  Celtic and Viking masks and often their form and function were passed down through clans, families, or from individual to individual. When a new owner receives the gift, it is usually spiritually reactivated or aesthetically restored by polishing, repainting and redecorating, without destroying the basic form and symbolism. In many instances, however, the mask is used only for one ceremony or occasion and then is discarded or destroyed, sometimes by burning.

Types of Celtic Masks:  Animal head masks and skins were common feature of the Celtic rituals performed.  I will research Vikings on this as well soon.  They were made from various materials from wood, shells, gems, horn, bones, clay, stone, feathers, animal skins, fur, paper, cloth and plants.

Using the Celtic Mask for Ritual:  Before you start doing this make sure you have kept it honored and sacred.  The Celtic mask even when it was being made has started to manifest into spirit as to the will of the maker.  The wearer will be in direct contact with that spirit force.  Don't dabble!  The wearer must learn everything about it as he will be exposed to potential personal danger and become affected by the mask.  Possessed if you will.
Both the Celtic mask maker and the wearer protect themselves by following mandatory protocol.  Although the wearer is aware that he is performing a role, he does it in cooperation with the mask's guidance.   In other words without the specific posturing and dance and music the mask would not gain any life force.

If you try on a Celtic mask at home, you know you feel braver out in public or feel like you want to take on the character the mask portrays right!  This is kind of the same thing only more intense.  You will know that you've performed correctly when you are donning the mask and you undergo a psychic change and  get into a trance that assumes the spirit of the mask. The wearer seems to becomes psychologically attached and loses his own identity, without his own will.  Those watching, depending on the character of the masquerade mask, get wrapped up and dance for joy or quietly watch and feel the fright or emotion the mask and music brings to them.

Collecting Celtic Tribal masks:  is only been a recent hobby of the late 20th century.  Most Celtic or tribal masks have been obtained through archaeological excavations or in field expeditions, that is, in their place of origin.

by Laurie-Lee Mills
owner of Celts and Vikings Mythology Shop selling renowned Celtic Masks by Brahva (Laurie Lee's Artists Brandname) in Canada

Copyright Notice:
The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to use this material to distribute for non-commercial educational purposes provided the following is done.  A copyright notice is in place, along with this permission notice, and both are preserved on all copies of "Celtic Masks - Copyright Laurie Lee Mills November 2, 2009."  A note to me and link to my Celts and Vikings Mythology Shop shall be listed with your article as well.  Thanks and enjoy!!.