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.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Authentic Mead

Drinking Mead among the Northern European Tribes

Because of my tribe's Bard who makes the most delicious mead that I've EVER tasted, I wanted to write about mead. Not only is it all through the stories drank by the Gods and the peoples, it has a past of magickal power. Lets explore further;

 Mead is not a beer nor is it a wine as both involve processes and ingredients not used in the making of it. Sadly, some mead makers, along with those who sell to liquors stores, use ingredients unneccesary and the taste is just not the same at all. Mead was an ancient drink that was much beloved by all Northern European tribes and the peoples of Europe. You don't need any of those and its shelf life is for years.  Liquor store mead IS not will not ever be the same, neither is the crap that some pagan groups make - fortified mead, or the other that tastes like turpentine lol!!

If we look at the history of wine it goes back 6,000 years, but mead goes way back. We can trace it to approximately between 20,000 to 40,0000 years to Africa by following the honey bee which has been around for at least 1,000,000 years. We know that nectar can experience spontaneous fermentation as a result of the action of wild yeast so who knows when the ancients discovered this.

Everything was magickal in these times and Bees discovered yeast a million years before we understood the many ways it could affect honey.  Man discovered this yeast in the old homes of the bees discarded in the dry seasons.  When the rains came, these places would combine the 3 ingredients together (water, yeast & honey) and lo and behold - Mead was born.  Is it really that 3 was a sacred number to the Celts and can you imagine what the ancients thought when they first tasted this nectar of the Gods and the 'magickal effects' took hold on their body and mind.

Eventually the nomadic peoples of Europe began making mead. Surprizingly Europe was the last to hold on to the tradition of mead drinking, the art only fading away some 500 years ago, where as other countries left it over 1500 years ago. The reason for this was wine became more of a Kingly drin as it was perfected. But, still today in Britain there are still monasteries that still produce mead. You notice it was Priest like occupations that kept the bees as ceremonial candles were important to have on hand and bees provided the wax for this purpose. During its time of popularity it was often available only to royalty who could afford to hire a druid or later the monestaries that had bee keepers kept this tradition.

In the stories it is Kings and Gods that partake in the merryment of mead but that is not to say the free people did not partake. There just wasn't anyone writing of those who did not strive to make a name for him or herself through their occupation and mazers (mead makers) are no exception. The best mazer, blacksmith and so on would be sought out for Royalty suppliers.

We've had no real commercialized industry for mead making since the 1800's but it is making a come back since the interest in the ancient religions of Europe has risen again. Now there is an actual organization that represents the global mead market, called the International Mead Association or IMA. I strongly suggest that mead makers check it out so that we can bring this industry back and you can possibly be acknowledged for your own unique concoctions.

Anyway, when you speak to our bards, they speak of not only the wonderful explotion of taste of each mead brings to your pallet, but also the hidden treasures within it and the process of making it. Whats even more greater about it is that the keeping of it is so easy. Its shelf life is of great length and sustainable for months that we know so far as most gets drank before 6 months is up so I cannot personally verify longer than this time frame. But once you've drank your first mead, I am positive that you will be hooked and will go wassailing. I invite you to come, if you live in Calgary to join in one of our mead tasting gatherings and sit round and listen to the entertaqinment planned by our clan. We welcome all.

Now lets talk about customs, celebrations and times when mead was used.  Mead had fantastic healing properties, once thought as myth but now these 'myths' are slowly being proven today as fact. They also believed that mead helped fertility.  Did you know where the word honeymoon comes from.  Yes mead. The couple would go for one full moon cycle drinking mead together after the rite of marriage, to make sure they would conceive.  

Contrary to popular belief, many modern pagan groups seem to think that May was popular for marriage, it was not.  In fact May was very unlucky if one were to actually read the stories. June is the month considered to be the luckiest and its moon is called the honey moon.  May marriages always end in disaster. Even in Queen Victoria's time, she believed it was a bad omen to marry in this month.  This myth  is repeated throughout Northern European culture from Norse to Ireland and in the Arthurian areas, where the Winter God always wins the spring Goddess away from the Summer God.

The Making of Mead

Mead was made of water and honey only. Today, this is called a Traditional mead and some persons call it a sack mead but Sack mead is sweeter than traditional using more honey. The practice of adding herbs to it only came about in the middle ages as far as I've found so far. Please remember in every article I write, more and more knowledge will surface as more texts are still being translated and as archeaology discovers more with DNA testing and so on. We do know that they did add fruit to it, as we can see this in Roman areas.
Now there are some that make a sparkling mead but this is not a mead, in my opinion. These are the others made today that are still traditional ;

Metheglin - with added spices
Melomel - made with fruitiness
Hippocras - spices and fruit

There is much more kinds being made today, and those you can research on your own if you get the passionate desire to make it. If you need help be sure to join our facebook group and start a discussion for mead and our Bards would be haopy to help you out!!! It actually seems fitting that our bards make the mead in our modern day tribe as Bards were sought after performers in ancient times who traveled from tribe to tribe or Royal to royal, entertaining people with song, story, music and dance in exchange for great hospitality. When a Bard arrived the people celebrated as the people could take a break from working and daily routines and enjoy the feast of the tribe. Mead of course would be plenty and enhance the experience of the mood a Bard could create. Our Bards still do the same thing and you are welcome to come!!.

You haven't lived until you try our Bards mead. So Got Mead? Happy Wassailling!! Drink up and enjoy mead!  Drink it in Tankards, goblets, horns or glasses.

Brahva Cwmevos

Copyright  August 2010

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