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, February 15, 2011

MODERN DAY GroundHog Day - February 2nd
While I am here in Saskatoon, I thought I would share the celebrations and practices. of each month I am here.  In February some tribes celebrate a sacred holiday called "Imbolc" or "Imbolg" or "Oimelc" depending which area of Northern Europe your tribe was in. To our Norse, Swedish and other Scandinavian ancestors it was called "Oimelc" and later "Feast of Torches". Later the Christians changed the holiday to "Candlemas" or the "Feast of Mary" and today it is called Groundhog day.
Imbolc is a festival celebrated by our ancient ancestors around February 2nd , and most new age pagans don't know why.  It really is because the Planet Venus is seen in the sky and she marked the halfway point between winter and spring. Venus was the original and famous Virgin Goddess of many cultures around the world. In the Celtic culture, she was seen as Brigid in Ireland (Christianized in the stories to St. Brigid). The British Celts called her Brigantia, the Scots called her Bridghe or Bride. The virgin bride. Mary mother of Christ later.
Today, Groundhog Day is a lighthearted day depicting the use of ancient weather divination in a humorous way which is followed both by the U.S. and Canada. But to the ancients, it was an important event because the success of agricultural crops and breeding or animal husbandry was essential to their survival. This would tell them when the growing season portion of the year would begin, thus when to start the seeds indoors and when the seeds outside would again begin to stir. The Ground Hog were used as they were more numerous in Northern but German farmers watched a hedgehog's shadow to predict the weather, other areas watched badgers, in the areas of snakes, like Scotland, some tribes watched snake holes.
So Oimelc was a day of great celebration, after the shut-in life of winter, and was celebrated with a festival of lights, representing small suns, and fertility (of the earth), marked with huge blazes and torches, also representing warmth of the sun and fertility or sexual desire chaste under the blanket of snow.
The word Imbolc means "In the belly" referring to the pregnant ewes. Oimelc means "ewes milk".

Gaelic folklore & Traditions

You would see a ladies wearing a crown of candles, weather divination, purification rituals such as cleaning house for spring, throwing out old thoughts to make room for new ideas and learning, and honouring the sun whose light was coming back to the people. This was the time for "Starting new things", which is another reason why I thought the signs pointed in the direction of moving to Saskatoon now was the best idea. 

Ewes milk and seed dishes were eaten like sesame breads, grains, bannock (yes this is Celtic not just Native American). Lots of fires lit in family hearths, holy wells visited for healing, and Smith-craft started.
A Scottish Gaelic proverb about the day is:
Thig an nathair as an toll
Là donn Brìde,
Ged robh trì troighean dhen t-sneachd
Air leac an làir.

"The serpent will come from the hole
On the brown Day of Bride,
Though there should be three feet of snow
On the flat surface of the ground."
Imbolc is the day the hag Goddess tries to hide the virgin 'daughter' and she gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter.   A repeating Celtic theme is a Winter God dueling with a Summer God, always trying to steal away the Spring Goddess.   In some parts of Europe we instead find the hag who intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. The weather prediction therefore stemmed from if Imbolc was a day of foul weather, as it means the Hag was still asleep and winter is almost over  so everyone breathed a sigh of relief.  It was NOT a good sign if it was a nice day.   One of these areas where it was the hag in play was on the Isle of Man.  There the hag could come in the form of a giant bird carrying sticks in her beak.

Girls and young, unmarried, women of the villages create a corn dolly to represent the virgin Goddess, each adorning theirs with ribbons, various baubles, shells or stones. They also make a bed for the 'Bride' to lie in. They then gather together in one house and have supper without the men or other villages stay up all night with the doll, and are later visited by all the young men of the community who must ask permission to enter the home, and then treat them and the corn dolly with respect.

The head of the household is the only one who can smother the fire and rake the ashes smooth, in tribal days this would be the Chieftain. They lay their strips of cloth or healing objects out by these ashes and in the morning, see if any mark was left on the ashes, a sign that Brigid had blessed the objects with the power of healing to use for the year. The girls then carry the "Bride" through the streets, from house to house, where the doll was welcomed with great honor of coins and snacks.

Brahva Cwmevos
February 15th, 2011

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