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.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Celtic Nobility

The Celtic tribes was divided into different classes or castes of hierarchal nobility. Their society was quite complex but that is written about in my Tribal Structure and Laws article. I shall speak about these different levels but we'll exclude the Druid castes, which will have an article of their own but they would go in the nobility class.

Kings and Queens - the King although respected, did not rule as one would think today.  He had many geasa put on him, (rule restrictions). For the Celts it was not a matter of blood inheritance as it is today.  The King and/or Queen was elected by the tribe and ruled until he was wounded, old or scarred in any way.  At this time the tribe would vote again.  The candidates to choose from came from the most prominant (nobility) classes.  It would be someone the tribe believed showed excellent skills and was able to make hard or quick decisions.  Also they were chosen for their virility and charm.  Kings were usually picked from the elite warrior class.  If  a king had any flaw, missing parts (even a missing tooth), or was inadequate in bed, he was stripped of his title.  This was done because it was believed that the King was a representative of the the Sun which married the earth land and therefore responsible for good crops.  He had to be the epitome of the fertile and virility of the land, which was considered the Mother Goddess and usually represented by a Horse.   She was also in the sky and was called by many names, depending on the tribe but one name is Epona.  To the Greeks, this was Pegasus.  In Celtic mythology, the King was Sagittarius merged with her.  No other scholar has said so but in studying many cultures myself, this seems to be the case.  He was in charge taking care of her and defending her and thus he protects his people.  Possibly, with his bow in hand, he does so the arrow representing the suns rays (semen) penetrating her for growth.  Some famous rulers, in fact became one and the same as their sky Gods.

A "kingdom, was run like a large company.  Their were many lesser Kings, sometimes called Lords, who all ruled their own areas but followed the middle or main Kings rule.  Lesser Kings and Queens were called Lords Or Ladies, hence the titles we get in Northern European Traditional pagan groups.   These lesser Kings would rule the island or land of their area split into 12 to 5 areas.

A High King was a skilled warrior, chosen by the many tribes, who was only used to rally the clans together during times when they had a mutual cause or threat, therefore, this style of King, was not always put in down in history books unless he lasted through many battles or changed history in some way.  These only ruled during the time of the threat, and then the Tribes would go back to their own affairs.  In ancient times, in most cultures, these famous Kings & Queens were thought of as the living Gods in physical form.  Kings and Queens were considered part of the Noble class below.

Noble class or privileged classes -  These were considered the learned men.  There were many levels of this class, but those categorized in this class were men of knowledge.  These included Warriors, Druids, Vates, Bards and those with a unique talent or occupation was very much needed by the tribe.  Irish called the Vates, Ovates but there are also other names, depending on the area and tribe.  Hosts were also considered part of the noble class.  See occupations article. The Noble class liked to have their heads depicted on coins.  many were found from this period. 
We also must remember that each area of tribes had their own similar but slightly different set of laws which they lived by and these dictated the hierarchy as well.  Every hierarchy is different.  There are many books which tell us some of the areas and their ways.  lets look at this more closely;
In Munster, Ireland, for example, they had several ruling families (the lords).  These families were called Septs. Each of these belongs to one tribe.  Which means they all shared a common ancestor, and Munster's was Eoghanacht. In Ireland, First was the King, who oversaw the entire land with allegience of the lesser Lords who ruled over their own large territories, often known as the "Ard Tiarna" or Ard Ri in earlier times. Finally, there were the lords of lesser areas (Tiarna), who owed fuedal rent and allegience to the Ard Tiarna closest or sometimes to the King.  Below the Kings, were the Knights, some famous bands like the Fianna, Red Branch etc. are written about.  These were the mounted Warriors.  So the magic number 3 is there again, the Royals, the persons with land, and the warriors all had an honour of being this by birth, as usually one followed in their parents footsteps.

The French Celts (which were Anglo-Norman) there was only one King who had complete power over all subjects and did not share with lesser lords.  The Nobility here represented earthly power of military might and they allowed actual power over all physical possessions and control of territory.
For some famous British tribal nobles names from early periods, I found a well written blog.  Just push on the link here.

Freeman or Craftsman Class,

Two classes at the very bottom; The Non-Free - servants and; the criminals. 

Also included in nobility are the three types of Druids, the Druid, the Bard and the Ovate.  It is not clear but it seems that each of these were divided by three as well.

Bard (British) - In Ireland they are called the Fili and the top, like the King, is called the Ard Fili.  This role was taken by one who was versed in all three areas of Bardic training in their schools.  All Bards were at different levels, but the Ollamh (kind of like a professor degree) was what you were called once you finished after 6 - 7 yrs.., and decided on your specialty  The first type is the poet-musician and story teller.  A very powerful type. The second type of Bard was called the Seanacha, in Ireland and these were the Historians and geneaologists. Their top of course is called the Ard Seanacha.  And the third type were the ones going on to Druid level called the Brehons. They were judges, who would hear grievances and arbitrate disputes.  Kings and Queens did not have any more privilege as to the judgements given to them as would any commoner or freeman, but the Druid classes were.  They are all above the King and/or Queen, especially in terms of hospitality and treatment.  Every law in specific detail about hospitality.  No one could harm one, even on the battle field.  In Ireland, these occupations did not every carry a weapon and were always peacemakers.  The Bards were the ones mostly on the battle field as they had to record what went down and give credit where credit was do and insult as well.

More to come....keep checking back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Book to come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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