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 30, 2011

Norse Priests

Norse Priest Names & Role -     In the Norse Tradition the Priests acted pretty similar to their Celtic brethren.  They were called the Gothar which is plural for Gothi (male) or Gythia (female). The word Gothar means "those who speak the Godly tongue". The Gothar would meet annually.  There are many accounts of 36 districts of Icelandic Gothar getting together to settle disputes, hand out justice to lawbreakers and discuss issues.
     The Norse Priests chosen had to be honourable folk in their daily lives, almost as wise as the all father. They also had to be strong, loving, confidant and ruthless or fearless warriors. For a Norse Priest, their strength was compared to Thor and the love to Freya. The Gothar led the blots. For both Celt & Norse this role was not taken lightly & could not be self-titled without years of training.  

The Norse High Priest was call a Alsherjargod.  Gyðja was the word used for the female priestess.

The Norse priesthood never took on the famous roles of the Celtic Druids. This was because their Norse shamanistic tradition was maintained by all women, called Volvas. The Kings seemed to have instead evolved out of a priesthood style office, like the Celts who had Kings as the head of a smaller  group of families in the kingdoms (for this social structure, that is parallel to the Celtic structure.  The Kings were like Norse Priest Chieftains.

The Norse priests also had sacrificial burials where slaves and wives as well as weapons and riches and animals would be killed with the King.  There is an account where a woman slave volunteered to joined the corpse of a man on the funeral pyre so she would become the man's wife in the next world, an obvious increase in her status.

Most of the existing records on Norse mythology date from the 11th to 18th century and are no less tainted by Christianity then the Celtic myths.  In fact even the religious worship of the Blot, resembles that of the Celts.

Dress of the Norse Priests -Just as the Male Celtic leaders & Priests dressed as women, so too did the Norse Priests when they took over from the women.  This sacred knowledge was formerly a property of only women, thus they dressed this way as to be accepted by the nature spirits and/or Gods.  Many wore womens clothes for the rites.  In fact a two-spirited person in many ancient cultures was sacred.  Even Tacticus writes that among the Germanic tribes, the Norse Priests at the sunrise and sinset rituals dressed as women in honour of the heavenly twins which they called Haddingjar.   

As to jewelry, We know Mjölnir pendants were worn by Norse pagans  in 9th and 10th centuries from the hoards found.  How far back is unknown to me at this time.  Heck, even Thor, their thunder god, when he received his magic hammer, was only filled with power after he put on the garments of the Goddess Freya and pretended to be a bride.

There an ancient sacred Norse Priest feast spoken about called “Feast of Wantonness” (Hubritska) , where the tribe joined and the men became women by wearing women’s dresses and veils, temporarily assuming feminine powers in violation of a specific taboo.

Of course then  the power hungry man made religion of Christianity condemned the practice as devil-worship, because of its fear of strong women and its oppressive techniques to keep man in power in the new religion.  They wanted all persons to forget the implication that spirituality could only be felt by using feminine sides even if it was simple sexual connection through masquerade.

Here is a poem about a Norse Priest from a medieval Norse version written about 1225 by Snorri Sturluson;  

Thangbrand the Priest

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

SHORT of stature, large of limb,
Burly face and russet beard,
All the women stared at him,
When in Iceland he appeared.
"Look!" they said,
With nodding head,
"There goes Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest." All the prayers he knew by rote,
He could preach like Chrysostome,
From the Fathers he could quote,
He had even been at Rome.
A learned clerk,
A man of mark,
Was this Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
He was quarrelsome and loud,
And impatient of control,
Boisterous in the market crowd,
Boisterous at the wassail-bowl,
Would drink and swear,
Swaggering Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
In his house this malcontent
Could the King no longer bear,
So to Iceland he was sent
To convert the heathen there,
And away
One summer day
Sailed this Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
There in Iceland, o'er their books
Pored the people day and night,
But he did not like their looks,
Nor the songs they used to write.
All this rhyme
Is waste of time! "
Grumbled Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
To the alehouse, where he sat,
Came the Scalds and Saga men;
Is it to be wondered at,
That they quarrelled now and then,
When o'er his beer
Began to leer
Drunken Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest?
All the folk in Altafiord
Boasted of their island grand;
Saying in a single word,
"Iceland is the finest land
That the sun
Doth shine upon!"
Loud laughed Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
And he answered: "What's the use
Of this bragging up and down,
When three women and one goose
Make a market in your town! "
Every Scald
Satires scrawled
On poor Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.
Something worse they did than that!
And what vexed him most of all
Was a figure in shovel hat,
Drawn in charcoal on the wall;
With words that go
Sprawling below,
"This is Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest."
Hardly knowing what he did,
Then he smote them might and main,
Thorvald Veile and Veterlid
Lay there in the alehouse slain.
"To-day we are gold,
To-morrow mould!"
Muttered Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest
Much in fear of axe and rope,
Back to Norway sailed he then.
"O, King Olaf! little hope
Is there of these Iceland men!"
Meekly said,
With bending head,
Pious Thangbrand, Olaf's Priest.

Brahva Cwmevos
Copyright August 30, 2011

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