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Celtic Triune Thought

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

It often comes as a shock to a lot of people when they hear about the old Celtic Tripartite Cosmology. What we now tend to call Neo-Druidry has become somewhat removed from the old thinking of the Celts.

When we look into the studies of Celtic Reconstructionists we come across a lot of the cultural and religious aspects being depicted in threes, whereas Neo-Druids are more inclined toward the Four Quarters and Four Elements, to varying degrees depending on the person and group. Some Groves have gone so far into the Neo- thinking that it tends to resemble Wicca more than a Celtic construction.

Apart from the Bardic Triads, we find threes in everything. There are three Realms of Land, Sea and Sky, and this tends to reflect throughout the system. When creating a Sacred Space these Realms are worked with in the form of Portals that are evoked in the symbolic form of Sacred Tree, Sacred Well and Sacred Fire. This means that if a person creates Sacred Space in the form of a Circle (although the Celts were more inclined to make their entire house or enclosure sacred), he or she would not call the Four Quarters or focus on the cardinal points at all. Sacred Fire is opened in the south-east, Sacred Well in the south-west and the Portal of Sacred Tree in the north which is also considered by the Northern Traditions to be the Gate of Yggdrasil.

In Amergin's poem, The Cauldron of Poesy, the three Realms are alluded to as Cauldrons within the body of a person. These Cauldrons are energy centres found in the pelvic area or Will Centre, the chest or Heart Centre and the forehead or Brow Centre. This in itself speaks of the body being the microcosm which is a depiction of the macrocosm or Cosmos itself. As in so many cultures and religions we therefore have the idea of the body being directly connected to the Cosmos, and what is the Cosmos? Everything and No-Thing, and so we are the Cosmos and therefore Everything and No-Thing ourselves. We are connected, everything to everything else, and although we are all One, we are also individuals, which is like a good marriage with two people moving forward in unison but also retaining their individuality. This theme of the body being the Cosmos of all things, the Cauldron that stands on the three legs of Land, Sea and Sky can be found throughout the Bardic poems and songs, especially in the work of Taliesin.

And what is three times three? Nine, the amount of elements, or duile found in Celtic Spirituality. Nine elements that are of the body such as bone, skin, hair, etc. with each having a Cosmic representation such as rock, earth, trees.

It's even suspected that the Celts only recognized three seasons, those being Winter, Spring and Summer with Autumn considered as part of Winter. So think in threes and you will think like a Celt.



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