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23 April 2006 @ 04:22 pm
The CR FAQ Questions  
The CR FAQ is nearing completion. Below are is a list of the sections with cut tags to the questions in the sections. We hope that by presenting all the questions at once, people will have a clearer understanding of the contents of the FAQ as it stands. The questions with the current answers will be posted in groups, section by section, in the near future. If you don't see a question in one section, look in another. We think we've covered most of the bases and divided them in a logical manner. Feedback is welcome and encouraged.

1. So What is Celtic Reconstructionism (CR)?

What is Celtic Reconstructionism (CR)?

What do you mean by "Celtic"?

What do you mean by "Reconstruction"?

Is it a new or old tradition?

How and when did CR start?

Who's the leader of CR?

How do I join CR?

How can you recreate a culture that's dead?

Is this a religion, or a culture?

So, everyone in this community calls themselves Celtic Reconstructionists?

2. Practical and Methodology

2.1 Basic Questions

Don't you have to be Irish/Scots/Welsh to be a Celtic Reconstructionist?

How can you be Celtic without being immersed in the culture?

Do you have a Celtic holy book like the Bible? If there's no central text, how do you know what to believe?

If they didn't write anything down, how do you know what they believed?

How do you pick which authors to believe?

Is there a certain era that you focus on reconstructing? Why, and what defines that era?

Do I have to live in the country to be a CR?

Do you work in groups or are you solitary?

What do you call your groups?

Do CRs have a distinction between clergy and laypeople?

Are CRs autonomous or is there some sort of governing body?

How do you determine who your spiritual elders are when you don't always have an ordered hierarchy?

Are there any CR organizations? Websites? Books?

What do CRs eat?

2.2 Intermediate Questions

What is the Celtic lore, and where can I find it?

Do you have to speak a Celtic language (gaelic/Irish/etc.) to be CR? How important is language? Are you all fluent in a Celtic language?

What's the difference between a warrior path and a poet's path? Are there other options within CR?

Can women be warriors too?

What is this UPG thing I keep hearing about?

How much UPG is acceptable in CR? How do you know?

In regards to relating to a deity, how much should one be in concordance with the myths? With history?

How do you decide what aspects of Celtic culture to keep and what to discard?

Do you borrow from other cultures to "fill in the gaps?"

Is it Samhain, Samhuinn or Samain? Why all these different spellings?

This all sounds like a lot of work. Why would anyone want to work that hard when they could just join an established religion?

2.3 Misconceptions

Why are you racist?

What makes your ancestors any better than my ancestors?

That's not how my (insert family member here) taught me to honor (insert figure of choice here)!

Do you use the Celtic Tree Calendar and Celtic Astrology?

Aren't there oghams in America too?

What about the Four Treasures and Four Cities, don't they go in the cardinal directions?

Don't you all just read books and argue rather than practice real spirituality?

So, you're like Eclectic NeoPagans or something like that?

I hear this is a religion, not a culture.

I hear you're just a political movement.

Aren't you Pan-Celtic?

Isn't everyone who incorporates some degree of Celtic Research CR?

How can any of you claim to have started CR?

I want to call myself CR and you can't stop me.

Now that I'm a Celt, shall I pick a tartan for my group to wear?

Do you guys paint yourselves with woad?

Why would anyone want to try to bring back the Iron Age?

How can you practice a religion and still claim to believe in science?

Who can initiate me into your super-duper secret tradition handed down from the early mists of time? You are the "hidden children of the Goddess," right?

I've heard that you are mean to people who have questions. Why is that?

Why do CRs hate Wicca and Wiccans?

3. Theology

Do you worship The Goddess?

Which gods do you worship?

So you worship all the Celtic Deities?

So should I just pick a Matron or Patron from a list of Deities and swear oaths to Them?

I want to do a ritual, which Deity should I use?

What about this ancestor reverence and land spirit stuff?

So where do the fairies and sídhe fit into this?

What do you think happens when you die?

What do you mean when you say that it's not a dualistic religion?

You talk a lot about the role of the Outsiders. What do you mean by that?

4. Ritual

How do you create sacred space?

What holidays do you celebrate? Don't you do the eightfold wheel of the year?

What kinds of rituals do you have?

Do you have to be a priest or a priestess to do a ritual?

What do you do for Samhain?

What do you do for Imbolc?

What do you do for Bealtaine?

What do you do for Lúnasa?

You talk a lot about these "practices", but can you describe them in more detail?

Offerings seem to be a really important part of all those rituals. How do I make offerings?

5. Ethics

What is the ethical basis of CR?

Do you sacrifice animals? If so, why?

The Celts were headhunters and performed human sacrifices. Why would anyone want to go back to that?

You say CR is "pro-queer", but is this traditional?

Do you do magic? If so, what kind and why?

6. About Druids and Druidry

Are you a Druid?

Aren't all Druids men?

Since the Druids didn't write anything down, how do you know what you believe is accurate, and isn't just guessing?

Weren't the Druids the Celtic Shamans?

Did the Celts really call their priests "Druids"?

Do you separate people into Bards, Ovates and Druids?

Can you be a Druid even if you are not Irish/Welsh/etc.?

Aren't Druids sun worshippers, like Wiccans are moon worshippers?

A lady druid is a "dryad", right?

7. How are you different from Wicca, Celtic Shamanism, etc?

Are you guys like the SCA?

So you're a Satanist?

So you're Wiccan?

If there's no Rede you must not have any ethics.

So you worship the Triple Goddess, the Maiden/Mother/Crone?

So you don't worship the Lord and Lady?

So you think God is a woman then? Isn't that what all that mumbo jumbo feminist witchcraft crap is about?

Do you cast the circle and call quarters in your rituals?

Why don't you want me waving my knife at the spirits?

What is the difference between CR and Celtic Neo-Paganism?

Is Celtic Christianity a part of CR?

Do you practice Celtic shamanism?

Who do I pay to be initiated into Celtic Shamanism?

Are you Gaelic Traditionalists? What is the difference between Traditionalism and Reconstructionism?

8. So you want to be CR...

What can I do to get started?

I have kids. How can I include them in all this?

I'm told that I should practice hospitality. What does that mean?

9. The Ever-Popular Reading List Section

Which books for someone totally new to CR? (The short list w/ mini-reviews.)

I want one or two books to follow to understand CR and I'm overwhelmed by big and conflicting reading lists. Which three books are most important? (Three books for each culture.)

Which books do you recommend? (This has become the big book list. Main area to talk about how to structure the book stuff.)

Which books for kids?

There are so many translations, which ones do you recommend?

Which authors/publishers should I absolutely, without doubt, avoid like plague fleas?

Which authors/publishers are, with few exceptions, very reliable sources?

So how do I find this stuff?
Current Mood: chipperchipper
Current Music: "Mea Culpa" by Eno, Brian & David Byrne
(Deleted comment)
Paul Hamish: Warren's Crotch from quebellypaul_hamish on April 23rd, 2006 09:08 pm (UTC)
Picky, picky, picky! OK, I've removed the (very funny) question about how to wear your hair if you are CR. I never get to have fun.
(Deleted comment)
Kathryn of Nigheanan nan Cailleach: reporting for duty (bridge crew)caitriona_nnc on April 23rd, 2006 09:25 pm (UTC)
Paul Hamish: pic#44968938paul_hamish on April 24th, 2006 12:30 am (UTC)
Thank you very much.
Itinerant hacker adventuress: odd handthewronghands on April 24th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
You braid it, stiffen it with lime, and then you RUN THROUGH THE WOODS while the rest of us throw spears at you. [grin]
Trouble in the Shape of a Girl: wild things readmiss_adventure on April 24th, 2006 06:24 am (UTC)
Then we bury you to the waist and throw spears at you! (Or maybe that's just what we do to people who ask some of these questions in seriousness.)
alfrecht on April 24th, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
I think you should keep it! There have been oodles of articles on hair, tonsure, etc. in relation to Irish sources, not just in terms of monks! (I've been involved in the hair question rather a lot in academic work thus far...but that's just me!)
Kathryn of Nigheanan nan Cailleach: ren faire headshotcaitriona_nnc on April 25th, 2006 01:55 am (UTC)
I love the Path of the Hairdo question.
ogam on April 23rd, 2006 09:29 pm (UTC)
That's not how my (insert family member here) taught me to honor (insert figure of choice here)!

Reminds me of "Druid Biker Ernie (vroom! vroom!)" years ago Nemeton-L.
ogam on April 23rd, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
§2.3, 6, and 7
erynn999, paul_hamish, and all of you involved in putting these particular sections of the FAQ together, how do you manage to keep your heads from a-sploding, or from lopping the questioners' heads off, or pointing, whistling and shouting, "YOU! OUTTA THE GENE POOL!"?
Kathryn of Nigheanan nan Cailleach: leaping crone copyright ©flaming cronescaitriona_nnc on April 23rd, 2006 09:24 pm (UTC)
Re: §2.3, 6, and 7
Our best answers will never be seen outside the war room.

The seekrit draft includes questions like, "I am a man-whore from outer space. Can you help me?"
Kathryn of Nigheanan nan Cailleach: Bridge Crew Closeupcaitriona_nnc on April 23rd, 2006 09:26 pm (UTC)
Re: §2.3, 6, and 7
And answers like, "Because you suck." :-)
放縱瘋狂的結wire_mother on April 23rd, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)
Re: §2.3, 6, and 7
still one of the greatest answers that will never be in the actual faq.
Kathryn of Nigheanan nan Cailleach: reporting for duty (bridge crew)caitriona_nnc on April 24th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
Re: Because you suck.
What, you don't think we should include it?

Damn, I was sure that one would make it in.
Paul Hamish: boarpaul_hamish on April 24th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
Re: §2.3, 6, and 7
I maintain that stupidity has served me well in this endeavour. The less I think, the better my answers. Plus I let the other people do the hard lifting.
(Deleted comment)
Itinerant hacker adventuress: polite raventhewronghands on April 24th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
[laughs a *lot*] You win. (I couldn't believe the druid/dryad thing was a serious question the first time I heard it, either.)
alfrecht on April 24th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
One little thing--for now anyway!

Section 2.2, question 2 has "(gaelic/Irish/etc.)"; I'd suggest capitalizing Gaelic, and perhaps putting in a non-Gaelic language just for balance (e.g. Cornish, Welsh, Breton, Gaulish, etc.).
Kathryn of Nigheanan nan Cailleach: reporting for duty (bridge crew)caitriona_nnc on April 25th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
Ah, good catch. I'm on it.
alfrecht on April 25th, 2006 05:07 am (UTC)
Nice one! U da bomb!
ogam on April 25th, 2006 03:31 am (UTC)
A Murder of Crows, a Gaggle of Geese ...
What do you call your groups?
A Clusterfuck of Celtic Reconstructionists.
Paul Hamish: swinepaul_hamish on April 25th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
Re: A Murder of Crows, a Gaggle of Geese ...
That is an excellent answer! Ha!
alfrecht on April 25th, 2006 05:09 am (UTC)
Re: A Murder of Crows, a Gaggle of Geese ...
So, would that be an ardfheis then?

[Donnchadh O Corrain has this speech about the danger of etymology, that if only the names of political parties and events in modern Ireland were to survive, people would think that modern Irish government was a fertility cult...]
r_monoxide on April 25th, 2006 05:56 am (UTC)
Ah yes! Thanks for posting the full list of topics. I look forward to seeing the project progress.