What is Celtic?

For many people, the term “Celtic” is a homogenized one, popularly used to apply to cultural groups located in the British Isles and Ireland. However, from an anthropological standpoint, the term “Celtic” is actually fairly complex. Rather than meaning just people of Irish or English background, Celtic is used by scholars to define a specific set of language groups, originating both in the British Isles and in the mainland of Europe.

Celtic studies scholar Lisa Spangenberg says, “The Celts are an Indo-European people who spread from central Europe across the European continent to Western Europe, the British Isles, and southeast to Galatia (in Asia Minor) during the time before the Roman Empire. The Celtic family of languages is divided into two branches, the Insular Celtic languages, and the Continental Celtic languages.”

Today, the remains of early Celtic culture can be found in England and Scotland, Wales, Ireland, some areas of France and Germany, and even parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

To read the rest of this article by Patti Wigington please click on this link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/glossary/g/What-Is-Celtic.htm

Resources for Celtic Pagans

Many of our readers at About Paganism/Wicca are interested in the magic, folklore, and beliefs of the ancient Celts. Learn about the Celtic gods and goddesses, the tree months of the Celtic year, and books to read if you’re interested in Celtic Paganism.

Reading List for Celtic Pagans

If you’re interested in following a Celtic Pagan path, there are a number of books that are useful for your reading list. Although there are no written records of the ancient Celtic people, there are a number of reliable books by scholars that are worth reading. Some of the books on this list focus on history, others on legend and mythology. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of everything you need to understand Celtic Paganism, it’s a good starting point, and should help you learn at least the basics of honoring the gods of the Celtic peoples. More »

The Celtic Tree Months

The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Most contemporary Pagans use fixed dates for each “month”, rather than following the waxing and waning lunar cycle. If this was done, eventually the calendar would fall out of sync with the Gregorian year, because some calendar years have 12 full moons and others have 13. The modern tree calendar is based on a concept that letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponded to a tree. More »

To read the rest of this article by Patti Wigington please click on this link: http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/pagantraditions/tp/Resources-For-Celtic-Pagans.htm