Author Topic: Yet another "Celtic" Shameon  (Read 7565 times)

Offline Abfalter

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Yet another "Celtic" Shameon
« on: May 25, 2013, 07:07:59 pm »
I came across your web forum when researching traditions related to changing the course of weather. We have our own ancient ones in the Austrian Alps, but I was wondering about similar ones in America, given that I was writing a blog entry about the kids being killed in the recent Tornado in Oklahoma. I remembered reading something about a guy named Rolling Thunder way back, found info on him on the Net, and eventually landed here.

Thanks to you, I didn't reference him in my writing.

I was born and raised in Austria, home to the Alps. Gaging my ancestral roots I’d say that they are most probably Celtic. My great grandfather came from a remote Alpine village in South Tyrol, and given that people there and back then practically never moved far from their birth place, it's rather likely that he was rooted there. Although most people associate Celts with the British Isles, they actually spread from Austria's predecessor, the kingdom of Noricum, within which both my great grandfather’s and the village of Hallstatt lies, the name-giver for the earlier Celtic Culture. They came to the British Isles centuries later, but were also less harassed there by Rome and the Christians, hence could keep their traditions longer.

Anyway, I absolutely agree with the notions in Chief Arvol Looking Horse's articles/letters, and find what so many "spiritualists" do, stealing other cultures' traditions, utterly ridiculous on several levels.

That said, I do find other cultures' traditions fascinating, and am as much intrigued by the differences as by the similarities.

For example, the use of the plants of the Artemisia genus, under which your Prairie Sage and our Mugwort fall. While you know best it's ceremonial uses in the Native American traditions, we too are aware of its cleansing powers, although how we use it is obviously embedded in our own traditions.
Machtwurz, the Saxon word today’s English term Mugwort comes from, means Power Root, and was found in Neolithic graves in Europe, seemingly to bed the dead upon.
In the Alps it is to be collected with a specific ritual at Summer Solstice if one wants it for healing/cleansing purposes, e.g. to drive out bad spirits in the 12th night after the Winter Solstice. Then, men (and only men) dance through the villages, dressed in costumes representing various natural powers (the bear, the lichen-covered tree-man, the goat, the hagazussa (hexe/witch) etc.) and are invited into the people’s houses to cleanse the homes with the smoke from the dried herb (see picture.)

Again, the similarities (using this plant’s smoke for cleansing) are as fascinating as the differences in how it’s collected and how the rituals are done.

BTW, the holy men and women of my Celtic ancestors, the Druids, were also concerned about sharing their traditions with other nations and the non-spiritual folk, 2000 or so years ago already. When they let the Roman Plinius partake in one of their holiest rituals, the cutting of the Mistletoe in the new November Moon, they mislead him in the end by pretending that they used a “golden sickle” to cut the plant. As the historian that he was he wrote that down diligently, not getting that you can’t cut with gold, and that this was a metaphor only clear to those with the proper traditional education.

Yours under heavy clouds covering Bel’s golden chariot,

Abfalter

Epiphany

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2013, 12:24:28 am »
Hello, are you the same Abfalter as Abfalter The Appletree Druid? https://druidryblog.wordpress.com/author/alpendruide/ http://druidryblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/30/walpurgis-night-2/

If so, I notice you have a Facebook sidebar for Belenus Institute, Arlington, Massachusetts, is that your group?

http://www.christianbrunner.com/

Epiphany

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 12:28:12 am »
Quote
Education

Christian started studying the theories of shamanism when he was sixteen years old. That was in 1980. He was fascinated by the idea that the reality as we see it cannot be all that there is to life on this planet. Soon, Christian started to do exercises as suggested by Carlos Castaneda in his various books to find access to these so called non-ordinary aspects of reality. While he wasn't successful in his search, he built considerable shamanic power for a later time.

Then, Christian started to read about Native Americans and their take on spirituality, finding a number of similarities to Castaneda's writings about Mesoamerican shamanism. Venturing out to Siberian and Australian shamanism, Christian not only found that they, too, work in a similar way, but also that Michael Harner had studied and published exactly that decades earlier.

After 14 years of studies, Christian took his first steps towards practice by attending a seminar of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies (FSS) in Austria. At the same time, he joined a group of experienced shamanic practitioners in Vienna, where they worked with clients during their weekly meetings. In the following three years, these many healing sessions helping actual clients with actual problems, combined with further seminars of the FSS (Extraction, Soul Retrieval, Shamanism and Art) deepened Christian's knowledge and built the foundation for his experience.

One particular seminar, a long weekend with shamans from Tuva (Siberia,) has formed some of Christian's philosophy that veers off the mainstream, rather esoteric views of shamanism and applies a more hands-on approach as Christian experienced it from the Tuvan Shamans.

When Christian moved to the United States on Halloween 1997 (there is no better day to move into a brand new world than that) he joined a Drumming Circle in Cambridge, Massachusetts and continued to work with clients for another five years.

Then came the kids. Not having an office outside his home, Christian was forced to lay low with shamanic work, not being able to drum wildly at night and not having the time for that, anyway. In the meantime, though, he wrote a shamanic novel (in German,) "Fliegenpilz" (Toad Stool) that was published in 2008.

Now Christian is back and eager to work...

Ever since Christian has lived in the USA, he focused more and more on his own shamanic roots rather than on cultures far from his own, as suggested by some Native American spiritual leaders. This is how he came to realize the connection to the old Celtic people that populated his home country Austria. Currently, Christian is working on a book about Celtic Shamanism in the Eastern Alps.

http://www.christianbrunner.com/schamane/index.htm
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:20:17 am by Epiphany »

Epiphany

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 01:18:34 am »
Quote
Christian offers a variety of spiritual support and healing methods. 
 
First and foremost, Christian offers the healing methods used in Shamanism, including Power animal retrievals (also for preemies, babies and children,) and the essential shamanic techniques  Extraction and Soul retrieval.

Christian also creates custom tailored Rituals and ceremonies, not only as part of the healing process, but also freestanding ceremonies such as birth blessings and (in the near future) weddings.

In his shamanic work, Christian uses Herbs & Crystals to support the healing process.

Energy work such as Reiki and Chakra work is also used as a supplement to the shamanic healing efforts.

Quote
Shamanism 
Diagnostic session (often with power animal retrieval)  2 hours $90
Follow up session 1 hour $60

Reiki
Full session  1.5 hours $75
Follow up/specific ailment 0.5 - 1 hour $40 - $60

Other Energy Work  Chakras etc. 1 - 2 hours $60 - $90

Ceremonies  $50 per hour + travel outside Arlington


« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 01:21:07 am by Epiphany »

Offline Abfalter

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 06:10:28 pm »
That would be me.

Offline Diana

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 06:27:45 pm »
That would be me.

Hmmm.... not so truthful were you?


Diana

Offline Diana

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 06:29:04 pm »

That would be me.


Hmmm.... not so truthful were you.


Diana
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 06:32:25 pm by Diana »

Offline Abfalter

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 07:16:28 pm »
I could pretend that I don’t know why these quotes from my web page made their way to this thread, but I choose not to.

Let me start with the fee schedule, and discuss later why I am using “the word.”
As I am making clear in my statement (I hope,) I am not following, or practicing, Native American traditions, nor do I claim so. Depending on what you as the reader choose to focus on, you might read that from when I am saying:  “Ever since Christian has lived in the USA, he focused more and more on his own shamanic (arghh, the word) roots rather than on cultures far from his own, as suggested by some Native American spiritual leaders…”

That said, let me quote here a passage from the Irish-Celtic tale of “The Siege of Druim Damhgaire,” where Fiacha, the King of Munster, asks the Druid Mog Roith for help in a battle against the king of Connaught.

“Fiacha wonders what manner of recompense the Druid will require. Messengers are sent to find out and are told: 
A hundred bright white cows in milk, a hundred well-fattened pigs; a hundred strong working oxen; a hundred racehorses; fifty soft white cloaks; after the project is over, the daughter of the first lord of the East or the most prominent after him, to bear me children; the first place in the files of Munster's army for my successor who shall have in perpetuity the rank of a provincial king; that the King of Munster should choose his counsellor from among my descendants; that I am given the territory of my choice in Munster.”

90 bucks for two hours ain’t that bad, considering…

But seriously, there is an ancient concept behind compensation even for spiritual work in the large conglomerate of Celtic and Germanic tribes. It is such a prominent concept, that there is even a Rune dedicated to it. (As you know, legend tells us that the Father of the Gods, Odin, hung himself onto a tree under great pain for three days and nights, to ask for a vision. There, he was given the knowledge of the Runes.)

Anyway, the Rune Gebo tells us that if you give something, like a service, and don’t accept something in return, you create an unhealthy obligation for the person who received the service. He or she then owes you until he/she is able to give you something in return. This creates an imbalance of power, shame on the side of the recipient, and overall a spiritually concerning “wyrd,” or fate. It becomes even worse, if the recipient of the service dies before being able to pay his/her obligation.

In the Irish tale above, all that stuff may have been just the right amount in return for what the king asked from the Druid, and possibly not a big deal for the king. After all, the Druid got all of it.

So, that’s us. We believe it is truly unhealthy to not even out the obligations right away. There is even a German saying we often use when we have to split a bill, e.g. in a restaurant: “Strict calculation makes good friends.” It is deeply ingrained in our ways.

This doesn’t mean I completely appreciate yours. I just wanted to shed some light on this issue from the European side.
It may also explain why Europeans don’t have a problem with paying a fee for spiritual work.

Last but not least…I do adjust to the needs and possibilities of the people who come to me…

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 10:16:07 pm »
Gifting is not the same as charging fees. The two concepts come from different mindsets.

There are too many different European cultures to generalize about what Europeans do or don't do. Newagers and most eclectic Neopagans don't mind paying. They are not tradition-bearers. They are not "Celtic."  They are usually the sorts who are trying to redefine "Celtic" to mean "white appropriator."

"Shamanism" is not an appropriate term to use for Celtic ways. Like with NDN ways, it's only been used by anthropologists and is a bad fit that homogenizes diverse ways and tries to slam round pegs into square holes. Very few people have even come close to earning the title "druid." Like ceremonial titles in Native cultures, it has to be earned, and conferred by a real, in-person community the druid serves, and this must be a living community of people who actually understand and live by the old standards, not some neopagan acquaintances, clients, groupies or dilettantes who just like the sound of it.

The Celtic traditions in the Insular lands are very different from anything from the Alps, and have a significantly different spiritual feel from the Germanic ways. The idea that the warlike tribes came from the Alps is only one of many theories, and never proven. What is easy to see, however, by comparing languages and material culture, is that the tribes that came from mainland Europe changed a great deal when they intermarried with the Gaelic and Brythonic tribes in the Isles. This is also reflected in the comparative mythologies and living cultures. I concur with the theory (held by Dillon and others) that the Peoples indigenous to the Isles were not Indo-European Peoples - our worldviews have too many foundational differences.

I am incredibly wary of those who try to take the most ancient accounts of the Continental Celts, as recorded by outsiders - The Romans -  and use them as a sole source to try to create a modern "Celtic" practice. Not only is that distant information flawed and fragmentary, and recorded from a non-Celtic POV, but it's an approach that overlooks millenia of living culture and history, for which we have not just fragments, but living traditions. It's not appropriate to take a story from medieval Ireland and say it applies to a culture centuries earlier in the Alps. Even the most ancient Irish mss have to be taken in context of the languages and living cultures.

In the recent and living traditions in the Six Celtic Nations, most notably in Gaelic cultures, it is usually seen as wrong to charge fees for services. Gifting and gratitude, yes; fees, no. There are many Gaelic communities with stories of seers, healers and charm workers who decided to charge and then lost their abilities; the spirits abandoned them for using the gift for material gain. The spirits grant the gift, and can take it away.

The ancient Irish tales are also about entertainment, not just spiritual truths. Sometimes they're only about entertainment. The services of skilled poets and druids were highly valued, but some newager hanging out a shingle is not in that league.

Most who try to set themselves up as a business have no gift, and no spirits. And everyone I've encountered claiming to be a "Celtic Shaman" (a term never used in any Celtic culture) is a fraud. Most of the Celtique Shamynnes are just ripping off their fantasies of NDN ceremonies, tarting them up with some knotwork and tartan, and only fooling the most ignorant of noobs. You will find that people on this forum know better than to fall for that stuff. We have a lot of experience with plastic shamans trying to disguise their cultural appropriation as "Celtic."

I'm looking at your blog and website, and while you have a few bits of lore here and there, you are lumping different cultures together and in the process misrepresenting them. Celts don't have "The Goddess" - the ancient Celts, and modern ones, were/are polytheists, not Wiccans. Ireland isn't the same as Germany. You are misrepresenting how witches were, and are, seen in Gaelic communities, and missing (or not knowing) some of the most basic things in that field. You are really all over the place with the stuff you are posting. I would characterize it as eclectic neopaganism, not Celtic. And certainly not indicative of the work of our ancestors who were the real druids.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Another Celtique Shamynne
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 10:19:56 pm »
And who is the "we" you speak of, in that "we" agree on charging for services? It sounds to me like your "we" is the type of people we work to stop.


Norse Futhark runes aren't Celtic, either.


ETA (hadn't read the whole thread yet): OMG!

http://www.christianbrunner.com/schamane/index.htm


"Christian offers a variety of spiritual support and healing methods. First and foremost, Christian offers the healing methods used in Shamanism, including Power animal retrievals (also for preemies, babies and children,) and the essential shamanic techniques Extraction and Soul retrieval. Christian also creates custom tailored Rituals and ceremonies, not only as part of the healing process, but also freestanding ceremonies such as birth blessings and (in the near future) weddings. In his shamanic work, Christian uses Herbs & Crystals to support the healing process.  Energy work such as Reiki and Chakra work is also used as a supplement to the shamanic healing efforts."

Not only is NONE of that Celtic, there are several things there blatantly misappropriated from newage fantasies of Native and Hindu traditions. Yup, you look to me to be just another newager, trying to pass off eclectic misappropriations as Celtic. That is offensive to the Celtic and Native and South Asian ancestors.

So why are you here? Do you want to be posted in Frauds?  Did you really think we wouldn't look at your sites? 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:40:21 pm by Kathryn »

Offline Abfalter

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Re: Griass Eich (as in: Hi all)
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 02:09:15 am »
I truly hope that you, Kathryn, know enough about me that you can pass such judgment.

Just a few things where I beg to differ:
The Celtic traditions in the Insular lands are very different from anything from the Alps. Do you know enough Alpine myth, lore, and folk customs that you can claim that to be true? Just be informed that a well established community of Druids find my research in that respect interesting and publishes it in their newsletter.

The Celtic traditions [...] have a significantly different spiritual feel from the Germanic ways. That is true in many aspects, yet I can quote three "spells" for the lack of a better word right from top of my head, a Scottish, Irish, and Saxon one, that use almost the same words to heal broken bones and ligaments. The difference between Celtic and Germanic tribes celebrated by so many are more and more being questioned.

I know that I can not call myself a Druid as of yet, and therefore don't, but hope sincerely that I am able to fulfill the requirements in learning to earn the privilege. Hence I use words like druidic and druidry, as a descriptive reference to the kind of work.
Again, a very different group of people will decide on me achieving that role in the future, not you.
The same group, BTW, that keeps it open for their students to call themselves Druids just by virtue of following the path, even before they reach the end of their studies. I choose not to, because I find it pompous.

The idea that the warlike tribes came from the Alps is only one of many theories, and never proven. What is easy to see, however, by comparing languages and material culture, is that the tribes that came from mainland Europe changed a great deal when they intermarried with the Gaelic and Brythonic tribes in the Isles
If they tribes from Europe intermarried with the Gaelic and Brythonic tribes, and changed considerable, then to say it is not proven is somewhat contradictory.
That there was a Celtic, or Keltoi, culture in the Alps is a proven fact. The Greek and Roman writers did misrepresent a lot in that regard, but we can definitely establish that these people called themselves Keltoi, and that they had Druids. What Cesar and Cicero wrote about the Druids, particularly one of the tribe of Aedui, is of course from their POV. Which does not negate their existence.
I would even go so far and pose the question, based on your claim that there is not prove that mainland Celtic tribes came to the British Isles, why would the people there call themselves Celts? But we both know that this would be silly.

Which has nothing to do with the pre-Celtic inhabitants of the BI not being Indo-European.

Celts don't have "The Goddess" - the ancient Celts, and modern ones, were/are polytheists, not Wiccans
I do not remember claiming that the Celtic people had only one Goddess. I hope you didn't just jump to this conclusion in eagerness to prove a point.
Alpine lore, early sacral art in remote Alpine valleys, and Alpine customs clearly indicate the worshipping of a Goddess trinity. Even many names of towns, rivers, wells, mountains, and names of land parcels bear the names of these Goddess.
That is not to say that other deities were worshipped, too, particularly Belenus, after whom several towns in Austria are named, and who's picture was found on coins and engraved in stone.
I know nothing about Wicca, so I can't say anything about what they believe or do.

In the recent and living traditions in the Six Celtic Nations, most notably in Gaelic cultures, it is usually seen as wrong to charge fees for services
The idea behind the “Six Celtic Nations” is troubling, for it represents the Celtic Fringe only and does not include the vast majority of what was Celtic once. To claim that their traditions ought to be the beacon of what Celtic people should and should not do is quite arrogant, actually. As you correctly write, the information is fragmented. It is flawed in regards to how the writers interpreted what they saw, but not in what they observed. Since there is no record positively stating whether the Druids and other spiritual healers in the Alps charged for their work or not, both claims, mine that they might have, and yours that they didn’t, is arbitrary.
It seems to me though that you take the Native American tradition of not charging and apply it to my Alpine tradition that you have no knowledge of, which I could claim is quite a Newager approach itself, the same methodology you so fiercely fight against.

In my blog and other writing I do not lump traditions into one, but state them next to each other, showing their similarities. When I quote traditions from the Celtic Fringe, it does not mean I use them in my own practice. I simply state them.
However, anything I have learned so far on my Druidic path, I will use when people come to me for spiritual counsel, if it is of help for them. I will not have anyone interfere with my clients' welfare in that matter.
As said earlier, two Roman writers mention a Druid from a tribe adjacent to the Alps. There are several Alpine legends describing men who's actions and behaviors are very similar to that of Druids as described in lore of the British Islands. They are just not called like that, mostly due to the meddling of the Christian church. So I feel quite confident that what I learn in Druidry, even though from British provenience, is applicable in the Celtic Cradle.
 
I don't practice Reiki or Chakra work any more, for the very reasons you are stating.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Another "Celtic" Shameon
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 02:28:51 am »
Oh please, you are contradicting what's on your own sites. Quit dissembling. Again, why are you here? You didn't answer directly, but by not answering, you have answered: I think you are here to spew misinformation.

Re-read what I wrote. You're missing the point.

"She put bone to bone, sinew to sinew..." and its variants is indeed found in three poems from neighboring Indo-European cultures. The Insular Celts have been affected by their contact with the IE invaders; that does not make them the same culture any more than Native Americans are the same culture as Euros because some have adopted Christianity and speak English.

With your newage bafflegab you have simply shown your ignorance of living cultures, and your insistence on making stuff up based on history too distant to garner much info on.

Yes, we saw on your blog that you are doing the mail-order classes with one of the English neo-druid groups that largely bases their rites on Victorian fantasies, Wicca and Ceremonial Magick. Oh, and Masonic stuff. A title from them is worthless in terms of the living Celtic cultures.  They don't even require a basic language aptitude for any of the Celtic languages. And don't insult the real maintainers of tradition by calling them "fringe." I realize their continued existence is problematic to people who want to just steal from other cultures and make stuff up, but too bad; that's where the real culture lies, not in your fantasies of pre-history mixed with Castaneda.

Stop trying to mislead people here. Have you come to help fight fraud? I don't see how you could, as you don't know fraud when it's in your own home. Stop posting B.S. Either you're here to help fight appropriation - and you could start by stopping the appropriation you are engaged in - or you're wasting our time.

If you've stopped doing reiki scams and fake chakras and selling Harner shameon stuff (which has zero to do with anything Celtic - it's based on anthro lies about NDNs) while offending the Celtic ancestors by insulting the real tradition-bearers in favor of English fantasies, take it all off your site or you're going into frauds.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 02:42:16 am by Kathryn »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Another "Celtic" Shameon
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 02:49:38 am »
You can email a mod about being let back in when you've taken all that stuff down.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 02:53:45 am by Kathryn »

Offline Ingeborg

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Re: Yet another "Celtic" Shameon
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2013, 04:42:23 pm »

I'd like to correct one aspect mentioned by Abfalter:

Quote
There is even a German saying we often use when we have to split a bill, e.g. in a restaurant: “Strict calculation makes good friends.” It is deeply ingrained in our ways.

In several decades of speaking German as a native speaker, I've never heard this – this is a gross misrepresentation of both German culture and German proverbs.

There are two sayings, actually:

„Accurate calculation (or: invoice) keeps friendship“ and

„Accuracy in financial matters keeps friendship“.
Both basically have the same meaning: You want to keep your friends (or customers), don't screw them over.

Apart from that, in Germany splitting bills is done differently: a waiter will usually ask whether the bill will be paid by one person or individually. When paid individually, you simply tell the waiter what you had in the way of food and drink, the waiter will add up the amounts, tell the customer how much he is expected to cough up and you pay. If I commit an error and e.g. forget a plate or starter I ordered, or a drink, this will be left unclaimed and will be detected after everybody paid. But if and when a 'friend' comments this with the above sentence, this means in plain words they accuse me of having forgotten intentionally – and this will certainly make me rethink about this friendship. If a person quoted the above saying even before I had a chance to commit an error – well, this is what we call a rude a***hole.