A better question would be “Who IS a Celt?” because the Celts are alive and well today my friends, just as they were thousands of years ago.
Some say a Celt is a mystic or witch who dances around stone circles in the moonlight. Some say a Celt is a nature loving person who is kind to animals and people. Some say a Celt is someone who lives in either Scotland or Ireland. Still others say that a Celt is one who speaks the Celtic language, produces Celtic art, or proclaims himself or herself a Celt.
My opinion? Sure, any of those could be correct, but there is much, much more to a Celt than that. Celts are not an ethnic group, and there are many varied religious beliefs associated with them.
The fact is, Celts embrace a certain way of life, a certain way of being.
I believe, however, in order to understand the modern Celt, you must first know their history. Don’t worry, I’ll keep this brief.
First, I’ll tell you the “text book” stuff.
The ancient Celts were the first European people north of the Alps to emerge into recorded history. They distinguished themselves from their fellow Europeans by virtue of the languages which they spoke, now known as the Celtic languages (i.e. p-Celtic, q-Celtic, Gaelic, etc.).
Now, the exact geographic location from whence the Celts came is unknown, but you better believe everyone has a theory.
There are historians who say they branched off from other tribes in the lands between the Baltic and Black Seas. Some scholars argue that they originated in the areas now known as Switzerland and South-West Germany.
Regardless of exactly where they began, it is well-known the Celts migrated north, expanding their settlements in various lands throughout Europe. Due to the rise of the Roman Empire, and then the expansions of both the Slavs and the Germanic Peoples, the Celts eventually settled in the lands of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scot
land, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. These six are now known as the Celtic Nations.
However, I would like to point out that there are Celts living in almost every country on the planet, from Argentina to Australia, and from Russia to Canada and the U.S.
Now, let’s chat about the fun stuff.
The Celts were and are a very resilient people, known for their fiery passion, strength, courage, imagination, creativity and easy eloquence.
*Fun Fact: Many of the traditional Christian beliefs have roots in ancient Celtic culture.
The Celtic people believe in the power of Nature; they see the land as the embodiment of the Great Mother – nurturing, loving, and elemental. They lived then, and now, in tune with the rhythms of nature and their yearly cycle of festivals reflect this. They are a harmonious and peace-loving people, unless threatened…then, watch out! Their passion, courage, and unwavering devotion to their cause are the hallmarks of a Celt.
So talk to me. Do the characteristics of the Celtic People ring true in you? Do you notice any similarities between yourself and the Celts? I am passionate about these people and love learning about them! What knowledge do you have about the history of the Celts?