THE DREAM AND THE REALITY
by Dee Finney
A man I was with took me outside to another building. We went in the door and up some stairs. He opened up a door and took me into a room that looked like a library. There were books all around in bookcases. In the center of one end of the room was a big grand piano and there was an older man behind it. He wasn't playing the piano, just sitting there.
On top of the piano, was about 100 boxes or books with a witchcraft symbol on it. (After I woke up I realized the doctor wasn't a doctor, he was a witchdoctor) I said kiddingly, "Oh! Reading material!" and giggled a little. The boxes were about 1/2 inch high and were 6 x 6 inches square. I was trying to think if they were Ouija boards or books of Shadows, but the gold symbol on the top was very outstanding.
4-17-01 - DREAM - I don't know where I was, but I was helping some people clean up a house. There was stuff laying all over the floors. I started at one end and cleaned as I went until I got to the other end, putting the clothing or keepable stuff on the couch, and throwing the rest away.
I then got the broom out and swept the floor until it was clean. There was an area like a hallway that was made out of redwood, and the more one swept, the more wood came off the beam, so I had to stop sweeping finally or there would have been no floor.
The men went outside and were cleaning rocks and stones and edging the property which had rather a moat-like corridor between us and the next property, held back with a stone wall.
On the other side of the property was a tiny summer-like cottage with screens for walls, and the people were complaining that they had told the person they could build a house on the property, but that wasn't what they had in mind.
I went back into the house and saw some stones in a pattern, which seems to me was like a 5 x 5 square. However, a small Irish man who couldn't have been more than 2 feet tall, picked up the stones because he heard someone say there would be no child. He took the stones outside and kept saying, "I'll call the child Brehan, Brehan, Brehan, Brehan, I'll call the child Brehan." That so disturbed me, that he was taking the child, I grabbed either the stones or the man who was now thimble size and held him between my fingers. He became as a child, a live person, whose name was going to be Brehan, and as I touched his little clothing, it kept changing and finally he was wearing a little soldier coat and hat and I heard a voice say, "and he shall have a little soldier smile."
|Ireland was possibly the most advanced of all European cultures: it
had an Iron Age culture which included bards, historians, judges and a set
of laws that governed all aspects of life. This voluminous set of laws covered
everything from hurting a chained dog to behavior while drinking. The set
of laws was known as the Law of the Commoner or Freemen, or the Brehon
So balanced and just was the ancient Law that it was adopted by the majority
of the Norman conquerors and held sway among the populace until ruthlessly
put down by Cromwellian forces in the 17th century.
The practitioners of these laws were called Brehons. They were not judges or lawyers although many consider them so. In actuality, they were arbitrators whose responsibility it was to settle disagreements. The Brehons had to study the laws for years before they were allowed to practice their art and this is due in part to the size or volume of the laws that were enforced. It was an oral code to the greatest extent, and was only written down around the 3rd Century and in later times.
Here are a few of the most interesting Brehon laws quoted from the book of Irish Traditional Law.. Many serve to illustrate the degree of civilization of the ancient Celts and show how once Irish society was ordered. Some are certainly inappropriate to the modern view of a person's status, in particular that of women.
"It is illegal to overide a horse, force a weakened ox to do excessive work or threaten an animal with angry vehemence which breaks bones."
''There are three tresspasses of a hen in a herb garden: the soft-swallowing of bees, injury to the dye plants, and attacks on the garlic. A guilty hen shall have her feet tied together, or rag boots put on."
''At the main feast of the assembly the king and the chief poet of the tribe shall be served a thigh of the roast. The young lord is served a leg. Blacksmiths and charioteers shall be served the head and queens get haunches.''
''The wife who minds the sheep shall be paid two lambs a year.''
''If a person who is of a higher rank than you refuses to pay his debt you may sit at his doorstep and fast until he submits to arbitration. If you die before he submits he shall be blamed for your death and shall suffer lifelong disgrace.''
''Whether the offspring of kings, warriors, poets, workers in wood or stone, or tillers of the soil, a son or daughter shall follow the career of his or her parents.''
''...the son of a king of Erin shall wear satin and red clothes...''
''The sons of the inferior classes of chieftains shall wear black, yellow, or gray clothing..."
''The sons of the lowest class of chieftain shall wear old clothes...''
''A king exercises not falsehood nor force nor oppressive might. He is righteous towards all his people, both weak and strong.''
"Three things that cause the overthrow of a king; injustice, extortion, and kin-slaying.''
''For digging in a churchyard to steal from it, for making a dam in a stream to take an excess of fish, or for stealing a hunter's tent, your cattle will be taken to the animal pound for three to ten days, depending on the circumstances.''
''If a tribesman breaks another tribesman's leg he must pay a fine and supply a horse for the victim to ride on.''
''All members of the tribe are required to offer hospitality to strangers. The only exceptions are minor children, madmen, and old people.''
''The selfish man, who thinks only of his cows and his fields, and not of his fellow human beings, may be insulted without risking a blush fine.''
''The satirist who satirises a guiltless person will grow blisters on his own face. And then he will die.''
Every third year roads must be cleared of brambles, brush, weeds, and water to make ready for the great assembly, feast/fair.
The creditor who holds your brooch, necklaces and, rings as security for your pledge must return them back to you to wear at the great assembly and prevent embarrassment.
For the best arable land the price is 24 cows. The price for dry, coarse land is 12 dry cows.
If a woman makes an assignation with a man to come to her bed or behind a bush the man is not guilty of rape even if she screams. If she has not agreed to the meeting, however, he is guilty as soon as she screams.
The groom shall pay a bride-price of cattle, land, horses, gold, silver, to the Father of the bride. Husband and wife retain individual rights to property, goods and possessions each bring to the marriage.
If a pregnant women craves a morsel of food and her husband withholds it through stinginess, meanness or neglect he must pay a fine.
A fine of 6 cows for breaking a tribesman's two front teeth; 12 heifers for maiming a homeless man. For pulling off the hairs of a virgin Bishop one yearling for each 20 hairs.
It is illegal to give someone food in which a dead weasel or mouse has been found.
If your neighbor does not repay the debt he owes you, you may prevent him from going about his daily business. A withe-tie goes around the blacksmith anvil, carpenter's axe or tree fellers hatchet. He is on his honor to do no work until the debt is settled or wrong righted. If a Bard or physician is the debtor immobilize his horse whip for both ride their circuits. The creditor may fast in front of the debtor's house to humiliate him until the debt is paid.
If a rational adult brings a simpleton into an ale house for amusement and the simpleton injures a patron the adult who brought him must make compensation.
The blacksmith must rouse all sleeping customers before he puts the iron in the fire to guard against injury from sparks. Those who fall asleep again will receive no compensation.
When a judge deviates from the truth, a blotch will appear on his cheek. Whoever comes to your door, you must feed him or care for him, with no questions asked.
The chief poet of the tribe shall sit next to the king at a banquet. Each shall be served the choicest cut of meat.
The poet who overcharges for a poem shall be stripped of half his rank in society.
The mill-owner is exempt from liability for injury to a person caught between the millstones.
The husband who, through listlessness, does not go to his wife in her bed must pay a fine.
If a pregnant woman craves a morsel of food and her husband withholds it through stinginess or neglect, he must pay a fine.
A layman may drink six pints of ale with his dinner, but a monk may drink only three pints.
This is so he will not be intoxicated when prayer-time arrives.
If the poet or the physician is in debt, immobilize his horse-whip, for both ride their circuits on the backs of horses.
The lender of a horse must give notice of the horse's kicking habits.
Notice of the hound in heat and the mad dog must be sent to the four nearest neighbourhoods.
The harpist is the only musician who is of noble standing. Flute-players, trumpeters and timpanists, as well as jugglers, conjurers and equestrians who stand on the backs of horses at fairs, have no status of their own in the community, only that of the noble chieftain to whom they are attached.
The creditor who holds your brooch, your necklet or your earrings as a pledge against your loan must return them so you may wear them at the great assembly. Or he will be fined for your humiliation.
The time allotted to each Brehon for pleading his case is long or short according to his dignity. In determining the length of the speech he is allowed, count eighteen breathings to the minute.
On the best land everything is good. The herbs are sweet and no manure or shells are needed. There will be no plants that will stick in a horse's mane or tail: no briars, no blackthorns, no burdocks.
With the arrival of St. Patrick in Ireland, the laws were collected from all over the country and reviewed. Some of the laws were then stricken if they ran contrary to the laws of God. Those that remained were copied down for succeeding generations and continued in use until the English gained total control of Ireland in the 16th Century.
Sadly a large portion of these laws are now lost, as only a portion of the volumes can be found. Of those that remain, they sit in a limbo of sorts. They have been copied down in their original form, but much of this work is in Old Irish, and has not yet been translated. Efforts are underway to correct this by a group called Brehon Aid, which hopes to get the funding and the human resources to complete this monumental task.
The Seven Precepts Of Merlin
First: Labor diligently to acquire knowledge, for it is power.
Second: When in authority, decide reasonably, for thine authority may cease.
Third: Bear with fortitude the ills of life, remembering that no mortal sorrow is perpetual.
Fourth: Love virtue-for it bringeth peace.
Fifth: Abhor vice-for it bringeth evil upon all.
Sixth: Obey those in authority in all just things, that virtue may be exalted.
Seventh: Cultivate the social virtues, so shalt thou be beloved by all men.
The Order of Druids is ageless, having existence in the dim mists of antiquity. The Druidic Order is perhaps the oldest fraternal organization in the world. The first traces of Druidism dates 6000 years before the birth of Christ or the Christian Era and far beyond the scope of written history. There seems to be no time era when evidences of their ancient existence cannot be found.
Students of antiquity find in the ancient ruins evidence in stone of that which we today call Druidism. That which marks them as Druidic is the pattern in which these stones are laid which show that their builders used certain stars and the sun as points of reference. Such monuments are found in Europe, Asia, South America and the United States. Everyone connects the ancient Druids with the British Isles. However, history reveals that the British Isles were only the last great stronghold of the brotherhood, particularly in Ireland and Wales. They also were numerous in Brittany and Normandy in France, where their monuments are still to be seen covering acres of land in geometric formation.
The members of the Ancient Brotherhood of Druids were the most learned men of their time. They were the physicians, astronomers, mathematicians, musicians, poets, philosophers, legislators and judges of the people as well as their educators in the matter of religion and learning. They were held in such esteem that the Kings sent their sons to be educated by them. In the matters of learning and government their authority was absolute.
Since Christian times, Druids have been identified as wizards and soothsayers.
In pre- Christian Celtic Society, they were and intellectual class made up
of philosophers, judges, educators, historians, doctors, seers, astronomers,
and astrologers. The word 'Druid' is believed to be a combination of the
Greek word 'drus', meaning "an oak" and the word 'Wid', meaning to know
While Wicca has had a rich and mystic history, it's also been one of the most persecuted religions on earth. When the Christian came to convert the pagans, the once great Druids were ostracized and even burned and tortured, for sorcery to the Christians was the work of the devil.
Druids were the judges and lawyers of the day, very respected and awe inspiring, and when they retreated from the people who turned on them, much, almost all of the ancient knowledge was lost.
Women also lost, much of their respect and the reverence the Celtic tribes had for women was not the same ideology that the Christians followed.
Paganism was different from every other religion in that it treated women with much more respect. There were Druidesses, female rulers, such as Boadicea who ruled the Iceni. Women were warriors, like Medb of Connacht, who commanded her army and personally slew the warrior Cethren in combat. They were ambassadors, some were involved in the treaty between Hannibal and the Celtic Volcae.
The position of women in the Brehan Law system was amazingly advanced compared with the rest of the world. They were lawyers and judges and queens, while women in other parts of the world were the chattels of men. Even in some religions today women are not given the power that men have.
Druidesses were considered very powerful and wise. In fact in the Tripartite Life of Patrick, in his canons Patrick warns kings not to accept the advice of Druids and Druidesses, but especially asks god to protect him from Druidesses.
The catholic saint, Brigit, was a Druidess who converted to Christianity. Many of her festivals and traits were grafted on to the Catholic saint.
Wicca is rich in cultural history and steeped in mysticism. There is no bible, no great works to adhere to. Many of the written works of the Druids, the rods of the Fili were burnt by the Christians, the only works surviving were set in stone and not the combustible wooden rods.
|The Druids believed the human soul indestructible,
immortal. Death is a changing of place, and life went on in another
world, a world of the dead. The Summerland, Otherworld, whatever
you want to call it. When people died in that world, they were reborn
in this one, so a constant exchange of souls took place between the two
worlds. The Celts celebrated a birth with mourning for a death in the
Otherworld, a regarded death with joy of rebirth in the Otherworld.
Some believe that this is why the Celtic Warriors were so fierce in
battle. There was no fear for them, only the joy of rebirth.
Wiccans believe the same. When there is a death of a Wiccan we wish
good journey to the departed.
In the middle ages Pagans, Witches, were routed out and destroyed. Burned, drowned, tortured, hundreds of thousands of them. Mostly women, but men and children weren't ignored either. If they tried to defend their wives, mothers, daughters, they were suspect too. In two villages in Germany the witch finders went through, at the end of their inquisition there were two women left between the villages.
It isn't over. It exists even today; this fear and hatred of
Great mystery surrounds the Druids, the priestly caste of Celts in Gaul (modern day France) and Britain, who served as judges, teachers, healers and soothsayers. Greeks and Romans writing between the second century BC and the fourth century AD reported the little we know about them.
The Roman writer Pliny recorded the Druid ritual of harvesting mistletoe from the oak, their sacred tree. On the sixth day of the new moon, a white robed priest would climb an oak and cut mistletoe from it wit h a gold sickle. Caught before it touched the ground, the mistletoe was used in a fertility ritual. Echoes of this rite survive in English speaking countries in the Christmas custom of kissing under hanging sprigs of mistletoe.
Druidism was a form of nature worship, and only initiates who studied their craft for as long as 20 years knew its deepest secrets. Rites were held in sacred groves and forests, where Druids were thought to practice magic powers - changing the weather, appearing in animal form, fore telling the future and becoming invisible. By using a 'serpents egg' or crystal ball, they were said to disperse death hexes. The wizard Merlin of Arthurian legend may have been a Druid.
Julius Caesar reported that anyone suffering from a serious disease, or about to face the perils of battle, would offer, or vow to offer a human sacrifice, which would be carried out by the Druids. One method was for victims to be burned alive in huge wicker baskets. Usually criminals were chosen for sacrifice . But the Romans had long ago banned the practice of human sacrifice in their homeland, and considered it barbarous when they discovered it among the Druids. When Roman troops invaded the Druid's religious center on the Celtic island fortress of Mona (today's Anglesey), off the coast of Wales, in AD 60 they slaughtered all the Druid priests they could find and also destroyed their sacred oak groves.
The Druids New Year Feast of Samhain, when supernatural spirits were said to roam the earth, it thought to be the origin of today's Halloween. And the superstition of saying, "touch wood" for good luck may be a relic from the Druids reverence for sacred trees. Modern Druid groups, although not related to the ancient, still celebrated seasonal Pagan festivals all over the world.
|There, in a gloomy
hollow glen, she found
A little cottage built of sticks and weeds,
In homely wise, and walled with sods around,
In which a witch did dwell in loathly weeds
And willfull want, all careless of her needs;
So choosing solitary to abide,
Far from all neighbors, that her devilish deeds
And hellish arts from people she might hide,
And hurt, far off, unknown, whomever she envied.
BREHON LAW PROJECT
Brehon Law E-Mail List
Celtic Law - A Short Summary
Brehon Law - Catholic Encyclopedia
Everything Celtic - Breton
Everything Celtic - Cornish
Everything Celtic - Irish
Everything Celtic - Scottish
Everything Celtic - Wales
Social History and Brehon Law of Ancient Ireland
- Austrian Society for Celtic Studies
An uncompleted resource for scholarly articals on Celtology-- both in English and German Last update in 1996.
Corpus of Electronic Texts
From Univeristy College Cork: Ancient texts in their original languages and some with english translations.
"Gaelic Traditionalist Resource Page" An excellent resource page for Gaelic Celtic studies
A good collection of Celtic links
English Heritage is the lead body protecting the nation's heritage and the Government's statutory adviser on England's built heritage, including archaeology. It manages over 400 of the country's most important buildings and monuments, which attract more than 10 million visitors a year. It. From 1 April 1999 it also makes available the National Monuments Record, a public archive of over 12 million items, and the national programme to survey and record the historic environment as part of merger with the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England.
Celtic Trails offers guided tours and residential courses in Scotland relating to subjects such as the very early history of Scotland; from ancient standing stones, hill forts, Arthur, Merlin and the Druids, Pictish raids, the trees and animals of the Celtic Kingdom, Celtic Saints, The Culdees, early Christianity, Rosslyn Chapel and the Knights Kemplar, through to better known figures in Scottish history like Saint Cuthbert and Queen Margaret (You can get full details on the site).
Encyclopaedia of the Celts
Based on quotations from literature, myth, legend, fiction and history. Compiled and edited by Knud Mariboe , 1994.
Encyclopaedia of the Celts Another one?
Online A good place to start in Ireland
Celtic Cauldron Has an extensive list of Celtic Links.
Celt Study Mailing List Celt Study is a mailing list for those interested in learning about Celtic history, culture, and religion.
Welcome to the home page of Columcille Megalith Park and Celtic Art Center, a playground of myth and mystery located in the Appalachian Mountains in eastern Pennsylvania, USA. Rooted in Celtic spirituality, Columcille is inspired by the Isle of Iona off the coast of Scotland.
Another clearinghouse of information on Celtic resources.
A series of links for Celtic goods and information.
Not a bad listing of connections.
Info. on Celtic understanding of Trees
More on Trees and Druids
An eclectic mixture of links.
DREAMS OF THE GREAT EARTHCHANGES