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Epona
14 Feb 2018, 10:32
Hello Pagan Darlings!

It's a pleasure to be here. I came across the world of Paganism through my girlfriend's roommate who told me about it when I mentioned I wanted to find a new religion. I was raised Catholic and it really isn't for me, especially since I am a homosexual woman who is not welcomed into that world. After a bit of research, I found myself drawn to the Celtic Deities, especially Epona, the Goddess of Horses.

I now have a necklace with a charm for her and a few gemstones. I am working on collecting things to build her an altar so I can worship her in the way I want to.

If anyone has any advice on getting started I would be happy to hear it. Especially from anyone familiar with Epona or the Celtic Deities.

MaskedOne
14 Feb 2018, 11:06
WELCOME!!!!

Please leave your sanity at the front desk. You won't be needing it here :cthulhu:

Sooo....

Celtic pantheons (because I'm pretty sure Celtic covers several different cultures and their gods) are not something I'm particularly familiar with. My best suggestion for a starting point is to visit

http://www.paganforum.com/showthread.php?9880-Celtic-Resources-Books-and-other-Media-list

and pick a title or two to track down and read. Other people here may have a more detailed suggestion.

My second piece of advice for you as a new pagan. Read a lot, trust less. There are some wonderful writings out for pagans. There are also books out that may have high points in some areas but their authors play fast and loose with the truth when making historical commentary and/or mythology.

iris
14 Feb 2018, 13:19
Welcome :)
I don't know as much about Celtic paganism as I'd like. But some more general advice for getting started would be that there isn't one right way to be a pagan, we all make our own path. As Masked said too, be critical of your sources, never take anything for the absolute truth just because a book says so. Oh and, you don't need to spend a fortune buying incense or crystals or candles, by all means buy it if you want to, but it's not a requirement, go with whatever works for you. I think we used to have a whole thread dedicated to stuff it's nice to know when you start out, but I can't find it right now.

anubisa
14 Feb 2018, 17:57
Welcome to the forum! I definitely agree with MaskedOne. Do a lot of reading. I come from a Catholic family and still have to live with my parents, who thankfully are understanding, but I have to celebrate the Catholic holidays too. Anyway, read a lot. Some of my favorite authors are Scott Cunningham, D.J. Conway (she has a really good book called Celtic Magic), and Amber K. But there are all kinds of new authors coming out. Also check out Llewellyn.com. That is the prime source of new age books that I get mine from. They have bargains and sales all the time. If you need any help let us know! Welcome to the family!

Epona
15 Feb 2018, 05:29
Thank you all for your input! I appreciate it!

Are there any books on this list that are the most credible and have the most accurate information?

monsno_leedra
15 Feb 2018, 07:27
First let me welcome you to the forum.

Secondly please do not read D. J. Conway, she's the one who tried to pass off the Great Potato goddess as a Celtic item. That's just the tip of her pseudo histories and make believe stuff. She publishes lots of crap and repackages her books by changing names and locations and peppering them with just a bit of legitimate factual information. Even a lot of her so called social layering material has been disproven but it didn't matter she included it anyway as it fit her "Fantasy".

Most of the stuff you'll find on Celtic material will be heavily influenced by Irish material vice actual European lore and if memory serves me correctly Epona is what might be called mainland Celtic in origin. The other thing i'd say is there is no clear cut Celtic pantheon of Gods / Goddesses to look at like you see with the Greeks or Romans so be weary when people say this is the Celtic / Keltic Pantheon as it varied from tribe to tribe and region to region. You'll many times hear about a structure'd pantheon and it really didn't exist though there is a three layered world view.

I realize this is a welcome place but one other thing I'd add is that people forget Celtic is a language Group not a racial or ethnic Group. In that regard they are probably very similar to the Native American's in that their gods & goddesses are very tied to the nation or tribe. So just because the language might be shared or have similarities between various groupings it doesn't mean all the member's of those groups made a pantheon of divinities. So you can't easily associate the Celtic speaking peoples of Britain & Ireland to the Celtic speaking Gauls of France where Epona originates. Be leery of falling into that trap, just because a female divinity in Ireland is associated with horses doesn't mean she is associated to Epona or they are the same or connected because they are connected due to a horse association. Celtic is a language group not a people.

MaskedOne
15 Feb 2018, 07:32
I don't study Celts so I don't have a preferred author list. The ADF does have a suggested reading list (https://www.adf.org/training/resources/reading.html). Just scroll to the area listed for Celts and pick things that look interesting. You might also grab things from the contemporary Paganism list.

Regarding Llewellyn authors, Scott Cunningham is one of the larger names in Wiccan writing and he's generally well regarded for his writings on Wicca. DJ Conway is somewhat more contraversial but I haven't read her stuff. You may find interesting ideas there, you may not. Llewellyn in general leaves a bad taste in my mouth due to some interesting research failures by some of their authors *cough* ancient irish potato ritual *cough* and the fact that this exists (https://www.llewellyn.com/product.php?ean=9780738713380). I won't tell you to avoid Llewellyn altogether. You may get ideas that fit well into your daily practice. Just don't use them exclusively and do cross check their claims regarding history and/or mythology against other sources.

anubisa
15 Feb 2018, 17:43
First let me welcome you to the forum.

Secondly please do not read D. J. Conway, she's the one who tried to pass off the Great Potato goddess as a Celtic item. That's just the tip of her pseudo histories and make believe stuff. She publishes lots of crap and repackages her books by changing names and locations and peppering them with just a bit of legitimate factual information. Even a lot of her so called social layering material has been disproven but it didn't matter she included it anyway as it fit her "Fantasy".

Most of the stuff you'll find on Celtic material will be heavily influenced by Irish material vice actual European lore and if memory serves me correctly Epona is what might be called mainland Celtic in origin. The other thing i'd say is there is no clear cut Celtic pantheon of Gods / Goddesses to look at like you see with the Greeks or Romans so be weary when people say this is the Celtic / Keltic Pantheon as it varied from tribe to tribe and region to region. You'll many times hear about a structure'd pantheon and it really didn't exist though there is a three layered world view.

I realize this is a welcome place but one other thing I'd add is that people forget Celtic is a language Group not a racial or ethnic Group. In that regard they are probably very similar to the Native American's in that their gods & goddesses are very tied to the nation or tribe. So just because the language might be shared or have similarities between various groupings it doesn't mean all the member's of those groups made a pantheon of divinities. So you can't easily associate the Celtic speaking peoples of Britain & Ireland to the Celtic speaking Gauls of France where Epona originates. Be leery of falling into that trap, just because a female divinity in Ireland is associated with horses doesn't mean she is associated to Epona or they are the same or connected because they are connected due to a horse association. Celtic is a language group not a people.

Ok, it's been a long time since I've read D.J. Conway. Back when I first started I was drawn to the Celtic tradition and D.J. Conway was one of the more popular authors for Celtic traditions. This is probably about 17 years ago. So it's been a while. I still do recommend Scott Cunningham. My favorites being Wicca and Living Wicca. Also if you are interested in working with the elements read Earth Power and Earth, Air, Fire and Water. They were also written by him. Amber K wrote an excellent book called True Magick which I still read every once in a while. My advice is to take everything with a grain of salt. I also tend to judge books by the way the author writes. Like how they are speaking to you. Again welcome.

MaskedOne
15 Feb 2018, 18:45
First let me welcome you to the forum.

Secondly please do not read D. J. Conway, she's the one who tried to pass off the Great Potato goddess as a Celtic item. That's just the tip of her pseudo histories and make believe stuff. She publishes lots of crap and repackages her books by changing names and locations and peppering them with just a bit of legitimate factual information. Even a lot of her so called social layering material has been disproven but it didn't matter she included it anyway as it fit her "Fantasy".

Most of the stuff you'll find on Celtic material will be heavily influenced by Irish material vice actual European lore and if memory serves me correctly Epona is what might be called mainland Celtic in origin. The other thing i'd say is there is no clear cut Celtic pantheon of Gods / Goddesses to look at like you see with the Greeks or Romans so be weary when people say this is the Celtic / Keltic Pantheon as it varied from tribe to tribe and region to region. You'll many times hear about a structure'd pantheon and it really didn't exist though there is a three layered world view.

I realize this is a welcome place but one other thing I'd add is that people forget Celtic is a language Group not a racial or ethnic Group. In that regard they are probably very similar to the Native American's in that their gods & goddesses are very tied to the nation or tribe. So just because the language might be shared or have similarities between various groupings it doesn't mean all the member's of those groups made a pantheon of divinities. So you can't easily associate the Celtic speaking peoples of Britain & Ireland to the Celtic speaking Gauls of France where Epona originates. Be leery of falling into that trap, just because a female divinity in Ireland is associated with horses doesn't mean she is associated to Epona or they are the same or connected because they are connected due to a horse association. Celtic is a language group not a people.

I should have noticed this hours ago. Anyway, you are confusing Conway and McCoy. The Ancient Irish Potato Ritual was McCoy's.


Ok, it's been a long time since I've read D.J. Conway. Back when I first started I was drawn to the Celtic tradition and D.J. Conway was one of the more popular authors for Celtic traditions. This is probably about 17 years ago. So it's been a while. I still do recommend Scott Cunningham. My favorites being Wicca and Living Wicca. Also if you are interested in working with the elements read Earth Power and Earth, Air, Fire and Water. They were also written by him. Amber K wrote an excellent book called True Magick which I still read every once in a while. My advice is to take everything with a grain of salt. I also tend to judge books by the way the author writes. Like how they are speaking to you. Again welcome.

A lot of the most prominent authors for contemporary Paganism sort of fail at history. Unfortunately, being the most popular means that they are among the first and easiest to find. It's also relatively easy to go quite a while without noticing the errors unless you delve into a number of decent academic works or you get exposed to reconstructionists who have delved into academic stuff in their area of interest.

People make a functioning practice out of surprising things though. I mean we've got some amusing sects who decided that, "Jedi are awesome, we should import them to Earth," and set about doing just that. If Conway contributed in a positive way to your life then awesome. Failing at history doesn't make an author absolutely useless unless their job is to provide history. I'm not a fan of Conway's or Llewellyn in general but at the end of the day, what will matter is how they affect the lives of their readers. Unless we start discussing history and/or the original (for a given value of original) mythology that is, in that case then their accuracy will matter and I reserve the right to be much less benign in my view of them.

monsno_leedra
15 Feb 2018, 20:38
I should have noticed this hours ago. Anyway, you are confusing Conway and McCoy. The Ancient Irish Potato Ritual was McCoy's.

I might have part of it confused I admit. Edain McCoy is just as bad if not worse in her works. She truly takes the cake regarding the Potato goddess and making the Potato both a sacred fertility fruit and an ancient Irish thing in her writing.

I don't recall exactly where Conway had it now but it was later and mentioned as part of the Potato Famine and exported spirituality. So it was a Potato Goddess thing for her which is why it stuck in my head. Freely admit I am biased against the author though so it discolored my opinion which was already low to begin with. Actually rated it lower than her Dancing With Dragons and that was awful in my opinion as anything other than a fantasy book.

volcaniclastic
15 Feb 2018, 22:05
Hey guys, let's not scare away the newbs!

Welcome to the forum. As you can see, we feel strongly about our source material.

My advice is to just read as much as you can. On everything. Most (if not all) of my pagan research is entirely non-spiritual. Herbal guides, scientific research, foraging, and just generally getting my hands in the mud (and the sand, and the salt, and the snow).

monsno_leedra
17 Feb 2018, 03:26
Epona,

Like volvaniclastic says, don't let our debate / discussion about author's scare you away from the site or us as individuals. In the end use your own judgments and thoughts about things to decide what is right or wrong to guide you along the way. Each divinity will have multiple faces and personas, some will be verifiable against the written lore, some will not be and will be unique to his / her devotee's. The same will apply to how they will interact with their devotee via ritual / ceremony and potentially even what they ask and or expect / demand from them. Inversely, the same will apply as to what you as a devotee will be willing to give to the one you come to call your "Goddess" or "God" and whether it will be a singular deity or multiple deities you devote yourself to.

Again welcome to PF pull up a chair or bench, read through the various posts and sections and ask away. Can't say what answers you'll get but you'll get some sort of answer usually. Would add the disclaimer though that it might not be right away as some threads go unanswered for some time then scrolls of answers appear, for others, they appear almost as soon as you hit the enter key.

Shahaku
19 Feb 2018, 13:08
Welcome!

Hook yourself up with some good music. I've come to love Damh the Bard and SJ Tucker over the last year, and both have some amazing songs that, in my opinion, get to the heart of paganism.

PS, I'm fairly sure Damh has some Celtic background.

October
21 Feb 2018, 06:57
Hello, Epona, and welcome to Pagan Forum! I am a Celtic Reconstructionist and have been for 20 years. I recently dedicated myself to Rhiannon, a Welsh goddess closely related to horses. It's not fun or flashy or easy to read, but I would suggest going to academic sources first, rather than anything published by Llewellyn. I personally recommend Miranda Green--I know her personally and her focus is Gaulish gods (Epona is Gaulish--we tend to avoid the term 'Celtic' because it is so broad), rather than the Irish, which are more well known.

Celtic Recostructionism seeks to replicate the 'Celtic' religion within the context of the modern day, so we do A LOT of reading and studying to get as close as we can. Please, if you have any questions, feel free to PM me :-) I'd be happy to help.