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what ain't taught online...

By: Iain MacAnTsaoir

The other day I got an email from someone chiding me for "...teaching so many secrets of the tradition online... things that aren't meant for the light of day..."


There aren't too many secrets in the Gaelic Tradition. Everything that is in written form on our website, or here in our files section, are everyday common traditions in Gaelic speaking communities. Maybe...big maybe here...maybe when some people came over here from the Motherlands they took some traditions underground to be practiced within their own families. Over there though, the "famtrad" thing just isn't. It doesn't exist. Celtic religion, as it always has been, is religion of customs. These are everyday customs, and the customs cover most every facet of living, and through them each and every moment is lived with religious conviction - living life becomes spiritual. The celebrations at the turning of the wheel of the year are community celebrations in large part. No secrets here either. Personal observations, things done in quiet times and places, to honor Them, are indeed intensely personal and powerful, emotional and uplifting - but the hows and whys are not a mater of secrets. What I, what we here, write about are common place in Gaelic speaking cultures, that they aren't widely known here doesn't make them secret just unknown...which is why we are here.

There are things I don't teach about here. I don't teach about them here, first because I won't be responsible for those I don't know. But also because I will not make things that bloody easy for the Borg, those who would assimilate it willy-nilly into something else and claim it as part of their long religious (50 year old) heritage...gag. Some of those things are represented to varying degrees in what they do anyway, but, part of is isn't, a large part. Certain hows and where's and whys that they don't know, and won't know. Magic or practical application of methods not yet explained by science? Not that these things even are totally secret...over in Gaelic speaking communities... they aren't. So I'm not claiming some direct link to a super secret treasure trove of occult knowledge... its occult by definition I suppose, but only not widely known because western people typically won't take the time to earn the trust of people there... in their arrogance they miss the boat.

Gaelic folk have always been a pragmatic bunch. Consider this, our people, whether 1000 or 500 or 5 years ago, in the rural, agrarian society, had to deal with issues of life and death. They did not have super markets to do the slaughtering for them, they had to take responsibility for that, and they did so with reverence. When someone was sick they didn't have modern medicines, so they used what nature provided. As they hacked and ploughed out a survival they didn't have John Deere, Allis-Chambers, or International Harvester to provide machines to insure a quick harvest of produce from hybrid-disease and pest resistant crops grown in fertilized land. They had to plant by the moon, and yes there is a scientific basis to that, and they had to harvest by the cycles of the sun. Everything was tough, and in an age where mistakes cost lives, they didn't stick with things that did not work, or which existed for show alone. There were reasons they did what they did, whether it was planting crops, harvesting
crops, pouring libations and placing garlands in the rivers, and a million other customs are public matters. Other things, from healing to finding and delineating certain places as places of sanctity to seeing.... are not things shared easily. Things that work and that provide tangible results, not mind game matters of the imagination. Nor should they be shared easily, for they are not necessary to living the life of a traditional Gael. If someone comes for those things then they aren't there for the right reasons; they are there to try to get things to puff up their chest over, and to claim some degree of superiority with, not because they want to be a Gael. Those are things that aren't taught on the net, and which won't be taught to anyone who isn't a dyed in the wool, wholly and truly, Gaelic Traditionalist person who wants to serve rather than be served, and right where I can see them.

As for those seeking some angle of attack... if they spent as much time striving for personal excellence, as the spend attacking those they deem as inferior, then at the end of their lifes they may actually have some superior platform from which to chide the rest of us. But they don't, and instead preach "all paths are sacred" from one side of their face even while with the other side attacking other paths in hypocritical diatribes. That is their path I suppose, and every people needs their coyote, or petty tyrant, or, from our own lore, our Briain Bricriu...bitter tongue... to bring about some lessons. Universal spiritual adage: Spirit will not work through those who aren't humble.

Slainte' mhath!