By Souls of Silver
The Celts are an extraordinary, ingenious and an old race that has been in this world for a long time. They are well-conversant with customs and laws of nature; and they have an intimate, deep relation to Mother Earth.
From this deep bond, emerges the mysteries and secrets of Celtic healing. In our fast-paced, busy life, introducing this natural healing will bring in the much-needed nature-connect into our everyday practices.
Here is how the Gaelic race weaves the natural elements into its mode of healing.
Lakes, streams, rivers, springs and wells are broadly admired and praised as pilgrimage spots.The exhilarating and energizing power of flowing water is held to be sacred by the Gaelic populace. They gather around the banks of water, quench their thirst and bathe in it.
Water is treated as an emblem of fertility which can be found in the sacred waters of the Celtic race. The Culdron of Dagda, the baths and Sanctuaries of Sulus, along the coast of the Boyne flowing past the Brigid’s Well are but a few examples.
2. Sacred herbs
Like many other ancient mythologies, sacred herbs have found a way to sneak into the Celtic healing through hand-down recipes and legends, often found at burial sites and ceremonial pits.
Some most used herbs are Bilberry and burdock, mistletoe and willowbark, used for their mending and medical properties, as well as their colour, taste and transcendental curative qualities.
3. Stones of Sacred Value
These were viewed as elements of presage, magic and security in sites of reverence and blessings.
From the standing stones at Carnac to the huge mounds of Stonehenge, the grave of the Winter Solstice at Newgrange and the massive rocks in Glastonbury, stones have been utilized to spot domains, carve out territories, celebrate rituals of seasons, pay respect to burial sites and use them as shrines or ‘mass rocks’ for an eternity.
The Lia Fail (Stone of Destiny) is frequently called the Coronation Stone or Jacob’s Pillar, where, as the myth goes, many emperors and kings of Irish lore are said to have been crowned.
The Turoe Stone in Galway, Ireland is considered to be the “navel” stone. This “earth navel” is considered to be the assembly of the mortals, the gods and the deceased.
It is considered to have intense restorative, purifying and cathartic characteristics. This element has an element of seasonal festivity. Ashes and fumes of fire were said to possess protective qualities.
There is no better agent of cleansing than fire. Cows were shoved between two pillars of fire to purify them; Men of the clans leaped over bonfires to gain fertility, wealth and security. Fires are lit up also to pay homage to the different stages of the Sun and the immense value of sunlight.
Music is the purest expression of one’s true feelings and a means for people to connect with their past, through stories and tales of yore.
Music’s links with magic and occult cannot be disputed. It is probably the best way to reminisce, celebrate the transitions in life and provide aspiration to those who seek enlightenment or illumination. Take the notes and the lilting melodies of the harp of Daghda, were played as seasons faded away.
Nature is majestic. Its authority, power to create and destroy are as feared as it is respected and held in awe. Worshipping nature is the means to understand its course through the passing of seasons, from the regard paid to natural sites to the foretelling of tides from the shape of the moon to the prediction of weather.
Trees were also objects of veneration. The elders of yore gathered in sacrosanct woods on ancient hilltops and used the groves as portent tools in their magic rituals. The trinity of water, fire and earth were also honoured as nature’s means of cleansing, refining and renewing the cycle of life.
Symbols of ritual are important bonds which hold together the entire ethnic fabric, through shared faith in their liturgical role and the mystic meanings they represent.
Every sign brings to the fore some deeper part of ourselves to the more conscious everyday part of ourselves expressed in a dialect that is required to be absorbed and comprehended. The symbol, be it crystals or anything else is considered the key to the deepest mysteries of our soul-our unconscious.
The most interesting thing out here is that a few symbols derived from nature lie at the core of the plethora of infinite millions of symbols in being today.
8. Story telling
It has forever been the means in which the Celts passed on lessons and morals, entertain their clansmen and feature as one, the groundwork beliefs of the community. Stories provide people with an individual identity.
Storytelling would slither along the brim of history and sometimes, blur the line between legend and truth, but the principal intent of story was always the moral message underneath.
The best Celt stories were woven around warriors and giants, fairies and lovers, gods and nymphs and of course, native folklore.
They have performed a significant role in the fabric of Celtic cultures and natural therapy.
The customary factor in all religions is the faith in afterlife and the world beyond. Reverends or the priests (shaman) have always acted as the intermediaries between the material and spiritual worlds.
They offer us the chance to begin anew, afresh and restart our lives and ambitions.
Very little has been documented about the healing rites and customs of the Gaelic people. What is recognized is rooted in the literary works of early Christians, the Greeks and the Romans and archaeological testimony.
All of these elements together comprise the very essence of the ancient Celtic culture. It is a mystic tradition of yore and when understood, it can help heal the profound disconnect between man and nature today.