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Celtic Religion

By Nimue Brown

In his excellent book, Stalking the Goddess, Mark Carter makes some interesting points about Celtic religion. (You’re going to be hearing a lot about Mark). The Celts didn’t have a name for their religion so far as we know. Why would they? It was their religion, the religion, it didn’t need naming. To call it Druidry, he points out, is like calling Christianity Priestism. Celt itself is a word that comes from the outside too. There’s the Greek word Keltoi, which I think the Romans took up to describe some of their ‘barbarian’ neighbours, designating others as Germanic. The divisions are arbitrary.

Often names come from the outside. We don’t need them. We are the people, this is our earth, this is our religion, you only need names when there’s something to distinguish yourself from. As Alan Pilbeam points out when writing about countryside history, inside the village, it’s just the village. The name other people give it will tell you a lot more about what the place is like. I live in the area that was once Slime Bridge. Nice.

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