Posts Tagged ‘Galicia’

Galicia and Druidry (TV interview)

What is Druidry? What does it mean to be a “Celt” nowadays? Why is this relevant at all?
Druidry explains the deep spiritual connection between a people and their land, their past and their traditions. Being a Celt in the 21stC is gaining awareness of that ancient heritage and persevering in keeping it alive. Both aspects – Druidry and Celticity – are also a path into the future open to all. It is an example of how a society can embrace ageless but at the same time useful, forward-thinking values, and share them with the world.
Being a Celt is, then, studying, learning, respecting that past, but also reconstructing and living an identity in an educated and reasonable manner, establishing links with akin communities and individuals. Druidry is probably the best option to do that when that fond feeling emanates from the soul and the heart.
It is not only about what was, but what is, and what we want it to be for the times to come.
Welcome, fellow Celts, wherever you may be from.
(More information in English at our specific English page.)

NOTE: This interview is part of  the TV show “Spectacular Spain” (S01 E06), first aired on Channel 5 (UK) on May 5th, 2017. Alex Polizzi talks to Xoán /|\ Milésio (Durvate Mór /Arch-Druid of the IDG). Reproduced here for educational purposes only. Subtitles in Galician-Portuguese by IDG.

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[GL-PT] O que é a Druidaria? O que significa ser “celta” hoje em dia? Por que isso tudo é relevante em verdade?
A Druidaria explica a profunda conexão espiritual entre um povo e sua terra, o seu passado e as suas tradições. Ser celta no S. XXI significa decatar-se dessa antiga herança e perseverar em mantê-la viva. Ambos aspectos – Druidaria e celticidade – são também um caminho para o futuro, aberto a todos. É um exemplo de como uma sociedade pode abraçar valores eternos, mas ao mesmo tempo úteis, progressistas, e compartilhá-los com o mundo.
Ser Celta é, então, estudar, aprender, respeitar esse passado, mas também reconstruir e viver uma identidade de maneira educada e razoável, estabelecendo laços com comunidades e indivíduos afins. A Druidaria é provavelmente a melhor opção para fazer isso quando esse sentimento fundo emana da alma e do coração.
Não é apenas o que foi, mas o que é, e o que queremos que seja para os tempos vindouros.
Bem-vindos e bem-vindas, amigas celtas, de onde seja que sejades.

NOTA: Esta entrevista é parte do programa de TV “Spectacular Spain” (S01 E06), emitido originalmente em Channel 5 (UK) o 5 de Maio de 2017. Alex Polizzi fala com o Xoán /|\ Milésio (Durvate Mór da IDG). Reproduzido aqui apenas para fins educacionais. Legendas em galego-português da IDG.

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If you are reading these lines…

The Pan-Celtic flag. You can find it in our Support Page

… it means you are in the right place in case you are looking for information on Galician Druidry or the ancient history and heritage of our Land, which we consider to be the core of the Atlantic Celtic culture.

Anyhow, you are most welcome 🙂

However, you may have noticed that most of our site and regular publications are produced in Galician language only, although some relevant information is also presented in English every now and then (such as our page about Galicia).

Therefore, we would like to invite you to read our specific English page where you will find out a bit more about us and our beliefs.

Also, do not hesitate to contact us (in English, of course) with any questions, and feel free to follow the IDG on Facebook and Twitter.

All the best /|\

[Isto é uma nota de boas-vindas para pessoas que não percebem galego-português – This is a welcome note for those who don’t understand Galician-Portuguese]

Open letter to the Great Sioux Nation (and not only)

defend_the_sacredDownload letter in pdf > here (74 kb) <

(continuar a ler para explicação em galego)

Open letter to the Great Sioux Nation and to all Native Peoples of North America, from the Pan-Galician Druidic Fellowship.

Dear Friends,

We have been following your struggle at Standing Rock, where you are protecting the Land and Water endangered by the so-called Dakota Access Pipeline. Likewise, we have witnessed the brutal aggressions and disproportionate reaction to your rightful claims and stance.

We know there is not much we can do from this side of the Atlantic other than to express our honest support with gestures such as this letter, and trying to raise awareness about your situation.

Still, you can be assured we do this having known ourselves the dispossession of our own Land, the abuse and desacralisation of our holy places, the colonisation at the hands of foreign powers, the subjugation of our culture, language and ancient heritage. Indeed, this has happened and continues to happen in Europe.

From a religious perspective, we share the pain of knowing that nothing less than Water is being stained (the Sea, and by extension all Water, is one of the three Celtic Realms).

From an environmentalist perspective, we share the worry of knowing how contamination affects all living beings, how much damage and death it can cause (Nature is most sacred and revered, and part of our beliefs and ethics are based on a wider understanding of Nature).

From a social perspective, we share the belief in the need for open civic involvement, active participation and self-organisation, thus engaging and empowering our Communities (we consider Community and a “hands-on” attitude to be of the utmost importance and fundamental to our practice and daily life).

You must know that your current predicament – in spite of these trying times – will forever be a glorious example of determination, dignity and pride. You have already accomplished that, and this will continue to happen with all just claims of Native Peoples in both North and South America and in all the World (lest we forget the ongoing Mapuche conflict and many others; the Condor and the Eagle might truly be flying towards each other now). It is, after all, a common struggle against the same imperialistic greed and patronising despotism, the same monster taking different forms in different places under different names.

All in all, and even if this is the only message we can manage to convey, we want you to know that you will find kindred spirits even in the places you would have suspected the less. You are certainly not alone in your prayers and thoughts for a better, fairer and more prosperous life in the same Land that housed your Ancestors – your Land.

That is what we want for ourselves and that is what we wish for you and all Peoples.

Quoting a fragment of our National Anthem:

Os bons e generosos               The good and generous
a nossa voz entendem,            Our voice do understand,
e com arroubo atendem          And eagerly they hearken
o nosso rouco som;                 To our rough sounds;
Mas só os ignorantes,             But only the ignorants,
e féridos e duros,                    And barbaric and hard,
imbecis e escuros                   Those foolish and dark
não nos entendem, não.         Do not understand us. They do not.


All the best.


More information about the IDG in English > here <

More information about Galicia, our country > here <


Explicação em galego:

Carta para a Grande Nação Sioux: Quem leia estas linhas seguramente conhecerá os graves incidentes que levam acontecido no território Sioux de Standing Rock (América do Norte). Quem não conheça, recomendamos uma procura de informação sobre o tema no que é o mais recente e mediático acto de injustiça e repressão sobre um Povo Nativo no mundo. Por estes e outros muitos e lógicos motivos, acreditamos que era preciso – dentro das nossas limitadas possibilidades – expressar a nossa solidariedade internacionalista com uma luta distante no espaço, mas muito familiar no sentimento.

O texto acima foi o enviado à Nação Sioux, grupos organizados presentes na zona e ainda outras entidades e meios de comunicação Norte-Americanos nativos.

Auga – Water


Magusto: the Samhain from Gallaecia

[EN] This is a revised version of a text by Hugo Da Nóbrega Dias, originally published in ‘Celtic Guide’ (Nov. 2013). It is reproduced here with permission from the author, whom we kindly thank. You can download it in pdf >here (162kB)<

[GL-PT] Esta é uma versão revisada dum texto de Hugo da Nóbrega Dias, publicado originalmente em ‘Celtic Guide’ (Nov. 2013). É reproduzido aqui com permissão do autor, a quem agradecemos gentilmente. Pode baixá-lo em pdf >aqui (162kB)<

I had always had a certain reluctance in accepting Halloween entering our lives. It is a tradition that we use to link with the USA, with the carved pumpkins and horror costumes, so popularised in the films. This all reached us when shops started to adopt Halloween paraphernalia in their decorations. They found there a new business opportunity that filled the gap between Summer and Christmas. Yet, when we were children, the night of October 31st was always known as ‘Night of the Witches’, and I remember waiting in vain until midnight in the hope of glimpsing some witch crossing the sky on her broom.

magusto_galaicoThe truth is that the way Halloween was aggressively introduced and promoted also contributed to that reluctance of mine. Plus, we already had our traditional Magusto (festivity where people gather to eat chestnuts and drink wine), which is normally celebrated from November 1st. Why would I bother with Halloween? There I was, in fact, unconsciously neglecting the lack of studies of our own traditions. It was only when I became an adult that I started to get myself interested in Celtic studies and, in the same way, in the traditions of my own region, Northern Portugal. It was with great amazement that, years later, I found an old black and white picture of an old lady with two boys, sitting on a chair holding a carved pumpkin on her knees. Before that I had only heard some reports and read some odd texts explaining an ancient tradition, linked to the rest of the Celtic world, more embedded in our culture than one might think.

As a matter of fact, north of river Minho, in the land that is nowadays known as Galiza (Galicia), this way of celebrating the night of October 31st was kept alive in some villages. The tradition of carving pumpkins is something that elders remember doing “from long time ago”. In those villages, many people thought of it as being connected to other Celtic countries, and not just to our own land, as those traditions were alive and uninterrupted for centuries.

October 31st – Samhain – was the end of the Celtic year, when the world of the dead and the world of the living would come together. People used to believe (and some still do) that the souls of the dead could walk in our world. It was the time to celebrate the new year with a big dinner, laughters, friends and family, but it was also the time to conduct religious rites that would allow us to communicate with the Beyond, and have a chat with the loved ones who are no longer among us. Hence, derived from the “headhunting” Celtic custom, skulls were to be lit up with candles, both to protect the living from the evil spirits and to illuminate the path of the good spirits. Those skulls would be left at crossroads, gates, windows or doors, marking and indicating thresholds, passageways. In time, skulls were replaced with turnips and eventually pumpkins.

Over the years, I have been collecting testimonies about a not so distant past. One of these stories happened in Ílhavo, close to Aveiro, home to sailors. In a special cultural event promoted by local authorities, residents were invited to open their houses to visitors so everybody could socialise and get to know the way these people lived. On that occasion, my most kind and hospitable hosts were people from the historic centre of the village. Then Mr. Mário told me, among many other things, about the time when he was young, 30 or 40 years ago, when people in the neighbourhood used to fill those same streets with carved pumpkins for Samhain. I was astonished. Also, in conversations with my father and mother and with other relatives – all from old Gallaecia – I found out that they all had childhood memories of carving pumpkins for the night of October 31st and that they would all gather to eat chestnuts, sausages and to drink wine. One can only imagine the number of people with similar stories to tell and share.

Thus, although the tradition of the carved pumpkins was mostly forgotten in Galicia and Northern Portugal during the 20thC, we can see that from a historical point of view the norm was to celebrate Samhain as done in other Celtic countries, or in the USA by influence of the Irish who emigrated there. Not only that, other significant elements associated to the date such as the respect and reverence for the dead, had always been present. In addition, our tradition offers something of its own, the chestnuts, allegedly said to be a favourite meal in the Beyond! Whether or not this last aspect was common in other countries is a different story. In any case, this was the moment when families and communities harvested and gathered the very last produce given by the land before winter, call it wine, pumpkins or chestnuts. This was the transition from the luminous part of the year (summer) to the dark part of the year (winter), and they celebrated it accordingly, getting ready for some harsh weather but with the confidence it would all pass in the end.

It sure is paradoxical, and somewhat ironic, that it was through commercialism that an old tradition was recovered in our country. It sure made many think we were importing yet another new foreign fad, only to discover it was ours all along. It may even annoy us now how American Halloween “twists” the “true” meaning of Irish Samhain, or Galician-Portuguese Magusto. That is however a good sign, as it evidences how we have rediscovered and accepted a part of our own beautiful ancient heritage.

*.pdf (162kB)

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