As I'm signing off the list due to problems with the AOL net Gateway, this is
cc'd directly to Angela.
In a message dated 95-10-22 18:02:14 EDT, you write:
>And my take on roots is no more
>ridiculous than the tautology that if it seems celtic, it is celtic,
>because, still, everyone seems to be avoiding a definition of the
My definition of Celtic then: The Indo-European culture which is now chiefly
represented (but not exclusively) by the older traditions of the Irish,
Scots, Welsh, and Bretons. Is that concrete enough? BTW, what is _your_
definition of Celtic?
> It seems to me--and this is not a critique, because cultural
>self-identification always revolves around this--that it is some
>vague sense of 'belonging' (like Benedict's IMAGINED COMMUNITIES), an
>emotional gut reaction which becomes concretised as Celtic so that
>there is some 'real' concrete image on which to hang your identity.
This may be true for some, but I've come to view my heritage as more of a
mosaic of Celtic, Teutonic, and Mediterranean (with a smidgeon of Cherokee
from the Smoky Mountains). Most of my ancestors were Welsh or Scots, and
therefore Celtic, while some were from the other groups. I do not feel that
this is central to either my cultural or personal identity, though I have
seen people who do. I simply feel that I owe it to the memories of my
ancestors, in a sort of filial piety way, to remember them and their ways of
life. This isn't confined to my Scots or Welsh ancestors, but extends to my
ancestors who were Roman, Belgian, Norman, French, Dutch, Cherokee, South
Carolinian, North Carolinian, Canadian, and Virginian. I would expect that
there are others who feel this way, just as there are others who don't.
Blanket statements about people interested in their Celtic ancestries can be
invalid and somewhat insulting (not to me personally, though) because of
> But i
>still argue that although all religions borrow aspects, this is not
>the same as affluent European descendents now deciding that native
>spirituality is 'cool' and can give them peace after a hard day at
Shallow dabbling in any religion or philosophical system can be degrading to
that system or religion, no matter what it is. It isn't exclusive to Native
American religions now, any more than when Zen was the "in thing". However,
people can turn this shallow dabbling into an educational experience, but
need to be guided by the teachers so that that kind of interest can develop.