An Creideamh S in the Heart of Cascadia


Ancestors at the Center

Posted by Erin nighean Brghde on May 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM

Some Celtic pagans today fear talk about ancestry and heritage, mistakenly conflating it with neonazi supremacist and eradication agendas.  For me, Ancestors is my starting point, my central hub, the Well from which I come, and the container of the wisdom and knowledge which I seek. They are the ground of my very being. To negate them, dismiss them as irrelevant, or to trivialize them with distancing, technical terms like 'genetics' is to create a chasm between my soul and theirs, from which I learn ancestral worldview and identity. I didn't know who I was when cut off from knowing them, and I would again be without identity and grounding if I were to cut them off again. They are my roots, my connection to spiritual nourishment. I don't understand the idea of dismissing them, or that connection, or the supposed value to be gained by it. To view them as simply a set of genetics irrelevant to lifeways and worldview is to take a very scientist, modernist view, in stark contrast to an indigenous, ancestral worldview. One cannot be nourished by ones ancestors in the former worldview, and so I reject it.

White nationalism is the exact opposite of this deep relationship with Ancestors. Our ancestors were manipulated by the powers of their day to give up their ancestral culture, lifeways, worldview, and identity in order to become 'white' in the socially-constructed sense, which was invented by WASPs, White Anglo Saxon Protestants of Britain and Germanic/Scandinavian Europe, the former of which was not eager to grant it to our Gaelic forbears originally, and the oppression and cultural rape they practiced on aboriginals around the world was first perfected against the Gaels of Scotland and Ireland in medieval and early modern times. 'White' is a socially-constructed identity based on imperialism and colonialism stemming from Britain's Roman roots and Europe's love affair with classical culture via the Renaissance. As such, it has nothing at all to do with Gaelic ancestral worldview and lifeways.

For myself, my Ancestors (not 'ancestry') stand at the center of my lifeways, and spirituality, guiding and instructing me, their descendant, into their worldview and ancestral mind.  I will always be a drop in this Great River which flows down from the Well upon the forested mountaintop of mythic time and space into my historical ancestors of this world, through and around me, and down into my children and future descendants.  This Well will always be our Source, our Origin, our Identity, and our spiritual and cultural nourishment, to which we might always return. 

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