Within this ongoing dialogue about my own spiritual intentions, I have come to see that I don’t want to “reconstruct” anything. A Celtic Recon over at Felmac is starting a new online journal about Celtic Reconstructionism (hereafter CR). I may be getting myself into some trouble here, but as I read through the basic description of the forum I had to shake my head. Don’t get me wrong here. I am not trying to slam anybody for their beliefs and spiritual practices. The following critique is meant to outline why I personally have decided to no longer call myself a Celtic Recon.
“Celtic Reconstructionism is a methodology to restore and revitalize the pre-Christian worldviews and polytheistic systems of the various Celtic peoples in the context of contemporary yet traditional Celtic cultures.”
This is a nice basic description of CR. I have come to see, however, that for me this is the wrong approach. Ever since my education in anthropology and my readings of some of the writings of Alexei Kondratiev, I have had to accept that my direct experience of Celtic culture is almost nil. I am a Coloradoan , and an American. These are the cultures I was raised in (and I say “cultures” for a reason, trust me growing up in Colorado is totally different from growing up in Missouri for example) and the ones that shape the majority of my cosmology. Frankly I think it is not realistic, nor honest, for any American to claim Celtic culture nowadays. We simply don’t know what we are talking about, as we have no direct experience of it. We can be inspired by Celtic culture and belief, but that is as far as we can go. That is not to say that for many American families with Irish or Scottish (or Welsh etc.) heritage, that it is not a major influence on them, simply that it is an influence that is biased by Christian belief and culture since the days of Patrick. This is not a bad thing at all, I point it out simply to counter the idea of many neo-pagans who would like to pretend that the era of Celtic Christianity never happened. It did. Keep reading . .