Page 2 of Judaculla Rock.

Mittens, Lightning, and Coming Storm - Arizona.
11 x 14 inches

Watercolors by Craig Welch.
Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.

The constellations of the Greater and Lesser Bear, and Pleiades.

Notes on Seasons and Rituals of Irish Celts.
(From Col. Charles Vallancey, "A Grammar of the Iberno-Celtic, or Irish Language," 1782. pp. 138-40.)

"The month of May was sacred to Belus, and is still called Mi-mheasmach or the month of the beautiful offspring; and, with respect to the next great division of the year by quarters, it is called Mi-meodhain-samhradh, or the middle month of summer.

"The month of May was sacred to Belus, and is still called Mi-Baltinne, the month of Baal's fire. In this month all criminals were tried, and the guilty burn to death, eidir Bheiltinne, between two fires of Baal: This execution was probably mistaken by Caesar for human sacrifices amongst the Gauls.

"During this solemn festival, marriages were forbidden: It was called the month of Mai, Maidh, or Maith, which signifies mystery or sorcery. Maith-eas is explained by the old Irish glossarists by Mai-fhios, i.e. druidheacht, i.e. the knowledge of Mai, or Druidical Mystery. The games institued in honour of these, were called May-games, and are still imitated by mummers and such-like processions, the youths being always armed, denoting bloodshed. Marriage was not only forbidden, but all persons married in the preceding year, were obliged to appear and account for their behaviour The women walked in procession, led by a person bearing a circle ornamented with flowers, and in the midst was suspended a ball of golden tissue and another of silver, in honour of Belus and the Moon; the latter part of this ceremony is still preserved in Ireland. The name of the year, as I have observed, is in Irish Bliadhain, corrupted from Bal-di-ain, or the ring or orbit of the god Baal: The name of a planet is an, probably from ain, but the title Di-ana, given to the moon, is certainly of this Celtic origin, which signifies the god of planets. Re is also the moon, and rean, a star, which is to say, the moon's planet; thus she was called the Queen of heaven, the Queen of the planets. The Irish have another name for a star, as re-alt, i.e. the high moon; these are the stars in the great expanse, whose orbits are not known, and this name evidently shows the knowledge the antient Irish had of astronomy. From ain, a ring or orbit, is drived the Latin annus and annulus. "

[N.B. - my notes 2010. The modern Gaelic dictionary meaning of "druidheacht" is:

    druidheachd - charm, conjuration, enchantment, magic -    (fem)

    also "drithleann" - gleam -    (fem) used denoting the Pleiades]

November-December: black and holy.
(from Col. Charles Vallancey, p.143)

"Mi-deireannac-d'fhombradh, i.e. the last month of harvest. November is called Naoi-mi or ninth month, and also Mi-dhu, i.e. the black month [N.B. - my note 2010. Modern Gaelic "dubh" means "black."], and Cead-mhi-do-geimhradh, i.e. the first month of winter. December is named Deic-mi, or the tenth month, and Mi-chru-mdu, i.e. the most black and holy month; and also Mi-meodhain an geimhradh, the middle month of winter. N.B. November was also sacred to druidical ceremonies, and dedicated to Baal-Samen, which day now falls on the eve of All-Saints, and is called oidhche Shamna (or ee owna). On the first of November a fire was kindled for summoning all the Druids to meet, in order to sacrifice to Baal-Samen. They burnt the sacrifice in that fire, nor was there any other fire to be kindled in Ireland that night. All fires were rekindled from the holy fire, on paying a tribute to the chief Druid. This festival was called Tlachagha, which signifies orbit; it was meant to express that Belus, or the sun, had completed half his course. The Irish have dropped this annual fire, but it is still preserved in Scotland and in Wales; the latter know not the origin of it."

Julius Caesar's comments on Druids in Gaul ('The Gallic War' Book VI v.13-14, trans H.J.Edwards. See book list.)

"...Of the two classes mentioned one consists of Druids, the other of knights. The former are concerned with divine worship, the due performance of sacrifices, public and private, and the interpretation of ritual questions: a great number of young men gather about them for the sake of instruction and hold them in great honour. In fact it is they who decide in almost all disputes, public and private; and if any crime has been committed, or murder done, or there is any dispute about succession or boundaries, they also decide it, determining rewards and penalties: if any person or people does not abide by their decision, they ban such from sacrifice, which is their heaviest penalty. Those that are so banned are reckoned as impious and criminal; all men move out of their path and shun their approach and conversation, for fear they may get some harm from their contact, and no justice is done if they seek it, no disticntion falls to their share. Of all these Druids one is chief, who has the highest authority among them. At his death, either any other that is pre-eminent in position succeeds, or, if there be several of equal standing, they strive for the primacy by the vote of the Druids, or sometimes even with armed force. These Druids, at a certain time of the year, meet within the borders of the Carnutes, whose territory is reckoned as the centre of all Gaul, and sit in conclave in a consecrated spot. Thither assemble from every side all that have disputes, and they obey the decisions and judgments of the Druids. It is believed that their rule of life was discovered in Britain and transferred thence to Gaul; and to-day those who would study the subject more accurately journey, as a rule, to Britain to learn it.

"...The cardinal doctrine which they seek to teach is that souls do not die, but after death pass from one to another; and this belief, as the fear of death is thereby cast aside, they hold to be the greatest incentive to valour. Besides this, they have many discussions as touching the stars and their movement, the size of the universe and of the earth, the order of nature, the strength and the powers of the immortal gods, and hand down their lore to the young men."

[N.B. - My notes 2010. Why are there so few details written about Druids and Celt religious practices? An answer may be in Caesar's comments of VI v.14: "...Report says that in the schools of the Druids they learn by heart a great number of verses, and therefore some persons remain twenty years under training. And they do not think it proper to commit these utterances to writing, although in almost all other matters, and in their public and private accounts, they make use of Greek letters. I believe that they have adapted the practice for two reasons - that they do not wish the rule to become common property, nor those who learn the rule to rely on writing and so neglect the cultivation of the memory."]

Track Rock, GA: A territory marker in the shape of a shield that says 'we exist'.
They were lost; and now they are found.

This page was last edited on December 14, 2010.