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Q: What is Celtic Shamanism?
A: Celtic Shamanism is a shamanic path that is based on the Faery Faith of
the Celtic peoples of Western Europe and especially of Britain, Scotland,
Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Isle of Man and Brittany.
Q: What is the Faery Faith?
A: The Faery Faith is based upon the belief that everything in this and
otherworlds is alive. That each thing is possessed of its own soul or
spirit. This belief is called animism and was prevalent in the Western world
before the advent of the Christian religion, which insists that only men
have souls or spirts and everything else in the world has been placed here
for the use of mankind. This attitude, that humankind is superior to all of
the rest of creation, does not prevail in those parts of the world were
animistic beliefs are still held.
Q: What are Faeries?
A: Faeries are beings which occupy another world or dimension that lies
close to our own. Associating faeries with small, insect-winged beings, such
as Disney's Tinkerbell, is a modern misconception regarding the Fair Folk.
Although there are races of small faeries, others appear to be as large as
we are. There are also gigantic faeries the size of trees and of mountains.
Sometimes they appear as beautiful shining people with rainbow auras about
their heads and shoulders. These are often called the Shining Ones or the
Shining People. They are able to interact with humankind and contact between
the faeries and humans was quite common before the advent of Christianity in
the Celtic countries. In an effort to wipe out the Faery Faith the Fair Folk
were demonized, or else assigned the roles and attributes of Christian
angels or saints, but they are not any of these. The Faeries still exist in
the bright realms that lie all around ours. Celtic Shamans are able to enter
those realms and interact with the Shining Ones.
Q: How are Celtic Shamans different from other shamans?
A: Celtic Shamans follow the spiritual paths of their Celtic Ancestors, just
as American Indians follow the spiritual paths of theirs and Australian
Aborigines follow the paths of theirs and so on. Each of the Earth's tribes
has their own shamanic traditions and their own ways of walking in this and
other worlds. None of these ways are 'better' than the others. None of the
tribes are 'superior' to the others. We are all of different clans and
different tribes but ALL ONE PEOPLE.
Q: Is there really any such thing as Celtic Shamanism?
A: Yes, there is. Shamanism is the world's oldest spiritual path. The fact
that we in the West have forgotten our spiritual roots does not mean that
those roots are not still growing and flourishing beneath the Earth, waiting
to spring into evergreen life if only we will break the ground to allow them
freedom once again. For too long the paths have been choked with weeds, the
doors sealed and the locks rusted shut. Today many are once more walking
those ancient pathways, clearing them for others who will follow. We are
rediscovering the keys that will open the locks. We are throwing wide the
doors that open into the secret groves and crystal caves of our ancestors.
Q: Can I apprentice to become a Celtic Shaman?
A: Yes, the Society of Celtic Shamans offers apprenticeship programs. If you
would like to join us in re-membering - reconstructing - here is a link you
may find useful.
Q: Is there any link you know between Celtic Shamanism and the
A: As far as I know the Ungarian-Finnish Shamanic Tradition is an unbroken
tradition and is still practiced by the Ungarian-Finnish peoples. Celtic
Shamanism is, to a large extent, the result of recent reconstruction. There
are many scholars who deny that there ever was a shamanic tradition among
the Celtic peoples. It is, however, impossible for me to believe that of all
the peoples on earth only the Celts lack such a tradition. So far as I know
there are no links between the unbroken Ungarian-Finnish and the
reconstructed Celtic shamanic traditions.
Q: What holidays do people of the Celtic Shamans faith celebrate,and what is
their view about Christ?
A: Many Celtic Shamans are Christians and they usually celebrate the
Christian holidays. Some Celtic Shamans celebrate the pre-Christian holidays
of Samhain (Nov 1), Imbolc (Feb 1), Beltane (May 1) and Lughnasadh (Aug 1).
In addition to these four there are equinoxes and solstices which are
usually celebrated around Dec 20-22, March 20-22, June 20-22, September
20-22. There is no central authority telling Celtic shamans what they may
and may not believe -- no doctrine or dogma. This is a very individualistic
path. It is a mystical path about becoming one with all that is and entering
into union with the divine. Christian Celtic Shamans generally believe in
the divinity of Christ. As a non-Christian Celtic Shaman I believe that all
is divine, including Christ.
Q: Just want to check --what is the difference between a Faery Shaman and a
A: Shamanism is not a religion. It is a certain set of beliefs. Among these
are a the belief that all things -- people, animals, plants, rocks, hills,
streams, lakes, mud puddles, ALL THINGS -- are living and each has its own
spirit. Shamans believe that there are Otherworlds that lie beside our own
or interpentrate our own and that these Shining Realms are inhabited by the
Fair Folk -- faerys, elementals, animal spirits, green spirits, rock
spirits, and so on. Faery Shamans are able to enter into the Shining Realms
and interact with the spirits of those bright lands. In addition, Faery
Shamans are able to percieve the spirits of this world and interact with
them. Shamans are engaged in what we call The Great Work. The Great Work is
helping and healing, making and mending. Shamans serve their community. They
are healers, teachers and counsellors. A Faery Shaman may be a Wiccan,
Christian, Jew, Moslem, etc. or even an agnostic or atheist.
Wicca is a religion based on what we know of the ancient earth based
religions. Faery Wiccans are Wiccans whose religious practices are based on
popular (as opposed to scholarly), modern interpretations of ancient Celtic
spritual traditions. A Faery Wiccan may be a Faery Shaman and a Faery Shaman
practice Faery Wicca.
Q: I would like to know more about Celtic Shamanism. Where do I turn?
A: You may want to start by reading a book or two or three by different
authors. If you go to http://www.faeryshaman.org/sitemap.htm you will find
the sitemap for the Society of Celtic Shamans. And there under the category
"Books and Publications" you will find the link to our bibliography that
lists a lot of good books. Also look under "Our Magazine" for Earthsongs.
When you go to Earthsongs go into the ARCHIVES and read articles from past
Q: What is the difference between the Celtic Shamanism you practice and
A: I don't know. I'm not a Druid nor do I know any Druids so I don't know
how my practices differ from theirs. You may want to read our FAQ to find
out what we are teaching and then go to one or two Druidic sites to find out
what they are teaching. That should help you discover an answer to your