Celtic Lunar Mansions

Did the Celts derive a lunar astrology from Vedic India?   

Much of Western Occultism in Europe is derived from the East (see link).  Here the author makes some basic connections:
Celtic cosmology is a parallel to Vedic cosmology. Ancient Celtic astrologers used a similar system based on twenty-seven lunar mansions, called nakshatras in Vedic Sanskrit. Like the Hindu Soma, King Ailill of Connacht, Ireland, had a circular palace constructed with twenty-seven windows through which he could gaze on his twenty-seven “star wives.”
"The Celtic – Vedic Connection", April 27, 2017, India Divine (link)

Another point of view is that this is the invention of author Robert Graves who like Yeats, promoted the concept of an ancient Mother Goddess religion:

Many attempts have been made at restoring or reconstructing ancient Celtic Astrology, these models are for the most part, fabricated, when not, completely re-invented. Not surprisingly, these tree zodiacs bear very little resemblance to both Western and Eastern Astrology. This being that most of the reconstructionists have worked from false indications given by Robert Graves who seems to have confused Almanac with Zodiac. Certainly, the Almanac is lunar and the Zodiac, solar, but of course, these are two different systems, the first relying on the yearly lunar cycle (354.3 days) of approximately 12 lunations and the second, on the solar cycle (365.6 days). An important reminder is that the Moon visits the zodiacal constellations in but one month while the Sun takes a full year to complete the same course. Worse still, the authors often fail to give their sources, making it impossible to verify them. In short, we can only conjecture on who started it in the first place. And in this case, most evidently, all paths lead to Robert Graves. 
Celtic Astrology: A modern Hoax 
(with comments by Joseph Monard, Celtic scholar) by Michel-Gérald Boutet (iconographer)

It is a key point for me that neither view makes any mention of the esoteric connection between the mansions and our spiritual anatomy and spiritual life journey - which has to be the true starting point.  Certainly the language for describing it may have derived from somewhere, but it is of greater interest to me how one takes a universal spiritual experience and uses the models and terminology of one's own culture, mixed with that of others, to make the correlation between the perceived world of forms and the invisible world of the soul and Spirit.  That's why I don't involve myself too much with the chicken-and-egg question of which version came first.  I am more interested in the poetry of the human soul in its timeless and holy quest for our origins in the Divine - pure conscious being - and how to attain that enlightened state.

Tuatha Dé Danann


I studied ancient Celtic mythology in university many years ago and know that the Indo-European Celts brought with them a lot of occult knowledge from Egypt (which itself would have inherited Vedic knowledge in ancient times) and combined it with their own Nature worshipping religion.  What eventually became part of the legends and faery lore derive from the worship of ancient gods and goddesses identified with Nature, at some point known as the Tuatha Dé  Danann (link).  What is important for me in this study is that they are associated with the cosmological wheel.*

One of the most telling things is the figure of the hound-folkhero Cú Chulainn whose third eye is described very graphically in relationship to his Kali-like powers to destroy enemies.  This reminds me so very much of Shiva, who is also associated with the dog star next to the constellation Orion.

Detail from the Gundestrup Cauldron 1st c. AD (link)


The ancient Celts had a fantastic mythology comparable to that of the ancient Greeks and Romans but it is not as popularly known.  It has been lost and repressed by various religions, notably early Christianity.  In particular St. Patrick who is celebrated for driving the "snakes" (code for people versed in Kundalini esoterica) out of Ireland.  Ironically (yet in keeping with tradition) the early Christian fathers preserved a lot of the pagan iconography in their beautifully illuminated scriptural texts, re-assigning pagan deities to a Christian context.



Thus we have a conflation of many esoteric traditions dealing with the journey of the human soul and its nature.

The New Age is trying to revive some of this ancient knowledge through pagan revivalist movements such as Wicca but it must do so against the oppression of Western style scientific research that does not acknowledge the existence of the soul or the divine power of Kundalini/Prakriti, or the existence of chakras, much less the idea of an intelligent Universe that Hindus worship as the one Self.

Ironically Wikipedia has included all the colours of the cosmological circle corresponding with medicine wheels and Taoist neidan, in its description of the five provinces of Ireland:

(link)
The missing fifth province is code for the element space (dominion of the throat chakra) that holds the other four elements together.

There is much to be explored from mystical ancient Ireland, but this is just an introduction...the scope of this research is enormous and teasing out the Celtic from other influences is a lifetime of work.
[to be continued]

Interesting links:


"The Native Way of Understanding the Cosmos" reinterprets some of the iconography of Gundestrup Cauldon (1st century AD) in this interesting and well-informed analysis (link). 


---------
*The 4 cardinal points on the cosmological wheel in this case become the "four treasures" of the Tuatha Dé Dannan (link).  Ireland is also conceived of as 4+1 provinces.

No comments: