Pan-Celtic Hoofbeats: By Way of an Introduction

Pan-Celtic Hoofbeats: By Way of an Introduction September 19, 2018

This is my first post on Agora, so this is an introduction, in which various labels will be considered and possibly discarded as useless. I’m only doing this so that when you feel the need to take me to task about future posts I can say something like, “Well, I did warn you!”

First things first. My name sometimes creates confusion, because there is a well-known Welsh Druid called Kristoffer Hughes, known as Kris to his friends. Anyway, I’m not Kristoffer and he’s not me, and we aren’t impersonating one another, although we have both written blog posts about the Mari Lwyd in which we quoted the same poem, which was kind of spooky. (At least my parents didn’t name me Starhawk!)

Hoof Prints via Pixabay, public domain image.

I’ve followed a Celtic neo-Pagan path since the early 1980s, around the same time I went to live in Scotland. I’ve mostly been solitary, first because I didn’t know how to find other Pagans, then because I was too busy, and later because I lived in the middle of nowhere. Recently I moved to the Pacific Northwest of the US, where there are a lot of Pagans, so I’ve been going to more group things and enjoying it.

I spent my years in Scotland teaching traditional Scottish music, and one thing I learned from that is how much I enjoy teaching, and especially teaching adults. Recently I’ve been looking for ways to apply that skill in the Pagan community and I’ve decided that I really like the label “hedge teacher”. This spring I taught a series of “Celtic Studies for Pagans” classes locally, and we had a blast!

I’ve always been drawn to a mixture of Gaelic, Gaulish and Brythonic deities. I’m not a reconstructionist, but I have many friends in that corner of Pagandom, because I share their love of good scholarship. I also have a strong sense that the gods and goddesses are trying to reach out to us, and that they are breathing new life into things like folk practices and our increasing veneration of nature and historically sacred places.

Somewhere along the way I became more than just good friends with Epona, then years later Rhiannon showed up in my life. Recently, Macha has called to me, too. Those relationships feel rather personal, and I am still looking for the words to share them, but I feel called to try, because they have messages for us that we urgently need to hear.

The River Spey in Scotland. Photo by Mankey.

Which brings us to mysticism. The gods of the Celts are awake and interested in things that are going on in their honor these days, as well as that which dishonors them. They don’t always wait for a formal invitation to a perfectly crafted ritual to come among us. They are just as likely to show up where people have decided to revive an old custom, or in a quiet place where one person has opened their heart and stilled their mind, while hoping that this whole thing is real.

What will this blog be about? I don’t know the answer to that yet. I have blogged for years on my own website, and I expect to keep that going. I may focus more on the horse goddesses here. Things will unfold, and I would invite you to offer suggestions in the comments now, if you would like to influence my direction. I’m listening.

Meanwhile, look for a proper post in a day or two!

About Kris Hughes
Kris Hughes is a nice, older Pagan woman who loves the gods of the Celts. She doesn't claim to be anything in particular, but she might possibly be described as a hedge teacher, a writer, a part time Druid, an exiled Scot, a poet, cartomancer, ritualist, storyteller, or just someone with a lot to say about a lot of things. In the past she has been a professional musician, a farmer, and a horsewoman. She is currently writing a book, working title The Celtic Horse Goddesses: Myth, History and Personal Reflection. Her interests include herbalism, mythology, and British native ponies. She also blogs at her own website Go Deeper. You can read more about the author here.

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