The first Celtic Round Table asks: How do you define your practice? How do you navigate the Celtic umbrella? How much of your practice is rooted in Pre-Christian tradition?
I define my practice as Gaelic Polytheism, with a specific interest in Ireland. The interest in Ireland is indeed because of my heritage to Ireland, though my blood is not just from Ireland. (My mother’s side is almost entirely Italian and I recently discovered I can trace my lineage to Scotland!) So I stick with Gaelic Polytheism, because it’s the over-arching “Gaelic” cultures I feel strongly pulled towards.
I don’t necessarily navigate the Celtic umbrella as much as I tread water in it. I have a dear friend who is a Gaulish Polytheist, and I know others who are Brythonic and Welsh. While I don’t use those cultures to inform my practices, I want to know about them so I can help others discover those practices too. (This ties in with my goal to start a Polytheist Community Center, of course.)
As for how much my practice is informed by pre-Christian beliefs: it is heavily informed. However, I give myself liberty to be part of the continuum. I don’t have lifestock to bless on Beltane, for example, but I instead bless my pets. My hearth is a coffee maker, since coffee is emblematic of hospitality, friendship, and family to me. I am also trying to allow myself to acknowledge correspondences that are meaningful to me even if I wasn’t informed by lore or history. (Though sometimes I find out that my correspondences and hunches end up corresponding with lore, which is a wonderful experience!)
So that’s a brief introduction to me and Celtic Polytheism. I live a specifically Gaelic Polytheistic lifestyle that tries to maintain a balance between the pre-Christian beliefs and my modern life, while also learning what I can from other “Celtic” practices.