Keys to Knowledge

Over the past 25 years that I’ve been actively studying and practising the older pagan ways, I am coming to a kind of peace about not knowing it all.

Especially when it comes to British, or Celtic, spirituality, we start out with a lot of unlearning (such as, faeries are not the small creatures with wings! The Ogham is not a tree alphabet! We can never replicate the Druidic schools!)

And on top of that, the amount to learn can seem overwhelming. For me, it’s been continuously humbling to consider the sheer volume of time, lore, old texts, archaeological sites, languages, deities, ritual practices, and land/water-scapes that are part of my ancestral cosmology - to name but a few things.

I have spent countless hours and dollars on courses, books, documentaries, travels, recording my family’s stories, and exploring my family tree to get closer to some semblance of feeling like I know something about all of this - and the further I go into it, the more I realize that I am tapping into entire universes.

How can anyone ever feel qualified to teach any of this?! The world of it is so vast, and we are looking at only the fragments that have survived. It’s like a giant puzzle, all broken up, with only some of the pieces remaining.

One way that I have come to regulate my learning and lessen the overwhelm is to take different pieces and embrace them as “keys”. What I mean by this is that seemingly small cultural or cosmological pieces can be fantastic keys to helping us learn about the wider picture.

For example, the Ogham is an incredible key - there is so much remaining information about the Ogham, and it gives us deep insights into old Irish culture.

But even a simple word, such as “glas” (Scots Gaelic for blue/green/grey) is a key.

A feature of the landscape, a story, an archaeological artefact can all be keys.

The more “keys” we engage with and explore, the better our handle on the terrain becomes. The picture gets bigger. Pieces of the puzzle start to connect to form whole segments.

At this point, I feel grounded and enriched by having many keys.

It is my wish for you, through “Enter the Otherworld”, that I can help you find the keys that will help you unlock your own connections to the cultures of the Isles.

We do it piece by piece.

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