Monday, March 18, 2013

Tara and Carnac Celtic Mystic Centers


Tara and Carnac Celtic Mystic Centers

As was pointed out at the beginning of this chapter, Ireland and Brittany are to be regarded as the two poles of the modern Celtic world, but it is believed by Celtic mystics that they are much more than this, that they are two of its psychic centres, with Tara and Carnac as two respective points of focus from which the Celtic influence of each country radiates.[9] With such a psychical point of view, it makes no difference at all whether one scholar argues Carnac to be Celtic and another pre-Celtic, for if pre-Celtic, as it most likely is, it has certainly been bequeathed to the people who were and are Celtic, and its influence has been an unbroken thing from times altogether beyond the horizon of history. According to this theory (and in following it we are merely trying to put on record unique material transmitted to us by the most learned of contemporary Celtic mystics and seers) there seem to be certain favoured places on the earth where its magnetic and even more subtle forces are most powerful and most easily felt by persons susceptible to such things; and Carnac appears to be one of the greatest of such places in Europe, and for this reason, as has been thought, was probably selected by its ancient priest-builders as the great centre for religious practices, for the celebration of pagan mysteries, for tribal assemblies, for astronomical observations, and very likely for establishing schools in which to educate neophytes for the priesthood. Tara, with its tributary Boyne valley, is a similar place in Ireland, so selected and so used, as, in our study of the cult of fairies and the cult of the dead, manuscript evidence will later indicate. And thus to such psychical and magnetic, or, according perhaps to others, religious or traditional influences as focus themselves at Tara and Carnac, though in other parts of the two countries as well, may be due in a great, even in an essential measure, the vigorous and ever-living Fairy-Faith of Ireland, and the innate and ever-conscious belief of the Breton people in the Legend of the Dead and in a world invisible. For fairies and souls of the dead, though, strictly speaking, not confused, are believed to be beings of the subjective world existing to-day, and influencing mortals, as they have always existed and influenced them according to ancient and modern traditions, and as they appear now in the eyes even of science through the work of a few pioneer scientists in psychical research. And it seems probable that subjective beings of this kind, granting their existence, were made use of by the ancient Druids, and even by Patrick when the old and new religions met to do battle on the Hill of Tara. The control of Tara, as a psychical centre, meant the psychical control of all Ireland. To-day on the Hill of Tara the statue of St. Patrick dwarfs the Liath Stone beside it; at Carnac the Christian Cross overshadows dolmens and menhirs.
A learned priest of the Roman Church told me, when I met him in Galway, that in his opinion those places in Ireland where ancient sacrifices were performed to pagan or Druid gods are still, unless they have been regularly exorcized, under the control of demons (daemons). And what the Druids were at Tara and throughout Erin and most probably at Carnac as well, the priests were in Egypt, and the pythonesses in Greece. That is to say, Druids, Egyptian priests, priestesses in charge of Greek oracles, are said to have foretold the future, interpreted omens, worked all miracles and wonders of magic by the aid of demons, who were regarded as an order of invisible beings, intermediary between gods and men, and as sometimes including the shades from Hades.
I should say as before, if he who knowing Ireland, the Land of Faerie, would know in the same manner Brittany, the Land of the Dead, let him silently and alone walk many times—in sun, in wind, in storm, in thick mist—through the long, broad avenues of stone of the Alignements at Carnac. Let him watch from among them the course of the sun from east to west. Let him stand on St. Michael’s Mount on the day of the winter solstice, or on the day of the summer solstice. Let him enter the silence of its ancient underground chamber, so dark and so mysterious. Let him sit for hours musing amid cromlechs and dolmens, and beside menhirs, and at holy wells. Let him marvel at the mightiest of menhirs now broken and prostrate at Locmariaquer, and then let him ponder over the subterranean places near it. Let him try to read the symbolic inscriptions on the rocks in Gavrinis. Let him stand on the Île de Sein at sunrise and at sunset. Let him penetrate the solitudes of the Forest of Brocéliande, and walk through the Val-Sans-Retour (Vale-Without-Return). And then let him wander in footpaths with the Breton peasant through fields where good dames sit on the sunny side of a bush or wall, knitting stockings, where there are long hedges of furze, golden-yellow with bloom—even in January—and listen to stories about corrigans, and about the dead who mingle here with the [living. Let him enter the peasant’s cottage when there is fog over the land and the sea-winds are blowing across the shifting sand-dunes, and hear what he can tell him. Let him, even as he enjoys the picturesque customs and dress of the Breton folk and looks on at their joyous ronde (perhaps the relic of a long-forgotten sun-dance), observe the depth of their nature, their almost ever-present sense of the seriousness of human life and effort, their beautiful characters as their mystic land has shaped them without the artificiality of books and schools, their dreaminess as they look out across the ocean, their often perfect physique and fine profiles and rosy cheeks, and yet withal their brooding innate melancholy. And let him know that there is with them always an overshadowing consciousness of an invisible world, not in some distant realm of space, but here and now, blending itself with this world; its inhabitants, their dead ancestors and friends, mingling with them daily, and awaiting the hour when theAnkou (a King of the Dead) shall call each to join their invisible company.