Friday, January 23, 2009


"QUEEN MEDB (MAEVE)" by J. Leyendecker

I learned last evening that I have been given (in my mind at least) a great honor. My blog has been listed as one of "100 Fascinating Celtic Culture, Language & Lit Blogs" by Best University. The blogs are organized by subjects, which include Celtic music, genealogy and heritage, literature and writing, art, spirituality, crafts and culture. For a list of all 100 blogs, click on this link:

In my two years of blogging, I have always felt that even though I gave my blog a Celtic slant, I did not address the subject of the Celts as often as I would have liked. In fact, it was my goal this year to increase the number of posts touching on what I call the magical and mysterious world of the Celts. Now, after being added to this list, I feel even more of an obligation to do so.

I installed Feedjit just before Christmas. This gadget not only tells me what countries Internet searchers are arriving from, but also the subject they are Googling. I feel that I must be such a disappointment for people looking up subjects in the Celtic realm, such as Celtic music, Celtic poems and phrases, Celtic spirituality and Celtic art. In particular, I get a great many hits on the subject of Celtic pixies, faeries, brownies and elves!

I especially felt that way when my blog was called Celtic Woman. Then, I'm sure, hundreds if not thousands of people reached my blog only to read about me blathering on yet again about the cold, snowy winter, when all they really wanted was the Irish women's singing group.

In the list of 100 Fascinating Celtic Blogs, mine is placed under the category of genealogy and heritage. I feel that is a good spot for it, and I have written some posts about my heritage.

However, to achieve my original goal for my blog, I have decided to feature a series of posts written by Aine, a Celtic maiden who lived in Ancient Britain.


I'll let Aine introduce herself.

"Hello, my name is Aine (pronounced awn-ye). I am tall, and I have golden brown (reddish brown) hair and green eyes. I am told that I am comely and that I have a willowy figure. I am 23 years old. I am a healer, having learned from my mother's great store of knowledge the medicinal and healing powers of a vast array of plants. I am also learning to be a wise woman, though I have a long way to go. Someday I hope to be a Druid priestess.

I live in a round hut with a heavy thatched dome at the edge of our village. Except for my pet owl, I live alone here. I also often have two wild visitors - a hare and a deer. I would never consider them to be my pets but I do have a mystical connection with them. I also love to ride among the wild horses, who let me tame them.

I have not taken a husband, nor do I plan to. I have chosen a solitary life. I will live here with my dried herbs, powders and potions, my amulets and talismans. However, do not think me a witch. This is a common misconception about wise women, but I do not cast spells or dabble in the dark arts.

We Celts are pagan, and worship female goddesses. We are a matriarchal - or matrifocused -society. Women are highly respected and we have equal rights with men.

However, this is a transitional time for my people. The winds of change are blowing our way, and they are not kind. The Romans are here now, and the Christians. The priests are trying to force us to accept their religion, but we are resisting. They denounce our goddesses because our worship of the female deities stands in direct contrast to and conflict with their patriarchal system of beliefs, in which men hold all the power.

Since I am able to divine the future, I can foretell great changes ahead for our way of life. But one thing I know - our Celtic women are, in many ways, better off than women will be, even all the way to the 20th Century.

Across the centuries - through Julie - I will be telling you about these changes, as well as about the clothing I wear, my jewelry and tattoos, the food we eat and the way we live, our art and our poetry. I will also tell you about the times I have had to fight like a warrior, although I am a peaceful and gentle soul at heart.

I have so much to tell you about our strong, intelligent and proud race, about our wonderful inventions, our remarkable artistic legacy. our deep relationship with nature and Mother Earth, and the role of women in Celtic society. I hope you are as excited as Julie is about hearing from me from time to time."


"CELTIC LADY" by Hastings


Researching the Celts will not be as easy as researching the 1920s for Bess Stanhope's Autumn Sketch Book, so when I make errors - and I am sure to - please correct me.

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my Second Blogiversary. Just leave a comment on the post below.


JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Wonderful - and so deserved. Congratulations.

I really enjoy your blog - so colorful and interesting and I'm sure the others that come here are fascinated too. I like the lightness of your blog ( by that I don't mean "fluff") sometimes one can get bogged down in darkness and yours is full of light and joy.
Thanks for the great job - and I still like to hear about the weather too.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Julie! What a wonderful honour!


gma said...

I am so excited about your Celtic blog honor!!! That is so cool! ALSO I look foward to visiting with Aine. Communicating across time...and cyber space!
Just call me crazy I love this!!!


Unknown said...

I hope this includes me in your Giveaway. Just stopping in to say hello. I sent you an email.

Love, hugs, and mush, KJ

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

Wow! That's a fine recognition and well deserved!

I loved meeting Aine -can't wait to hear more about her life and times.

I also like hearing and learning about you - where you live - what you are reading - so don't give that up!

Kim Campbell said...

How awesome! Congratulations!!

Laurie said...

Wow ~ now that is an honor.
I have always found your blog interesting, whether your writing about the cold winters or the Celts!
Now I have to go and investigate this Feedjit ~ I never heard of it before!

Bimbimbie said...

A new road and journey Julie for you to travel alongside with Aine ...I know it's going to be an interesting one to follow.

Congratulations on the listing*!*

Lila Rostenberg said...

Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations,Julie!

You are a worthy recipient!!!
Celts are so interesting, you will learn and share a lot with us!

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

this is wonderful!

Janet said...

How wonderful! I'm so happy for you. This honor is well deserved. I don't think anyone would be disappointed by what they find at your blog. You always have interesting posts and I can't wait to learn more about Aine.

Annie said...

So happy to have stumbled across your blog. I'm also Clan Munro (on my maternal grandmother's side). My paternal grandfather is a McKinstry which I guess is affiliated with Clan Henderson, so I guess I'm Scandanavian/Scottish too! Maternal Grandfather is a Maguire from County Cork Ireland, so that only leaves me with one grandparents who isn't from this region. (paternal grandma is French/German, suspect Jewish who changed their name for safety reasons, since they hailed from Odessa Russia at one time...)

I'm fascinated with Aine. Since I was named Anne (nicknamed Karamella)! Aine must have been an AWESOME woman!

As I go into my "2nd childhood" I become more and more fascinated with my celtic roots. All the women on my maternal side were healers and independent business women. Strong women, compassionate, empathetic. I hope to find strength in me to carry on this heritage. Sorry I don't have a daughter to pass it on to...

Thanks for the beautiful Blog! Looking forward to more info. Looks like there haven't been many comment posts in over a year! Hope is hasn't come to an end!

Amy said...

Thank you for introducing us to Aine. I look forward to hearing more from her!

Anonymous said...

Celtic Lady by Hastings? That's the cover of Wind From Hastings isn't it. I doubt Harold's Queen Eadgyth, daughter of Aelfric of Mercia, could ever be described as Celtic.

Julie said...


I may have the artist wrong, but that is definitely a painting of a Celtic woman, as you can tell by the costume. I have seen it labeled as being a portrait of Boudica(or Boudicca), the Celtic Warrior Queen.