The Origins of the Henge of Keltria
(An Interview with Tony Taylor)
Copyright © 1997, 2005 c.e. by Ellen Evert Hopman
is an excerpt from the forthcoming book of interviews, Druids
Today by Ellen Evert Hopman. It has permission for posting
on the internet by the author and Tony Taylor (the interviewee,
shown in the photo below).
At the Pagan Spirit Gathering in 1986, five
people, Tony Taylor, Pat Taylor, Ellen Evert Hopman, Michael,
and Beth, after careful consideration created a list of concerns
regarding Ár nDraíocht Féin. That
list was taped on Isaac Bonewits van door. It was meant
to be humorous in a way, mimicking Martin Luther and the Ninety-Five
Theses that he nailed to the Wittenberg church door. At the same
time there was a serious side. It outlined thirteen concerns,
numbered 1-12...95, which we felt were important
enough to be addressed by Isaac and the ADF leadership. In our
estimation a number of these issues warranted immediate attention.
During the course of the following year, none of the identified
concerns were adequately addressed, so Pat and I decided to leave
ADF and found The Henge of Keltria.
studies convinced us that Druidism was a Celtic phenomenon while
ADF embraced Druidism encompassing the entire Indo-European world.
Though other Indo-Europeans performed similar practices, they
didnt have an organized priest class referred to as Druids.
Therefore, Keltria would be specifically Celtic in its focus.
To be a grove associated with Ár nDraíocht Féin
required conducting public rituals. Rituals held in city parks
and other public spaces were compulsory. We believed that spiritual
attainment and religious activity should be a private affair.
Casual gawkers and people not participating are distracting and
inappropriate, therefore, Keltrian rituals would be invitational
and take place in someones home or a private space outdoors.
Ár nDraíocht Féin
had no magic rites at that time; there were no mysteries. The
scholarship of ADF was stimulating and a wonderful thing to be
a part of, but mysticism, which is an important part of religion,
was nonexistent in their practice. A magickal rite reserved for
trained initiates needed to be created addressing the mystical
needs of the participants. Through a combination of research
and inspiration, certain Celtic myths were selected and adapted
for ritual performance. That was the birth of Keltrias
initiation, elevations and Vervain Rite.
A Note by Isaac
I seem to recall a few of the details being
somewhat different <G> but certainly there were multiple
communication problems within ADF at the time Keltria started.
Keltria was neither the first nor the last group to branch off
from ADF because they wanted a private, closed group rather than
a public, open one (though why they joined ADF in the first place,
knowing our intentions, is another question). A few more details
about Keltria can be found on my Current
Druid Groups & Friends page here on my website, or you
can visit the Keltria Website.
One thing that I found very amusing, some ten or twelve years
after Keltria branched off from ADF, was a conversation I had
with Pat Taylor in which she said, You know all those beaureaucratic
rules in ADF that we objected to so much in the beginning? Weve
wound up having to institute most of them in Keltria! Time,
tide and the Internal Revenue Service affect all public religious
organizations, sooner or later. :)
Copyright © 1997, 2005 c.e., Ellen Evert Hopman. This
text file may not be freely distributed
on the Net.
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