A 'Triskele' or 'Triskelion,' the symbol adopted by many Celtic Reconstructionists.

Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism is exactly what it sounds like …and nothing what it sounds like. In a nutshell it is a movement to rediscover the cultural and religious beliefs and practices of the pre-Christian Celtic people. (As far as I know the focus is primarily on the people that lived in the areas that are now called Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England. I would not be surprised if there are similar movements in Celtic-France, Northern Spain, and other modern-day Celtic lands). Today Celtic Reconstructionism is more of idea than a solidly organized movement.  Like a Hedgewitch, each practitioner is on his/her own. To my knowledge, there is no central organization, no confederation to speak of. There is no one sacred text.

But what sets Reconstuctionists apart? ~ It is very important to stress that  Reconstructionists focus primarily on historical and verifiable records. In this way the movement tends to eschew the “eclecticism” of other New-Age groups. It is a “pagan” movement in the sense that it is not Christian or Judaic. But it is not Wicca…while there is no doubt that Witches (and/or Shaman) had access to certain kinds of knowledge that “average” folks did not; it is not just about witchcraft. It is not a neo/reformed Druid movement…Druids were a priestly caste of Celtic society; a part of the Celtic world, not sum of it.

The similarities to these and other pagan traditions are obvious. There are rituals of devotion, purification, prayer, etc. Celebratory bonfires, festivals, songs and dances. And of course an interaction with higher realms of existence. Through prayer, offerings, rituals, and other elements of Shamanism one can interact with the Otherworld, or Tir n’A n’Og, “The Land of Always Young,” where gods and other Nature spirits (Faeries) dwell.

On the surface, Wicca, Druidism, and Reconstructionism are quite similar. But again, Reconstructionists focus on only documented folklore, mythology, superstition, and  historical record. I like to think of it as a blending of only what we know of Celtic-archeology with only what we know about Celtic-mythology… As far as I have been able to piece together, the ancient Celtic ways are most similar to those of Native-American beliefs… We are one with All. Respect and reverence of Nature. An acute awareness of unseen spirit worlds.

I do not believe that Wicca groups and Druid movements are wrong or invalid in anyway. I believe they all are inexorably linked. Buddha told his followers that there are many ways to teach the same thing… I am attracted to the Celtic Reconstrustionism because of the fact that it is in my blood (my ancestors most likely emigrated from Argylshire or Northern England to America). It is my desire to connect directly with my ancestors that makes me focus on as many of the facts of their lives that I can. Reconstructionists endeavor to synthesize all of the elements of the ancient Celtic way of life into their own modern life, not just certain parts.