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.ON THE BIRD'S FLYING.
NEOPAGAN IBERIAN FOCUSED ATTEMPT OF AUGURY
Nemetios Ypuaranakos Brazil, 2010 Autumn
eRì:evàM:edRuM - ERI ETIAM ETROM - ON THE BIRD'S FLIGHT - 1 0.1 english version made for Ancient Iberian yahoo groups UNDER CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE this little ebook was made with OpenOffice – viva linux!
.ETROCAEILACTA. ERI.ETIAM.ETROM BIRDOMENCRAFT ON THE BIRD'S FLIGHT
neMevos:ìÍuàRànàQs NEMIDIOS YPUARANAICOS :senàQfRevMà:ìBRofltk:àTÌnàk: SENAECOCREDIMA.IBEROCELTICA.ATECNAECA
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We propose here offer a simple and revisable system of bird omen's reading for nowadays users with focus in Iberian Celtic ancient cultures. Our focus-folk is the Druids and Neopagans in general who adopt religiously the Celtic Iberian cultures of beforeroman and roman times. This system is free for modifications, adaptations and reformulations in other contexts and frameworks, since recognized the origins and author.
Nemetios Y. VI Aprilis MMX.
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he reading of omens by the bird's flight is one of the attested technicals used by the Celts as Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca Historiae, V. 31) or Cicero (De Divinatione, I. 41) say us. The iconographic sources appoint out too a very deeply imagery linked to birds in Continental Celtic world, in general, birds representing Gods itself or being messengers and vehicles for the Gods (GREEN, Miranda A. An Archaelogy of Images. “Flights of the soul”. London: Routledge, 2004. p. 144). For general information and justification see GRENN, Miranda A. Animal in Celtic Life and Myth. “The Bird-Lovers”. London: Routledge, 1992. p. 211; ROSS, Anne. Pagan Celtic Britain. “Sacred and Magic Birds”. London: Cardinal, 1974. p. 302; MONAGHAN, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. “Birds”. New York: Facts on File, 2004. p. 46). Greek-Roman Ornithomancy/Augury. The Greek and Roman world registered its uses, theory and discussions about, all a valuable source for information of the ancient ways of augury. A very good book on general Greek divination is FLOWER, Michael A. The seer in Ancient Greece. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008. For the roman world there is many first-handed informations about, but I suggest a contemporary information and system from Religio Romana's site (http://www.religioromana.net/augury.htm). Here is said that Cicero recognized similarities with the druidic system of his friend Divitiacos. I did not find it in the Cicero's texts I searched (De Natura Deorum and De Divinatione), if someone find it, please post me the passage. Insular Celtic. There is many information from the mediaeval celtic insular
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literature. From the littles passages of the Cath Maige Tuired or Taín to strict treaties on it. It's the case of the Mary Jones' page (thanks to Endovélicon): (http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/ auguries2.html) it contains two treaties on augury the “Fiachairecht Andso Sis” and “Dreanacht Andso Sis”. Do not continue read this before read these two treaties. In a interesting post of OBOD's forum "The Druid Grove" (http://druidry.org/board/dhp/viewtopic.php?f=186&t=32786) is told about a mediaeval irish text called Og Ohain, it contains the instructions to the reading of wren's flight. I did not find this text (but I did not find much too), but the post contains also very good associations on birds in celtic point of view. Ancient Iberia. The existence of hieroskopoi (etym. “the ones who inspect the victim” at time of Strabo, according to LIDDELL, Henry G.; SCOTT, Robert; JONES, Henry S. A greek-english lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996. p. 822, a greek term equivalent to latin haruspex) among the Lusitanians is attested by Strabo (Geog. III, 3; vi) and in general, to all other celtic-like folks of Iberia. But those refer just to specialists in foretelling by sacrificed victims' inspection (vd. SOPEÑA, Gabriel. Celtiberian ideologies and religion. In E-Keltoi n. 6: The Celts in Iberian Peninsula. 2005. p. 361 and SIMÓN, Francisco M. Religion and religious practice of the Ancient Celts of the Iberian Peninsula. In E-Keltoi n. 6: The Celts in Iberian Peninsula. 2005. p. 322-324 or LORRIO, Alberto J. Los Celtíberos. Madrid: Universidad de Alicante/Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 1997. p. 52-56). And for those who read the bird's flying? We don't have any firm literally wit, textually speaking, according to accessible specific sources I had. But epigraphy offers a wide evidence for it, and to detail it is extensively long – in general, the great presence of birds on ceramic with religious scenes and symbols alludes that. Another
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valid work, but now inviable for me, is search evidences for Birdomen reading at non-direct-related literature, as poems of Martial, war relates, etc. So we assume the hispano-celtic “birdomencraft” by analogy with the insular (Irish, Welsh, etc.) and other continental (with Gaul, specially) celtic world, an allusion to this in ibero-celtic folks epigraphy, and general conceptions of rounding graeco-roman world. General Theory. In general and free speculative form we assume this. 1. Preparing 2. The sign itself 3. The reading of the sign 1. is the important to prepare all the background information related to perform the reading and to restrict the error grade of the process, as in all oracular systems. Here functional and familiar technicals are the focus. This are the goal of the Roman (or better, Etruscan) construction of the templum: a visual field delimitation on the sky, which each part has strict traditional associations, restricting the error grade and turning the reading more focused. The victim's sacrifice, historically, was required by three reasons, in minimo, as exemplified by Greco-Roman world: a) the summoning reason, i.e. the sacrifice as way to call god's attention, b) the organic reason, i.e the sacrificial victim as the necessary instrument to read the omen and c) the primicialis reason, the sacrifice as a way to propitiate, initially, the god by the favor. The combination among that is free and sometimes confused, and it's not our aim here make a treatise on sacrifice before the omen. 2. is the sign itself, the natural and random movement of the bird. The randomness of the movement is essential: it is the core of any oracular system, that attributes the random movement to gods' will or supernatural/natural invisible forces. See the movement itself require some interpretation yet,
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occult in language and the mental process based on symbolic framework. But, for our purpose, we consider the sign itself as a neuter thing: a true manifestation of the power who guide the movement. 3. is the 'beholding' by a cultural framework, by a symbolic system of interpretation – different in each culture. It makes see 2, the sign itself, by a glasses' lens. The lensmaker was Indo-European, the lens itself, Celtic, and the adjusts made by bio-regional circumstances. I believe the ADF system is adequate to this, regarding the “standard” liturgy, with few metaphysics adaptations after the kindred offerings and before waters of life. System's meta-values. α) Language In general, the Romans believed the right-came omens are disfavorables and the left-came omens are favorables, the Greeks the opposite. And the Celts? According to Proto-Celtic *dexso-/*dexsiwo- is "south" and also "right". This echoes *deiwo-/*desos-, "god" and *dewyo- "strong". At other side, *tow(s)to- is "north" and also "left" (Old Irish, the adjective túath means "bad, perverse"; in Old Breton 'tuthe' is "kind of demon", but 'tut' means "favorable"), and echoes *towtā, "tribe, people, folk". It does not implies, necessary, a dualistic moral disposition of opposites – thing really strange to Celtic mind. It just implies an orientation based on sunrising. So we assume the right signs as favorables and the sunrising as direction guide. β) Literature To go, point by point, at all the insular celtic mediaeval literature searching evidences is very great job, beyond my possibilities now (and not just 'now', maybe to every single human life). So is more interesting to our purposes see some key-texts. The texts of Mary Jones' page is very good example. About directions, there's a very interesting text of druid Bellovesos Isarnos on it,
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called “Direções e Atribuições” (“Directions and Attributions” in portuguese) http://bellovesos.multiply.com/journal/item/29, he puts together some Irish texts and exposes the attributions related to directions. So we assume the possibility, read it well please POSSIBILITY, of construct a nemetom by analogy with Estruscan/Roman templum, but following the celtic directions and attributions, as a nowadays practice – we don't have evidences for think the Continental Celts – that of Iberia mainly – did this. I don't do that, lacks me knowledge to. γ) UPG Here is my personal experiencing. In general, I see as interesting the Roman behavior of maintain a kind of 'Birdomen's book'. As omen's diary and recording for eventual checking, in nowadays it can be done electronically. The more relevant experiences I had with birdomens occur at a sunrising facing hill, were recently the god Endovellicos allows (by a dream) us build a votive altar to him, with significances intuitively closer. So I assume that the system is a functional tool that can be improved, adapted and corrected too by experiencing, awenfull insights or oracular suggestions. Method. i. first things. General preparations: materials, altar, victim, metaphysical cleaning of the augur, etc. If the omen is a major ceremony part, there's no need of this. But anyway, the kailiakos must be concentrated and at the proper mind-state to performs the rite. The rite is best performed at the light of day, on open natural place (in a traditional nemetom/sanctuary/temple regular used by participants). ii. the offering. Bringing of the victim (grains, bread, food, drink, etc.),
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consecrating it by the presents ones, performing the sacrifice. The kailiakos or priest must know the correct ways to do it. After the 'immolatio' (ritual slaying/destroying/putting of the offering) the kailiakos ask the question to the gods or to a specific god, closing his/her eyes and facing the sunrise. A ritual sound sign (horn, silver-branch) can be sounded after or before it. iii. the reading. At opening of the kailiakos eyes, the omen is seen. Any bird (or animal...!) at the sky is beheld, and the kailiakos performs the omen's reading gathering the elements of the system below (dosing that with his own intuition or moment inspiration). The reading of the kailiakos is sung by him to the presents, in a form of poem (traditionally eight-syllables metrically > a britu/brictu, or any familiar poetic composition to the kailiakos). System. *Directions Approaching – very good omen, immediate success, auspicious coming Going away – bad omen, immediate hardness Upwards – good omen, rising, cure, conquest Downwards – bad omen, problem, trouble No variation – neuter moment passive to be turned by act, constance Clockwise – facility, favorable with the natural forces and cycles Anti-clockwise – trouble, no conformity with the natural cycles Left to Right – good omen, favorable Right to Left – bad omen, unfavorable *Modi Continuity – constance, previsibility, unalteration, firmness Turning to oppose direction – quick change, turning,
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imprevisibility, inconstancy, hard doubts by some involved ones, changing situation *Ways Right flying – good omen, little work, immediate pleasure/happiness/result Curved flying – hard work, mediate action, wait, indirect result Circle flying – cycle, natural transformation, changing Spiral flying – spiral transformation, journey related to (or with the imminent presence of) otherworld Stay over the kailiakos – beware with the hidden things, actions, speeches, intentions of/or closer persons *Height High – proximity with celestial Gods, need intelligence, wisdom and creative solutions High and Low – imprevisibility, no definition yet, hard work, many forces involved Low – proximity with the underworld Gods, need work, strength and traditional customs *Sound Sound going up – go bravery and without fear Sound going down – beware, go with caution and alert Sound on the air – be open to new messages, beware Continuum Sound – imminent risk, alert, caution Modificators. *Birds -vulture > otherworld, messages, gods, heroes, glorious death and prophecy -eagle/bird-of-prey > braveness, nobility ruling, leadership and kingship -wren > knowledge, wisdom, trades and magic
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-swan > transformation, poesy, awenfullness -owl > disasters, death, plague -crow and raven > otherworld, death in war, messages, forecoming events and ancestors -geese > protection, warfare, otherworld -crane > wealth, richness, fortune -blackbird > transformation, journey, apprenticeship *Colors and traditional associations The meaning and association of colors change to each culture background. The Irish and Welsh mediaeval literature (as a paradigm) and some view on celtic languages show us some interesting associations. The folklore of the celtic regions is a very deep source of information too; and in our case, the traditional associations present in Portugal and Spain's folklore is a valiant tool. In America or Oceania, a little more job is required, including a view in native folklore about. The main point here is study the Bio-region birds, its traditional associations and, if the case, repaganize it in celtic world-vision. *Flocks: behold the head, the first to move or flying. *Wing-beat: If the wing-beat can be reckoned, some interesting thing can be done involving ogham. For each wing-beat is an oghaim fid, observing the natural pauses on the bird's flying, i.e. put the wing-beats on an ogham reading system. E.g. the bird flying low in clockwise circles, beat 4 times the wings and after a short pause another 5 times. It can be read: low – underworld aspects, clockwise – conforming the natural forces, circles – natural changing, transformation, 4 and 5 - <4> the aicme ailme, <5> the fifth fid, i.e. >i. Depending on question, those elements are gathered forming the interpretation, it can offer a very precise reading. Lexicon. DELAMARRE, Xavier. Dictionnaire de la langue gaulloise. 2nd Ed. Paris: Éditions Errance, 2003.
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MATASOVIĆ, Ranko. An etymological lexicon of Proto-Celtic. Leiden: Brill, 2009. University of Wales' Proto-Celtic/English Wordlist: http://www.wales.ac.uk/Resources/Documents/Research/CelticL anguages/ProtoCelticEnglishWordlist.pdf Proto-Celtic *briχtu- “magical formula, incantation” *dexso-/dexsiwo- "south, right" *kaylā-/kaylo- "good omen, signal" *kaylyāko- "augur" *klēyo- "left, inauspicious" *φatar- "bird" *φari-tero- "east" *φetno-/φetro- "bird" *φetro-kaila-aχtā- “art of read auguries from the birds flight” *skublo- "bird-of-prey" *tow(s)to- "north, left" *uφo-kliyā- "north" *uφo-nes-eyo- "sunsetting [west]" *wāri- "sunrising [east]" Keltiberika areterom, o: "east" atar, ros: "bird" britu, os: “magical formula, eightsyllabic incantation of the seer” desiuom, o: "south", desiuos -a -om: "right" etrokailata, as: “art of read auguries from the birds flight” etros, o: "bird" kailiakos, o: "augur" kailos, o: "omen" kleios -a -om: "left" skublos, o: "bird-of-prey" toutom, o: "north", toustos -a -om: "left"
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uaris, is: "sunrising" uokleia, as: "north" uoneseios, o: "sunsetting" Western-iberian-celtic and Lusitanic(?) arterom, i: "east" atar, ros: "bird" brictu, os: “magical formula, eightsyllabic incantation of the seer” caeilos, i: "omen" caeliaecos, i: "augur" cleos -a -om: "left" dexom, i: "south", dexivos -a -om: "right" etrocaeilacta, as: “ art of read auguries from the birds flight” etros, i (petros, i?): "bird" scublos, i: "bird-of-prey" toudom, i: "north", toussos -a -om: "left" varis, es: "sunrising" vocliia, as: "north" vonesios, i: "sunsetting" ANY CRITIC, SUGGESTION OR OBSERVATIONS, PLEASE SEND US EMAIL. SENAKOKREDIMA IBEROKELTAKA: email@example.com ADF ANCIENT IBERIAN: firstname.lastname@example.org NEMETIOS YPUARANAKOS: email@example.com
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