• Caer Australis

    CAydgcrux ©S Rhys Jones 2000.

    Celtic Traditions, Myth and History

    The Grove Essays on history and myth The Fire Feasts The Celtic Calendar The Arthur Project Conquest - image from http://www.cloudappreciationsociety.org/ Celtic Resources

    Beltaine - May 2014

    The traditional Celtic year commences in the Summertime:
    mids Samon -
    from the earliest Indo-European: *samo- summer: Irish Samhradh - season of Summer; EI. Samrad- summer.
    At the cross-quarter of May, the Celtic summer commences, set at the start of May on the Roman calender

    The traditional Celtic year - summer followed by winter:
    Samhradh - Summer from May to November
    mids Samon
    the first month of the Gaulish calendar - 'the Summer month'
    mís cétamuin: cetsoman .i. cetsámsin .i. cétlúd síne samraid - Beltaine/May in Cormac's Glossary
    Geimhreadh - Winter from November to May
    mids Giamon
    the seventh month of the Gaulish calendar - 'the Winter month'
    mí Gam: gam quasi gamos isin greic, nouimber .i. in mí gaim iar samuin - Samhain/November in Cormac's Glossary

    Archeologists in Germany have discovered a 2,600-year-old Celtic tomb containing ornate jewellery of gold and amber: uncovered near the prehistoric Heuneburg hill fort. see: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,736942,00.html Samon: 'summer' from the stem *samo- 'summer', Cym Haf, OW ham, OI sam, OI cetsoman (May), Samhradh (the Season of Summer)
    Giamon: 'winter' from the stem *giamo- 'winter', Cym Gaeaf, OW gaem, I mí Gam (November), Geimhreadh (the season of Winter)

    In Australia and the southern lands, the seasons are offset by half a solar year.

    Celebrate the seasons in Summer and Winter in the Grove
    "On the eighth of the calends of glorious April, the swallows come to their noble assembly;
    On eighth of the calends of October, what hides them? Why then do they leave?
     - from: Enlaith betha / The birds of the world, ninth century.

    Follow the timing of the months of the traditional Celtic calendar

    southern cross and nearby south polar constellations

    The commencement of winter in Australia...
    The Southern Seasons Celtic Year
    The 'southern Giamon' moon: the first lunation of the winter half of the year. The Celtic winter commences in May the southern latitudes, the half of the year described in the homelands as mí Gam, with the meaning of 'month of Winter'.

    Teine Geimhreadh Deas

    The Southern Fire Feast for Winter is held on the Eve of May

    CA's links to Celts in Australia - click to goThis is the South's Winter cross-quarter, often called 'Southern Samhain' because it is the seasonal equivalent to the Samhain, the Fire Feast of November in the Celtic homelands:

    Celebrate the Winter half of the year in
    Winter in the Grove

    "Son of the king in midsummer,
    The greenwoods girl gave him a gift"

    Wedding Cake Island off Coogee Beach - source: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/coogee/interesting/

    Caer Australis presents an exploration and celebration of traditions born in the Heroic age and recorded for centuries since throughout the Celtic world.

    We celebrate The Celtic Fire Feasts, and present an in depth investigation on the origins and workings of The Celtic Calendar, showing that the great two-fold division of the Celtic year opens at Samon in Samhradh the summer, and followed six months later by Giamon in Geimhreadh the winter, such that Beltaine marks the start of the tradtional Celtic year. Follow the remarkable cultural continuity that links the sweep of northwest Europe, in which Cétemain, that is cét-sam-sin, continued the traditional Celtic month of Samon into the Julian calendar of Ireland and names the season it heads, that is, Samrad: the summer.

    winter's silver sunshine on coogee beach june 2011 - view image to enlarge Caer Australis is based in Coogee in the eastern beaches of Sydney, NSW Australia. From the The Southern Seasons we look at Australian perspectives of the Celtic Feasts and Calendar, and from our list of Australian Celtic Links are connections to Australian Celtic societies and clubs, musicians and artists, and websites for Australian Celtic cultural festivals.

    acorns - source http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/images/quercus_robur_acorns.jpgWe celebrate Celtic song and poetry in The Grove, and mythology and thoughts on The Gorsedd. We present an ancient history using ancient sources and presenting a Celtic perspective from the time of Brennus to that of Boudicca in Conquest, and explore to meet King Arthur in The Arthur Project.

    Shane Williams of Wales celebrates after scoring the opening try of the match. Photo: Getty Images. 2011 Ireland vs Wales QF at Rugby World Cup. source: http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-union/union-match-report/wales-storm-into-world-cup-semifinals-20111008-1letl.htmlToday Celtic people abound all over the globe, and bring with them the knowledge that throughout its history, the Celtic culture has expressed through its deities, myths and languages a most powerful ideal - the Celtic hero - who has met the challenges of the ages, full of tragedy mixed with unyielding hope. The modern Celtic homelands are secure and increasingly independent, the languages flourish, and a desire to know what once was is driving forward the impetus for what is yet to be.

    To understand the past so that we may meet the future with knowledge and wisdom is a worthy challenge, and it is worth seeking with honesty, passion and integrity. Since 1995 Caer Australis has enjoined with others in this challenge in our celebration Celtic traditions and our reasoned analyses of some popular modern ideas.

    In exploring the song, myths and history of the Celts, we join those who strive to find the magic and meaning of the powerful literature of an enduring culture.

    Original written and art work and layouts © Caer Australis 1995 - 2012
    The authors, designers and publishers are John Bonsing and Scott Rhys Jones, unless otherwise stated.
    Other work used with permission if possible, in public domain and referenced in any case.
    Any enquiries, please use the Contact Form or mail to
    PO Box 590 Randwick NSW 2031
    Caer Australis comes to you from Coogee, one of the eastern beaches of Sydney Australia
    | Last Updated May 1st, 2014 |

    For a view of what's happening in our part of the woods, visit The Beast, the premier monthly magazine for the beaches and bays of Sydney's east. The Beast takes a look at everything going on in the local area, with news and interviews, and a variety of articles from light-hearted prose to hard-hitting opinion pieces. You can also subscribe to The Beast's weekly email blast! We do!!!

    "Roman lust has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted.
     But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion of Romans which dared to fight has perished; they will not sustain even the din nor less our charge and our blows.
     If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die!

                                                          - Boadicca (Tacitus, Annals, 14.35).

    Search Caer Australis Search www

    Celts in Australia

    Australian Cornish flag Australian Irish flag Australian Scottish flag Australian Welsh flag

    Australian Celts celebrate their role in the multi-cultural nation this country has strived to become, highlighting their distinctiveness within the general 'Anglo-Celtic' description of Australia's population base, and their special relationship with the earliest European settlers in these lands. Further, Australian Celts celebrate their cultural heritage which has very much influenced the development of this nation.

    The festival websites linked above are featured expressions of Celtic values, emphasising the joy of music and dance accompanied by markets, marches and ceremony.

    In the Australian Sites in our Celtic links section are to be found connections to websites of artists, musicians, clubs and societies dedicated to the furtherance of specific Irish, Welsh, Highland and Cornish traditions. Gathering a broad spectrum of members, the societies celebrate their place in Australia in their individual ways. Celtic musicians thrive in their entertainment and revelry, touring the festivals, pubs and gatherings across the land.

    For those who mark the passage of time by celebrating the traditional Celtic Fire feasts, the seasons in Australia present a dilemma because they are off-set by six months compared to the Celtic homelands of Europe. In the Southern Seasons Celtic Year in our Fire Feasts section is a presentation addressing this, together with links to websites in Australia that mark the festivals of Beltaine, Lughnasa, Samhain and Imbolg.

    southern cross and nearby south polar constellations the stars of the southern cross The Southern Hemisphere

    Australia and the Southern Lands experience the seasons off-set half a year to the Celtic homelands. Celebrating the Fire feasts with the progress of the southern seasons presents a dilemma, for at Beltaine on May eve, the southern seasons are turning to the winter; at Samhain on November eve, the southern seasons are at the time of rebirth at the start of summer.
    Southern hemisphere

    taken November eve 2005

    Summer: Teine Samhradh Deas

    'Southern Beltaine', the Fire Feast for Summer,
    is held on the Eve of November.

    This is the seasonal equivalent to Cétemain, the 'first weather movement of Summer', the Fire Feast of May in the Celtic homelands.

    And they named him Gwri Golden-hair

    Summer has come, healthy and free,
    Green bursts out on every herb!

    taken high summer of 2005/6

    High Summer: Teine Grian Deas

    'Southern Lughnasa', the High Summer Feast,
    is held on the Eve of February

    This is the seasonal equivalent to the Lughnasadh, the high summer games, the Fire Feast of August in the Celtic homelands.

    He is the Ioldhanach!

    Son of the king in midsummer greenwoods
    A girl there gave him thornbush fruit

    taken May 2006

    Winter: Teine Geimhreadh Deas

    'Southern Samhain', the Fire Feast for Winter,
    is held on the Eve of May

    This is the seasonal equivalent to Shamhna, the time of prophesy and assembly, the Fire Feast of November in the Celtic homelands.

    And he made his way to Eas Ruaidh

    Winter has come, summer is gone.
    Low the sun and short his course

    taken August 2006

    Spring: Teine Earrach Deas

    'Southern Oimelc', the Fire Feast for Spring,
    is held on the Eve of August

    This is the seasonal equivalent to the Féil Brighde, the Fire Feast of February in the Celtic homelands.

    Four white trefoils sprang up wherever she went

    Go on your knees, open your eyes,
    Let Brigit in! She is welcome!

         Content Guide to Caer Australis

         "Grows an oak upon a steep,
           The sanctuary of a fair lord;
           If I speak not falsely,
           Lleu will come into my lap

                  - Gwydion, Mabinogi of Math ap Mathonwy

         The Grove:

         Welcome to the Grove
         Song of Amergin
         To August
         An Gevren - The Link

         Summer in the Grove
         Featuring the works:
         Summer Has Come
         The Salmon of Knowledge
         Arrival of the Giolla Dacker
         Song of Summer
         Mac ríg
         The Yellow Bee
         A Rose by Another Name
         Arberth Hill

         Original works:
         Green Bough
         The Mayfly
         Y Ddraig Goch
         The Little Prince

         Winter in the Grove
         Featuring the works:
          A Song of Winter
         Summer is Gone
    The Feis of Tara
         Chant of the Fairy Maiden
         Clear Winter

         Original works:
         The Fallen
         Knowing Nothing
         The Acorns

         Saints in the Grove
         Featuring the works:
         St David - Llandewi Brefi
         St Piran - On the Millstone
         St Patrick - The Conversion of King Laoghaire's Daughters
         The Paschal Fire
         St Columba - My Druid is Christ, the Son of God
         St Brigit - I Should Like
         Blathmac, son of Cú Brettan
         The Fate of the Children of Lir

         Goddesses in the Grove
         Featuring the works:
         Danu Mother of the Gods
         Isis Queen of Heaven
    Minerva of the Gauls
         The six gifts possessed by Emer
         Modron mother of Mabon
         Mary mother of Christ
         Olwen - White Track
         The fair woman, Bé Find
         The great Queen, Rhiannon

    Rowan Berries in the Grove
         Featuring the works:
         Soma of the Celts
         Glyn Cuch - The Red Valley
         Gwydion obtains the swine of Annwn
         Grania declares her heart to Diarmait
         The Quicken Berries of the Forest of Dooros
         The Dream of Macsen Wledig

         The Gorsedd:

         Welcome to the Gorsedd
         The Fair Woman
         Mabon ap Modron
         Gwern in the Fire
         Celtic Origins
         Australian Standing Stones
         River and the Well
         Samhain is not the Celtic New Year
         Last Witch Trial - P.W Joyce

    Caer Australis presents...
    As adjuncts to the main Caer Australis site, where the focus is on Celtic culture, are two historical websites -

    The Arthur Project, which presents an introduction to the Arthurian legends and the historical endevours to penetrate the Dark Age of Britain; an overview of the stories and Arthurian romances; and the power of the legend today.

    The Arthur Project - Home
    Arthurian romances The Time & Place
    Arthur Pendragon
    Romances of Arthur
    Historical Arthur
    The Birth of Arthur
    Arthurian Themes Today
    On-Line Resources
    AP Contact Form

    Conquest of the Celts, which presents a comprehensively referenced and documented account of the ancient world of the Celts from the earliest of historical times. Events through four and a half centuries of are examined, the conflict with the emergent Roman Republic and later the Empire. From Brennus, through to Vercingetorix, Cunobelinus and Boudicca, this is the rich history of the Heroic Age of the Celts.

    Conquest - Home
    The Dying Gaul The Heroic Age
    Gallic War
    On-Line Resources
    Conquest Contact Form

    The Celtic Fire Feasts:

    "Samrad didiu ríad reites grian, is and is mo doatne a soillsi;
    Cetsoman .i. cetsámsin .i. cétlúd síne samraid;
    Gam quasi gamos isin greic, nouimber .i. in mí gaim iar samuin
                                                          - Sanas Cormaic (9th century)

    The Celtic Fire Feasts - Introduction
    The Southern Seasons Celtic Fire Feasts
    In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are off-set by half a year, and the southern Celtic Summer begins at the time of Samhain in the North. In this section, the Celtic response to the year in the Southern Hemisphere is explored.

    The Celtic Calendar:

    "Now when at intervals of thirty years the star of Cronus, which they call 'Night-watchman', enters the sign of the Bull, they, having spent a long time in preparation for the sacrifice, choose by lot a sufficient number of envoys, while those who have served the god together for thirty years return home"
                                                          - Plutarch (De Facie, AD75).

    The Celtic Calendar - Introduction
    The Celtic Calendar - Correspondences to the Gregorian year

    | Samon | Duman | Riuros | Anagantios | Ogronnos | Cutios |
    | Ciallos | Giamon | Semiuisonna | Equos | Elembiuos | Edrini | Cantlos |

    Apr --> May
    (*samo-, samrad)
    Oct --> Nov
    (*gaimo-, gaimred)
    May --> Jun
    early summer
    "The World"
    (dumno-, domhan)
    Nov --> Dec
    early winter
    "The Source"
    (sem + uis)
    Jun --> Jul
    summer solstice
    "The New King"
    (rix, ri + úr)
    Dec --> Jan
    winter solstice
    (*ekvos, echu)
    Jul --> Aug
    (an + gant, ingantach)
    Jan --> Feb
    "Nurturing Life"
    (ailim + *bivo-s)
    Aug -->Sep
    late summer
    (*ogro-, oer, fuar)
    Feb -->Mar
    late winter
    Sep --> Oct
    autumnal equninox
    Mar --> Apr
    vernal equinox
    (cantla, canu)

    Representation of an Irish chieftain seated at dinner, 1581from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21852/21852-h/21852-h.htm Division of the Year
    Ar is dé roinn nobid for an mpliadain and
    .i. in samrad o beltine co samfuin;
    in gemred o samfuin co beltine.

    For two divisions were formerly on the year, namely, summer from Beltaine the first of May to Samuin, and winter from Samuin to Beltaine.

    - from Tochmarc Emer

    CAER AUSTRALIS: Original work and design all pages © Caer Australis 1995 - 2013: From Coogee in Sydney's eastern beaches NSW Australia

    XHTML 1.0 | CSS