The Celts are a group of Indo-European tribes that in ancient times inhabited Central and Western Europe. In the II century BC. they lived in northern Switzerland, eastern France, southeastern Germany, and later spread to Britain, Ireland, the Iberian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, and southern Italy.
Initially, these tribes were called Gauls (Latin gallus - "rooster", since the helmets of warriors often adorned with rooster feathers) or Gallats. They began to be called Celts much later. This name was coined in the 17th century by Edward Lluid, a linguist from Wales.
The astrological tradition of the ancient Celts, jealously guarded by their druid priests from the immoderate interest of the uninitiated, is based on many years of observation of the movement of heavenly bodies and mythological views, according to which stones, springs and plants, in particular trees, were revered as sacred. The Celts believed that the tree is the prototype of the Universe, the symbol of the Center of the World, the World Tree of Yggdrasil (the ash tree was considered the embodiment of which).
The yew (Eo ("tree") Ross, "the path to heaven", "the pillar of the house" (it was from yew that the central pillar in the houses of the Celts), the "wheel of kings", sometimes positioned as the embodiment of the World Tree, etc.) were surrounded with no less respect. etc.). The oak tree (dedicated to the god of thunder) was also deified, revered as a powerful talisman against enemies and for this reason was used to make gates and doors, hazel (which endowed a person with wisdom and a prophetic gift). With no less respect, the ancient Celts revered the mountain ash (which helped the priests not only predict future events, but also influence them), the apple tree (which helped to establish contacts with other worlds), etc.
Some plants, for example, mistletoe (as well as the tree on which it grew) were considered sacred. Sacrifices were carried out under the mistletoe growing on an oak tree, and special rituals and objects were used to collect it. The Celts believed that a drink made from correctly and in time collected mistletoe (properly prepared) could neutralize any poison and cure cattle diseases.
The ancient Celts never wrote down their astrological knowledge. Priests and astrologers of the Celts, druids really avoided putting their knowledge on paper, considering such behavior sacrilege. Therefore, they did not have astrological tables. But the personal horoscopes compiled by the Celtic sages could be written down, and even mentioned in some sagas.
For astrological calculations it is more convenient to use the Celtic zodiac than the Greek one. Researchers do note the consistency of the Celtic zodiac, an accurate reflection of the changing seasons. In addition, for the Druids, it was the ritual zodiac that was an excellent guide to the sky, and helped in the interpretation of Creation itself. But it should be borne in mind that such a calendar is more primitive than a 12-month calendar, and less convenient, for example, when calculating the solstice or equinox.
The Celtic zodiac consisted of 36 signs. This is not entirely true. According to the mythological sources that have come down to us, the Druids divided the year into 13 lunar months, taking into account one additional day (December 23 - "Nameless day", associated with one of the most significant degrees in Celtic astrology - 00.0 Capricorn - the Center of the Galaxy, that is . the gravitational center around which the solar system revolves). The researchers also found a connection between the lunar months and 13 consonant letters of the Celtic alphabet (whose earnest belief in the power of the oral word was entrenched in the idea that each of the letters corresponds to the Spirit of the Year, identified with the moon goddess Seridvena). Each of the letters corresponds to the name of a specific tree. The entire alphabet consists of 13 consonants and 5 vowels (they, according to scientists, symbolize 5 additional days that the ancient Celts added to a year of 13 months). However, it should be borne in mind that the heritage of the ancient Celts is fragmented, as a result of which the conclusions of different researchers regarding certain characteristics of the horoscope can vary greatly.
People belonging to the same sign of the Celtic horoscope have similar character traits and temperaments. This point of view is adhered to by astrologers, who in their calculations use exclusively the Greco-Roman system based on the solar division of the zodiac signs. The Celts, on the other hand, correlated the system of signs with the Moon (which, as you know, changes phases from increasing to full moon and decreasing). As a result, each of the trees in the Celtic horoscope is dual. People born in the first 2 weeks of the sign of the Celtic horoscope, and, accordingly, having a connection with the period of the new moon and the growing moon, according to Celtic astrologers, are most often extroverts, more mobile and active. Those who were born in the next two weeks (and therefore associated with the full moon and the waning moon), on the contrary, are passive extroverts. Although the main character traits in people born under the same sign are similar.
To find out which deity protects a person, one should analyze the connection of one or another sign of the Celtic horoscope with certain planets. Of course, the role of the planets in the Celtic horoscope is very significant (the Sun is considered the ruler of the Birch, Uranus is Rowan, Neptune is Ash, Mars is Alder, etc.). However, to determine the patron deity, the Celtic astrologer will pay attention to another parameter, namely, the division into decans (periods of 10 days; this division system (decanate) appeared in Ancient Egypt, and initially had nothing in common with astrology, until the Hellenic era when it was correlated with the signs of the zodiac). The three decans, into which each sign of the Celtic horoscope is divided, are associated with the triune Celtic goddess of the moon Seridvena. The Irish Celts singled out 3 of her hypostases: Bragintia, which was associated with the young Moon, Danu, the symbol of the full moon that gives fertility, and Morrigan, which symbolized the waning Moon. Also, each of the mentioned periods was associated with a guardian god. For example, the second decan of the sign of the Birch corresponds to the sun god Talyzin, the patron saint of strategy and eloquence, the keeper of the third decan of this sign is the sea god Manannan and the god of teaching Oghma; the first dean of the Rowan sign is ruled by Guena (Venus), the guardian goddess who governs relationships between people, etc.
In the Celtic horoscope, the vernal equinox (March 21) served as the starting point. Today, there is a lot of the most conflicting information on this issue. In some versions of the Celtic horoscope, the first of the signs comes into force on March 21, in others (dividing the Celtic zodiac not into 13, but into 22 or 36 signs) - from March 15, in the third - from December 22, in the fourth - from January 1 etc. However, the researchers claim that in fact the starting point is December 24 (2 degrees of Capricorn), i.e. the date that comes 2 days after the winter solstice - it is on this day that the first sign of the Celtic lunar calendar (Birch) comes into force.
Birch is the patron saint of the summer solstice, this sign reigns only over one day a year. This is not true. First, the sign of Birch, which begins the Celtic lunar zodiac, reigns over the period from December 24 to January 20. Secondly, the Sun is identified with the Birch because it is on this tree that leaves appear first. Among the Celts, Birch served as a symbol of the initial stage of a process (for example, young druids or bards who began to master the basics of craftsmanship attached a small birch twig to their clothes). And finally, the summer solstice in the Celtic zodiac corresponds to one of the days of the period under the auspices of the Oak.
The constellation Ophiuchus was very significant for the ancient Celts. Modern astrologers really note the fact that the area of the 13th sign of the Celtic horoscope (Elderberry) covers part of the constellation Ophiuchus, which is located between Sagittarius and Scorpio. There is still no common point of view among researchers on this matter - some believe that this constellation is absolutely insignificant and should not be taken into account (and its influence) when constructing a horoscope. Others believe that the reason for the exclusion of this constellation from the Zodiac was, firstly, a prejudice against the snake (which was often a symbol of fears and evil forces hostile to man), and secondly, the rejection of the 13-sign Zodiac as irrational and illogical. However, the ancient Celts treated the snake in a completely different way - since ancient times it was revered as a symbol of wisdom (the Druids were sometimes called "Adders" - "wise men" (the same word was used to name some types of snakes)). In addition, the snake, according to the Celts, was one of the incarnations of Ram (the phallus god). The Sacred Days of the Snake were celebrated from December 20 to December 24 - it was believed that it was then that the Sun reaches the bottom point of the Abred circle in the south, on the earthly plane, and enters the fiery abyss of Annun, which is the center of the formation of existence, in order to subsequently be reborn. According to some researchers, the Days of the Snake were a symbolic designation of a spiral funnel (portal), using which a person got the opportunity to get to a higher (astral) plane of being in order to completely renew. Modern scientists have found that it was during this three-day period that the location of the Galaxy Center (which, according to the theoretical studies of astronomers, is indeed the source of the origin of the existence of the galaxy and, in particular, the solar system) and the Sun coincide.
Celtic astrologers, when drawing up a natal chart, took into account the influence of constellations that are not related to the zodiac, and generally devoted a lot of time and effort to studying the starry sky. Yes it is. Moreover, both constellations (for example, Ophiuchus) and individual stars were taken into account, which not only helped to track the seasons (the ancient Celts initially had 2 of them - winter and summer, then 3 - winter, spring and summer), but also served to indicate the most important milestones in spiritual development. Among them is Antares (the red giant, alpha Scorpio, which ancient astrologers called the Guardian Angel of the West, and was considered the substitute of Mars). Celtic astrologers took into account the influence of this star when drawing up a horoscope, and in some cases Antares in conjunction with the same planet (depending on the aspect) could endow a person with diametrically opposite character traits. For example, in conjunction with Jupiter, favorable aspects bestow interest in religion (although the individual himself is more likely philosophical and will never become a fanatic), while unfavorable ones give rise to an atheistic worldview. Also, much attention was paid to the influence of Arcturus (alpha Bootes), whom the Celts identified with King Arthur, Spica (alpha Virgo) - a star that gives determination and patronizing travel, Pollux (Beta Gemini), associated with the fine arts and methods of self-defense, Procyon (alpha Small Dog), giving the ability to heal the sick, etc.
The interest of the Celts in the starry sky was also noticed by neighboring peoples. For example, Herodotus identified the cult and religion of the Celts with the constellation of the Northern Crown (or the crown of Ariadne, who was also revered by the goddess of the Moon, the "Sacred Mother of Fruits" and, according to researchers, was the prototype of the Celtic Arianrod, the goddess of connections and communication, the patroness of weaving, embodying in the mystery of the life cycle). In the constellation mentioned there is Alfeka (the name of this star is one of the names of the same Ariadne) - the keeper of the gates of the underworld, located in the northern hemisphere (where, as Gerordot believed, the mysterious Celtic sages lived), where the souls of dead people follow, accompanied by Hermes ... In Celtic mythology, the Northern Crown (Kar-Arianrod) is associated with the castle (tower) of Arianrod, which has a ring-shaped shape, and is the gate of Annuan - a fiery abyss located, according to the Celts, in the underworld, or the astral aspect of the earthly plane.
Vega is a beneficent star, her presence in the horoscope bestows refinement, idealistic character. The ancient Celts paid a lot of attention to Vega (alpha Lyrae). Firstly, a certain position in the sky of this star (Vega - in the north, and Sirius - in the south) marked the turning point of the year. Secondly, she was a constant assistant to sailors in navigation, as it made it possible to determine the location of the North Star (in this regard, Vega was considered the ruler of the water kingdom). It should be noted, however, that although Alpha Lyrae was considered a beneficent star, she by no means always bestowed positive traits and temperaments on people affected by her. Vega produces idealism, sophistication and hope only in conjunction with Jupiter, the Sun or Venus, and only in a favorable aspect. For example, in conjunction with the Sun, Vega bestows compassion and the ability to art. The influence of the unfavorable aspect of the mentioned connection is revealed in indecision and impracticality. And by connecting with Mars or Saturn, Vega completely changes the nature of the impact to negative, prompting people to pretentiousness and debauchery. However, in this case, you need to pay attention to the aspects. For, for example, in conjunction with Mars, Vega will promote selfishness and voluptuous inclinations only in an unfavorable aspect, while in a favorable aspect it will contribute to the formation of the character of a pioneer (either in travel by sea or in spiritual searches).
One of the variants of the Celtic horoscope is the horoscope of animals. Each sign in the Celtic horoscope really corresponded not only to the planets and patron deities, but also to the animal symbol. For example, the sign of Birch (December 24 - January 20) corresponds to the planet-ruler Sun, the patron deities Hu, Lug, Talezin, Beli, Arthur and the animal - the white deer, which was a symbol of the reign of the solar gods (which, according to the Celts, lasted 7 months ). But not all the signs of the Celtic horoscope corresponded to animals. For example, the symbol of Hawthorn (May 13 - June 10) was a bowl, which since ancient times personified the comprehension of the mastery of metalwork, which was later identified with the Grail. Sometimes an animal in the Celtic horoscope was supplemented or replaced by another corresponding symbol (the symbol of the Oak sign (June 10 - July 7) is a golden wheel or a white horse, the Holly sign (July 8 - August 4) is patronized by a unicorn or a golden spear, etc.). It should also be noted that when drawing up a horoscope, the ancient Celts were more guided by signs, stars and planets. All other components were additions to the basic calculations.
If a person is born under a certain sign, he will be under the auspices of “his” tree all his life, receiving help and support from him. In order to deserve the location of the dryad of a particular tree, it is not enough just to be born in a particular period of time - you should also adhere to certain rules of behavior, showing attention and respect for the tree from which you expect help. For some dryads, according to the Celts, are distinguished by a very aggressive and vindictive character. So Alder (considered a "fire tree", distinguished by courage and belligerence) to the one who cut it down, is quite capable of arranging a lot of trouble (for example, burning down a house).