Friday, September 20, 2013

Study Course - WARRIOR HISTORY, LEGEND, MIND AND BODY FOR THE CELTIC POLYTHEIST

This is a study course I created for a short lived study program that will probably never see the light of day. Perhaps someone reading might want to try it out. 


WARRIOR HISTORY, LEGEND, MIND AND BODY FOR THE CELTIC POLYTHEIST

“The whole race, which is now called Gallic or Galatic, is madly fond of war, high-spirited and quick to battle, but otherwise straightforward and not of evil character,” wrote Strabo. Ammianus Marcellinus noted, “A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Gaul if he called his wife to his assistance, who is usually very strong.” The Roman observations tend to focus on the fighting prowess of the Celts and many of the legends revolve around the various wars both on the mainland as well as the Gael Isles. From Brennus terrorizing Rome with the Senones to the
Iceni Queen Boudica’s revolt against Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus to Brian Bóroimhe and his fight for a more than the ceremonial High King of Ireland title, it’s clear that war for the Celtic tribes held much importance.

The focus of this course is in understanding the world of the Warrior both ancient and modern. A Warrior spends their life in constant physical and mental training for combat. Some choose to make it their profession through serving in the military or law enforcement while others travel the path through martial arts and weapons training. Whether the Warrior was the ancient Celt representing their tribe, is the modern police officer representing their city, or the civilian defending their family and friends, a Warrior’s goal is always the same - to live and die with honor.

The student will choose two books from each listed category, writing both a summary for each and one thesis paper per section (with the exception of the Women Warriors section to which they will only be required to read one book with no thesis paper required). If the student takes an interest in a book not listed that would fit in any of the listed categories, they can use that book in place of one of the others in the section. Any book or article with a * beside it is required.

To complete this course the student will also be required to take part in either training in a martial art or a specific weapon to be chosen by the student. There is absolutely no restriction on the martial art or weapon the student can choose however if the student chooses to pursue weapons training, a proper instructor MUST be found. The student can choose to pursue both practical courses in lieu of one of the other courses with the exception of Celtic Warrior History, Celtic Warrior Legends and Mind of a Warrior.

Required Reading:

Celtic Warrior History
1) Celtic Warriors - Tim Newark
2) Wars of The Irish Kings - David W. McCullough
3) Celtic Warriors - Dáithí Ó hÓgáin
4) Celtic Martial Arts – C. Lee Vermeers*
5) Gallic War – Julius Caesar*

Celtic Warrior Legends
1) Tales of the Elders of Ireland (Acallam na Senórach) translated by Ann Dooley & Harry Roe
2) The Tain translated by Thomas Kinsella
3) Gods and Fighting Men – Lady Augusta Gregory
4) The Second Battle of Mag Tuired (Cath Maige Tuired) translated by Elizabeth Gray
5) Finn Mac Cumhail and the Fiann na h-Erenn as told by Geoffrey Keating*

General History of War

1) A Military History of Ireland - Thomas Bartlett and Keith Jeffery

2) A History of Warfare - John Keegan

3) War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds - Kurt A. Raaflaub


Female Warriors
1) Warrior Women - Jeannine Davis-Kimball
2) Warrior Queens - Antonia Frasier
3) Women Warriors - David E Jones

Mind of a Warrior
1) Code of the Warrior - Shannon French*
2) On The Warrior's Path - Daniele Bolelli
3) Warrior Mindset – Michael Asken, Dave Grossman, and Loren Christensen
4) The Code of the Samurai – translated by Thomas Cleary

Body of a Warrior
1) On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology in Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace – Dave Grossman
2) Sharpening The Warrior's Edge: The Psychology & Science of Training - Bruce K Siddle*
3) Individual’s choice of physical conditioning book

Philosophy of War
1) The Art of War - Sun Tzu*
2) The Book of Five Rings - Miyamoto Musashi
3) Honor: A History – James Bowman

Practical Martial Arts

If one truly wishes to consider themselves on the Warrior path, the pursuit of a Martial Art is highly recommended. It can range from Eastern martial arts like Karate to Tae Kwon Do to Western such as Krav Maga or Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. The student is free to choose whatever martial art they feel a connection to and start from there. Because finances can be a factor, the student can choose to attempt to self teach from a book or online, but it is highly recommended that the student find a teacher or go to classes. A martial art isn’t practical unless it can be applied and proper practice requires an opponent to gain that muscle memory and consistent application.

You as the student can decide how you will document your work in your chosen martial art and a final thesis paper will be required after at least six months of dedicated study and practice. The student will also be required to research the history of the martial art they choose to study and write a short summary on it.

Practical Weapons

If one truly wishes to consider themselves on the Warrior path, the pursuit of weapons training is highly recommended. The student is free to choose whatever weapon they feel a connection to which can range from fire arms to swords to stick fighting, etc. Weapons training can be very dangerous and as such, absolutely requires being taught by experts. The sole liability falls on the student if they injure, maim or kill themselves during any weapons training or practice. Weapons are not toys and should be treated with the utmost respect as they are meant to cause significant damage.

You as the student can decide how you will document your training with your weapon of choice and a final thesis paper will be required after at least six months of dedicated training and practice. The student will also be required to research the history of the weapon they choose to train with and write a short summary on it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Guided Meditation For The Warrior Path

In a discussion with a local group of pagan warriors, we realized that we needed something to open up our training sessions. This is something that I'm still working on, but hopefully others will find it useful as well.

Guided Opening Meditation For The Warrior Path

1) Breathe in deeply and breathe out. Continue to do so as you release
any negativity that you are holding on to. Fear, worry and doubt
inhibit focus. Relax your muscles and concentrate on your breathing. In
and out. Let all of your emotional hang ups drain from you and float
away. Once complete:

2) Visualize a warrior from whatever time period and culture you
choose. Take in every facet of their image. Their armor, their weapons,
their face, their hands, their legs. Watch the ripple of each muscle as
they utilize their entire  body as a fighting tool. Hear the roar from
their lips as they make contact with their target. Embrace the
determination they exude as they focus on their mission at hand. Feel
their strength as they put every bit of themselves into accomplishing
their goal. Breathe in the spirit of all they represent. In and out.
Envision that spirit floating down into your core and becoming a part
of you. Don't stop until you can feel that spirit fully within your
core and let it center you. Once you are centered, let it push out from
your core and into your legs, arms, out to your fingers and toes and
into your head. Let it engulf you.

3)  Without letting go of that spirit, shift your focus out through
your fingers, toes, ears, nose, mouth and every pore to take in your
current environment. Hear the rustle of every leaf and the sound of
every creature moving around you. Feel the wind and sunlight sweep over
you. See every tree, branch, rock, piece of dirt, or blade of grass. In
this moment, take in every person, every voice, every little sound, and
every smell. Be completely aware of where you are and who you are.
Sight, smell, taste, touch - these are all tools of a warrior from
ancient times to now and constant awareness should be your goal state
of being. Take all of it in.

In this moment, you are the warrior and let nothing distract you from
your focus and training. You are filled with honor, strength,
determination, passion, and courage. Train today as if your life and
tribe depend upon it because one day, they might.

(Time to train)

Closing Meditation For The Warrior Path

still in progress

Monday, April 1, 2013

Preggers and Dealing

For my few readers that might not already know. Despite my desperate want to train, I'm currently pregnant and restricted in what I can and can't do (due in August, then 6 to 8 weeks of recovery). Luckily, I've found a local group that is willing to deal with that and let me hang out (and give some tips when I can) while they train. At least I can live vicariously through them for the time being until I push out the new spawn. Then back to my TapOut XT work outs and my punching bag!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The New Workout

I don't usually give endorsements, but I will say this...TapOut XT is not only the first workout I wanted to puke half way through, but it's the first one where not only could I not complete the Ab workout, it's the first one I didn't make it 5 minutes into it. 

Either I am ridiculously out of shape (which is possible) or holy balls this workout is hardcore. Definitely harder than the other 90 day workout I did and I love that it works in strikes even in the Ab workout! We'll have to see how it goes as I try to get back into shape. 


It's been hard lately as my sleep schedule has been more and more irregular and I'm not sure these new meds are working right, but it is what it is. Roll with the punches and keep going! At least I have my little man as my coach. No seriously, this toddler can yell like he is a drill sergeant! Heck, as soon as he got down from his chair afterward, the boy was doing push ups and hitting his punching bag. Mommy's little warrior!

175 pounds

Friday, October 5, 2012

Big Things In The Works

So I wanted to put out there that I have a couple of projects in the works at the moment, so this blog (and even my workouts, unfortunately) have kind of taken a back seat. Things are stressful at work, but I'm trying to ride it out, though my sanity is being tested, I think.

Outside of that, I have two projects in the final phases, one project in the "research" phase, as well as another project that is starting from the top down. This last one specifically deals with turning our small online group called Pagans Against Sexual and Domestic Violence into a full fledged working group of active volunteers in their local community (and eventual 501(c)3). The webspace has been purchased, the symbol is pretty much done, and we're discussing volunteer ideas so if anyone is interested, feel free to do a search for the group "Pagans Against Sexual and Domestic Violence" on facebook (though I will warn, those with a history of violence need not apply nor will you be tolerated).

As things become completed, I'll definitely be updating (if only to make sure this blog doesn't get neglected). Eventually I hope to get back into my heavier workout focus, but for now - I'm scratching things off my bucket list and holding on for dear life!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"May I ask how you incorporate physical 'warriorness' in your life this day and age?"



Original Entry Oct 29, 2006

Another interesting question posed to me. This comes from a Yahoo group specifically focusing on the Morrigan (Irish Goddess of War, Lust and Death). Questions like this in a group that is, in essense, dedicated to war always makes me raise my eyebrow in confusion.

Question to me:

May I ask how you incorporate physical "warriorness" in your life this day and age?

And what would you say to someone who was called to this path who is not so into violence, let alone combat. there is little opportunity to change things for the better by fists alone, you're more likely to be sued for assault.

My response:

A warrior is one who is prepared for physical confrontation at a moments notice, but does not necessarily walk into one hoping it will happen. They are one who has the focus and courage should the need arise in such a situation. Hand to hand combat and weapons training can come from any martial arts form.

One who is a warrior doesn't have a need for violence or fighting, but knows how to fight when needed. When physical confrontation arises they know how to act...not react.

In my experience, it is the politicians that start the dispute and the warriors that end it.

Not all are called to warrior status...there were the farmers, the bards, the seers, ect. Not all are called to be a warrior first and foremost, but, in a specifically Celtic sense, all were trained, including the women (or so the Romans have written).

My question is...how can a Goddess of war be useful to someone who is appalled by the very thought and nature of war?

175 pounds

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pre-workout Meditation

So I've begun applying the ADF Two Powers "focus" to my personal meditation, but my meditation is not at all passive. My meditation of choice is quite the opposite as it is part of my "physical training." My issue, and it's not uncommon I have come to find, is that I am not a fan of "quiet" and "sitting" meditation. I'm not a fan of my rituals being that way either so there is at least some form of movement in my personal rites in order to help gather energy. I guess growing up in a noisy house where one couldn't even sleep without the TV on, I've become accustomed to that.

As I consider myself first and foremost on the warrior path, my pre-training ritual is to take a second to acknowledge my patron, The Morrígan. I do consider my training part of my worship to Her. I have found an easy way to incorporate the ideal of the Two Powers (fire/deity and water/ancestors) in conjunction with my original ritual. I do light a candle specifically for The Morrígan, but now I'm incorporating two more candles. To use a candle to also represent water may seem counter intuitive, but the flame always seems to help me focus and clear my mind.

I've found a comfortable visualization for myself. Lighting the Water/Ancestors candle I picture myself standing in a stream as the ancients fight around me, blood being spilled mixing with the water and that energy flowing up through my feet. While focusing on the Fire/Deity candle, I picture the "fire in the head" and see a glow from mine out to the air around me where the deities are watching from afar, then visualize their energy radiating back in. Both energies meet in the center as I light The Morrígan candle.

This process takes about a minute to begin, but holding on to that visualization can be difficult. I do, however, find that it truly helps me focus on my full body and focused breathing on that centered energy. Granted, there is a struggle, but I can at least hold on to the feeling at the beginning of the work out. Next step is seeing how long I can keep it as my workouts last around an hour.