Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Are you ready for Fall-Winter?

     - It's a big mistake to assume that "we've been through this before" and that "we'll be fine". That type of lazy attitude is 'The Hare that lost the race'. Your job as adult to is to provide your children and family a means of comfort and safety. If there is a situation, it's best to be proactive, have a plan and be as prepared as you can be. The Weather Man calls for a storm and the stores fill up with people often in a mindset of panic. Soon everything you (think you need) will be limited or gone. 
     Most peoples mentality is "on the last roll" They don't go buy or stock up or even think they even need something until they are almost out of it. "Hun, can ya grab me a roll of toilet paper we are out." Do not assume what you need will be available when everyone else has the same idea and needs as you do. Guess what? A Storm hits and you cant get to the store, then what? Worse even, you're stuck at work or stuck on the road. How prepared are you for that? This is not to cause panic or install fear, it's to keep your eyes wide open to where we live and what can happen here. 

How do you heat your home?
Do you have a back-up way to heat your home?
Is it Energy Efficient? 
Should you plastic your windows, and have things for door drafts?

Can you go A WEEK with NO Electricity, and still be comfortable?

~ In the Winter time during a major storm when there is no electricity and no power- if you also have no heat, your house is basically a primitive shelter from the elements. You'll be surprised how cold it really can get inside with no heat. You'll be in sleeping bags, under covers and wearing hats and gloves inside! 

With no heat, and no running water, your pipes can freeze and then burst. Clean that up at 3 am in the dark. Not fun. 

What back up Light sources do you have? 
- Do you have enough to Last a week? 

Flashlights and Headlamps are great, but they suck batteries. 
Candles are good, and provide minimal heat, but are a limited resource and dont give off lots of light. Plus fire can be dangerous. 
Oil lamps are nice, but can get hot and just like candles are dangerous if you have kids, pets, etc. Fire-bad! 
Glow sticks are fun options for kids, are cheap, and work okay. 
Have options! 
- Have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it.  

How will you be preparing and cooking your Food if there is no power?
- Do you have a gas/propane Grill, AND/OR a Charcoal Grill? 
Perhaps you have a Fire Pit in the yard, Do you have cookware for it, and a dry wood supply?

~ What do you know about 'Solar Cooking'? 
Look into making a solar cook box!

  If there is a serious emergency, there will be no water or no safe water to drink. Stores will be out of stock and thats even if you can get to them. Your toilets will also stop running if its a very serious emergency.
~ How much water do you plan to keep stocked up? 
 Remember, 1 gallon of water per day, per person. (This is ONLY drinking water) That is minimal. You'll need water to basic hygiene, and for cleaning pots and pans, also water for food prep. etc. 

If you are on a well, how does your pump work? Do you have a solar option, a generator option, and even a hand pump option? 
- Remember, you can go three weeks without food but only three days without water. 

 What foods will you stock up on? What foods store well, and are easy to prepare. Each family has different needs, some have allergies, others have dietary/medical needs or personal/religious beliefs.  Sit down, make a list and each week while doing normal Shopping, buy a little extra for your storage. Beans and Rice go a long way! 

~ Great, you have some form of heat. You have water, and food... Do you have to use the toilet yet?!

How will you and (how many people in your house?) be using the toilet? Especially if you have how much toilet paper left in the house and now your toilet doesn't flush! 

also to consider: Given that you wont have Garbage pick up, where do you put all your trash? 

  Do you have the medications required on hand if you can not get to the Pharmacy?! What if the Ambulance can not get to your house? Address any pre-existing family medical needs and have back ups on hand. 

 Do you have a generator, a back up generator? Do you have enough gasoline for it? Can you even get to the store to get gas? What about a Solar Generator? 

  Given that you'll not be going to work or school, what will you do with your time?! Do you have books, games, family activities? Part of comfort is a state of relaxation, can you do this with no power? Can your children be comfortable reading, coloring, doing fun projects, even helping make food can be family fun. 


* Here are some of my families go to items. Your family may require different things. 

Basic Baking Needs

Flours, various kinds.
Any Grains that are whole you'll need a mill grinder
Powdered Milk or substitute 
Dried whole eggs or substitute 
Baking Powder
Baking Soda 

Spices and Flavorings
Baking Cocoa
-other spices and flavors

White Sugar
Honey (I like local-raw honey myself) 
Brown sugar
Maple Syrup (The real kind) 
-other sweeteners

Fats and Oils 
Butter Powder
- Margarine powder (optional) 
Shortening powder
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Canola oil
Corn oil
- other oils and fats
(coffee can in fridge with bacon fat) 

Extra Stuff:
Dried/Dehydrated fruits
extras (think what goes well in various types of breads) 

~ What non-perishable foods can you easily obtain weekly? Buy what you like such as soups, tuna fish, sardines, rice and beans, pasta, cans of sauce, TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) , gravies, and even spam hahaha. Think of things like Protein. Peanut butter is great, other nut butters, sunflower butter or soy butter even work well. Canned meats are very important for those that are use to a very meat filled diet. Can or frozen fruits and veggies are good to have on hand. You can also get fresh and dehydrate, or can yourself. Jams/Jelly, puddings, drink mixes, even ramen noodles (skip the packets they come with, there is enough sodium in them for like 5 days of a dietary requirement) 

Think drinks like Coffee, tea, hot cocoa that you might want to have. 

Do you have any pets? You'll need to remember food and water for them during such hard times.

Non-Food Items
Aluminum foil
Paper stuff like cups, plates, towels
Plastic cutlery if thats your thing
ziplock bags- various sizes
toilet paper
trash bags

Female products
other stuff ....

Dish soap 
Hand soap 
Laundry soap?
other items ....

I'm sure there are many more things to list, but this is up to your family to think about and address. Sit down at dinner together and discuss what you would want to have on hand. 

If you're havin' a shut in for a good week and all your needs are addressed and everyone is safe, warm, well hydrated and fed; I highly suggest to relax with a few drinks and a good book. No wants to shovel 7 feet of snow to get to a car that will not take you anywhere, or to a road no one is not plowed. Stock up your bar! 

Stuck on the Road? Make a Winter Car Kit. (see my other link for that) 

Winter Emergency Kit

For your Vehicle

    Many of you that know me, may not know me very well; and are unaware that I teach wilderness survival skills along with bushcraft. Part of this mindset is daily, with being prepared as best as possible for things if they should happen. Given that we live in WNY we are fully aware of what Old Man Winter can put us though. Have you ever been stuck in your vehicle for more than 10 hours? Have you gone a week with no heat, running water or electric? Well, I have and can tell you no matter how prepared you are it sucks. My family has a few mottos we live by, one is: "No Power, No Problem", along with "Embrace the Suck, and Party On!" My wife rephrases the last one as, "Adapt and remain positive." 
     Every Fall Equinox my Wife and I take some time to go through the house. We look at what we have in the cupboards, what water we have on hand, what we would use or lighting, cooking, and warmth. After all, we have four children to keep safe. After we know that our house is pretty much set for winter we take the same mental process for each of our vehicles. My wife is on the road for work a lot and I am often the one responsible running children around. 
      This Blog post is to share with you some of the things you may wish to keep on hand in your vehicle. Its easy to take a rubbermaid tote and pack it full, but with what? Well, most people honestly pack all the wrong stuff. Lets have a chat about some things, and move on to an items list. 

Making a Winter Car Kit

 ~ There is no excuse not to be prepared for something you know could very well happen! 

   As stated, we live in WNY and we should be aware of the conditions here. You shouldn't hear about people dyeing in their cars, but it happens. The items you carry might not be for you. Ever see someone in distress and wish you were able to lend a hand? I would like to think that my Brethren in their obligations would remember them and act accordingly. So, first and foremost... Panic kills! I know that you are not all trained, or even skilled medically but remaining calm is your 1st priority. It's when you panic, and you make decisions without being able to think clearly or use rational thought that accidents can happen. So, stop; take a few deep breaths and breathe. Think for a few moments of what is you are faced with, and then act upon it. It's not the end of the world I assure you, but it could be the end of yours if you do something without thinking!

   Since this is based on a Winter situation, the number one priority is maintaining and regulating your bodies core temperature. If you are too cold, its moments away from hypothermia, especially if you're wet and there is wind. If you are doing something and you're sweating and its cold, and you can't take layers off; also just as deadly. Lets take a look at some warming ideas for your vehicle. 

These are just ideas, your needs may vary.

extra winter gloves
extra winter hat
extra sweater and jacket
Safety reflective vest - few dollars: very cheap
extra scarf 
extra wool hiking socks, also liner socks
hand-feet warmers
heavy 100% wool blanket
heavy duty mylar space blanket (reflective)

    Now that we are warm, do we need to address any mechanical problems? If so your 1st option is your cell phone and calling a tow, a Brother, or family. You could get a backup cheap phone prepaid, or something and keep it charged. In case of a real emergencies, TXT wins, as its easier and faster on connection than calls. Do you have power cords for your devices in your car? What about a 'brick' to recharge your phone, or even a solar charger. 
    What if no one can get to you? It's best to let people know where you are exactly, and what your plan is. If you eventually have to get out of the vehicle and walk somewhere, keep someone up to date with any changes in location. It's generally best to stay with your vehicle, yes even for days. It's easier to spot a vehicle than a person, plus its a shelter from the elements. If you do leave it, call someone and leave a note that can be seen of when you left and what direction you were headed. 
    So, you're alone. Yay! Take a few minutes and enjoy the peace and quiet. Get your thoughts together, and relax. You're going to be fine. This is where I generally get something to drink, and grab a snack. Chill out for a few minutes and think about your current situation. If your health is fine, and you're just stranded be thankful and devise a plan. Ask yourself, "How long am I willing to stay here before I decide to get out and get to another place?" It could be a mall, a store, or other business. Take your time and think it through. 
~  Your next step would be to make your vehicle visible! Here are some options to do so.

Glow sticks
Road flares
Road reflective triangles
Many flashlights have strobe/s.o.s. options
A good headlamp. Why? Because it gives you hands free abilities so you can 'do-stuff'

    Make your vehicle visible, set up a perimeter around your car. I'm sure we have all been on the i90 at some point and have seen a car surrounded with either flares or triangles. The goal is to be seen and to alert other traffic/plows/resuce that you are there and also not to pass you by or hit you. After this has been established will you be changing a tire, working on the vehicle? What tools do you need? Do you have them with you already? 

Again, these are just ideas, your needs may vary.

Tow rope and or chains
tire iron and a jack
spare tire
packable/collapaseable snow shovel
snow brush/scraper
Jumper cables
~ battery thing
Channel lock pliers
heavy duty zip ties
pry bar     
"heat"-rock salt
super glue/gel
gorilla tape
small wd40

* I'm sure there are many other items in this section you could add. 

    You might not need any of these items, though someone stranded may, and you could be a major help to them. Lets discuss some other things you'll want to have with you to make most situations more comfortable. 

    Are you comfortable? What about having something to drink and something to eat with you that is packed and ready to go. There are many options available & if you know anything about hiking/backpacking these things would be a good option. It is not the old fashioned military MRE's anymore; there is delicious, nutritious options that take minimal preparing or no preparing at all. Not having water, or drinks and snacks with you is foolish. Stop in a local Cabelas, Dicks, or EMS, see what they have and grab a few food items. I bet even Walmart sells some basic camping food items. Grab some sports drink powder, a few bag of tea, instant coffee, etc. Only you know what you like so set some stuff aside. Remember: 3 min without oxygen, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food. Stay hydrated! 
     As for foods, you could easily throw in some sardines, caned tuna and the dreaded spam if ya wanted. Things like granola bars, or cliff bars are great options, as well is jerky. Your options end with your creativity. If you will be cooking food or boiling water thats another story and if such thing is desired you may wish to brush up on skills you may be lacking. There is very easy ways to boil water, and cook that you could achieve that take up no room at all. If this is of interest please by all means reach out to me and I will be sure that you and your family are prepared. 

    Lastly there are those items which don't fit into the other lists or might even be needed for all the lists, so here are some random items that I find are great to have. 

Extra items:

$Cash Money$ - Cash is King and can get you things, help, or be helpful for others. Keep $20-50 bucks stashed away in the car. (I keep mine in a cleaned out - empty Chapstick rolled up inside) Trust me, no one looks there. (They do now, damn-it!) 

Extra pair of Sunglasses. Go to the dollar store and grab a few pairs. Snow blindness can happen in just a few min. 

Note pad and a pen/sharpie/pencil. Sometimes you need to leave a note.

Extra batteries

Wiper Fluid

Gas & Gas Can/Funnel 

A few books to read. You could be there a while!

Those Hand/Feet warmers. They work even inside your clothing.

BIC Lighter

Chapstick - for the lips in he winter. Do you wear glasses? Take a dab on each lens on the outside, then buff it with something and they wont fog up on you! 

A good sleeping bag

*An Axe

*A good bow saw

*A knife (or two) 

* Your mileage may vary, you may be an outdoorsman, travel long distances, live rural, own a truck, etc. 

~ Neat Tip/Trick: Buy an Empty Spray Bottle from a Dollar Store and buy some 91% or higher Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. Use it to spray on your windshield in those very stubborn icy patches that wont scrape off, and watch how fast it simply dissolves! (It's also highly flammable and can be used in many camping cook stoves) 

     You may also choose to have a Bug-Out kit packed with out items if you are an outdoorsman. Besides that, be sure to have a basic First Aid Kit, and any extra medications you may need such as back up inhalers, rolaids, allergy pills, epi-pen, asprin/pain killers, and other things of that nature. If you have children and there is any chance they could be stranded with you. Remember- stay calm! If they see you stressed or worried, they will act the same; but for them it is by far more traumatizing. With that, throw a few toys or stuffed animals in the car. A coloring book or activity book. Books for them, plays games to pass the time. Tell stories, and keep them calm. Sometimes even explaining what is going on calmly will also help you stay calm and on point as you'll be reenforcing your thoughts before they are put into action because you'll hear yourself say them aloud. 

   Thank you for taking the time to read this, and stay safe out there! If you can help someone, by all means do so. If this type of information or even other "at home or wilderness survival information" is of interest to you, please reach out by e-mail, phone, or when you see me at Lodge as I am happy to teach one on one, or to groups/families. 


* Important Note:
 Do not consume alcohol thinking it will warm you up. It actually thins the blood and speeds up the process of hypothermia. Save it for celebration when you get home, because by then you'll have earned it. 

Here are some Books you might enjoy:

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury http://www.amazon.com/Bushcraft-101-Field-Wilderness-Survival/dp/1440579776/ref=zg_bs_864488_1

Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury  http://www.amazon.com/Advanced-Bushcraft-Expert-Wilderness-Survival/dp/1440587965/ref=zg_bs_864488_3

When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cody Lundin   http://www.amazon.com/When-All-Hell-Breaks-Loose/dp/142360105X/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_y 

SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere by John 'Lofty' Wiseman    http://www.amazon.com/SAS-Survival-Handbook-Third-Edition/dp/0062378074/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=13HDJXZPHQV14J8KDJH6&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL320_SR206%2C320_

Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters (Dover Books on Architecture) By D.C. Beard   http://www.amazon.com/Shelters-Shacks-Shanties-Wilderness-Architecture/dp/0486437477/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1K2DCYFDSVNTYR65G8WJ&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL320_SR202%2C320_

SAS Urban Survival Handbook: How to Protect Yourself Against Terrorism, Natural Disasters, Fires, Home Invasions, and Everyday Health and Safety Hazards by John 'Lofty' Wiseman  http://www.amazon.com/SAS-Urban-Survival-Handbook-Terrorism/dp/1620877112/ref=pd_sim_14_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=0611Z5YKY07MM6K9BBAM

Primitive Skills and Crafts: An Outdoorsman's Guide to Shelters, Tools, Weapons, Tracking, Survival, and More by Richard Jamison   http://www.amazon.com/Primitive-Skills-Crafts-Outdoorsmans-Shelters/dp/1602391483/ref=pd_sim_14_33?ie=UTF8&refRID=1MFK0AQBVK1BMEWFAPHN

Primitive Technology II: Ancestral Skill - From the Society of Primitive Technology by David Wescott   http://www.amazon.com/Primitive-Technology-II-Ancestral-Society/dp/1586850989/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_y

The Outdoor Survival Handbook: A Guide To The Resources & Material Available In The Wild & How To Use Them For Food, Shelter, Warmth, & Navigation by Ray (Raymond) Mears   http://www.amazon.com/The-Outdoor-Survival-Handbook-Navigation/dp/0312093594/ref=pd_sim_14_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=01VVZEN65J3E9W6B7DBV&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL320_SR208%2C320_

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Top 20 Fav. Books and more

My Top 20 Favorite Books

I was asked by a friend to list my Top 20 Favorite Books. It was next to impossible, and just as hard to put into an acceptable order. I'm sure this list will change in a few weeks. The list grew to encompass shows, films, music. Lets just call this what it is then. SHITE I LIKE! 

1- When All Hell Breaks Loose - Cody Lundin

2- The Druids by Peter B. Ellis 

3- The Way of Men by Jack Donovan

4- Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury 

5- Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith 

6- The Apple Branch: A path to Celtic Ritual by Alexei Kondratiev 

7- The Celtic Heroic Age by John T. Koch

8- Celtic Heritage  by Alwyn D. Rees & Brinley Rees

9- Ogam by Erynn Rowan Laurie

10- The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner

11- The Year in Ireland by Kevin Danaher

12- Cattle Lords and Clansmen: The Social Structure of Early Ireland by Nerys T. Patterson

13- Dance of Oak and Wren: Rites of Draiocht by Robert Barton

14- A Guide to Early Irish Law by Fergus Kelly

15- Celtic Myth and Religion by Sharon Paice MacLeod

16- The Celts- A History by Dáithí O hOgain

17- Celtic from the West by Barry Cunliffe and John T. Koch

18- Auraicept na nEces: The Scholars Primer by George Calder

19- Coire Sois: The Cauldron of Knowledge: A Companion to Early Irish Sagas by Tomas O'Cathasigh and Matthieu Boyd

20- The Sacred Isle: Pre-Christain Religions in Ireland by Dáithí O hOgain

~ This was very hard to do, I left out many titles. I have a complete separate list for things like: Mythology, Legends, Stories, and Folklore/Tales. Here are some Honorable Author mentions: Jung, Campbell, Morgan Daimler, Huxley, Neitzsche, Plato, Ray Mears, Tolkien, William Blake, John Nagy (his series on Freemasonry) and so many more! I don't read Novels, or stories of any type besides Mythology. Not my thing. *Tolkien is the only exception! 

Shows I am fond of
(In no specific order)

BBC Sherlock
Black Mirror
Rick and Morty
Turn- Washington's Spies 
The Path
Stranger Things
Lie to Me
Peaky Blinders
Wayward Pines
John Adams
Adventure Time
Breaking Bad
Star Trek-Next Generation
Trailer Park Boys

Shows I have sometimes watched with my Wife
Vampire Diaries
The Originals
Tru Blood
Sleepy Hollow
Master Chef and MC Jr.
Top Gear
Orange is the new Black
Americas got Talent
American Ninja Warrior

Films that I've enjoyed
(In no specific order)

The Shining
Sherlock Holmes (both films!) 
What the Bleep do we know?
The Wicker Man - original unedited version
I heart huckabees
Waking Life
Fight Club
A Clockwork Orange
Donnie Darko
Vanilla Sky
A Beautiful Mind
Butterfly Effect
Shutter Island
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind 
Secret Window
One flew over the cukoo's nest

(Silence of the Lambs Films)
-The Silence of the Lambs
-Red Dragon
-Hannibal Rising

The Matrix - all three
Meet Joe Black
Requiem for a Dream
War of the Buttons
Brother Bear
Secret of Roan Inish
The Secret of Kells
Song of the Sea
Alice- wonderland movie
From Hell
Wonka- original
Mists of Avalon
American History X
Saw (all of them)
13th Warrior
Robin hood 
Valhalla Rising
Warrior Queen
The Eagle
Dancing at Lughnasa
Rob Roy
Braveheart (yes I know its rubbish! still a good film)
Lord of the Rings
The Hobbit
Da Vinci Code
Angles and Demons
National treasure
Sleepy Hollow
Pirates of the Caribbean-all 
Indiana Jones- all: except that Crystal Skull rubbish!
Michael Collins
The Last Samurai
Bourne Trilogy
Gullivers Travels
The Brothers Grimm
The Illusionist
The Prestige
Underworld-all films
Land of the Lost
Where the Wild things are
Bill and Ted-both
Groundhogs Day
James and the Giant Peach
Shawshank Redemption 
Pulp Fiction
Starwars- all films
Full Metal Jacket
Monty Python - 'everything!' 
Big Lebowski
Stand by me
Merlin (With Sam Neill) 
Boondock Saints
Master and Commander
Dead Poets Society
Harry Potter - all films

- I'm sure there is more, you get the point.

10 Albums of Summer: (From Youth) 'under 20 yrs old'

The Beastie Boys-License to ill
The Cure-Disintegration 
The Doors- An American Prayer
Porno For Pyros- Good Gods Urge
Phish- Rift
Bjork- Post
Jethro Tull- Aqualung
Nirvana- In Utero
Pearl Jam- Ten
NIN- The Downward Spiral 
* Bonus- Bob Marley & The Wailers- Legend

Its nearly impossible to pick top 10 from youth, these are 'Honorable Mentions' from youth and since youth to now at almost 40. 

Danny Elfman!
Penny Whiskey
Barley Shakes
Dead Rose Symphony
Martyn Bennett-Grit
Dougie MacLean
The Smiths
Tori Amos
Moby- early stuff only
Stan Rogers
Corvus Corax
Wolf Tones
Seven Nations
The Tossers
Silly Wizard
The Postal Service
VNV Nation 
Aphex Twin
Boards of Canada
Johnny Cash- all
Pink Floyd 
Tory Amos
Fleetwood Mac 
Double Indemnity/ Empty Hats
Floggin Molly 
Great Big Sea 
Glengarry Bhoys
Led Zepplin
The Pogues
Phish- Junta, Hoist, Billy Breathes, A picture of Nectar, Round Room 
The Doors- every other album
NIN-all, but Love 'With Teeth album' 
Sneaker Pimps
Pearl Jam- Vs.
The Corries
Damh the Bard
Juno Reactor
Switchblade Symphony 
Velvet Acid Christ
Tom Waits

Monday, June 26, 2017

What is Sinnsreachd?

*Since the Sinnsreachd Homepage has been down this will temporarily serve as a means to link people.

Fáilte, Welcome
Sinnsreachd is a cultural and religious movement that revives the pre-Christian religion, including cultural elements, of the Gaelic peoples of Ireland and Scotland from which it and many of its practitioners are descended. Sinnsreachd is a Gàidhlig (Scots-Gaelic) word that means, in this context, "Customs of the Ancestors", and is a term that truly expresses what it is that we hold dear. Our faith, our culture, our way of life all fall within the bounds of that single word, yet no simple term can ever describe the vastness and complexity that is encompassed in the ways of our people. In simplest terms, Sinnsreachd is a polytheistic folk religion that bases its core cultural, social, and religious doctrine off of the extant customs and superstitions of rural Ireland and Scotland combined with modern restorations of society, culture, and customary law gleaned through research.
Sinnsreachd draws on the ancient elements of Gaelic culture and religion as they existed prior to Christianity, but does so in the modern day and age. While the history of the Gael from which Sinnsreachd draws is recorded and quite clear-cut, its direct roots as a modern movement are harder to pinpoint. Though the first vestiges of a resurgence of the faith of the pre-Christian Gael are found in writings from over a century ago, it is hard to determine exactly when academic postulation became faith.
Today Sinnsreachd is an overarching term, like Christianity or Buddhism, that encompasses many independent tribal or clan groups, organizations, families, and individuals, each united by an adherence to a particular way of life and belief. Though there are many variations from family to family, organization to organization, these differences are subtle and do not detract from the unified adherence to the core beliefs and traditions we call Sinnsreachd. These include the social structure and cultural forms found within the Féinechais, the Laws of the Freemen, also known as Brehon Law, which are the founding social and cultural doctrines of the Sinnsreachd faith. Much of the secular cultural aspects of Sinnsreachd, such as tribal structure, castes, and other social organization aspects, are derived from these ancient laws of the Gaelic people.
Other core elements of Sinnsreachd are the ethics, morals, and teachings of wisdom found in the Triads and the Teachings of the Kings. One of the most distinct elements of Sinnsreachd- one that sets it aside from many other Celtic or Gaelic polytheistic faiths- is the underlying practice of tribalism. All elements of Sinnsreachd and the personal identity of the Sinsearaithe are based, directly or indirectly, in the concept of the tuath, or tribe. Sinnsreachd is not a religion of the person, but of the people. While there are individual Sinsearaithe who are not part of a tuath, they are the rare exception, not the rule. Tribalism is Sinnsreachd's key defining characteristic.
Sinsearaithe believe that the indigenous culture and beliefs of the Gaelic people are sacral, taught to our ancestors by our Gods as the proper way of living. To us, the tuath represents the core of this sacred way of life, and it is paramount that it be followed. Our belief is that the foreign cultural and religious influences that have overwhelmed mainstream Gaelic culture are unacceptable to follow, and represent a breaking of the pact established between Éiriu and the Milesians, a pact we are beholden to uphold. We believe that to maintain our end of the pact we must adhere to and follow the core of our ancestral culture, society, traditions, and beliefs as a way of life. In exchange for this, should we succeed in rebuilding our people and proving our worth and dedication, we will be granted a union with the land and prosperity.
It is our belief that some day, many generations down the road after we have rebuilt our people and our way of life into a proper heir to that of our ancestors, we will again have a sovereign homeland in which the teachings of our Gods and Ancestors are honored. Our adherence to a belief that our ancestral way of life is sacral does not mean that we seek to return to primitive living conditions or Iron Age technology. In fact, we embrace modern technology and science, and we believe that our way of life is more needed today than ever before. Sinsearaithe believe that a modern incarnation of our ancient cultural values, society, laws, etc. are not only perfectly viable today, but are vastly more preferable to the evolving global monoculture that is rapidly spreading to every corner of the planet. It is the belief of our people that we have a sacred duty to build towards that future- rebuilding our population, our tuatha, and our pride, recovering what lore and tradition was lost, rebuilding our societal infrastructure now that our ancestral homelands no longer recognize any vestige of it and have freed it from their control, and preserving those traditions, customs, beliefs, and cultural paradigms that still exist. It is our duty to not only preserve and honor our culture, but to help guide it into the modern era so that it can be the foundation for the future. In a nutshell, our way of life is both our sacral duty to our Gods and Ancestors to follow as best we can, and is also seen by our people as a far better, safer, and more rewarding way of life compared to the mainstream Western societies we live among.

Culture and Laws

Sinnsreachd is a religion that involves secular cultural elements, though it is often stated to be a culture with religious elements entwined in it instead. In objective review, it appears to be a roughly 60% culture, 40% religion split. There is no central body that oversees or dictates Sinnsreachd customs, culture, or religious beliefs, but the practitioners of Sinnsreachd recognize each other based on their adherence to cultural and religious doctrines that are along the same general lines. The origins of the culture and customs of the Sinnsreachd faith come from a variety of sources. These include family customs and superstitions, traditions still found in the Gaelic communities of Ireland and Scotland, customs and traditions recorded in the 19th and early 20th century in these countries, as well as the Gaelic-speaking Diaspora populations in the Americas and Australia. Many of these cultural traits and customary laws are found within the Fénechas (a.k.a. "Brehon Law"), and from religious history and recorded lore found in the manuscripts of the Leabhar na Núachongbála (The Book of Leinster), Leabhar na nUidre (The Book of the Dun Cow), Leabhar Baile an Mhota (The Book of Ballymote), Leabhar Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh (The Great Book of Lecan), Leabhar Buidhe Lecain (The Yellow Book of Lecan), and the Leabhar Feirmoithe (The Book of Fermoy).
Social Structure
Socially, Sinnsreachd is a tribal faith, grouping into small to medium tribe-like family-based groups. The smallest of these groups is the household, called a teaghlach, teaghlaigh plural, comprised of a family of persons living under one roof or in one general household such as a farmstead. The next largest of these groups is the kin-group, or fine, finte plural (fineachan plural in Gàidhlig), which is comprised of everyone in a particular family group related by blood or marriage from a common ancestor. Different varieties of these kin-groups exist, but the most commonly seen version is the dearbhfine, dearbhfhinte plural (dearbhfineachan plural in Gàidhlig), which is all persons descended from a common ancestor out four generations. The largest organizational body of the Sinnsreachd faith is called a tuath, tuatha plural, or clann, clanna plural. The tuath has been roughly equated to mean "tribe", and is considered to be all members of the Sinnsreachd faith in a cohesive body living in a particular geographical area. It could be considered to be the Sinnsreachd equivalent to a diocese, but with closer ties due to familial relations and the cultural and political unifying structure.
Sinnsreachd is comprised of loose hierarchal classes of persons, often referred to as castes. These castes are based around occupation and position within the tribe. Examples of such castes would include ceardaithe (craftsmen), laochra (warriors), filí (poets), draoithe (religious functionaries), seanchaithe (lore-keepers), etc. Leadership is comprised of a chieftain, called either a taoiseach or rí, and the ceanna fine, a form of tribal parliament made up of the heads of each kin group.
One of the more common questions that is asked in regards to the caste system of the Gael is whether or not it is viable in the modern age. Critics claim that the caste system is an archaic remnant of a bygone time in which modern freedoms did not exist. This is not only incorrect, but a view espoused by those who refuse to do proper research into the reality behind both the castes and ranks of our ancestors and our people today. We all live in castes and hierarchies, even if such are not named nor organized. Whether one works in a corporation with overt castes (IT, billing, secretarial, maintenance, etc.) and ranks (cube-gopher, middle-management, CEO, etc.), or whether the castes and ranks one lives in are unconscious expressions of their social life based on occupation, income level, and social standing among one?s cliques and friends, everyone lives in some form of caste and rank system. The difference with the traditional Gaelic caste system is that it is upfront and honest, not hidden, and has openly-declared codified rules governing it. There are critics, to be sure, as the very idea of a caste system or rank system is anathema to self-indulgent and forced-equality systems such as hedonistic anarchy or socialism. However, such systems are anathema to our way of life, and criticisms from that angle are generally ignored.
What value is the caste and rank system of the ancient Gael in modern society, especially when so many of our people live within Host Nations and have no sovereign homeland? Most Sinsearaithe would say invaluable, something that is important not only to the preservation of our traditions but for the strength and survival of our people. Codified and organized castes and ranks give one a sense of their place in the world, and lay out the easy-to-understand steps and goals through which one must pass in order to better their place. They help to take a people defined by their tendency towards individualism and stubborn traits and guide them into a situation where they work together for the common good of the tribe in an organized fashion, making the tribe a coherent and well-oiled machine.
The Gaelic concepts of rank and caste also serve as a form of identification, not only of one?s place in our society and their occupation, but of their level of accomplishment. One is judged based on their position within our society, with the lowest ranks receiving general levels of respect, but those who have climbed higher have earned even more so. Heroes and role-models earn their accolades, they are not simply given to make one feel special. In the deoraithe world, one identifies themselves generally based on their job and level of income. Among the Sinsearaithe, when one speaks of their identity, it is based on their caste and rank. This may seem to be the same general concept at some levels, but the Sinnsreachd ideology holds that identifying oneself based on their income level in a society based on personal acquisition of wealth above all else simply shows that person?s position in the game of make-as-much-money-as-you-can. In a tribal society such as that held by the Sinsearaithe, one?s identity being based on caste and rank shows not only what they do, but how well they do it and what level of dedication to their family and tuath they possess.
In the modern world, the need for self-identity- not only at a cultural or religious level, but at a personal level- is sorely needed in order to have a sense of stability and a sense of one?s place. This is true within our society if it existed in a vacuum, and even more so when we are forced to deal with the pressures and chaos of being surrounded by the deoraithe of the Host Nations in which we dwell for the time being. Eventually, within a few generations, our people will have a homeland where our society, laws, culture, and political structure are the norm, but even then there will be a need to know where one stands in relation to the greater society of one?s tribe and our people as a whole. In the time between now and then, there is the additional need to understand the organizational hierarchy that helps keep our people together and allows us to function and prosper in spite of the crushing pressures of the deoraithe world to cast off our culture and assimilate into their way of life.

Sinnsreachd Faith

The religious beliefs of Sinnsreachd are inseparable from the culture, but they deserve a good, solid look on their own merits as well. While descended, directly and indirectly in varying ways, from the original pre-Christian faith of the Gael, it is not the result of secret family traditions of hidden ?druid cults? or other such nonsense. Neither is it an attempt to reconstruct the faith of our ancestors as they followed, for such would be virtually impossible without the aid of a time machine. We simply do not know every last detail of our ancestors? faith and thus have to work from the core parts that survive in recorded lore and customary traditions. Much survived, enough to build from and reclaim our faith, but it is in a modern incarnation and not a direct continuation of that of our ancestors. It could be likened to the differences between ancient and modern Judaism- the same faith, praying to the same god, with most of the same core cultural and social elements, but also changed by time, loss and recovery or replacement of knowledge, and an expansion of scientific and celestial knowledge.
Because it is a modern incarnation of a pre-Christian religion, and not an unbroken linear tradition, some external observers label Sinnsreachd a "neopagan" religion. However, that term is highly inaccurate due to its associations with purely modern syncretic religions such as Wicca, which have nothing in common with Sinnsreachd ideology or theology. We simply prefer to be called Sinsearaithe (Sinsearaí sing.), and our faith Sinnsreachd. Nor are we fully a Reconstructionist religion, either. Our faith is a living, breathing entity in the modern world, not a well-intentioned, yet anachronistic, attempt to recreate the ancient beliefs of our ancestors as they were two millennia ago. Sinnsreachd is for today, for our people now, and embraces modern scientific and cosmological understandings of existence. We understand and accept that the Sun is a burning ball of plasma fed by a hydrogen-to-helium reaction, and not the giant flaming chariot wheel of a deity. However, the core ethics, morals, doctrine, and customs of our people are by and large timeless, and neither require us to live in an Iron-Age mindset nor to shirk an expanded and enlightened understanding of the cosmos. In fact, quantum physics and our expanded understanding of things such as non-corporeal intelligence, the multiverse, string theory, etc. are all complimentary to our beliefs in many ways. We do not need to cast aside science and modernity in order to practice our faith, but instead mold our understanding and practice of such things through the filter of what we believe.
The basics of the Sinnsreachd faith are universal, but many of the minor details may differ from tuath to tuath. These basics include veneration of the Gods of the Tuatha de Dannan- particularly the core deities Nuada, Lugh, an Mórríghan, Dana/Danú, Goibhniu, Manannan Mac Lír, Dian Cecht, an Dagda, Bríd (a.k.a. Brighid), Macha, and Bóann. Other universal aspects of the Sinnsreachd faith are the celebration of the four fire festivals- Samhain (the celebration of the end of one year and beginning of the next, and the beginning of the dark or winter half of the year) at the beginning of November, Imbolc (the festival of Bríd and the celebration of the coming spring) at the beginning of February, Bealtaine (the celebration of the summer and the beginning of the light half of the year), and Lughnasadh (the festival of Lugh and the celebration of the harvest). These festivals involve feasts and tribal celebrations, and different religious practices depending on the festival. Sinnsreachd also has a fairly universal a code of ethics and morals spelled out in various poems called Triads, primarily focused on honor, integrity and hospitality in both religious and cultural practices.
Theologically, Sinsearaithe have strong beliefs in both an afterlife- called Tír na nÓg- and reincarnation, as well as veneration of ancestor-spirits, and recognition of the spirits of the three realms considered sacred by Sinnsreachd- land, sea, and sky. Probably one of the strongest unifying theological beliefs of the Sinsearaithe is that of a pact or covenant between our ancestors and our Gods. The Sinsearaithe believe that the indigenous culture and beliefs of the Gaelic people are sacral, taught to our ancestors by our Gods as the proper way of living. To us, the tuath represents the core of this sacred way of life, and it is paramount that it be followed. Our belief is that the foreign cultural and religious influences that have overwhelmed mainstream Gaelic culture are unacceptable to follow, and represent a breaking of the pact established between Éiriu and the Milesians, a pact we are beholden to uphold. We believe that to maintain our end of the pact we must adhere to and follow the core of our ancestral culture, society, traditions, and beliefs as a way of life. In exchange for this, should we succeed in rebuilding our people and proving our worth and dedication, we will be granted a union with the land and prosperity. It is our belief that some day, many generations down the road after we have rebuilt our people and our way of life into a proper heir to that of our ancestors, we will again have a sovereign homeland in which the teachings of our Gods and Ancestors are honored.

Research (to be edited later) 
Our way of life is based on the indigenous cultural ways of the Gaelic people before the heavy influence of foreign customs and cultural institutions, and our faith is based largely off of the faith of our ancestors prior to the coming of Christianity. While ours is a living way of life, it is rooted in a mixture of folklore, customs, superstitions, etc. combined with a great deal of research. This research into our legends, lore and the archeological information and studies are important in filling the gaps of cultural knowledge created by those aspects that were lost over the years. Such research is also critical in the recovery of native Gaelic beliefs, as such beliefs have been relegated to folklore and superstition for over a thousand years. In order to counter the massive volume of misinformation that has cropped up over the years, it is important to have solid academic research to back up arguments. In addition, for the independent folk who have no tuath or family lore from which to learn, there is only the research they can do on their own from which to rebuild their culture.
The following are just a fraction of a percent of the resources available for research, but these articles and sites, as well as the reference books listed below, are a good starting point. More articles will be added as they are written, and older articles are being updated and re-posted as the authors get to them.

Legends and Tales
Much of our lore and cultural traditions are preserved in the many tales and legends that were recorded by early Irish monks. These manuscripts, combined with other resources such as anthropological evidence and archeology, provide a window into the lives and beliefs of our ancestors. It is from these tales and legends that we extrapolate many of the foundations of our religious beliefs and some elements of our moral code, so in a way, they are to us what the Gospels are to the Christians (though not as fanatically enforced). In these tales, we see the great heroes- CuChullain, Fion Mac Cumhail, Fergus Mac Roith, and many more, and they inspire us to meet the standards they set.
Táin Bó Cúalnge, Translated by Joseph Dunn and Ernst Windisch
Scél Mucci Mic Dathó, Translated by Nora Chadwick
Cath Mag Tuired, Translated by Elizabeth A. Gray
Táin Bó Cúalnge, Translated by Joseph Dunn
The Destruction of Dá Derga's Hostel, Translated by Whitely Stokes, D.C.L.
Heroic Romances of Ireland, Translated and Compiled by A. H. Leahy
Cuchulain of Muirthemne, By Lady Augusta Gregory
Gods and Fighting Men: The Story of the Tuatha De Danaan and of the Fianna of Ireland, By Lady Augusta Gregory
Táin Bó Cúalnge (from the Book of Leinster), Translated by Elizabeth A. Gray, edited by Cecile O'Rahilly
Buile Suibhne (The Frenzy of Suibhne), Translated by J. G. Ó Keeffe

Much of our lore comes from a variety of manuscripts that are generally only available to scholars. By a stroke of great luck, many have been translated and large parts put online. These manuscripts represent the core of our research, and are vital in helping us learn about our ancestors. Though written by Christian monks, and being very Christocentric in many ways, a smart scholar can remove the veneer and see the older tales beneath.
Lebar na Núachongbála, The Book of Leinster
Lebor na nUidre, The Book of the Dun Cow
Leabhar Baile an Mhota, The Book of Ballymote
Leabhar Mór Mhic Fhir Bhisigh, The Great Book of Lecan
Leabhar Buidhe Lecain, The Yellow Book of Lecan
Leabhar Feirmoithe, The Book of Fermoy

Research Websites
Some of the tales above are found on the following sites, as are various items of wisdom and information. These sites are among some of the best on the net, some featuring exact translations of the original manuscripts, and others having a great deal of information on language and law.
CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts, Featuring the many Annals, several of the tales, and a wealth of Irish literarature.
Law, Literature, and Legend, Featuring an overview of the Brehon Laws and the Fenechas, as well as postulations on integrating them into modern life.
Dalriada Celtic Heritage Trust, Featuring multiple resources, some free, some pay, used to educate the public in all aspects of Celtic languages, culture and tradions.
Sacred Texts: Celtic Folklore, Featuring many of the tales above, plus other information and tales from the extant Celtic nations written or compiled by multiple authors.
The Gaelic Homepage, Featuring information on Gaelic and other Celtic languages.
Medieval Irish Poetry, Featuring translations of Irish poetry and information on the poetic forms used.
A (much) Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland , Featuring brief overviews of the ancient government, military, law, religion, art, and customs of the ancient Irish people. Abridged form of the larger book.
Celtic Literature Collection: Irish Texts, Featuring manuscripts and tales from throughout the surviving lore of the Gael Éireannach.

Language Resources, Online
To truly understand the Gaelic people and their worldview, one must know the basics of our language at the very least. Our mindset is explicit in the wondrous and complex languages we speak. The following are websites that help teach the basics of the Irish language and assist in learning.
Irish Lessons Online- 125 lessons on basic Gaeilge by the Irish People.
Eo Feasa- Irish lessons starting at Level 1, basic level for beginners.
Fearghal Mag Uiginn- An Irish lesson course that provides you with the basics of the lrish language in a fifteen week course.
Cáemgen's Irish Lesson Videos- An online video series of Cáemgen's Irish lessons that will increase as more video's are posted. Cáemgen is the first Sinsearaí to put together videos of language lessons, so bravo to him!
Daltaí na Gaeilge- Daltaí's pages forIrish Grammar and Vocabulary
Interactive Irish Lessons- Online lessons and other resources as well as sound files.
Foclóir Gaeilge/Béarla I- Irish/English Dictionary I. May or may not register fadas properly due to poor coding in HTML.
Foclóir Gaeilge/Béarla II- Irish/English Dictionary II by An Chrannóg.
Foclóir Gaeilge/Béarla III- Irish/English Dictionary III, including technical and advanced terms.
Gaeilge Word Lookup- In Gaeilge, enter a Gaeilge word into the text box and it will present the singular and plural, genitive and vocative forms of that word. Handy for more advanced students.
Irish Gaelic Translator- Due to the complexity of the Irish language, no computer translator exists to do online translations. IGT is a forum of volunteer Gaeilge-speakers and students who assist in basic translations.
Foghlaim na Gaeilge ar an Idirlíon- Irish Gaelic learners' material on the Internet, multiple links to further pages.
Gàidhlig Word Translator- Set for beurla (English) words to be entered into the box and translated to Gàidhlig (Scottish).
Faclair Gàidhlig/Beurla- Scottish/English Dictionary.

Language Resources, Books and Audio
To further the study of the Gaelic languages, many books and audio resources are available, as are CD ROM programs. The following are sources for written, audio, and multimedia materials that help teach the basics of the Irish language and assist in learning.
Fios Feasa- Manufacturer of Gaeilge lessons for children and adults alike. Many products available.
Cló Iar-Chonnachta- Another company selling Irish language resource material and books in Irish.
Teach Me Irish- A multimedia program that teaches basic Irish fluency and comprehension.
Teach Me Celtic- For the REAL dedicated, a package of multimedia programs that teach basic fluency and comprehension in all of the Celtic languages- Gaeilge, Gàidhlig, Welsh, Cornish, and Breton.
Litriocht.com- The largest Irish-language bookshop on the World Wide Web, including textbooks and many many Irish-language sourcebooks.

Irish Language Media
Reading Irish books and studying Gaeilge lessons help a great deal, but they need to be backed by use and exposure to native speakers. This is best accomplished by a direct hands-on approach in the Gaeltacht, but when this is not possible, Irish audio and video media is of great value. The following are Irish media links to various radio and television resources.
Raidió na Gaeltachta- The famous national Irish language public broadcasting radio station.
Live Ireland Radio- Featuring Gaeilge and Bearla (English) programming, music, and live streaming television.
Raidió na Life- 106.4 FM in Dublin, catering to the Irish-speaking communities in Éire and around the world through streaming audio.
TG4-Irish-language television, including streaming video (subscription service, not free), catering to the Irish-speaking communities in Éire and around the world.

*This information above was granted by Breandán with permission for the use of education until such a time when our website is rebuilt.