Monday, June 26, 2017

What is a Celtic Ring Necklace?

A Celtic Ring Necklace

      Many of us in the Sinnsreacht/Sinnsreachd tradition of Gaelic Paganism, and even others have adopted to wearing a ring necklace. Simply put, the bronze rings are historical finds from all over Europe but mainly within the Isles that date between 800 to 500 BC and as late as 100 BC. It could be argued that they were used as currency, or that they were used as collections to later be transformed into an item of value like a knife perhaps. Some are suggested to be from horse harnesses, belts, and other such decorative items, while the plain ones even for chainmail. No one is quite certain, but that isn't the point here. The age of the ring being very old, pre-dates Christianity, a time when our ancestors lived in a world where metal was still new to them. It came from the hands of our people, our ancestors. Someone mined the ore and transformed it by hand into this object, this shape for a purpose; 'WE' have a purpose. It is a direct link to the people and the culture of that time period. It is symbol of culture for many of us, it is who we are and where we came from that is embodied in this ring.   
     Those of us that wear these, either as pendants, earrings, or even rings do so in honour of our ancestors and our cultural roots. The nice thing is you can wear it in a simple fashion or you can if creative add to it. Many of these are sold as collections on Etsy and Ebay but be careful as there are those out there selling rings which are fake. 
     Your teaghlach, fine, derbfine, clan, pobal, or tuath may chose to adopt a custom as to when you are given your rings. Perhaps it is given to the teen when they hit adolescence and have a rite of passage into adulthood. Maybe it even allows them more responsibility amoung 'the people', such as a voice within the Pobal or Tuath; able to have a vote on things. I think it will be up to each group to figure that out for themselves. 
      I was gifted mine by Ceann Barton of Poball nan Ealachan Naomha a few years back. I only take it off to shower or sometimes for sleep. I find I wear it as much or more than my Torc. Mine is on a simple leather cord which has a bog-oak bead from Ireland which is 3,000 years old. I highly suggest if you wear a ring necklace that you creatively do it anyway that feels right for you. Some good options are beads, reproduction Celtic glass beads, bone, stone, horn, amber, bog-oak or bog-yew. The way you do it is up to you. Be inspired by your ancestors and the vision of future they had which is us. Dream the tradition into the future by allowing inspiration of the past to guide the way. 

Go dtugtar onóir do na Déithe!


 For a very in-depth but quick 2 min read on 'Celtic Ring Money' please check out the following link:

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