Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Gaol Naofa Site Relaunch: New FAQ and Articles
Over the past few years I have been increasingly collaborating with my dear friends and colleagues in Gaol Naofa, our Gaelic Polytheist organisation. While it may seem we've been quiet for a while, we have actually been very busy over the past few years, and are now ready to release some of the work we've been doing. The material now uploaded to the site is well over a book's-worth of new material. Even just combining the new FAQ with the associated articles, it's the largest amount of GP or CR text I've been involved in publishing since the release of the CR FAQ. All told, it's also more substantial than that earlier work and, since this is a statement from one organisation, more unified and better footnoted.
The Gaol Naofa FAQ
The link above will take you to the intro page; click on the link for the pdf file (we had to put it in a pdf because it clocks in at a good 90 pages long, and it's really the only way to make the index workable without breaking up every section the way we did with the CR FAQ website). The GN FAQ has been substantially expanded from the earlier version and outlines the nitty gritty of our organisation and our vision for it. It also goes into some of our beliefs and outlooks on certain areas. In that sense it might be of interest to Gaelic Polytheists in general, but we hope it's clear that the contents of the GN FAQ (as with everything else we've done) speaks to our own points of view as an organisation and no one else's. Even though some other groups might overlap with us in places, that doesn't mean one size fits all.
Rowan and Red Thread: Magic and Witchcraft in Gaelic Cultures
Again a pdf, weighing in at a more modest, but still substantial, 57 pages. We cover the general gist of the article in some of the questions in the FAQ, so this offers a bit more of our thoughts on this, with plenty of references and historical goodness. It's a huge area, though, and this is really only scratching the surface. One of the things we tackle in this is the use of terminology in both historical and contemporary communities, and why we in Gaol Naofa do not call ourselves "witches." Anyone interested in joining our discussion groups should at least look over the FAQ and (if they want lots of supporting data) this article, so as to understand what we mean by all of these terms, how these terms are and aren't used in our organisation, and what we will think you mean if you use them.
And then we have:
Prayer in Gaelic Polytheism
Another pdf but a bit shorter than the two above. The title is fairly self-explanatory; we go into how we approach prayer and how we make our prayers, the kinds of sources we look to and how we deal with both the gifts and the problems those sources can present. Some examples of prayer are given, along with new translations of part of The Prophecy of the Morrígan and some prayers from the Carmina Gadelica. A suggested reading list is included as well.
As you'll see on the articles page, we have slightly updated and added to the Offerings article, and Treasa and I have another substantial article ready to go once we stare at it for a bit longer with our Editor's Hats on. Elsewhere on the site you'll find that the reading list has been expanded, and the "About" pages have been overhauled too. To celebrate five years of the organisation, Treasa has given the website a bit of a makeover with new headers and icon thingies.
A big thanks, once again, to everyone who helped us out and supported us during the first, second and however many final drafts we went through on these pieces, as well as for your support and feedback in general.
On a personal note, I would like to particularly thank the members of the council, the advisory network, and all the members and allies who have been so supportive and collaborative in the past five years. In particular, Tomás for founding Gaol Naofa, and for not giving up when I kept being vague and noncommittal about joining. And of course Treasa and Annie for making these writing projects a joy instead of a struggle. You guys came along at a time in my life when I was at a crossroads and not sure where I was going. Thank you for your determination, dedication and perseverance. Slàinte Mhath!
P.S. Members will note that there is a new, members-only, Gealach Ur Rite, which has been completely rewritten to include traditional liturgy, ritual, and an accompanying article on the moon in Gaelic cultures. This will be available to renewing members in the new year. We plan on opening up our membership process for new members after the activity of the Winter Holidays subsides a bit. In the meantime, you can get to know members of our community on our public discussion group, where all who are interested in Gaelic Polytheism are welcome to come and chat with us, whether or not they are members of Gaol Naofa. You can also stay abreast of updates and links via our new Facebook Page.
Read the full announcement here: Gaol Naofa Relaunches and Celebrates Five Years
I also cribbed some of the text for this from Annie's post: New Stuff