- The early Christian scribes did not think the creation myth was that important so they did not bother to record it.
- The Celtic myth was so vastly different from the Christian one that the scribes thought it best not to record this.
- Or The Celts did not have a creation myth to record.
I suppose we will never really know the answer to this mystery, but I would like to suggest my interpretation of this issue.
The Celts were not linear people. This is clearly reflected in their beautiful art work. In this we see no beginning and no end. What they do represent is a continuous ever expanding beauty. Filling the space available and always ready to move on into new areas. This is an art form which is truly alive and truly natural. If we look at the animal designs they are in no way trying to faithfully copy the animals they saw running around the forests and the villages. They are in fact taking those ideas and encoding in them a true sense of motion and growth and movement and life.
What can this suggest in terms of creation?
I once read that a common saying among the ancient druids was “We created the world”. To us this may seem shocking!!!
We have behind us about 1000 years of Christian thought. It is incredibly difficult to shake off these ideas. We may say we are not Christians yet the ideas and cosmology still ,often in a very subtle way, shape our understanding of the world and the universe. We have become vested in the ideas of linear time. We somehow accept the idea of a creation, a linear unfolding of the created culminating in a final point. Many of us see the world as something external, something which happens around us. Even those of us who say we reject the Christian ideas and we believe in science and the Big Bang, upon pushing them you will find they still kind of believe in a point of creation. I have heard many times “before the big bang there was nothing then something happened and the energy started to expand outward and cooled into the universe and then life developed in some random way.” As you can see this is still very much a linear model. Some of the more liberal Christians who do not believe in the actual order of creation as set forth in the Bible still tend to accept this linear model and look at how God works within this river of time. We see Jesus as a person existing in a certain point in time in a certain place. We date the birth, the life, the death and resurrection of Jesus. Christians hope for the coming of Jesus at the end of time. A very linear expression.
I see the Celtic and therefore the Druidic mindset as being highly opposed to this linear view of time and existence. Now we have no ancient Celts to ask about what they actually thought but we do have some ideas....... If we look at the Celtic languages, this may help point us in the right direction. In Scots Gaelic one of the words for God is Cruithear or shaper. We see a similar idea in the Irish Gaelic where we find the word Cruthaitheoir which means creator. However the root word Cruth literally means to shape. Now there is a fundamental difference between shaping and creating.
The Christian tradition suggests a God who creates the universe from nothing. Boom world. Then he breaks into this created world every so often to make changes.
I would suggest that the Celtic idea was very different to that. They did not write a creation story because they did not ever conceive of a time when things did not exist. They saw things being constantly changed and shaped. They did not accept the idea of linear time but looked to the continuous spiral dance. They did not think in terms of Polar opposites and of dualistic thought. The Celts looked at the polar opposites and then looked at the third aspect and moved beyond the constant dualistic battle ideas. There was night and day yes! But there is also the time that is neither night nor day. Yes there are the Gods and there are men but at some point we become the neither gods nor men. We actually merge. Yes divinity does shape the world but so do we. We truly do create the world.
With this view in mind we can say we don't need a creation myth because Creation is happening right now. We are involved in creation, we are creating.
Our problem arises in forgetting this. We have fallen into linear thinking. We see ourselves as separated, as individuals with creation happening outside of ourselves.
There is no Celtic creation myth as it is not something which has happened. It is happening and we are all part of it. We are actually woven into the fabric of creation. It is our story. We are the story. Some have called this shaping force the Oran Mór or great song. (This is best described in the work of Frank Mills)
It is our willingness to accept a completed and finished (would we be so bold as to say dead) concept of creation as in the monotheistic traditions or our deep faith in a soul less science which has lead us to stop listening to the Oran Mór. We have become exploiters of creation as opposed to shapers and creators. We have become users as opposed to makers. We live and move sick to our very souls because we no longer hear the great song, the music of creation. We no longer dance to its life giving rhythm. We move in silence feeling alone and lost. Yet by tuning in once again we will have the great melody which will carry your heart to the heights of Joy and to the depths of despair but you will never be alone you will always be carried along by the Oran Mór.
Now for the most exciting bit..... The Oran Mór is not a fixed thing either we are co creator of the song too. So by tuning in and really accepting your true place in the universe we truly become creators of the world.