Welcome to The CR FAQ An Introduction to Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism.
While no one individual speaks for the CR community as a whole, it is through consensus documents such as this one that we endeavour to present the core, shared principles, beliefs and practices of our community. This document is presented in the form of a FAQ: answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Celtic Reconstructionism.
The CR FAQ was written by a diverse collective of CR elders and long-term practitioners, including some of the founders of the tradition. It was written through a consensus process, using a CeltiWiki database designed for the project. Using a Wiki format meant that all of the core authors were able to co-write and edit one another's work until a consensus answer emerged. The resulting versions of all answers were posted on the cr_r online community, enabling over 360 members of the Celtic Reconstructionist community the opportunity to provide input and feedback, much of which was then incorporated. The project was also announced in multiple CR online communities, so those who were interested in contributing could come and join in. Following in the tradition of 2003's CR Tradition Essay, The CR FAQ is only the second defining document co-authored and approved by representatives of multiple, longstanding CR sub-traditions.
This FAQ is meant to provide a variety of viewpoints on CR and an introduction to our community. While no book or website, even a collectively-authored one, can claim to speak for every individual everywhere who identifies as CR, we have made our best effort to be inclusive and representative of our diverse community while still making it clear that there are boundaries and limitations on what is considered CR. We hope it will provide a good introduction to our community and tradition and that you enjoy your visit with us. Fáilte! (Welcome!)
Some Of Our Assumptions
In this document we have, for the most part, chosen to use Modern Irish as the Celtic language of choice. This is not to indicate that all CR is Irish, but simply because we had to standardize many of our references to some language for the sake of readability. We also use Celtic languages for the parts of our beliefs and practices that cannot be expressed in English, and because nurturing and helping to revitalize the Celtic languages is an important part of CR. Hopefully, the importance we place on the Celtic languages is reflected in this document while still making it accessible to those who do not speak any of these languages.
In addition, Modern Irish has the advantage of a standardized spelling system, is perhaps the easiest Celtic language to find classes in, and we have observed more CR-oriented people tending toward Gaelic cultures than Brythonic or Continental ones. However, we've used older spellings in some cases where a word has been incorporated into English or an older spelling is more likely to be understood by the reader. There are also some cases where we use a word from a different Celtic language because it is necessary to use a specific term from that language. In those cases, we have chosen to use whichever spelling seems easiest to understand. Finally, there are a couple of cases in which older spellings are mandated due to long use (such as their usage in the names of traditions or organizations). In those cases, we've used whichever spelling we feel is the most appropriate.
This FAQ tends to assume a basic familiarity with religious concepts and terminology, with the occasional foray into related fields like archaelogy, anthropology and psychology. If a word or phrase is confusing to the reader, dictionaries or online search engines like Google are always helpful. A glossary is being written to accompany the book version, and may be appended to the website in the future.
Again, Fáilte! (Welcome!), and we hope you enjoy your stay with us!
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Laurie, Vermeers and ní Dhoireann.
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