Caer Australis

Home The Grove Fire Feasts Celtic Calendar The Gorsedd Resources

Celtic Traditions, Myth and History

A view from Glen Innes Highlands, NSW Australia

Southern Samhain: Summerend 2021

CAydgcrux © and created by Scott Rhys Jones 2000.

Celebrating for 25 years - since 1995

Original written and art work, site design and layouts:
© Caer Australis 1995 - 2020
Authors, designers and publishers: John and Scott Rhys Jones.
Other work used with permission if possible, in public domain and referenced in any case when possible.
Any enquiries, please email john.rhysjones at
Caer Australis comes to you from Glen Innes,in the
Glen Innes Highlands of northern NSW, Australia, home to the annual Australian Celtic Festival

| Last Updated August, 2020 |

Croeso - Fáilte - Welcome

Australian Cornish flag Australian Irish flag Australian Scottish flag Australian Welsh flag

Caer Australis presents an exploration and celebration of traditions born in the Heroic age and recorded for centuries since throughout the Celtic world.

We celebrate The Celtic Fire Feasts held on the cross-quarter times mid-way between the solstices and equinoxes, and present an investigation on the origins and workings of The Celtic Calendar, from ancient Gaul showing that the great two-fold division of the Celtic year opens at Samon in Samhradh the summer, and followed six months later by Giamon in Geimhreadh the winter, such that Beltaine marks the start of the tradtional Celtic year. Follow the remarkable cultural continuity that links the sweep of northwest Europe, in which Cétemain, that is cét-sam-sin, continued the traditional Celtic month of Samon into the Julian calendar of Ireland and names the season it heads, that is, Samrad: the summer.

Caer Australis celebrates the The Southern Seasons and looks at Australian perspectives of the Celtic Feasts and Calendar. We also aim to link to Australian Celtic Links with connections to Australian Celtic societies and clubs, musicians and artists, and websites for Australian Celtic cultural festivals.

We celebrate Celtic song and poetry in The Grove, and mythology and thoughts on The Gorsedd. We present an ancient history using ancient sources and presenting a Celtic perspective from the time of Brennus to that of Boudicca in Conquest, and explore to meet King Arthur in The Arthur Project.

Today Celtic people abound all over the globe, and bring with them the knowledge that throughout its history, the Celtic culture has expressed through its deities, myths and languages a most powerful ideal - the Celtic hero - who has met the challenges of the ages, full of tragedy mixed with unyielding hope. The modern Celtic homelands are secure and increasingly independent, the languages flourish, and a desire to know what once was is driving forward the impetus for what is yet to be.

To understand the past so that we may meet the future with knowledge and wisdom is a worthy challenge, and it is worth seeking with honesty, passion and integrity. Since 1995 Caer Australis has enjoined with others in this challenge in our celebration Celtic traditions and our reasoned analyses of some popular antiquarian and modern ideas.

In exploring the song, myths and history of the Celts, we join those who strive to find the magic and meaning of the powerful literature of an enduring culture.

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"Roman lust has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted.
 But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion of Romans which dared to fight has perished; they will not sustain even the din nor less our charge and our blows.
 If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die!

                                                      - Boadicca (Tacitus, Annals, 14.35).

     Content Guide to Caer Australis

     "Grows an oak upon a steep,
       The sanctuary of a fair lord;
       If I speak not falsely,
       Lleu will come into my lap

              - Gwydion, Mabinogi of Math ap Mathonwy

     The Grove:

     Welcome to the Grove
     Song of Amergin
     To August
     An Gevren - The Link

     Summer in the Grove
     Featuring the works:
     Summer Has Come
     The Salmon of Knowledge
     Arrival of the Giolla Dacker
     Song of Summer
     Mac ríg
     The Yellow Bee
     A Rose by Another Name
     Arberth Hill

     Original works:
     Green Bough
     The Mayfly
     Y Ddraig Goch
     The Little Prince

     Winter in the Grove
     Featuring the works:
      A Song of Winter
     Summer is Gone
     Saman's Day
     The Feis of Tara
     Chant of the Fairy Maiden
     Clear Winter

     Original works:
     Summer's End
     The Fallen
     Knowing Nothing
     The Acorns

     Saints in the Grove
     Featuring the works:
     St David - Llandewi Brefi
     St Piran - On the Millstone
     St Patrick - The Conversion of King Laoghaire's Daughters
     The Paschal Fire
     St Columba - My Druid is Christ, the Son of God
     St Brigit - I Should Like
     Blathmac, son of Cú Brettan
     The Fate of the Children of Lir

     Goddesses in the Grove
     Featuring the works:
     Danu Mother of the Gods
     Isis Queen of Heaven
     Badb's song
     Minerva of the Gauls
     The six gifts possessed by Emer
     Modron mother of Mabon
     Mary mother of Christ
     Olwen - White Track
     The fair woman, Bé Find
     The great Queen, Rhiannon
     Pisces' Babies

     Rowan Berries in the Grove
     Featuring the works:
     Soma of the Celts
     Glyn Cuch - The Red Valley
     Gwydion obtains the swine of Annwn
     Grania declares her heart to Diarmait
     The Quicken Berries of the Forest of Dooros
     The Dream of Macsen Wledig

     The Gorsedd:

     Welcome to the Gorsedd
     The Fair Woman
     Mabon ap Modron
     Gwern in the Fire
     Celtic Origins
     River and the Well
     Samhain is not the Celtic New Year
     Last Witch Trial - P.W Joyce

Caer Australis presents...
As adjuncts to the main Caer Australis site, where the focus is on Celtic culture, are two historical websites -

The Arthur Project, which presents an introduction to the Arthurian legends and the historical endevours to penetrate the Dark Age of Britain; an overview of the stories and Arthurian romances; and the power of the legend today.

The Arthur Project - Home
Arthurian romances The Time & Place
Arthur Pendragon
Romances of Arthur
Historical Arthur
The Birth of Arthur
Arthurian Themes Today
On-Line Resources
AP Contact Form

Conquest of the Celts, which presents a comprehensively referenced and documented account of the ancient world of the Celts from the earliest of historical times. Events through four and a half centuries of are examined, the conflict with the emergent Roman Republic and later the Empire. From Brennus, through to Vercingetorix, Cunobelinus and Boudicca, this is the rich history of the Heroic Age of the Celts.

Conquest - Home
The Dying Gaul The Heroic Age
Gallic War
On-Line Resources
Conquest Contact Form

The Celtic Fire Feasts:

"Samrad didiu ríad reites grian, is and is mo doatne a soillsi;
Cetsoman .i. cetsámsin .i. cétlúd síne samraid;
Gam quasi gamos isin greic, nouimber .i. in mí gaim iar samuin
                                                      - Sanas Cormaic (9th century)

The Celtic Fire Feasts - Introduction
The Southern Seasons Celtic Fire Feasts
In the Southern Hemisphere, the seasons are off-set by half a year, and the southern Celtic Summer begins at the time of Samhain in the North. In this section, the Celtic response to the year in the Southern Hemisphere is explored.

The Celtic Calendar:

"Now when at intervals of thirty years the star of Cronus, which they call 'Night-watchman', enters the sign of the Bull, they, having spent a long time in preparation for the sacrifice, choose by lot a sufficient number of envoys, while those who have served the god together for thirty years return home"
                                                      - Plutarch (De Facie, AD75).

The Celtic Calendar - Introduction
The Celtic Calendar - Correspondences to the Gregorian year

| Samon | Duman | Riuros | Anagantios | Ogronnos | Cutios |
| Ciallos | Giamon | Semiuisonna | Equos | Elembiuos | Edrini | Cantlos |

Apr --> May
(*samo-, samrad)
Oct --> Nov
(*gaimo-, gaimred)
May --> Jun
early summer
"The World"
(dumno-, domhan)
Nov --> Dec
early winter
"The Source"
(sem + uis)
Jun --> Jul
summer solstice
"The New King"
(rix, ri + úr)
Dec --> Jan
winter solstice
(*ekvos, echu)
Jul --> Aug
(an + gant, ingantach)
Jan --> Feb
"Nurturing Life"
(ailim + *bivo-s)
Aug -->Sep
late summer
(*ogro-, oer, fuar)
Feb -->Mar
late winter
Sep --> Oct
autumnal equninox
Mar --> Apr
vernal equinox
(cantla, canu)

Representation of an Irish chieftain seated at dinner, 1581from Division of the Year
Ar is dé roinn nobid for an mpliadain and
.i. in samrad o beltine co samfuin;
in gemred o samfuin co beltine.

For two divisions were formerly on the year, namely, summer from Beltaine the first of May to Samuin, and winter from Samuin to Beltaine.

- from Tochmarc Emer

CAER AUSTRALIS: Original work and design all pages © Caer Australis 1995 - 2020: From the Glen Innes Highlands, NSW Australia