Galicia, the unique Celtic Country non Celtic speaker, the Mother Land, the Caileach Land, the Keltia, the Land of Death of the International Celtic Mithology, was re-discovered by the Atlantic Celtic community in the last years, and the Celtic issue increased into the interests of Administrations and nowadays constitutes a tourist destination.
Until the beginning of Modern Age, Galiciawas considered the World´s End, the Finisterrae, last frontier. That´s the reason why James the Son of the Thunder, Boanerges, was buried in its land, the most Western coast of the world. We must to take into account that the Christian Church buried the three main apostles in special places around the world: Peter in Rome Caput Mundi; John in Jerusalem Holly Land; and James in Santiago de Compostela, holly land as well, and Finisterre.
The fact of being the western point of the continent, the mythical End of the World gives Galiciaa great relevance into the Celtic World and international Celtic Religion. Today the Land of the Death constitutes the goal of the most important pilgrimage way, The St.James Way, but we found its oldest origines thousands years before.
-THE INTERNATIONAL CELTIC RELIGION. LAND OF DEATH, LAND OF LIFE. Independently the fact of the existence of the various local gods and goddesses, we know today that there were an international common celtic religion, performed by a professional group (druids, abbas) and may be an international liturgical common celtic language. Its religion has a solar nature and it´s monotheist: one God (Sun-Dagda, Taranis) linked with a female (Mother Godess, Caileach, Morrigan, Moura) with three different steps represented into the celtic triskelion, and four special festivities: Imbolc, Beltene, Lugnasad and Samhain. The solar discus rises into the East and dies (Dying God) into the West, into the Western Coast, into the Coast of Death of the Sun, beyond the Mare Tenebrossum. So, the Avallon, the Celtic Paradise, the Galician Alén, the Underworld, it´s situated behind the Ocean, and its rocky Western cliffs over the Atlantic are like a real shuttles for the souls of the celts in their travel to the Paradise after death. The Voyage of Saint Brendan of Ireland or San Amaro of Galicia towards the Paradise were towards the West beyond the sea. Bares, Teixido, Corunna, Finisterre, Donón…are headlands or capes over the Atlantic and goals of milenary pagan first and then Christian religious pilgrimages. And, the most important, from its promontories its possible to see the amazing Death, the sinking of the Solar Discus each and every evening. So, if we look at the annual calendar, is in its Western coast where is possible to confirm the end of the Second Step or the End of the Celtic Year, the Samhain, the day where the borderline between the world of Death and the world of Life is open.
-THE CELTIC LEGEND. Galicia it´s the O´Brian, Bregon, Breogan´s home. Acording the Irish Legendary Cicle, recording from the Middle Ages of milenary tales, specially the Book of Invasions, Bregon discovered the green line of the Irish coast beyond the sea from the top of his tower in Brigantia (Corunna). Acording the same legend, after the death of Ith, Milled, who has been in the service of Bregon, conqueredIreland with his troops, the Milesians, the firt historical Celtic People of the island. After the conquest, the Romans named the O´Brian´s tower theHerculesTower, settled in Corunna, declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Scholars know that Hercules is the wanderer heroe (like the Irish Setanta, the gaulish Ogmios, the Galician Bandua or the Roman Mercury) who reached the top West using the boat of the Sun (Symbol christianized under the form of a chalice-boat and a host-sun, represented in the coat of arms of Galicia).
The memory of its origines still stands in times of the last Celtic Counts generation. After the defeat of the Battle of Kinsale (1602) and the Tudor conquest of Ireland, several Irish leaders escaped and were exiled in Galicia followed by supporters and catholic bishops, like Red Hugh O´Donell and Donald Cam O´Sullivan. O´Donell visited the abandoned, in that time, O´Brian´s Tower as a homage to his ancestors, and the O’Sullivan clan claimed a descent from the mythological followers of Mil who were the first Celts to colonize Innis Fáil, their “island of destiny”. Other example is Edmund O´Dempsey, Bishop of Leighlin. The Bishop O´Dempsey was as well a prominent member of the Confederation of Kilkeny and were exempted from pardon by the Cronwellian victors in 1652. His loyalty to the Catholic King James II resulted in the loss of his states. After several months inMadrid he moved to the Celtic mythic End of the World Finisterre where spent the rest of his life. Died in 1658 and buried in “the Milesians mansion” in his own words.
Before the arrival of the Milesians, Ireland was colonized by the People Tuatha De Danan or People of Dana (Tuatha or treba in Galician), which carried the Lia Fail or Stone of Destiny which is still the Coronation Stone of Westminster conserved in the Edimburg Castle. Acording the old tradition, the granitic stone was moved from theLand ofDeath, which it´s theLand of Life and Light as well, thekingdom of Brigantia (Bergantiños is the name of the vaste county situated in its coast around Corunna). Its fact was represented into the chairs of the Assembly Hall of the Palace of theTown Hall of Corunna.
CELTIC JOURNEYS WITH SOUL. Itinerary
Day 1. Today we visit Corunna and the Tower of Bregon, UNESCO World Heritage scorted by the sculptural CelticPark. Acording the legend the Milesians departed from here to conquer Ireland.
After enjoying a nice Galician lunch, free time to explore the Pescadería, famed for its busy streets of shops, pubs and restaurants. This is an ideal place to experience the “Galician way of life” tasting many tapas and listening to traditional Celtic music in one of the town´s many pubs.
Day 2. 1 hour drive. Today we visit the amazing atlantic rocky Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) with the charming fishing ports of Noia, Muros and Corcubión, just before reaching the Finisterre Cape, World´s End and real stone prow sea inside. A souls schutle towards the Avalon.
After lunch time in Fisterra, goal of the milenarian pilgrimage tradition to Compostela.
Day 3. As a pilgrims we walk a brief stage of the Camino, the Universal pilgrimage route to the St. James shrine, and before Christian times the Celtic and the Mediterranean Heraclean Route mentioned by Aristoteles. After our arrival, visit of the Old Town and the huge Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela with the main façade Barroque masterpiece, the Holly Gate, the cript with the remains of the Apostle St. James, the masterpiece of the Romanesque sculpture the Gloria´s Portico of the Master Mateo, and the fantastic Cathedral´s Museum, UNESCO Heritage.
Then, time to explore the “ruas” of the town.
Day 4. 1 hour drive. Facho de Donón is at the entrance to the Vigo´s Ría or stuary of outstanding natural beauty with the Pontevedra Ria to the north, the Atlantic Ocean and the “Paradise” orCiesIslands to the West and the Vigo Ria to the south. At the eastern and near Donon is Cangas. Donon it’s the most important Celtic shrine in open air devoted to the Lord of the Hight Fortress (Berobreo), the Host of Paradise or Underworld (Vestio Alonieco). It is a power centre of Berobreo and Cernunus earth energy currents which runs west across the Mare Tenebrossum connecting still our modern world energetically to energy vortexes all across mainlandEurope.
Lunch time in the beautiful Old Town of Pontevedra, and then visit of Portalén near Pontevedra known as the entrance to the Alén or Underworld. The grantic gate holds the divide between our world and the otherworld, especially at Samhain. In all the Celtic Countries Many legends indeed recount that the Otherworld could be reached through water. The sea, a lake, a spring or a river was seen as a threshold or gateway to the divine world, water delimiting the boundary between the natural and the supernatural world.
Day 5. 1 hour drive from our hotel inland is the sacred complex of the Holly Wood of Lug, the Brilliant, the divine cathegory of the Sun God. The complex area is situated close Lugo, the capital of Province. We visit after walking one kilometer the entrance to the Underworld of Oburiz related with a neolithic engraved stone with cups and rings, Pena das Rodas a neolithic stone altarpiece coronation site of the coronos-kings of the treba and a male or solar energy site connected during the winter solstices with the Underworld entrance of Donalbai, a real stone altar over a quiet small river. We can feel a sacred atmosphere. Touch the huge megaliths which have stood in magnificent isolation for thousands of years, feel the pulse of powerful earth energy currents coursing beneath your feet and imagine the ceremonies which have been performed by white robed druids or ovates.
Then visit of the Roman Walls of Lucus Augusti, the modern Lugo, UNESCO Heritage and the better Roman defensive walls of the Empire.
Rest of afternoon free to explore the Old Town of Lugo and to taste a octupus tapa and a Galician vine cup in the many pubs.
Day 6. 1 hour drive. Acording the legend the Milesian chief Donn drowned with his troops and perished as a punishment for his brutality during the conquest ofIreland. Was buried on the island known ever since as “The House of Donn” (Tech Duinn) inIreland.
He bids all his descendants to come to his House when they die. He is the father of the descendants of Mil and because he was the first to die he is God of the Dead, Cernunus, Berobreo, Vestio Alonieco.
In its Milesians Home, we walk diferent stages of the milenarian pilgrimage way to Teixido “Camiño dos Romeiros”, settlement of Donn, the Dark, christianizated in St. Andrew. The route starts in the Island of the Witch of Santa Comba in Ferrol patron of the meigas or witches, with her chapel and stone boat, and finishes at the feet of the highest continental Atlantic cliff (313,26 feet over the ocean) where is situated the sanctuary of St. Andrew which houses a relic of the Patron of Scotland.
Fulfilling the Donn´s promise, they are still the popular saying “you must to go to Teixido after death if you didn´t it in your life”. Teixido, last toll before the Sidh, Além or Celtic Paradise. Amazing spiritual atmosphere, a truly natural atlantic cathedral of the panceltic spirituality as verified the writer Tom O´Neill (The Celtic Kingdoms, National Geographic. March 2006).