Brendan was the son of one of the Tuatha De Danaan, themselves descendants and heirs to the secrets of Atlantis. Together with the Celts, the surviving Danaans (the Sidhe or Faerie Folk) set sail in starships seeking an ancient legend about a new world in outer space. After two years' wandering among the stars, they found their safe haven. They named this new world Keltia.
Through the long centuries, the Kelts first settled on the Throneworld system of Tara, and later spread out to the Six Nations, the other Keltic star systems, taking the old Earth names of Erinna, Kymry, Scota, Kernow, Vannin and Brytaned. And through the long centuries they became strong and prospered. Ruled by many kings and queens of Brendan's line, they established a solid and strong civilization, with starship technology--so they could even go back secretly to Earth to bring more emigrants to Keltia. In their long history, they had their own Arthur and Gweniver who had to fight to win back Keltia from the powerful druid, Ederyn. And 1500 years later, a young queen named Aeron is fated to be the one who reunites her world with Earth, and who has to reclaim Arthur's power to fight off ancient enemies who have followed the Kelts back into the heavens. As you can imagine, they are wonderful, daring, adventurous stories!
Kennealy's stories give us interesting insights into many of the components of
Celtic society. The stories show us the
way their military functioned through the Fianna, what parts the Druid Order
and the Ban-Draoi, the priestesses and sorceresses, played, the importance of
the Bardic Association and the magical Dragon Kinship--all honed to use for the
well-being of Keltia. If you can find
any old copies of any of her series, they are well worth the read.
Just as important as the adventure stories and the Celtic mindset are the various relationships between the characters. Parents and children, siblings and cousins, lovers and betrayers, leaders and citizens, Kennealy-Morrison creates uniquely Celtic characters. They have an inner sense of freedom and confidence, with a deep expectation of being responsible, that make for good role models. While there is a straight-forwardness and innate respect that seems to be basic to the Celtic character, it is the freedom and passion of Celtic relationships that interest me.
Kennealy-Morrison's understanding of Celtic traditions about marriage and relationships is very much a part of all her stories. The Celts were very adult about relationships. They were comfortable in their bodies, grown-up in their understanding of love and fair about what was expected from partnerships and marriages.
You see, the Celts believed men and women were free to pick their own mates and lovers. One of the saddest stories in our culture is the tragedy of the love triangle between our King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Lancelot. This would never have been a tragedy for the Celts because they believed that everyone had a right to take a lover, even if they were married. That included women, which is so very different from almost any other ancient society. There are stories of Queen Maeve of Connacht having multiple lovers while married to the King Ailill. Some Celtic women had many husbands, while divorce was accepted and practiced (usually) without the rancor we see in modern divorces.
The Celts had strong Brehon Laws and made sure that these laws included the rights and rules of human relationships. Because of the Celts' respect for these Brehon Laws, there was no need for any secrecy about taking a lover. If your marriage partner had no real objection, lovers had legal status. What a grown-up perspective!
belief that we can love only one person in a lifetime is childish and selfish,
and comes out of the patriarchal need for domination, control and possession
which causes us to feel unloved and uncared for--therefore the jealousy. As we grow and learn more about ourselves, we
will often be attracted to certain people, people who somehow resonate with our
present needs. But acknowledging this
doesn't discount what we might have in our marriage relationship. Loving someone else doesn't have to mean you
don't love your mate.
We romanticize marriage and often refuse to see that marriage is an economic relationship as well as a love relationship. We expect that marriage only happens when we are "soul-mates' but not everyone is lucky enough to find that one perfect soul to fit with life-time after life-time. Haven't we baby-boomers proved that!?!
Instead of condemning the desires of our hearts, perhaps we need to find ways to accommodate the changes we go through during our lifetime and the needs of our hearts. Why can't our hearts grow out of jealousy and into a greater loving? Who says we only have enough love for one other man or one other woman at a time? Why can't we love two people? Why can't all three love each other?
Perhaps not all marriages need to end in divorce if we can get over the fact that we don't own each other! What would happen if we were grown-up enough to understand that the human heart might have needs that one person often cannot fulfill. What happens if we set ourselves and our lovers free? What happens if we took seriously the idea that "All You Need Is Love!"
Ancient Celts and Marriage
While Judaism, Christianity and Islam have had a great influence on our beliefs about relationships, marriage, and partnerships, they no longer serve us as modern guides because they are innately misogynistic. They never centered their ideals about marriage solely around love--in fact, it was quite the opposite! Often, marriage was purely about economics. It was rarely about the freedom and partnership of soul-mates. We need to leave the limiting patriarchal beliefs about female sexuality and the masculine perception of sexual ownership behind and find other options and guidelines for engaging fruitfully and graciously in relationships as well as divorces.
happen to think that the Celts knew how to do it right. The ancient Celtics had a renown legal system
called the Brehon Laws, which acknowledged ten forms of marriage as well as
very open relationships. You could be married and have another, much-beloved
wife or husband. You could each have official
lovers and all children from any liaisons were legitimate. You could be married for a year and a day--a short
term commitment that was honored and valued.
You could be married at the Stones--formally uniting two great families--or
you could be married by eloping. Not so
different from today, but today we are still seeing marriage from a patriarchal
perspective. That's what needs to go, so
we can validate new and different forms of relationships and partnerships.