Celtic is often thought to be peculiarly Irish but this isn’t so. Clairvoyants in the early 20th century journeyed to find a migration from a beginning in what is now the Gobi desert, was then a sea, across Asia and through Europe. Mary Renault tells the story of Hyppolyita’s people, the Amazon folk, in The Bull from the Sea. The story is born out by the Takla Mummies found in the Gobi desert with Celtic/Caucasian DNA, plaids, long red hair and other Celtic attributes. These two pictures show the most famous of the Tocharian mummies found,… on the left is the so-called “Beauty of Loulan” and on the right, her face as reconstructed by an artist.
The Celtic peoples worked their way right around the world from east to west, across the Atlantic – see the voyage of St Brendan, the travels of the Vikings and Kennewick Man in Spokane in Washington State.
Nowadays, we European Celts tend to congregate physically along the northern and western shores of the Atlantic, in Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and Eire. Language differences show two main strains, Brythonic and Gaelic. Gaelic is far better known as there is much more from the mediaeval period written in the tongue. Us Brythons tended to be an oral culture, resisting the Christian priest writing it down.
The word Brython is the root of Briton and of the name of our land, Britain, an ancient name for the Goddess. We have many similar stories to the Irish with slightly different twists and emphases, but the languages – Brythonic and Gaelic (Goidelic) – are very different.
Brythonic, P-Celtic, is still spoken in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany, the old Pictish and Cumbrian languages are now extinct unfortunately. Cornish folk and Bretons understand each other’s language pretty well today. The words ‘gwr’ in Welsh and ‘fir’ in Gaelic, both meaning ‘man’, are nice demonstrations of the difference. Gaelic, Q-Celtic, is spoken by the Scots, Irish and Manx folk (my grandmother was a Manx witch).
So, there are two distinct roots of Celtic and this affects the lore stories we tell, the Grammarye as we say in Britain. But there are many similarities too.