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Druidism >> THE DRUID'S PATH Celtic Women
The Classical Sources (Roman and Greek) do not tell us very much about women in the Celtic Society. What they do say is mostly comments about the Celtic Woman’s beauty, fecundity and courage. Archaeology shows us a lot from finds in Celtic female graves - but this is usually the upper class of Celtic Society only. In Celtic Society women were not treated as equal to men, but then again there was no equality between the men either. When we compare Celtic Noblewomen to their Greek equivalent it shows that the Celtic Ladies of high birth enjoyed substantial freedom and often times great power. Food production and the whole range of craftwork - pottery, basket making, leather working, cloth-weaving responsibilities were mostly taken care of by women.

The records speak of polygamy for men and for women, but 'marriage' was more in the form of partnership than the ownership model of the Greeks and Romans. The Catholic Church brought the concept of a man owning a woman in to their marriage vows. But this was not the Celtic way because it was an agreement to be together rather a situation of no choice. A Celtic Woman could leave a bad marriage taking with her all that she had brought in to the marriage.

Ancient Celtic Fashions (just as now) depended on disposable income. Women (and men) wore wrap around skirts, tunics and long one piece dresses (called Léine) made from wool, hemp, linen or silk if you had enough purchasing power. A fur cape (called Mantle) was an essential piece of kit for everyone and you have to recall that fur and leather were basic commodities at the time and not luxuries as today. Personal female hygiene during the moonthly cycle took advantage of the anti-septic benefits of using dried moss, this carefully selected and dried moss was also used to clean babies and dried moss was kept by all warriors in a medical bag (lés) for spear wounds etc.
Celtic women loved / love jewellery. Bronze arm and ankle bracelets, often enamelled are common on men and women. Women wore necklaces of coral, amber, glass beads, and quartz and of course the gold Torc. Brass and Gold wrist, ankle and waist chains sometimes replaced the solid items as fashions moved on. The graves of the noble Celtic women show that they had long hair - the many finds of brass and gold hairpins suggest elaborate hairstyles. Fashion was status in the Celtic World.

It is untrue to say that the Celtic World was Matriarchal. Matrilineal descent was important but it did not exclude the male line. The male dominated world of today has created the concept of the Goddess culture of the past to justify the God culture of the present but this is a mistake. Maybe the truth is closer to the idea that a happy goddess and a happy god have a magical resonance together that neither could achieve on their own.

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