I am very much an American born of the melting pot. I’ve got blood from half a dozen different countries, at least. And, as a Caucasian mutt, I don’t really get a cultural heritage. I am way too white to so much as touch the little bit of Cherokee and First Nations (indigenous Canadian) blood in me, and I am way too American to have much to do with my French or Sicilian heritage, which comprises the majority of my European genes. Without ignoring the immense privilege that my normative Caucasian make-up affords me, I find it hard to construct a strong personal link to any “traditional” polytheist or pagan practices or religions; I am too far removed, generationally and genetically. (I mean, I’m certainly not a Kemetic because some part of me is descended from ancient Egypt.)
And yet I am some third or so French, come down from des voyageurs after mixing with the First Nations, and before Canada, there was France… and before France, Gaul. It is the most direct line I can draw if I seek my roots, and even then it is a tenuous trace. However, my love for and study of the French language has strengthened the thin, shaky path back, and my early experiences with Celtic* paganism have enriched the way. *Even if it was Irish Celtic, not mainland-Celtic.
But I have not studied Gaul (or the Gaulish language) in the same way that I have studied ancient Egypt (and hieroglyphs). Pre-Roman Gaul has not gotten as much of my attention as pre-Greek Egypt. It doesn’t help that there’s a lot more historically available on Egypt; in fact, my work as a Kemetic has taught me not just about Kemeticism but how to be a (soft) reconstructionist in the first place. I’ve learned how to interweave history and modernity, academic “facts” and personal gnosis.
And now my eyes are drawn back to Gaul, its tribes and uncertain history, its dead language and its missing pieces, its heroes and its gods. The scent of loam, the feel of bone marrow, the familiarity of the forests. I cannot tell how much of my lingering sensory-rich impressions are based in fact or in myth… but now, I think, I have the ability to learn enough to distinguish one from the other, and treasure them each in their own way. And, however clichéd it may sound, Gaul sings home to at least some part of me that yearns to answer the call.
Last year’s second G post was on being a GLBTQ pagan.