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The Ceili Sidhe Tradition

by Moira Scott, December 1998

Nicky R. and B. Walsh started the Ceili Sidhe tradition in 1990. An amalgam of Gardnerian, Pagan Way traditions (Nicky  R's lineages) and traditional  Irish Witchcraft, researched by B. Walsh, (at the time a Masters Student in Celtic Studies and who later became its first initiate), this tradition focuses upon the deities found in the early  Irish Sagas. To date, its initiates can be found in  Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Degree Structure

Ceili Sidhe (Ceili, meaning Companion) is a three-degree system,  which also has two non-initiate levels. Since traditions can also be  thought of as 'families' or as having family trees as with the concept of "lineage", the Ceili Sidhe tradition views their particular family tree  as follows:

First level is a Dedicant, someone who is just beginning their journey.

Second level is Candidacy, where one makes the decision to work to become priesthood within the Ceili Sidhe Tradition, and uphold the work  contained within that tradition.

Next comes the Initiation of the First Degree. Here the person  enters the Priesthood and begins to teach, and administer as clergy to other Dedicants and Candidates.

The Second and Third  Degrees further their role as clergy to the community and within its own covens.

 Deities and Borders

Most notable in this tradition is the fact that there are no 'cross-border' inclusions of  deities from other pantheons. As we feel that blending cultures and symbols systems ad hoc waters down the Power and Sanctity of the work. While this tradition is considered to be Irish Celtic, there may, on rare occasions, be occasions in which some of the Welsh deities would be included.

The stricture against  cross-border  deity inclusions has been decided for many reasons, but likely the most important one is that of focus (for more detail on this you may wish to read B. Walsh's essay, Too Many Paths .)

Choosing a pantheon and remaining within that pantheon allows, in our opinion, a deeper and more meaningful way of becoming closer with our Gods  and Goddesses. It also virtually eliminates the concept of 'plug 'n' pray' where a  fairly standard ritual is written and the names of the deities that might be appropriate, are 'plugged in'. Such rituals, which many of Ceili  Sidhe students and priesthood have experienced as guests of other traditions rarely demonstrate any  in depth knowledge of the Gods and with this lacking, it is decidedly difficult to have a meaningful experience of any type.  In many ways also, 'plug-n-pray' rituals generally tend to keep you at arms length from the deity and thus are not  conducive to allowing permitting the individual any chance to really 'know' the deity called.

The Ceili  Sidhe believes strongly in the continuing growth of Wicca. However, it also believes just as strongly that the knowledge of spreading  yourself too thin can cause problems on many different levels, and by internalizing one  system (re: culture), you reap the benefits to be found within that one culture.

Currently Nicky R., B. Walsh and M. Scott are beginning work on a book  concerning Ceili Sidhe Craft for general release. Publication date not  as yet known, however we are looking at the summer months of the year 2000.

document CEILTRAD © M. Scott, 1998
updated: December 18, 1998
the address of this page is:

You may wish to look at:

More information on the Ceili Sidhe Tradition, on Nicky R.'s web site at: http://www.the-

You may also wish to look at:

B.Walsh's essay, Too Many Paths.
An essay on the differencesbetween self-initiation and Traditional initiation.
More background on the Ceile Sidhe Tradition.
Some thoughts on secrecy in the Craft.
Suggestions concerning protocol in Craft situations.

You may return to:

The Beaufort House genealogical index of English Craft traditions.