Gentlidecht: Ireland Before Christianity (Sort Of)

An exploration of what medieval Irish sources actually say, and how these can be used by modern polytheists in a spiritual context.

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P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus is a metagender theologian and writer, and one of the founding members of the Ekklesía Antínoou–a queer, Graeco-Roman-Egyptian syncretist reconstructionist polytheist group dedicated to Antinous, the deified lover of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and related deities and divine figures. Lupus is also a contributing member of Neos Alexandria, and a practicing Celtic Reconstructionist pagan in the traditions of gentlidecht andfilidecht, with further Romano-British, Welsh, and Gaulish deity devotions. Lupus is also dedicated to several land spirits around the area of North Puget Sound and its islands, and occasionally takes part in both Western engagements with Hindu practice, and with traditional Jinja Shinto. Lupus has a Ph.D. in Celtic Civilizations, from University College Cork/National University of Ireland, an M.A. in Religious Studies, and a B.A. in Medieval Studies and Creative Writing. Eir work (poetry, fiction, and essays) has appeared in a number of Bibliotheca Alexandrina devotional volumes, as well as Ruby Sara’s anthologiesDatura (2010) and Mandragora (2012), Inanna Gabriel and C. Bryan Brown’s Etched Offerings (2011), Lee Harrington’s Spirit of Desire: Personal Explorations of Sacred Kink (2010), and Galina Krasskova’s When the Lion Roars (2011). Lupus has also written several full-length books, including The Phillupic Hymns (2008), The Syncretisms of Antinous (2010), Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor’s Notes, Volume One (2011), All-Soul, All-Body, All-Love, All-Power: A TransMythology (2012), A Garland for Polydeukion (2012), and A Serpent Path Primer(2012), with more on the way. E also writes the "Queer I Stand" column at Patheos.com's Pagan Portal, and also blogs at Aedicula Antinoi ( http://aediculaantinoi.wordpress.com/).

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For the men of Ireland have again followed gentlidecht as it was at first before belief, before Patrick’s advent, save only that they have not worshipped idols. For the heathen had a lie and a good word, and this existeth not today. And every evil which the heathen used to do is done at this time in the land of Ériu, save only that the Irish do not worship idols. Howbeit they perpetrate wounding and theft and adultery and parricides and manslaughter, and the wrecking of churches and clerics, covetousness and perjury and lies and false judgment, and destruction of God’s church, draidecht, and gentlidecht, and dealing in charms, philters and enchantments and fidlanna.

—“Adomnán’s Second Vision” (c. 1096 CE), §15-16

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  • Chris Vermeers
    Chris Vermeers says #
    Also, the modern Irish spelling is gintlíocht.

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