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Alan Stivell : The Inner Keltia Interview Part Two

Alan Stivell :The Inner Keltia Interview Part 2 (dated Nov '83) . If you wish to purchase more of Kaledon books and works please feel free to visit the official website of Keltia Publications.

J. - Do you believe then that Keltic Mythology, Keltic Spirituality, has a relevance for young people today?


A. - Relevant, yes, very much so. In Brittany recently we had perhaps one of the biggest revolutions in Europe for more than 50/5 of the young people to go to Breton dances, music etc. and now it is going into even deeper things.

J. - So do you think that a Philosophy and Spirituality actually gives a strength to a Culture?

A. - I think it is not only a question of strength, Keltic Spirituality will help us shake off the Catholic Church, which has repressed the people for a very long time. Although there are positive elements in Christianity, there is a lot in the Church we should reject. People need to be more personally conscious. I think the evils in the world are bringing more people to think about their own inner life.

EDWARD (O'Donnelly) (staff member)- What we've been speaking about is evident in Scotland, many people are moved for example by the music of Run Rig, but if you were to try to speak to them they would be incredibly suspicious about the cultural or spiritual foundation for that emotion, We have a long way to go before we can influence the vast majority of the people with the spirituality of the Keltic countries.

A. - I think it is good to let people try and feel what is in the music, there are sometimes many things in the music.

J. - You said you thought there was value in Keltic Spirituality. If we are going to reject aspects of the Christian Church, have you anything coherent to replace that by?

A. - I would like a kind of Druidism; at present this does not quite exist in Brittany yet, although there are people trying to create it. I think soon it will fuse, between the different forras of Druidism in Brittany, and when it has fused right, I will join with it.

J. - I think a lot of the Druidical Organisations in Scotland, England and Wales are too old fashioned. They deal too much with old texts and not enough with modern life.

A. - Yes, and at the same time they are influenced by aristocratic and bourgois ideáis, although the ancient Kelts had their Classes, origin-ally they had a much better arrangement of things. But those people today who wish an aristocratic society focus on that form of Druidism which was class-based. I think that the Kelts now can go back to the attitude where everyone in a society is potentially equal, or at least show consideration for each other.

J. - So it's almost Keltic Spirituality for the People at the grass roots level?

A. - Yes, yes. We should not take the last few centuries of the ancient Keltic Civilization as a kind of model. I think we should re-evaluate it for today, in the last stages there was an Indo-European Patriarchy which was a bad evolution. I think we should try and get back to a more balanced approach.

E. - Do you think there is enough within the remnants of the Keltic Tradition to put a coherent system together, or do we have to look more generally to the Western Esoteric Tradition?

A. - I think there are different fields of influence we can draw from. Firstly Keltic, then Indo-European, other Nations, and finally Cosmic. Classical music is not close to Keltic as it has its ethnic roots in central Europe, similarly with Rock 'n' Roll, blending them with Keltic is good as experiments, but not as the mainstream of Keltic music. We should stay with our Music and accept influences from many other forms of music.

J. - The overall picture you are giving there is that you should retain a centredness. Almost a rootedness in your own tradition and work and accept things from outside.

A. - Yes, I think we should accept, and digest influences from elsp-where. For all through history cultures have been exchanging, it in the only way for them to grow, to evolve.

J. - I think to assimilate what you take in (to transform it) throtiRh your own Culture. I know you have done several tours of the States in these last few years. How important or useful do you think peopl in America are in helping Keltic Culture to survive?

A. - I think in a big way the Americans will help our Keltic Culture to survive for now we are weak in Europe, our young people look to the American Music Scene, whilst if they only knew that many of the Americans are looking to our Music for inspiration, they are very fond of Keltic themes. We are educated to turn to things outside, especially we were educated to follow things from Paris, as we are now from New York. I think sometime we must turn back to our own.


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