Introduction to Celtic Mythology

Most of us are familiar with tales of Gods and heroes from the Classical world of ancient Greece and Rome. Names like Zeus, Jupiter, Hera, and Poseidon are familiar to us from our time as young students, and their influence is still felt in our society today in famous works of art, and in commonly used words and phrases. But other mythical traditions derived from other parts of the Western world exist and one of the most vibrant is that of the Celts.

The Celts were a group of peoples who once held sway over much of Western Europe, and today, their cultural influence is most strongly felt in “Erin and Albion,” the two great islands called Great Britain and Ireland that straddle Western Europe in the Atlantic Ocean. There is a mythic tradition just as vibrant here as that from the Classical world that is full of tales of magic, the mingling of gods and mortals, and heroic deeds.

Catland Books will host a lecture-style class that will provide an introduction to Celtic mythology and its pantheon of deities. It will focus on figures from Welsh (the descendents of the ancient Celts native to Britain) but will as look at comparable figures in Irish myth. Participants will come away from the class with a basic understanding of some of the prominent mythical figures of the Celtic people, and how they may be understood and worked with in magickal practice. 

$10 admission
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The class is being taught by Tommy Zadvydas, a former member of the Novices of the Old Ways Lunar Temple Coven from June 2009 to June 2014, and a dedicant to the Welsh Goddess Branwen, a Deity associated with Love, healing, Kingship and Sovereignty.

Tommy, a "Christmas" baby and New York native, first got involved in occult studies at 16, and began formal instruction in the Craft in 2002 at the Enchantments Pagan Way Grove in New York’s East Village. He studied under Joe Zuchowski and Jezibel Anat, creators of a Wiccan Tradition which melded the occult teachings of Aleister Crowley with traditional Wiccan practice and dedicated to the Craft a year later, beginning to study various Western mythical and occult traditions in a Coven called Garden of Knowledge throughout 2003.

He later studied with a Welsh Traditionalist Coven called Cauldron of the Woode between 2005 and 2007 where he began heavy study of Welsh mythology by reading some of its source material, including tales surrounding King Arthur and the collection of Welsh legends known as the Mabinogion. He later joined the Novices of the Old Ways, a Progressive Witchcraft community he’s still associated with in 2009 after a period of solitary practice, and dedicated to Branwen in September 2010 after a sojourn to Ireland that summer.

Tommy in 2015 visited Glastonbury and Tintagel in the United Kingdom in a further effort to further understand the Celtic mythical traditions, apply them his spiritual practice, and share them with the occult community in Brooklyn. His other magickal interests include divination systems like Tarot, Astrology, the Runes and a Celtic script called ogham.

By day, Tommy is a journalist covering the telecom, media & technology sectors for a financial news service in Manhattan. He studied history and business journalism at Brooklyn College and Bernard M. Baruch College, both of the City University of New York. He is a native of Marine Park, Brooklyn near the Rockaways, where he still resides.