There is no standard place to “start” for a Gaelic Polytheist. I know people who started their Gaelic Polytheist path in the classroom; I know people who started their Gaelic Polytheism path in devotional work; I know people who consider themselves always Gaelic Polytheist. And while not everyone needs a starting suggestions, others can feel lost without it.
What I’m going to suggest here are a few things you can start, either in tandem or separately.
- If you’re able to, start a simple altar or shrine. Put three candles on it if possible: one for the deities, one for the spirits/fae, another for your ancestors. Get a container–like a glass or bowl–for water. Now you have a station where you can say prayers at. Before anything else, light the candles and introduce yourself. Tell the Dé ocus Andé (the name for the Deities, Spirits, Ancestors) a little bit about yourself. Ask for their blessings if you feel comfortable. Then, try to say a little prayer to them weekly or daily. Leave everything set up so you have a reminder of them as you proceed. Just make sure their water is always full so they can appreciate a refreshing offering.
- Go over to the More Resources page and find a myth to read either online, from a book, or on a podcast. Start to learn the stories of the Gaelic cultures. What themes do you notice? Any behavior that is talked about as being particularly good, or particularly bad? Read the same myth by different people. What are the core similarities? What’s different?
- Find ways to incorporate Gaelic Polytheism into your daily life. Start with One Thing and see how things go, and then incorporate more as you’re comfortable.
- Make a list of 10 questions you have about Gaelic Polytheism. Don’t hold back–no question is too simple or too complex. After you compiled your list, start at Question 1 and try to solve it. Look around this blog to see if the answer is already posted. If not, ask Gaelic Polytheists you know or email this blog at firstname.lastname@example.org (Don’t be shy! The creator of this blog wants to help, after all!)
You may have noticed a distinct lack of something in this how-to, and that’s incorporating any deities. That’s because incorporating deities into your life is entirely up to you. If you feel the need, making a space for a deity to pray to or get to know better is a perfectly reasonable place to start too. But since I’m assuming most people don’t know anything about the Gaelic entities, I don’t want to overload anyone with trying to learn about the deities and feeling forced to “choose” one or two. Reading the lore and talking to other Gaelic Polytheists should help introduce you to the deities in a natural way.
Most of all, do what you are comfortable with. If you don’t want to set anything up like an altar and just read, then do that. If you don’t want to read but poke around the Gaelic Polytheistic communities, then do that. If you want to just go with the flow as things happen, then do that. Your religion is yours so do what will help you.