So, as promised: the reasoning behind my odd mix of interests, and my blog’s name as well I think.
My family is predominantly eastern/central European in heritage. Russian, Polish, Czech, and German. Now, I count the German in this and not ‘western’ Europe because from all the family stories, and from what I know of my family history, it’s likely that my family from the German side were living in the very farthest east regions, well before it was “Germany”, supposedly late 1800s from Germany to the States (that’s a rumor and so a bit unprovable). I’m sure that probably additional research would show someone along the line in the German part of my family’s history that lived in the more western reaches of what we call Germany now, but most came from farther east. Actually, my family name is Czech, so that’s a dead giveaway there. The other part of the heritage is Celtic. Irish/Scottish and Welsh/English. Pretty much I know, according to a cousin’s research which Scottish clan my family descends from, that my family left Ireland before my great-great-grandparents’ time, and that my grandma was 1/2 Welsh, but supposedly one of her parents had a hint of English blood.
Now, to be fair – since no one past my grandparents is alive anymore (minus one great-grandma, but she married into the family, so she doesn’t know my blood heritage for one half of the family…paired with an adoption around 1900 without paperwork as was common at the time – and then you’ve got information that no one can completely sort out) I can’t prove a lot of tiny details. I do know though what I am. No one really kept records, beyond oral tradition type stuff, so if a story didn’t get told, it’s likely I’ll probably never be able to learn it. I do know that my genealogy is right though, so the countries are all in order.
So, splitting these into the particular mythologies that fit: Slavic, Celtic & Anglo-Saxon, Germanic. Celtic was easy to link into, because my family is very Irish about things, not to mention that it was easy to find books about the Celts in what is now Great Britain. Germanic I don’t relate a lot to, but I am trying to learn more, since it is a small part of my heritage. Anglo-Saxon mythology – well the interest in that started with Beowulf. I’ve wanted to learn the language for years, so that always peaked my interest in that culture (Tolkien using them as the basis for the Rohirrim in LOTR didn’t hurt either, they’re my favorites). Then there’s the Slavic. I’ve always been fascinated with Slavic mythology, creatures, legends…pretty much anything about the people fascinates me. I want to learn several of the languages as well, once I can actually devote the time therein. However, it’s really difficult to find anything at all on this mythology, since it isn’t as popular as say Celtic, Germanic, Norse mythologies, Greek or Roman, even religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism/Daoism get more notice in the States. Nothing is wrong with any of this, but it was frustrating to younger me, who wanted to learn more from reliable sources. I have a newer recommendation of a book to get, so that’s a start.
Basically then – I have 3 main interests in my paganism studies: Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Slavic. They draw me the most and fascinate me more than most others. I still surf into random other points of interest, but these three cultures call to me the deepest and I seem to have a greater connection with them than with others.
As for the blog name: “Celtic Witch’s Journey”. Bit of a misnomer, once I’m clear that I’m more central/eastern European than I am of Celtic descent. So, I’m 3/8ths “Celtic/Anglo-Saxon” by heritage and 5/8ths “Slavic/(one small part)Germanic”. And really, by looks and temperament I’ve been told on numerous occasions that I’m far more central/eastern European in nature than I am Celtic, but that’s just one part of it. I chose the blog name because my basis right now is in Celtic mythology. I know most about it and I’m most familiar and comfortable with it. I’m branching out to learn more about the rest of my heritage from that place where I’m most comfortable and knowledgeable. So for all intents and purposes, at the moment I am a “Celtic Witch”, on my own journey to learn about the rest of my heritage.
So, perhaps a bit convoluted as to how I chose my blog name, but there you have it. My heritage-based reasons for research in a very small nutshell.