A Celtic Mother's Day

Great gifts for Mom, the roots of the family. Great gifts for Mom, the roots of the family.[/caption] Happy Mother’s Day to all those women who balance the world on their shoulders each and every day. Who says you can’t have it all? The ancient Celts certainly believed that motherhood was in no way inconsistent with power and ability and fearsomeness. Author Marc Globe relates, “It is rumored that Caesar warned his soldiers that, while facing a Celtic warrior in battle was fearsome, what they should truly be terrified of was the prospect of facing their wives, who fought alongside their husbands on the battlefield.” In fact the Celts are believed to have practiced a matriarchal model of society wherein family wealth and titles were passed along the maternal lines instead of the preference for paternal lineage that came later. There are almost no written accounts of Celtic life in the earliest days, but the evidence we do have points to an equality between the sexes that was very unique at that time in history. Writer Michael Dunlap relates an anecdote that sheds more light on the powerful Celtic women and how they viewed their world:

 “Among the ancient Celts women rulers and warriors were so common that when a group of Brigantine captives was brought to Rome in the reign of Claudius they automatically assumed his wife, Agrippina the Younger, was the ruler and ignored the Emperor while making their obeisance to her.”

Years pass and cultures change, but Ireland’s women are still known to be tough and fearless. Mary McAleese was president of Ireland from 1997 until 2011. She tells a story from her childhood that illustrates beautifully the power of a strong mother:

 "The first to say, ‘You can't because you are a woman; no one belonging to you is in the law,’ was the parish priest who weekly shared a whiskey with my father. It was said with a dismissive authority intended to silence debate. My mother had inculcated into us a respect for the priesthood bordering on awe so I watched in amazement as the chair was pulled out from under the cleric and he was propelled to the front door. ‘You--out!’ she roared at him. ‘And, you,’ she said to me, ‘ignore him!’”

James Joyce perhaps summed up what is best about mothers everywhere when he wrote,“Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world, a mother’s love is not.”

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