On the House of Night series

Cruithne Mythology and the House of Night

By P. C. Cast

First, let me explain why I use the term “Cruithne” and not “Celtic” when I speak of Scottish and Irish Clansfolk.

It may surprise readers to find out that the word most used to describe the culture and people of northwestern Europe, Celtic or Celt, is a modern word that only came into popular usage in the last century. The word comes from a Latin description of a small Spanish tribe that Roman scribes and historians used to create myths about a fictional race they called the Celts. These myths were so successful that, in today’s world, it’s now generally believed that the Celts were every bit as real as the Romans, when in truth a “Celtic race” only existed in fiction.

The Scots and Irish Gaelic culture we associate with the term today, though, is very real. It just has no connection to those original Roman myths. After the Second World War, with the movement of peoples around Europe, the art and music of the Scots and Irish appealed to the souls of many nations, and they, most specifically of all northwestern Europeans, began to be called Celts.

The Clansfolk of Scotland and Ireland today prefer to be called by their ancient name of Cruithne. Cruithne is a Gaelic word used by Gaels themselves that specifically refers to the indigenous peoples of Scotland, Ireland, and Northwest Wales. This Gaelic word, by definition, incorporates the music, history, myths, legends, gods, and goddesses of the Gaelic peoples (oddly mirroring what the fictional title Celt had been created to do). Why I choose to use Cruithne instead of the more easily  …

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