The rise of the Celtic cyber-diaspora: the influence of the "New Age" on internet Pagan communities and the dissemination of "Celtic" music
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The Irish diaspora provides an enormous consumer base for the selling of "Irishness" and nostalgia. However, the appropriation of the word "Celtic" as a marketing tool has expanded this target audience significantly, which has coincided with a renewed interest in "Celtic" mysticism and spirituality. The "New Age" movement is at the forefront of the Celtic renaissance. The plethora of Celtic websites advertising such wide-ranging topics as Druidism, Bardic paths, Celtic Wiccan ritual and Celtic reconstructionism bear testament to a renewed interest in Paganism and nature-based spirituality. The path to Celtic Pagan spirituality appears to centre on several core beliefs, some of which include cultivation of a creative spirit, reverence for the earth and a belief in early Celtic cosmology. The dissemination of Celtic mysticism via New Age websites invites anyone who shares these core beliefs to identify as Celtic, and more particularly as Celtic Pagans. This chapter will examine the various types of Celtic musics promoted on a variety of Celtic Pagan websites under the banner of Celtic popular music, and explore the way in which "Celtic" has become the vehicle for expressions of Paganism in late modern consumer societies.
Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music
© 2013 Taylor & Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Pop Pagans: Paganism and Popular Music on 31 May 2013, available online: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315729688
Musicology and Ethnomusicology