Experience the Mystery, the Passion, and the Beauty of the Celts

                         Join Us for Celtic Encounters !!!!

WHAT: The focal point of this event is the gathering of some of the WORLD's-yes, the WORLD's-top Celtic Scholars who will lead a host of  workshops and interactive panel discussions, punctuated by Celtic foods, dancers, and musicians.  Merchandise from the Wandering Angus Celtic shop will be available and will include jewelry, flags, books, and much more.

WHEN: Friday Evening October 24, and all day and evening Saturday, October 25.  Friday evening, there is an optional (separate payment) for a Concert presented by The Stormin' Gaels,  a Celtic band of international stature.


The Four Scholars will be presenting a pre-concert discussion on "What it means to be a Celt" between 6:30 pm and 7:15. The concert will begin at 7:30.   See juandefucafestival.com soon for details.

For those not wishing to attend the concert, we can talk that night and arrange to get together after the panel discussion at a place agreeable to all. 

Saturday: Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. See "Where" below. The event will continue, with breaks, throughout the day and evening. 


:  The Friday evening panel will take place about a "block" farther west along Park Street at the Port Angeles High School Music Room. It is on the near side of the  building and will be well marked. The  concert will take place in an 1100 seat concert hall/auditorium a few feet away.

The Saturday workshops-St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 510 East Park Street, Port Angeles, Washington.  Turn left (south) off Highway 101 onto Race Street as you are coming into town. Follow the large signs to Olympic National Park. Turn right onto Park Street. St. Andrews is just a little way past the Park Headquarters on your left.


COST:  The charge for the Friday Evening Panel, and all day/evening Saturday event:  $25 per person.  Profits, if any,  will go to the Pacific Northwest Cornish Society so BRING YOUR FRIENDS!

After your payment is received, you will be contacted directly about your choice of workshops. It is necessary to preregister so we can assign the rooms according to the size of the participants.

Name(s)__________________________________________________    Amount Enclosed: ___________
Email Address:_____________________     If you do not have an email address, perhaps you can find a "buddy" that does.  This is by far the most efficient way to disseminate information. Thanks.

Amount enclosed ($25 per person): _______________

Please make checks payable to: PNCS    and mail to Gay Knutson    734  Graul Ramapo Road  Port Angeles, WA, 98363   cknutson@olympus.net

The Scholars

STEVE BLAMIRES  was born in Ayr, Scotland, in 1955, and currently lives in Washington. At the age of nineteen, he began his studies with Gareth Knight and the legendary Company of Hawkwood. After studying the Western Mystery Tradition for twelve years, his interest moved to his Celtic roots. Ever since, he has concentrated on promoting all facets of this ancient tradition. In 1986, Steve founded the Celtic Research and Folklore Society (CRFS) as a way of helping others along the Celtic path. He has written three books on Celtic mythology and has produced many magazine articles for several publications in the U.K. and the U.S.A; wrote and edited the CRFS journal, Seanchas; and carries out research on behalf of other authors and groups. He gives talks throughout the U.K. and U.S.A. on Celtic spirituality and magic, and carries on the ancient tradition of storytelling. In Chicago in 1993 Steve represented the interests of the indigenous Celtic peoples at the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions. He has worked with Tibetan Buddhist monks to make Holy Isle, Scotland, a place of spiritual retreat for people of all beliefs.   Most recently, he and his wife Helen opened  Wandering Angus, a Celtic shop in Port Townsend. Steve teaches an overview of Celtic Culture through Peninsula College.

YOWANN BYGHAN is a former Education Secretary of the Cornish Language Board and is a fluent Cornish speaker,   He wrote and starred in the first ever television series in Cornish, 'An Canker Seth,' broadcast by Television South-West and Sianel Pedwar Cymru in Wales.  For four years Yowann was a presenter  of 'Kroeder Kroghenn,' a weekly Cornish-language news magazine on BBC Radio Cornwall.  As a result of his dedication to the the revitalization of the Cornish Language, Yowann was elected as a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh in 1978.  With an MA in Educational Psychology, Yowann has almost thirty years teaching and administrative experience in British and American schools. He moved to the United States in 1990. He has taught language arts, drama, media studies, French, German, Latin, Greek, Cornish, modern European history, physics, biology, and general science.  He is a published novelist, nonfiction author (principally Celtic history), playwright, song writer,  and poet.

RON TATUM is a native of the Northwest, born in Tacoma, Washington.  He is a Welsh speaker with particular interests in Welsh and Anglo-Welsh poetry, Celtic spiritual traditions, and Irish and Welsh history, literature and politics.  He is a graduate of the University of  California, Berkeley, and has an MA in English, an MA in psychology, and an M.Div. in theology..  He is currently writing a dissertation for his doctorate at the University of Oregon on the subject of Celtic Studies.  He is a retired Marine Corps Major, and has been a Presbyterian minister, a juvenile probation officer, and a drug/alcohol senior counselor.  Recently retired as a university dean of Humanities, he has been a college professor for 25 years.  In addition to his current teaching loads, he is a high school wrestling coach, and is continuing his farrier practice which he maintained for 28 years.  He is married to a brilliant scholar/librarian, who, in addition to her own obligations, serves as his muse.  He has 4 grown children, 4 grandchildren, and lives in a small farm house in Aloha, Oregon.

GER KILLEEN was born in Ireland and has been teaching Irish language and literature for many years.  Born in Limerick, he attended University College Dublin.  Ger is a poet who writes in both Irish and English and has won many awards for his work both in Ireland and the U.S.  He is the author of several books, including Lia A Leimfidh Thar Tonnta (Trask House), and A Wren (Bluestone Press).  He is a member of the North American Association of Celtic Language Teachers and his academic interests range from Irish Bardic Poetry to translation theory.  Ger lives in Neskowin with his American librarian wife.  He and his wife are artists in glass, and participate in shows across the West Coast.

NICOLE CASARES was born in Quimperle, Brittany,  where her childhood  was spent on the family's farm.   Although her parents and grandparents spoke Breton,  Nicole and her brother were discouraged from learning their native language.  The French government, school system, and cultural prejudices all worked against the perpetuation of minority languages.    Nicole studied in  at the Bretagne Occidental, where she majored in applied foreign languages, acquiring a mastery of English, German, Spanish, and Italian.  Following this program,  she earned a trilingual business degree in Rennes.  After serving as a translator for a multinational electronics firm, she moved to Washington  in 1983 where she was hired to administer the American Education Complex,  a facility to improve basic skills of military personnel.  In 1986 she  accepted a position at Peninsula College where she is the Budge and  Contracts Manager for the Clallam Bay Prison/Peninsula College  partnership.

FRED THOMPSON:  Fred earned his Ph. D. in English Literature at the University of Utah. He has been a faculty member at Peninsula College for nearly 20 years.  During that time he has pioneered innovative, multi-disciplinary courses which combine music, art, comparative literature, and history.  For the past three years, Fred, along with another colleague,  has led student  tour groups throughout the Celtic lands of the British Isles.  He will offer a slide presentation of his most recent tour, explaining the significance of certain Celtic sites throughout the region.  Fred is an accomplished cellist and is co-principal of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.


                                                          The Workshops

Steve Blamires: Scotland

I. The Picts remain possibly the biggest mystery of European history. Who were these independent "painted ones" living north of Hadrian's Wall, fiercely defying the might of the Roman Empire?  Where did they come from? How and why did these sophisticated and clever people develop their extraordinary artistic skills?
II. There are officially 75,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland although the true figure is much higher. Learn how their dialects relate to others in the "big picture" of Celtic linguistics. Steve will explain how the early Celts recorded their ideas using Ogham script and how it relates to modern Gaelic. Ogham consists of 25 linear characters, convenient for carving into stone and wood. The script is related to twenty sacred trees and is infused with meaning from other aspects of the natural and supernatural world.

III. The four great festivals of the Celtic year- Beltane, Lughnasa, Imbolc, and Samhain - provide a context from which we can gain insight into the daily lives and spiritual beliefs of the Celts. Learn the ancient stories and traditions as well as the modern practices surrounding these important days of the year.

Yohann Byghan-Cornwall

I:  Medieval Cornish Miracle Plays: The Cornish literary heritage centers around the religious dramas of the Middle Ages, in particular the group of  14th-century plays known collectively as 'The Ordinalia.' Written in Cornish verse, probably at Glasney College near Penryn between 1325 and 1375, these plays rival the well-known English miracle plays of the York, Wakefield and Chesterfield cycles. They mingle high drama and low comedy, exquisite poetry and ribald vulgarity. These plays, and plays like 'Bewnans Meryasek,' also known as 'The Camborne Play,' are an invaluable treasure and resource.

II: Cornish Language and Culture:  Celtic languages are divided into two groups: Brythonic ( Welsh, Cornish and Breton) and Goidelic (Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx ). Cornish, a language of soft textures and lyric rhythms, separated from Welsh during the 7th and 8th centuries and developed into a modern European language until the 17th century, after which it came under pressure by the encroachment of English. Factors involved in its decline included the introduction of the English Prayer Book, the rapid introduction of English as a language of commerce, and particularly the negative stigma associated with speaking a language associated with the poor. Cornish faded into near oblivion in the late 19th century, but a revival began in earnest in 1904 and continues to this day, with Cornish rapidly growing as both a written and spoken language.

III: Cornish Folk Song Tradition: The Cornish, like the Welsh, have a singing tradition that goes back centuries. From ancient dance tunes, through traditional solo and part-song ballads to Victorian and Edwardian male-voice settings, the heritage and history of Cornwall are richly and abundantly represented in music.   Yowann will accompany himself on the guitar as he treats his audience to some of the more beautiful and interesting songs.

Ron Tatum-Wales

I: Celtic Literature and Poetry-note, this is a two session combined offering by both Ron and Ger: The "dynamic duo" will present an overview of  writings which reveal the strength, power, imagination, and spiritual foundations of the Celtic people.

II: The Mabinogi
The Mabinogi is the title of four distinct but linked medieval Welsh tales whose full title is Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi (the four branches of the Mabinogi).  The tales were probably written in the late 11th century and incorporated elements which had long been in the repertoire of professional story-tellers. Although the writings were almost certainly the work of a single author, the stories themselves evolved over a span of centuries: passed on from storyteller to storyteller.  Each of the stories in the Mabinogion relates in some way to what scholars past and present have referred to as The Matter of Britain - that is the body of folklore, historical and narrative lore originating among the British Celtic peoples of the westerly regions of the Island: Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Cumbria and Southwestern Scotland.   The common theme of these narratives is the relationship between the mundane and the magical worlds, the Self and the Other. 

III.  Ron:  An introduction to Welsh Language and Culture: Ron will demonstrate the Welsh language. which is very much alive and well in Wales today.  About 2.8 million people define themselves as Welsh and about 500,000 of theses are Welsh speakers.   Wales is  a land with a vivid history which has been played against the dramatic, often rugged, mysterious Welsh landscape.  

Ger Kileen-Ireland

I: See combined session with Ron above

II: An introduction to Irish Language and Culture:  There are an estimated 500,000  fluent Irish speakers and the language is taught in schools in Ireland today.  Although there are "only" about 3.7 million Irish still in their homeland,   millions of their "cousins" live throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand,  as the Irish were one of the largest groups of immigrants to set sail during  "the Hungry Forties" (1840's).   Come hear the lilting language of many of your forefathers and learn about the heritage of one of America's most significant contributing cultures.

III: An tain bo Cualigne:  The Cattle Raid of Cooley is one of the many stories about the Red Branch Knights of Ulster and the hero, Cuchulainn,  Hound of Ulster. It is the central epic of what is known as the Ulster Cycle.   Myth or history? The Tain may well be based on events in Ireland around 500 B.C.  The earliest written version appeared in the 12th century and archaeological finds at Navan Fort, near Armagh, suggest that the story may be more than folklore.  Hear the story and learn why it continues to be an important part of  Irish heritage.

There will likely be a workshop on genealogy focusing on Irish and Cornish resources. Books and Internet suggestions will be available.

Afternoon Panel/Question and Answer Session

Celtic Spirituality and World View. A discussion of the origins of Celtic spiritual beliefs, their impact on Christianity through history, and the relevance of a Celtic view in the context of today's world.

Evening Panel/Question and Answer Session

The Celtic World Today.  A discussion of the diaspora of the Celts throughout the world, most notably the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the rejuvenation of Celtic languages at home and abroad,  and the growing pride in Celtic heritage.  Also, there will be an overview of the political, economic, and social issues facing the Celtic homelands today.  Joining the evening panel will be Nicole Casares. 

Celtic Encounters will end with a rousing sing-a-long led by Yowann the Bard.  Song sheets will be available and everyone-no matter how  tone deaf- will be encouraged to join in the music.