Out of the mists of ancient Europe came one of the most amazing cultures in history,
Comprised of over 150 tribes, and held together by a commonly developed language and philisophy, the Celts emerged from the darkness of pre-history to spread their culture from the Balkans through what is now Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Britain and Ireland. Valuing war and art equally, the Celts were among the greatest warriors - women as well as men, sacking both Delphi and Rome, and the greatest craftsmen, designing and producing the most beautiful objects of art and weaponry. Understanding life as a triune of physical, mental and spiritual aspects, they eschewed the limitations of the physical dimension, believing in an afterlife of eternal youth and a conjoining of the physical, mental and spiritual planes.
Their mental pursuits equaled their physical and spiritual endeavors, resulting in the transcendent mental training of the druids, bards and ovates, the celebrated Brehon Law, the development of one the most amazing languages in history, and, much later, the salvation and re-illumination of Europe by Irish monks who returned literacy to a continent that had plunged to the depths of the ignorance and superstition of the Dark Ages.
Valuing individuality and independence over institutional power and subjugation of the individual, the Celts never built an empire. They never forced their way of life on others. And they never ignored or sacrificed the magic of the natural world for the safety and social security of a benevolent tyranny. However, long after the fall of empire after empire,
the Celtic culture, and those of Celtic heritage - whether by blood or spirit - continue to impact the world we live in.
Sli Beatha is Gaeilge (Irish Gaelic) for "Life Way", or "Way of Life". It teaches the importance of integrating the physical, mental and spiritual apects of the world in order to live a balanced, free and authentic life, of developing the abilities to secure and further the best opportunities for personal growth, and accepting the responsibilities for the pursuit of those opportunities and the use of those abilities in daily life.
Sli Beatha can be an activity or a life long study. The difference, in keeping with the ancient Celtic philosophy of valuing individuality, depends on the individual.