IMBAS
IMBAS is a relatively new Druid Neo-Pagan group founded
in the mid-1990s that seeks to honor land, ancestors, and the
traditional Celtic gods and goddesses through home, family,
and communitytribe. It is a part of the international Celtic revival
that became evident in the 1990s in both Christian and
Pagan communities, and advocates what it terms Celtic Reconstructionist
Paganism. It actively promotes the cultural heritage
of the Celtic peoples, and its program is grounded in folk tradition,
mythological texts, and the archaeological and historical
records of the ancient Celts. The Celtic world includes the
modern peoples of Alba (Scotland), Breizh (Brittany), Cymru
(Wales), Éire (Ireland), Kernow (Cornwall), and Mannin (Isle of
Man), though IMBAS is open to people of all ethnic backgrounds.

IMBAS members show a deep reverence for the preChristian
Celtic deities. Their magical practices assume contact
with both their ancestors and the land spirits, which correlates
with their concern for family and a staunch environmental
awareness. IMBAS has also developed a concern for historical
research and strives to be historically (and mythologically) accurate
in its assertions. Gaps in information concerning the beliefs
and practices of Celtic groups (who were not a literary people)
makes it necessary to create something new. New practices
introduced to IMBAS members are made as consistent as possible
with contemporary knowledge of the ancient Celts. Thus
IMBAS attempts to work a balanced approach to Celtic religion
that grows out of sound scholarship filled in with the products
of poetic inspiration. Members are cognizant of which elements
of their faith are derived from each source. IMBAS is an Irish
word meaning ‘‘poetic inspiration,’’ and pronounced ‘‘im-bus.’’
IMBAS charters local IMBAS groups, provides a training
program for prospective Seanchái (traditional lore keepers),
and carries on a public education program about Celtic culture.
In developing its program within the larger Neo-Pagan world,
IMBAS has, on the one hand, distanced itself from both ceremonial
magick and modern traditions influenced by it, especially
Wicca. On the other hand, it has also separated itself
from the romantic Druid revival represented by Edward Williams
(better known as Iolo Morganwg, who at the beginning
of the nineteenth century helped create a broad interest in
Druidism with his imaginative writings and rituals), and eschews
the various Druidic movements of the eighteenth and
nineteenth centuries. IMBAS is also opposed to Druid eclecticism,
the combining of early Celtic religion with other cultural
traditions.
IMBAS may be contacted at P.O. Box 1215, Montague, NJ
07827-0215. It publishes a quarterly journal, An Tríbhís Mhór
The IMBAS Journal of Celtic Reconstructionism. It has an extensive
website at httpwww.imbas.org, which includes much of the
group’s research findings.