"The peoples known as the Celts are thought to have originated in central Europe, to the east of the Rhine in the areas now part of southern Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. From around 3,400 years ago, these proto-Celtic peoples expanded across the Continent, and eventually inhabited a large portion of central, western, and northwestern Europe. During the Classical periosd of Greece and Rome, Celtic culture was predominiant to the north of the Alps. Even today, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Cumbria and Brittany are basically Celtic in character. Despite the changes that time has brought, the influence of Celtic traditionis still fundamental."
From "The Sacred World of the Celts" by Nigel Pennick
"The Celts were a southern European people of Indo-Aryan origin who first surfaced in Bohemia and travelled west in search of the home of the sun. Science has recently established their basic blood group as 'O', in keeping with their modern descendants, which designates them as a seperate race from the aboriginals of the sourthern Indian subcontinent, where the 'B' blood group perdominates.
History tells us that there were two main Celtic groups, one of which is referred to as the 'lowland Celts' who hailed from the region of the Danube. These people left their native pastures around 1200 BC and slowly made their way across Europe, founding the lake dwellings in Switzerland, the Danube valley and Ireland. They were skilled in the use of metals and worked in gold, tin and bronze. Unlike the more familiar Celtic strain these people were an agriculturally oriented race, being herdsmen, tillers and artificers who burned rather than buried their dead. They blended peacefully with the megalithic people among whom they settled, contributing powerfully to the religion, art, and customs they encountered as they slowly spread westwards. Their religious beliefs also differed from the next group, being predominately matriarchal.
The second group, often referred to as the 'true' Celts, followed closely behind their lowland cousins, making their first appearance on the left bank of the Rhine at the commencement of the sixth century BC. These people, who came from the mountainous regions of the Balkans and Carpathians, were a military aristocracy. Reputed to love fighting for the sake of it they were frequently to be found among the mercenaries of the great armies of those early times. They had a distinct class system, the observance of which constituted one of their major racial features. These were the warlike Celts of ancient history who sacked Rome and Delphi, eventually marching victoriously across much of Europe and the British Isles.
But in spite of their martial inclinations they were also known for their qualities of chivalry, courage and dauntless bravery, their more aggressive tendencies being balanced out by a great sensitivity to music, poetry and philosophy. Unlike the lowland Celts these people buried their dead, and their elaborate religious rituals held in honour of Lugh are well recounted in the pages of the recorded past."
~From "Practical Celtic Magic" by Murry Hope
"Both classical and native sources furnish us with some first calss descriptions of the early Celts whom, it would seem, were highly distinctive in both appearance and demeanor. It is generally agreed that they wer tall and powerfully built, with blue eyes and blond or reddish hair. Diodorus Siculus describes the men as favouring moustaches to beards, while both sexes were highly conscious of their appearance and anxoius to make the most of their natural good looks, Celtic women vying with their menfolk in size and stature.
Overall we may safely say that the general impression from all sources of evidence designates the Celtic aristocratic society as being tall, physically powerful men and women with fair or reddish hair, grey-blue eyes, light skins, oval faces, and fresh complexions."
~From "Practical Celtic Magic" by Murray Hope