Xoán Paredes

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Xoán M. Paredes (Galician: [ʃo̯aŋ paˈɾeðe̝s]; born in 1975) is a Galician geographer, teacher and ordained druid (head of the organized Galician druidic movement).

Paredes is a licenciado in Geography by the University of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia), where he studied under the direction of Carlos Ferrás. He completed his MPhil thesis at University College Cork (Ireland), under the supervision of Patrick O'Flanagan.

During his stay in Ireland (1999-2010), Paredes worked as a teaching and library assistant at UCC, and collaborated regularly with the Irish Centre for Galician Studies and the Department of Education.[1]

He currently teaches social sciences and modern languages in the private sector,[2] while he remains involved in a number of grassroots organisations and projects. He is a former academic member and secretary of the Galician Institute for Celtic Studies. Paredes has been responsible for the organisation of academic seminars and conferences and he is a regular name in the discussions about Celtic Galicia.

Dr Maria Dovigo (left), Xoán Paredes (centre) and Prof. Francesco Benozzo (right). Pitões das Júnias (Montalegre) conference on Celtic culture, Portugal, April 2016.


Paredes has conducted research in the fields of spatial planning and cultural geography, with a focus on geolinguistics, Atlantic Europe and cultural landscapes. He has helped in defining the concept of cultural landscape as:

"... the environment modified by the human being in the course of time, the long-term combination between anthropic action on this environment and the physical constraints limiting or conditioning human activity. It is a geographical area – including natural and cultural resources – associated to historical evolution, which gives way to a recognizable landscape for a particular human group, up to the point of being identifiable as such by others."[3][4]

Like a number of other previous authors such as Otero Pedrayo, Paredes links his native Galicia to a genuinely Atlantic culture despite being part of a Mediterranean state (Spain). In doing so, he identifies a cultural landscape common to Atlantic (namely Celtic) Europe mainly based on the settlement pattern, use and shared perception of the lived space.

Following on John T. Koch's and Barry Cunliffe’s “Celtic from the West” postulates,[5] Paredes supports the Paleolithic Continuity Paradigm, thus coinciding with Francesco Benozzo when locating the origins of Celtic Culture in north-west Iberia.[6][7] Once again, Paredes considers that there is a particular Celtic cultural landscape (although presenting variations in scale) which demonstrates in itself a social and cultural unity and continuity.[8]

Regarding planning and territorial management, Paredes defends a deep restructuring of the Galician official administrative jurisdictions, considered to be the result of forced foreign (Spanish) intervention and therefore in disarray with the traditional – and still operating at a popular and psychological level – Galician territorial tiers. His research also criticises the governmental improvisation and lack of strategic planning in Galician territorial implementations.[9][10]

Selected works[edit]



Personal life[edit]

Raised between Galicia and the Catalan Countries, Paredes lived in Cork (Ireland) from 1999 to 2010. He now resides in Pontevedra (Galicia). He is fluent in English, Catalan, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese, where he takes the reintegrationist position with regards to the relationship between modern Galician and Portuguese.[11]

Religious views[edit]

Paredes is the current head of the Irmandade Druídica Galaica (Pan-Galician Druidic Fellowship), an officially registered religious organisation.[12] He is therefore a believer in reconstructionist Druidry, although following an orthodox approach unlike most contemporary neo-druidic groups.[13] In these contexts the initiated name of Milésio is often used in reference to the Milesians.

As a religious figure alone, he has appeared in national and international media on a number of occasions.[14][15][16]

Political views[edit]

In his works, mostly in his essays and publications on social media, Paredes is an advocate for social justice and often associates himself with left-wing positions. Likewise, he is a strong supporter of full Galician independence from Spain.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CV&Contacto, personal site (last access August 08, 2017).
  2. ^ Xoán at Centro de Iniciativas Culturais e Académicas (last access August 08, 2017).
  3. ^ Paredes, X.M. (2015) "A utilidade do celtismo. Celticidade galaica no S.XXI". Proceedings of Jornadas das Letras Galego-Portuguesas 2012-2014, DTS and SAGA. p. 175-190.
  4. ^ Paredes, X.M. (2015): “Nem ordem nem progresso para o nosso território. O (des)ordenamento territorial na Galiza”. Revista Inter. Interdisc. INTERthesis, v.12, n. 12, Universidade Federal de Sta. Catarina, Florianópolis, Brasil, pp. 95-115
  5. ^ Cunliffe, B. and Koch, J.T. (2012) Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature. Oxbow books.
  6. ^ Benozzo, F. and Alinei, M. (2007): "A área galega na prehistoria lingüística e cultural de Europa", in A Trabe de Ouro, no. 71, p. 13-39, Santiago de Compostela.
  7. ^ (2016) "F. Benozzo: 'A Galiza e Norte de Portugal são a origem da celticidade europeia'", interview with Francesco Benozzo in Diário Liberdade conducted by X.Paredes (last access August 08, 2017)
  8. ^ Paredes, X.M. (2017) "I can see my hillfort from here", personal site (last access July 30, 2017).
  9. ^ Paredes, X.M. (2007) "Conclusions", Territorial management and planning in Galicia: From its origins to end of Fraga administration, 1950s – 2004. MPhil Thesis, Dept. of Geography, University College Cork, Ireland.
  10. ^ (2016) "Galicia precisa dun modelo territorial de aquí a 10, 20, 30 ou máis anos vista", interview with Xoán Paredes in Praza Pública conducted by Marcos Pérez Lema (last access August 08, 2017).
  11. ^ (2010) "A dicotomia galego/português e a mesma que a castelhano/espanhol", interview with Xoán Paredes in Portal Galego da Língua (last access August 08, 2017).
  12. ^ "Detalle de entidades religiosas", official record from the Spanish Ministry of Justice (last access August 09, 2017).
  13. ^ Milésio, X. (2017) "Druids and Druidry in the 21st century", in A Revista da Tradição Lvsitana, n. 3, Assembleia da Tradição Druídica Lusitana. p. 66-74.
  14. ^ "Non só católicos: En Galicia hai 277 lugares de culto doutras confesións", in Praza Pública, 13 April 2017, accessed 26 February 2018
  15. ^ (2017) “Galicia and Druidry”, interview in Spectacular Spain (S01 E06), Channel 5 (UK) (first aired 05/05/17), conducted by Alex Polizzi.
  16. ^ Melide, R. (2017) "A religiosidade popular pouco tem de católica. Entrevista com Xoán Paredes, Durvate Mor da IDG", in Novas da Galiza (pt), n. 159, Sept. 2017

External links[edit]