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 community/tribe. 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 pre-Christian 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 http://www.imbas.org/, which includes much of the group's research findings.