Hi there!

You can call me Echtrai or Rai, and this is my religious blog. This is where I talk about my personal religious practice interspersed with research and ramblings. I am a Gaelic Reconstructionist Polytheist.

I am away more or less until mid September. I am checking in periodically, though, so if you need me please tag me or send an ask!

I also maintain a digital shrine for Lugh and help out with one for Brighid

I am away more or less until mid September probably, perhaps longer. I am checking in periodically, though, so if you need me please tag me or send an ask!

Posted on August 16 with 2 notes at 10:52 pm

nicstoirm:

wardahahmar:

Circle of Life from The Lion King as Gaeilge

echtrai

Laughing as you tag me in this like it’s not already on my phone for listening whenever I want.

Posted on August 10 with 67 notes at 11:20 pm
“Shaman”
1. Anyone who sets themselves up as a dispenser of allegedly sacred ceremonies for profit to a clueless wealthy and upper middle class white suburbanite market. Usually trained in a “lengthy” or “advanced” weekend seminar by a similar dispenser of allegedly sacred ceremonies for profit.
2. An attempt to claim that indigenous healers who train for decades to selflessly serve their own communities are somehow the same as dispensers of dubious ceremonies for profit to clueless wealthy and upper middle class white suburbanites.
Note: Actual Natives do not use the term “shaman” for their medicine people. Anyone claiming to be a Native shaman is an imposter.

“Shamanic”
“Spiritual” in the way that the Beatles were spiritual, not the way that Augustine of Hippo was spiritual.
-

The New Age Dictionary

This is an important PSA. More information on “shaman”:

(via nicstoirm)

Posted on August 10 with 81 notes at 11:19 pm
Lá Lúnasa in rewind

heelancoo:

geasadach:

It’s been a good few days celebrating Lá Lúnasa. Normally I’m so busy around this time of year that it’s really hard for me to get into the spirit of the festival. This year was slightly less hectic and so I was able to carve out a few days and have a proper celebration.

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The eve before the festivities, I sained my homestead by sprinkling menstruum around the property line. (Menstruum is water that has been mixed with gold, silver, or spit. More on that at Tairis.) Traditionally this is sprinkled using a piece of straw but owing to the fact that I didn’t have straw available—and that I wouldn’t feel right using Timothy hay—I decided to use a piece of juniper instead.

Before the saining, I said a prayer over the menstruum which I had adapted from the The Blessing of the Strūan from the Carmina Gadelica:[1]

Each meal beneath my roof,

They will all be mixed together,

In the name of the Dé ocus Andé

Who gave them growth.

Milk, and eggs, and butter,

The good produce of our own flock,

There shall be no dearth in our land,

Nor in our dwelling.

In name of Lugh,

Who bequeathed to us this festival of the first harvest,

With the blessing of Lugh,

And his foster-mother Tailtiu

Humble us at thy footstool,

Be thine own sanctuary around us,

Ward from us spectre, sprite, oppression,

And preserve us.

Consecrate the produce of our land,

Bestow prosperity and peace,

In the name of Lugh Lámhfhada,

And of the Trí Naomh

In the morning it was off to the local farmers’ market to get some fresh produce. But before we could head out, I had to take some pictures of our unexpected visitors:

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I took it as a good sign to wake up to crows in my yard. Lúnasa always reminds me of the how Lugh won the secrets of farming from Bres in the Cath Maige Tuired, and seeing the crows reminded me of the blessing that the Badb gave at the end of the battle: Sith co nem, Nem co doman. Doman fo nim. Nert hi cach…[2] (Speaking of which, Gaol Naofa has recently put out a great video about the Badb’s prophecy.)

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We returned from the farmers’ market with quite a haul, and I set to making bread and decorating shrines.

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I cleaned off the ancestor shrine that I keep and offered some flowers and drink.

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And I erected a temporary shrine outside for Lugh and Tailtiu. I decorated with flowers and offered some of the produce that we had gotten at the farmers’ market which was to later make our harvest dinner.

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Fresh corn, homemade bread, and creamy potatoes and peas. Delicious. For dessert, individual blackberry pies made from wild-growing blackberries.

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And of course no Lá Lúnasa would be complete without at least a little fire.

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—————————————————————————-

[1] Alexander Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica: Ortha nan Gaidheal: Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: T. and A. Constable, 1900), 215.

[2] Whitely Stokes, “The Second Battle of Moytura”, in Revue Celtique, vol. 12 (Paris: F. Vieweg: 1891), 110.

That sounds like a wonderful celebration, thanks for sharing. And those wee pies look SO GOOD!

Posted on August 3 with 31 notes at 11:16 am

spiritualbrainstorms:

Look what came in the mail today! echtrai is moving, so they sent me a box of shrine goodies!

LOOK AT ALL THOSE CANDLES.

I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY.

CAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDLES.

With candle holders!

-dances-

I HAVE A BIT OF A HOARDING PROBLEM OKAY

You should have seen the two boxes of candles I sold to someone for $5. Bigger than the box I sent you. Stuffed. I just needed them goooooooooone. 

BUT ENJOY THE STUFF. 

so much stuff

Posted on August 1 with 13 notes at 5:05 pm

I had hoped it would be possible to set aside some of today for celebrations, but I’m just far too busy with the move. I shouldn’t even be on the computer, to be honest!

I will go to the river tonight to make offerings, when it’s too dark and I”m too tired to do anything else productive. But today is work. 

Posted on August 1 with 2 notes at 12:24 pm
Lá Lúnasa Shona Daoibh!

unfetteredwood:

image{royalty free photo}
 
May you all be reaping blessings during this bountiful time of the year! For some ideas on how to celebrate Lughnasadh, you can check out one of my previous posts here. Goal Naofa recently released a beautiful and informative video on this time of year:
 
 
Lá Lúnasa Shona Daoibh/Happy Lughnasadh everyone!
 
Laurel
Posted on August 1 with 23 notes at 12:22 pm

sachairimaccaba:

I made my offerings to the Dé ocus Andé for Lughnasa today since I’ll be on the road tomorrow. I won’t really celebrate the holiday till this weekend when I’m reunited with old friends and family.

On Beltaíne I felt something that suggested my out door shrine needed some color and decoration. So I had an idea; on the four major holidays I will make a new ribbon braid and burn the old on as a sacrifice. I made the first one today.

I used 100% cotton so that they will wear with nature and take to fire. The colors I used for Lughnasa are a dark green, to symbolize the fullness of summer and the crops. Plus it was a color with otherworldy associations. Blue, for the clear skies and rain of late summer in the American Midwest, as well as tears for Tailtíu. And a natural tan/brown for earth and the coming of winter, for dark winds will be coming soon. I want to get a wooden triskele and paint it in bright colors to hang from the braid. I might also start tying loose bits of fabric with prayers and wishes written on them.

I made offerings of flowers and a bit of food form my garden, some nice hazelnuts I’ve been saving, and some water ( as I have no alcohol right now). I then prayed for peace for the people who need it most.

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Lughnasa.

Sláinte,

Zach

Posted on July 31 with 21 notes at 4:34 pm

heelancoo:

echtrai:

heelancoo:

echtrai:

spiritualbrainstorms:

echtrai:

<snip>

Ah thank you! I was just going to message you about it, haha. 

This post was originally made over a year ago I think, and I was very new to Gaelic Polytheism. I no longer recommend that book, but I actually still have that prayer memorized despite not having used it for many months. I may go ahead and try to figure it out.

No worries! Michael is associated with Là Fhèill Mìcheil (Michaelmas - September 29th), which is a festival that takes a lot of elements from nearby Quarter Days, Lùnastal and Samhain, in the way it’s celebrated in Scotland. Like Lùnastal there’s an emphasis on horses on the day -friendly theft of them from neighbours, and horse races in Michael’s honour - and Michael has the same kind of militaristic overtones that Lugh does, with the spear and all. So Lugh could easily be appropriate here.

Michael’s also a patron of the sea and fishermen, so a lot of people also see him as a sort of stand-in for Manannán (who himself appears in a couple of prayers in the Carmina Gadelica). By coincidence Manannán is Lugh’s foster-father. In the context of the prayer - a blessing for someone charged to go on a journey overseas - it could be just as easily adapted for Manannán. 

Thank you for the additional information! I should probably go watch the Michaelmas video haha, just hadn’t gotten around to it yet. 

Posted on July 30 with 50 notes at 12:54 pm

heelancoo:

echtrai:

spiritualbrainstorms:

echtrai:

Agus Lugh caomh-gheal, cro-gheal, cra-gheal, 
Ga do dhiona, ga do chaomhna, ga do charamh 
Le treuin a laimhe, le nimh a ghaise, 
Fo sgaile drilleanach a sgeith. 

 

And may Lugh kind-white, strong-white, red-white 
Preserve thee, protect thee, provide for thee, 
With the might of his hand, with the point of his spear, 
Under the shade of his shimmering shield. 


I made it my goal to memorize this while camping this weekend. It is a prayer to Lugh, found in A Circle of Stones by Erynn Rowan Laurie. You can listen to it, or buy the whole album of prayers, here, though I highly recommend the book to go along with them.  

I did well memorizing it, but I discovered a few tweaks I need in my pronunciation after I returned to civilization today and was able to listen to the track. Luckily the book has the phonetic spellings as well, but nothing beats hearing it. 

I think I need to memorize this too…

Oh good I was wondering where this post had gone so I could make this addendum. Given the source, I need to do some research to make sure the prayer is at all appropriate to use, let alone for Lugh, before I put it back in to use. Many of the prayers in that book are  ”repurposed” and I believe this is one that was originally to St. Michael. 

Here’s the context:

When Donald Maclean left Canada, ten or twelve years ago, Clara was 102 years of age. She was still active and industrious, and in the possession of all her faculties, and of all her love for ‘the old land.’ When Maclean went to bid her good-bye she took his hand in her two hands, and looking him full in the face with her large lustrous blue eyes moist with tears, said:—

'Tha thu falbh a ghaoil a Dhomhnuill, agus Dia mor bhi eadar do dha shlinnein. Bu to fein an deagh nabaidh agus an caraide caomh. Ma ’s a h-e agus gun ruig thu null fearann do dhuthchais agus duthaich do bhreith, agus gum feumair thu tilleadh a nall dh’an fhonn-sa rithist, tha mise cur mar bhoid agus mar bhriathar ort, agus mar naoi riaraiche nam bana-sith, thu dhol gu ruig Cladh Mhicheil ann an Ormacleit, an Uibhist, agus thu thoir as a sin thugam-sa deannan beag urach a churar air clar mo chridhe-sa la mo bhais.

'Agus Micheal caomh-gheal, cro-gheal, cra-gheal,
Ga do dhiona, ga do chaomhna, ga do charamh,
Le treuin a laimhe, le nimh a ghaise,
Fo sgaile drilleanach a sgeith.’

'Thou art going away, beloved Donald, and may the great God be between thy two shoulders. Thou thyself welt the good neighbour and the kind friend. If it be that thou reach the land of thy heredity and the country of thy birth, and that thou shouldst have to come back again to the land of thine adoption, I place it upon thee as a vow and as a charge, and as the nine fulfilments of the fairy women, that thou go to the burial-place of Michael at Ormacleit in Uist, and bring to me from there a little earth that shall be placed upon the tablet of my heart the day that I die.

'And may Michael kind-white, strong-white, red-white,
Preserve thee, protect thee, provide for thee,
With the might of his hand, with the point of his spear,
Under the shade of his shimmering shield.’
It’s from the preamble to a Hatching Blessing. If you’re going to use the Gaelic then I’d recommend double checking it with a dictionary; volumes one and two of the Carmina Gadelica are very lax on using the proper accents so you often have to add them back in to make sure you’ll get the proper pronunciations/words. The version Erynn gave doesn’t have them either. 

Ah thank you! I was just going to message you about it, haha. 

This post was originally made over a year ago I think, and I was very new to Gaelic Polytheism. I no longer recommend that book, but I actually still have that prayer memorized despite not having used it for many months. I may go ahead and try to figure it out.

Posted on July 28 with 50 notes at 2:15 pm