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

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This post was originally made over a year ago I think, and I was very new to Gaelic Polytheism.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 47 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 47 notes at 2:15 pm

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. 

Posted on July 28 with 47 notes at 1:45 pm
thehouseofdelirium
My local metaphysical store only has juniper berries and I don't trust my leaf-identifying skills enough to collect juniper on my own. Can you burn berries for saining?

heelancoo:

Yes, berries are a good alternative if you don’t have any juniper bushes nearby. Juniper is under threat in a few of its native habitats so some people prefer to use the berries that are harvested in a sustainable way, if they don’t have the option of growing their own, so as not to interfere with the well-being of the plants in the wild. I grow my own but they’re pretty slow growing.

You should be able to find the berries in the herb section at supermarkets or health food shops and they might be cheaper to buy from there than metaphysical stores? It depends, I guess. 

If you’re not comfortable burning the berries, or are in a situation where it’s not possible to burn anything, then using silvered water works just as well for saining - water with something silver or gold (or both) added to it. The water that’s used for saining (or healing rites - there’s often an overlap) is usually collected from “the dead and living stream” - a stream or river that both the living and the dead cross over. In other words, wherever there’s a stream/river that funeral processions will pass over. The “cream of the well” - the first water that’s collected first thing at Bealltainn or Hogmanay - can also be used (I usually do), but in a pinch, just use spring water. You could add the juniper berries to the water as well, if you like. 

If you really want to get hardcore and traditional, then there’s always the option of sprinkling stale urine about the place. Not many people find the idea too appealing, though. Oddly… 

I get my juniper berries from a tea/herb shop at a very reasonable price, so that’s worth checking as well. 

Posted on July 28 with 11 notes at 1:29 pm
Tairis is live!

heelancoo:

Tairis is up again now, but there are some more updates that need doing in the near future. Hopefully that won’t result in any more downtime, but there may be some smoothing out that’s needed afterwards, so bear with me if it takes some time to fix any formatting issues or links etc. 

Yay!

Posted on July 28 with 12 notes at 1:27 pm
It is curious that the dwarves are supposed to be terrified of noise except that of their own hammers. It is said that, when the first railway train went through Sutherland, because it was made of metal, the dwarves came out to watch. But the engine driver was from the south and, not knowing that they hated a din, let off steam in order to impress them. Since that time, no dwarves have been seen in Sutherland.
-A tale from Ben Loyal, Sutherland in “The Lore of Scotland” by Westwood and Kingshill
Posted on July 27 with 59 notes at 3:00 pm

So this week is a festival week in an online dragon game I play called Flight Rising. There are 11 elemental flights and every month except December has a holiday week at the end of the month. 

This week is the Thundercrack Carnivale for the Lightning Flight. And I’m just enjoying this so much because there’s all sorts of lightning-y discussion and festivities and music and things going on, and Lugh has associations with lightning. So I feel like this whole community is celebrating Lughnasa with me. 

Posted on July 27 with 7 notes at 2:03 pm

Me:  Time to start packing up my books!

Me:  *does not do that*

Me: *buys a new book*

Posted on July 27 with 13 notes at 1:55 pm

heelancoo:

The Prophecy of the Morrígan - Badb’s Prayer for Peace, by Gaol Naofa.

At the end of Cath Maige Tuired, after the battle has ended, the Morrígan (or Badb) gives her prophecy, foretelling the end of the world. Before that, she sings a song of peace and plenty, which we give here as a prayer for Lúnasa.

Posted on July 27 with 26 notes at 1:53 pm
Latiaran Sunday

mathairnandee:

image

The patron of Saint Latiaran (known as Latiaran Sunday) is celebrated on the Sunday either before or after July 25,[1] which is the saint’s actual holy day. The patron saint of Cullen, Latiaran is one of three local sister saints. The names of her sisters vary, but they are often named as Lasair and Inghean Bhuidhe.[2] It seems that this trio of saints may be linked to seasonal symbolism,[3] with Lasair’s feast likely falling at the beginning of spring,[4] Inghean Bhuidhe’s feast at the beginning of Summer (May 6), and Latiaran’s feast at the beginning of the harvest (July 25).

The most popular story of Latiaran is that of The Saint and the Ember: Every morning Latiaran went to a forge and brought back fresh coals to her cell in her apron. One morning the smith at the forge remarked of the beauty of Latiaran’s feet. She looked down at her feet with vanity and her apron instantly caught fire. Angry, she cursed the smith and prophesied a smith’s anvil would never again be heard in Cullen.[5]

Like her sisters, Latiaran also has a holy well in her parish. MacNeill records that the well “is beside an old church ruin in a graveyard. A whitethorn tree, said to have been planted by Saint Latiaran stands near the well, and there is a heart-shaped stone in the graveyard called ‘Cloichín na Cúirtéise' (or 'a’ Chúirtse’) [The Curtsey Stone], at which pilgrims curtseyed in making the rounds.”[6]

In In the Shadow of the Paps, Dan Cornin, speaking of his home in the Sliabh Luachra region, ventures that “With the passing of time, and the influence of the Christian church, this pagan festival [i.e., Lughnasadh] was observed here on the last Sunday in July, Latiaran Sunday.”[7] Cronin goes on to write about the gatherings that used to take place at Coola on this day: “The hillside was thronged with people, young and old…All around to the northern side of this historic site hundreds of ripening cornfields could be see, their colour a lovely golden brown. Behind our backs, grazing peacefully, flocks of sheep, with their lambs, could be observed. And then, as if presiding over it all there was Dana, the great mother goddess, just as she had done for hundreds of generations. To have experience it was an overwhelming emotional experience, never to be effaced.”[8]

———————————————————-

[1] Cf. Máire MacNeill, The Festival of Lughnasa (Oxford University Press: London, 1962), 268, and Dan Cronin, In the Shadow of the Paps (Crede, Sliabh Luachra Heritage Group: Killarney, 2009), 20.

[2] See my previous post on Lasair for more information regarding these sisters.

[3] MacNeill, Lughnasa, 271.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid., 273.

[6] Ibid., 269.

[7] Cronin, Shadow of the Paps, 20.

[8] Ibid.

Posted on July 27 with 14 notes at 1:46 pm