Celticsprite’s Blog

Grow your own Oak Grove! by Julian Gower
March 11, 2013, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Celtic Culture, Druidry

"Celtic Heart" by Eliseo Mauas Pinto
June 9, 2012, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Celtic Culture, Celtic Jewellery, Celtic Symbolism, Druidry

May you always have
walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

(Old Irish Blessing)

I am pleased to share with you this cover design for  my digital edition of “Celtic Heart”,  published on Smashwords . (You may find some links for Free Download too.)

Celtic Heart is not only a brief compendium regarding the passionate and ancient Culture of the Celtic People, but certainly a good source of information to be read for all those lovers of all things Celtic.

The Claddagh Ring, perhaps one of the most related expressions of the celtic heart symbolism,
plus other remarkable motifs from the Celtic culture make this E-Book a quite amusing one to be read.

I would like to share with you my special acknowledgment to Mysticmorning for granting me her kind permission to use her fabulous “Forest Untouched”  photo stock for the book cover design. Bliss and blessings to you all! 

"The Butterfly Book Of Celtic Poems" by Eliseo Mauas Pinto
June 4, 2012, 4:58 am
Filed under: Celtic Culture, Celtic Goddess, Celtic Poems, Celtic Symbolism, Druidry
I am pleased to share with you a flash animation of my first digital edition of “The Butterfly Book Of Celtic Poems“. (Feel free to zoom in, flip, and drag pages as you wish!)

This e-Book comprises a compilation of some poems written by me over the years splitted now in Chapters with some extra information regarding the Celtic Symbolism of Butterflies, and links to the audio songs and videos related to some of them… 
Butteflies have always been associated to the Goddess, Mother Nature, and particularly conceived as Messengers of the Otherworld. As we read these poems we can taste the spirit of our Celtic heritage. We can even enjoy the bonfires as they light up the sky.Each verse echoes with legends of old, bringing that past into our present. We can almost hear words uttered in the old language.
We experience the same symbolism, enhancing our reading with a unique personal voyage. And we can hear the music of harps, of bagpipes, whistles and drums;the cries for freedom, the thundering waves in the sea, the roaring of the mighty boars in the way as our ancient bards mastered to perform at halls and mystic groves. 
I invite you to Download a Free Sample of my book from the celebrated site Smashwords.com
 Let the Celtic Spirit keep on flaming on our souls… Bliss and blessings to you all!

 Licencia de Creative Commons
“The Butterfly Book of Celtic Poemsby Eliseo Mauas Pinto 
is licensed under a

Druidry: The Practice of Magic – Part Two
May 8, 2012, 5:37 pm
Filed under: Celtic Symbolism, Druidry

As I already quoted on my previoues post Druidry: The Practice of Magic – Part One, the Celts, were devoted to magical practices, mainly in the hands of the Druids. Reflected back upon the mythological cycles, each clan or kingdom had its Druids, who, in time of war, assisted their hosts by magic art, the same power exercised to a great extent over the elements, some of which Druids claimed to have created. I share now with you a quite interesting research upon written sources by James Bonwick.
As to magical arts, exercised by Druids and Druidesses, the ancient Irish MSS. are full of stories about them. Joyce has said, “The Gaelic word for Druidical is almost always applied where we should use the word magical–to spells, incantations, metamorphoses.” 

One way of calling spirits from the deep, to do one’s will, was to go to sleep with the palms of both hands upon the cheek. The magic cauldron was not in such requirement as with the Welsh. But it was a Druidic trick to take an idol to bed, lay the hands to the face, and discover the secret of a riddle in dreams. 
Another trick reminds one of the skill of modern spiritualistic mediums, who could discover the history of a man by a piece of his coat; for, Cormac read the whole life of a dog from the skull.

Healing powers were magical. Our forefathers fancied that a part of enjoyment in heaven was fighting by day and feasting at night, the head cut off in daylight conflict resuming its position when the evening table was spread. The rival forces of Fomorians and Danaans had Druids, whose special work was to heal the wounded at night, so as to be ready for the next morning’s battle.

In the Story of Deirdri it is written, “As Conor saw this, he went to Cathbad the Druid, and said to him, ‘Go, Cathbad, unto the sons of Usnach, and play Druidism upon them.'” This was done. “He had recourse to his intelligence and art to restrain the children of Usnach, so that he laid them under enchantment, that is, by putting around them a viscid sea of whelming waves.”

Nothing was more common than the raising of Druidic fogs. It would be easier to do that in Ireland or Scotland than in Australia. The Story of Cu speaks of a King Brudin who “made a black fog of Druidism” by his draoidheacht, or magic. Druidic winds were blasting, as they came from the East. The Children of Lir were made to wander on the Irish Sea till the land became Christian.

A wonderful story in an old MS. respecting Diarmuid is connected with the threatened divorce of the lovely Mughain, as no prince had appeared to her husband the King. “On this,” says the chronicler, “the Queen went to Finnen, a Magus (Druid) of Baal or Belus, and to Easbad, named Aedha, son of Beg, and told them she was barren. The Reataire (chief Druids) then consecrated some water, of which she drank, and conceived; and the produce of her womb was a white lamb. ‘Woe is me!’ said Mughain,’ to bring forth a four-footed beast.’ ‘Not so,’ replied Finnen, for your womb is thereby sanctified, and the lamb must be sacrificed as your first-born.’ The priests blessed the water for her, she drank, and conceived. Say the priests, ‘You shall now bring forth a son, and he shall be King over Ireland.’ Then Finnen and Easbad Aedha blessed the Queen and the seed of her loins, and giving her more consecrated water, she drank of it, and called his name Aedh Slaines, because he was saved from the sacrifice.”

Cuchulainn of Ulster was much given to magic. He caught birds by it. He left his wife to be with a lady in fairy-land. Caught by spells, he was brought back home. He drank the draught of forgetfulness that he might not remember fairy-land, and she drank to forget her jealousy. All this is in Lebor na hUidre or the Book of the Dun Cow (MS 23 E 25) is an Irish vellum manuscript dating to the 12th century.

When the Danaans raised a storm to drive off the invading hosts of Milesians, this was the spell used by Milesius, as told in the Book of Invasions:–“I pray that they reach the land of Erinn, these who are riding upon the great, productive, vast sea–that there may be a King for us in Tara,–that noble Erinn be a home for the ships and boats of the son of Milesius.”

By the 14th Canon of the Synod at Armagh, as asserted for the year 448, a penance was exacted for any soothsaying, or the foretelling of future events by an inspection of animals’ entrails, as was the practice with the Druids. It is curious to see how this magic was, by the early writers, associated with Simon Magus; so much so, that, as Rhys observes, “The Goidelic Druids appear at times under the name of the School of Simon Druid.”

An odd story of the Druid Mananan is preserved in the Ossian Transactions. It concerned a magical branch, bearing nine apples of gold. They who shook the tree were lulled to sleep by music, forgetting want or sorrow.

A chessboard often served the purpose of divination. The laying on of hands has been from remote antiquity an effectual mode for the transmission of a charm. But a Magic Wand or Rod, in proper hands, has been the approved method of transformation, or any other miraculous interposition. Here is one Wand story relative to the romance of Grainne and Diarmuid:–“Then came the Reachtaire again, having a Magic Wand of sorcery, and struck his son with ‘that wand, so that he made of him a cropped pig, having neither ear nor tail, and he said, ‘I conjure thee that thou have the same length of life as Diarmuid O’Duibhne, and that it be by thee that he shall fall at last.'”

The Magic Wand is also featured in the story of Eochaidh Airemh … There is a fragment of it in Leabhar na-h-Uidhré, in the Royal Irish Academy, a manuscript which was actually written before the year 1106…the Irish Druid’s wand of divination was formed from the yew, and not from the oak, as in other countries; invoking diviantion thanks to the aid of actual characters, letters, or symbols, so well known as Ogam stones.

Spiritualism, in all its forms, appears to have been practised by the Irish and Scotch Druids. Dr. Armstrong’s Gaelic Dictionary has an account of the Divination of the Toghairm, once a noted superstition among the Gaels, and evidently derived from Druid-serving ancestors. The so-called prophet “was wrapped in the warm, smoking robe of a newly slain ox or cow, and laid at full length in the wildest recess of some lonely waterfall. The question was then put to him, and the oracle was left in solitude to consider it.” The steaming body cultivated the frenzy for a reply, although “it was firmly believed to have been communicated by invisible beings.”

Similar traditions are related by Kennedy, in Fictions of the Irish Celts. One of the tales is of Sculloge, who spent his father’s gold. While out hunting he saw an old man betting his left hand against his right. At once he played with him for sixpence, but won of the ancient Druid a hundred guineas. The next game won, the old fellow was made to rebuild the Irishman’s mill. Another victory brought him as wife a princess from the far country. But Sabina, when married, besought him to have no more to do with old Lassa Buaicht of the glen.

Things went on well a good while, till the man wanted more gold, and he ventured upon a game. Losing, he was directed to bring the old Druid the Sword of Light. Sabina helped her husband to a Druidic horse, that carried him to her father’s castle. There he learned it was held by another brother, also a Druid, in an enchanted place. With a black steed he leaped the wall, but was driven out by the magic sword. At last, through Fiach the Druid, the sword was given to Lassa Buaicht. The cry came, “Take your Sword of Light, and off with his head.” Then the un-spelled wife reappeared, and the couple were happy ever after.

One of the Irish MSS. thus introduces the Magical Stone of Tara:–“One evening Conn repaired at sunrise to the battlements of the Ri Raith or Royal fortress at Tara, accompanied by his three Druids, Mael, Bloc, and Bluicné, and his three poets, Ethain, Corb, and Cesare; for he was accustomed every day to repair to this place with the same company, for the purpose of watching the firmament, that no hostile aerial beings should descend upon Erin unknown to him. While standing in the usual place this morning, Conn happened to tread on a stone, and immediately the stone shrieked under his feet so as to be heard all over Tara, and throughout all Bregia or East Meath. Conn then asked his Druids why the stone had shrieked, what its name was, and what it said. The Druids took fifty-three days to consider, and returned the following answer:–‘Fal is the name of the stone; it came from Inis Fal, or the Island of Fal. It has shrieked under your royal feet, and the number of the shrieks, which the stone has given forth, is the number of Kings that will succeed you.”

There is also a reference of Tara on the story of Etain, wife of Eochaid, was carried off by Mider through the roof, and two swans were seen in the air above Tara, joined together by a golden yoke. However, the husband managed to recover his stolen property by the aid of the mighty spell of his Druid.

At the Battle of Magh Tuireadh with the Fomorians, it is said that the chief men of the Tuatha de Danann “called their smiths, their brass-workers, their sorcerers, their Druids, their poets &c. The Druids were engaged putting the wounded in a bath of herbs, and then returning them whole to the battle ranks.

Nash, who showed much scepticism respecting Druids in Britain, wrote:–“In the Irish tales, on the contrary, the magician under the name of Draoi and Drudh, magician or Druid, Draioideacht, Druidhieat, magic plays a considerable part.” The Cabinri play a great part according to some authors; one speaks of the “magic of Samhan, that is to say, Cabur.” A charm against evil spirits, found at Poitiers, is half Gallic, half Latin. Professor Lottner saw that “the Gallic words were identical with expressions still used in Irish.”

We are told of a rebel chief who was helped by a Druid against the King of Munster, to plague the Irish in the south-west by magically drying up all the water. The King succeeded in finding another Druid who brought forth an abundant supply. He did but cast his javelin, and a powerful spring burst forth at the spot where the weapon fell. Dill, the Druidical grandfather of another King of Munster, had a magical black horse, which won at every race.

Fintain was another hero of antiquity. When the Deluge occurred, he managed by Druidic arts to escape. Subsequently, through the ages, he manifested himself in various forms. This was, to O’Flaherty, an evidence that Irish Druids believed in the doctrine of metempsychosis. Fintain’s grave is still to be recognized, though he has made no appearance on earth since the days of King Dermot.

In the Book of Lecan is the story of a man who underwent some remarkable transformations. He was for 300 years a deer, for 300 a wild boar, for 300 a bird, and for the like age a salmon. In the latter state he was caught, and partly eaten by the Queen. The effect of this repast was the birth of Tuan Mac Coireall, who told the story of the antediluvian colonization of Ireland. One Druid, Trosdane, had a bath of the milk of thirty white-faced cows, which rendered his body invulnerable to poisoned arrows in battle.

The Book of Leinster has the story of one that loved the Queen, who returned the compliment, but was watched too well to meet with him. He, however, and his foster brother, were turned, by a Druidic spell, into two beautiful birds, and so gained an entrance to the lady’s bower making their escape again by a bird transformation. The King had some suspicion, and asked his Druid to find out the secret. The next time the birds flew, the King had his watch; and, as soon as they resumed their human appearance, he set upon them and killed both.

The Book of Leinster records several cases of Druids taking opposite sides in battle.The northern Druids plagued the southern men by drying up the wells; but Mog Ruth, of the South, drove a silver tube into the ground, and a spring burst forth. Ciothrue made a fire, and said a charm with his mountain-ash stick, when a black cloud sent down a shower of blood. Nothing daunted, the other Druid. Mog Ruth, transformed three noisy northern Druids into stones.

Spiritualism, as appears by the Banquet of Dun na n-Gedh, was used thus:–“This is the way it is to be done. The poet chews a piece of the flesh of a red pig, or of a dog or cat, and brings it afterwards on a flag behind the door, and chants an incantation upon it, and offers it to idol gods; and his idol gods are brought to him, but he finds them not on the morrow. And he pronounces incantations on his two palms; and his idol gods are also brought to him, in order that his sleep may not be interrupted. And he lays his two palms on his two cheeks, and thus falls asleep. And he is watched in order that no one may disturb or interrupt him, until everything about which he is engaged is revealed to him, which may be a minute, or two, or three, or as long as the ceremony requires–one palm over the other across his cheeks.”

Related Sources:
Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions – by James Bonwick [1894]

Merry Ostara ! – A Cellebration of the Spring Goddess
March 21, 2012, 7:26 pm
Filed under: Celtic Celebrations, Celtic Goddess, Celtic Symbolism, Druidry

Ostara (1884) by Johannes Gehrts.
The vernal equiñox often called Ostara, is celebrated in the Northern hemisphere around March 21 and in the Southern hemisphere around September 23, depending upon the specific timing of the equinox. 
Ostara, also known as – Oestara, Eostra, Eostre was the pagan goddess of fertility and Spring, and the Christian festival of Easter derives its name from her.
The name Ostara may be related to the word for “east”. It has been connected to the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre by Jacob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie.In terms of Wiccan ditheism, this festival is characterized by the rejoining of the Mother Goddess and her lover-consort-son, who spent the winter months in death.[12] Other variations include the young God regaining strength in his youth after being born at Yule, and the Goddess returning to her Maiden aspect.

Spring Equinox is a festival of new growth, renewal, a re-balancing of energies and the return of longer days. It is also known as the day of equilibrium. Now is a good time to consider the balance of our lives – work, play and relationships.

Spring Meditations and Healing
It is a time where the light is equal to the darkness and from here on out the days grow longer.  The earth awakens… new life emerges, sap rises, buds shoot and spring flowers are celebrated as gifts from nature. Spring returns and rejuvenates our own life force. It is a time of balance, so one of the great uses for this meditation is that of finding polarity and solving problems. Spring returns and rejuvenates our own life force,  a time when male and female energies were balanced.
In ancient times many festivals were held to celebrate the Spring Goddesses who were associated with flowering, growth and fertility of the land. Among the Wiccan sabbats, it is preceded by Imbolc and followed by Beltane.This sabbat represents a time for rebirth in nature and in our own lives. 
There ane many different ways to celebrate the Spring Goddess. You can do a ritual in her honor, plant seeds of beautiful spring flowers, or try to start a new in your own life. Another symbol for rebirth is the labyrinth, you can make one of these, and walk it to symbolize finding your center. A labyrinth can also symbolize the cycles of life and nature, since your life never goes in one direction, so to the labyrinth will take you on a journey to help you find your center.
Home altars might feature spring flowers, seeds, jasmine or flowery incense, and the gemstone of jasper. 
The Easter Moon and the Goddess Symbols

Easter is calculated by the moon, and occurs on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the equinox.

This is the time when the young Sun God now celebrates a sacred marriage with the young Maiden Goddess. We celebrate the return of the spring goddess from her long season of dormant sleep.
The egg symbolized Eostre’s wholeness and fertility – the female hormone oestrogen is named after her – and is offered at this equinox as a symbol of fertility and new life. The golden yolk represents the Sun God, its white shell is seen as the White Goddess.
The hare was regarded as the sacred animal of the lunar goddess, because of its fertility and activity at this time. Chinese people symbolized the moon as a hare with a lantern. Witches were once believed to shape-shift into hares. Now rabbits have become one of the symbols of Easter – they are these days more prolific and common than the graceful hare.
Eggs are considered by followers of Christianity as a symbol of “resurrection”: while being dormant it contains a new life sealed within it.
he Easter Bunngilipollasy or Easter Rabbit or (sometimes Spring Bunny in the U.S) is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs.
Alsace tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs introduced into the American cultural fabric by German settlers in Pennsylvania.

The association of eggs  with this and other Vernal festivals as symbols of rebirth and fertility for so long is unknown, and may date to the beginning of human civilization. Ancient Romans and Greeks used eggs as symbols of fertility, rebirth, and abundance- eggs were solar symbols, and figured in the festivals of numerous resurrected gods.

Another symbol of the Goddess at Ostara is the snake, which emerges from winter hibernation to bask in the Spring sunshine. Due to the shedding of its skin the snake was a symbol of new life. Curiously ancient Druids carried a venerated talisman: The Serpent’s Egg. 
Snakes, because they shed and are thus “reborn”, were associated with the moon, which periodically ‘died’ and was reborn through the process of its phases. Since snake eggs are oval and white, it may have symbolized the moon itself in either its waxing or waning gibbous stage. Hence the time to collect the eggs for druidic ritual purposes or for talismans would be during a gibbous moon. Thus not only was the serpent’s egg the egg of the female lunar snake, but it contained within it a new baby snake – a New Moon – ready to be reborn.

Related Sources:

Druidry: The Sun Worhsip
January 20, 2012, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Celtic Symbolism, Druidry

As I already commented on previous posts under the Druidry label, Celts have always had a special devotion for Nature, particularly as an expression or manifestation of the deity and divinity expressed with in Nature, not as Nature itself.

This connection is deepened through reverence, ritual and meditation. A very personal experience indeed, spirit reaching to spirit. Through these religious practices we know that nature is sacred, we know that it is an expression of the divine, worthy of reverence.
Perhaps the most important object in nature to the early Celts as to most primitive folk was the moon. The phases of the moon were apparent before men observed the solstices and equinoxes, and they formed an easy method of measuring time. The Celtic year was at first lunar–Pliny speaks of the Celtic method of counting the beginning of months and years by the moon–and night was supposed to precede day
But how about the sun? Possibly sun festivals took the place of those of the moon

 Sun-worship may have superseded other and grosser forms of Nature worship.

Professor Rhys refers to the tendency of the savage “to endow the sun, moon, the sky, or any feature of the physical world admitting of being readily acknowledged with a soul and body, with parts and passions, like their own.”

In all ages, in all climes, and in all nations, the Sun, under various names and symbols, was regarded as the Creator and as sustainer of all things.

A Scotch dance, the Reel, still keeps up the memory of the old Celtic circular dance. There is, also, the Deisol, or practice of turning sun-ways, to bless the sun. This was from right to left, as with Dancing Dervishes now, or the old Bacchic dance from east to west. Plautus wrote, “When you worship the gods, do it turning to the right hand.” Poseidonius the Stoic, referring to the Celts, said, “At their feasts, the servant carries round the wine from right to left. Thus they worship their gods, turning to the right.” The Highland mother, with a choking child, cries out, “Deas-iul! the way of the South.” A Dîsul Sunday is still kept up in Brittany.

A stone was dug up in the road from Glasgow to Edinburgh, on which was an inscription to Grannius, the Latin form of grian, the sun. Enclosures in the Highlands were called Grianan, the house of the sun. On Harris Island is a stone circle, with a stone in the centre, known as Clack-na-Greine, the stone of the sun. At Elgin, the bride had to lead her husband to the church following the sun’s course.

But did the Irish indulge in this form of idolatry?

Some writers, zealous for the honour of their countrymen, have denied the impeachment. Even the learned O’Curry was of that school, declaring–“There is no ground whatever for imputing to them human sacrifice–none whatever for believing that the early people of Erinn adored the sun, moon, or stars, nor that they worshipped fire.”

Morien, the modern and enthusiastic Welsh Bard, is equally desirous to remove from his sires the reproach of being sun-worshippers “One of the Welsh names of the sun,” he remarks, “proves that they believed in a personal God, and that they believed He dwelt in the sun That name of the sun is Huan, the abode of Hu” (the Deity) Elsewhere he writes, “There was no such a being as a Sun-God in the religious systems of the Druids. They named the sun the House of God (Huan-Annedd Hu).” Again, “The Gwyddorr (High Priest), was emblematical of the Spirit of God in the sun. The Gwyddon was clad in robe of virgin white, symbolizing light and holiness.

His twelve disciples, representing the twelve constellations, formed the earthly zodiac. They too were robed in white.” Morien is the ablest living advocate of Welsh Druidism, but his views on that subject are somewhat governed by his extensive reading, his love of symbolism, and his poetic temperament.

The Milligans, in their learned story of the Irish under the Druids, say, “They worshipped the sun as their principal Deity, and the moon as their second Deity, like the Phœnicians.”

Griann, Greine, Grianan, Greienham, have relations to the sun. The hill Grianan Calry is a sunny spot. The word Grange is from Griann. There is a Grianoir in Wexford Bay. The Grange, near Drogheda, is a huge cone of stones, piled in honour of the sun. Greane, of Ossory, was formerly Grian Airbh. As Graine, the word occurs in a feminine form. The beautiful story of Diarmuid, or Dermot, and Graine is clearly a solar myth The runaway pair were pursued by the irate husband, Finn Mac Coul, for a whole year, the lovers changing their resting-place every night. One bard sings of “Diarmuid with a fiery face” The last Danaan sovereign was Mac Grene The, cromlech on a hill of Kilkenny is known as the Sleigh Grian, hill of the sun. The women’s quarter of that dwelling, was the Grianan, so-called from its brightness.

Bel is also the sun in Irish, as in eastern lands. Beli was their god of fire Bel-ain were wells sacred to the sun. The Irish vernal equinox was Aiche Baal tinne the night of Baal’s fire. The sun’s circuit was Bel-ain, or Bel’s ring. A cycle of the sun, or an anniversary, was Aonach (pro. Enoch); and it is singular that we are told that the days of Enoch were 365 years.

Hecateus mentions the Hyperboreans of an island north of Gaul worshipping the sun. Diodorus speaks of the island’s idolatry, saying, “The citizens are given up to music, harping, and chanting in honour of the sun.” In Walker’s Bards, we read of the Feast of Samhuin, or the moon, in the temple of Tiachta. “The moon,” says Monier Williams, the great Vedas authority, “is but a form of the sun.”

The circular dance in honour of the sun was derived from the East. Lucian says “it consisted of a dance imitating this god” (the sun). The priests of Baal indulged in it. A Druid song has this account–“Ruddy was the sea-beach while the circular revolution was performed by the attendants, and the white bands in graceful extravagance.”

Fosbroke alludes to the revolving, with the sun, as a superstition. “At Inismore, or Church Island, in Sligo, in a rock near the door of the church, is a cavity, called Our Lady’s Bed, into which pregnant women going, and turning thrice round, with the repetition of certain prayers, fancy that they would then not die in child-birth.”

A Scotch writer observes–“The hearty Celts of Ireland say, ‘The top of the morning to you.’ Are these expressions to be regarded as remnants of Dawn-worship? It may be so, for many similar traces of the worship of the sun and moon, as givers of good fortune, are still to be found.”

An Ode to the Sun in the “Leabhar breac” (“The Speckled Book”) has been thus rendered by an Erse authority:–“Anticipate, my lays, O Sun! thou mighty Lord of the seven heavens–mighty governor of the heaven–sole and general God of man–thou gracious, just, and supreme King–whose bright image constantly forces itself on my attention. To whom heroes pray in perils of war–all the world praise and adore thee. For thou art the only glorious and sovereign object of universal love, praise, and adoration.”

Crowe, who observes, “The sun was a chief deity with us as well as the Greeks,”–adds, “I have long thought that the great moat of Granard was the site of a temple to the sun.”

The Rev. F. Leman, in 1811, spoke of an inscription upon a quartzose stone, at Tory Hill, Kilkenny, in old Irish characters, which he read Sleigh-Grian, hill of the sun. “Within view of this hill,” said he, “towards the west, on the borders of Tipperary, rises the more elevated mountain of Sleigh-na-man, which, from its name, was probably consecrated to the moon.”

When Martin was in the Hebrides, he came across observances reminding him of solar worship. “In the Island of Rona,” said he, “off Ness, one of the natives needs express his high esteem for my person, by making a turn round about me, sun-ways, and at the same time blessing me, and wishing me all happiness.” Again–“When they get into the Island (Flannan) all of them uncover their heads, and make a turn sun-ways round, thanking God for their safety.” The Rev. Mac Queen mentions that every village in Skye had a rude stone, called Grugach, or fair-haired, which represented the sun; and he declares that milk libations were poured into Gruaich stones.

Travellers have written of Hebridean boats, going out to sea, having their heads rowed sun-ways at first for fear of ill-luck on the voyage. Quite recently one observed the same thing done by Aberdeen fishermen, who objected to turn their boat against the sun.

Related Sources:
The Religion of the Ancient CeltsBy J. A. MacCulloch [1911]
Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions by James Bonwick [1894]

Merry Solstice!
December 21, 2011, 1:46 pm
Filed under: Druidry

Deep Peace
of the running waves to you.
Deep Peace
of the flowing air to you.
Deep Peace
of the quiet earth to you
Deep Peace
of the shining stars to you
Deep Peace
of the gentle light on you.
Moon and Stars
pour their healing light on you.
This is the time of the  reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky,
A time of  birth and rebirth 
of sun gods 
and life-death-rebirth deities 
and new beginnings 
Deep Peace to you,
Deep Peace to you.