Filed under: Website Updates

New video and article: Daily Rites in Gaelic Polytheism

Since we started our Youtube channel in 2014 we’ve received a great response to the videos we’ve made so far, and after a wee break since our last video (a good six months ago now) we figured it’s high time for another one. Our last video took a look at Offerings in Gaelic Polytheism, so this time around we’ve decided to carry on with the introductory theme with our latest effort, Daily Rites in Gaelic Polytheism:

The video offers a brief overview of the kinds of rites and practices Gaelic Polytheists can incorporate into their daily lives – and we want to stress that these are things that can be done, not that they have to be done. To go hand in hand with this new video, we’ve decided to update our Daily Rites page here on the website. This new version has been substantially revised and updated by Kathryn Price NicDhàna, and the prayers we outline are now offered in both Gaelic and English. The prayers included in our updated article are completely different from the original article, which were written by Gaol Naofa’s founder Tomás Flannabhra; for those of you who would prefer to stick with them, we’ve moved the original version of the article to an archive page here. Whichever version of our Daily Rites article you prefer, we consider the video to be a companion piece to it. You might also find the Daily Practices section over on Tairis useful, along with our Offerings article and video, and our Children and Family in Gaelic Polytheism piece.

As always we hope you enjoy the new video and article, and please feel free to share them wherever you like. Slàinte mhath! 

April 11, 2016

New Article: History, Myth and Genocide: Real and Imagined; Or, The Pagan Problem with Patrick

Although it’s been heartening to see that (for the most part) there has been very little of the “black armband/All Snakes Day” crowd in recent years, there are still undoubtedly a lot of misconceptions that abound whenever the subject of St Patrick, and St Patrick’s Day, comes up. This was especially evident in the rather ignorant comments made by (thankfully a minority of) people about “finishing what Patrick started” following the theft and destruction of the Irish Manannán Mac Lir statue in February this year. As such, we feel that there’s still very much a need to dispel these misconceptions and present a more factual view of Patrick and just what, exactly, he might be held accountable for…

Although we’re a little past the usual March madness that reaches a fever pitch as St Patrick’s Day approaches, we feel that this latest article from Sionnach Gorm, History, Myth and Genocide: Real and Imagined; Or, The Pagan Problem with Patrick, addresses some really important stuff that goes beyond the usual topics that are explored when his name comes up.

This is the final component of Sionnach Gorm’s “St. Patrick’s Day Trilogy,” the first part of which can be read at his blog post, Leprechaun Vomit… or why I hate St. Patty’s, and the second part can be found here on the Gaol Naofa site, at Pagans, Polytheists, and St Patrick’s Day.

April 9, 2015

New video: A’ Ghealach Ùr – The New Moon

Before we get onto discussing our new video, we’d like to take this opportunity to announce a new member of An Chomhairle Ghaol Naofa (The Gaol Naofa Council). Marsaili Ros has joined the council as our new Brughaidh (“hospitaller”), and we’re very pleased to welcome her to the team! Along with our three other Brughaidhi, Marsaili will be overseeing all aspects of hospitality and member relations within the organisation, and will be involved in all of the usual decision-making the council is responsible for. Since Marsaili has joined us, we’ve updated our Organisational Structure page, and have also added a new page to the Gaol Naofa site detailing our Membership Guidelines to make them easier to find.

Each month, as the first sliver of the new moon appears in the sky, members of Gaol Naofa join together to welcome the return of the moon and honour An Trì Naomh. In our latest video, we explore the Gaelic lore and traditions in which our rites are rooted:

To the Gaels, the “new moon” is a bit different from what astrologers call the “new moon.”  In astrology, the “new moon” refers  to the exact, astronomical conjunction of the moon and the sun; this is the period when no moon is seen in the sky at all, usually for a period of about three days. In colloquial use, some refer to this period of no visible moon as “the dark of the moon.” In the Gaelic lore, however, the “new moon” refers to the very first sliver that shows in the sky after this period of darkness.

As Alexander Carmichael describes in the Carmina Gadelica, each month at the new moon it was traditional to greet the first visible crescent seen in the sky. Surviving lore about this tradition can also be found in the Isle of Man and Ireland. You can find an overview of this lore, with pointers to further reading, at Tairis: Daily Practices: Prayer to the Moon.

In Gaol Naofa we have continued this tradition as a way of helping our international membership — some of whom may be spread far and wide from one another — share in a sense of community as we come together and honour the gods, spirits, and ancestors. The prayers given in this video are from the Carmina Gadelica (Volume III), with translations by Kathryn Price NicDhàna; for more information on how we approach adapting and translating prayers from the Carmina, see our article on Prayer in Gaelic Polytheism (especially pages 6-7). For more on making offerings, see our article on Offerings in Gaelic Polytheism.

Fàilte ort féin, a ghealach ùr
Àilleagan cùmh nan nèamh!

I welcome you, new moon
Shining strength of the skies!

February 20, 2015

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2016 Calendar

31 December — Hogmanay (2015)
13 January — Gealach Ùr
25 January — Burns Night
1 February — Lá Fhéile Bríde
11 February — Gealach Ùr
12 March — Gealach Ùr
17 March — Lá Fhéile Pádraig
18 March — Sheelah's Day
25 March — Là na Caillich
10 April — Gealach Ùr
1 May — Lá Bealtaine
9 May — Gealach Ùr
8 June — Gealach Ùr
20 June — Grianstad an tSamhraidh
5 July — Laa Tinvaal
7 July — Gealach Ùr
1 August — Lá Lúnasa
5 August — Gealach Ùr
4 September — Gealach Ùr
29 September — Là Fhèill Mìcheil
4 October — Gealach Ùr
31 October — Oíche Shamhna
2 November — Gealach Ùr
30 November — Latha Naomh Anndra
2 December — Gealach Ùr
21 December — Grianstad an Gheimhridh
26 December — Lá an Dreoilín
31 December — Hogmanay
1 January — Gealach Ùr