Filed under: Website Updates

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

New Stuff – Article and Youtube Channel

Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!

Just in time for Lá Fhéile Pádraig, Gaol Naofa is pleased to announce the publication of a new article for our website, along with the launch of our new Youtube channel.

This time of year tends to stir a bit of controversy and debate over St Patrick, and one of our members, Sionnach Gorm, has weighed in on the subject with a fantastic article on Pagans, Polytheists and St Patrick’s Day, where he explores the history of conversion, Patrick, and what that means for Polytheists and Pagans alike.

Complementing this, we’ve uploaded two videos to our new Youtube channel, concentrating on Lá Fhéile Pádraig. The first of those takes a look at the harmful stereotypes surrounding the day, while the second concentrates on the various misconceptions that we have encountered over the years. These are part of a series of videos on the festival year in the Gaelic calendar, and we’ll be working on further videos for the other festivals, and more, in due course.

Also on our Youtube channel, we’ve created a number of Playlists of videos that might be of interest to Gaelic Polytheists, covering subjects such as music, language, folklore, festivals, and more! If you subscribe to our channel you can keep up to date with any new additions as they’re added.

March 12, 2014

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Bennacht tíre, torad-bennacht,
Bennacht mara, íasc-bennacht

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2015 Calendar

23 January — Gealach Ùr
25 January — Burns Night
01 February — Lá Fhéile Bríde
21 February — Gealach Ùr
17 March — Lá Fhéile Pádraig
18 March — Sheelah's Day
23 March — Gealach Ùr
25 March — Là na Caillich
21 April — Gealach Ùr
01 May — Lá Bealtaine
21 May — Gealach Ùr
19 June — Gealach Ùr
21 June — Grianstad an tSamhraidh
05 July — Laa Tinvaal
19 July — Gealach Ùr
01 August — Lá Lúnasa
17 August — Gealach Ùr
16 September — Gealach Ùr
29 September — Là Fhèill Mìcheil
16 October — Gealach Ùr
31 October — Oíche Shamhna
14 November — Gealach Ùr
30 November — Latha Naomh Anndra
14 December — Gealach Ùr
22 December — Grianstad an Gheimhridh
26 December — Lá an Dreoilín
31 December — Hogmanay