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!
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…
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.
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!
25 January — Burns Night 31 January — Gealach Ùr 1 February — Lá Fhéile Bríde 1 March — Gealach Ùr 17 March — Lá Fhéile Pádraig 18 March — Sheelah's Day 25 March — Là na Caillich 29 April — Gealach Ùr 1 May — Lá Bealtaine 28 May — Gealach Ùr 21 June — Grianstad an tSamhraidh 27 June — Gealach Ùr 5 July — Laa Tinvaal 26 July — Gealach Ùr 1 August — Lá Lúnasa 24 August — Gealach Ùr 23 September — Gealach Ùr 29 September — Là Fhèill Mìcheil 22 October — Gealach Ùr 31 October — Oíche Shamhna 21 November — Gealach Ùr 30 November — Latha Naomh Anndra 21 December — Gealach Ùr 21 December — Grianstad an Gheimhridh 26 December — Lá an Dreoilín 31 December — Hogmanay