Saturday, July 31, 2010

Long was the sorrow, long the weariness of Tailtiu

"Great that deed that was done with the axe's help by Tailtiu, the reclaiming of meadowland from the even wood by Tailtiu daughter of Magmor.

When the fair wood was cut down by her, roots and all, out of the ground, before the year's end it became Bregmag, it became a plain blossoming with clover. Her heart burst in her body from the strain beneath her royal vest; not wholesome, truly, is a face like the coal, for the sake of woods or pride of timber.

Long was the sorrow, long the weariness of Tailtiu, in sickness after heavy toil; the men of the island of Erin to whom she was in bondage came to receive her last behest. She told them in her sickness (feeble she was but not speechless) that they should hold funeral games to lament her - zealous the deed.

About the Calends of August she died, on a Monday, on the Lugnasad of Lug; round her grave from that Monday forth is held the chief Fair of noble Erin. White-sided Tailtiu uttered in her land a true prophecy, that so long as every prince should accept her, Erin should not be without perfect song.

A fair with gold, with silver, with games, with music of chariots, with adornment of body and of soul by means of knowledge and eloquence. A fair without wounding or robbing of any man, without trouble, without dispute, without raping, without challenge of property, without suing, without law-sessions, without evasion, without arrest.

A fair without sin, without fraud, without reproach, without insult, without contention, without seizure, without theft, without redemption: No man going into the seats of the women, nor woman into the seats of the men, shining fair, but each in due order by rank in his place in the high Fair."
— excerpted from Metrical Dindshenchas. ed and trans. Edward Gwynn. 1925. Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies: 1991. (Read Online Here.)

Being in the summer season and the harvest coming on

As tomorrow will be packed with my Lúnasa celebrations and then my niece's birthday party later in the evening, I leave you with this season's greetings for now—

Lá Lúnasa Shona Dhaoibh! Moladh dhuit, a Dhéithe!


Lugnassad, luaid a hada
cecha bliadna ceinmara,
fromad cech toraid co m-blaid,
biad lusraid la Lugnasaid.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I love not man the less

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but Nature more...
— Lord Byron (excerpt of There Is Pleasure In The Pathless Woods)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Signal Boost: Samhain at Tara 2007 - 2010

"Many of you also participated in the 2007 Samhain event where we re-established the old custom of lighting the signal fires on Tlachtga, Tara, and the surrounding hills. Want to do it again? Carmel Diviney, one of the main Irish coordinators of this international event, weighs in with this update..."
For more information, please read the full entry here on Kathryn's blog, Amhràn nam Bandia.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Online Academy of Irish Music

"Physically based in West Co. Clare, The Online Academy of Irish Music is a new and unique platform for providing quality Irish musical tuition on a global scale. The teaching is transmitted directly from some of Ireland's most experienced performers and tutors to any location in the world. We aspire to provide tuition for all instruments and at all levels."

*picks self up off floor* ... Needless to say, I'll definitely be enrolling. Would I like to have Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh teaching me how to properly sing trad music? Um, let me see — hell yea! I've really been wanting to advance in tin whistle as well, but looks like that class is already for advanced level, so I may wait another year for that and focus on singing right now.

Looks like you only need to pay if you want tutor feedback and access to the forums, but core lessons will be free. I seriously may die of excitement.

Is it September yet?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not hard to tell

This always comes to mind when I see people acting like idiots online. It's from Tecosca Cormaic (The Instructions of King Cormac).
"O Cormac, grandson of Conn", said Carbery, "What is the worst pleading and arguing?"

"Not hard to tell", said Cormac.
"Contending against knowledge,
contending without proofs
taking refuge in bad language
a stiff delivery
a muttering speech
uncertain proofs,
despising books
turning against custom
shifting one's pleading
inciting the mob
blowing one's own trumpet
shouting at the top of one's voice."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Article: Ritual within Gaelic Polytheism

After a lot of work, Annie and I are pleased to announce that we’ve finished the article on “Ritual within Gaelic Polytheism”. It is now available here on the Gaol Naofa website.

And I want to say a BIG thank you to Thomas and Kathryn for giving us such wonderful feedback as we worked on it!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Looks like I might begin celebrating an early Lá Lúnasa this weekend as the blueberries and blackberries are ready and are currently being harvested.