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Home > Article Library > Miscellaneous > Pagan Carmina Gadelica Search

A Pagan Carmina Gadelica
by Mike Nichols


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Note: The original Carmina Gadelica was a collection of Celtic folk prayers, charms, rituals, and omens. They were collected in the late 1800's in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland by folklorist Alexander Carmichael and published in a six-volume set. Carmichael himself admits that many of these are Pagan in origin with only a thin Christian overlay. I have merely tried to restore them to something akin to their original charm, mystery and beauty.

Part I: Achaine (Invocations)

A RUNE (8)


    I am bowing my head
    In the eye of the Mother who gave me birth,
    In the eye of the Maiden who loves me,
    In the eye of the Crone who guides me in wisdom,

        In friendship and affection.

    Through thy gift of nature, O Goddess,
    Bestow upon us fullness in our need.

        Love towards the Lady,
        The affection of the Lady,
        The laughter of the Lady,
        The wisdom of the Lady,
        The passion of the Lady,
        The blessing of the Lady,
        And the magic of the Lady

    To do in the world of Abred,
    As the Ageless Ones do in Gwynfyd;

        Each shade and light,
        Each day and night,
        Each moment in kindness,
        Grant us Thy Sight.


    The Lady with me lying down,
    The Lady with me rising up,
    The Lady with me in each ray of light,
    Nor I a ray of joy without Her.

        Nor one ray without Her.

    The Goddess with me sleeping,
    The Goddess with me waking,
    The Goddess with me watching,
    Every day and night,

        Each day and night.

    The Mother with me protecting,
    The Crone with me directing,
    The Maiden with me perfecting,
    For this time and for all times,

        So mote it be!
        Goddess of Love,

        So mote it be!

[to a Bride on her Handfasting]

    I bathe thy palms
    In showers of wine,
    In the lustral fire,
    In the five elements,
    In the juice of the rasps,
    In the milk of honey,
    And I place the nine pure charms
    In thy fair fond face,

        The charm of form,
        The charm of voice,
        The charm of fortune,
        The charm of goodness,
        The charm of wisdom,
        The charm of generosity,
        The charm of choice maidenliness,
        The charm of beauty,
        The charm of fair speech.

    Dark is yonder city,
    Dark are those therein,
    Thou art the brown swan,
    Going in among them.
    Their hearts are under thy control,
    Their tongues are beneath thy sole,
    Nor will they ever utter a word

        To give thee offence.

    A shade art thou in the heat,
    A shelter art thou in the cold,
    Eyes art thou to the blind,
    A staff art thou to the pilgrim,
    An island art thou at sea,
    A fortress art thou on land,
    A well art thou in the desert,

        Health art thou to the ailing.

    Thine is the skill of the Fairy Women,
    Thine is the virtue of Brigit the calm,
    Thine is the faith of Danu the mild,
    Thine is the tact of the women of Kildare,
    Thine is the beauty of Emir the fair,
    Thine is the tenderness of Deirdre delightful,
    Thine is the courage of Maebh the strong,

        Thine is the charm of Binne-bheul.

    Thou art the joy of all joyous things,
    Thou art the light of the beam of the moon,
    Thou art the door of hospitality,
    Thou art the surpassing star of guidance,
    Thou art the step of the deer on the hill,
    Thou art the step of the mare on the plain,
    Thou art the grace of the swan swimming,

        Thou art the loveliness of all lovely desires.

    The lovely likeness of the Lady
    Is in thy fair face,
    The loveliest likeness that
    Ever was in the Three Worlds.

    The best hour of the day be thine,
    The best day of the month be thine,
    The best month of the year be thine,
    The best year of a lifetime be thine.

    Ogma has come and Midir has come,
    Lir has come and Manannan has come,
    Morigan and Tailtiu have come,
    The Dagda, all-beneficent has come,
    Angus the beauteousness of youth has come,
    Find the seer of the Tuatha Dé has come,
    Lugh the prince of the valiant has come,
    And Nuada the chief of the hosts has come,

        And the Goddess of all has come,
        And her spirit of guidance has come,
        And her consort, the Horned One, has come,
        To bestow on thee their affection and their love,

            To bestow on thee their affection and their


    O Gentle Goddess, listen to my rune,
    Bend to me Thine ear,
    Let my incantations and my charms
    Be heard. Come unto me,
    O Mighty Mother of us all,
    To protect me, your child,
    O Great Queen of Life,
    Together with the aid of
    The Lord of the Wildwood,
    Thy son and thy lover,
    To protect me with power,
    O Gentle Goddess
    Of purest fairest beauty.


    Lady be with us on this, Thy day,

        Lady be with us on this, Thy night.

    To us and with us on this, Thy day,

        To us and with us on this, Thy night.

    It is clear to be seen of us,
    Since we are born into the world,
    That we have recieved Thy blessing,

        So mote it be!

    Thy most precious blessing,
    O Mother of us all,

        So mote it be!

    Grant us thy bounty,
    Grant us thy continued bounty,

        So mote it be!

    Anything that is delightful to us,
    Or that may be helpful to us,
    Where we shall longest be,
    Illume it to us,
    Make it clear to us,
    Bring it forth to us,
    Bring to us our heart's desire,
    For this time and for all times,

        So mote it be!


    Lady, thou gate of life,
    Attend to us,

        So mote it be!

    Lady, thou gate of death,
    Bring peace to us,

        So mote it be!

    Oh, with us and for us
    Where we shall longest be,

        So mote it be!

    Be about the morning of our day,
    Be about the closing of our life,

        So mote it be!

    Be at the dawning of our life,
    And at the dark'ning of our day,

        So mote it be!

    Be for us and with us,
    Beautiful Goddess of all,

        So mote it be!

    Consecrate us
    Life and love,
    Thou Queen of the Gods,
    Thou Mother of all,

        So mote it be!

    Consecrate us
    Rites and spells,
    Thou Mistress of Magic,
    Thou Lady of Mysteries,

        So mote it be!

    Consecrate us
    Heart and body,
    Thou Cauldron of Life,
    Thou Womb of Nature,

        So mote it be!

    Each heart and body,
    Each day to Thyself,
    Each night accordingly,
    Thou Mother of Stars,
    Thou Lady of Night,

        So mote it be!


    Thanks be to thee, silver Lady of the Sky,
    Mother kind, ever-renewing, ever-fulfilling,
    For thy fertility, abundance and blessing
    That thou bestows upon us continually.
    Whatever good fortune befalls us as thy children,
    In our portion, in our lot, in our path,
    Give to us with it the rich gifts of thy guidance,
    And the joyous blessing of thy wisdom.

    We are thy children, dear Goddess,
    In spirit, in heart, and in flesh,
    In thought, in speech, and in deeds,
    We are blessed in thy sight.
    Put forth to us the magic of thy love.
    Bring us to the starlight realm and
    Bathe us in the Cauldron of Immortality,
    Like the fire on the mountain, like the mystery on the lake.

    In the spiral enchanted path of our calling,
    Be it easy or uneasy to our spirit,
    Be it bright or dark for us to follow,
    Thine own star of guidance be upon us.
    Be thou a shield to us from the wiles of deceivers,
    From all our enemies with doubts pursuing us,
    And in each secret thought our minds do weave,
    Be thou the hand upon the loom and the shuttle.

    Though the Hounds of Annwn reive us from this world,
    Be Thou the mistress to the Master of the Hunt.
    Whatever matter or cause or propensity,
    That would bring to us grief, or pains, or wounds,
    Or that would bear witness against us at the gorsedd,
    On the other side of the door to the fairy mound,
    Oh! do Thou obscure it from our eyes,
    And from our hearts drive it for ever.

    Now to the Mother who gave birth to each creature,
    Now to the Maiden who taught her people well,
    Now to the Crone, who comforts us in strength:
    Shield and sain us from every evil working;
    Be about the beginning and end of our days,
    Be giving us to sing the mysteries,
    In peace, in rest, in the Land of Youth,
    Where no tear shall be shed, where death comes no more.

        Where no tear shall be shed, where death comes no more.

A RUNE (8)

    O Goddess,
    In my deeds,
    In my words,
    In my wishes,
    In my reason,
    And in the fulfilling of my desires,
    In my sleep,
    In my dreams,
    In my repose,
    In my thoughts,
    In my heart and spirit always,
    May the blessed Maiden
    And the Silver Bough of Faerie dwell,

        Oh, in my heart and spirit always,
        May the loving Maiden
        And the tinkling Silver Bough of Faerie dwell.


    Thou Queen of the moon,
    Thou Queen of the waters,
    Thou Queen of the flowers,
    Thou Queen of the stars,
    Thou Queen of the earth,
    Thou Queen of the night,
    Oh! lovely Thy countenance,
    Thou silvery Radiance.

    Two loops of silk
    Down by thy limbs,
    Yellow jewels
    And a handful
    Out of every stock of them.


    Bless, O Mistress of Magic,
    Myself and everything anear me,
    Bless me in all my makings,
    And keep me safe for ever,

        Keep me safe forever.

    From every unclean spirit and sending,
    From every evil wish and cursing,
    From every wicked spell and glamour,
    From every star that frowns upon me,
    Save me till the end of my day.

        Save me till the end of my day.

    Let every nymph and faerie be my sister,
    Let every troll and brownie be my brother,
    Let every fairy-mouse and will-o-the-wisp befriend me,
    That they may keep me safe forever.

        That they may keep me safe forever.


    Gracious Goddess, who brought me from the dream of last night
    Unto the light of a new day,
    Be Thou bringing me from the light of this day
    Unto the silver light of dream and Faerie,

        Oh! from the light of this day
        Unto the silver light of Faerie.


    I am bowing my head
    In the eye of the Mother who gave me birth,
    In the eye of the Maiden who loves me,
    In the eye of the Crone who guides me in wisdom,

        In love and desire.

    Shower down upon us in Abred
    The rich blessings of Thy abundance;
    Thou Queen of Caer Emrys,

        Be Thou always close to us.

    Grant to us, Thou Mother of the Universe,
    The laughter of the Lady, the love of the Lady,
    And the passion of the Lady to do in Abred at all times
    As the Ever-Young do in Gwynfyd;
    Each day and night give us thy peace.

        Each day and night give us thy peace.


    My Lord Manawyddan, thou whom
    The Triads name as one of the Three Tribe-Herdsmen,
    Tend Thou us to the cot and the fold,
    Sain us beneath Thine own glorious mantle;

        Thou Shield of Dyved, guard us for ever.

    Be thou a hard triumphant glave
    To shield us securely from every wicked spell,
    From unclean spirits and from unfriendly stars,

        And from the lurid smoke of the cities.

    My Lord Manawyddan, Thou Third Landless Prince,
    Be Thou at the helm of the boat of my spirit.


    It is as easy for Danu
    To inspire the Aged
    As to give birth to the Young
    As it is Her will to do so.

        Danu! Danu! Danu!
        Meet it is to praise you!

    There is no plant in the ground
    But is full of your virtue,
    There is no form in the strand
    But is full of your blessing.

        Danu! Danu! Danu!
        Meet it is to praise you!

    There is no life in the sea,
    There is no creature in the river,
    There is naught in the firmament,
    But proclaims your abundance.

        Danu! Danu! Danu!
        Meet it is to praise you!

    There is no bird on the wing,
    There is no star in the sky,
    There is nothing beneath the moon,
    But proclaims your beauty.

        Danu! Danu! Danu!
        Meet it is to praise you!


    Within the Circle of Circles,
    The peace of Pwyll and Llew,
    Of Manawyddan and Math the Ancient,
    And of the two perfect words,

        The two perfect words.

    The peace of the Mother of Love,
    The peace of the Maiden of Beauty,
    The peace of the Crone of Wisdom,
    To ourselves and to our children,

        Our children and our children's children.


    Behold the Lightener of the stars,
    On the crests of the clouds,
    And the silver singers of the sky

        Lauding him.

    Coming down with acclaim
    From the palaces above,
    Harp and lyre of song

        Sounding to him.

    O Idris, bearer of my hope,
    Why should I not raise thy fame!
    Faeries and elves melodious

        Singing to thee.

    Thou son of the Goddess of Night
    Of exceeding white purity of beauty,
    Joy were it to me to play in the fields

        Of thy tiny lanterns.

    O Idris, my hope,
    O Idris of the celestial houses,
    At the dawn of eventide,

        I will praise thee.


    The Pentacle of the God and the Goddess with me
    From the top of my face to the edge of my feet.

    O Tegid mild, O Ceridwen wise,
    O radiant Taliesyn, chief god of bards,
    Preserve ye me in the middle world,
    The three preserve me on the old straight path.

        Three preserve me with the Ancient Harmonies.

    Preserve ye me in the Spiral Castle,
    Preserve ye me in the Four-Cornered Castle,
    Preserve ye me in the Isle of the Strong Door,
    The preservation of the three upon me tonight.

        The three to shield me tonight.


    Thou Spirit of Wisdom who guides me,
    From out of the Shining World to attend me,
    The shepherding kind of the fold of faerie kin
    To make round about me this night;

    Drive from me every ill-will and danger,
    Surround me on the sea of the unholy,
    And in the narrows, crooks, and straits,
    Keep thou my coracle, keep it always.

    Be thou a bright flame before me,
    Be thou a guiding star above me,
    Be thou a smooth path beneath me,
    Be thou a kindly wind behind me,
    Today, tonight, and for ever.

    And when I grow weary and I become
    A stranger in this land,
    Lead me to the Land of Promise;
    For it is time for me to go home
    To the court of Don, to the Land of Heart's Desire.


    May I speak each day with thy eloquence,
    Each day may I show thy counsel, O Gwydion;
    May I speak each day according to thy wisdom,
    Each day and night may I be at peace with my words.

    Each day may I count thy blessings, O Gwydion,
    May I each day give heed to the Ancient Harmonies;
    Each day may I compose with thee a song,
    Each day may I raise my harp to sing thanks.

    May I each day give love to thee, Lady Don,
    Each night may I do the same;
    Each day and night, dark and light,
    May I laud thy son and his guidance to me.

[for success in court, go by moonlight to a place where three streams
meet, fill hands with water and dip face, saying charm]

    I am bathing my face
    In the nine rays of moonlight,
    As Rhiannon bathed her Son

        In the rich fermented milk.

    Strength be in my heart,
    Sense be in my head,
    Dew of honey on my tongue,

        My breath as the incense.

    Black is yonder house,
    Blacker those therein;
    I am the white swan,

        Rising above them.

    All-seeing, all-hearing, all-knowing may the magic be,
    To satisfy and to strengthen me;
    Blind, deaf, and dumb, ever, ever be

        Those who condemn and mock me.

    The tongue of Gwydion in my head,
    The eloquence of Mabon in my speech;
    The composure of Rhiannon falsely-accused

        Be mine in the presence of the multitude.

    I will travel in the name of the Goddess,
    In likeness of bull, in likeness of lion,
    In likeness of eagle, in likeness of spirit:

        More victorious am I than all persons.


    A palmful for thine age,

        A palmful for thy growth,

    A palmful for thy throat,

        A flood for thy speech.

    For thy share of the dainty,

        Crowdie and kail;

    For thy share of the taking,

        Honey and warm milk.

    For thy share of the supping,

        Whisked whey and cheese;

    For thy share of the spoil,

        With bow and with spear.

    For thy share of the preparation,

        The yellow eggs of Eostre;

    For thy share of the treat,

        The orange gourds of Samhain.

    For thy share of the feast

        With gifts and with tribute;

    For thy share of the treasure,

        With magic and with love.

    For thy share of the chase,

        Up the face of Bryn Aryen;

    For thy share of the hunting

        And the mustering of the hosts.

    For thy share of palaces,

        In the courts of kings;

    For thy share of the Summerland,

        In the courts of the Gods.

    The part of thee that does not grow at dawn,

        May it grow at eventide;

    The part of thee that does not grow at night,

        May it grow at ridge of mid-day.

        The three palmfuls
        Of the three Queens,
        To preserve thee
        From every envy,
        Evil eye and death;
        The palmful of the Mother of Love,
        The palmful of the Maiden of Beauty,
        The palmful of the Crone of Wisdom,

            Of Magic.


    Math, guide me with thy wisdom,
    Pwyll, guide me with thy strength,
    Lleu, guide me with thy inspiration,
    Manawyddan, guide me with thy justice.

    Rhiannon, fill me with thy fullness,
    Govannon, shield me with thy shade,
    Gwydion, fill me with thy grace,
    For the sake of the Three Worlds and their kings.

    For the One who was stolen on Beltane's Eve,
    For the One who hides himself in the woods,
    For the One who stood on the rim of the Cauldron,
    For the sake of the Three that are One,

        And that One who is lover to the Three.

            So mote it be!


    Be thy soft breast, O Branwen, under my head,
    Be thy light, O Arianrhod, over me shining.
    And be the pentagram of the five elements over me down,
    From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet,

        From the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.

    O Llew without offence, betrayed cruelly,
    Under bans of geis Thou wert slain,
    With one foot on the rim of day,
    And the other on the beast of night,

        Only then does the spear of twilight free Thee.

    O Thou King of the Summer Sunlight,
    Who now can say in what season
    The Lion, betrayed by the Virgin, on the point of Balance,
    Is transformed into the Eagle?

        I journey with Thee into the Land of Darkness.

    Be the runes of Gwydion and Math over me tonight,
    Be my spirit soaring on the wings of an eagle,
    Be my spirit shielded within your pinions, Brightness of the
    Valiant Llew, carry my spirit safely

        To the light of a new dawn.

            So mote it be.


    Come I this day to the Mother,
    Come I this day to the Maiden,
    Come I to the Crone of Wisdom;
    Come I this day with the Goddess,
    Come I this day with the God,
    Come I with the Spirit of Nature.

    Gods and Spirits and Elements,
    From the crown of my head
    To the soles of my feet;
    Come I with my vision,
    Come I with my magic,
    Come I to thee, my Lady--

        Mother, shelter me.


    O Rhiannon! tonight
    Thou Queen of three worlds,
    Thou guiltless Mother
    Who didst suffer full sore,
    By curse of the wicked,
    And wast dishonoured.

    Save me from evil,
    Save me from harm,
    Save Thou my body,
    Consecrate me tonight,
    O Rhiannon! tonight,
    Nor leave me.

    Endow me with magic,
    Thou Queen out of Faery,
    Guide me aright,
    Guide me in thy wisdom,
    O Rhiannon! in thy love
    Shelter me.


    I am placing my spirit and my body
    In thy circle this night, O Mother,
    In thy circle, O blessed Maiden,
    In thy circle, O Crone of perfect wisdom,

        The Three who would defend my cause,
        Nor turn their backs upon me.

    Thou, Mother, who art bountiful and generous,
    Thou, Maiden, who didst return from Annwn,
    Thou, Grandmother of power,
    Be keeping me this night from harm;

        The Three who would consecrate me
        Keeping me this night and always.


    Grandmother, give me of thy wisdom,
    Mother, give me of thine abundance,
    Maiden, give me in my need,

        Beneath the shield of the Horned One.

    I lie down tonight,
    With the Triad of Strength,
    With the Mother, with the Maiden,

        And with the Crone of Night.


    O Arawn of the Hunt,
    Lord of Annwn,
    Who wert sorely oppressed
    Under ban of the ardent,
    Shield Thou me this night

        From Hafgan.

    My spirit in Thine own realm, O Lord,
    Thou the King of the Country of Youth,
    And Thine in my own realm
    To guard my body as it lies sleeping in Abred.
    Thou it was who exchanged thy shape, O King,

        With Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed.

    Protect Thou me because of my fealty,
    For the sake of Pwyll, my Lord; and Rhiannon, my Lady; and I
    their child.
    And take me in safety tonight

        Near to the Land of Promise,

    And bring me in safety again

        Back to the world of Abred.


    In the name of the Lady,
    And of the Awen of Inspiration,
    In the name of the Lord of the Wildwood,

        I lay me down to rest.

    If there be evil threat or quirk,
    Or covert act intent on me,
    Then free me and encircle me,

        And drive from me mine enemy.

    In the the name of the Mother darksome,
    And of the four Guardian Spirits,
    In the name of the Lord of the Hunt,

        I lay me down to rest.

    * * * * * * * * *

    Please aid me and encircle me,

        From this hour till the hour of my passing.


    I lie down tonight
    With fair Modron and with her Son,
    With pure-white Mabon,
    And with Branwen beneath her mantle.

    I lie down with Magic,
    And Magic will lie down with me,
    I will not lie down with Cythraul,
    Nor shall Cythraul lie down with me.

    O God of the Mound,
    Shield me this night,
    Open the secret door
    To thy treasure-house.

    For the many deeds
    I have done for thee.
    For the many songs
    I have sung of thee.

    Thou King under the Hills,
    Invite me into thy dwelling-place,
    While setting wards around my bed,
    And encompass me in thy hosting.

        So mote it be.


    I am lying down tonite as beseems
    In the company of the Maiden of ringlets,
    In the company of the Mother of plenty,
    In the company of the Crone of powerful aid.

    I am lying down tonight with the Goddess,
    And the Goddess tonight will lie down with me,
    I will not lie down tonight with evil, nor shall
    Evil nor evil's shadow lie down with me.

    I am lying down tonight with Magic,
    And Magic this night will lie down with me,
    I will lie down this night with the Triad of my love,
    And the Triad of my love will lie down with me.


    I am now going into the sleep,
    Be it that I in health shall waken;
    If passing be to me in the death-sleep,
    Be it that with thy Wild Ride,
    O God of the Hunt, I in gladdness shall waken,

        Be it with thy hosting,
        O Gwyn ap Nudd, that I in mirth shall waken.

    Be my spirit as a circle of stars
    Around your white neck, O Queen of Heaven;
    Thou it was who gavest me the gift of life,
    Thou it was who brought me from the Cauldron.

        Encircle me this night, O Goddess,
        That no harm, no evil shall befall.

    Whilst my body is dwelling in the sleep,
    My spirit is soaring in the shadow of Annwn,
    Be the red-white Hounds meeting my spirit,
    Early and late, night and day,

        Early and late, night and day.

            So mote it be.


    I am lying down tonight,
    With Mother, with Maiden,
    With the Crone of Wisdom,
    Who shield me from harm.

    I will not lie down with Cythraul,
    Nor shall Cythraul lie down with me,
    But I will lie down with the Goddess,
    And the Goddess will lie down with me.

    Lady and Maiden and Sacred Crone,
    Within the Circle of the nine sacred flowers,
    Be protecting me as Three and as One,
    From the brow of my face to the soles of my feet.

    I charge Pwyll, I charge Arawn,
    I charge Modron, I charge Mabon,
    I charge the trustful Hounds of Annwn,
    To preserve me from hurt and harm;

        O from dying tonight!
        From dying tonight!

    Thou Queen of the moon and of mystery,
    Thou Maiden, daughter of the Goddess fair,
    Thou Crone, mother of the ancient gods,
    Keep thou us from the house of grief and doom,

        Keep us from the land of sorrow,
        From the house of grief and doom.


    Goddess, give charge to the blessed Sidhe,

        To keep guard around this stead tonight,

    A circle sacred, strong, and steadfast,

        That will preserve and contain this spirit-shrine.

    Safeguard, dear Goddess, this household tonight,

        Ourselves and our means and our fame,

    Deliver us from death, from distress, from harm,

        From the fruits of envy and of enmity.

    Give thou to us, O Goddess of Love,

        Reverence toward all thy children,

    To live in harmony in the Middle World,

        And to enjoy thy love in the Bright World.


    Thou Spirit of Light who hast charge of me,
    From the fragrant Mother of all Nature,
    The gentle encompassing of thy Silver Circle
    To make round my spirit-shrine this night,

        Oh, round my spirit-shrine this night.

    Ward from me every distress and danger,
    Encircle my course over the ocean of life,
    I charge thee, place thy silver light before me,
    O bright beauteous Spirit on this very night,

        Bright beauteous Spirit on this very night.

    Be Thyself the guiding star above me,
    Illume Thou to me every reef and shoal,
    Pilot my coracle on the crest of the wave,
    To the restful harbour of the waveless sea,

        Oh, the restful harbour of the waveless sea.


    I lie in my bed
    As I would lie in the faery mound,
    Thine arm beneath my neck,

        Thou Lady (Lord) of the Sidhe.

    Shining Ones shall watch me
    And I lying in slumber,
    And Bright Ones shall guard me

        In the sleep of the mound.

    Pwyll shall be at my back,
    Llew shall be at my feet,
    Manawyddan shall be before me,

        And Math shall be at my head.

    The Lady shall be with my spirit,
    The bright cauldron of my love!
    And Amaethon the Physician
    Shall put the glamour to my eye,

        The Physician of the Bright Ones
        Shall put the glamour in my eyes.


    Thanks be to thee, my Lady, for
    Bringing me from the beauty of night
    To the gladsome light of this day,
    To win love and knowledge and power,
    Through understanding your deepest secrets.

    Praise be to thee, gracious Goddess,
    For the blessings thou didst bestow on me--
    My thoughts, my speech, my works, my desires.

    * * * * * * * * * * * *

    And I charge thee
    To shield me from harm,
    To ward me from hurt,
    To sain me from evil,
    To teach me thy mysteries,
    O Goddess of all mysteries!
    Grant me thy wisdom along with thy magic.

    May the Shining Ones claim me,
    And protect me on sea and on land,
    And lead me on from step to step,
    To the counsels of the Four Cities,

        The magic of the Four Cities!


    Thanks be to thee, my Lady, for
    Bringing me from the beauty of night
    To the joyous light of this day,
    Courage, generosity, and beauty
    To earn for my spirit
    With good intent.
    And for every gift of faery
    Thou bestowest on me,
    My thoughts, my words,
    My deeds, my desires
    I consecrate to Thee.
    I honour Thee,
    I ask of Thee
    To keep me from ill fortune,
    And to shield me tonight,
    For the sake of my devotion,
    With thy teaching of mysteries.


    O Powerful Goddess,
    Ward the house, the fire, the animals,
    And everyone who dwells herein tonight.
    Shield myself and my beloved Coven,
    Preserve us from violence and from harm;
    Preserve us from foes and evil intent,
    For the sake of She who stands at the crossroads
    And He who hides himself in the hilltop fire,
    In this place, and in every place wherein they dwell tonight,

        On this night and every night.


    Goddess, bless the world and all that is in it.
    Goddess, bless my bed-mate(s) and my children,
    Goddess, bless the eye that is in my head,
    And bless, O Goddess, the handling of my art;
    What time I rise in the morning,
    What time I lie down at night,

        Bless my rising in the morning,
        And my lying down at night.

    Goddess, protect the Coven, and the Covenstead,
    Goddess, consecrate the Children of the Mother,
    Goddess, encircle the flocks and the young;
    Be thou after them and tending them,
    What time the flocks ascend hill and wold,
    What time I lie down to sleep,

        What time the flocks ascend hill and wold,
        What time I lie down in peace to sleep.


    Goddess, bless the house,
    From site to stay,
    From beam to wall,
    From end to end,
    From ridge to basement,
    From balk to roof-tree,
    From found to summit,

        Found and summit.


    To whom shall I offer oblation
    In name of the Leanan Sidhe?
    I will give some of my means
    To the forsaken illustrious Ones.

    Because of all that I have seen,
    Of thy magic and of thy mystery,
    Call my spirit unto thee, O Daughter of Manannan,
    Nor leave me ever.

    Remember me in great Belgata,
    Within thy cloak encircle thou me;
    Sweetheart of the Fair Ones, do not forsake me.
    My wish it were ever to be near thee.

    Give to me the handfasting garment,
    Be Fair Folk conversing with me in every need,
    Be the holy Watchers protecting me,
    The fair Danu and thou, Aine of grace,

        The fair Danu and thou, Aine of grace.


    Hail, Brigit! hail, Brigit!

        Queen of healing, Mother of poetry,

    Hail, Brigit, forge of our vision,

        Fount of our knowledge, source of our joy.

    To thee we, night and day,

        Hidden children of the Goddess,

    Lift our voices in reverence,

        In mirth and gaity and laughter.

    Bestow upon us, thou candle of gladness,

        Since thou art the flame of knowledgable crafts,

    The healing art of Dian Cecht, the poetic art of Ogma,

        And the art of making of Goibhniu.

    Vouchsafe to us, thou silver branch,

        An island in the realm of peace,

    Safe from the waves of peril and stress,

        Beneath the shade of thy scented apple trees.


    Hail to thee, Danu, Mother!
    Thou ancestress of Gods,
    The Old One of the Mound was thy Consort,
    Blessed be thy feet that have brought thee in these ways,
    Blessed be thy womb without which we could not be,
    Blessed be thy paps formed in beauty,
    Blessed be thou, Queen of the Earth,
    Thou blessed Danu, mother of the Gods,
    Remember me, your child of love and laughter,
    On this day and on all days of the seasons,

        All the days of the seasons.


    Morrigan, thou Crow of Battle, I call on thy name,
    And on the name of Badb, and the name of Macha,
    And on the names of all the spirits in the red domain,
    To shield me in the battle to come,

        To shield me in the battle to come.

    When the mouth shall be closed,
    When the eye shall be shut,
    When the breath shall cease to stir,
    When the heart shall cease to beat,

        When the heart shall cease to beat.

    When I put my foot into the barque
    That shall take me to that distant shore,
    O Morgan, priestess of Avalon, shield thou my spirit,
    O Elaine the fair, pillow my head in your lap.

        O Nimue, wisdom's daughter, guide my spirit craft!
        The Three Queens to accompany my departure!

[three drops of water are placed on the infant's forehead, to guard it
from ill omen and mischievous sprites]

    Thou Beings who inhabit the earth,
    Imprint thy blessings betimes,
    Remember the child of my body,
    In the name of the Mother of blessings;
    When the druid of the King
    On her (him) puts the water of meaning,
    Grant her (him) the blessing of the Three

        Who are One.

    The blessing of the One

        Who is Three.

    Sprinkle down upon her (him) thy gifts,
    Give thou to her (him) beauty and strength,
    Give thou to her (him) power and compassion,
    Give thou to her (him) honor and humility,
    Give thou to her (him) mirth and reverence,
    Sense and reason void of guile,
    Faery wisdom in her (his) day,
    That she (he) may stand without reproach

        In the world of the Bright Ones.

    She (he) may stand without reproach

        In the world of the Bright Ones.

[the one who chants the blessing is called the 'soul-friend', and is
held is special affection by the friends of the dying person ever after]

    Goddess, initiate this woman (man) into thy Grand Coven,
    The many blessings which she (he) in the body cast,
    That we cannot this night enumerate.

        The many blessings that she (he) in the body cast,
        That we cannot this night enumerate.

    Be this spirit to thy hand, O Lady,
    Thou Queen of the realm of Faery,

        So mote it be.

    Since thou it was, O Lady, who did birth this spirit,
    Be its peace in thine own keeping.

        So mote it be.

    And be the strong Nuada, high king of the Tuatha,
    Preparing the path before this spirit, O Goddess.

        So mote it be.

    And be the strong Lugh coming to meet the spirit,
    And leading it home, to the Land of the Ever-Living Ones.

        So mote it be.

[this charm is said upon first seeing the new moon, while making a bow
or curtsey; it is also customary to turn a silver coin in your pocket
or the rings on your fingers while making a wish]

    Oh! in the name of the triple Goddess who shields us in every
    If well thou hast found us tonight,
    Nine times better mayest thou leave us without harm,

        Thou bright white Moon of the seasons.
        Bright white Moon of the seasons.

    May thy laving lustre leave us

        Nine times still more blest.

    O moon so fair,
    May it be so,
    As seasons come,
    And seasons go.

Part II: Aimsire (Seasons)

YULE CHANT (55 & 57)

YULE CHANT (55 & 57)

    Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
    Blessed is he! Blessed is he!
    Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
    Blessed is he! Blessed is he!

    Prosperity be upon this dwelling,
    On all that we have heard and seen,
    On the bare bright floor flags,
    On the shapely standing stone staves,

        Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
        Blessed is he! Blessed is he!

    Bless this house and all that it contains,
    From rafter to stone to beam;
    Shielded by the Goddess from pall to cover,
    Be the healing of all herein,

        Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
        Blessed is he! Blessed is he!

    May we be in lasting possession of the house,
    May we be healthy about the hearth,
    Many be the ties and stakes in the homestead,
    Fair Ones dwelling on this foundation,

        Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
        Blessed is he! Blessed is he!

    Offer to the Sun King from found to cover,
    Every stave and stone and beam;
    Offer again both rods and cloth,
    Be health to all who dwell herein,

        Every generation for aye!
        Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
        Blessed is he! Blessed is he!


    Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
    Blessed is he! Blessed is he!
    Hail the sun! Hail the sun!
    Blessed is he! Blessed is he!

        All hail! Let there be joy!

    This night is the eve of the great Nativity,
    Reborn is the son of the Great Mother,
    The rays of his face will touch the earth,
    Again he will shine down from on high,
    Earth and sky will glow to him,

        All hail! Let there be joy!

    The peace of the earth to him, the joy of the sky to him,
    Behold him each day as his strength increases,
    The homage of a King be his, the welcome of an eagle be his,
    Sun-King victorious, eagle all glorious,
    Earth and ocean illumined by him,

        All hail! Let there be joy!

    The mountains will glow with him, the plains will glow with
    The voice of the waves with the song of the strand,
    Announcing to us the sun is reborn,
    Son of the Great Mother of the Land of Brightness,
    Given birth on the long night of darkness,

        All hail! Let ther be joy!

    Bright to him the earth and sphere together,
    His brightness reflected in the light of the Moon,
    Son of the Great Mother, hasten thou to our land,
    Thou Lord of Warmth, thou Lord of Light,
    Golden Sun of hill and mountain,

        All hail! Let there be joy!


    Hey the Gift, ho the Gift,
    Hey the Gift on the living.

    The fair young Mother stood in the moonlight,
    It was the child Sun-King who was on her breast.

    The flight of the eagle, the cast of the spear,
    The spark is struck upon the stone.

    To tell us the sun is reborn,
    The Shining Child of the Land of Promise.

    I see the hills, I see the strand,
    I see the eagle mounting the sky.

    I see faery hosts a-ridling,
    Coming with speech and friendship to us.


    Hey the Gift, ho the Gift,
    Hey the Gift, on the living.

    Sun of the dawn, Sun of the clouds,
    Sun of the planet, Sun of the star,

        Hey the Gift, etc.

    Sun of the rain, Sun of the dew,
    Sun of the welkin, Sun of the sky,

        Hey the Gift, etc.

    Sun of the flame, Sun of the light,
    Sun of the sphere, Sun of the globe,

        Hey the Gift, etc.

    Sun of the elements, Sun of the heavens,
    Sun of the moon, Sun of the stars,

        Hey the Gift, etc.

    Son of the Great Goddess of Nature,
    And the Sun of joyous tidings,

        Hey the Gift, etc.


    I am the warmth, I am the light,
    I am the Child of this night.

    I am the Son of the Great Mother,
    Greeting you on hilltops facing east.

    Noble and fair is the Maiden Mother Goddess,
    Noble am I upon her young breast.

    Sun of the Moon, Sun of the Stars,
    I peep from the unhewn dolmen arch.

    A pentagram upon each forehead,
    I am in the door and in the window.

    I shine upon the hills, I shine upon the strand,
    I shine from deepest, blackest space.

    I peep through a roofbox to light an altar stone,
    Deep within the heart of an ancient tomb.

    I dance upon the heelstone, to announce my return.
    I shine along the holy roads of ancient power.

    I am the eagle, soaring free,
    Climbing into the vault of the noonday sky.


    Behold the Maiden Goddess approaching,
    The Sun-King so young on her breast.

    O Gentle Goddess, and O Baby Sun!
    Bless ye this house and all herein.

    Bless ye the food, bless ye the board,
    Bless ye the corn, the flock and the store.

    What time to us the quarter was scarce,
    It is thou thyself, Goddess, who wast mother to us.

    Thou art fairer, Lady, than the waxing moon,
    Rising over the mountains.

    Thou art fairer, Lord, than the summer sun,
    Under his fullness of joy.

    Since the bard must not tarry,
    Place ye pine boughs about the Circle.

    Servant am I of the Great Mother, on the threshold,
    For the sake of the infant Sun, arise thyself and open to him.


    The night of the dragon star
    Was born the Il-danach,
    Of the Maiden of the hundred charms,

        The Great Mother.

    The Three eternal by her side,
    Upon the hillside cold and steep.
    Come and be gifted by the God

        Of all Arts and Crafts.

    The foam-white breastling beloved,
    Welcome in every house in the world,
    The wise and skillful Child riding forth,


    Ye three faces of the Goddess,
    Come ye, come ye forth,
    To the Gift-bearer of mortals

        Give ye salutation.

    Kiss ye his lips,
    Encircle ye his body
    With the hair of your heads;
    And O! thou Culture-giving God,
    And ye, Maiden, Mother, Crone,

        Be with us always.

[carolers circle the house deosil, the leader wearing a horned mask]

    I am now come to your country,
    To renew to you the Hogmanay,
    I need not tell you of it,
    It was in the time of our Mothers.

    I ascend by the door lintel,
    I descend by the doorstep,
    I will sing my song becomingly,
    Mannerly, slowly, mindfully.

    The Hogmanay skin is in my pocket,
    Great will be the smoke from it presently.
    No one who shall inhale its odour,
    But shall be for ever from it healthy.

    The Priest will get it in his hand,
    He will place its nose in the fire;
    He will go deosil round the Coven,
    And for seven verities round the Maiden.

    The Priestess will get it, she who deserves it,
    The hand to distribute the Hogmanay,
    The hand to bestow the cheese and butter,
    Much I wish it with the bread.

    Give it to us if it be possible,
    If you may not, do not detain us;
    I am the servant of Love at the door,
    Arise thyself and open to me.

[if the carolers be inhospitably treated, they leave the house and
circle it widdershins, and raise a cairn at or near the door, intoning
the following]

    Malevolence of the Mother be upon you,
    Malevolence of the Hogmanay be upon you,
    The scaith of the hawk, the raven, the bear,
    And the scaith of the sneaking fox.

    The scaith of the dog and the cat be upon you,
    Of the boar, of the badger, of the wolf,
    Of the bull, of the lion, of the eagle,
    And the scaith of the spirit be upon you.

[recited upon arising]

    Goddess, bless to me the new day,
    Never vouchsafed to me before;
    It is to celebrate thy blessings
    Thou hast given me this time, Lady.

    Bless thou to me mine eye,
    May mine eye bless all it sees;
    I will bless my neighbor,
    May my neighbor bless me.

    Goddess, grant me a light heart,
    Keep me in the sight of thine eye;
    Bless to me my work and my play,
    Upon this return of the Ram's day.


    The be-ribboned Maypole above us,
    Ordained of the God of the Wood,

        Bright Maypole above us!

    Tonight, the night of the pole of ecstasy,
    The pole of rapture beloved of the Goddess,

        Bright Maypole above us!

    Noble the staff! Noble the wand!
    Noble the Man of this night.

        Bright Maypole above us!

    It was Bride the fair who went on her knee,
    It was the antlered King who received her kiss.

        Bright Maypole above us!

    I hear the hills, I hear the seas,
    I hear the standing stones of earth,

        Bright Maypole above us!

    Noble the spear! Noble the broom!
    Noble the cock horse on which we ride!

        Bright Maypole above us!

    I hear Deirdre of the shapely, rounded limbs,
    Coming softly in friendship to him.

        Bright Maypole above us!

    Great the assemblage upon this knoll,
    Without the envy of man to another.

        Bright Maypole above us!

    I am the servant of the Cerne Abbas Giant,
    Oh! arise thou thyself, and dance about me!

        Bright Maypole above us!


    Day of the Lady benign,
    Day to send sheep on prosperity,
    Day to send cow on calf,
    Day to put the web in the warp.

    Day to put coracle on the brine,
    Day to place the staff to the flag,
    Day to bear, day to die,
    Day to hunt the heights.

    Day to put horses in harness,
    Day to send herds to pasture,
    Day to make charms efficacious,
    Day of my beloved Lady,

        Day of my beloved Lady.


    When the Wednesday is Samhain
    Restless are the folk of the universe;
    But woe the mother of the foolish,
    When Thursday is the Beltane.

[At sunset, as day merges from Wednesday to Thursday, a man walks to
the waist into the sea and pours out whatever offering has been
prepared, chanting the following]

    O God of the sea,
    Put weed in the drawing wave
    To enrich the ground,
    To shower on us food.

[the following are common sayings heard on Brigit's Day]

    Feast of the Bride, feast of the maiden.

    The day of Bride, the birthday of Spring.

    Melodious Bride of the fair palms.

    Thou Bride fair charming,
    Pleasant to me the breath of thy mouth,
    When I would go among strangers,
    Thou thyself wert the hearer of my tale.

    Early on Bride's morn
    The serpent shall come from the hole,
    I will not molest the serpent,
    Nor will the serpent molest me.

[when a woman is in labour, the midwife or the woman next her in
importance goes to the door of the house, and standing on the doorstep,
with her hands on the jambs, softly beseeches Bride to come]

    Bride! Bride! come in,
    Thy welcome is truly made,
    Give thou relief to the woman,
    And give the child all charms.


    The genealogy of the holy maiden Brigit,
    Radiant arrow of flame, noble foster-mother of gods,
    Brigit the daughter of the Dagda,
    Dagda the Good God, the son of Ethlinn,
    Ethlinn the daughter of Balor,
    Balor the king of the Fomoire.

    Every day and every night
    That I say the genealogy of Brigit,
    I shall not be killed, I shall not be injured,
    I shall not be enchanted, I shall not be cursed,
    Neither shall my power leave me.

    No earth, no sod, no turf shall cover me,
    No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
    No water, no lake, no sea shall drown me,
    No air, no wind, no vapour shall sicken me,
    No glamour out of Faery shall o'ertake me,
    And I under the protection of the holy maiden,
    My gentle foster-mother, my beloved Brigit.


    There came to me assistance,
    Danu fair and Brigit;
    As Danu bore the Dagda,
    As Dagda's wife bore Brigit,
    As Brigit bore Ruadan
    Without flaw in him,
    Aid thou me in mine unbearing,

        Aid me, O Brigit!

    As Lugh was conceived of Ethlinn
    Full perfect on every hand,
    Assist thou me, foster-mother,
    The conception to bring from the bone;
    And as thou didst aid the Mother of the Gods,
    Without gold, without corn, without kine,
    Aid thou me, great is my sickness,

        Aid me, O Brigit!


    O Dagda of my love,
    Thou it is who woulds't us guide,
    Thou fragrant body of grace,

        I invoke you!

    Hear us, thou All-Father,
    Who didst encircle and protect thy people,
    Succour thou us in time of need,

        I implore you!

    Lift our flocks to the hills,
    Quell the wolf and the fox,
    Ward from us evil spectre and fury

        And enchantment.

    Encircle Coven and Covenstead,
    Encircle family and pets,
    Keep from them the dark star,

        And the night-mare.

    Sprinkle dew from your cauldron upon us
    Give growth to grass, and corn, and sap to plants,
    Watercress, deer's-grass, 'ceis', burdock,

        And daisy.

    O Ruad-rofhessa,
    On the barque of the gods,
    On the crests of the waves,
    On the sea, on the land,

        Aid and preserve us.


    Bless, O Threefold Goddess,
    Myself, my Coven, and my family,
    My pets, my plants, and all children of the Great Mother.
    On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling,

        On the fragrant plain, on the gay mountain sheiling.

    Everything within my dwelling or in my possession,
    From Beltane Eve to Samhain Eve,
    From Samhain Eve to Beltane Eve,
    With goodly progress and gentle blessing,
    From sea to sea, and every river mouth,

        From wave to wave, and base of waterfall.

    Be thy Three Faces taking possession of all to me belonging,
    Be the Watchtowers four protecting me in truth;
    Oh! satisfy my spirit with the warmth of Belinos,
    And shield my loved ones between the Beltane fires,

        Shield my loved ones between the Beltane fires.

    Bless everything and every one,
    Of this little household by my side;
    Place the pentagram of the Lady upon us
    Till we see the Land of Promise.

        Till we see the Land of Promise.

    What time the kine shall forsake the stalls,
    What time the sheep shall forsake the folds,
    What time the goats shall ascend the mount of mist,
    May the tending of the Triad follow them,

        May the tending of the Triad follow them.

    Thou being who didst give me birth,
    Listen and attend to me as I bow my head,
    Evening and morning as is becoming in me,
    In thine own Circle, O Goddess of Love.

        In thine own Circle, O Goddess of Love.


    Danu, thou mother of the gods,
    Bless our flocks and bearing kine;
    Hate nor scathe let not come near us,
    Drive from us the ways of the wicked.

    Keep thine eye every Day of the Moon
    On the bearing kine and the pairing queys;
    On the Day of Mars, accompany us from hill to sea,
    Gather thyself the sheep and their progeny.

    On the Day of Mercury be with them,
    Be thy gracious hand always about them;
    On Jupiter's Day, tend the cows to their stalls,
    Tend the sheep down to their folds.

    On the Day of Venus be thou at their head,
    Lead the sheep from the face of the bens,
    With their innocent little lambs following them.
    Encircle them with the Circle of the Goddess.

    On Saturn's Day be likewise with them,
    Bring the goats in with their young,
    And from the rock of Aegir on high,
    Bring every kid to the sea side on the Day of the Sun.

    The strength of the Triad be our shield in distress,
    The strength of Lugh, beginning his reign of peace,
    The strength of Diancecht, physician of health,
    And of the good Dagda, King of the Sidhe.
    And of every other spirit who succeeded them
    And earned the repose of the Kingdom under the Hills.

    Bless ourselves and our children,
    Bless every wish that comes from our loins,
    Bless him whose name we whisper,
    Bless her from whose womb came totality.

    Every enchantment, blessing and power,
    Be yielded to us every time and every hour,
    In the name of the sacred Triad within,
    Maiden, Mother, and Crone forever.

    Be the earth to shield us upward,
    Be the sky to shield us downward,
    Be the Watchtowers to shield us roundward,
    Accepting our Beltane blessing from us,

        Accepting our Beltane blessing from us.


    Valiant Nuada of the white sword,
    Who subdued the Firbolg of blood,
    For love of the Tribe, for pains of Danu's children,
    Hold thy shield over us, protect us all,

        Hold thy shield over us, protect us all.

    Danu beloved! Mother of the Shining Ones,
    Shield, oh shield us, Lady of nobleness,
    And Brigit the beauteous, shepherdess of the flocks.
    Safeguard thou our animals, encircle us together,

        Safeguard thou our animals, encircle us together.

    And Ellen, beneficent, benign,
    Governess of the trackways of power,
    Invoke the star of power upon the path,
    Guide well thou ourselves, shield our procession,

        Guide well thou ourselves, shield our procession.

    O Mother! O Maiden! O Crone of Wisdom!
    Be the Triad with us day and night,
    On the machair plain or on the mountain ridge,
    Be the Triad with us and her cloak around us,

        Be the Triad with us and her cloak around us.


    On the feast day of Tailtiu the bountiful,
    Foster-mother of Lugh of the fields,
    I cut me a handful of the new corn,
    I dried it gently in the sun,
    I rubbed it sharply from the husk

        With mine own palms.

    I ground it in a quern on Friday,
    I baked it on a fan of sheepskin,
    I toasted it to a fire of rowan,
    And I shared it round my people.

    I went deosil round my dwelling,
    Calling upon the Great Mother,
    Who promised abundance in my need,
    In peace, in honour,
    In lightness of heart,
    In labour, in love,
    In wisdom, in passion,
    In mirth, in reverence,
    For the sake of thy love.
    Thou Mother of blessings,
    Who will ever be about me,
    Who will ever be within me,

        Until the end of desire.
        So mote it be.


    Thou Nuada the victorious,
    I make my circuit under thy shield,
    Thou Nuada of the white steed,
    And of the bright brilliant blade,
    Conqueror of the dragon,
    Be thou at my back,
    Thou rider of the storms,
    Thou warrior of the Tuatha,

        O Nuada the victorious,
        My pride and my guide,
        O Nuada silver-handed,
        The glory of mine eye.

    I make my circuit
    In the fellowship of my hero,
    On the machair, on the meadow,
    On the cold heathery hill;
    Though I should travel ocean
    And the hard globe of the world
    No harm can ever befall me
    'Neath the shelter of thy shield;

        O Nuada the victorious,
        Jewel of my heart,
        O Nuada Argetlamh,
        Danu's champion thou art.

    Be the sacred Triad of Magic
    Aye at peace with me,
    With my horses, with my cattle,
    With my woolly sheep in flocks.
    With the crops growing in the field
    Or ripening in the sheaf,
    On the machair, on the moor,
    In cole, in heap, or stack.

        Every thing on high or low,
        Every furnishing and flock,
        Belong to the holy Triad of magic,
        And to Nuada the victorious.


    Each meal beneath my roof,
    They will all be prepared together,
    In name of the Goddess of plenty,

        Who gave them growth.

    Milk, and eggs, and butter,
    The good produce of our own flock,
    There shall be no dearth in our land,

        Nor in our dwelling.

    In name of Manannan of my love,
    Who bequeathed to us enchantment,
    With the blessing of Mongan,

        And of Fand, his mother.

    Strengthen us at thy sailing,
    Be thine own ship beneath us,
    Ward from us evil spectre and glamour,

        And preserve us.

    Consecrate the produce of our land,
    Bestow prosperity and peace,
    In name of our Mother, the Great Queen,

        And of the three birds who escort Her.

    Dandelion, smooth garlic,
    Foxglove, woad, and butterwort,
    The three carle-doddies,

        And marigold.

    Gray 'cailpeach' plucked,
    The seven-pronged seven times,
    The mountain yew, ruddy heath,

        And madder.

    I will put water on them all,
    By the power of the maiden Goddess,
    In name of Danu the generous,

        And of the Crone.

    When we shall sit down
    To take our food,
    I will sprinkle in the name of the Goddess

        On the children.


    The rune of Lady Day, O bright Goddess,
    Truth above the strength of arms always.

    On Lady Day Lugh was conceived,
    Sun Child of golden yellow hair,
    On Lady Day Lugh was conceived

        As a blessing to the world.

    Lady Day, the fourth feast day,
    The Goddess ordained to make merry,
    To create life everlasting,
    Without making use of work or travail,
    Or of any chore but that which is desired,
    Without spinning thread of silk or of satin,
    Without sewing, without embroidery either,
    Without sowing, without harrowing, without reaping,
    Without rowing, without snaring, without fishing,
    Without going out to the hunting hill,
    Without trimming arrows on Lady Day,
    Without cleaning byre, without threshing corn,
    Without kiln, without mill on Lady Day.

    If you would keep Lady Day,
    Even would it be to you and lasting,
    From setting of sun on Lady Day Eve
    Till rising of sun on Lady Day's morrow.
    You would obtain blessings therefrom,
    Produce after the ploughs,
    Fish on the pure salt-water stream,
    Fish excelling in every river confluence.

    The water of Lady Day mild as honey,
    If you would partake of it as drink
    You would obtain health in consequence
    From every disease afflicting you.

    Weeping on Lady Day is out of place,
    Doing so is untimely;
    Let you weep betimes on Samhain,
    But not weep once on Lady Day.

    The wood of Lady Day is too soon.
    In the pool it is pitiful,
    Though its head should fall in char,
    It would till the morrow be dormant.
    About noon on the morrow,
    The wood will arise very quickly,
    And by the great flood without
    Hasten the story of my trouble.
    Without any searching for lamb, sheep, kid or goat
    That would not belong to the King in the cause.
    It is now it ought to be burnt,
    Without listening to the clamour of the stranger,
    Nor to the blind babbling of the public.

    To keep corn on a high hillock,
    To bring physician to a violent disease,
    To send a cow to the potent bull of the herd,
    To go with a beast to a cattle-fold,

    Far or near be the distance,
    Every creature needs attention.
    To allow a boat under her sail from land,
    From land to the country of her unacquaintance.

    If you would meditate my lay,
    And say it every Lady Day,
    The luck of faery will be on your head,
    And blessed each night you'll take your bed.


    Hill river is very palatable,
    Ever meandering to the Menai,
    Right well it retained its tribute

        On Lady Day though great its flood.

    No drop, though pure be its water,
    Shall run in the channel of the Sinking Lands.

    The wood of Lady Day now, alas!
    In the channel of the Cynvael,
    Though the red head should fall off

        It would be till the morrow asleep.

    Let me not leave aught behind,
    To talk of Nature's rebirth.


    Give thou thine heart to the wild magic,
    To the Lord and the Lady of Nature,
    Beyond any consideration of this world.

    Do not covet large or small,
    Do not despise weakling or poor,
    Semblance of evil allow not near thee,
    Never give nor earn thou shame.

    The Ancient Harmonies are given thee,
    Understand them early and prove,
    Be one with the power of the elements,
    Put behind thee dishonour and lies.

    Be loyal to the Lord of the Wild Wood,
    Be true to the Lady of the Stars,
    Be true to thine own self besides,
    True to the magic of Nature above all else.

    Do not thou curse anyone,
    Lest thou threefold cursed shouldst be,
    And shouldst thou travel ocean and earth,
    Follow the very step of the ancient trackways.


    On Monday will come the great storm
    Which the airy firmament will pour,
    We shall be anxious the while,

        All who will hearken.

    On Tuesday will come the other element,
    Heart paining, hard piercing,
    Wringing from pure pale cheeks

        Blood, like showers of wine.

    On Wednesday will blow the wind,
    Sweeping bare strath and plain,
    Showering gusts of galling grief,

        Thunder bursts and rending hills.

    On Thursday will pour the shower,
    Driving people into blind flight,
    Faster than the foliage on the trees,

        Like the leaves of plants in terror trembling.

    On Friday will come the dool cloud of darkness,
    The direst dread that ever came over the world,
    Leaving multitudes bereft of reason,

        Grass and fish beneath the same flagstone.

    On Saturday will come the great sea,
    Rushing like a mighty river;
    All will be at their best

        Hastening to a hill of safety.

    On Sunday will arise the pale moon,
    In memory of beautiful Arianrhod,
    When she opened the Casket of Ancient Spells,

        And released the waters of the Eye of the Deep.

[for use ONLY at the four High Holidays -- all lights in the Covenstead
are extinguished and total silence is maintained -- the High Priest
and/or his designate(s) ascend to a nearby hill and in the dying rays
of the setting sun, they kindle the new fire using these words -- the
fire is then carried in procession back to the Covenstead]

    I kindle this fire today
    In the presence of the Holy Ones,
    Without malice, without jealousy, without envy,
    Without fear of aught beneath the sun,
    But the High Gods.

    Thee we invoke, Belenos,
    O Light of Life;
    Be thou a bright flame before us,
    Be thou a guiding star above us,
    Be thou a smooth path beneath us,
    Kindle thou within our hearts
    A flame of love for all our neighbours,
    To our foes, to our friends, to our kindred all,
    To all on the broad earth, O mighty Belenos,
    From the lowliest thing that liveth,
    To the Name which is highest of all.

Copyright © 1993, 1997 by Mike Nichols

This document (or selections from it) may be re-published only as long as no information is changed, credit is given to the author, and it is provided or used without cost to others.

NOTE: Liturgical use is encouraged, and the stipulation of crediting the author is waived when the material is spoken in liturgical settings. However, author credit should still appear on any hard copy.

Other uses of this document must be approved in writing by Mike Nichols.

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