Welcomed Visitors

Celtic Music Search Engine

Celtic Symbolism: Invocations to The New Moon


I found this curious example of Moon Worship on a collection of folk poetry from the Western Isles of Scotland: Carmina Gadelica - Hymns and Incantations -Ortha Nan Gaidheal - Volume I -by Alexander Carmichael -[1900] . Carmichael spent years collecting folklore from the vanishing cultures of Scotland. The poems in this volume include prayers, invocations, blessings and charms. English translations are done by the author, and the beautiful initials from the first edition. They are a synthesis of Christian and pre-Christian belief systems. All rights reserved by the author.
"THIS little prayer or invocation is said by old men and women in the islands of Barra. When they first see the new moon they make their obeisance to it as to a great chief. The women curtsey gracefully and the men bow low, raising their bonnets reverently. The bow of the men is peculiar, partaking somewhat of the curtsey of the women, the left knee being bent and the right drawn forward towards the middle of the left leg in a curious but not inelegant manner.

The fragment of moon-worship is now a matter of custom rather than of belief, although it exists over the whole British Isles.
In Cornwall the people nod to the new moon and turn silver in their pockets. In Edinburgh cultured men and women turn the rings on their fingers and make their wishes. A young English lady told the writer that she had always been in the habit of bowing to the new moon, till she had been bribed out of it by her father, a clergyman, putting money in her pocket lest her lunar worship should compromise him with his bishop. She naively confessed, however, that among the free mountains of Loch Etive she reverted to the good customs of her fathers, from which she derived great satisfaction!"
AN ainm Spiorad Naomh nan gras,
An ainm Athar na, Cathrach aigh,
An ainm Iosa thug dhinn am bas,
O! an ainm na Tri tha d’ ar dion ’s gach cas,
Ma’s math a fhuair thu sinn an nochd,
Seachd fearr gum fag thu sinn gun lochd,
A Ghealach gheal nan trath,
A Ghealach gheal nan trath.


IN name of the Holy Spirit of grace,
In name of the Father of the City of peace,
In name of Jesus who took death off us,
Oh! in name of the Three who shield us in every need,
If well thou hast found us to-night,
Seven times better mayest thou leave us without harm,
Thou bright white Moon of the seasons,
Bright white Moon of the seasons.

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Popular Posts