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Kathryn Price NicDhàna
Kathryn Price NicDhàna, author, editor, artist, ban-sagart Brìghde, herder of cats and wrangler of dogs and humans.
Kathryn Price NicDhàna, author, editor, artist, ban-sagart Brìghde, herder of cats and wrangler of dogs and humans.

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The formula found in this Gaelic prayer, of repairing "bone to bone...flesh to flesh..." has an ancient pedigree and can be found in much older sources, such as in the Irish myth of Cath Maige Tuired, when Miach gave Nudau a new arm made of flesh, joining it "joint to joint of it, and sinew to sinew." A ninth or tenth century Germanic manuscript uses the same formula and attributes it to Odin, while the far older Atharva Veda also echoes the concept. Modern versions of the prayer can also be found in English and Shetland dialects, too.

Aside from using this kind of prayer as an aid to physical healing, the formula lends itself more metaphorical uses as well, in prayers to help repair the bonds of a community, perhaps, as we discuss in our article Prayer in Gaelic Polytheism:

With this in mind we've changed the final line from "Gun leighis mise seo — May I heal this" to "Gun leighis sinne seo — May we heal this." At a time of such strife in the world as it is today, prayers for healing may also be an aid to peace and protection as well.

Original images: White Horses by HeHaden –

Cow by Marilyn Peddle –

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Slàinte Mhath!

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Still figuring out this google plus clicky icon here...

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Visit our memes page on the Gaol Naofa website for the full "Moladh Mhacha" prayer:
As seen in our Michaelmas video, the feast of St. Michael on Sep. 29 preserves many seasonal Gaelic customs, though they are mostly the same as ones observed at Lá Lúnasa or Oíche Shamhna in other regions. Pre-Christian deities whose qualities were inherited by Michael include Macha and Manannán.

Manannán already has his own festival at Midsummer. While many of us honour Taillte at Lúnasa, and the Morrígan at Samhain, perhaps Macha also deserves a festival of her own: Lá Fhéile Mhacha
Like Michael, Macha is also associated with horses and the fields, and the traditional horse races held at this time could be dedicated to her, along with the swimming of the horses, the walking or riding the boundaries of the fields, and the baking and offering of the bannock/strùthan.

The Cailleach is also relevant at this time due to the equinox sunrise illuminating the inner chamber at Sliabh na Caillí/Loughcrew in Ireland. The last sheaf of the harvest is called the Cailleach, and the Cailleach an Dudain ("The Old Woman of the Mill") dance is also traditional at this time.

Which deities we honour at these festivals can vary a bit with our differing bioregions, as well as which deities we have more affinity with and other factors that affect our households. Whoever you honour at this festival, we wish you a good one!

Photo collage from Creative Commons images by 
efilpera (horses)
and Duarte JH (field)

Text excerpted from 'Moladh Mhacha'
Adapted from 'Moladh Moire' [257] by KPN for Gaol Naofa

Michaelmas video:
Manannán's day:
The Day of the Hag:

Feel free to share this meme by clicking "share", as we would like the text here to accompany the image reposts.

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We're having fun doing these, especially during the heat wave where all sane people were staying inside in the air conditioning. Memes are also satisfying to make when I'm feeling less linear, less prose-verbal, and more poetic and visual.
This week's meme is for the new moon. The exact astronomical conjunction of the moon and sun was was at the weekend, but we honour the new moon on the old, traditional day - when the first sliver is visible in the sky. Usually this happens about two or three days after the conjunction. You can find out more about Gaelic traditions associated with the moon on our new page on the Gaol Naofa site, which we've created to archive the memes we've done so far, and ones we'll be posting in the future:

From Alexander Carmichael's Ortha nan Gàidheal: The Carmina Gadelica Volume III (1940), song 304, titled 'Geaslanachd na Gealaich' ('Moon Worship'):

Original image: Dawn Perry

Used under Creative Commons licence:

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