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> Carmina Gadelica, Collection of old folk tales online
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jayhenson 
Posted: 13-Nov-2008, 11:33 PM
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In trying to answer another members info request, I ran across a site with TONS of old tales and stories, blessings, and such from the 1800's. The book was called 'Carmina Gadelica'. A Celtic gift site (gaelsong.com) that sells the modern printed version has this to say about it;

"During his travels in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the 1800s, Alexander Carmichael spent hours with Gaelic speakers in their huts in front of peat fires listening as they "intoned in a low, recitative manner" these ancient incantations. A unique collection of living spirituality drawn from the depths of Celtic Christianity, handed down through countless generations, the Carmina Gadelica is the most complete anthology of Celtic oral tradition ever assembled. 512 pages, paperback."

The web site is: http://sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cg.htm

The site has several other references for those who love the old fables and tales. Well worth checking out.

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Jay
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 14-Nov-2008, 06:33 PM
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It is pretty terrific. I found it around Halloween (coincidence, or else its time has simply come for CelticRadio smile.gif ) and sent the link to Ross, since he has interest in gaelic language ritual. There's a great deal more there than I had time to explore -- hope everybody takes a look.
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Ross 
Posted: 14-Nov-2008, 10:10 PM
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I’ve been looking through it since Stoirmeil sent the link to me, (many thanks) and it’s truly a fascinating view of the mingled Christian and pre-Christian beliefs. We frequently think of a culture as being one or the other at a particular time in history, as though the two are mutually exclusive, oil and water, but these writings clearly illustrate a different reality. People are able to extract faith and devout worship freely, without exclusivity or internal dilemma. Sometimes the non-specificity of deity in the text underscores the seamless amalgam.
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Robert Phoenix 
Posted: 16-Nov-2008, 06:17 PM
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Amazon carries it but it seems to be in bits and peices. They had parts of it for $12.95 and a larger set for over $800

Better to read it for free


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 17-Nov-2008, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (Ross @ 14-Nov-2008, 10:10 PM)
We frequently think of a culture as being one or the other at a particular time in history, as though the two are mutually exclusive, oil and water, but these writings clearly illustrate a different reality. People are able to extract faith and devout worship freely, without exclusivity or internal dilemma. Sometimes the non-specificity of deity in the text underscores the seamless amalgam.

Feminists have a great time with this, and while I think sometimes feminist theory is a bit driven, on this point I do see the sense of the analysis: a really hard-core patriarchal religious orientation (including Christianity with all traces of the goddess -- that is, Mary -- reduced in power or ignored completely) will be as intolerant of competition in the ritual or theological sphere as the individual male is intolerant of competition in matters of paternity. One way to allay the uncomfortable ambiguity or uncertainty of alternate "readings" (alternate genetic origin) is to forbid any consideration of them, and to treat idolatry as if it were adultery.
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jayhenson 
Posted: 17-Nov-2008, 10:38 PM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 17-Nov-2008, 03:30 PM)
Feminists have a great time with this, and while I think sometimes feminist theory is a bit driven, on this point I do see the sense of the analysis: a really hard-core patriarchal religious orientation (including Christianity with all traces of the goddess -- that is, Mary -- reduced in power or ignored completely) will be as intolerant of competition in the ritual or theological sphere as the individual male is intolerant of competition in matters of paternity. One way to allay the uncomfortable ambiguity or uncertainty of alternate "readings" (alternate genetic origin) is to forbid any consideration of them, and to treat idolatry as if it were adultery.

Uhh, Stoirmeil....where exactly did that come from? It seems you either mistook the thread or I missed the left turn back there (knew I couldn't trust that GPS unit). Maybe a few more baby steps leading up to a very intense post like that so I don't pop a blood vessel having to take the leap of logic to keep up with you....I am just simple folk smile.gif

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Jay
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Ross 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 01:04 PM
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Let me see if I can apply coaxing breath to these latent coals. smile.gif

I struggle with deity gender orientation in general, be it implied or absolute. Perceiving a set of attributes or behaviors as gender associate seems ever to be part and parcel of the way we mortals make relevance of our world… to the point of bestowing gender linguistic inflection to inanimate objects. I doubt in my mind that the deities see themselves as confined by the limitations of any such earth-born physical appointments… assigned merely to satisfy the context of stories, lore and perception in attempts to filter grand things through woefully inadequate senses.

The wisdom, in my assessment, of that or any honest religious text lies in the recognition and acknowledgement of the critical roles that are eternally played out to our benefit and the humbling of ourselves to the powers that perpetuate them… not in demanding recognition of gender or any other attribute that we perceive that we personally (through no credit to ourselves) share with a deity that dutifully executes their high role.

I acknowledge that history has never been balanced in matters of gender, race, nationality, etc., but agenda is a great blinding veil and pitied are those that pursue and propagate such rather than seeking to bind themselves to truths of substance. Present company excluded, yet bated none the less.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 02:24 PM
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Sorry, Jay, that wasn't meant to be a hit and run job. It's really more of an analogy bearing on the difficulty certain expressions of the monotheisms have with sharing authority, which points to how unusual and lovely these texts are, since they seem to accommodate both Christian and pre-Christian celtic elements with grace. The particular feminist part was coming in as a partial analogy: if you have a teleological-timewise-linear, transcendence-oriented and patriarchally-organized monotheism, with God outside the system, it will regard alternatives (specifically cyclical, here-and-now-nature-oriented, and matristic, with god/goddess very much in the system) as being competitive and/or seductive, and one could expect there would be little tolerance for sharing the page with such.

As to you, Ross, peace to you first of all. There is that little matter that some theorists will propose, of the binary organization of language in which things are as much defined by what they are NOT as by what they are, and that such innate structures of language as may exist set that up and maintain it -- or at least the structures of Western lanugages. And then, the observation that once we are infused with language, it is actually something of a veil between us and the original sense of reality we enjoyed as purely physical beings before language both lifted us and separated us (not meant to sound like an old Maidenform bra ad, sorry) from our original nature. Been reading Lacan lately, it makes a guy existentially queasy for a while. Beer has been helping.

Actually, it isn't the genders of God/gods that's so much the problem, as the purported male or female nature of the theology -- exclusive or inclusive, "jealous" or tolerant, time-linear or cyclical, etc.

Now I've made it worse, I guess. It was only meant to be a little sunshiney comment, a slanted sunbeam to be sure, but nothing very intense. angel_not.gif
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Ross 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 08:17 PM
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Stoirmeil,
Sunshine indeed. I had no idea that fanning a small brand would yield such illumination… I should have known. I agree whole heartedly about the nature of theology being ‘the problem’. There’s often less peril in what God/the gods are or are not, than what some may insist they be. My gut tells me that the intolerant nature of monotheism has more to do with the insecurity of the devout than the personality of the god. The god holds all the cards. Why be intolerant of those you know to be playing a losing hand? You get to say ‘I told you so’ in the end.

I’m undecided as to whether language has truly done us a service… lifted us. I sense that something innately innocent and human (there’s a set of paradoxical adjectives) was lost once we contrived to substitute verbal structures for active expression. Language has given a tremendous boost to the potential for the lie… (I guess that could contribute to the separate part)… yes I know… cup is half empty.

Jay , I apologize sincerely for this flagrant high jacking of your thread and wish that I could promise that it will never happen again.

I frequently apply a good dark beer (as a preventative measure) whether queasy or not. With that, I’ll go visit the refrigerator. wink.gif

Blessings to you both. beer_mug.gif
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 08:50 PM
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OK, let's go back to the point. One of you lads pick a bit of text out of the Carmina Gadelica that appeals to you and put it here (with the english too -- I have only a few words of gaidhlig, but I guess you have more), and see what we make of it. If you like . . . smile.gif beer_mug.gif
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Ross 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 09:50 PM
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I like, but I’m not sure which point we’re going back to.
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jayhenson 
Posted: 20-Nov-2008, 11:31 PM
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Actually, I think a dissection of a passage or passages is a great idea. Use it to put into context the above discussions. This may be a good time/opportunity to see where the dividing point came in the tolerance or subsequent intolerance of any religion other than Christianity. When/how/why did the gods/goddesses "die". And do the stories from this book show a recognizable tolerance for women in something more than a subservient role?
Just an idea.........


Jay
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Ross 
Posted: 21-Nov-2008, 12:28 PM
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I submit A GHEALACH UR [54], THE NEW MOON.:

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.

While initially invoking the individuals of the Christian Trinity, the beseeching addresses the moon. To me this implies an assumed subservience of the moon’s spiritual essence (The Goddess?) to the will of The Trinity.

Is this a calculated association or simply a mingling of habits and tradition with little thought given to the views of the Christian Church toward the beseeching of powers other those of The Trinity?

The annotation indicates that the practice continues in our current time. There’s an interesting note about the local clergyman not wanting his daughter to openly display her regard for the moon. Yet, apparently he did not tell her it was wrong or blasphemous. His concern seemed to be more in an embarrassment before the bishop than the wrath of God. It would seem that the custom was strong within himself and he exercised tolerance, but was quite aware of the gap between church doctrine and local tradition.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 21-Nov-2008, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE (Ross @ 21-Nov-2008, 12:28 PM)
I submit A GHEALACH UR [54], THE NEW MOON.:


Oh, that's purely lovely, and for more than the calm synergy of the sacred contents -- and I'd say that feels very natural and inclusive, in an unforced way, not like something calculated that had to be put in to appease. No telling, and it would depend on patterns and frequency of contact, whether there was much thought given to how the Church would view the synchretic inclusions.

Three-ness is magical in so many places and times! The three-ness of trinity and the repetition patterns of magic, threes and sevens, and the line repeated at the end, for the musical fall of it and the "wrap" it gives the incantation to close the circle on it. The poetic structure is full of beauty, even in English -- Ross, could you lay in the gaidhlig too, so we can look at the fall of the syllables and sound-forms? I can do that much with it. I think you can edit your post so you can put it right in there with the rest.
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Ross 
Posted: 21-Nov-2008, 10:20 PM
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The gaidhlig is below. I’m struck with the degree of license taken by the translator. He/she has ornamented quite a bit. For instance, the last two lines are exactly the same (literal): ‘Moon, bright of the season’, yet the translator renders them somewhat embellished.

Notice too that ‘A Ghealach’ is in the form of a direct address as I might speak your name to you, A Stoirmeil (Stormy) or A Mhairread (Margret), A Dhonnchaidh (Duncan) in personal conversation. It does not translate to ‘the moon’(an ghealach) as an object, but actually addressing “Moon’, first person, followed by gheal (bright) as an adjective. So, the speaker is not referring to the moon, but rather speaking to it... very personal. Just an observation.

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.
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