What could be more appropriate to a CR festival like the one from today than an artifact that likewise illustrates the triplicity preferred in the cultures concerned?
Literally, this is a sign…when I was getting ready to leave the house this morning (it’s the first day of Winter Quarter at my college), I tried to find one of my brooches that has the Three Cranes on it. I felt some sort of triplicate brooch would be appropriate for the day, but I didn’t have time to look for it properly. And then, I read a news story about this archaeological discovery–and not in some bog, but in the very heart of the British Museum itself! (Though I’m not entirely impressed with the archaeologist’s rather imperialistic comments there: Ireland or Scotland is not “this country” [i.e. England] by any stretch of the imagination!)
And, in other Irish news, today is the Christian feast of the Epiphany, and thus the official “close” of the Christmas season; but in Ireland, particularly in the southern parts of it (where I lived, i.e. Cork), today is known as Nollaig na mBan, “Little Women’s Christmas” or even “Ladies’ Day.” I don’t think I was ever in the country when this occurred, so I can’t say much about how it was celebrated; but, I like that the everyday woman did get recognized a bit in the post-Christian Irish culture, even if only “officialy” so on one day of the year.
And in one more bit of Irish news to close the Christmas season, Irish President Michael D. Higgins is taking some heat for not mentioning anything explicitly religious enough in his Christmas speech, and Irish Taoiseach (“Prime Minister”) Enda Kenny likewise did not. Whether he did or not, the fact is the message appealed to anyone and everyone, and President Higgins is adorable:
Wouldn’t you love to have him over for tea EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK FOREVER?!? I would…
But that brings us back to the Ireland of gentlidecht, and of the subjects of today’s feast: the two triads of the Three Druids. If you want to know more about that, click here; and if you’d like to see the triadic explanation for it from last year, click here. And, what better way to celebrate this occasion this year than a bit of exercising of the art of filidecht? Gods willing, I shall do them honor worthy of their status now…
It is not meet, this festive day
to give great praises in a way
that forgets the three women’s skill
which three hundred poems could fill.
Tlachtga, daughter of great Mog Ruith–
a shining woman, toe to tooth;
her kin live on wide Muman’s plain–
on hill in Meath by birth was slain.
Bodbmall, fosterer of bright Finn,
bandrui and banfhénnid–no sin!–
sister of Cumall mac Trénmór,
trainer of Finn in arts of war.
Bé Chuille, daughter of Flidais,
fought Greek witches, demons British,
and by greyest demons of air
met her death–none see her fair hair!
But these three druid women, bright
with magical skill and spears’ might
share this feast today with others:
their druid fathers and brothers.
First is Mog Ruith, great of magic,
who took the head of John–tragic!–
when with Simon Magus he learned
his arts, and fine renown he earned.
Second is Cathbad, king’s father,
Conchobor mac Nessa–bother
of Medb and Ailill and Derdriu–
and valour’s inciter for Cú.
Third is Figol mac Mámois, great
druid of Tuatha Dé’s fate,
in druidecht better than Lug skilled
or the Dagda, with no blood spilled.
But two threes of druids is not
enough for this world’s battles fought;
three more druids must come to fore
and with their magic, earth restore!
Until they do, we all shall wait,
pace this tedious druidless spate
until such time three more we greet
this festive day, ’twill not be meet!
Victory and blessings to Tlachtga, Bodbmall, and Bé Chuille!
Victory and blessings to Mog Ruith, Cathbad, and Figol mac Mámois
Victory and blessings to Simon Magus, Finn mac Cumhaill, and Flidais!
Victory and blessings to Cumall mac Trénmór, Conchobor mac Nessa, and Cú Chulainn!
Victory and blessings to the Tuatha Dé and all the gods, spirits, and ancestors of Ireland!
Victory and blessings to all of the druids!