SnakIrish & Celtic Studies

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jul 27, 2007, 5:14 pm

Well, I've decided I really need to ask some questions, no matter how stupid I appear. I would be grateful for directions to any texts that might help me find the answers to these specific questions.

So, to start with: elements. I realise that the most common in use are the four: earth; air; wind; and fire. But these originated from the east or middle east. I have heard references to three elements in local trads, those being: land; sky; and sea. See this article: http://www.imbas.org/articles/elements_duile.html

I have encountered the idea these three can be can be further broken down into nine elements. Is this the case in the so-called "celtic" traditions and, if so, which texts will help me to learn more.

Any assistance by way of recommended texts will be greatly appreciated.

Redigeret: jul 31, 2007, 8:37 pm

I believe that the idea of nine elements is from the Song of Amergin and is particularly put forward particularly by Caitlin Matthews but I dont know what her sources are. I'll have to see what I can find.

edited to add: I skimmed through The Gods of the Celts looking for something specific on Elements but they don't feature as an idea for symbolism. I think (& bear in mind this is my opinion) that land, sky, & sea are a good place to start because most Gods can be divided into these categories.

Redigeret: sep 12, 2007, 4:23 am

"Neart mara dhuit,
Neart talamh dhuit,
Neart nèimhe.

Mathas mara dhuit,
Mathas talamh dhuit,
Mathas nèimhe."

In English (in meaning more than literal translation...):

"{The} might of the sea unto you,
{The} might of the land unto you,
{The} power of sky.

{The} goodness of the sea granted to you,
{The} goodness of the land granted to you,
{The} goodness of {the} sky."

This was collected from a native Scottish folk source by Alexander Carmichael in Scotland during the 19th century. If memory serves me correctly, it is found in his "Carmina Gadelica". Keep in mind that the "Carmina Gadelica" is considered a somewhat unreliable source since Alexander took some liberties in how he put what he collected into his final draft. This should give you an interesting route to explore in attempting to answer the question posed.