Monday, May 9, 2011

Celtic Triads

Half of my heritage is Welsh, and it's the part to which I feel the most connected. When I was growing up relatives came to visit from Wales often, and my grandparents went back there to visit, as well. I was the first of my generation to visit the Welsh island of Anglesey, where my ancestors come from and where many cousins still live.

Though the word "Celtic" is often thought to refer only to the Irish, it also refers to the Welsh. It is easier to find information about Irish Celts than Welsh, but I found some, and this knowledge has added richness and depth to my understanding of myself and my family.

In exploring a little of this heritage, I came across The Celtic Book of Days -- A Celebration of Celtic Wisdom and enjoyed reading each day's entry. It seems to refer mainly to Irish traditions, but I like the richness I found there just the same. Serendipity is a delightful part of any search, if I keep my mind, eyes and heart open. My favourites in The Celtic Book of Days are the threefold prayers and blessings which are explained in this quotation from the book:
Throughout Romano-Celtic Europe, the Triple Mothers were worshipped as the Deae Matres or Matronae. They are usually depicted as seated mature figures carrying fruits, bread and babies and were clearly venerated by all sections of society. Triple deities abound in Celtic tradition, as we find the triple Morrigan, the triple Brighid and the threefold Godesses of Irish Sovereighnty... The Celtic preoccupation with threefold groupings is seen from the tripling of divine powers to threefold repetitions of invocations and prayers. The number three is still dominant in British and Irish culture as being lucky, and significant events are believed "to come in threes."
From time to time I'll post a threefold blessing until I run out. I think they're lovely ways of considering ourselves and our place in this life.

Three things that ruin wisdom: ignorance, inaccurate knowledge, forgetfullness.

The three most beautiful things in the world:
a full-rigged ship, a woman with child and the full moon.

I hope that, whatever your heritage, you enjoy and feel blessed in some small way by these Celtic snippets of wisdom.

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