January 24, 2022 Reading time: ~1 minute

Is acher in gáith in-nocht,
fu-fúasna fairggae findfolt:
ní ágor réimm mora minn
dond láechraid lainn úa Lothlind.

Bitter and wild is the wind to-night
tossing the tresses of the sea to white.
On such a night as this I feel at ease:
fierce Northmen only course the quiet seas.
(transl. James Carney)

The wind is rough tonight
tossing the white combed ocean.
I need not dread fierce Vikings
crossing the Irish Sea.

St. Gall Priscian, margin gloss.

{x} {xx}

Praying with the Spirit

January 2, 2022 Reading time: ~1 minute

Sometimes when I pray, I utter the words but I do not feel or think them.

Sometimes when I pray, I utter the words thinking about what I say, but not feeling them.

Sometimes when I pray, I utter the words and I both think and feel what I say.

An act of will cannot make me feel, nor stop my mind from wandering. An act of will can only make me utter.

So, I shall utter the words and let the Spirit do the rest, guiding my mind and heart as he wills.

—A celtic prayer (unattributed);
as quoted by Doug McKelvey on The Habit podcast (episode page)

I bind unto myself today

November 18, 2020 Reading time: ~1 minute

The power of God to hold and lead
His eye to watch, His might to stay
His ear to hearken to my need

The wisdom of my God to teach
His hand to guide His shield to ward
The word of God to give me speech
His heavenly host to be my guard

The Mighty Three
My protection be
Encircling me
You are around
My life, my home
Encircling me
O sacred Three
The Mighty Three


Iona, Journey Into the Morn (1996)

St Patrick's Breastplate

July 28, 2020 Reading time: ~1 minute

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.
I arise today...

{...} {via}

Safe within these shores

June 17, 2012 Reading time: ~1 minute

I feel no conflict here
I feel my spirit soar
Within this sanctuary

Iona, Iona

There are no ghosts to haunt me
There is no blood upon this land
No power to make me fear
No hour of darkness here

Iona, Iona

All bathed in emerald
Out of the mist arise
I see the stones appear
A cross before my eyes

Iona, Iona, Iona…

— Iona, Iona (1990)


May 27, 2011 Reading time: ~1 minute

Clannad, Lore (1995)

Endless Journey

February 21, 2009 Reading time: 2 minutes

Amazon the Liffey and the shimmer and the ripple
The Volga and the Fergus the Tagus and the Nile
Uisce in the Shannon and the Chico Colorado
Waikato Rio Grande the ripple in the tide

The gully and a-gushing and an ebbing and a-flowing
Irrawaddy Pilcomayo Mississippi and the Lee
Trickly-oozing in the Lagan Orinoco and Zambezi
Ubangi and the Congo the Mackenzie to the Sea

A-pooling and a-pouring and a-flooding and a-flushing
From the Purus to Parana from the Tigris to the Thames
Guadiana Guadalquiver Brahmaputra Colorado
And the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee and the Seine

Surging and a-showering and a-spouting and a-spilling
In the Albany the Oder the Ural and the Ooze
Dordogne and the Danube and the Dnieper and the Dodder
Paraguay and Tokachi and Shinano Vera Cruz

Amazon the Liffey and the shimmer and the ripple
The Volga and the Fergus the Tagus and the Nile

The Heart will find a Home, the Ship will find a Harbour
A haven for the soul until the storms subside
But when the warmer wind blows
And when that golden light glows
We face the dawn and float out on the tide

We sail into the sun, our hope is the horizon
And just as we've begun, it seems that we've arrived
An everlasting journey
A hungering and yearning
Around the river runs and rushes through our lives

Fire may burn and the sky may thunder
Heroes crumble and the sun may fall
As the river circles on its endless journey
I will follow you

—Michael Whelan, Riverdance

Dante's Prayer

February 19, 2009 Reading time: 2 minutes

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and fire

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We'll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

—Loreena McKennitt, The Book of Secrets (1997)