Jul 14, 2010

More From the Carmina Gadelica

In the last half of the 19th century Alexander Carmichael collected poems, prayers, and songs from the people of the Highlands of Scotland and the Scottish islands and translated them from Gaelic to English. His collection is known as the Carmina Gadelica, or Songs in Gaelic. Although it’s clear that Carmichael used a style of English popular in his day, the translations still give us a glimpse into the spiritual beliefs of the people.

Rune of the Muthairn
Thou King of the moon,
Thou King of the sun,
Thou King of the planets,
Thou King of the stars,
Thou King of the globe,
Thou King of the sky,
Oh! Lovely Thy Countenance
Thou Beauteous Beam.

Look. Creation is all around whether you find yourself in the wilderness or in a big city. The miracle of life is repeated over and over in a continual exhibition of the nature of the Creator. Seeing this takes no knowledge of doctrine. It doesn’t even require the ability to read. What it does require is to be aware and attentive to every aspect of the natural world—the sunrise, animals, people, the stillness of the nighttime, the roaring sound of a thunderstorm. Look not only with the physical senses but also with the heart. If you’ve ever gazed at the beauty of the Cliffs of Moher, for example, and realized the smallness of your body compared to the mighty cliffs, you saw it with your eyes, but you also felt it—the vastness, the awe, the incredible miracle that such a place could exist. This is the beginning of opening oneself to the spiritual realm, the world the ancient Celts walked in every day.

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