Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Evocative names, evocative places

A Celtic sense of place means that Gaelic place names are often highly descriptive and sometimes beautifully evocative. I thought I would just share two evocative names for two very evocative places. The first is Loch Druidbeag on South Uist pictured above. The name means Little Lake of the Druids. It is now a bird reserve, a special place set aside for nature. I love how the shapes of hills in the background remind one of the Goddess.

The second is Pobull Fhinn on North Uist. Pobull Fhinn is a stone circle dating from the second millennium bce. The name means, Fionn's People or The Fair People referring to the Fiannaidheacht of Gaelic Myth. It could almost be the stone circle of the ancient ones. A place to move between the worlds. A place that must have always had a compelling beauty.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cille Bhrighde, South Uist

After a very busy few weeks I am pleased to say that I am writing this near to Cille Bhrighde on the south coast of South Uist looking out to the islands of Eriskay and Barra. The sun is shining in a beautiful blue sky and the oyster catchers are making a wonderful noise as they come in to land. I love these liminal places at the very edge of Bhrighde's Isles. South Uist is almost 600 miles from London, 200 from Glasgow and a 5 hour ferry trip from Oban on the west coast of Scotland. From here there is only the Atlantic Ocean and the fabled land of youth, Tír inna n-Óc.

Liminal places like South Uist are thresholds, gateways, places of real enchantment with worlds within worlds and a different perspective on time. They let the spirit soar and see what is true. They are places that truly belong only to the Goddess, where women and men are only guests with whole areas that are reachable only by a long strenuous walk. Today, the first full day on Uist of the week we will be blessed by the island, my partner and I had a simple ritual and offering to Bhrighde. Thanking Her for allowing us to walk Her land, asking Her blessing and honouring Her presence.

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