Irish is a living, modern language, spoken by many people and communities in Ireland and studied by people all around the globe. I would be doing Irish a great disservice if I were to present it as an ancient tongue used only for ritual or reading ancient texts.
However, our Grove does use Irish for certain elements of our ritual, as it is the language of the land and of our ancestors. Participants, even those who have no Irish, have often told me that hearing ritual in Irish was a moving or exhilarating experience for them.
As this page develops, I hope to post videos of Irish being used in ritual, and short lessons to help with pronunciation.
Imbas and Awen As OBOD Druids, we are accustomed to chanting the Awen. Awen is a Welsh term for the poetic inspiration which flows through us in the moments when we are truly connected. The equivalent Irish word is Imbas, and as Irish Druids we sometimes chant Imbas instead of, or as well as, Awen.
Here is a short video of myself and Philip Carr-Gomm teaching workshop participants how to chant the Imbas:
Paidir an Draoi - The Druid's Prayer Tabhair dúinn a OllSpiorad do chosaint Grant, Oh Great Spirit, your protection Agus i gCosaint Neart And, in protection, strength Agus i Neart Tuiscint And, in strength, understanding Agus i dTuiscint Eolas And, in understanding, knowledge Agus i nEolas Eolas an Chirt And, in knowledge, the knowledge of justice Agus i nEolas an Chirt an grá de And, in the knowledge of justice, the love of it Agus i nGrá faoi an grá do na beathaí ar fad And in the love of it, the love of all existences Agus i nGrá do na beathaí ar fad an Grá do OllSpiorad And in the love of all existences, the love of the Great Spirit agus gach maitheas a bhaineann leis And of all goodness. Translated by Eimear Burke Special thanks to Eleanor Cantwell for her support and advice with this translation.
For those wishing to hear how spoken Irish works in ritual, I recommend the following video. It records a ritual held at the sacred site of Uisneach to show Irish solidarity with the water protectors of Standing rock. At 3 mins 30 secs, four priestesses call the four directions in Irish.