Lean-sa dlùth ri cliù do shìnnsear.
Keep closely to the ways of your ancestors.
~traditional Gàidhlig proverb
This website is about my building a lifestyle for myself and my family guided by and grounded in the Gaelic myths, folklore, customs, indigenous religion, and wisdom teachings of my Scottish and Irish ancestors. Through researching and connecting with my Ancestors of these lands, and the specific customs and lore connected with them, I have come to find Ancestral Tradition to be a firm anchor and a faithful guide for inspiring and shaping a spiritual and meaningful worldview and way of life. From these studies, and mindfulness to how I engage with them, I humbly received, and continue to receive, the Tradition my Ancestors deliver to me, and with honor to them, and duty towards having received, I in turn deliver their Ancestral Tradition to my children and descendants, that it may continue to live on for them as Living Tradition, to anchor and guide them in their lives if and when they so choose it.
For anyone interested in beginning to research ones ancestors, I offer the links in the An Tobar section which pertain to the history of Gaelic tribal and clan names, and maps of tribe and clan areas of Ireland and Scotland, through which one can match up ancestral family names, and begin to then research traditions of tribe, clan, and region. These, in addition to personal family lore, were my starting points to receiving Ancestral Tradition.
For myself, my teaghlach, meaning family household, is the center of this lifeway, with a hope of one day including the households of my grown children. I am also a member of a small local circle of families sharing these religio-cultural traditions together. Within my teaghlach, I practice the Creideamh Sí, the indigenous Gaelic folk religion comprised of reverence for the Aos Sí , our Ancestors, the fae folk, and the local, sovereign land goddess, traditionally called Flaitheas, meaning Sovereignty. As a family, we celebrate the four traditional Celtic feast days, observe daily and monthly traditions, make offerings, and tell the tales of myth and family lore. Through practicing traditional customs we strengthen our ties to our Ancestors, each other, and the land in which we dwell. In these pages I hope to share aspects of our lifeway which might be of interest and inspiration to others. I also blog here to explore and discuss these practices and the ideas behind them further. Please check back regularly for updated material.
Although my inspiration lead me to create a lifeway grounded in my household family, others might feel inspired to practice these ways with those with whom they have no familial relation, instead of, in addition to, or alongside household family. Within these contexts, it is the -idea- of family that is most important, as it identifies and defines how a group of people relate and work together, rather than exclusively indicates blood relation or direct descent. Please feel free to adapt these ways to suit the family grouping(s) of your choice.
Readers are welcome to participate in discussions about the Creideamh Si and ancestral Gaelic traditions in our online community's facebook group. Just follow the link and join us today.
May your Ancestors bless your hearth and household.
Beannachd, agus slàinte mhath,
Erin MacShimidh Johnson,
Teaghlach Abhainn Mhòr, Hearth of the Great River