Carmina Gadelica

Anyone interested in Celtic Christianity or in from-the-ground-up Christian mysticism will want to know about the Carmina Gadelica, Alexander Carmichael’s massive anthology of Scottish folk spirituality, encompassing prayers, blessings, folk hymns, even runes and incantations. Over the years I’ve met Neopagans who have tried to “de-Christianize” the material in this collection, and Christians who have tried to “de-paganize” it; I think in a spirit of Celtic hospitality it’s best just to enjoy it as the amazing work of religious syncretism that it is. Although this material was collected over 100 years ago and Carmichael’s editing at times seems a bit heavy-handed (in other words, scholars have quibbled over where the authentic folk material ends and the editor’s creativity begins), this remains a towering classic of Celtic spirituality.

You can buy a paperback edition of the Carmina Gadelica, but it only contains the English translations of the material. Better yet to visit the following website, where you’ll get the original Gaelic along with the English translation, and Carmichael’s notes as well.

Carmina Gadelica — Ortha Nan Gaidheal (Volume I)
Carmina Gadelica — Ortha Nan Gaidheal (Volume II)


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