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Yet Another Excerpt from Air N-Aithesc 4.2

August 23, 2017

 Today I wanted to share with you an excerpt from Finnchuill's The Well, the Sea, the Dead: the Poet in Irish Lore.

 

 

        "Asking what is poetry’s relation to Sovereignty takes us back to the ancient roots of the tradition. The fili (plural filid) sees, the poet is a seer. The word filid (nominative) comes from Celtic *velitos and is seen in archaic Irish inscriptions as velitas, *vel meaning to see (Sacred Isle 2). The same root can be seen in the name (or title) of the ancient Continental Batavian prophetess, the Veleda, who was written of by Tacitus (she was from a Germanic tribe but had a Celtic name). The practice is filidecht. The filid sees into the Otherworld. The filid along with the druids and the faidh2 had access to imbas, im-fhiss, complete fiss, fiss being mystic knowledge (Ó hÓgáin, Sacred Isle 75). “The wise man himself is frequently referred to as fisidh,…and his knowledge was portrayed as antiquarian, clairvoyant, and prophetic,” according to Ó hÓgáin (75). The poet as a seer is a common, cross-cultural phenomenon, one that was charted by Nora Chadwick back in the mid-20th century in her Poets and Prophecy. The seer-poet intuits the hidden world; inspired speech is prophetic of past, present, and future. It often sheds light on present hidden connections as much as of past or future. The sources may be deities, ancestors, or other spirits." 

 

If you want to learn more about Aisling, Imbas, and Irish poets in the lore, then check out the latest addition of Air n-Aithesc.

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