Saturday, 21 February 2015

Manannán statue found!

News has just broken in the last couple of hours that the statue of Manannán has been found.

Reports at the moment are slightly conflicting as far as the circumstances of its discovery go but I'm sure the details will be firmed up as the story unfolds. According to the Derry Journal a rambler (or group of ramblers) discovered the statue and alerted a local regiment to its location, who then helped police recover it. According to a statement from the MOD, reported by the BBC:
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "Soldiers from 2nd Batallion Royal Irish Regiment were deployed by helicopter to the north Antrim Coast last night for a weekend exercise. 
"Whilst trekking through Binevenagh forest near Magilligan strand they discovered the missing statue and immediately alerted the PSNI. 
"The Ministry of Defence is delighted this unique statue has been found."

So it doesn't seem to have been taken too far from its original situation at the top of Binevenagh Mountain. There appears to have been some damage to the statue, especially to the head, but whether or not it can be repaired is yet to be determined. Here's hoping!

This is a surprising and wonderful development in a sorry tale of intolerance and fundamentalism. The story's not over yet but I hope the statue can be reinstalled and some measures can be taken to make sure that it doesn't get stolen or vandalised again. And there's still the question of bringing those who are responsible for this to justice. Hopefully some clues were discovered at the recovery site to help with that, or at least somebody might come forward now and do the right thing.

New video: New moon

This month's new moon is apparently a "Black Supermoon." The supermoon part means it's going to appear bigger than usual (more noticeable as it rises), the "black" part means that it's either the second new moon in a calendar month (like a blue moon), or to the third new moon of a total of four within a single season period. In this case, it's the latter.

So that's pretty cool. The new moon was on Wednesday or Thursday this week (depending on where you are in the world), but as yet it's been too cloudy to spot it in these here parts. In Gaol Naofa, we observe the new moon, or Gealach Ùr, with a simple ritual to welcome the first sighting of it and honour An Trì Naomh. Since our membership is spread pretty far and wide, it's a way for us to do something together and share in the experience, wherever we might be (if members so wish; participation's completely optional). We generally co-ordinate the observance of this rite for the third day after the new moon, to maximise our chances of being able to catch sight of it.

After our series of videos on the festivals, we decided to focus on other areas of practice, and the first video for this is on the new moon:

Like our other videos, we take a look at the history and lore we find in Gaelic tradition, and then take a brief look at how that informs Gaelic Polytheist practice, and we give an example of a prayer at the end -- this one from the Carmina Gadelica, and translated by Kathryn. There are some more useful links posted in our post on the Gaol Naofa front page, which are worth a read, and we have another announcement there too! 

Moving forward, we're working on some updates and new material for the Gaol Naofa website, which we're aiming to get ready to go in the next month or so. We'll keep you posted!