About

I am a Gaelic Polytheist who lives on the west coast of Scotland with my husband, children, and menagerie of animals. A keen photographer (who makes no claims of being any good, or actually having any clue of how to work a proper camera...), author, and student of Gaelic, I graduated from Glasgow Uni with a Joint Honours MA in Archaeology and Celtic Civilisation, specialising in early medieval Gaeldom and early Irish literature.

I first started my journey into Gaelic Polytheism back in 2004, and began writing articles on Celtic Reconstructionism and Celtic cultures on an old blog in 2006 (happily assuming that nobody would read them...). With lots of support and encouragement, these writings eventually became the website Tairis, which I set up in the February of 2008 and have been writing for ever since. A year later I set up this blog as a sister-site, to house my more personal musings and adventures along this Gaelic Polytheist Lifeway. Many of my articles from Tairis have been translated into Portuguese by fellow Gaelic Polytheist and friend, Leonni, at his blog Tír Tairnge.

In 2007 I joined the (then newly-founded) Gaelic Polytheist organisation, Gaol Naofa, and I've been contributing materials for the organisation since 2009, mostly in collaboration with other members of An Chomhairle Ghaol Naofa (the Gaol Naofa Council). In 2010 I accepted the position of Gaol Naofa's Leas-Uachtarán, and succeeded Treasa ní Chonchobhair as Uachtarán in January 2014 after serving as head of the organisation in an interim capacity for six months. That same year, Gaol Naofa launched its own Youtube Channel, which I've been contributing to regularly ever since.

I am also a council member of the anti-racist collective, CAORANN – Celts Against Oppression, Racism, and Neo-Nazism – with a group of fellow Gaelic Polytheists and allies.

About Tairis

As a label, Gaelic Polytheism was first used by Celtic Reconstructionists who were looking for a more culturally specific identifier than CR (as an umbrella term) allowed for. Since then, Gaelic Polytheism has come to mean different things to different people, and although our approaches may be similar at times, not every Gaelic Polytheist today may identify as a reconstructionist or have anything to do with it. To be clear, then, I do view myself as a reconstructionist, and that's what my Gaelic Polytheist practice is to me. That's not to say it reflects anyone else's – different people may believe differently than I do. I don't presume to speak for Gaelic Polytheists or Gaelic Polytheism as a whole, and claim no authority or right to.

My own focus as a Gaelic Polytheist is, for the most part, culturally Scottish, although this inevitably has roots in Ireland, and there's a lot of important and inspirational information to be found in all three of the Gaelic cultures (of Scotland, Ireland, and Man). I chose the name "Tairis" for my website, and this blog, because it's a Gaelic word that's primarily given to mean 'the dairymaid's cry to calm an unruly cow at milking,' by the nineteenth century linguist Macbain, with secondary meanings of 'loving' or 'kind.' Going back to Old Irish, it translates as 'loyal'. Aside from my own love of cows, and the fact that such a word ever existed to express such a thing tickles me, I feel that the Old Irish root of 'loyal,' and another modern meaning, 'faithful,' are good ones. It brings to mind the meaning of 'constant', and that's what I strive to be on an ever-evolving, but dedicated, spiritual lifeway.

The Tairis website first began as a way of concentrating on my research and giving myself a bit more direction than I'd had up until that point, at a time when there wasn't an awful lot out there for beginners, or Gaelic Polytheists in general. Writing gave me the motivation for my research and it helped me order my thoughts and figure my own personal practices out, and blogging about my experiences and sharing more personal aspects of my ever-evolving spirituality here has helped me find a community, as well as people I'm honoured to have come to call a part of my family.

This blog here is intended to be a place where I post about the more experiential, practical aspects of my spirituality, along with all different kinds of blether about various things I might think of that relate to Gaelic Polytheism, culture, and folklore. As a parent, much of this blog focuses the kind of things I involve my kids with, but alongside that you'll find the odd book review, notes on academic articles, pointers to new work I've collaborated on, or that my Gaol Naofa colleagues have written, along with posts about things in the news and the odd purty picture I've taken. Respectful comments and discussion are always welcome.

At the present time, the Tairis website is not a personal focus of my writing. Instead, I've chosen to concentrate on working with Gaol Naofa and writing for eventual publication in hard copy (coming soon!). You can also find me at my Wordpress blog Tairis Tales, which is intended to host all kinds of excerpts of lore, tales, myths, and more...

Links to further resources, social media, and blogs I enjoy can be found over on the right of this page.