Co. Kerry, Ireland


The Neolithic Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland.

The exact age of the site is currently uncertain, although it is thought to have been erected between 3000-2000 BCE -making it the last of the great Neolithic monuments built on the Ness.

Standing sentinel over what was almost certainly an important route across the island, and clearly visible from all around, it occupied a position of great importance and influence.

The site achieved astronomical notoriety in the 1970s when Alexander Thom and his son first published the theory that it was a sophisticated lunar observatory. According to the Thoms, various alignments at the site, mostly between the outlying cairns, were deliberately aligned upon horizon foresights that marked limiting risings and setting positions in the moon’s complex cycles. The Ring of Brodgar, more than any other single monument, demonstrates the dangers of over-enthusiastic interpretation in archaeoastronomy  TIme has dealt harshly with the “lunar observatory” hypothesis.

-Ancient Astronomy, Clive Ruggles.

Photo courtesy & taken by Phil Norton.


bothan airigh am braigh raithneach


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To the Shores of Eireann (A Romantic Fantasy)

As I leave this home, I do not say “good-bye”.
'Cross the ocean my spirit races, it flies!
To the distant shores of Eire.
Its heritage ancient, rich, and fiery.
Gray sky, ready to burst open with rain.
Yonder lies a forest lush. I do not refrain.
The wind plays music as it rustles through the leaves.
Engulfed in the emerald splendor, my heart is at ease.

Then arriving in a meadow peaceful.
Here in comfort I shall tarry.
Breathing in the morning mists, clouds part,
Sun reaches out, my soul for to carry.

And as I walk through the meadow it seems,
I’ve come across a babbling stream.
Glistening with the day star’s beams.

Out of the forest I make my way,
To rolling hills marked with scars of stone.
They are the ruins left from pagan days.

A shanache is there, telling the children the old tales.
Regaling stories of the old gods and when,
He’s finished I make my way towards a dale.

Here I see the farms and farmers,
Tending field, and flock, and herd.
Dutiful, honest, hardworking people who,
Cherish their traditions, and speak the Gaelic word.

As the day ends I stay,
To watch the sunset for a while.
Then I hear Mannanan Mac Lir call me.
It’s time to say farewell to the Emerald Isle.
But I smile, for I will return one day.
I will simply get up and pack my bag,
And voyage to the Land of Saints and Scholars.
Erin go Bragh!



Scotland by DP Photography

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Even if you’re as sick of the Cup Song (Amhrán na gCupán as Gaeilge) as I am, you can’t deny that this is pretty rad. 

The cup song in Gaelic!?!?



Holy crap this is pretty.

(via lamaschingonaa)

Scottish Highlands

Royal Avenue, Belfast, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. c. 1890.

Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird a' Chuain


Tha Mo Ghaol Air Àird A’ Chuain
Julie Fowlis

I heard this song in the trailer of Pixar’s upcoming movie Brave. So I searched around the net and found the title and meaning.

This song is a Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) song. The song is beautiful. And if you read the meaning, it’ll be much more.

Below I’ll post the translation. And of course, the link to the original lyrics.


My Love Is On the High Seas

On a quiet evening at the beginning of May
When the bat was in the skies
I heard a tearful young maiden
Singing beneath the shadow of the green branches
The sun was setting in the sea
And no stars yet graced the sky
When the young girl sang sorrowfully
"My love is on the high seas"

The night's dew began to fall
Each bloom yielding softly to the droplets
The wind blew in a fragrant breeze
Bringing life and renewal to each field
The girl tunefully sang her song
Quiet and peaceful like the June dew
And this chorus constantly repeated
"My love is on the high seas"

Day darkened and the stars shone
Setting their course amongst the clouds
The maiden sat, burdened by her sadness
Her singing could not have been more soothing
I moved closer to the young woman
Singing of her love sailing on the sea
Oh sweet was her sad lament
"My love is on the high seas"

The music enticed me
Nearer to the brown-haired maiden of the warm eyes
And she prayed to the King of Heaven
"Protect my love on the high seas"
Her heart was breaking with love
When I took her by the hand
"Wipe your eyes, your love is safe
I have returned to you from the high seas."


Original Lyrics

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One of the best known prehistoric archaeological sites in Scotland, Jarlshof in Shetland -the remains of this site date from 2500 BC up to the 17th century AD.

Late Neolithic house remains mark the earliest occupation of Jarlshof, followed by Bronze Age houses. In these Bronze Age houses we see the use of souterrains -underground passages which may have been used for uses such as smithing and as a place to keep grain dry. From the Iron Age period of Jarlshof is the remains of a broch, half of which today remains eroded into the sea. From the 9th century we see the rise of some rather impressive Norse settlements and architecture, most notably, the longhouse. By the 13th century the site of Jarlshof had developed into a Medieval farmstead.

What really struck me personally about this site is that it really does act as a microcosm of the history of Shetland, representing thousands of years of human occupation -quite extraordinary really.

For a more detailed account of Jarlshof archaeologically, check out the Canmore site record Jarlshof

Photos courtesy & taken by Pigalle. When writing up this post, shetland-heritage was of great use.