Gealach Úr

On the new moon of each month, members of Gaol Naofa join together in person and in spirit to honor the gods, ancestors and spirits of nature. We gather to celebrate our heritage, continue our traditions, and foster solidarity among the members of our community.

While modernly the new moon refers to the dark period where the moon is no longer visible to the naked eye, within the Carmina Gadelica it refers to the older meaning of the phrase. This is when the first visible crescent appears over the western horizon for a brief moment before sunset and moonset. As this is a moment influenced by geographical location of the observer, we now leave approximately a week open and suggest that you perform a  Gealach Úr rite (this one is only an example) when the new moon is visible within your locale.

Members of Gaol Naofa participate in a Gaelic rite that is private amongst our members. The public, English example below was written by our founder, Tomás Flannabhra.

For more information on the moon in Gaelic tradition, please refer to this page on Tairis: Daily Practices: Prayer to the Moon. For more about the use of traditional prayers and offerings, see Prayer in Gaelic Polytheism and Offerings in Gaelic Polytheism.

New Moon Ritual Outline (Suggested)
What’s Needed: four candles (three for representing the gods, ancestors, and spirits, and one to represent the central or ‘hearth’ fire), offerings, a drinking vessel, a vessel to hold offerings.

I. Song to the Moon (Carmina Gadelica 303-314)
Open with honor to the new moon with a song/prayer/poem either from the Carmina Gadelica or of your own construction.

II. Kindle the Fire
Light a candle or lamp (or the actual hearth if you’ve got one) with prayers to Brighid and/ or household spirits.

III. Hail to the Hosts
Welcome the gods, ancestors, and spirits by lighting a candle for each accompanied with offerings of your choice. This time would also be appropriate to welcome any patron deities or spirits to join you.

IV. Main Offering (or Sacrifice)
Give your main offerings/ sacrifice to the Three.

V. Personal Prayers
Give prayers or blessings for your family, friends, or yourself.

VI. Prayers for Gaol Naofa
Give prayers for the general welfare of Gaol Naofa and its member body.

VII. Toast
Fill the drinking vessel with a beverage of your choice and raise it in toast to the Three, spill some, and drink.

Ritual Script
This script is here to serve as an example of what may be said and done during the ritual while following the suggested format. Members are free to use this script word-for-word in their own rites, modify it, or use it simply as a source of inspiration.

Opening Prayer

The fertile land below,
the blue sea about,
the vast sky above,
their blessings here tonight.

“Hymn to the New Moon” (Carmina Gadelica #303)

Hail to you, oh new moon,
beautiful guide of the sky;
hail to you, oh new moon,
beautiful fair one of grace.

Hail to you, oh new moon,
beautiful guide of the stars;
hail to you, oh new moon,
beautiful loved one of my heart.

Hail to you, oh new moon,
beautiful guide of the clouds;
hail to you, oh new moon,
beautiful dear one of the skies!

Kindling the Fire

I shall kindle this fire this evening
in the presence of radiant Bríd,
golden-flame of our hearth and home.
May she bless and preserve it,
this fire of warming,
fire of wisdom,
fire of hospitality
that is here;
She, the branch with blossoms,
She, red-cheeked Bríd.

Hail to the Hosts

(light a candle)

A fire for the gods is here,
Excellent Hosts,
proficient in wisdom and skill,
splendid and hardy troupe,
generous patrons,

(give offering)

(light a candle)

A fire for the ancestors is here,
for those whose graves we rest on
and whose fame we seek to follow.
A lamp to guide your way
through the mists
from Tech Duinn.

(give offering)

(light a candle)

A fire for the Fair-Folk is here,
auspicious and kindly denizens,
hosts of the abundant land,
gentry of the hills and mounds,
People of Peace,

(give offering)

Hail and Greetings to
The Three that are here,
Excellent Gods,
Beloved Ancestors,
and Kindly Spirits;
the three eternal fires
that illuminate the world.

(invite any patron deities or spirits in the same manner)

Main Offering/Sacrifice

(Give an offering to The Three hosts accompanied with your own prayer, praise, song, or blessings. You may wish to say something like:)

To the Ever-Living Three
I give_________
in honor, in gratitude and in love,
honoring the ancient and ancestral
contract that binds us.

(give offering)

Peace to sky,
sky to earth,
earth within sea,
strength in each.

Hail to the gods,
love to the dead,
peace to the Good-Folk,
noble is each.

Personal Prayers

(Give your own prayers here.)

Prayer for Gaol Naofa

(Here is when prayers dedicated to the general welfare of the member body and the organization as a whole are given. You could say something like:)

Ancient and noble Three of the Gael, of kin and contract, illustrious Patrons, Hosts, and Progenitors! Guide, preserve and inspire our people, uphold us into the world as we rekindle the blazing ancestral fires that shall illuminate the way to the future. In health, in honor, in courage, in wisdom, in justice, in truth, in generosity, we go forth into the light of day and onto the roads with your blessings upon us and with victory to be ours.


(This is designed as a communion toast between gods and individual, and amongst the member body.)

(take a cup, quaich, bowl, horn, or other drinking vessel and fill it with a beverage of your choice – perhaps milk, juice, or fresh water – Raise the vessel before the shrine:)

To the Beloved Dead!

(libate and sip)

To the Excellent Gods!

(libate and sip)

To the Fair-Folk!

(libate and sip)

To my kindred!

(libate and sip)

To Gaol Naofa!

(libate and sip)

To health, wisdom, and prosperity!

(libate and sip)