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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Omen Charms

Omens based on birds and animals are widespread in Celtic belief. The following charms list omens of luck for the coming year relying on hearing or seeing specific animals. If we study this information we can learn details of what animals and what actions by certain animals were seen as bad omens.

Omen 203

Early on a Monday morning,
I heard the bleating of a lamb,
And the kid-like cry of snipe,
While I was gently sitting,
And the grey-blue cuckoo,
And no food yet in my stomach.
On the fair evening of Tuesday
,
I saw on the smooth stone,
The snail slimy, pale,
And the ashy wheatear
Near the stream,
The foal of the old mare
Of springing gait, and its back to me.
And I knew from these
That the year would not go well with me.
***

Omen 204

Early on a Monday in the spring,
I saw on the brine
A duck
 and a white swan
     Swim together.
I heard on Tuesday
The snipe of the seasons,
Bleating on high
     And calling.
On Wednesday I had been
Outside gathering herbs,
And then saw I the three
     Arising.

I knew immediately
That there would not be,
Good fortune after that.
The blessings of Brighid
 calm,
The blessings of Danu
 mild,
The blessings of the Daghda
 strong,
Upon me and mine,
     Upon me and mine.

 Excerpted from By Land, Sea, and Sky

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