The Traditional Laws, Customs, and Wisdoms of The Pre-Christian Celtic People Of What Is Now Known As Scotland, Wales, And Ireland
by John F. Wright
Adopted as the Wisdom and Laws of the Crystal Eagle Clan
Adopted as the Standard of Behavior and Customs for Llys Gwiddonod
© copyright 1995 - John F. Wright All rights reserved
Internet Use Allowed Only So Long As The Entire Text Is Used For Educational Purposes With Proper Credits Given.
All Other Rights Reserved by John F. Wright
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Preface..............................................................page 3
- An Omnium Gatherum .........................................page 10
- Respecting Excellence .........................................page 11
- Respecting The Conscientious Person ....................page 13
- Respecting The Rewards Of Excellence ................page 13
- Origins Of Wrong Doing ......................................page 14
- Respecting Those Gone Amiss ..........................page 15
- The Profits Of Those Who Have Gone Amiss .....page 16
- Respecting Wealth And Poverty ........................page 17
- Miscellaneous Wisdom .......................................page 17
- The Order Of Society ..........................................page 18
- The Underpinnings Of Society ............................page 19
- The Banes Of Society .........................................page 20
- Respecting Land And Husbandry .......................page 20
- The Respectable Citizen .....................................page 20
- The Nocuous Citizen .........................................page 21
- Respecting Legacies ..........................................page 21
- Monitorial Advisements .....................................page 22
- Manifold Blessings And Beneficence ...................page 24
- Respecting Etiquette ..........................................page 24
- Respecting The Good Home .............................page 26
- Respecting The Bad Home ................................page 27
- Pertaining To The Fili' ........................................ page 28
- Pertaining To Contracts And Agreements ............page 28
- Good Health And Bad .......................................page 29
- Advisements Of Prudence ...................................page 30
- Respecting The Order Of Nature .........................page 30
- Respecting The Nature Of Humankind .................page 31
- Respecting Action...............................................page 32
- Respecting Knowledge ........................................page 33
- Respecting Wisdom ............................................page 33
- Respecting Those Who Are Wise ..........................page 34
- Respecting The Fool And Their Inanity .................page 35
- Respecting Wisdom Applied .................................page 35
- Respecting Ambitions And The Roads To Success ..page 36
- Respecting Friendship..........................................page 36
- Respecting Happiness ...........................................page 36
- Respecting Philosophy...........................................page 36
- Respecting Warriors............................................page 37
- Respecting The True Human................................page 37
- Respecting Spirituality...........................................page 37
- Bibliography........................................................page 38
I. Statement of Purpose..
Those who study the myriad peoples known collectively as the Celts, must at sometime recognize the importance that the number '3' held for them. From the most mundane to the most arcane, the significance of there being three parts cannot be missed. Even the laws and wisdom's of Celtic peoples were expressed in a tripartite form. This form of verse is called triadic, a verse of this form is known as a Triad. It may have been only a literary convention; or, as is believed by this author, it may belie another form of logic, trinary logic. I shall save that for later.
The following is a body of traditional laws, customs, and wisdoms held by our Celtic ancestors. They come from both the Gael and the Cymry, though the Gaelic has been especially searched for. A great many of these verses were compiled by W. Faraday in the book titled DRUIDIC TRIADS-The Wisdom of the Cymry , published by Sure Fire Press; these were however in their Christianized form. To those that were compiled in that book , many , many more have been added. These others come from a variety of places. Some of them are known works of great antiquity , such as the Welsh Triads ; another set came from a book on Iris poetry, yet another set came from the College of the Welsh Bards1 , a few were reconstructed from the writings of researchers2.
The purpose of this work is to re-establish a comprehensive body of the verses called Triads. Furthermore, it is intended to provide a medium through which to work out an accurate methodology for taking the triads back into relaying the worldviews and way of our pre-Christian forebearers. Lastly it is to provide a means of transmitting these verses, which contain the wisdom of millennia of human experience, to future generations of Gael.
II. The Place of Law, Wisdom, and Knowledge and Gaelic/Celtic Culture.
In Celtic culture , the people were governed by civil law. The old Brehon Law of Ireland is still extant, so are the Welsh Triads. Even Kings and Queens were subject to the Law ; in fact, they ruled only by the will of the People. The people could both vote them in, and vote them out. In American legalese, the rights and privileges of the people would translate to "equal protection under the law". Men and women both enjoyed this. The culture was egalitarian. It was only with the coming of Christianity that women began to lose their legal status3. This is evidenced by their eventually becoming banned from the field of battle, and their lose of rights to property ownership and inheritance . They in fact lost equal protection under the law.
It is a proven fact that most the old ways of the Celtic people were held onto. The olds ways were simply hidden under a thin veneer of the Christianity. With the Triads it was simply a matter of having the context of one or two words changed ; this then brought the old Pagan into line with the new Christian ; and in such a way as to bring into the Christian fold the stubborn traditionalists.
Regarding knowledge. It must be understood that to our forebearers, knowledge was a sacred thing. Knowledge was a trust given by the Gods, a trust which must be passed from generation to generation. There are Triads which speak of the importance of knowledge, and for imparting knowledge. The Triads even go so far as to say that if one does not share their knowledge, that is, teach what they know, then they are accursed by divinity, however divinity might be described.
III. The Celts As Tribal People.
To go any further I must digress slightly, and take up the topic of the Celts. The very word "Celt" is a misnomer. There was never a "Celtic Empire". Those who are generally called "Celts" were in fact tribal peoples, each person was a member of an independent tribes. Sometimes two or more of these independent tribes would band together for some purpose, such as to face a common foe, but the alliances were very loose knit. They had no national sense as we understand such today.
What determines a Celtic tribe from some other, is that the Celtic tribes shared certain cultural manifestations, such as language grouping and artistic style4, as well as certain similar customs. This is the point you must get if you are to understand the Celts; as tribal people their world view was reflected in their customs. The Romans and their Christians brought, what we call Neo-Platonic thought, to the tribes we call Celt. Prior to then, the Celts utilized tribal thought. The difference is most simply put as such: With Neo-Platonic thought, everything exists separate unto itself, absolute and independent ; it is a thought system of absolute values, which according to the Encyclopedia Britannica is, "...rooted in a realm of unchanging and eternal realities independent of the world perceived by the senses..."5. With tribal thought, everything is connected and individuals are a part of the whole.
Religiously, with Neo-Platonic thought, it is what one believes or has faith in that matters. Simply put one is what they think. With tribal ways of thought, it is what one IS and what one KNOWS that matters. Tribal peoples do not separate the Spirit from the Physical, and as one is a microcosm within the macrocosm6, ones customs or ways reflect the cosmology, and other understandings of the People to whom one BELONGS. Tribal customs and beliefs are built upon what is perceived by the senses. This manifests in laws mirroring what is perceived to be the laws of nature and the civil structures reflecting the perceived order of the cosmos.
Tribal peoples are not the only ones to accept this way of thinking for this way of viewing existence is extremely workable. It is so workable, that even the Christian oriented Scottish Free Masonry holds that "...the order of the universe was the first Bible given to mankind7."
To get a firm grasp on tribal ways of thinking in action, we can look to the hundreds of tribal units which employ these logical processes. Regarding Native American tribal people, the Lakota Wikwashawakan (holy man) Crow Dog once said, "...we Native Americans don't have religions, or spiritual paths either, really; we have the customs that were given by Spirit long, long ago, and carried forward by the Grandfathers and Grandmothers to this day. We once lost sight of the customs of the People; we were nearly lost. But the old ways live, and we will never get lost in the chaos again. No, we don't have religions, our ways of being keep us in balance and connected to each other, and Spirit, and All Of Our Relations.....". Back to the Triads.
IV. Philosophy Of The Celts As Tribal People And A Comparison To Greek Philosophy And Philosophers.
For those who are hard pressed to relinquish Patriarchal Greek (Achaean/Dorian) philosophy, and the works of Plato in particular, the following, regarding the belief about the microcosm reflecting the macrocosm, and the interconnectedness of all things; it must be remembered that while Platonism and neo-Platonism are philosophical movements which at the bottom line have been inspired by Platos Dialogues, they do not include the works of Plato himself8. As a matter of fact, both Plato and Plotinus held to the concept that everything is interconnected, and that the universe is an organism. Quotes from Plato's Gorgias: "... there is in the universe a principle of love and sharing..." , "Everything is connected and individuals are part of the whole."
If there is similarity in concepts, then from where does the difference come between the ideas held amongst the philosophers of Greek city-states and later Christians deriving their philosophical ideas from them, and tribal peoples which held/hold similar ideas. While this work is not a platform for establishing a philosophical argument, it must be stated that the difference lies in the way the concepts are manifested in the cultures in question. Tribal people organize and utilize the knowledge in different ways. Bottom line, to many tribal people, there is no such thing as an absolute. In many tribes, and all that I've interacted with, there can be no justness to a law, no power in a law, unless it is found within the realm of the natural world. Also with tribal peoples, the civil structures reflect what they perceive to be the structure of the cosmos. This is contrary to what has been presented to us within neo-Platonic structures.
It has been pointed out to me, that with just the data accumulated by the senses, there is no knowledge. That the data presented must be organized by way of theories, and statements of universal laws, for there to be knowledge. If we are speaking in the realm of cause and effect, yes, of course there can be laws established which portray cause and effect; the realms of mathematics and jurisprudence come to mind. Yet data can be transformed into knowledge without the need for fast and eternal realms and realities. Only a way of organizing the data need be present, and to say that data has to be organized in a particular way, and with specific values imposed, is being closed to the possibility that other ways of thinking can function at least as well, as that which we use in our western culture. Besides, every so called universal law has a point at which it no longer casts it's effect. Light bends, light slows, even time slows at certain points; electrons orbit a nucleus until liberated, and quarks respond to thought waves. Instead of laws, we are dealing more with realms of probability. Therefore what is most important, are probably those things which actually stand as the foundation of the difference between Neo-Platonic western thought, and tribal thought, those being values. Western thought values the individual, many times, to the detriment of the whole; tribal thought values the whole, and each individual as a result. Concisely, Neo-Platonic thought has allowed for and promoted self interest above all, with a great deal of suffering being imposed on the many, because of the fulfilling of self interests by the few; tribal thought holds that only as good comes to the all, so then does it come to all of the individuals within the whole. In western thought, the individual is what they believe they are; in tribal the individual simply IS. The IS of the former being contingent up the frailties of the human mind; the IS of the later upon the solidarity and identity of the tribal unit.
V. The Reason For Targeting The Gaels And Considerations While Researching The Celts.
To understand the Triads, one has to gain an understanding of Celtic culture. This is accomplished by reading the many resources which have recorded the traditions and folk lore of the remaining Celts. For this author, this was done by targeting the rather insular Gaelic peoples, and sticking within that culture as exclusively as resources permitted. My choice of the Gaels, is for two reasons; the first being the insular nature of that culture coupled with the vast array of literary works9 from that culture; the second being that a large part of my heritage is Gaelic.
I have tried to stick with the ancient writings of these people as the primary sources. When that was not available I have used sources that quote liberally from the ancient texts. I have not utilized the writings of Romans. Many people base their knowledge of the Celts and the Gaels in particular, on their studies of the writings of Roman chroniclers and Caesar. The fault with this is that they fail to recognize that the Romans were in a state of war with the Celts of Gaul, and that Caesar had to justify his war in Gaul. The first justification came by his instigating problems in Gaul, which gave an air of legitimacy to his campaign, once the Romans were invited. Yet the letter of the law did not settle well with the Senators of Rome, and it took a creative pen to give real purpose to Caesar's adventures against the Gallic Celts. It is to difficult to unweave fact from the sheer propaganda.10.
Another very excellent reason for not using the writings of Romans is that their experience was with Gallic tribes, not those of the isles. In Gaul there were three main tribal groups, the Aduen, the Cetae, and the Belgae. The last being considered by many academians as actually being a Germanic groups of tribes. In the isles there were the Gaels and the Bretons, primarily; with the Belgae having only recently arrived in the southeast of what is now England, just prior to Roman hostilities against the people of the isles. Any way it goes, there are definite differences between Gallic tribal peoples, and those of the Isles, too many differences to lump them all together.
VI. Back Engineering Of The Triads- Taking Them Back To Their Roots.
Having gained an understanding of the people, we could start to put the triads back into the context that the pre-Christian peoples would have used. This process is called back engineering. The actual first step in back-engineering was to find the Gaelic version. On the rare occasions when the Gaelic version could not be located, the Triad was transliterated back into Gaelic. Then using a source such as Dinneens Gaelic-English Dictionary11, I established the ancient usage of the Gaelic word. This word might have several different meanings , depending on the context used; however the Triad itself usually provides the context. With the context at hand, it was quite easy to find the proper Gaelic, it was harder to find an appropriate English word to relay all of the subtleties connected with the Gaelic word; but it was done. I encourage the reader to remember that English words have also taken on other connotations through the centuries. An example is the word "virgin" , which originally meant " a woman unto herself", a maiden without a husband if you will , and devoid of any interest in the intactness of her hymen. Another example is "sin" which is an old English archery term which simply meant, "to miss the mark".
The back-engineering of Triads to the ancient pre-Christian expression was actually an easy task; done by establishing an understanding of the pre-Christian Celtic culture, much of what has always been known ; and by changing those one or two words back to words that relayed the pre-Christian world view12. For example , many of the Triads refer to masculine gender to the exclusion of the feminine. Yet, we know that Brehon Law was addressed to men and women13. Women were able to own and inherit property. They owned weapons and were commonly along side their male compatriots on the field of battle14. Therefore by exchanging a gender specific term for one that includes both genders , the Triads again become applicable to both genders. Step one of the back engineering process - done.
The next step dealt with tenets of religion. There were a few that were completely constructed to propagate Christian thought. They were however few in number , and I immediately dispensed with them . Most of them however only needed to have the word God replaced with a polytheistic term such as "Mighty Ones", and what we know of the pre-Christian was once again staring us in the face . Several Triads even spoke of purely Pagan ideas such as reincarnation15.
Those Triads that spoke of the "Laws of God" had that phrase replaced with "Laws of Nature" or "Order of Creation", depending on the application. All sources say that the Celts were a very religious people , that they based their laws and customs on the "Order of Nature". This is fully in keeping with tribal thought. That indeed they had a great knowledge of the created order is beyond doubt.
As pertained to the ideas of a single masculine deity, the balance between masculine and feminine in the culture had to be weighed in. There was an ample body of evidence which allowed for the replacement of terms used to portray an exclusively masculine deity. These include such direct and obvious things as classical references to female oracles, and a group of nineteen women at a temple in Kildare; as well a relic found in Normandy extolling female teachers. There was also the use of deductive reasoning. For example, in Joseph Campbell's book, THE MASKS OF GOD-Primitive Mythology16, Campbell relays that in patriarchal cultures, there invariably arose secret mens' societies and lodges. These, also invariably, took to themselves feminine deities of the hunt, closely associated with the Moon; the likes of Diana come to mind. Yet within Gaelic culture the moon was considered masculine, and the Sun feminine. This fact is imprinted in the very language itself, with the Sun being considered feminine to this day; Her name being Grianne17.
Some Triads deal with "virtue". This is sure to rankle some modern non-Christians. The idea of virtue to Celtic people, as typified by the Gaels, was not one that has congruence with modern thought about the word. To them "virtue" was several things , the biggest part of which was simply excellence , which itself was a matter of lawfulness (they were a people of civil law), and personal pride , etc. This way of looking at things is a rather old way indeed, and while the following is not a justification for our Celtic ways; for the lovers of Greek philosophy who might read this, even Aristotle would agree with this way of thinking.
To the Celts , to live by the law of the People was part of being virtuous , to be honest was part of being virtuous , to be proud was a part of being virtuous, etc. . The only English word I know of, that can act as a synonym for the Celtic idea of virtue, is Excellence . They strove for excellence . This is evidenced in their laws, the bulk of which invaders through the centuries have kept, because of the excellence of these Laws18 ; this is evidenced in their artistic expression ; and personal attempts at excellence is a big part of the ways of people who understand and believe in reincarnation .
Some Triads have footnotes , you are encouraged to read them. These are to facilitate further understanding of the Triads, by explaining the context of the society in which they were constructed . There are a couple of Triads dealing with the priesthood; because Celtic culture did not have an established priesthood until the coming of the Christians19, these very nearly were scraped as well . Each person was considered to be capable of mediating the Gods , and as these people were trained in a skill which they eventually taught to others, it became obvious that there was further contemplation to be done20. They were back engineered and found to be addressing teachers about teaching .
Once again, Celtic culture was a secular one ruled by law . There was no "sin", as we recognize the word today . For our ancient forebearers , to "err" or make an "error", was simply to make an infraction against the secular law . They did not hold to eternal damnation. Infractions against the secular law brought a secular judgment by the King , usually in the form of cattle , the exact cost going up the higher the offender or the offended stood in the society. The wrath of the Gods, or "karma" if you will was/is usually immediate. This is as evidenced by the plague which killed off the Partholonians in the Lebor Gabala Erenn21, a result of the Kings reticence about fulfilling his duty; as well as the vengeance of the Morrigan against CuChullain .
VII. Trinary logic.
Several people who have studied the Celts, whether Gaelic, or otherwise, have seen that there was another form of logic. What exactly this logic was we are only now beginning to speculate on.
We view things as either yea or nea. Even "maybe" has the connotation that eventually a yea or nay will apply. However, in the Triads, we see what appears to be a methodology of one example then the other given, then a third thing, which appears to be the actual point of the matter.
In other manifestation from Celtic cultures it's almost like the extremes on either side of something are portrayed, then a third direction. Perhaps it's yes, no, and a third option, perhaps a neither. Anyway it goes, as far as the Triads are concerned, the actual point of any Triad seems to be the third item relayed, whatever the subject may be.
Concerning three things that hide: an open bag hides nothing, an open door hides little, an open person hides something.
Three errors not acknowledged: fear of an enemy, torment of love, and a jealous persons' evil suspicion of their mate.
Three possessions we value most take away pride from us: our money, our time, and our conscience.
Three things by nature cause their possessor to err: youth, prosperity, and ignorance.
Three things resemble each other: a bright sword which rusts from long staying in the scabbard, bright water which stinks from long standing, and wisdom which is dead from long disuse.
Three things not easy to check: the stream of a cataract, an arrow from a bow, and a rash tongue.
Three things hard to catch: a stag on the mountain, a fox in the wood, and the coin of the miserly scrooge.
There are three things each very like the other: an old blind horse playing the harp with his hoofs, a pig in a silk dress, and a merciless person prating about piety.
Three things as good as the best: bread and milk against hunger, a white coat against the cold, and a yeoman's son in a breach.
Three things which are not hidden: a straw in the shoe, a awl in a bag, and a harlot in a crowd.
Three sweet things in the world: power, prosperity, and error in action.
Three strong things in the world: a lord, a fool, and the Void.
There are three things which move together as quickly the one as the other: lightning , thought , and the help of the Mighty Ones.
Three things not loved without each one it's companion: day without night, idleness without hunger, and wisdom without reverence.
There are three whose full reward can never be given to them: parents, a good teacher, and the Mighty Ones.
Three glories of a gathering: a comely mate, a good horse, and a swift hound.
Three things which constitute a healer: a complete cure, leaving no blemish behind, and a painless examination.
Three false sisters: "perhaps", "maybe", and "I dare say".
Three timid brothers: "Hush!" "Stop!" "Listen!"
Three youthful sisters: desire, beauty, and generosity.
Three aged sisters: groaning, chastity, and ugliness.
Three slender things that best support the world: the slender stream of milk from the cows dug into the pail; the slender blade of green corn upon the ground; the slender thread over the hand of a skilled woman.
Three keys that unlock thoughts: drunkenness; trustfulness; love.
Three sounds of increase: the lowing of a cow in milk; the din of a smithy; the swish of a plow.
Three unbreathing things paid for only with breathing things: An apple tree, a hazel bush, a sacred grove.
Three things by which excellence is established: Taking all things in moderation with nothing in excess; abidance to oaths; and acceptance of responsibility.
It is easier to determine the truth when these three prime evidences are existent: physical items which tell a story; trustworthy witnesses which tell their story; and concurrence with known truths. .
Three things from which never to be moved: one's oaths; one's Gods; and the truth.
Three things which strengthen a person to stand against the whole world: Seeing the quality and beauty of truth; seeing beneath the cloak of falsehood; and seeing to what ends truth and falsehood come.
There are three things excellent among worldly affairs: hating folly; loving excellence; and endeavoring constantly to learn.
Three manifestations of humanity: Affectionate bounty; loving manner; and praiseworthy knowledge.
Three things which spring from following lawful goodness: universal love from the Wise; worldly sufficiency, and better place in the life to come22.
Three things without which there can be nothing good: truth; peace; and generosity.
Three beautiful beings of the world: the upright, the skillful, and the reasonable.
Three tendencies of a persons lifetime: hope, love, and joy.
Three things excellent for anyone: valor, learning, and discretion.
Three things must be united before good can come of them: thinking well, speaking well, and acting well.
Three things are becoming a person: knowledge, good deeds, and gentleness.
Three things it is everyone's duty to do: listen humbly, answer discreetly, and judge kindly.
Three things one should keep always before them: their worldly duty, their conscience, and the Laws of Nature.
Three sureties of happiness: good habits, amiability, and forbearance.
Three things without which there can be nothing good: truth, valor23, and generosity.
Three marvelous deeds: to forgive a wrong done, to amend everything possible, and to refrain from injustice.
Three joys of the happy: avoidance of excess, peace, and loyalty.
Three antagonists of goodness: arrogance, passion, and covetousness.
Three rewards of those who learn to temper their emotions: experience, strength, and introspection.
Three things beside which the baneful cannot be: conformity to law, knowledge, and love.
Three things must wait long before they are attained: honesty from covetousness, wisdom from arrogance , and wealth from sloth.
Three things hard to obtain: cold fire, dry water, and lawful covetousness.
Three duties of the excellent person: to cherish their mate and children, to love their country, and to obey the laws of their people.
Three manifestations of excellence : the honoring of parents, the respecting of the aged, and instructing the young; and to this a fourth, defending of infancy and innocence.
Three reasons for supplicating to the Mighty Ones: because it is a pleasure to you, that you may be a friend of those who are wise, and because your soul is immortal.
Three reasons to war against fault: to not do to others as you would not have them do to you , that you not be arrogant , that you might always let the light of wisdom shine.
Three ways to lose excellence: to become a servant to one's passions, to not learn from the examples set by others, to indulge to excess.
Three fair things that hide ugliness: good manners in the ill favored; skill in a common person; wisdom in misshapen.
Three candles that illume every darkness: truth, nature, and knowledge.
RESPECTING THE CONSCIENTIOUS PERSON:
There are three kingdoms of the happy: the world's good word, a cheerful conscience, and firm hope of the life to come.
Three leaderships of the happy: being good in service, good in disposition, and good in secrecy; and these are found united only in those with a noble heart.
In three things a person may be as the Divine: justice , knowledge , and mercy.
Three things lovable in a person: tranquillity, wisdom, and kindness.
Three things excellent in a person: diligence, sincerity, and humility.
Three things which show a true human: a silent mouth, an incurious eye, and a fearless face.
Three companions on the high road to Union with the Void: a patient poor person, a reflective wise person, and a tolerant reformer.
Three who are loved by the Mighty Ones: the strong just person, the brave merciful person, the person generous without regret.
Three things without which the protection of the Mighty Ones cannot be: forgiving an enemy and a wrong done, wisdom in judgment and act; and cleaving to what is just, come what may.
There are three things to be commended in those that possess them: wisdom in talk, justice in actions, and excess in nothing.
RESPECTING THE REWARDS OF EXCELLENCE:
There are three things which the happy will gain: prosperity, honor, and the ease of conscience.
Three things which the humble will gain: plenty, happiness , and the love of their neighbors.
Three things which the sincere will gain: favor, respect, and prosperity.
Three things which the patient will gain: love, tranquillity, and succor .
Three things which the merciful will gain: favor, love, and the protection of the Mighty Ones.
Three things which the upright will gain: worldly sufficiency, peace of conscience, and unending happiness.
Three things which the industrious will gain: precedence , wealth , and praise from the Wise.
Three things which the law-abiding will gain: health, success, and honor.
Three things which the careful will gain: respect, plenty, and content.
Three things which the generous of heart will gain: joy from their profit, felicity in giving, and a better life to come.
Three things which the early riser will gain: health, wealth, and happiness.
ORIGINS OF WRONG DOING:
There are three companions of lawlessness: pride, envy, and rapine.
Three things hateful to the Mighty Ones and to human kind: a weak look, a deceitful tongue, and a mischievous spirit.
Three roots of every evil: covetousness, falsehood, and arrogance.
Three joys of the lawless: gluttony, fighting, and fickleness.
Three things which end ill: falsehood, envy, and guile.
Three bad tendencies in a person: pride without generosity, covetousness without justice, and anger without mercy.
Three chief evil qualities of people: sloth, deceit, and arrogance.
Three things pleasant to see: an unhappy person becoming happy, a miser becoming generous, and the lawless submitting to authority .
Three chief things which deceive people: fair words, desire of gain, and ignorance.
Three things it is no worse to lose than to keep: wealth, youth, and love of the world.
There are three things: counsel , loss , shame; and they who have not the first will get the other two.
Three nourishment's of arrogance: recklessness, wealth, and excess.
Three things which attack the weakest: enemies, wealth, and pride.
Three things better forsaken by those who love them: sport, carousal, and strife.
Three things of which only the happy and wise beware: the breaking of oaths, drunkenness, and vanity.
Three things whose deficiency is not worse than their excess: festivity, wealth, and pleasure.
Three things which follow sloth: evil deeds, evil report, and evil end.
Three things odious in a person: ignorance, bad deeds, and perversity.
Three things unseemly for a person: to think themselves wise, to think another foolish, and to think their appearance what they desire.
Three chief corruption's of the world: sloth, pride, and extravagance.
Three things which afflict the world: envy, anger, and covetousness.
Three strange things in the world: loving war more than peace, loving excess more than sufficiency, and loving falsehood more than truth.
RESPECTING THOSE GONE AMISS:
There are three people accursed: they who work against the Laws of Nature without concern, they who know nothing of the Mighty Ones and do not seek to learn, and they who know much and do not share their knowledge with any other.
Three kinds of evil people: the traitor, the conspirator, and the slanderer.
Three people hateful to the Mighty Ones and to human kind: the liar, the thief, and the miserly scrooge24.
Three kinds of people worthless to they who are just and honest: the drunkard, the perjurer, and the traitor.
Three kinds of people without the fear of the Mighty Ones: the traitor, the ravisher, and the miser.
Three chief attributes of a person likely to do wrong: an angry countenance, an arrogant spirit, and an insatiable covetousness.
Three marks of a thief: an inquisitive tongue, a curious eye and a fearful face.
Three things needful to one who has done wrong: to acknowledge their wrong, to seek to be upright, and to make restitution.
From three people keep yourself: the joyless, the mocker, and the one who laughs at lawless doings.
Three people easy to do without: they who do no benefit to any, they who bring no joy to any, and they who keep not peace with any.
Three who are best when they are farthest off: the fulsome flatterer, the contentious slanderer, and the lying tale-bearer.
Three things which gain daily and seek continually: the sea, a drunkard, and a miser.
Three rude ones in the world: a youngster mocking an old person; a robust person mocking an invalid; a wise man mocking a fool.
Three signs of a fop: the track of his comb in his hair; the tract of his teeth in his food; the track of his stick behind him.
THE PROFITS OF THOSE
WHO HAVE GONE AMISS :
There are three things which those who do ill will gain: poverty, bad report, and a bad conscience.
Three things which the insincere will gain: evil life, evil report, and evil end.
Three things which the quarrelsome will gain: strife, shame, and neglect in their necessity.
Three things which the cruel obtain: torturing conscience, dispraise of the wise, and the wrath of the Mighty Ones.
Three things which the ill minded gain: hatred, strife, and sorrow.
Three things which the negligent will gain: shame, loss, and derision.
Three things which the miser obtains through their wealth: pain in gathering, care in keeping, and fear of losing.
Three things which the sluggard will gain: shame, disease, and misery.
RESPECTING WEALTH AND POVERTY:
There are three things a person will gain from acquiring wealth: hate between themselves and others, hate between they and themselves, and hate between themselves and the Mighty Ones.
Three things that are the portion of the wealthy: more and more covetousness, more and more care, and less and less pleasure.
Three things which can come from just wealth: worldly abundance, brotherly charity, and national25 goodness; and from these the favor of the Mighty Ones.
Three ways leading to poverty: gambling , gluttony , and harlotry.
Three things better than riches: health, freedom, and discretion.
Three things which a person will obtain from poverty: health , learning , and the protection of the Mighty Ones.
Three things which most profit a person: poverty, sickness, and children; for by possessing them they gain knowledge of much truth that cannot be without them.
Three things as good to lose as to gain: extreme prosperity, extreme praise, and extreme dignity.
Three earthly losses which bring gain to the soul: loss of a friend, loss of health, and loss of riches.
MISCELLANEOUS WISDOM :
There are three kinds of people: the average person, who does good for good and evil for evil ; the good person, who does good for evil ; and the evil doer, who does evil for good.
Three things gained by the endurance of the Cailleach: cleansing, purity, and renewal.
Three littles which do much harm: a little of bad disposition, a little of injustice, a little of negligence.
Three things , little of which shows much wisdom: little conceit, little covetousness, and little gossip.
Three littles which make great profit at the time: little of eating and drinking, little of care, and little of tongue.
Three things to be commended in anyone: their face proud, their discourse discreet, and their ways kind.
Three things which make a person wanton: beauty in their form, folly in their head, and conceit in their heart.
Three wrongful contentions: war for war, law for law, and reproach for reproach.
Three upright contentions: prudence for imprudence, favor for disfavor, and love for hatred.
In three things one will be an wrong doer: putting a snare in the way, frightening a little child, and laughing at wrongs done.
There are three falsehoods: a falsehood of speech, falsehood of silence, and falsehood of demeanor; for each one of these will make another believe what they ought not.
Three losses which will bring gain in the end: loss of what is more than life needs, loss of bodily health, and loss of what one prizes the most and above all.
Three gains which will turn to loss in the end: gaining fame for a harmful act, gaining wealth from injustice, and gaining the upperhand in an evil strife.
THE ORDER OF SOCIETY:
26There are three levels of society, and they who fill them are: the Fili' who are Aes Dana, the Ruada, who are the warriors, and the Aire who are the free people who work husbandry.
The three degrees of Royalty: Righ, Ruiri, Ri' Ruirech27
28The three seats of the Ri' Ruirech are: Tara, Cruachain, Emain.
Three things which a kings Brughaid29 must provide without pay: lodging, food, and entertainment.
THE UNDERPINNINGS OF SOCIETY:
There are three foundations of law and custom: order, justice, and peace.
Three things which come from peace: increase of possessions, improvement of manners, and enlargement of knowledge.
THE BANES OF SOCIETY:
There are three things which lay waste the world: a king without counsel, a judge without conscience, and a son without reverence.
Three monstrous things in the world: a youth without civility , a woman without dignity , and a man without conscience.
Three things which war against peace: a bad mate, bad soil, and a bad over-lord30.
Three things which turn the world upside-down: a mates' dominance, a daughter's intemperance, and a son's ignorance.
RESPECTING LAND AND HUSBANDRY:
There are three beauties of a land: the granary, the smithy, and the school.
Three other beauties of the land: intelligent tillage, neighbors who agree, and conscientious rule.
Three things which make plenty in a land: planting trees, tilling the soil, and carding and spinning.
Three sustenance's of human kind: hunting, ploughing the land, and merchandise.
Three discontents of a husbandmen: a lazy servant31, degenerate seed, and soil over-rich.
There are three things, and any who move them are accursed: the boundary of land, the course of water, and the sign of a road or track.
THE RESPECTABLE CITIZEN:
There are three things which will make a person leader among their neighbors: wisdom, generosity , and wealth.
Three things which bring a person the love of their neighbors: to be a peacemaker, to be a helper, and to be a guide.
Three things which bring a person respect among their neighbors: supporting themselves, being wise in their counsel, and being kind.
Three exertions becoming and praiseworthy for any person : tilling their soil32, increasing their knowledge, and growing in excellence.
Three who will be pleasing to the Mighty Ones: a faithful teacher, a good husbandmen, and a mediator in disputes.
Three goodly things among people: handicraft, husbandry, and scholarship.
Three things which follow every lawful person of exceeding excellence: a good name and report for themselves, good instruction for the children where they are, and good progress in everything they undertake in act and deed.
Three for whom when they are alive only hatred is seen, and praise when they are dead: the peaceful wise person, the truthful teacher, and the sincere friend who rebukes.
Three chief obligations of a person to their country and family: to gain possessions by diligence and integrity, to profit their country and their kindred in all they do, and to seek lawful learning wherever they go.
Three things which the good poet preserves for posterity: memory of the praiseworthy, delight in thought, and instruction in knowledge.
THE NOCUOUS CITIZEN:
There are three who are never profitable: they who marry by the counsel of their flesh, they who feast by the counsel of their craving, and they who fight by the counsel of their rage.
Three things of less worth than all else: a woman without dignity, a man without knowledge, and a teacher without patience.
Three things better than riches which happy people keep for their children and heirs: Instruction by reason, instruction by example, and exhortation to act as he does because of the respect and praise it brings him.
Three things which will not benefit heirs: a miser's wealth, the praise of tavern companions, and feats of sport.
Three things which prolong the lifetime of a person: the soil which rears a child, the food which nourishes a child, and play which diverts a child.
Three worldly honors, each one superior to every other: ploughing the family homestead, asserting a claim successfully, and rearing children.
Three aims to the future: planting trees, improving handicraft, and rearing lawful children.
There are three things which mislead the world: the promises of masters, the garments of priests, and the seemliness of a daughter.
Three things which deceive those who trust them: a paramour's promise33, a serfs 34 fidelity, and the season of youth.
Three things from which there is nothing but deceit: the love of the wanton, the innocence of dominion, and the piety of one ill in bed.
Three things which ought not to be believed: an old persons dream, a paramour's oath, and a tale without authority.
Three things not easy to trust: a drover's oath, a paramour's promises, and a hunter's word about his dog.
People notable in three things: a miller in thieving, a preacher in begging, and a boaster in telling lies.
Three things hard to obtain: a grave tailor, an honest miller, and an ale-wife not covetous.
Three persons who desire their portion rich and savory: a cook, a concubine35, and a kept priest.
Three things which do not profit the world by anything they do, whatever their fame for wisdom, art, and piety: a grasping miser, a arrogant poet, and a kept priest.
Three chicks from one nest: a loquacious farmer, a logical poet, and a half-hearted divine.
Three kinds of contenders on the death of a powerful rich person: their detractors for their reputation, kinsmen for their goods, and worms for their carcass.
Three things good in a miser's eyes: a brass-handled knife, much-patched shoes, and defaming the generous.
Three ways to know a person: by their discourse, their conduct, and their companions.
Three measuring-rods of every person: their dreams, their fears, and their unconcern.
Three hatreds which last for ever: between a mate and their step-children, between dogs and swine, and between Cymry and Saxon.
Three things wrong for any to meddle with: the office of a lord, usury, and war.
Three things hard for any to do: cool the fire, dry the water and please the world.
Three things not easy to obtain when sought: a loan of money from a usurer, without interest; the pleading of a case in court, without fee; and a dinner of rich food in a miser's house.
Three things which pervert just judgment: the love of friends, fear of the mighty 36, and desire of worldly goods 37.
Three things not easily found: an arrogant person generous, a young person wise, and an old person mannerly.
Three diversions which will surely bring trouble: hunting , war, and dallying with one who is younger.
Three things necessary to one who enters an inn: a strong head, a tough stomach, and a heavy purse.
Three things one gains in an Inn: entertainment which makes them poor, mirth which makes them do wrongly, and joy which makes them sad.
Three kinds of liar, and there is none other like them: a lord lying for privilege, a priest for office, and a woman for a son whom she loves.
MANIFOLD BLESSINGS AND BENEFICENCE:
Three blessings that do not bring on any either hunger or nakedness: the blessing of their spiritual counselor, the blessing of their rightful lord, and the blessing of a poet of hereditary art.
Three other blessings better than all: the blessing of father and mother, the blessing of the sick and wounded, and the blessing of one in adversity.
Three to whom it is right to give food: the stranger, the solitary, and the orphan.
Three things which cannot be obtained: poverty from alms-giving, wealth from robbery, and wisdom from prosperity.
Three occasions for one to speak falsehood without excuse: to save the life of one who is innocent, to keep the peace among neighbors, and to preserve the Wise38 and their crafts.
Three things one is loath to leave: the land where they were born and nurtured, the friends whom they have proved true, and the wealth which they have amassed through the labors of their own hands.
Three people who win easily in their lawsuits: the generous, the wise, and the healthy.
Three things by which we may know our neighbor: that he is poor, that he is a stranger, and that he is in the image of human kind.
Three gifts of charity : food, sanctuary, and instruction.
RESPECTING ETIQUETTE :
There are three things proper from one who has received kindness: their thanks, their remembrance, and their requital.
Three things for which thanks are due, because that is as easy as reward: an invitation, a gift, and a warning.
Three qualities unbecoming anyone: being importunate in asking, hard in giving, and ill in opinion.
Three things which bring one many invitations: saying little, and that wise and instructive; quiet mirth without great effort; and behaving always without arrogance.
Three things which cause one loss of invitations: eating to much, speaking to much, and asking to much.
Three who ought not to be invited to a house: a flattering deceiver, a scornful mocker, and an envious traitor.
Three things unhandsome at a banquet: a skewer too short, a blunt knife, and a dish out of reach.
Three indignities of one at a feast: coughing in their drink, cutting their hand with a knife, and spilling their broth.
Three improprieties of one at a feast: breaking from every piece in the dish, putting in their mouth more than his companion can respond to 39, and drinking with his piece in his mouth; and a fourth impropriety: finding fault with the food they eat.
Three meats of the hosteller: boiled flesh, red flesh, living flesh.40
Three things never to bring one who has been your host: harm, contention, ill repute.
Three reasons for keeping silent: against saying the thing one ought not, against speaking in the way one ought not, and against speaking in the place one ought not.
Three reasons for speaking, come what may: for instruction against ignorance, counsel against strife, and truth against harmful falsehood.
Three things do no hurt against any: concealing ill manners, controlling passion, and destroying ill intention.
There are three things which one should give freely to guests: gracious accommodation, friendly conversation, and insured safety.
Three elements of gracious accommodation: Cheerful welcome; hot sustenance; and a warm bed.
Three things a guest should never bring to another's house: ill tidings; presumptuous license; and treachery.
Three improprieties of a person at a feast: partaking of every piece on the dish; stuffing the mouth; talking with the mouth full. 41
Three things all should have on hand for a guest, expected or not: open door, undry cauldron42, warm bed.
PERTAINING TO THE DOMICILE
RESPECTING THE GOOD HOME:
There are three things without which one is not whole: a mate, a home, and a craft.
Three things desirable in a household: good order, good knowledge, and sufficient plenty.
Three felicities of a household: and honest watchman, a careful herdsman, and a wise errand-goer.
Three things which make one glad: their mate loving them, their labor prospering, and their conscience easy.
Three things fitting for one when they are at home: their mate laying with them , their cushion in their chair, and their harp in tune.
Three things of great comfort for one to have: their mate in their bed, their fire in their hearth, and their money in their purse.
Three felicities of a wise person: kindly soil, a dedicated mate, and a law-abiding child.
Three things which will exalt a person: a mate dedicated and diligent, a master faithful, and safety.
Three things which help one to get rich: their mate saving, their family not wasting, and themselves laboring.
Three things which make a marriage happy: equality of age, equality of lineage, and equality of possessions.
Three felicities of a person and their mate: being merry at home, good in their relations with the Mighty Ones, and mediators among their neighbors.
Three things one gains when their mate endeavors to be excellent: their household peaceful for love of them, their children gentle in manners, and the respect of their neighbors.43
Three things a person gains when their mate endeavors to be excellent: peace of mind, wellness of body, and stable prosperity.
Three treasures of the child in a good home: truth, love, and growth.
Three things in a person which makes their mate a leader among their neighbors: skill, industry, and wisdom.44
Three things which bring dignity to a person: discretion in speech, contentment in the life they lead, and being peaceful among their neighbors.
Three things which makes one content with their dinner: their mate clever, their food savory, and their stomach healthy.
Three things pleasant to one at their dinner: a sharp-edged knife, a sharp-pointed skewer, and a clean plate.
RESPECTING THE BAD HOME:
There are three uncomfortable things: a house without a mate, a chamber without food, and a body without health.
Three things which make disorder in a household: the man drunken, the wife execrable, the children intractable.
Three things that one is better without: a dishonest household, disobedient children, a drunken mate.
Three things which will drive one from their house: their mate quarreling, their roof leaking, and their chimney smoking.
Three infelicities of a household: an idle doer of ill , keeping a paramour, and lodging a priest.
Three things which make one needy: Their mate luxurious, their household negligent, and themselves extravagant.
Three things which bring a mate hate instead of love: peevishness, desire of dominance, and the pampering of their own stomach.
Three things which bring on one the worlds disrespect and their mates' hatred: lying long in the morning, being stubborn, and bringing a paramour into their house.
Three indignities of a woman: being garrulous, being querulous, and being slanderous.
Three indignities of a man: being quick to suspicion, being quick to anger, being slow to labor.
Three things which bring on a person a bad opinion : being apt to dally with youths, being greedy in dainties, and speaking ill of their neighbors.
PERTAINING TO THE FILI', FOR ALL
ARE ABLE TO MEDIATE THE GODS
Three improprieties of one who is Fili' : To claim as their own work, what the Gods have done through them; to demand gain or pleasure as a servant of the Mighty Ones; to allow themselves to be kept by labor that is not their own.
There are three duties of one who is Fili': to teach their people to live fearless in strength, to teach their people how to avoid the attention of the Mighty Ones, and to teach their people the Laws of Nature.
PERTAINING TO CONTRACTS AND AGREEMENTS
Three things necessary for a contract to be made: mutual agreement, mutual understanding, and mutual consent; and there is a fourth and that is surety given.
There are three types of surety: Naidn, Aitire, Rath.45
There are three things in a contract which need special attention: that which is explicit, that which is implicit, and that which has been forgotten.
There are three foundations to mutual agreement: that there be nothing hidden, that there be no malicious intent, that there be no coercion.
There are three things due one who has had a contract broken: loss, loss from loss , and honor price.46
There are three types of contract, all binding before the Mighty Ones and before human kind: that which is established by the spoken word, that which is established by the written word, and that which is ordained by the Righ or Rian .
Three types of profit: from producing , from investing , from a good reputation.
Three types of investment: goods , money, and time.
There are three levels of honor price: one third the value of the agreement when one has defaulted on a contract because of something beyond their control; three times the value of the contract when one has defaulted by their own volition or slothfulness, and no malice was intended; nine times the value of the contract when one has defaulted on a contract by an act of their own volition, with malice intent.
GOOD HEALTH AND BAD:
There are three things most precious to human kind: health, liberty, and virtue.
Three things which do not suffer trifling: health, prosperity, and time.
Three things which keep a person in good health: moderate food, well-apportioned labor, and natural warmth.
Three foods which bring health, long life, and clear understanding: corn food, milk food, and garden food.
Three foods which bring disease, short life, and dull understanding: flesh food, sweetened food, and highly seasoned food.
Three customary acts which make one healthy and long-lived: work, by tilling, in moderation; rising early; innocent mirth.
Three customary acts which bring short life and disease: to much labor, too much sleep in the morning, and peevishness.
Three frequent changes which bring long life: change of food, change of work, and change of amusement.
Three good things in one who loves good health: enough sleep at Bealtinna (in Spring), enough food at Meansamhradh (at Mid-Summer), enough fire at Geamhradh (in the Winter).
Three things which strengthen the body: lying on a hard bed, cold air, and dry food.
Three things whose excess shortens ones life: flesh food, drunkenness, and too much dallying about with those of the opposite gender.
Three unfailing remedies in every disease and sickness: nature, time, and patience.
Three things of which one does not see half enough: life, health, and riches.
ADVISEMENT'S OF PRUDENCE :
Three things one who is prudent will not show: the bottom of their purse, the bottom of their knowledge , and the bottom of their heart.
Three things which one who is upright ought to curb: a young spirited horse, a young intemperate daughter, and a garrulous tongue.
Three things like one to the other: a fine granary without corn, a fine flask without drink, and a fine daughter without good repute.
Three things not good to leave: a ship before the wind, a woman to her rage, and a son to his ignorance.
Three things which do not go well if hurried: war, feasting, and argument.
Three things which a person obtains from traveling in strange land: hunger, cold, and derision.
Three things trust in which does not end well: health in old age, fair weather in winter, and felicity from things of the world.
Three things it is best to leave alone: a strange dog, a sudden flood, and one wise in their own eyes.
RESPECTING THE ORDER OF NATURE:
There are three things which keep order and system for everything in the world: number, weight, and measure.
Three things which we cannot control: the Void , the planets , and truth. To this be it added, The Truth Against The World47.
Three things good as servants, bad as masters: water, fire, and wind.
Three more things worse yet as masters than as servants: labor, money, and kings.
Three things which shall lay waste where they come: water, fire and the curse of the Mighty Ones.
Three arch-enemies of human kind: fire, water, and a king.
Three gluttons of the world: the sea, a king, and a city.
Three things no being can be seen without: covering, movement, and shadow.
Three things which should be chiefly considered in everything: nature, form, and work.
Three unequals of the world: beauty, love, and necessity.
Three parts to everything : He One , She One , They One in the Third .48
RESPECTING THE NATURE OF HUMANKIND :
There are three things that are never at rest in anyone: the heart in working, the breath in moving, and the soul in purposing.
Three things in the world between which there is a wonderful difference: the faces of people, the utterances of people, and the writings of people.
There are three from which it is not easy to win a person: their belief, their genius, and their nation.
Three things on which every person should reflect: whence they come, where they are, and whither they shall go.
Three things hard for a person to do completely: know themselves, conquer their appetite, and keep their secret.
Three things a person cannot conceal: great love, great hate, and great wealth.
Three things of which the whole is not good: doing the whole that passion desires, believing the whole that is said throughout the land, and showing the whole that one knows.
Three martyrdoms without slaying: the liberality of a needy person, the innocence of a young person, and fair maintenance without wealth.
Three things of which the loss is woe: the attainments of wisdom, a pure conscience, and the love of Mighty Ones.
Three fears which strengthen a person's heart: fear of speaking the whole that they have learnt from another, fear of extreme prosperity, and fear of offending the Mighty Ones.
Three fears which weaken a person's heart: fear of speaking the truth, fear of wretched poverty, and fear of evil being done them.
Three things which dazzle the world: deceit, supremacy, and excessive love for man and human beings.
Three counsels of the yellow bird: do not grieve greatly about what has happened, do not believe what cannot be, and do not desire what cannot be obtained.
Three things which come on a person without their knowing: sleep, error, and old age.
Three things which come together: age, error, and grief.
Three things which keep their word faithfully: death, retribution, and remorse.
Three things the true human obeys: truth, the world which is to come, and the cock at dawn.
Three things of which not the half is to be believed that is boasted of them: wealth, understanding, and goodness.
Three things never end: the flowering of charity, the soul, and perfect love.
RESPECTING ACTION :
Three things necessary for the doing of every act: knowledge, ability, and desire.
There are three parts to every action: thought, word, and deed.
RESPECTING KNOWLEDGE :
Three kinds of knowledge : the nature of each thing , the cause of each thing , the influence of each thing.
There are three springs of knowledge: reason, phenomenon, and necessity.
Three things must a person do who desires to learn: listen intently, contemplate intently, and be silent continually.
Three teachers of humankind: one is event, that is from seeing and hearing; the second is intelligence, and that comes from reflection and meditation; and the third is genius, individual, a gift from the Mighty Ones.
Three gains of those who heed the advisements of the Old Ones: illumination, wisdom, and clarity.
Three instructions not wise to believe: what a person imparts in support of what is for their own profit and success; what one imparts with hatred to another; and what a person wise in their own eyes imparts.
The three qualifications of poetry: endowment of genius; judgment from experience; happiness of mind.
The three foundations of Judgement: bold design; frequent practice; frequent mistakes.
The three foundations of learning: seeing much; studying much; and suffering much.
The three foundations of thought: perspicuity, amplitude, and preciseness.
The three canons of perspicuity: the word that is necessary, the quantity that is necessary, the manner that is necessary.
The three canons of amplitude: appropriate thought, variety of thought, and requisite thought.
There are three things which strengthen the mind and reason: seeing much, reflecting much, and enduring much.
Three resources of human kind: intelligence, love, and prayer.
There are three foundations of wisdom: discretion in learning, memory in retaining, and eloquence in telling.
Three concords for wisdom: generosity and wealth, knowledge and humility, and valor and mercy; and they are neither a true human nor sage in whom these things are not found in concord.
Three marks of wisdom: simplicity, endeavor, and long-suffering.
Three securities of wisdom: memory, reflection, and custom.
Three qualities which show wisdom: suffering discreetly, forgiving injury, and seeking knowledge.
Three followers of wisdom: imagination, purpose, and endeavor.
Three demonstrations of wisdom: holding to reason, holding to imagination, and holding to improvement.
Three synonyms of wisdom: necessity, decency, and expediency.
Three things which obstruct wisdom: pride, covetousness, and timorousness.
Three special virtues of wisdom: generosity, industry, and prudence.
Three initiations of wisdom: lawful teaching, effective customs, and instinctive love.
Three operations of wisdom : taming savagery, spreading peace, and improving laws.
RESPECTING THOSE WHO ARE WISE:
There are three schools of one who is wise: conscience, reason, and instruction.
Three things essential for the wise to know: their Gods, themselves, and the deceits of the world.
Three things that one who is wise attains: prosperity, dignity, and joy.
Three triumphs of one who is wise: dignity, intuition, and praise.
Three things of which one who is wise may boast: their understanding, their handicraft, and that which they have mastered.
Three plagues of the wise: a young lover, drink, and bad temper.
RESPECTING THE FOOL AND THEIR INANITY :
There are three schools of the foolish person: the punishment of the law49, ill happenings in their life, and a bad position in the life to come50.
Three things which befall the unwise person: failure, disgrace, and sorrow.
Three boasts of a fool: riches, lineage, and dissipation.
Three laughters of a fool: about the good man, about the evil man, and about what he knows not.
Three things which the fool calls imprudent: to seek knowledge, come what will; to give alms without thinking what is to come; and to endure for truth and justice without fear of what may come.
RESPECTING WISDOM APPLIED:
Three things of which everything is capable, and without which nothing can be: strength of body and mind, knowledge, and love of intuitive wisdom.
Three things which may not be opposed: nature, necessity, and decay.
Three who are hard to believe: a wanderer from afar, the reader of a book in a strange tongue, and they who are older than their neighbors.
Three who it is wise not to believe: the stranger about their possessions, and old person praising the day that was of yore, and one who boasts of their wisdom.
There are three concords which uphold all things: concord of love and justice, concord of truth and imagination, and concord of the Mighty Ones and occurrence.
Three words of counsel from Teilo the Draoi: know thy power, know thy wisdom, and know thy time.
Three people who will please the Mighty Ones: they who love everything living with their whole heart, they who love every beautiful thing with their whole strength, and they who seek every knowledge with their whole understanding.
Three things between which there is great difference: what is praised and what is forgiven, what is forgiven and what is suffered, and what is suffered and what is not punished.
RESPECTING AMBITIONS AND THE ROADS TO SUCCESS:
Three things all should strive for: Oneness with their Gods; peace among neighbors; and just judgment.
Three things which help avert calamity: to worship the Mighty Ones, to be upright, and to exercise fortitude.
Three things by which comes success: Listen humbly , answer discreetly, and judge kindly.
Three foundations of success: a silent mouth, a careful ear, and a fitting action.
The three foundations of friendship are: Respect and trust; understanding and forbearance, a loving heart and helpful hands.
Three things for a friend: let them be to you a second self, let not their misery estrange you from them, do for their memory what you would do if they yet lived.
The three foundations of happiness: contentment; hope, and belief.
There are three things which the happy will gain: prosperity, honor, and ease of conscience.
Three purposes for the return of souls to this world : To collect into the soul the properties of all being , to acquire knowledge of all things , to acquire the power to overcome chaos.
Three things which continually grow less : darkness , falsehood, and death.
Three things constantly increase : light , life , and truth.
There are three who judge: the judgment we place upon ourselves , which lingers long; the judgment of our peers, through the king51, which lingers short; and the judgment of the Mighty Ones , and this swift, sure, and just .
There are three only , whose frenzy is a benefit to their people: The Warrior on the field of battle, the Dancer in the place of dance, and the Seeker of Justice where ever they may be.
RESPECTING THE TRUE HUMAN:52
The three highest causes of the true human are: Truth, honor, and duty.
The three manifestations of the true human are: civility, generosity, and compassion.
The three foundations of Spirituality: Hearth as altar, work as worship, and service as sacrament.53
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Sure Fire Press, 1984,
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Alexander Thom, 1865
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Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick,
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Peter Berresford Ellis,
Eerdman Publishing, c.1994,
- The Secret Teachings of All Ages;
Manly P. Hall;
The Philosophical Research Society, Inc.; 1988;
- The Story Of The Irish Race,
- The Veil Of Isis or Mysteries Of The Druids,
W. Winwood Reede,
Newcastle Publishing, 1992,
- The White Goddess (amended and enlarged edition),
Noonday, c. 1948,
- The Women Of The Celts,
Gordon Cremonesi Pub, 1975,
- Trioedd Ynys Prydein- The Welsh Triads;
translated and edited by Rachel Bromwich,
University of Wales Press, 1961
- 1 Though these particular ones are part of a great many that were given by a Welsh Bard , whom I met at a major national gathering , these are the ones that I have found independent confirmation for . That confirmation is their listing in The Veil Of Isis or Mysteries Of The Druids , W. Winwood Reade, Newcastle Publishing , 1992 , ISBN 0-87877-176-X, I will only list those which I can find, in either an authentic ancient text (primary source) , or from independent sources which can be trusted.
- 2 The Celtic Realms , Dillon and Chadwick , New American Library, 1967 , Library of Congress # 67-15326
- Story Of The Irish Race, Seumas MacManus, Devin-Adair, 1966, ISBN 0-517-06408-1
- 3 Story Of The Irish Race, Seumas MacManus, chapter 22.
- Women Of The Celts, J. Markale, Gordon Cremonesi Pub, ISBN 0-86033-001-X
THE CELTS-The People Who Came Out Of The Darkness, Gerherd Herm, St. Martins Press, 1975, ISBN 312-12705-7, pgs 58-60
- 4 La Tene
- 5 Encyclopedia Brittanica Vol. 9 (Micropedia), Encyclopedia Brittanica Inc, ISBN 0-85229-591-X, pg. 509
- 6 Individuals into clans, clans into tribes, tribes into races, races into species.....All things into all things, microcosm/s into macrocosm/s.
- 7 MORALS AND DOGMA-Ancient and Accepted Rite; Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, A.A.S.R.,U.S.A.; 1950, Scottish Rite Free Masonry
- 8 Encyclopeadia Brittanica Vol. 9; Encyclopeadia Brittanica; c. 1994; ISBN 0-85229-591-X; pg 509
- 9 Ogygia; Roderick O'Flaherty; 1685
- Lebor Gebala Erenn Vol 1-5; R.A.S. MacAlister;Irish Texts Society
- History of the Irish Race; Seumas MacManus; Devin-Adair;c.1921, 1945, 1966; ISBN 0-517-06408-1
- Iona; Fiona Macleod; Floris Books; c. 1910, 1991; 0-86315-5000-6
- The Silver Bough Vol 1-4; F. Mirian McNeill; Wm. MacClellan; c. 1977; ISBN 085335-161-9, 0-948474-04-1, 0-948474-05-X
- Carmina Gadelica; Alexander Carmichael; Lindisfarne Press; c.1992,1994; ISBN 0-940262-50-9
- 10 THE CELTS-The People Who Came Out Of The Darkness; Gerhard Herm; St. Martins Press; c. 1975; ISBN 312-12705-7; chapter 10
- 11 Published by the Irish Texts Society , London England .
- 12 Clues to exactly which words to use came from the Gaelic language itself. Suprisingly, many of the thought processes and ways of the ancient Gaelic Celts can be found in the language itself.
- 13 The Story of the Irish Race, Seumas macmanus, chapter 22
- 14 Ibid
- Celtic Realms, Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick; New American Library; LoC#67-15326;chapters 1-5
- 15 Originally found by me in The Secret Teaching of All Ages , Manly P. Hall , 1988 , 0-89314-830-X , (XXIII) ; they were confirmed in the Welsh Triads .
- 16 THE MASKS OF GOD-Primitive Mythology; Joseph Campbell;Penguin/Arcana; c. 1987; ISBN 0-14-019443-6
- 17 Dinneen's Irish-English Dictionary, Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen; Irish Texts Society; 1927
- FOCLOIR SCOILE-English-Irish,Irish-English Dictionary;An Gum; c. 1986; 1-85791-121-0
- 18 According to THE STORY OF THE IRISH RACE, Suemas MacManus, Devin-Adair Co., 1966, ISBN 0-51706408-1, pg 141 ; St. Patrick said that old Pagan law-givers were inspired by the Holy Spirit, quite a thing to come from him
- 19 As a matter of fact , in their preserved form , some of the Triads rail against kept priesthoods. Who knows exactly how these made it past the redactors. Perhaps it is because they were preserved in Latin , and were therefore out of reach of even most of royalty.
- 20 See notes under the triads on the Fila
- 21 Books of the Invasions; R.A.S. MacAlister; Irish Texts Society; London, England; Vol. 2
- 22 According to Strabo , Pliny , Caesar , and some of the Welsh Triads (these made it past the Christian censors , see section on Philosophy) the Celts believed in reincarnation.
- 23 In the Christianized version this has come down to us as peace . However in the Gaelic context it is bravery and fearlessness that insures peace ; adversaries won't attack an opponent who is strong and brave.
- 24 In the Triads the word "niggard" was used , an antiquated term not used today.
- 25 In the original sense "national" was synonymous with "tribal".
- 26 Fili' (fee-lah), the ones commonly, though errantly referred to as Druids. These were the brehons, the doctors that were called leeches, the joiners, smiths or metalworkers, poets, etc. They are those who created, or more concisely, those who had a skill.
- It must be remembered that each Craft or trade had not only an oral history and body of "mundane" technical knowledge that had to be memorized, but there was also magikal technical knowledge that had to be memorized , this was infact part of the technical information. For example, when a smith created a blade, the smith would also do magickal workings upon the artifact as it was being created. Not that there was necessarily a special ceremony for each blade, but that the magickal workings were part of the mundane workings. Each person in Celtic society was considered to have the ability and responsibility to mediate the Gods on their own accord. There was no special class or sector of the society that acted as a priesthood alone, this is evidenced by the many surviving Triads that speak against a kept priesthood or priests. Celtic people looked down on established priesthoods.
- The amount of time required for the study of a Craft was up to ninteen years , this time being connected to the lunar cycle of the same length. This time was spent learning all the above mentioned information. This information was stored in triads and poems formulated in eight meter verse. Fili' who had mastered their skill, and were teaching their skill were called Draoi (by consensus Druid) or rather "they who teach under the Oak". The Fili' were in fact the nobility. They were the "wise" and their particular craft was considered a/the Craft of the Wise. The phrase has nothing to do with magickal or religious practice specifically, especially as pertain to modern religious practices that utilize a similar term.. Their appellation is "Aes Dana" (Il dah-nay), Beloved of the Mother.
- Ruada (rue-ah-dah) or the warrior sector of society. It was out of this class that kings and queens who had been trained by the Fili' were usually selected, though there is evidence that the position was also filled out of the ranks of the Fili" as well.
- The word Ri or Righ (both pronounced 'ree'" is a word for king, and rian (ree-ahn) that for a queen.
- Aire means freemen. It constituted the rest of the productive society, their forte' being animal husbandry.
- 27 Same as an Ard-Righ, that is, a High King or Queen with the suffix of "...an" added.
- 28 The Righ (or rian), or King of the Tuath was oathed to a higher or superior king, the Ruiri. This person was bound to a yet higher King, the Ri' Ruirech or "the king of superior kings". The idea of a high or national king was a later development. To reconcile this with the American experience, it could be said that the Ri' ruled the Township, the Ruiri ruled the County, and the Ri' Ruirech ruled the State, there being no national king. It must be remembered that the basic unit was the clan, and that this familial unit, the Tuath, covered four generations. From Celtic Realms , Dillon and Chadwick
- 29 hosteller
- 30 Over-lord , in the modern sense could be either a politician or an employer.
- 31 In the modern sense , the lazy servant could be an employee.
- 32 In Celtic Society, the concept of land ownership was foreign, they believed that those who lived on or in a land were the stewards of the land
- 33 A paramour is an illicit lover , which in the context of Celtic society would be a lover taken when a marriage contract did not allow for one . If the contract allowed for such, then by Celtic ethical standards , it was all right to take a lover.
- 34 An employee would be the modern American equivalent.
- 35 Concubinage was one of eight levels of marriage in Celtic culture.
- 36 Those in power.
- 37 Material possessions.
- 38 Fili'
- 39 Speaking with their mouth full.
- 40 Cooked meat, already butchered meat awaiting cooking, still on the hoof. Restructured from information in The Story Of The Irish Race, chapter 31
- 41 This version found in an old Scottish book on ettiquette.
- 42 food to feed the guest if they are hungry
- 43 Welsh version
- 44 Irish version
- 45 Naidn most simply put was is surety given by oath in pledging ones honor. Aitire is when one pledges their own person and freedom in the case of default. A workable modern substitution is the pledging of ones' assets. In other words, collateral. Rath is surety given by another that the debtor will pay the debt.
- 46 Honour price: log n-enech, eneclann in Goidelic; or gwynecbwerth in Predani.
- 47 In Welsh (Cymry) , "Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Byd".
- 48 According to two different Native American Elders , this was a part of the beliefs of White people who lived here centuries before the Christian Whites came. The feasiblility of, and evidence for, is tenuously established in Dr. Barry Fells book America B.C.
- 49 Gaelic "dire", Welsh "dirwy".
- 50 Under Brehon law offenses were punishable by fines (dire, dirwy) being imposed and paid, usually in the form of cattle.
- 51 According to the May 1988 issue of Celtica-The Journal of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies-School of Celtic Studies, it is accurate in that it was not the brehons who judged, it was the King or Queen. The Brehon only recited the law, he/she did not act in the capacity of a judge.
- 52 Both of these triads are directly stated within the Dinneens dictionary.
- 53 The source of this is a traditionally trained Unamcara.