A COMPILATION OF TRIADS
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
Three beautiful beings of the world: the upright, the skillful, and the
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
Three kinds of contenders on the death of a powerful rich person: their
detractors for their reputation, kinsmen for their goods, and worms for
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
Three measuring-rods of every person: their dreams, their fears, and
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,
Three things hard for any to do: cool the fire, dry the water and please
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
and desire of worldly goods
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
Three to whom it is right to give food: the stranger, the solitary, and
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.
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
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.
Three things all should have on hand for a guest, expected or not: open
door, undry cauldron42,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
Three things of which one does not see half enough: life, health, and
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
Three things necessary for the doing of every act: knowledge, ability,
There are three parts to every action: thought, word, and deed.
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
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;
The three foundations of learning: seeing much; studying much; and
The three foundations of thought: perspicuity, amplitude, and
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
Three special virtues of wisdom: generosity, industry, and prudence.
Three initiations of wisdom: lawful teaching, effective customs, and
Three operations of wisdom : taming savagery, spreading peace, and
RESPECTING THOSE WHO ARE WISE:
There are three schools of one who is wise: conscience, reason, and
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
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
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
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
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
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,
The three foundations of Spirituality: Hearth as altar, work as worship,
and service as sacrament.53
Dr. Barry Fell,
Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, 1989,
Carmina Gadelica Vol. 1-6,
translated by Alexander Carmichael,
Scottish Academic Press, 1972
Carmina Gadelica (abridged version),
Lindisfarne Press, c.1992,1994;
Celtic Heritage-Ancient Tradition in Ireland and Wales,
Alwyn Rees and Brinley Rees,
Thames and Hudson, 1961,
Celtica-Journal of the Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies,
"The King As Judge",
Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies-School of Celtic Studies.
Focloir Gaedhilge agus Bearla,
(Dinneens Gaelic-English Dictionary),
Patrick S. Dinneen,
Irish Texts Society, 1927
Druidic Triads - The Wisdom Of The Cymry,
Sure Fire Press, 1984,
Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. 9,
Encyclopedia Britanica Inc., 1994,
Lebor Gabala Erenn Vol. 1-5,
Irish Texts Society, 1939-1950
MASKS of GOD-Primitive Mythology,
Morals and Dogma - Ancient and Accepted Rite;
Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction,
A.A.S.R., U.S.A. (Scottish Rite), 1950
Alexander Thom, 1865
THE CELTS - The People Who Came Out Of The Darkness,
St. Martins Press, 1975,
The Celtic Realms,
Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick,
New American Library, 1967,
Library Of Congress # 67-15326
The Celtic Tradition,
Element Inc., 1989,
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
Brittanica Vol. 9 (Micropedia), Encyclopedia Brittanica Inc, ISBN
0-85229-591-X, pg. 509
into clans, clans into tribes, tribes into races, races into
species.....All things into all things, microcosm/s into
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
Brittanica Vol. 9; Encyclopeadia Brittanica; c. 1994; ISBN
0-85229-591-X; pg 509
Roderick O'Flaherty; 1685
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
Macleod; Floris Books; c. 1910, 1991; 0-86315-5000-6
Bough Vol 1-4; F. Mirian McNeill; Wm. MacClellan; c. 1977; ISBN
085335-161-9, 0-948474-04-1, 0-948474-05-X
Gadelica; Alexander Carmichael; Lindisfarne Press; c.1992,1994; ISBN
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
Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick; New American Library;
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
16 THE MASKS OF
GOD-Primitive Mythology; Joseph Campbell;Penguin/Arcana; c. 1987;
Irish-English Dictionary, Rev. Patrick S. Dinneen; Irish Texts
SCOILE-English-Irish,Irish-English Dictionary;An Gum; c. 1986;
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
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;
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
25 In the
original sense "national" was synonymous with "tribal".
(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
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.
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.
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"
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
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.
was one of eight levels of marriage in Celtic culture.
36 Those in
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,
41 This version
found in an old Scottish book on ettiquette.
42 food to feed
the guest if they are hungry
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.
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 BC
"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.
Read the novels of the
Dragon Skies, Beneath A Dragon
Sky, The Last Dragon Harper, Dragon
Harper Curse, and the new Red Knight and Dragon Skies, the history of Myrddin,
the last Dragon
Harper. Dragon Skies is a thrilling, dark and sensual story of war and revenge set
in 6th Century Celtic Scotland.