The Celts: Becoming a Seer

The gift of the ‘sight’ was highly valued by the Celts. But this gift could cause the possessor great sorrow, especially if he or she foresaw the death of someone close to them. On the other hand, the seer might be able to avert catastrophe after receiving a premonition danger.

The most famous see in Irish mythology was Fionn, whose name means ‘wise or knowing one’. It was said that he gained his special ability while cooking a salmon: he accidentally burned his finger and stuck it in his mouth. Instantly, he knew everything, because the salmon was the salmon of knowledge, which had eaten nine hazelnuts from the tree of wisdom hanging over a magic pool in the Otherworld.

A different point of view

When you turn around
It is always behind you.
But with the back of your head
You can see it clearly

Photo: Fionn mac Cumhaill’s Fingers (Shantemon Stone Row) are a set of five standing stones on Shantemon mountain in Co Cavan. The name is derived from the story that giant Celtic warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill lost a hand in battle. The stones are arranged in a south-east/north-west orientation.

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