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Crosh Cuirn & Manx Gaelic Blessings

by Bernadette Weyde

Boaldyn is almost here and the Manx custom of annually replacing your Crosh Cuirn to protect your home is nearly upon us.  If you are a Christian perhaps you might identify it with the Cross symbol and if a Pagan, maybe it represents the Four Directions or Four Elements.  Whatever representation it has for you, it is a lovely tradition and something many Islanders do each year.  

If you would like to make one all you need is some rowan tree (cuirn/keirn in Manx Gaelic) and wool from a sheep (ideally Manx loaghtan but go with what you can find).  Trim the rowan to size, and having laid one rowan on top of the other, take your wool and wrap it around and around the centre to hold the cross-shape in place.  Hang on the inside of your front door or as near to it as you can, and if you have more than one exterior door, make as many as you need and place a Crosh at each door. 

I like to say a few words of blessing when I hang mine and here are some Manx blessings you may like to use or adapt.

Shee Yee as shee ghooinney,
Shee Yee er Columb Killey.
Er dagh uinnag as dagh ghorrys,
Er dagh howl
Goaill stiagh yn Re-hollys,
Er Kiare corneillyn y thie,
Er y voayl ta mee my lhie
As shee Yee orrym-pene!

Peace of God and Peace of Man,
Peace of God on Columb Killey.
On each window and each door,
On each hole
Admitting moonlight.
On the four corners of the house,
On the place of my rest,
And the peace of God on myself!

Slaynt vie as maynrys er y thie shoh.

Good health and happiness on this house.

This following blessing is from a Scottish Gael, John Williamson, and is offered in Manx Gaelg:

Ellan Vannin, bannaght ort –
Er dagh ooilley thie as cooyrt,
Er dagh ooilley fer as ben,
Er dagh ooilley bab as clean,
Er dagh ooilley beisht as eean,
Er dagh ooilley cronk as glion,
Er dagh ooilley keyll as coan,
Er dagh ooilley magher as moain,
Er dagh ooilley purt as baie,
Oor yei oor as laa lurg laa:
Moghrey mogh as oie anmagh,
Dy bannee Íosa shiu dy bragh.

Ellan Vannin, a blessing on you –
On every house and yard,
On every man and woman,
On every babe and cradle,
On every beast and bird,
On every hill and glen,
On every forest and valley,
On every field and turf,
On every harbour and bay,
Hour after hour day after day,
Early morning and late night,
May Jesus bless you for ever.

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