Sunday, January 6, 2013

Second Sight.

When the Celtic people emigrated from Ireland to Scotland, along with their Celtic religion, they brought with them a strong belief in, fairies, superstitions, myths and legends. This resulted in a culture that was governed by rituals intended to bring good luck, blessing, to promote prosperity, to help them to select a mate, to influence crop yields, increase fertility, and to protect them from evil and tragedy. Simple day-to-day activities, things like how to plant a field, to lead a cow, the order in which ingredients were added to a pot, and direction it was stirred, the proper way to celebrate feasts and sacred days were all carried out according to legendary practices. Breaking with tradition or going against the myth meant you were inviting trouble. Many a tale was told of those who had done just that and the grave consequences.

Perhaps one of the most prevalent beliefs of the Celtic people living in the Highlands was in the “gift of second sight.” The Gaelic name for this form of precognition was dà shealladh, which translated means two sights,  the ability of a person to not only see the world as all normal humans do, but they also had the skill to see the spirit world. Called a gift by some, it was often seen by those said to possess these abilities as a curse.

The taibhs (spirits) beheld by the taibhsear (person with second sight) in what was referred to as astaibhsearchd (the act of precognition) usually foretold of unhappy events and often of impending death. Sometimes the premonitions were clearly observed in a vision depicting the event exactly as it would unfold—a noose around someone’s throat, someone submerged in water and struggling to catch a breath, or a headless man—but more often the events were seen symbolically.

The shroud, the corpse-candle or spectral illuminations, each held a specific significance.  The shroud of death and where it was wrapped around a person’s body indicated how long they had to live. Draped around the middle or below, meant death might not occur for months or even a year, but the higher it was positioned, the sooner the death would occur.  Wrapped around a specific part of the body could signify the way they would die. A full funeral procession, the way being lit by corpse-candles and other illuminations was also viewed as a sign of impending demise. If a spark of fire was seen falling upon someone’s arm or breast, this indicated the dead of a child, especially if seen in the arms of that person.  Seeing an empty seat when someone was sitting in it was a sign that sudden death was near.

The knowledge of when and where a person would die, to see the demise of friends and family, or simply being aware of people’s nature in general was a heavy burden to carry and often feared.  Even though the visions came on them without warning and was not by choice, the person with second sight often found themselves living in solitude. Be it by preference or forced upon them.
What has this got to do with my book????
In Highland Quest, book 2 of my Highlander series, Fallon, the heroine, has the gift of second sight. How she sees this gift and the significance of her preomonisions about Bryce's death plays a role in the story and her ability to allow herself to fall in love.
Get your copy and find out what happens.
 Don't forget the first book in the series Highland Legacy is available in print and e-book
Available at Amazon, Barnes and noble, Soul Mate Publishing and kobo.


Debby said...

I had the privilege of visiting Scotland and Ireland. I love hearing stories of the legends.
debby236 at gmail dot com

B J Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by again Debby ;)