A Gaelic Polytheist who lives on the west coast of Scotland with my husband, children, and menagerie of animals, enjoying a quiet life. I'm a keen photographer (though I make no claim whatsoever of being any good, or actually having any clue of how to work a proper camera...), author (sort of), and perpetual student of Gaelic, I graduated from Glasgow Uni with a Joint Honours MA in Archaeology and Celtic Civilisation a long time ago (to the tune of almost several decades ago now...), specialising in early medieval Gaeldom and early Irish literature.

I first dipped an official toe into Gaelic Polytheism back in 2004, after lurking on the edges for a good few years prior, and then I began writing articles on an old blog – the first incarnation of Tairis – from around 2006 (happily assuming that nobody would read them...). With lots of support and encouragement, these writings eventually became the official website, Tairis, which I (that is to say, my husband and resident tech expert...) set up in the February of 2008. About a year later I set up this blog as a sister-site, to house my more personal musings and adventures along this Gaelic Polytheist Lifeway. 

About Tairis

As a label, Gaelic Polytheism was first used by Celtic Reconstructionists who were looking for a more culturally specific identifier than CR (as an umbrella term) allowed for at the time. Since then, Gaelic Polytheism has arguably come to mean different things to different people, and although our approaches may be similar at times, not every Gaelic Polytheist today may identify as a reconstructionist or have anything to do with it. To be clear, then, I do view myself as a reconstructionist, and that's what my Gaelic Polytheist practice is to me. I don't presume to speak for Gaelic Polytheists or Gaelic Polytheism as a whole, and claim no authority or right to. That would be silly.

My own focus as a Gaelic Polytheist is, for the most part, culturally and linguistically Scottish in focus, although this inevitably has roots in Ireland and there's a lot of important and inspirational information to be found in all three of the Gaelic cultures (of Scotland, Ireland, and Man). 

I chose the name "Tairis" for my website, and this blog, because it's a Gaelic word that's primarily given to mean 'the dairymaid's cry to calm an unruly cow at milking,' as listed by the nineteenth century linguist Macbain, and with secondary meanings of 'loving' or 'kind.' Going back to Old Irish, it translates as 'loyal'. Aside from my own love of cows, and the fact that such a word ever existed to express such a thing, tickles me to my soul, and I feel that the Old Irish root of 'loyal' (and another modern meaning, 'faithful'), are good ones. It brings to mind the meaning of 'constant', and that's what I strive to be on an ever-evolving, but dedicated, spiritual lifeway.

The Tairis website first began as a way of concentrating on my research and giving myself a bit more direction than I'd had up until that point, at a time when there wasn't an awful lot out there for beginners, or Gaelic Polytheists in general. Writing gave me the motivation for my research and it helped me order my thoughts and figure my own personal practices out, and blogging about my experiences and sharing more personal aspects of my ever-evolving spirituality here has helped me find a community, as well as people I'm honoured to have come to call a part of my family.

This blog here is intended to be a place where I post about the more experiential, practical aspects of my spirituality, along with all different kinds of blether about various things I might think of that relate to Gaelic Polytheism, culture, and folklore. As a parent, much of this blog focuses the kind of things I involve my kids with, but alongside that you'll find the odd book review, notes on academic articles, pointers to new work I've collaborated on, along with posts about things in the news and the odd purty picture I've taken. You can also find me at my Wordpress blog Tairis Tales, which is intended to host all kinds of excerpts of lore, tales, myths, and more... Respectful comments and discussion are always welcome.

Links to further resources, social media, and blogs I enjoy can be found over on the right of this page.