Publication Date



Cétnad nAíse, Celtic Religion, Celtic Invocation, Middle Irish, Celtic Magic, Senach, New Testament Apocrypha

Document Type



Celtic Studies | English Language and Literature | Folklore | History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Linguistics | Theatre History


Very little has been written about the baffling text of the Celtic invocation, the Cétnad nAíse, for the reason that it is abstruse, and the allusions in it resist sure explication. Despite the obstacles to interpreting the Cétnad nAíse, however, a close examination of the poem can yield some clues as to its sources, purpose, and, perhaps, authorship. To do this, the lines of the prayer will be treated in three groups: the four "invocations," the "petitions," and the "I am" sayings. It can be concluded that, contrary to some analysts, the content of the poem is derived mostly from pagan, Irish sources and that the Christian elements in it are sparse.