Turning 'Deisiol' or Sunwise

From A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland 1906

« previous page | contents | start of chapter | next page »

CHAPTER V....continued

8. Turning 'Deisiol,' or Sunwise.

The Celtic people were, and still are, accustomed to turn sunwise—i.e. from left to right—in performing certain rites; and the word deisiol [deshil] was used to designate this way of turning: from dess, now deas, 'the right hand': dessel or deisiol, 'right-hand-wise.' This custom is very ancient, and, like many others, has descended from pagan to Christian times. It was, indeed, quite as common among the Christian people of Ireland as among the pagans: and no wonder; for the great apostle Patrick, as well as several other eminent Irish saints, showed them the example. For instance, St. Patrick consecrated Armagh, as St. Senan did Scattery Island, each by walking sunwise with his followers in solemn procession round the site.

« previous page | contents | start of chapter | next page »