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    Hans Hellinger

    Brosnachadh – Scottish “Battle Poetry”, used to incite the friendly forces into attacking. Apparently the last Bardic clan of Scotland was the MacMhuirich, who were based in the Northern Islands of Scotland and later were under the protection of the MacDonalds.

    This is an example (translated into English) recited from before a battle in 1411:

    “You Clan of Conn, remember this:

    Strength from the eye of the storm,
    Be at them, be animals,
    Be alphas, be Argus-eyed
    Be belters, be batterers,
    Be bonny, be batterers,
    Be cool heads, be caterans
    Be clashers, be conquerors,
    Be doers, be dangerous,
    Be dashing, be diligent,
    Be eager, be excellent,
    Be eagles, be elegant
    Be foxy, be ferrety,
    Be fervid, be furious,
    Be grimmer, be gralloching,
    Be grinders, be gallopers,
    Be hardmen, be hurries,
    Be hell-bent, be harriers,
    Be itching, be irritants,
    Be impish, be infinite,
    Be lucky, be limitless,
    Be lashers, be loftiest,
    Be manly, be murderous,
    Be martial, be militant,
    Be noxious, be noisiest,
    Be knightly, be niftiest,
    Be on guard, be orderly,
    Be off now, be obdurate,
    Be prancing, be panic-fress,
    Be princely, be passionate,
    Be rampant, be renderers,
    Be regal, be roaring boys,
    Be surefire, be Somerleds,
    Be surgers, be sunderers,
    Be towering, be tactical,
    Be tip-top, be targetters,
    Be urgent, be up for it,
    In vying, be vigorous,
    In ending all enemies.
    Today is for triumphing,
    You hardy great hunting-dogs,
    You big-boned braw battle boys,
    You lightfoot spry lionhearts,
    You wall of wild warriors,
    You veterans of victories,
    You heroes in your hundreds here,
    You Clan of Conn, remember this:
    Strength from the eye of the storm.”


    This is quite interesting – it reminds me of my concept of “triggers” on the old forums:

    The difference in the trigger and this chant seems to be the internalization of the effect. The chant, verse, etc., uses a mass of verbiage to establish an ideal state of being to those that choose to take it in. It captures the attention long enough, and projects enough of an image through its description, that it can be “deployed” on an audience without any special preparation the audience must do on their own, except what might be normally required of them. To clarify, if you have a chant or verse you “deploy” on warriors, you must expect of those individuals that they be willing and able to fight. But, nothing more.

    In contrast, the trigger – as defined by my old forum post – is a state of mind the individual prepares for themselves. It is possible that another individual could deploy the trigger on the one affected by said trigger, but without that internal, self-preparation, the trigger is ineffectual.

    …All-in-all, very interesting! And, it demonstrates two different approaches by which one arrives at, basically, the same end result.

    Hans Hellinger

    Yes this is quite interesting, I liked the idea then and definitely see the correlation now with this.

    The bardic stuff is deep, and fascinating, and kind of walks a line between ‘magic’ and psychology. Or another way to put it might be, it walks a line between the fantastic (that we tend to think of as imaginary) and the quite real if not fully understood.

    The Gaelic / druidic lore was deeply into Rhetoric, in fact during the Early Roman Empire, it was apparently common for Greek and Roman nobles to hire a Celtic teacher for Rhetoric. One of the most interesting aspects of the science of Rhetoric is the science of mnemonics. Which (among many other things) has to do with kind of programming your own brain like with the memory palace. Some of the Renaissance scholars (like Raymond Lull and Giordano Bruno) believed that they could do something a lot like what you describe in your idea of ‘triggers’, using special symbols like this one:

    …and they also believed they could kind of ‘hack’ other people’s minds! This went on for a long time, Isaac Newton also believed this and got into some kind of ‘wizard battle’ with a rival in Poland attempting to use this method (they were in an argument about calculus).

    It’s a bit like neuro-linguistic programming. Something we know works, and can see real-world results from (sometimes quite negative results as with cults) but definitely don’t fully understand.

    I like the rhetorical style of the Gaelic ‘battle poetry’ as a broad genre, the passage I quoted above is very similar in style to some of the writing in the Irish mythological cycle books, and I thought in particular it reminded me a lot of the language in this book called “The War of the Irish with the Foreigners”

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