Dream Gates

Dream Gates


St Patrick’s breastplate

posted by Robert Moss

Bronze shield from Lough Gur in National Museum of Ireland

It may be good to start St Patrick’s Day with a Celtic blessing that has been given his name. The blessing is known as Saint Patrick’s Breastplate. It is a lorica, or “breastplate-charm”, believed to offer a shield of protection as we journey through life.

The translation of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate was made from the Old Irish by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1889. The original text was probably written down in the 8th century, some 300 years after Patrick’s ministry in Ireland.

But my favorite verse, moving in the waves of a traditional druidic incantation for protection on a journey, probably predates the saint and the coming of Christianity to Ireland by many centuries:

I arise now through
the strength of heaven
light of sun
radiance of moon
splendor of fire
speed of lightning
swiftness of wind
depth of ocean
stability of earth
firmness of rock 

We often speak these lines on the last morning of the retreats I lead, claiming our connection with the elemental powers that are named, and with the power of heaven, through our body language as well as through speech.

In its fuller version, as a Christian hymn, the blessing begins with this affirmation:

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same
the Three in One and One in Three 

You can easily find the full version online by searching for “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate” or “I bind unto myself today”. You’ll notice there are different versions of the text, which is also in many hymnals.

If you want to say this blessing today, in whatever form, you will want to speak the words three times. All Celts know that three times makes the charm.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia

    Interesting how feminine that breast plate looks?
    Thank you Robert for reminding me of this druidic saying.

Previous Posts

The best way to understand a dream
The best way to grasp the meaning of a dream, and to determine what action the dream requires, is to go back inside the dream and recover more of the story. We should never confuse a dream report - what we remember and can say about a dream - with the full experience of the dream itself. Even a very

posted 10:59:39am Jan. 22, 2015 | read full post »

The Underground Railroad of Dreams
Harriet Tubman dreamed of flying to freedom, over landscapes she subsequently crossed on foot when she made her escape from slavery in the South. Later she was guided by specific precognitive or clairvoyant dreams to safe houses, river crossings and friendly helpers she had never encountered in waki

posted 9:22:16am Jan. 15, 2015 | read full post »

Back to Basics (4) We Dream the Future, All the Time
Our dreams are constantly coaching us for challenges and opportunities that lie ahead of us on the roads of life. It’s possible that we rehearse everything that will take place in the future in our dreams, though we forget most of it. Across human evolution, dreaming has been a vital survival mech

posted 2:17:41am Dec. 27, 2014 | read full post »

Back to Basics (3) The dead are alive in our dreams
Contact with the deceased, especially in dreams, is natural and easy if we are open to it. It’s a very common experience. Our dead may still be around, because they have not yet moved on and that can be problematic if they don’t understand that they are dead (in the sense of not having physical

posted 6:59:15am Dec. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Back to Basics (2) How to Become a More Active Dreamer
Let’s start with baby steps. Many of us in the contemporary world have been suffering a prolonged dream drought. You want to end the drought and renew your connection with your dreams. So you set a juicy intention for the night – “I want to have fun in my dreams and remember” or “I open my

posted 7:45:23am Dec. 24, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.