Imbas Forosnai, an ancient Irish practice, was a visionary ability exercised by the gifted poets of ancient Ireland. This clairvoyant gift was considered a form of sacred poetic inspiration.
Redraw this image
In Old Irish, 'Imbas' means 'inspiration', specifically referring to the sacred poetic inspiration believed to be possessed by the fili, the inspired, visionary poets of Early Ireland.
'Forosnai' translates to 'illuminated' or 'that which illuminates', further emphasizing the enlightening nature of this practice.
The practice of Imbas Forosnai involved the practitioner engaging in sensory deprivation techniques to enter a trance and receive answers or predictions.
One notable instance of Imbas Forosnai in action is found in the Táin Bó Cúailnge, where the woman poet Fedelm uses her Imbas Forosnai to predict the outcome of a battle.
The ritual allowing the poet to exercise his Imbas Forosnai involved chewing a piece of the red flesh of a pig, dog, or cat, and then chanting an invocation over it to unnamed gods.
The poet would then chant over his two palms and ask that his sleep not be disturbed, indicating a possible connection to dream visions or prophetic dreams.
Imbas Forosnai, a combination of occult power and teinm laída, is a testament to the rich and mystical traditions of ancient Ireland, reflecting the deep connection between poetry, prophecy, and the spiritual realm.