I am very excited to share with you all that my book Psalter of the Birds has been published and is available for purchase on Amazon! This book has been a long time in the making and has been a labour of love from many members of our community.
Psalter of the Birds is a collection of Celtic poetry from Ireland, Wales, and Scotland spanning from the early middle ages up to the nineteenth century. The poems are arranged in such a way that they can be read or chanted. There is music and instructions on how to chant included for those who are interested in using it that way. I have also written an introduction which includes an exploration of the Celtic understanding of birds as angels who sing the liturgy as well as three treaties on the triple way from a poet’s perspective.
My dear friend Carmen Acevedo Butcher has contributed a translation of Caedmon’s hymn to the volume, wrote the blurb for the back cover, and did an interview with me about the book. The blurb and the video can be found below. If you are receiving this in an email, you will need to click HERE to open the video in YouTube. You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking HERE.
“Psalter of the Birds is a wonder! Modeled on the tenth-century Irish Saltair na Rann, this one-of-a-kind actual psalter—for reading AND for singing—celebrates and revives our participation in the sacred beauty all around us. Contemplative leader Justin Coutts has filled it generously, even to overflowing, with historical poetry, chants, hymns, and other pieces from early Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and English bards. Open to any page, and be amazed when out tumbles a mystical tree covered in birds, sacred sea voyages, holy purple heather, the sacramental beauty of cattle at pasture and fish in shining lakes, the God of Awen or inspiration, also the flowing river and the wind, Jesukin (the baby Jesus), a song of mead, the sacred act of smooring the fire to make the Tula nan Trì or Hearth of the Three, and a conversation with an eagle, to give a sampling.
Coutts’ Psalter of the Birds revives and makes accessible in presentation and in fresh language, this motherlode of Celtic mysticism, taking us onto the third way, where everything ordinary is also powerfully mystical. Useful in personal devotion, liturgical settings, and informal gatherings, expect the new and unexpected in these ancient, wise songs as they harmonize the soul and help us join in on the cosmic music of the spheres. Entering this collection, you’ll find that your heart is gently warmed as you’re invited to participate in a unity that respects boundaries and is also deeper than boundaries, honoring and transcending them and the human condition to help us taste joy, love, and ongoing communal transformation.”
You can purchase a copy of the book by clicking HERE.