There are many ways to use words. When Whitley published Transformation, he wrote down some of the "star language" that Betty Andreasson had heard "aliens" speaking during her UFO encounter. Using a Gaelic-English dictionary that he found in a dusty old bookstore downtown that was going out of business, he translated it as "Children of the Northern peoples, you wander in eternal darkness." This especially interested him because the Irish (whose original language is Gaelic) are famous for seeing fairies, elves and "little folk." In his book "Passport to Magonia," Jacques Valle guessed that these were other names for what we now call "aliens."
Whitley also learned something about a word I spontaneously came out with and still say quite often: "Shl’ogham." I don’t know where this word came from, I just spontaneously came out with it during the early years of our marriage. Whitley learned from an expert in Celtic languages that we once met that this is a greeting in the ancient Gaelic language called "Ogham," and that the response to someone saying "Shl’ogham" is "Ogham." It’s a variation on an exchange that every culture uses: "How are you?" "Fine, and you?" We postulated that the Ogham language is somehow in my GENES, since I have a lot of Celtic blood in my ancestry (I even have a Scottish middle name). I’ve never found the word online, but as this man was an expert, we’ve assumed that he was correct.
Once, when we were both taking French lessons at Berlitz in New York, Whitley invited his teacher out to our cabin in upstate New York. We were sitting on the porch swing, chatting with each other in front of an open window, while Whitley’s teacher was inside the house. He came out and asked us, "What language were you speaking? I didn’t recognize it."
This was pretty amazing, since he not only spoke several languages fluently but working at Berlitz, he HEARD almost every language on the globe, but he didn’t recognize ours. I know how that is–After living in New York for so many years, I can RECOGNIZE Hebrew, Portuguese and Italian, even though I can’t speak those languages.
I think we may have been speaking Ogham. Sometimes when we converse enthusiastically–in the car, for instance–we stop and wonder whether or not we were really speaking English, as we assumed we were.
I often say "Sh’logham" when I’m tired or very relaxed, as if the left side of my brain is taking a break from speaking English and letting my right hemisphere express itself.
I’m writing this at the end of the day, when I’m about to close up my computer, so I have only one thing to say to you: "Sh’logham." And now you know what the polite reply should be.
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