Often described as an Irish blessing, it was written by Mike Heron (a Scot) and recorded by the Incredible String Band in 1967. It later became a standard for several spiritual groups.
Turns out I also wrote about this verse early this year, with more details of its background.
The ornament is a play on the golden egg. In India this is Hiranya Garbha, a form of the creator and the seed form of the universe. In the west we have Aesop’s Fable of the goose that laid golden eggs. Variations of the fable made their way east as well.
Nowadays, a golden egg is seen one of two ways: as a symbol of success or as “laying an egg,” as in a spectacular failure. The first forgets the original fable, the second remembers it.
My intent here was a playful illustration – do we follow what is shiny and bright or the inner light?