Today, satire refers to biting, snarky incendiary sarcasm, often humorous, generally aimed at politicians and people of power. But to the ancient Irish, whose society was founded on a code of honour, satire had a much darker, and more practical purpose. To compose a satire against someone was to challenge their authority and call their honour into question. There could be no greater shame.
This act of looking into the future and chanting or reciting prophecy in the form of poetry is called Imbas Forosnai (imbas meaning ‘inspiration’, in particular the sacred poetic inspiration of the ancient Filidh, and forosnai meaning ‘illuminating’ or ‘that which illuminates’).