I first learned this word when I gave a talk at a Spiritual Retreat Centre by the same name in the North of Scotland in 2021. It is a beautiful word from my own culture and I am blessed to have met many Anam Cara in the last 2 years especially...
“In the Celtic tradition, there is a beautiful understanding of love and friendship. One of the fascinating ideas here is the idea of soul-love; the old Gaelic term for this is anam cara. Anam is the Gaelic word for soul and cara is the word for friend. So Anam Cara in the Celtic world was the “soul friend.” In the early Celtic church, a person who acted as a teacher, companion, or spiritual guide was called an anam cara. It originally referred to someone to whom you confessed, revealing the hidden intimacies of life. With the anam cara you could share your inner-most self, your mind, and your heart. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention, morality, and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with a “friend of your soul.”
*Except taken from the book Anam Cara - John O Donahue.
Does anyone know of a similar word in another country and culture?