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Showing posts from August, 2014

HIST & MYTH: Origins of Ancient Irish Manuscripts & Texts

Ireland is a country steeped in myth and legends, and too often, the lines between the realms of the spiritual and the world of the living converge.  Irish Mythology is complex with a vast amount of literature that it is unusual in comparison to other myths as it has no creation myth - things just were and Ireland always existed, shaped over time by different invaders. There was a period during the 6th to 8th centuries when Ireland entered a golden age, placing it as a centre of learning within Europe, a beacon of light when the rest of mainland Europe was in the period of the Dark Ages.  It was during this time when the famed Irish monks produced some incredible works of insular Celtic art.  Many annals produced by the Irish monastic monks are the original sources for the books and manuscripts of myth that were later translated and compiled into the texts we have today. 

Old Irish literature is written in Irish, Latin, Ulster Scots and English.  Ireland has contributed its share to w…

HIST & MYTH: Ancient Festivals of Fire

In an ancient time fires lit up the darkened skies offering protection and cleansing in rituals to the gods and to the spirits of nature. So the fire festivals continue to this day with variations to the originals by people with different beliefs and cultures. These are the four ancient Gaelic Fire Festivals that make up the annual seasonal cycles with their origins linked to the Irish Gods
Imbolc(01st of February - Spring)Bealtaine(01st of May - Summer)Lughnasadh(01st August - Autumn)Samhain(31st of October - Winter)
In ancient times several equinoxes and solstices would have been honoured for agricultural and seasonal influences however the eight points (or 8th Fold Wheel) along the calendar year is a relatively new adoption by modern paganism that has been incorporated into Wicca, Druid & Bard practices today. In addition to the four major festivals there are many others that are celebrated at different times of the year, varying on beliefs, like Midwinter (or Yule), Ostara,…

HIST & MYTH: Tuatha Dé Danann - A Family Tree

Written by Ben Kesp  Following on from my post on theIrish deities and mythological races of Ireland, I am trying my hand at compiling the family tree of the Tuatha Dé Danann.Not an easy task I will add due to the contradictory nature of Irish Mythology.Goddess Danu is seen as the mother of the Danann and Dagda or the Great Dagda is seen as the father of the Gods.It is unclear if Dagda is the son or the husband of Danu as different sources position him in both places.
There are five brothers: (Dagda, Dian Cécht, Lir, Nuada and Ogma). 
vDagda (God of Earth) (Father of the Gods) (King of Ireland)(Or Eochaid Garb) oHusband to Danu with children:      §Bridgit (Goddess of Poetry, Arts & Crafts) (Arrival of Spring - Imbolc) ·Wife to Bres (God of Agriculture) with child:   oRúadan §Bodh Derg (King of Tuatha Dé Danann when they and moved to the Sídhe) §Néith (God of War) ·Husband to Badb? (Daughter of Goddess Ernmas) §Midir ·Husband to Fúmnach ·Husband to Étaín (The Wooing of Étaín) §Áine §Cermait…