Ag Damhsa ag an gCrosbhóthar i mí Lúnasa

Dancing at the crossroads in August In olden times (yes, I did attend such a chéileadh as a child with my grandparents. I’m middle-aged not old), rural Ireland had a small gathering celebration at August weekends in the evening at crossroads. It was a tradition where families would meet with other ones at crossroads thatContinue reading “Ag Damhsa ag an gCrosbhóthar i mí Lúnasa”

An Gréine, an Tarbh, an Foladh, agus an Fómhair.

The Sun, the Bull, the Blood, and the Harvest. It is generally accepted as a common belief that Lughnasadh is the beginning of the Harvest and the festivities associated with this time of year. Andrew Gibbons already posted this today especially on Lugh Lamhfáda’s foster mother, an Tailitú, which is in nearly everyone of theContinue reading “An Gréine, an Tarbh, an Foladh, agus an Fómhair.”

Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 6

As a form of hangover of the outmoded idea that the filid were ‘Christian druids’, a phrase to guarantee so called experts to come out of the woodwork, there is a tendency to imagine that the order of professional poets and men of learning remained basically the same between the 6th and 11th Centuries. ScholarsContinue reading “Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 6”

Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of Master Poets Part 5

Many of the Tuatha Dé bear names that explicity connect them with the arts with one very obvious example being Credne, the divine bronze-crafter, whose name etymologically means the ‘skilled one’ and is related to cerd meaning ‘art’, ‘skill’ and/or ‘artisan’ (‘Iddánach, Ildírech:A Festschrift for Proinsias Mac Cana’ JT Koch, J Carey & PY Lambert).Continue reading “Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of Master Poets Part 5”

Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 4

The second section of the Tuatha Dé interlude in the ‘Book of Invasions’ is a chronological list of their rulers/kings with the length of their reigns; Núada 7 years, Brés 7 years, Núada (2nd reign with silver arm) 20 years, Lugh 40 years, an Dagda 80 years, Delbaeth 10 years, Fíachu mac Delbaeth 10 years,Continue reading “Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 4”

Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 3

When we turn to what the ‘Lebór Gabála’ actually says about the reign of the Tuatha Dé, the account of their soveignity over the Island falls into 3 sections. The 1st is of their invasion and defeat of the Fir Bolg (the first battle of Moytura). The 2nd provides a list of their kings, andContinue reading “Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 3”

Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 2

The Irish pseudohistorical tradition is quite plainly a rat’s nest but, the stages of it’s growth can be reconstructed (‘Leabhar Gabhála, Part 1’ Snowcroft). The point may not need labouring, but the story of successive invasions is demonstrably not pre-Christian as it developed gradually in early Christian Ireland (‘Native Elements in Irish Pseudohistory’ J CareyContinue reading “Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 2”

Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 1

There is a certain orchestrated haziness of the way in which the authors of sagas have handled native Gods, and this can be exploited for literary effect. As with Manannán’s epiphany to Bran, or that of Midir to the unhappy Eochaid Airem, the Gods intrude and then are lost in sight, leaving the question ofContinue reading “Irish Pseudohistory and Lore of the Master Poets Part 1”

The Concept of the Irish Family Pantheon: Imported or Native

Because Irish written records did not manifest until the 8th Century, we can be thankful to the Early Irish monks who captured the old legends and sagas through script, although using a Christain filter. It is difficult to know exactly when a society exchanges one religion for another as it takes time but we knowContinue reading “The Concept of the Irish Family Pantheon: Imported or Native”