Spring Equinox in the Ancient Irish Calendar | 20 March 2019

Equinox is the date (or moment) some astronomical alignments in Ireland mark as being auspicious. Not many, mind you, but some, like the cairn on Loughcrew or the two passages of Knowth, a sort of super-alignment with quadruple significance. Though the actual alignment of Knowth is disputed, it might be a lunar alignment or not […]

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#OTD – In the old Celtic calendar, today is Sheelah’s Day.

In the old Celtic calendar, today is Sheelah’s Day. In ancient Ireland, it was an annual festival to honour the fertility Goddess known as Sheela-na-gig. Naked Sheela-na-gig figures appeared in Irish churches constructed before the 16th century, but most were defaced or destroyed during the prudish Victorian age. According to some sources, the origins of […]

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Ancient Irish Law

‘Irish law is the oldest, most original, and most extensive of mediaeval European legal systems. It is a unique legal inheritance, an independent indigenous system of advanced jurisprudence that was fully evolved by the eighth century. It is also far less well-known than it deserves.’ ‘Early medieval Ireland evolved a system of law (often called […]

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Bechbretha | Brehon Law on Beekeeping

In ancient Ireland, beekeeping was so important that there was a complete list of laws dedicated to beekeeping, called  ‘Bechbretha’, during the time of our Brehon laws. In the seventh century AD the laws were written down for the first time. Brehon law was administered by Brehons, or ‘brithem’ derived from the Irish ‘breitheamh’ meaning […]

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The Celts of Ancient Ireland

The first historical record of the Celts was by the Greeks about 700 BC, the Celts were a loose grouping of tribes that lived in an area north of the Alps around the Danube river in central Europe. Over the next few hundred years they spread east and west across Europe. The Celts first arrived […]

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“January God”

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, doorways, endings and time. He is usually a two-faced god since he looks to the future and the past. The Romans dedicated the month of January to Janus. His most apparent remnant in modern culture is […]

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Brehon Law and the Establishment of Copyrights

Copyright law actually began with the Brehon Laws of Ancient Ireland over 1000 years before it appeared in English legislation. It started and ended in a bitter and brutal dispute over royalties. The dispute arose in 563 AD between two of the top contributors in the monastic schools of Ireland: Saint Colmcille and Saint Finian, […]

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Giant’s Grave

Moytura is where the Tuatha Dé Danann began their invasion by taking on the Fir Bolg in a battle for the possession of Ireland. It’s name in Irish is Cath Maighe Tuireadh, meaning ‘Battle of the Plain of Pillar’. The Danann won. Some thirty years later, a second battle of Moytura was fought, this time […]

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Fáilas

Fáilas was one of the four cities of the Tuatha Dé Danann, along with Gorias, Findias, and Murias, whence they came to Ireland. Morfessa was the instructor of learning there. In their departure the Tuatha Dé Danann took the magical stone of Fál with them. That stone would cry out to choose the rightful King […]

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Ancient Irish Olympics – The Lughnasa Games at Telltown

The Telltown or Tailtiu Games were said to have been instituted by the Gaelic god Lú Lamhfada Samildanách – Lugh­ the Long-Armed Master of the Arts, and are considered to be the Irish Olympics Games. They predate the Greek Olympics by about 1200 years and it could be reasonably speculated that the Irish Telltown Games […]

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