Category: Irish folklore
Winter Solstice | The Holly King vs The Oak King
‘Things have to get worse before they can get better.’ With each passing day of autumn we lose daylight. However, as the Winter Solstice arrives, the shortest day arrives, and we gain more daylight going forward. Ancient people, who spent more time outdoors, were acutely aware of this annual ebb and flow of daylight, the […]Read More
Mistletoe, Mythology and Folklore
From the earliest times mistletoe has been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. Kissing under the mistletoe is a well-known holiday tradition, but this little plant’s history as a symbolic herb dates back thousands of years. Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties. The plant’s romantic overtones […]Read More
Crow Goddess | Morrigan
Draped over her shoulders, with its full hood pulled around her face and sweeping to the ground behind her, was a cloak made entirely of ravens’ feathers. The crow is a personification of the three Mórrígna in Celtic mythology and especially of Badb Mórrigu, the harbinger of doom. In this form, she seems to be […]Read More
From the motion-within-stillness of the endless knot, constructed on principles of cosmic geometry, to the stark simplicity of the cup or cauldron, the Celts wove a web of symbols which remind us that there is a deep and sometimes hidden meaning in the everyday. Whether you wear a triskele around your neck, recite stories to […]Read More
Oíche Shamna Shona Daoibh! Happy Halloween!
Samhain and Irish Mythology
Irish mythology was originally a spoken tradition, but much of it was eventually written down in the Middle Ages by Christian monks, who Christianised it to some extent. Nevertheless, these tales may shed some light on what Samhain meant and how it was marked in ancient Ireland. Irish mythology tells us that Samhain was one […]Read More
The Celtic Journey
“Do not fall on a bed of sloth, Let not thy intoxication overcome thee; Begin a voyage across the clear sea, If perchance thou mayst reach the land of women.” –The Voyage of Bran There is a tradition in Celtic literature of immrama – stories of sea voyages in which the hero visits various enchanted […]Read More
It can definitely be argued that superstitions are intrinsically tied in with traditional folklore, and with a culture as steeped in customs and fables as Ireland’s, it’s no surprise that there are more than a handful of superstitions unique to the country and its people. The phrase ‘the luck of the Irish’ isn’t all it […]Read More
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 […]Read More
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