Triskelion or Triskele

The triskelion or ‘triskele’ is also known as the tri-spiral or ‘Spiral of Life’. The three spirals in the triskelion are interconnected with no open ends thus creating one continuous line. Each spiral turns in the same direction. The three spirals represent balance, harmony and continual motion indicative of the flow of life and of […]

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Mystic Symbols

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 […]

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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 […]

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Áine, Celtic Goddess

Water had a special magic for the Celts as a symbol of vitality and inspiration. The fact that it could capture lights (for example, a reflection of the setting sun) could not be rationally explained and was taken as proof of supernatural properties. Wells and springs were charged with magic powers. Lakes and rivers were […]

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Legend of Úna Bhán

McDermott was the Chieftain of Moylurg, a Celtic Kingdom in North Roscommon. He had a beautiful daughter, Úna Bhán, – so named because of her long blonde hair. His neighbour was Tomás Láidir Costello, a good and sincere man, handsome and strong. Úna Bhán and Tomás Láidir fell in love and wished to marry but […]

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Devenish-Damhinis | The Isle of Oxen

Under St Molaise, this isle once held one of the greatest monastic scholars, the peer of Columbia. The monks of Devenish were of a reform order known as Culdees (Céilí Dé), Companions of God. Lough Erne bursts with legend, with its own banshee and ghosts. Most prominent of the tales is that of the prophet, […]

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Brehon Laws | Children and the status Women in early Ireland

Prior to the Anglo-Norman invasions Ireland was home to between 80-140 independent petty kingdoms called túatha. A person’s idea of nationhood was local to their home túath and kin-group (fine). Each túath had its king elected from among its noble grades, each had their own customs and traditions, styles of dress, particular songs and legends […]

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Faoladh | Werewolves of Ireland

The Irish werewolf is different from the Teutonic or European werewolf, as it is really not a “monster” at all. Unlike its continental cousins, this shapeshifter is the guardian and protector of children, wounded men and lost persons. According to some ancient sources, the Irish werewolves were even recruited by kings in time of war. […]

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Soldiers Point, Dundalk, Co Louth

Bronze sculpture “Sea God Managuan and Voyagers” at Soldiers Point, Dundalk Bay, Co Louth by the artist, Ann Meldon Hugh. Manannan is the Celtic God of the Sea and is the leader of a group of the Fair Folk whose values and ideals are associated with the water element and the deep blue-green light of […]

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The Banshee

As we move into the darkest months of the year, it seems fitting to visit a spectre as ancient as life itself – the Banshee. A banshee is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening. Her name is connected to the mythologically-important tumuli […]

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