The Legend of Cú Chulainn

There are a number of versions of the story of Cú Chulainn’s birth. In the earliest version of Compert C(h)on Culainn (The Conception of Cú Chulainn), his mother Deichtine is the daughter and charioteer of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and accompanies him as he and the nobles of Ulster hunt a flock of […]

Read More

Irish Mythology | Donn Fírinne, The Dark One

In Irish mythology, Donn is a god of the dead. Donn is the modern Irish word for the colour brown and appears as an element in many Irish surnames like Donegan, Donovan, Donnelly and on its own as Dunn/Dunne. However in the case of Donn the word derives from the Celtic word ‘dhuosnos’ meaning dark […]

Read More

Wren Day, also known as Wren’s Day or the Day of the Wren (Lá an Dreoilín), celebrated on St Stephen’s Day.

The tradition is very much on the wane now but in some few localities Wrenboys still go out in Ireland on St. Stephens Day. The central theme of the wrenboy visit is the wren, an effigy of which is carried about in a holly branch or in a box or cage. Previously it was hunted […]

Read More

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

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

The Celtic Goddess, Boann

BOANN (Boínd, Boínn) is the Goddess of water, fertility, inspiration and knowledge. Her name is interpreted as ‘white cow’ (bó fhionn) in the Dindsenchas. According to the Lebor Gabála Érenn she was the daughter of Delbáeth, of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Her husband is variously Nechtan, Elcmar or Nuada Airgetlám. Her lover is the Dagda, […]

Read More

Pobull Fhinn, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Pobull Fhinn is a stone circle on the Isle of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The modern standard spelling would be “Poball Fhinn” – Fionn’s people. The stones were probably named after the legendary hero Fionn mac Cumhaill. The stones are also known as “Sòrnach Coir’ Fhinn,” or “the fireplace of Fionn’s cauldron” and […]

Read More

The Legend of Cú Chulainn

There are a number of versions of the story of Cú Chulainn’s birth. In the earliest version of Compert C(h)on Culainn (The Conception of Cú Chulainn), his mother Deichtine is the daughter and charioteer of Conchobar mac Nessa, king of Ulster, and accompanies him as he and the nobles of Ulster hunt a flock of […]

Read More

Irish Mythology: Donn Fírinne, The Dark One

In Irish mythology, Donn is a god of the dead. Donn is the modern Irish word for the colour brown and appears as an element in many Irish surnames like Donegan, Donovan, Donnelly and on its own as Dunn/Dunne. However in the case of Donn the word derives from the Celtic word ‘dhuosnos’ meaning dark […]

Read More