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 […]

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Map of Ireland in the Heroic Times

A rare and hard to obtain map of Ireland in the Heroic Times, found in Standish O’Grady’s History of Ireland. Here is an effort to map the lands most associated with Ireland’s mythologies and heroes and even charts the course of the Children of Lir from the House of Donn to the Isle of Rachlin. […]

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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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“The “good” and the “bad” people – supernatural powers ever present to bless or to harm, were very real to the Irish peasant.

In Connemara it was believed that the “bad” people run away with little boys but not with girls, so boys were dressed in petticoats to deceive them until they were of age to protect themselves.” Petticoats, may protect him from wicked fairies, but they cannot conceal the masculine character of this stern-faced Connemara boy escorting […]

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Triple Goddesses

In religious iconography or mythological art, three separate beings may represent either a triad who always appear as a group or a single deity known from literary sources as having three aspects. In the case of the Irish Brigid it can be ambiguous whether she is a single goddess or three sisters, all named Brigid. […]

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Lough Gur, Bruff, Co Limerick

Lough Gur forms a horseshoe shape at the base of Knockdown Hill and some rugged elevated countryside. It is one of Ireland’s most important archaeological sites. Humans have lived near Lough Gur since about 3000 BC and there are numerous megalithic remains there. Here where low-crowned limestone hills curve through the lough basin, prehistoric people […]

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Eve of Bealtaine/Beltane

The Celtic Festival of Bealtaine/Beltane which marks the beginning of summer in the ancient Celtic calendar is a Cross Quarter Day, half way between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice. While the Bealtaine Festival is now associated with 1st May, the actual astronomical date is a number of days later. The festival was marked […]

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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 […]

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The War Hollow

Viking influence in the Celtic lands goes back to the very beginning of the Viking Age, when bold and brave men from Scandinavia decided to make the perilous journey across the seas to take what treasures they could from the British Isles. One of the boldest of these Viking raiders was Magnus Olaffson (Magnús Óláfsson), […]

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