Archive for the 'Ireland' Category

Sep 07 2014

Update on Saving Newgrange: A New Hope?


Proposed Slane Bypass
Pic: Save Newgrange
Vincent Salafia of Save Newgrange tells us that the Irish Times has reported that new consultations are being ordered to discuss the Slane Bypass that is threatening the ancient home of Angus Og, the Brugh na Boyne – the monument that is now called Newgrange.

Click on the image to the left to see the detail.

The Irish Times reports:

A NEW round of public consultations on controversial plans for a dual-carriageway bypass of Slane, Co Meath, has been ordered by An Bord Pleanála, with October 15th set as the closing date. A public notice advertising the new round of consultations was published recently in national newspapers. The original consultation period closed on February 25th last.

An Bord Pleanála had sought additional information from Meath County Council on the road scheme, including whether an alternative route running to the west of Slane had been examined. The current proposal, which is being advanced on behalf of the National Roads Authority (NRA), would run to the east of Slane, some 500 metres from the boundary of Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site.

The appeals board also sought alternative designs for a new bridge over the river Boyne, noting that the cable-stayed bridge originally proposed would be visible from the World Heritage Site. It also wanted the council to produce more detailed archaeological and geophysical reports on investigations of 44 archaeological sites that would be affected by the original scheme.

The information was sought “in order to clarify certain points in the environmental impact statement [EIS] and assist the board’s assessment of the likely effects on the environment” of the road. This followed complaints to An Bord Pleanála by the Save Newgrange group, former attorney general John Rogers SC and leading archaeologist Prof George Eogan that the EIS was flawed.

Save Newgrange spokesman Vincent Salafia said:

“We will be waging an international campaign over the next month, particularly in Northern Ireland, to get as many objections as possible filed with An Bord Pleanála.”

Save Newgrange

Irish Times

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Descripition Page.


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Originally posted 2010-09-20 12:16:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Sep 07 2014

Grace O’Malley the Dark Lady of Doona


The Meeting of Grace O’Malley and Queen Elizabeth 1st
Pic: Wiki Commons
Our many to thanks the Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area for allowing us to post this great article to share with our readers

She is known by many names: Grainne Mhaol (Bald Grace), Grainne Ui Mhaille (Grace of the Umhalls), Grania, the Dark Lady of Doona, Grace O’Malley, and Granuaile (Gran-oo-ale). She was a contemporary of Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Edmund Spencer, Walter Raleigh, and Francis Drake. She was a mother, a pirate, and one of the many great women of Ireland.

Born c. 1530 into the O’Malley family, the hereditary lords of Umhall which included Clare Island, Inishturk, Inishbofin, Inishark and Caher, Grace married into two of the powerful families of Western Ireland, the O’Flaherty of West Connacht and the Burke of Clew Bay. Tradition has it that she is buried (1603) on Clare Island at the Abbey which bears the O’Malley coat-of-arms; Terra-Marique-Potens. Indeed a fitting family motto, for Grace was powerful on land and especially on the sea.

Granuaile’s life parallels the House of Tudor’s efforts to reconquer Ireland. She married Donal O’Flaherty in 1546 while in this same period of time Henry VIII was pressuring prominent Irish chieftains and Anglo-Irish lords to submit to the rule of the King’s Lord Debuty. The O’Flaherties and O’Malleys did not submit and, denied access to Galway Bay, they poached on merchant ships bound for Galway. They were so obstreperous that the Mayor and Council of Galway reported them to the English Council. Grace gave birth to three children during her marraige to Donal O’Flaherty and her warring husband died in battle in 1567.  Before this, another historically important woman, Elizabeth I, assume the throne of England (1558). In time, the paths of these two extraordinary women would cross.

Even as an O’Flaherty, Granuaile had maintained an independent force of 200 O’Malley men on land and sea. Characteristically, Grace treasured the sea and the O’Malley allies:

“I would rather have a ship full of Conroy and McAnally clans than a ship full of Gold.”

Tradition tells us that Grace’s forces maintained a series of forts on Clew Bay, Lough Mask and Lough Corrib which helped her through arms and signal fires to defend her castle in Lough Corrib against English soldiers. There, the story goes, she melted a lead roof to pour molten lead on her besiegers. Grania’s toughness is also revealed in the story about her sacking of Doona Castle where she punished the supporters on the MacMahons for slaying her lover.

Even after Grace married again, to Richard Burke, she remained active on the seas. If she could not contract for cargo, her ships preyed on vessels off the coast of Mayo. Although Burke was powerful enough to be appointed the Mac William lochtar of Connacht in 1580 and Grace and he had a son Tibbot, Grace and Burke lived rather separate lives. In 1576, the Howth Castle story centering upon an insult to her was set into Irish legend. It seems when Grania sought to rest at Howth Castle from a trip to Dublin, the Castle gates were shut to her. She abducted a son of the lord and ransomed him for a promise to leave the gate open to visitors and to set an extra plate at every meal. These conditions are observed still today.

When Richard Burke died in 1583, Grace’s clashes with the English intensified. Sir William Sydney referred to her as

“a most notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland.”

She was arrested in 1584 as Governor Richard Bingham forcefully brought Connacht into the Tudor line. Her son Tibbot was held hostage to assure her good behavior, a common Elizabethan practice to pacify the chieftains and to Anglicize their sons. When Governor Bingham penetrated Grace’s sea domain and impounded her fleet, she went over his head to Queen Elizabeth for

” free liberty during her life to invade with sword and fire all your highness’ enemies.”

Tradition, and some history, says that Granuaile, the Queen of Connacht, met the Queen of England in September 1593, and gained most of her petitions by agreeing, in Elizabeth’s words,

“to fight in our quarrels with all the world.”

Sadly, in the great battle of Kinsale (1603) when Hugh O’Neill and Hugh Roe O’Donnell were defeated, Grace’s son Tibbot and other Mayo chiefs fought with the Queen’s forces.

In a man’s world, Granuaile developed her own power base contrary to Gaelic and English law. She was a woman of singular strength of character and for that became, along with Roisin Dubh and Caitleen Ni Houlihan, a poetic symbol for Ireland:

The gowns she wore was stained with gore all by a ruffian band
Her lips so sweet that monarchs kissed are now grown pale and wan
The tears of grief fell from her eyes each tear as large as hail
None could express the deep distress of poor old Granuaile.

(originally printed in 1988)

© Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Descripition Page.

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Originally posted 2010-06-09 08:04:47. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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Jun 14 2014

The mystery of the Fulacht Fiadh or Burnt Mound

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Reconstruction of a burnt mound being used as a sweat house

Reconstruction of a burnt mound being used as a sweat house

Pic: Irish Archaeology

Excavation started on the burnt mounds at Rathmore, Co. Wicklow back in 2012 reports the Irish Archaeology websiteBurnt mounds are a type of archaeological site whose defining characteristic is large quantities of heat shattered stone. These sites commonly date to the Bronze Age, although examples from the Neolithic through to the medieval period are known. Burnt mounds are also known as fulacht fiadh and have been primarily interpreted as cooking places. The term fulacht fian is found in the early Irish literature from at least the 9th century AD (Waddell 1998, 174) and refers to open-air cooking places in which a water filled pit was made in which to cook meat.

The early Irish literature also shows that the word fulacht is not only applied to a water filled pit for boiling meat but also to an outdoor cooking pit where meat was roasted on a spit or over an open fire (Kelly 1998, 337).

In the field extant burnt mounds are noted as low grassy mounds which can be circular or crescent shaped. Size varies from sites which are only a few metres in diameter to those which can be upwards of thirty metres. The usual location of burnt mounds is close to a water source, such as a stream or lake, or simply in low-lying boggy ground. Due to the extensive agricultural activity which much of Ireland has seen, burnt mounds are often ploughed-out and leave no trace on the ground surface. In this case if the land is topsoil stripped the remains of the burnt mound will be seen as a shallow deposit of heat shattered stones which lie within a charcoal rich black soil.

Pit for holding Water into which Hot Stones were placed

The general sequence of events observable at these sites is the digging of a pit or pits into the subsoil, which functioned as troughs for holding water, followed by the build up of heat shattered stones and the residues of fires. Sometimes hut sites were located beside the sites. Excavated troughs are generally found to be rectangular or sub-rectangular in shape. Some excavated troughs contained a timber lining to keep the sides from collapsing, or a clay lining, to keep the water in. A fire was set near to the trough upon which stone was heated and the heated stones were subsequently dropped into the water. 
A timber lined trough, Rathmore, Co. Wicklow

A timber lined trough, Rathmore, Co. Wicklow

Pic: Irish Archaeology

The resultant boiling water was then used for a variety of purposes. Once the water heating process was complete the trough was cleaned out and the stones were cast aside giving rise to the characteristic shaped mounds present in today’s landscape. The stones did not always shatter in the process and could be re-used.

As well as the occurrence of troughs and deposits of burnt stone, burnt mounds have another common characteristic – the use of certain types of stone. In general sedimentary rocks such as sandstone are very common and experiments have shown that sandstone can be heated and cooled around five times before splitting into unusable fragments (Buckley 1990, 171).

Different Theories on how Burnt Mounds were used

The most common explanation for the function of burnt mound sites is as cooking sites, although a number of other theories have been postulated to explain the nature of these sites. It has been demonstrated that they could have been covered by light structures and used as saunas or sweathouses such as that at Rathpatrick, Co. Waterford (Eogan & Shee Twohig 2012, 179). Industrial uses such as the washing or dyeing of cloths and hides have been postulated (Waddell 1998, 177), and it has also been argued that they were used to brew beer (Quinn & Moore 2009). What is clear is that large quantities of hot or boiling water were produced and the sites often had long periods of use as attested by the large mounds of stone. The absence of animal bone does not preclude cooking activities as carcasses may have been prepared elsewhere and brought to the site and, once the meat was cooked it may have been taken elsewhere to be eaten. The damp soil conditions associated with burnt mounds do not generally favour the preservation of animal bone.

Burnt mounds appear to have a long period of use in Ireland. Excavations at Clowanstown, Co. Meath, revealed the presence of five upstanding Neolithic burnt mounds (Archaeology Ireland, winter 2007, p.12), and examples are known from this period through to the medieval period, giving a span of use of some five thousand years.

Along with Colm Moriarty, the original  host of this news article, we’d like to thank Catherine McLoughlin for this excellent article on burnt mounds/fulacht fiadh. Catherine is joint owner of the well-known Wexford based archaeological company Stafford McLoughlin Ltd and she has over ten years experience as a licenced archaeologist.

References

Archaeology Ireland. Wordwell, Dublin.

Buckley, V. 1990 Burnt Offerings. Wordwell, Dublin.

Hore, P.H. 1900-1911 History of the Town and County of Wexford. London.

Eogan, J., & Shee Twohig, E. 2012 Cois tSiuire – Nine Thousand years of Human Activity in the Lower Suir Valley. NRA Scheme Monographs 8, Dublin.

Kelly, F. 1998 Early Irish Farming. Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.

Quinn, B., & Moore, D. 2009 ‘Fulacht fiadh’ and the beer experiment’ in Stanley et al (eds) Dining & Dwelling. NRA Monograph Series No. 6, 43-53, NRA, Dublin.

Waddell, J., 1998 The Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland, Galway University Press.

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

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You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

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Windows 8 Phone App

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May 30 2014

Béal Beo: The Cylinder Project, Gobán Saor and the Fairy in the Sea

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Recording onto a Wax Cylinder

Recording onto a Wax Cylinder

Pic: Béal Beo

The audio archive of the National Folklore Collection, University College Dublin, houses some 1,100 wax cylinder recordings of folk narratives, folk song and folk music. The earliest of these date from the 1890s on the occasion of the first national Feis Ceoil competitions, which were held in Dublin and Belfast. This unique collection spans almost sixty years of folklore recording up to the mid 20th century. A selection is now available online at Béal Beo.

Among the amazing records and stories that have been captured – along with tgranscipts or English translations –  are some superb tales about Gobán Saor – the  highly skilled smith or architect in Irish history and legend. 

Gobán Saor

Gobban Saer (Gobban the Builder) is a figure regarded in Irish traditional lore as an architect of the seventh century, and popularly canonized as St. Gobban. The Catholic Encyclopedia considers him historical and born at Turvey, on the Donabate peninsula in North County Dublin, about 560.

In literary references, he was employed by many Irish saints to build churches, oratories, and bell towers, and he is alluded to in an eighth-century Irish poem, preserved in a monastery in Carinthia. In the “Life of St. Abban” it is said that “the fame of Gobban as a builder in wood as well as stone would exist in Ireland to the end of time.”

In Gobán Saor can be seen elements of Goibniu, the Old Irish god of smithcraft. His name can be compared with the Old Irish gobae ~ gobann ‘smith,’ Middle Welsh gof ~ gofein ‘smith,’ Gallic gobedbi ‘with the smiths,’ Latin faber ‘smith’ and with the Lithuanian gabija ‘sacred home fire’ and Lithuanian gabus ‘gifted, clever’. [Wiki]

A portable Ediphone recording machine used by folklore collectors until the 1950s.

A portable Ediphone recording machine used by folklore collectors until the 1950s.

Pic: Béal Beo

A variety of tales are recorded about the Gobán Saor, the mythical master builder of Irish tradition. This particular account was recorded from the 77 year-old Mícheál Mac an Mháistir, from Lettera, Kilcommon, Co. Mayo by Proinnsias de Búrca, Irish Folkore Commission, on the 29 November 1937. The story goes like this:

“Sixty five years ago this Christmas, my grandfather was telling me a story about Gobán Saor. Gobán Saor was in this country in Ireland and he was the best craftsman in the seven kingdoms. No castle could be built anywhere that was of high quality but that Gobán was the master and looking after it. He went up making Dublin castle and was long years on that castle.

” He came down to Sligo and married a respectable handsome woman. He had a large holding of land and he went up to Dublin again. And when he married this woman he stayed with her six months. He had to go up to Dublin castle again looking after his craftsmen and men. Well, the King of England sent him a letter asking him and pleading with him to go across to himself to make a big palace for himself in England. And he didn’t go as far as him at that time.”

There are many more tales of legend, folklore and history recorded on these fabulous wax cyulinders and you can listen to them all on this superb website. You can hear the story of the four-leaf clover, songs like the Vagabond Song and Seoirse Chonamara as well as stories of the fairies.

A Fairy in the Sea

Three men went out fishing one day. They weren’t long out when they saw fish swimming around the boat… They were out about an hour and they were looking at the net, and one of the men said to another to throw his knife at the net, and the man took his knife out of his pocket and he threw it out into the sea, and it wasn’t long after that before the water was full of blood.

That was all very well, but the three [of them] went home that night, and about eleven o’clock, or about then, the man who threw the knife heard a noise outside the house, and he got up and went to the door, and who was there but a man on the back of a white horse. The man spoke to him, and he said:

‘You were fishing today, and you threw a knife, and you must come with me now and pull out that knife.’

‘Very well!’ said the man, and he went up onto the horse behind him, and as they were going on their way, the man on the white horse said to him: ‘When you go to this house, do not eat anything that they give you.’ They were travelling on and they came to the sea, and the horse walked under the sea until she came to a big house, and they knocked on the door, and a woman opened the door. And when the man went in, there was a woman standing by the fire and there was a knife stuck in the top of her head. The man went in and he pulled out the knife. The people inside said to him to drink tea, or eat something, and he said he wouldn’t eat it.

He went out again, and he went up on the horse with the man of the white horse. When they were going home, the man said to him never to go out fishing again. The man went to America for a few years. He came home, ten years later, and he said one evening, he was at the house and he was looking out at the sea, and he said to himself he would go out fishing. He went out in a boat, and nobody saw or heard anything about him since.

[Source]

This website is a wonderful resource of early Irish lore and Story as told on the earliest recordings we have. Well worth checking out at http://www.bealbeo.ie/index.html

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

 

iphone

You can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.

CMP App on Amazon

You can now also find the Windows 8 Phone App in the Windows 8 Phone Store.

Windows 8 Phone App

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May 27 2014

Are the Celts really Atlanteans?


Ishtar’s Gate
Ishtar’s Gate is a website devoted to pushing the boundaries of scientific understanding by examining evidence and discussing theories that are not normally consdired related. We are very proud to publish the questioning and stimulating article below written be Ishtar herself and urge you to visit her site and explore the very lively forum. Over to Ishtar:

Some of us Celts like to warm themselves by the fire at night with the knowledge that we’re really half-Atlantean. After all, are we not descended from Igraine, King Arthur’s mother, who, some myths tell us, was from an Atlantean bloodline? And in the alluring half light of those flickering flames, we dream about the mythical drowned island of Hy-Brasil, which is said to reappear every seven years off the west coast of Ireland, and other tales about sunken lands under the waters of Cardigan Bay. And so it is not an unlikely proposition that these lands were actually Atlantis and that we are half-Atlanteans.

But is it true?

Well, there is no doubt that, after the last Ice Age, the melting of huge glaciers did cause massive flooding of land all around the world, and the British Isles was no exception. This artist’s impression, based on known geological data, shows what could certainly be Hy-Brasil and another island called Waveland just before ‘the big melt’ around 12,000 BCE.

Figure 1. Just before the big melt 12,700 BC.©Michael Bix

However, whether Cardigan Bay or Hy-Brasil was actually the legendary island of Atlantis (Atlas’s Isle) first mentioned in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias, is another matter. And to understand why, we really need to learn a little about how myths work. So please bear with me while I lay out that toolkit before using it to re-examine the myth of Atlantis.

The cognitive world of our ancestors

Most mythologists and shamans understand ancient myths to be allegories or metaphors for what we call, today, scientific processes, and most of these myths deal with the way in which our ancestors perceived how the creation of the universe occurs.

For instance, we now understand that our ancestors did not live in just one world, as we do today. They lived in three realms, known as the Upper World, the Middle World and the Lower World. These three dimensions are extra dimensions to this one — they exist on a completely different 4D time/space continuum, and in fact, there is no Time there. It was in these extra dimensions that our ancestors set their myths with great panoramic dramas played out over the 4D landscapes of the three worlds which were reflected in this 3D dimension back here by 1) the celestial spheres (the heavens, 2) Middle Earth or Midgard (the Earth plane) and 3) the Underworld.

The Underworld is the portal to the 4D extra dimensions through what we call the imagination, although in this case, imagination doesn’t mean ‘make believe’; the imagi-nation is the nation or realm of images accessed through the right hand hemisphere of the brain by shamanic trance. Instead of our thoughts being in words, in the right hemisphere they present themselves as pictures and as is always said: “A picture speaks a thousand words”; therefore they are very effective way of carrying and transmitting information.

Why creation myths begin with a flood

All creation myths, whether the Hebrew Genesis, the Sumerian Enuma Elish, the Norse Edda, the Indian Srimad Bhagavatham, and the Maya and Egyptian creation myths are all set in these three 4D worlds and they ALL start and end with a flood. The flood represents the End of Times and the Beginning of Times. These so-called creation myths should really be called creation-maintenance-destruction myths (as reflected in triumvirate gods such as Brahma the creator god, Vishnu the maintainer god and Shiva, the god of destruction). This is because the ancients also had a holographic view of the cosmological processes, and reflected in their stories how the microcosm within the macrocosm was continually birthing, dying and then being reborn again, from the smallest atom to the largest galaxy.

So just as at a birth of a child, the first sign that the birth is imminent is when the mother’s water ‘breaks’ (the amniotic sac breaking causes its water to flood out) so a flood in mythology signifies creation or “a new life”. However, because creation comes at the end of a previous cosmological cycle, these mythological floods are associated with death as well as birth.

This type of cosmological model is seen in concentric circles with ever-increasing circles going out from the Earth at the centre, to represent how the whole of creation circumambulates around a pole. For instance, we have neutrons, protons and electrons processing around the cell nucleus (microcosm) to the macrocosm of sun and the planets revolving around it, and even higher than that. Everything circles or spirals around some sort of nucleus.

Figure 2. The microcosm Fig 3. The macrocosm

Click on an image to enlarge it

Beyond the circle of the sun lies the circle of the Milky Way. In Egyptian mythology, the Milky Way was represented by Hathor, whose original name, Mehturt, meant ‘great flood’. In the Norse myths, the same cosmic cow is known as Audhumbla, and from Audhumbla´s udder floods rivers of milk, which is why we call it the Milky Way.

Fig 4. Hathor as the Milky Way

Releasing the waters of the firmanent

In myths, it is usually the Hero who releases the waters of the firmanent, or the flood of milk, from the grip of a sea serpent, at the end/beginning of a cycle, so that this birth/death or creation/destruction can take place. So this is why you may have seem such pairings as Zeus and the Typhon, Indra and Vritra, Marduk and Tiammat, and Thor and the Midgard Serpent or Jörmungandr, to name but a few serpent or dragon slayers.

In Norse mythology, this battle between Thor and Jörmungandr takes place at an event called Ragnorak, which is the name of the Norse Apocalypse or Armageddon. (That Ragnorak comes at the end of a precessional cycle (or astrological age) we know from the numbers that are used, but that’s a story for another day.)

Fig 5. Thor goes fishing for the Midgard
Serpent/Jörmungandr

The Pillars of Hercules

Next we must deal with the Pillars of Hercules, beyond which, according to Plato, lay the land of Atlantis. There are two pillars of Hercules, and they guard the gate or portal to the extra dimensions. These two pillars are used as literary device to indicate that the hero (Hercules or Ulysses) has left the every day world when he goes through them, in the same way today we use the device of: “Long, long, long ago, deep in the mists of the time.” This is a signal to the listener that they will need suspend their judgement because they will be entering another world with different rules. This ‘other world’ is known in mythology as the Underworld.

In the Renaissance, the two pillars were said to bear the legend: Nec plus ultra (“nothing further beyond”) which was the equivalent of “Enter at your peril” for sailors and navigators.

In Dante’s Inferno, we see Ulysses justifying risking his crews’ lives by going through into the world of Nec Plus Ultra or the Pillars of Hercules by insisting that it is the true explorer who dares to venture where others fear to tread in the quest for knowledge. After passing through the Pillars of Hercules, and after a further five months at sea, Ulysses sights the mountain of Purgatory. Purgatory, as we know, is not in this world and therefore we can rationalise that neither are the Pillars of Hercules which Ulysses has to go through to reach Purgatory.

Jason (of the Argonauts) also has to pass through the two pillars of ‘clashing rocks’ (the Symplegades) in his quest for the Golden Fleece.


Fig 6. A cartoonist’s view of the Symplegades
We see these two Pillars of Hercules again and again in religious iconography, for instance, showing up in the Temple of Sol-Ammon as Boaz and Jachim. They appear at Tyre, Byblus, Paphos, and Telloh, and in shrines dedicated to Astarte, they are represented by the two ash trees standing guard either side of her doorway.

We can also see them in the Sumerian tale of Adapa as Tammuz and Gishzida who guard the gateway to Heaven, and the two columns also turn up on the High Priestess Tarot card.

Fig 7. Tammuz and Gishzida

Fig 8. The High Priestess

So I believe that we are wasting our time looking for the Pillars of Hercules in the sea … any sea, whether the North Sea or the Straits of Gibraltar…. as much as I believe we are wasting our time looking for a real lost land of Atlantis, even though there were surely inundations of huge tracts of land which were submerged following Ice Ages and comets and then ‘rose’ again when the water again became trapped in glaciers.

But the inundation of Atlantis itself is just another creation-destruction myth, a death-rebirth myth, a tale of the amniotic sac bursting, dying, to release the waters heralding new life, and this process never ends. Atlantis is continually being drowned and rising again in the life-death-rebirth cycles going on around all the time, at every level.

Every night, Atlantis goes under and then rises up again. With each daily cycle, the Milky Way seems to move around the Heavens and also throughout the year, it appears to undulate, to go up and down like a serpent, because of the tilt of the Earth.

This continuing cycle of the Milky Way is also seen as a fertility dance of the male Father god and the female Mother god that the ancients visualised as simulacra in the Milky Way ~ with their never-ending dance of life, death and rebirth.

Figure 9. The fertility dance in the Milky Way

Figure 10. Graphic of Milky Way

Figure 11. Ancient Danish rock art of Milky Way couple

This article was first published on Ishtar’s Gate (www.ishtarsgate.com) a website and forum dedicated to the study of early man through archaeology, anthropology and mythology to reveal his shamanic roots.

© Ishtar Babilu Dingir 2010

 

 

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You can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Descripition Page.

 

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

Originally posted 2010-08-22 15:37:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

2 responses so far

Apr 26 2014

New show, Druid Special No. 2 – An interview with Greywolf, the Head of the British Druid Order, Part 2

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Philip Shallcrass

Philip Shallcrass


Pic: Elaine Wildways
In the second of our unique Druid Interviews, we bring you the second half of our interview with the Head of the British Druid Order, Philip Shallcrass, aka Greywolf. He talks about Druidry, the BDO’s Distance Learning Courses,the Ogham and the World Drum. The show also contains 6 fantastic pieces of music, including one by Philip himself which he wrote for his three sons. Truly, an interview not to be missed!

We’ve marked this show as explicit due to the subject matter of the ‘out-takes’ at the end – the body of the show remains ‘Family-Friendly’!

How to Listen

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We hope you enjoy it and wish you many blessings :D

Gary & Ruthie x x x

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Apr 23 2014

Grainne Uaile the Movie – The life of the 16th Century Irish Pirate Queen

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Grace O’ Malley – a prelude to a war’, trailer from the short prequel to the movie.

This summer “Grainne Uaile – The movie” will be released from its ship in Ireland and sailing the festival circuits. A 3 hour epic, written and directed by Ciaron Davies and starring Fionnuala Collins as the infamous pirate queen, the movie was shot on location all over Ireland, North and south.

A violent and gritty retelling of the life of Grainne Uaile, the 16th century Pirate Queen from Ireland. She was a fighter, a pirate and a tough woman, carving her mark in a man’s world. This exciting film is violent, dark, brutal, exciting and often darkly comic. The ultimate female action hero steeped in ancient Irish history.

“Grainne Uaile-The movie”, is an epic historical adventure based on the real life of 16th Century Irish Pirate queen, Grainne Uaile. It is a savage, brutal and gritty film exploring the life of this extraordinary women, who made a huge impact in the ‘16th century man’s world’ and also left a large imprint in Irish and world wide history, her name became infamous, and her life the stuff of legends. It follows her life from her early childhood, her youthful years as a clansman’s wife, her subsequent career in piracy, politics, intrigue, double dealings, her fight against the powers of the English state and her famous meeting with Queen Elizabeth.
Grainne Uaile on Ship

Grainne Uaile on Ship


Pic: Loose Gripp Films
The Villains of the Piece!

The Villains of the Piece!

Pic: Loose Gripp Films

Often violent, intense, with moments of dark comedy, Grainne Uaile has the look of a ‘moving Caravaggio painting’. The fighting is closer then any other film you will see, fast paced and fierce. We wanted to create battle sequences where the audience feels involved. Grainne, her self is presented as a very strong women, fiercer then the men around her, played beautifully by Fionnuala Collins, who exudes a mixture of charisma, style and intensity.

It also stars Peter Cosgrove, Robin Twist, Leonard G. Tone and Ciaron Davies.

Grainne Uaile

Grainne Uaile


Pic: Loose Gripp Films
We wanted to make a movie like the old epics of times gone by, brimming with story, life and characters. It was also important that all the actors performed their own stunts and sword fights. The battles them selves are often elaborate and full of tension. Filming was gruelling for the actors and daily shooting was tough and physically demanding.

Grainne Uaile – the movie is a roller coaster of a ride, set against the rich and complex tapestry of 16th century Ireland, and spanning 70 years of intrigue, drama and violence on both land and sea.

The pirate queen her self, is a tough, highly intelligent and hard woman, one of the toughest we have scene in cinema. Her enemies are equally as tough and her nemesis, Richard Bingham is a suitably twisted villain, somewhere between Genghis Khan and Hannibal Lector.

Thrown into the mix is an incredibly diverse and interesting set of characters who will make you laugh and cry in equal measures. Grainne and her crew of pirates will fight their way through hordes of English villains, whilst her keen wit and mind plots the demise of their foes and keeps their ship afloat in a sea treachery and skulduggery. Grainne Uaile – The Movie will be released this summer.
Riding into the History Books

Riding into the History Books


Pic: Loose Gripp Films

Find out more on their Facebook page and visit the Loose Gripp studios website to find out more about the Studio making the film or see the details on IMDB. Also keep your eyes peeled on the Grainne Uaile website where exciting things are soon to be revealed!

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Apr 19 2014

Largest Living History re-enactment ever in Ireland for the Battle of Clontarf

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Brian Boru of Clontarf Festival

Brian Boru of Clontarf Festival

Pic: Brian Boru Millenium

Dublin City Council proposes to stage the largest Viking village and living history battle re-enactment ever produced in Ireland. The Viking village will contain static and interactive displays of Viking life and include demonstrations of Viking Skills and Crafts such as weapons displays , storytelling, Blacksmith, Leather working, Pole Lathe, Coin Striking, Silversmith, Hnefatafl (Viking Chess), Archery Display and Viking Long Boat, Falconry Displays & Mounted Viking Displays.

For Event Details see below….

Brian Bóraime [Brian Boru] (c.941–1014)

Brian Boru is the most famous Irishman before the modern era who, from fairly modest beginnings, rose to be king of Ireland, dying a heroic death at the battle of Clontarf on 23 April 1014.He got his nickname Boru from the Old Irish bóruma, ‘of the cattle tribute’, or more likely ‘of Bél Bóraime’, a ringfort near Killaloe, Co. Clare where he had a royal residence. He was born about 941, at or near Killaloe, one of the twelve sons of Cennétig (d. 951), king of Dál Cais.The earlier history of Dál Cais is obscure but under Brian’s father and older brother Mathgamain the family grew rapidly in importance and by 967 Mathgamain was described as king of Cashel (i.e., Munster), the first member of Dál Cais to win the title, and perhaps the first king of the province in five centuries who didn’t belong to the great dynasty called the Eóganachta.

In 1011, Brian’s army marched north again and forced the one remaining independent power in the land, the king of Cenél Conaill in Donegal, to become his vassal. At this juncture Brian had reached the apogee of his power.

It wasn’t long, however, before the power structure which Brian had laboriously built up began to crumble. A rebellion broke out led by Sitric Silkenbeard of Dublin and the king of Leinster, Máelmórda mac Murchada, and Brian spent from 9 September until Christmas 1013 attacking them but without restoring the peace.

Vikings land in 'Dublin'

Vikings land in ‘Dublin’

Pic: Vikings land in ‘Dublin’

The inevitable consequence was Brian’s attempt to force Dublin and Leinster back into submission, and this culminated in the famous battle of Clontarf, on Good Friday, 23 April 1014. It was a bloody affair, the Dublin and Leinster armies being reinforced by troops from Man and the Western and Northern isles while Brian had only limited support from Munster, south Connacht, and perhaps Mide. Nevertheless, they won the day, although Brian himself was killed.

Later accounts portray the elderly and saintly King Brian, while praying in his tent, being brutally assassinated in the hour of victory by the fleeing Viking leader, Bródir. This is not mentioned in contemporary accounts, although they do report that after the battle the bodies of Brian and of his son Murchad were brought ceremoniously to Armagh by its clergy, and there waked for twelve nights, before being buried in a new tomb.

Something about the battle of Clontarf and its hero has never failed to hold the imagination of the Irish nation and it seems that Clontarf will remain an important landmark. As it was Brian Bóraime’s ultimate victory (however Pyrrhic) over his opponents, it can be said with justification that his career ended in glory, that he broke the Uí Néill monopoly of the high-kingship, and thereby shaped the course of Irish history for the next 150 years.

What is more, renewed Scandinavian attacks on England and Ireland in the run-up to Clontarf suggest that Brian’s victory may have averted a large-scale Scandinavian attack on Ireland, such as that which the Danish King Knut and his family successfully mounted against England at this time.

He was succeeded by his son Donnchad (d. 1064), then in turn by the latter’s more successful nephew, Tairdelbach (d. 1086) and by the latter’s son, Muirchertach (d. 1119), the family by then sporting with pride the surname Ua Briain (O’Brien).

Event Details

  • The Battle of Clontarf Festival is a Public Transport supported event.
  • Parking is available in the general area but is limited.
  • Dublin City Council would encourage anyone attending the event to use public transport.
  • Transport

    Visitors are strongly advised to utilise the public transport systems to access the festival.

    On Saturday Dublin Bus routes 29a, 31a, 31b, 32 and 130 will be running services from Abbey Street Lower, which will drop passengers off on Mount Prospect Avenue, a short walking distance to the entrance of St. Anne’s Park, at the Red Stables.On Sunday Dublin Bus routes 29, 31a, 31b, 32 and 130 will operate as usual with an additional Festival shuttle bus every 15 minutes on the 31 route from Eden Quay (between 10am-2pm) and from Abbey Street after 2pm. Normal fares will apply.Dart will be running services to Killester Dart Station which is the closest station to the event on Easter Saturday only. No DART service will run on Sunday April 20th.
    Map of Site Activities

    Map of Site Activities


    Pic: Map of Activity Sites

    See all of the activities in Ireland for the Brian Boru Millenium on the Heritage website.

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    Apr 18 2014

    Connla of the Fiery Hair and the Faerie Maiden

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    Connla of the Fiery Hair

    Connla of the Fiery Hair


    Pic: Marcel Borowiec
    Connla of the Fiery Hair was son of Conn of the Hundred Fights. One day as he stood by the side of his father on the height of Usna, he saw a maiden clad in strange attire coming towards him.

    “Whence comest thou, maiden?” said Connla.

    “I come from the Plains of the Ever Living,” she said, “there where there is neither death nor sin. There we keep holiday alway, nor need we help from any in our joy. And in all our pleasure we have no strife. And because we have our homes in the round green hills, men call us the Hill Folk.”

    The king and all with him wondered much to hear a voice when they saw no one. For save Connla alone, none saw the Fairy Maiden.

    “To whom art thou talking, my son? ” said Conn the king.

    Then the maiden answered,

    “Connla speaks to a young, fair maid, whom neither death nor old age awaits. I love Connla, and now I call him away to the Plain of Pleasure, Moy Mell, where Boadag is king for aye, nor has there been complaint or sorrow in that land since he has held the kingship.

    Oh, come with me, Connla of the Fiery Hair, ruddy as the dawn with thy tawny skin. A fairy crown awaits thee to grace thy comely face and royal form. Come, and never shall thy comeliness fade, nor thy youth, till the last awful day of judgment.”

    The king in fear at what the maiden said, which he heard though he could not see her, called aloud to his Druid, Coran by name.

    “Oh, Coran of the many spells,” he said, ” and of the cunning magic, I call upon thy aid. A task is upon me too great for all my skill and wit, greater than any laid upon me since I seized the kingship. A maiden unseen has met us, and by her power would take from me my dear, my comely son. If thou help not, he will be taken from thy king by woman’s wiles and witchery.”

    Then Coran the Druid stood forth and chanted his spells towards the spot where the maiden’s voice had been heard. And none heard her voice again, nor could Connla see her longer. Only as she vanished before the Druid’s mighty spell, she threw an apple to Connla.

    For a whole month from that day Connla would take nothing, either to eat or to drink, save only from that apple. But as he ate it grew again and always kept whole. And all the while there grew within him a mighty yearning and longing after the maiden he had seen.

    But when the last day of the month of waiting came, Connla stood by the side of the king his father on the Plain of Arcomin, and again he saw the maiden come towards him, and again she spoke to him.

    “’Tis a glorious place, forsooth, that Connla holds among short lived mortals awaiting the day of death. But now the folk of life, the ever-living ones, beg and bid thee come to Moy Mell, the Plain of Pleasure, for they have learnt to know thee, seeing thee in thy home among thy dear ones.

    When Conn the king heard the maiden’s voice he called to his men aloud and said:

    “Summon swift my Druid Coran, for I see she has again this day the power of speech.”

    Then the maiden said

    “Oh, mighty Conn, fighter of a hundred fights, the Druid’s power is little loved; it has little honour in the mighty land, peopled with so many of the upright. When the Law will come, it will do away with the Druid’s magic spells that come from the lips of the false black demon.”

    Then Conn the king observed that since the maiden came Connla his son spoke to none that spake to him. So Conn of the hundred fights said to him,

    “Is it to thy mind what the woman says, my son?”

    “’Tis hard upon me,”

    then said Connla;

    “I love my own folk above all things; but yet, but yet a longing seizes me for the maiden.”

    When the maiden heard this, she answered and said

    “The ocean is not so strong as the waves of thy longing. Come with me in my curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. Soon we can reach Boadag’s realm. I see the bright sun sink, yet far as it is, we can reach it before dark. There is, too, another land worthy of thy journey, a land joyous to all that seek it. Only wives and maidens dwell there. If thou wilt, we can seek it and live there alone together in joy.”

    When the maiden ceased to speak, Connla of the Fiery Hair rushed away from them and sprang into the curragh, the gleaming, straight-gliding crystal canoe. And then they all, king and court, saw it glide away over the bright sea towards the setting sun. Away and away, till eye could see it no longer, and Connla and the Fairy Maiden went their way on the sea, and were no more seen, nor did any know where they came.

    Celtic Fairy Tales, by Joseph Jacobs, [1892], at www.sacred-texts.com

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    Mar 27 2014

    Ancient Butter found 2,500 years later in a Bog at Shancloon in Ireland

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    Bog Butter in Wooden Urn

    Bog Butter in Wooden Urn

    Pic: Cork Butter Museum

    Experts from the National Museum of Ireland believe that the ‘Bog Butter’ found in the bog at Shancloon, north of Galway, could be 2,000 to 2,500-years-old. The butter was found when Ray Moylan from Headford was having his annual turf supply cut by contractor Declan McDonagh. Moylan, a bus driver, contacted the Office of Public Works, Headland Archaeology in Galway and the National Museum of Ireland when he made the discovery.

    The butter which was found in timber keg, made from the trunk of a tree, weighed almost 28 pounds. The keg was built using Iron Age implements. It was buried three to four-foot away.

    An assistant keeper with the National Museum of Ireland, Padraig Clancy, said that the butter could be up to 2,500 years old. Clancy along with Karena Morton conservator at the National Museum of Country Life, removed the butter from the bog. It will be brought to the National Museum’s facility in Lanesboro. Clancy said:

    The type of vessel it is in usually helps us to date the period the butter is from, and this one could date back to the Iron Age.

    Archaeologist Ross MacLeod commented on the quantity of butter discovered in Galway. Speaking to the Irish Times he said:

    It would have been a substantial loss to the family that buried the butter in the bog that they never recovered it. Perhaps the person who buried it died or forgot where it was left… That might have been stored up by a family during the summer and put into the bog for use during the cold winter months. Its loss could have been a tremendous one for some family a long, long time ago.

    Bogs were used as a primitive form of refrigeration by people in the past. The peat creates a vacuum around buried material.

    Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/bog-butter-find-believed-to-be-2500-years-old-121769889-237387291.html#ixzz2x9uRgxF3

    Votive Offerings

    Another theory that is sometimes seen with the discovery of Bog Treasures like this, is that the object would have been a votive offering – an offering to the Gods. Butter, no doubt seen as a highly valuable and prized commodity, would have been ideally suited as an offering and 2,500 years ago the Butter would have been placed in watery marsh, and probably not buried. Bogs tend to develop as the marshland dries out. Rather than thinking that this Buttery treasure had been forgotten by its owner, it seems far more likely to me that the churn was gifted to the Gods in the hopes of gaining their favour, much as other votive offerings have been found throughout Celtic Europe. Jane McIntosh, Handbook to Life in Prehistoric Europe, p. 256 refers to…

    packages or pots of “bog butter” (that) have been found, probably placed in bogs or lakes in the Bronze or Iron Age. These may have been votive offerings or simply placed in water to keep cool in summer months and never retrieved.

    Rubicon Heritage continues. Theories about the origins of Bog Butter deposits are divided between two schools. The first suggests ritual `votive offerings´ – the deliberate deposition of the casks in honour of/supplication to a deity. The second school proposes `human error´ – accidental deposition either as a result of forgetfulness or the death of the owner. Bogs would have acted as a reliable form of refrigeration for a winter stock of butter surplus and the unfortunate owners of the butter failed to adequately mark the stockpile.

    The IPCC (Irish Peatland Conservation Council) lists a reference to a recipe for Bog Butter from an account of Irish food written by Dinely in 1681: ‘Butter, layed up in wicker baskets, mixed with a sort of garlic and buried for some time in a bog to make a provision of an high taste for Lent’.

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