The Irish Mythology Cycle.

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  • #6854

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    The Irish Mythology Circle :

    Mythology has always played an important role in shaping various countries around the world, tales of lots imagination, some quite archaic to our modern perceptions, sometimes with the irritation of not making logical sense.

    Ireland has a wealth of interesting tales, recorded in the Middle Ages with some magnificent events with larger than life personalities, these tales embrace clans of mystical races from which the living Irish are supposedly descended from.

    While there is plenty of those magical races, the Irish Tuatha de Danann remain one of the most interesting, so enter a parallel world of mystical phenomena and supernatural god-like creatures that could be explained away as extra-terrestrials.

    Reference : Wikipedia.org, Connolly Cove & Jack Coleman

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  • #6870
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    Aengus : The God Of Love & Youth :

    The son of Dagda & Boann, the water-goddess of the River Boyne, also regarded as the Queen of Ireland, Aengus was a member of the Tuatha de Danann, Irish mythology has depicted him as the god of love and youth, however, some ancient tales claim otherwise, for his father Dagda refused to give the young Aengus his supernatural attributes, convinced that he might misuse his divine gifts.

    This repeated statement was probably never elevated to the deity status, a mortal man associated with certain species of birds native to the shores of Ireland, in illustrations of Aengus there is usually three small birds flying in a circle above his head.

    There was a darker side to Aengus that The Dagda didn’t care for, there were tales of him committing murders to change future events, Midir, knowing the boy needed direction took over as his foster-father after the disinterest of The Dagda, new tales were told about Aengus who was now reviving people close to death, as a pagan-form of penance for the wildness of his youth.

    He showed no interest for his arsenal of lethal weaponry of his youth, the spears were gifts from the god Manannan Mac Lir, before Aengus’s death he gave his weaponry to his son Diarmund Ua Duibhne.

    Reference : Wikipedia.org & Jack Coleman.

  • #6869
    Loegaire
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    The Irish Pantheon :

    If I am permitted to use a Greek & Roman expression, in the old Indo-European tradition, Ireland worshipped many goddesses and gods, perhaps these goddesses came from different invading races, who believe in spiritual magic.

    Danu was the mother-goddess of the Tuath de Danann, the children of the goddess Danu, although her modern name in some Irish records is Dana, taking the guise of mother-goddess of the pregnant earth goddess, Dana main duty was to care for her children, pouring power and wisdom into their spirits, to bring prosperity to the lands of her children.

    Dana possesses a lot of fascinating skills and attributes, which she passed down to her children, she is linked with the Gaelic title of ‘beantuathach’ expressing her attribute as a ‘fertility farmer’, who blesses the land and ripens the crops, you could say that her natural antagonist was Balor, who was distantly related to Nuada, in some accounts, but Dana’s biggest attribute was the water of life and a Celtic river-goddess.

    Folklore Of The Goddess Danu :

    Firstly she is constantly mentioned in both Irish & Celtic mythology, her appearance and description of her features remain mysterious that some researchers claim she was an imaginary love of the Celtic peoples, although various ancient tales shape the character of Danu regardless of the authenticity of her existence.

    Danu is regarded responsible for the magical mist that lifted the flying ships of the Tuatha when they came to Ireland, and it was Danu’s chose that they populated this green and fertile island, as it was her wish for the supernatural Tuatha to leave Ireland to the science of the humankind. The ancient god Bile asked the mother-goddess to care and nurture a sacred oak tree in Ireland, her reward was the birth of The Dagda, who would symbolise goodness, nurturing the child in the ways of agriculture, strength and the importance of fertility, and passing to The Dagda the baton of magic.

    Reference : Jack Coleman & Connolly Cove.

  • #6868
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    Theories Abound About The Inhabitants Of The Irish Caves :

    One theory states that the Iberian Milesians did not defeat the Tuatha de Danann, but that the Tuatha decided to go to the Underworld, as though the days of magic were at an end, used by Tolkien in ‘Lord Of The Rings’ with the elfin folk travelling to the Grey Harbour, the Tuatha de Danann with their foresight knew their days of living with humankind were numbered.

    Nowadays the Tuatha are regarded as the origins of the elves and fairy-folk of subterranean Ireland, or the sidhe, with kingdoms beneath the surface, kingdoms of fascinating incomparable skills and crafts, a timeless existence now referred to a fairy-time, in other tales, their goddess Danu commanded the Tuatha to live in happiness and exile in Tir na nOg, the land of youthful appearance.

    The Tuatha owned magnificent horse and were renowned for their great horsemanship, these horses were a special breed, never seen in Ireland before, with prehistoric features of large eyes, broad-chested like plough-horses, with great speed as though they were fleeing from Hades, and they exerted fire from their nostrils.

    The Sidhe :

    Pronounce as Shee, the Irish Mythology is full of tales about the Sidhe, some Irish historians believe that the Sidhe is another name for the Dananns, with their agricultural abilities to ripen the crops, smooth the storms and to but life-giving properties into the milk of the cows, so the ancients worshipped the sidhe and gave them blessings.

    Reference : Wikipedia.org & Jack Coleman.

  • #6867
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    The Reign Of Light :

    After Lugh avenged the death of Nuada, he became the first choice to become High-King, for in battle he had displayed great courage and in the midst of blood shed great military wisdom, since Lugh was half-Fomorian, he was responsible for spreading peace, being respected by both the Danann & the Fomorian.

    Lugh’s reign lasted for forty years, during this period of peace he managed to stage The Tailltean Games, similar to the Greek Olympics, honouring his foster-mother Taillte, these games of strength and endurance lasted until the 12th century but under the name of Lugh’s Fair.

    The Sway Of The Milesians :

    The Milesians, the Sons & Daughters of Mil, its believed that they sail to Ireland from the Iberian Peninsula, and made land fall on the Festival of the Beltaine, as DNA now day proves a similarity with Irish & Iberian DNA, the old tale that the Tuatha de Danann fought the Milesians and pushed them back into the sea, and that The Dagda conjured up a great storm and dashed their sailing ships against the rocks causing a great loss of life to the Milesians, seems now to be contradicted by science.

    There is also a tale that The Dagda with his supernatural magic could make Ireland like Hy Brasil, undetectable to the crews of the Milesians, so they circumnavigated Ireland until The Dagda’s spell began to weaken and the Tuatha were ambushed by the Milesians who were unprepared for battle by having too much faith in Dagda’s magic.

    Reference : Connolly Cove & Jack Colemen.

  • #6866
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    The Union Of The Danann & The Fomorians :

    As recorded on ancient documents is a little confusing at times, but here is the story :

    Balor by prophecy was told the his own grandson would slay him in battle, Balor only had one daughter and no sons, his daughter’s name was Ethniu, because of the druid’s foretelling, he kept Ethniu under lock and key in an impregnable tower, ensuring that she was unable to meet a member of the opposite sex and become pregnant.

    After Balor had stolen cattle from a neighbouring tribe, and also the Glas Gaibhnenn from the Danann Smith-of-many-metals Goibniu, Goibniu either wants his possession returned or revenge on Balor, the warrior Cian and his sister, the druidess Birog free Ethniu from the stand-alone tower of Tory Island.

    Taking Eithne back to mainland Island, she hand-fasting with Cain, Eithne later gives birth to a son, which enrages Balor, the nurse is surrounded by Fomorian warriors as Balor takes his grandson and attempts to drown him in the Irish Sea, the sea-god Manannan sends a might wave that knocks Balor off his feet and is dragged out by the under-current.

    Manannan raises the child on the Island of the Sea People, who all referred to Eithne’s child as Lugh, who would later slay his grandfather in the Battle of the Plains. Balor was left with the legacy as the personification of drought, blight and the scorching sun and the consequences of the effects these three dilemmas have on the living.

    This in turn gave rise to the legend of the harvest myth, that the act of Lugh slaying his grandfather Balor, symbolises a healthy harvest for humankind and not to be affected by Balor’s plagues.

    Reference : Connolly Cove.

  • #6865
    Loegaire
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    Significant Members Of The Tuatha de Danann :

    Each race had its own leaders, chieftains & kings, Nuada appears to be the High-King of the Danann, but there was separate chieftains where each of them had an individual task to perform, the significant members all played vital roles within the Tuatha. Those chieftains included Credenus, the one responsible for assisting and instructing in specialised craftwork.

    Neit was the military chieftain for skirmishes and battlefield tactics, and Diancecht was regarded as the magical healer that knew so much about all kinds of ailments, Goibniu was the expert smith, weapon-maker and engineer, Morrigu, the Crow of Battle assisted Neit, Lastly there was Ogma, the scholarly man of letters, he was Nuada’s brother and responsible for teaching writing to the masses.

    Neit & The Firbolgs :

    The Firbolgs where the existing rulers when the Danann entered Ireland, who became a new opposition for the Firbolgs, as both races engaged in skirmishes and battles to take control of the politics of Ireland, their first encounter, a bloody battle for supremacy to place near the Shore of Lough Corrib on the Plain of Moyturey.

    The Tuatha de Danann’s superior tactics won the day, the leader of the Firbolgs had died on the field of conflict, as the Firbolg fled the field to regroup electing the warrior Srang as their new High-Chieftain, Srang decided the best way forward was to broker a peace agreement and come to a compromise about sharing and learning from the Danann.

    The High-King Nuada Asked To Step Aside :

    In the Battle of the Plain of Moyturey Nuada had lost his arm, and became serious ill through the lost of blood, so the valiant warrior Breas was elected to lead the Danann in all maters military, Credne Cerd and the physician Diencecht worked for days and produced a silver arm with a silver working hand that could grip the hilt of a sword and presented to Nuada, giving him the appearance of being in a perfect state for future warfare.

    The whole process of new settlement took the Danann seven years to be as perfect as possible, displaying exceptional skills in all things that the warriors of other races embraced as progress. After these seven years Breas stepped aside, by popular demand,  for the invigorated Nuada of the Silver Hand to reclaim being the High-King.

    But Breas became bitter about his former warriors, and sought the aid of the Firbolg refugees now in the ranks of the Fomorians led by Balor, Balor in this sense was recorded as being a powerfully strong giant of a warrior, with a scar on his cheek and missing an eye, in the raging battle Balor killed Nuada in the heat of the blood shed, but his victory was not long lived, as Lugh Lamhfhada, broke from the ranks and killed the unprotected Balor.

    Reference : Wikipedia, Connolly Cove & Jack Coleman.

     

     

  • #6858
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    Lia Fail : The Speaking Stone :

    The Coronation Stone Of Tara, there are several conflicting legends in Irish mythology describing how the Lia Fail was brought to Ireland, The Lebor Gabala, dating from the 11th century, states that it was brought in antiquity by the semi-divine race, the Tuatha de Danann, the Scottish chroniclers of the 13th century, John Fordum & Hector Boece, regarded the Lia Fail, as the sama as The Stone of Scone in Scotland, according to their research the Lia Fail was erected on top of Tara in 500AD by orders of the High-King Murtagh Mac Eirc, with the aid and blessing of the Dalraida King Fergus the Great.

    According to one Gaelic version surrounding the Lia Fail stone was brought to Tara by the Iberian Danann by sailing ship that was harboured in the ancient Port of Carrickfergus about 580BCE.

    The Mythical Powers Of The Lia Fail :

    The Lia Fail was thought to be a magical standing stone, when the rightful High-King of Ireland stepped closer to the base slabs of the stone, it was said to roar approval in the coronation of the rightful heir to Tara, perhaps, a subterranean chamber with a musician and a carnyx. The Lia Fail also was thought to have rejuvenating powers to make the High-King fit to serve his office.

    According to ancient manuscripts, the Lebor Gabala Erenn, in anger of not roaring approval to Cuchulainn’s protégé Lugaid Riab nDerg, Cuchulainn hit it several times with his sword. As the legend continued The Lia Fail would never speak again, but once it did for the approval of Conn of the Hundred Battles, it is also recorded that the coronation of Brian Boru in 1002AD took place at Tara.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

     

  • #6857
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    The Cauldron Of The Dagda :

    Dagdan is portrayed as the father-figure, the high-king and the arch-druid of the Tuatha de Danann, associated with fertility, agriculture, manliness, strength, the magic of being an arch-druid and the holder of great wisdom, his description is that he was a giant of a man, with long hair and beard, most probably white, with a hood cloak, and a magical staff. Although, Nuada was also recorded as the High-King of the Tuatha de Danann.

    The Archetypal description of Odin, Merlin or Gandalf, his magical attributes were a mace that kills from one end and revives life by the other end, a magical cauldron (coire ansic), in which the meat stew never runs empty, but constantly replenishes, and his was a gifted harpist, the sweet melodies of his magical harp could sedate the wildest of warriors.

    The Dagda’s magical cauldron, the (coire ansic) the un-dry cauldron, was recorded as a bottomless void, in a great gathering of people everyone would be satisfied by its nourishment, where no hunger would remain. The Dagda at times is regarded in a comic light, as Thor was in the Nordic Tales.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  • #6856
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    Claiomh Solais : The Sword Of Light :

    The white glaive of light, has become a trope object for a number of Irish and Scottish Gaelic folktales, the sword has been regarded as a legacy to the god-slaying weapons of Irish mythology, the analogue in Irish mythological Cycle being Lugh’s sling that felled Balor, and their counterparts in heroic cycles are many, magical weaponry including Cuchulainn’s supernatural spear ‘Gae bulga’ and Cruaidin Catutchenn’s ‘shinning sword’.

    A group of ‘Sword Of Light’ tales bear resemblance in the plot structure and detail of certain Arthurian legends, the folktales of the ‘Claiomh Solais’ typically compels the hero to perform, usually three sets of tasks or quests, aided by helpers, who range from a servant woman, a helpful animal companion, or some other supernatural being.

    Restoring ‘the sword of light’ as an effective weapon to fight against the aggressive antagonists, couple with perhaps a bridal quest to win the hand of the ‘fair lady’, the sword’s keeper is usually a giant (gruagach) or withered hag (cailleach), who tries to defeat the hero by using supernatural means by finding the hero’s vulnerable weakness.

    Roughly speaking, the primeval divine weapon was a fiery and bright lightning weapon, most often conceived as a throwing spear, in later traditions, the wielder would change from a god to a vulnerable mortal hero surmounting the odds stacked against him, when the spear was replaced by the sword.

    From later heroic tales, like Fergus Mac Roigh’s powerful sword and Mac Cecht’s spear, thus failing to fit the profile of a shinning sword, one example which does fit, is Cuchulainn’s sword ‘Cruaidin’ which was mentioned above, and the legacy of these mythological and herois weapons survive in the ‘sword of light’ in folkloric tales.

    In some Irish literary circles, the Claidheamh Soliuis has been asserted as the sword of Nuada Airgetlam, and one of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha de Danann, this notion has become very popular in Japan, where the Irish information was disseminated by the fantasy-related mythology that appeals to the Japanese.

    Reference : http://www.wikipedia.org

  • #6855
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    Who Were The Tuatha de Danann ?

    In ancient Ireland, there were more than a few races that existed, among them was the royal-bloods of the Tuatha de Danann, who were a magical race that possessed supernatural powers, most of them were god-like creatures or divine beings that were worthy of human worship.

    This race also known to believe in the Goddess Danu, who they referred to as their Mother, the Danann created four city-settlements as they established themselves in Ireland. The City of Falias, where they placed one of their four treasures, The Stone Of Fal, on the top of the Hill Of Tara in County Meath, that would cry out when the High-King was inaugurated.

    The City of Gorias, the resting place of The Spear Of Lugh, when no battle was ever sustained against the holder of the spear. The City of Findias, the resting place of The Sword Of Light, (Claiomh Salais), Nuadu’s sword once drawn from its sheath meant death to anyone who resisted it.

    The City of Muirias, the resting place of The Dagda’s magical cauldron, that could feed a thousand hungry warriors., these are the four treasures of the Tuatha de Danann, the only location we know for certain is The Hill Of Tara.

    The Danann brought fascinating skills and wisdoms to the Irish shores, it is recorded that the greatest exponents of these Otherworldly crafts were Senias of Murias, Morias of Falias, Urias of Gorias, and Arias of Findais.

    It remains ambiguous how the Tuatha de Danann arrived in Ireland, by sailing-ships or by sky-ships as the records of flying through the air, state, while travelling through the air their crafts were obscured by clouds of mist, but the belief continues that they came from the heavens rather than the sea.

    Another theory was that it wasn’t clouds of mist, but bellowing smoke as their burnt their sailing ships, research of the ancient manuscripts imply that they came from the north, while other documents contradicted this assumption, saying that they came from the west, recently another theory based on DNA research gave the idea that the Tuatha de Danann were Danes !

    But other theories point to Austria and the River Danube, where Danu was worshipped in ancient times, the conclusion is that they were seafaring nomads and Ireland was the perfect place to put down roots, to the ancient Pelasgians they were the children of Snake Ophion and the Goddess Danu.

    Reference : Wikipeia.org, Connolly Cove & Jack Coleman.

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Anachronous History Forums EUROPE THE WESTERN ISLES Eire (Ireland) The Irish Mythology Cycle.