Story Archaeology

Uncovering the layers of Irish Mythology through a regular podcast and related articles

Tag Archives: Otherworld

Circling the Tain 01: The Quarrel of the Two Swineherds (or “Where It All Began”)

Welcome to Series 6, “Circling the Tain”. In this series, we will delve into the fascinating web of stories making up the Tain tradition, with the Tain Bó Cúailnge, “The Cattle Raid of Cooley”, at its core. We begin this exploration with the story of two talented swineherds and their shape-shifting,poetic quarrel. Join the Story …

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Revisiting Mythical Women 2 – Revisiting Macha

In the second of our “revisits”, we look back at our discussions on Noinden Ulaid and the Dindshenchas stories of Emain Macha in Co. Armagh. This was the first discussion that we had about cóir, although we were then using the Egyptian term Ma’at, signifying natural order and justice. Reviewing this episode really highlights how …

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Revisiting Sinann’s Other Poems

From the Metrical Dindshenchas, Volume 4, edited by Edward Gwynn translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody pp 36 – 43: Poems 11 & 12 Note: It may seem hard to believe, but in our podcast episode, Revisiting Sinann, we didn’t jump up and down shouting about the link between Sinann and Mongán! We compared her poetic quest …

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Revisiting Sinann in the Metrical Dindshenchas

from the Metrical Dindshenchas, Volume 3 edited by Edward Gwynn; translated by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody. pp. 286 – 297; poems 53 and 54

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Revisiting Mythical Women 1 – Revisiting Sinann

  Welcome to series 5 of Acallam na nÉces, “Revisiting Mythical Women”. In our first episode, we take a look back at the stories of Sinann, and the themes that came up when we discussed them in our very first episode. We’ve added some new discussion to the beginning of the episode, highlighting how Story …

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Finn Bán describes the Gilla Decair (and his horse!)

  Finn Bán to Finn MacUmall: Na dée dot bennachad, a Fhinn, The gods bless you, O Finn, a fhir in chomráid chnesda; O man of soothing speech; táncas féin dot ghrésachtsa I come in need of your stirring words mar do bí oram egla Because I was so frightened.   Finn MacUmall to Finn …

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Fair Lady, Will You Go With Me?

  from Tochmarc Étaíne, “The Wooing of Étaín”, ed. Osborne Bergin and R. I. Best poetic translation by Isolde ÓBrolcháin Carmody   A Bé Find, in rega lim Fair Lady, will you come with me i dtír n-ingnad hi fil rind? To a wonder-land of harmony Is barr sobairce folt and; Hair shines with a …

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A Description of the Sid of Labraid

Paraphrased from Laerg’s poem in Serglige Con Chulainn, “The Love-Sickness of Cú Chulainn” from “Serglige Con Chulainn“, ed. Myles Dillon from Lebor na hUidre; lines 486 – 513 Poetic rendering by Chris Thompson   Colba do lepthaib crónda, úatne finna forórda, is sí caindell ardustá in lía lógmar lainerdá. Soft crimson beds there are Emblazoned …

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The Island of the Pillar – For Real?

In episode 14 of the series “Rowing Around Immráma”, we treated the Fenian tale, The Pursuit of the Gilla Decair and his Horse, as a kind of spoof Immrám. While this is the impression given, it also has another purpose. One of the prime functions of Fenian tales is to illustrate that whatever genre its heroes …

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Rowing Around Immráma 14: The Pursuit of the Gilla Decair – An Unofficial Fenian Immrám

   In the last stop of our very circuitous Immrám of Immráma, we have a canter through a Fenian tale of surly servants, marine equines, hairy horrors and a battle with the High-King of the World. All in a day’s work for Finn and the Fianna… But is it an Immrám? Is it a recognisably …

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