Story Archaeology

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

Category Archives: Stories by Chris Thompson

Brig and Rúadán

It was the first time keening had been heard in the green land of Ireland.  The poetry of mourning, the ritual of the eulogy.  Brig keened for her lost son, her impetuous red-headed boy, Rúadán. Rúadán was dead, killed by the spear of Goibniu, and the smithcraft of the Dé Danann, killed as a spy …

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Airmed’s Story

The green grey morning is soft with mist. Airmed sits on the soft earth of the mound, her yellow cloak spread empty before her covering the damp earth. All around her lie green herbs, no longer fresh and growing for they were harvested in hope and are now scattered in sadness. Airmed gathers the measure …

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The Birth of Lugh ~ a story

  The air was rippled with watery sunshine. But through one small round window shone a bright brave sunbeam, clear and golden, cutting its way into the dim glow of the room. And in its cutting sat Ethlinn. She sat still, facing the window, facing the clear light, the fresh air; and a tear flowed …

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The Story Of Macha ~ revisited

Three and a half years on from our first examinationof Macha, I am still happy with my re-telling even though it id a touch fanciful.Near Armagh is the green mound of mysterious Emain Macha. This is the story of its naming. In my mind I still hear the rhythmic drumming of many hooves, the thrumming …

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The Story of Sinann

In the days of dreaming, when the Ever-Living Ones still walked freely among the misty mountains and green valleys of Ireland, when the soft light of enchantment still shone from every hill of the síd, there was a well.

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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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Colmcille and the Youth at Carn Eolairg

The Colloquy of Colmcille and the Youth at Carn Eolairg As it might have been reported by the most insignificant and junior of the sainted man’s monks Some say it was Mongán, son of Fiachna, who spoke to Colmcille that Thursday morning. They had conversed all day, they had – and all night too. Some of …

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The Humiliation of Eochu Rígéigeas

Eochu, chief poet of Ireland seethed furiously, shame diffusing his face into red rage. To make a fool of him, to humiliate him in public – it was an unforgivable insult to a man of his status. But for a young man, hardly more than a child, to be the cause, the origin of his discomfiture; …

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Manannán’s Prophecy of Mongán

From the poem of Manannán Mac Lír in Immrám Bran:   Manannán speaks:   You see me here. I stand before you As I approach the mortal world. I will come to the woman who waits in Moy-linney; I will come, at last, to her own home.   For I, Manannán of the line of …

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The Island of Sheep

They had been two weeks away from land now, fourteen days and fourteen nights on the undulating, heaving, breathing waves. They were here together, in a vessel that had appeared so strong and stalwart on the good earth. It now seemed no more than a fragile cockle shell adrift on the lucid illimitable sea. Tadhg smiled wryly …

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