Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Crúachán

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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Uaimh na gCait (Oweynagat)

The Cave of the Cats Taken from a personal journal entry after an early visit to the cave …..“There it is, by that house” and we tumble out of the car into the everlasting drizzle. The cave of Cruachán was said to be the most notorious otherworld entrance in folktale and legend. From here, so …

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Other Appearances of The Morrigan

As discussed in the podcast, there are several other notable appearances which the Mór Rígan makes through Irish Mythology.  Below, I have produced a translation of the Dindshenchas poem, “Odras”.  Before we get to her, here are links to some of her other roles: Esnada Tige Buichet, “The Melodies of the House of Buchet”. This is …

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The Ancestors and the Hollow Hills

In the podcast episode, “The Further Adventures of Nera – The Cow and the Time Machine”, we found ourselves exploring the gateway to the Irish Otherworld. It is not the first timewe have made this journey..  We only have to return to our last story, Fled Bricrenn, “Bricriu’s Feast”, where we encountered another powerful Otherworld …

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Sat-Navs and Seanchaís – Finding your way through stories and landscapes

This article was published in the journal Keltria in issue 42, “Storytelling”. You can order this issue of Keltria here for digital download or print edition. Notes appear at the end of the article. Ireland has an international reputation as a nation of writers and storytellers, and it forms a large part of our national …

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The Further Adventures of Nera ~ The Cave Between the Worlds

As Nera climbed out of the steep misted cave, into the darkness, he was met by the autumn smoke smells of damp and decay, clustering around him like a guard of arms, wakeful and watching. The cold night air caught at his throat and he shivered. And yet there was another odour, strong, green, fresh, …

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Dindshenchas 08: The Further Adventures of Nera – The Cow and the Time Machine

In the context of Dindshenchas, we return to the fascinating tale, Echtrae Nerai / Táin Bó Aingene (“The Adventures of Nera / The Cattle Raid of Aingene“), which we dipped into in “Corpse Carrying For Beginners“.  When Nera returns from his adventures in the síd, he ends up with even more than a time-travel headache. …

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Cú Chulainn’s Wild Ride

In Section 32 of Fled Bricrenn, Cú Chulainn explains to Loegaire and Conall that he won’t fight them for the Champion’s Portion, as he’s had a busy day: Is and asmbert Cuculaind: ‘Rosirius andú morbrughi h-Érinn’, ol se, ‘Bregha Midii, Muiriusc Murteme Machae Magh Medbhai, Cuirech Cletech Cernai, Aidne Aidli Asul, Lia Linde Locharna, Fea …

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Dressed to the nines! ~ a gallery of finery.

Fled Bricrenn is rich in its descriptions of finery. In its feasting halls, heroes and horse harness, detail is embelished with  vivid detail. Our text is, of course largely ninth century CE but the story telling recalls an earlier heroic age of epic deeds.  It is possible to identify memories of a mthologised pre-christian world throughout …

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The Coming of the Heroes to Crúachán ~ a description

From inside the dún, It sounded like an army approaching in full battle-stance. The whole household of Crúachán stopped still, startled in their strength. “Go see who is coming,” said Medb to her daughter. So Findabair went to the high place of the house and looked out. The sight before her dazzled her vision. Two matched …

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