Story Archaeology

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

Tag Archives: Dían Cécht

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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Heapstown Cairn ~ The Well of Octriul

Heapstown cairn is not impressive; well, not at first view.  Not far away, high on the slopes of the Bricklieve hills, set against the skyline are the bald, one-eyed heads, like ancient Formoire giants.  There are so many cairns, each evoking mystery and speculation. Then there is Heapstown, the greatest of all cairns outside the Boyne …

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The Story of Airmed from Cath Maige Tuired

from Cath Maige Tuired, The Battle of Moytura edited by Elizabeth Gray translation and notes by Isolde Carmody [Terms in bold have notes and discussions below]   133] Boí dano Núadae oga uothras, & dobreth láim n-argait foair lioa Díen Cécht go lúth cecha lámha indte. Meanwhile, Núada was debilitated.  A silver hand / arm was set on him by Dían Cécht, with the power of every …

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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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Revisiting Mythical Women. 4: Revisiting Airmed.

Airmed is the daughter of the great Dé Danann physician, Dían Cécht, part of a family of healers.  Together, they create the healing well of Sláine, which restores injured warriors at the Second Battle of Moytura.  But do the meanings of their names tell a different story? In our  revisit to what may seem at …

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Fer Fio’s Cry: A Poem for Long Life

In exploring the Dindshenchas of Inber Ailbine, we looked at the poem Nuall Fer Fio, “Fer Fio’s Cry”, to gain some understanding of the nine daughters of the sea in their bronze boats.  In the episode, I incorrectly attributed the translation to Dr. John Carey.  This is because I first read about the poem in …

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The Proto-Story – A Speculation

And the Morrigan spoke at last. “The time will soon be upon us, and unrest will not pass us by.  The leader of our people will be fatally blemished. Núada will be wounded in heart and hand. No longer will he hold golden prosperity within his grasp.” The Dagda grinned. “Dían Cécht will make him …

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Stories in the Landscape ~ Accompanying Map

The main events of the saga of Moytura are mapped onto this image of Ireland. There are too many events happening in the region around Lough Arrow, on the plateau where the battle takes place. When the story is mapped like this it is clear how much Moytura truly is a story in a landscape. …

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The Landscape of a Story ~ notes to accompany the podcast episode

Notes intended to be read as an accompaniment to the podcast episode As we mentioned in the podcast, examining the story of Moytura is somewhat like staring into the reflecting levels of a lake. You may focus your vision on the ripple-transformed surface or look deeper into the shadowed depths for hidden treasures. Observing and …

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How to Get Help from a Craftsman

There are a number of intriguing Irish texts which can only be described as spells or charms, and they still lie in great obscurity, despite calls for attention from Kuno Meyer nearly 100 years ago, and from Dr. John Carey in his excellent article in 2000 (Léachtaí Cholm Cille, issue 30). There are two “charms” …

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