aliisaacstoryteller
Me standing just outside the entrance to Oweynagat.

Inside the ‘Hell-Mouth’ of Ireland (video)

There is a cave at Cruachan. Its small dark mouth yawns at your feet beneath a shroud of hawthorn bushes, and is never lit up by the sun. You can slide your way in, if you dare. The only way is supine on your belly, sinuous as a snake in the thick blackness, or on your back, enclosed so closely that the rock wall brushes your skin as you pass, the weight of the earth pressing on your consciousness, on your lungs, filling you with the fear of rockfalls, of demonic creatures which burst through from the Otherworld, of the terrible Goddess of strife and death we call the Morrigan, of the dread that once inside, you will become trapped, unable to ever return to the surface.

Dún Dealgan, Home of Cuchulainn

Living on the edge of Táin territory, Dún Dealgan is a place I’ve long wanted to visit. A couple of weeks ago, I got my chance, as I was writing a piece about his long-suffering wife, Emer. If… Read More

Of Heroes and Giants

I‘ve been channelling Emer this weekend for my manuscript, Mavourneen, so as I live on the edge of Cuchulainn country, I thought I’d head down to their neck of the woods and see some of the sites associated… Read More

Lough Sillan, Co. Cavan. www.aliisaacsoryteller.com

Air, Water, Earth and Fire

I needed to get some air. Clear my head. Breathe. Feel the wind ruffle my hair. Listen to the sound of birds, let the slap of water on the shore soothe away my tension. I needed to feel… Read More

Abortion and Birth Control in Ancient Ireland

To listen to the way people talk, you’d think abortion and birth control were a modern phenomenon. Not so. As  John M. Riddle, J. Worth Estes and Josiah C. Russell say in their paper, ‘Birth Control in the… Read More

Processional Pathways of Ancient Ireland

In October 2015, I had a very strange experience at Tlachtga, the Hill of Ward. As I walked the site, I became increasingly dizzy and developed a powerful headache. Half an hour after driving away from the site,… Read More

The Rath of Synods at the Hill of Tara. (c) Ali Isaac

The 5 Great Roads of Ancient Ireland: Fact or Medieval Fiction?

According to legend, there were five great roads which led to the Hill of Tara. One of them runs between the north and south campuses of my university at Maynooth, and I’ve been crossing it almost every day… Read More

The Sovereignty Goddess of Ireland. www.aliisaacstoryteller.com. #sovereignty #goddess #ireland #mythology

The Sovereignty Goddess of Ireland

Following my recent posts on Macha and the site of Emain Macha, it occurred to me that I have referenced, but never really elaborated, on the concept or function of the sovereignty goddess in Irish myth. To be… Read More

The Visitor Centre at Emain Macha. www.aliisaacstoryteller.com

Emain Macha, Stronghold of Ulster Kings or Site of Sacred Ritual?

Last week, I told you the legends of Macha; today we look at the monuments in the Irish landscape she is said to have inspired. EMAIN MACHA, also known by the name of Navan Fort, is real and… Read More

Macha, Warrior-Queen or Sovereignty Goddess?

Returning to the raison d’etre of this blog, and to Incredible Irish Women in particular (most apt in light of recent happenings in this country), I’d like to introduce you to MACHA. There are several women by the… Read More

Eithne and Fedelma: ‘Unfinished Business’

You may remember these two young ladies: And you may remember also the block I had when it came to writing the next post in my Incredible Irish Women series, and how I was given to believe that… Read More

Confessions of a History Student: Messages and Intuition

You may have noticed there was no blog post from me last week. I try really hard to keep the blog updated as often as I can, but sometimes things happen which change that, and this was one… Read More