They are dragged up the hill like beads on a rosary, their guide droning, words buzzing in one ear, dripping from the other like honey, to make room for the three other sites they will visit today. They want… Read More
This is the story of the how the boy-warrior, Fionn mac Cumhall, defeated the Fire-fairy, Ailen mac Midhna, who had been laying waste to the royal stronghold of Tara every Samhain for many years, and how he won his rightful place as the leader of the Fianna.
This act of looking into the future and chanting or reciting prophecy in the form of poetry is called Imbas Forosnai (imbas meaning ‘inspiration’, in particular the sacred poetic inspiration of the ancient Filidh, and forosnai meaning ‘illuminating’ or ‘that which illuminates’).
Irish mythology is awash with geisa, almost every hero being afflicted by at least one, if not more. At first glance, they seem little more than a sprinkling of magical spice to add a little extra drama to a story: if the hero violates his geis, he suffers dishonour and maybe even death.
However, a closer look yields a slightly different concept behind the use of the geis in Irish myth and legend.
You can read my latest article, The Tuatha de Denann | Were they Irish Gods or Aliens on Irish Central… if you’re interested! Ali xxx