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.

Inside the Cave of Cats.

Gifts from the ‘Hell-Mouth of Ireland’ #Samhain

There was no way I was not going in. The mouth of the cave gaped at me, and I watched in trepidation as it swallowed first Treasa, then two more of my companions, and then I plunged in. Now or never.

From Goddess to Grotesque

We probably have a false impression when we think of the Irish Celtic pagan Goddess. If she originated with the Tuatha de Danann, who are popularly considered to comprise Ireland’s pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, then she must… Read More

The Fairy Folk of Ireland

In Ireland, these magical beings are known as ‘the Sidhe’ (prounounced Shee), also the Aos Sí, and Daoine Sídhe, and in Scottish lore, the Sith. They are named after the mounds which dot the Irish landscape, and which are said to lead to their homes below the ground. In folklore, they are often referred to as ‘the Fair Folk’ (hence fairy), or the ‘little people’, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Well. You know what I mean.

The Crow and the Phantom Queen

I am busy working on two book projects at the moment, and it’s very exciting to see them both approaching publication. As a result, I haven’t had much time for blogging this week, so I thought I’d dust… Read More

Warrior Women of Ireland

Irish mythology is riddled with powerful women, yet they are quite an enigma. On the one hand, we have feisty Queens like Medb,and fearsome Goddesses like the Morrigan. On the other, we have the helpless heroines such as Etain, Deirdre, and Grainne, who seemingly did little but lure men with their beauty into tragedy and catastrophe. But ancient Ireland also had its fair share of warrior women, and some of them were quite kickass!

Double Trouble | Twins in Irish Mythology

There are lots of famous twins in world mythology, but in Ireland’s legends we hear more about the triple aspect of our ancient gods and goddesses. The Trí de Dana, for instance, also known as the Three Gods… Read More

Riastradh, the Warrior’s Battle Frenzy

The Norsemen were famous for it, the Romans accused the Celts of it, and  it seems our Irish ancestors were capable of it too: the strange phenomenon known as the ‘battle frenzy’. Cuchullain’s battle frenzy was known in Irish as the riastradh, now translated as ‘contortion/ convulsion’, but thought to have originally referred to ‘the red rage of battle’ in ancient times.

The Crow in Irish Mythology

In the gathering of huge trees in the churchyard opposite my house lives a colony of crows. They are noisy and gregarious, and I enjoy their hoarse, wild calls and feathery antics immensely. Crows belong to the Corvus… Read More