aliisaacstoryteller

lughnasadh, a celebration of fertility?

One of the four ancient Irish pre-Christian festivals, Lughnasadh was celebrated on the night of the full moon midway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, around August 1st. But was it a celebration of thanksgiving for the harvest, or a remnant of some ancient fertility rite, or a monument to love?

Mogh Ruith, the Blind Magician

Without a doubt, one of the most interesting and mysterious figures from Irish mythology is the One known as Mogh Ruith. He’s right up there with Manannán, as far as I’m concerned. His name is said to mean ‘slave… Read More

The Wild Boar in Irish Mythology

The wild boar was hunted into extinction in Ireland back in the C17th, although it seems likely that it was probably not truly ‘wild’ at all, but introduced by man in early prehistoric times. Ireland’s rich forest land… Read More

Tailtiu, the Church of St Patrick and the Eastern Fort

Teltown is a vast and complex ancient site of some significance dating to the Iron Age. Features include the remnants of mounds, ring forts, earthen ramparts, artificial lakes, and an ancient roadway, but much of these have been erased from the landscape through the actions of farming over the years.

Conor Kelly and The Fenian King | An Excerpt

Hugh from Hugh’s Views and News has very kindly featured my book, Conor Kelly and the Fenian King as his Book of the Month… cue sparkly lights and glitter! Yaaay! Thanks, Hugh! And now, here is an excerpt…… Read More

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.

Mythology and Folklore | What’s the Difference?

This was something which confused the hell out of me when I first got into Irish mythology; what’s the difference between mythology and folklore, does it matter, and who cares anyway? They’re just a bunch of old stories,… Read More

Maynooth | Plain of Nuada and Seat of Learning

Lectures start today. That’s right, at nearly fifty, I’m going back to school. Maynooth University, to be precise, for a BA in Irish Medieval and Celtic Studies, History and English. I must be mad. First up, it’s Celtic… Read More

Peculiar Pregnancies in Irish Mythology

Being a woman of a certain age, and a mother, I was wondering what it must have been like to be pregnant in ancient Ireland, so I decided to do some digging, and guess what? There’s hardly anything… Read More

The Hill of Slane | Faces in Strange Places

Wherever there is a Christian church, there was once a pagan sacred site before it, and Slane is no exception. In amongst the trees to the west of the hill lies a motte of Norman origin upon which once stood a castle. Beneath this motte there is a burial mound believed to be that of Sláine, a king of the FirBolg.