Episode 11 The Wooing of Étain (Part 1): The Nativity of the Young Son

Solstice Sun entering the passage at Newgrange – CC licence

Thank you for listening to this episode!

Here you’ll find our notes, links to research and some personal highlights from your hosts.

Welcome | fáilte

In this episode we hear about the Dagda and Boann’s dalliance, and the subsequent birth of the god Aengus, that thanks to divine magic, all occurs on the same day. Despite the title, Étain doesn’t appear in today’s story as she isn’t introduced until later in the Saga.   We ask:

  • What was The Dagda’s role in myth and in the old pagan religion?
  • Why is this story associated with the Winter Solstice?
  • Does this story hint at the remnant of a pre-Celtic religious tradition?
  • What was the significance of Newgrange for ancient astronomers?
  • Could the Egyptian Book of the Dead help us interpret the importance of the Solstice at Newgrange for the dead?

The Dagda has got his groove back, but though his power is restored, he longs for Boann, goddess and wife of his steward, Elcmar. He makes use of his control of the Sun and time to not only make a tryst possible, but to hide the conception and birth of a son.

Despite the title, Étain doesn’t appear in today’s story as she isn’t introduced until later in the Saga

Resources

credits

Written, presented and produced  by Marcas Ó hUiscín and Stephanie Ní Thiarnaigh.

Music – Celtic Warrior by Damiano Baldoni (licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 public licence

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode

All sounds cc licence from freesound.org

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