Episode 20: The Tragedy of Balor and his Piercing Eye

show notes s02 e10
Irish Mythology Podcast

Lúnasa 12, 2021

Episode 20

The Tragedy of Balor and his Piercing Eye

Cover image: Tormore, Tory Island © Copyright Colin Park and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons 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 skeletons that the Fomorian leader Balor keeps in his closet and how they may come back to haunt him. 

We ask:

  • Who was Balor?
  • Was his eye really evil?
  • What part did he play in the birth of Lugh?
  • What place lore is associated with him?
  • Is Enniskillen named after his wife?
  • How is he represented in pop culture?

Balor, a giant who lives in an invisible tower, commands one of the most fearsome armies that has ever been. He is prosperous, respected and feared, but there is something in his past that torments him.

When Bres and the druid Lobais return to Balor’s island stronghold from mainland Ireland  reporting the rise of a new hero, the skeletons in his closet grow new flesh.

Starring: Balor, Bres, Lobais the Druid, Cethlenn.

Also featuring: Lugh, Cian

We talk Balor, his supposedly evil eye, place lore, prophecy, sleep paralysis, Assasin’s Creed Valhalla – Wrath of the Druids, the 90’s Balor PC RPG, Sauron in Lord of the Rings, Finn Balor in the WWE, and American Gods

A cautionary tale on why you should never let prophecy dictate your actions. 

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 

Episode 19: The Rise of Lugh

show notes s02 e09
Irish Mythology Podcast

Iúil 30, 2021

Episode 19

The Rise of Lugh Lámhfada 

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 challenges Lugh faces before he can take his place at the hall of the gods. 

We ask:

  • What kind of game was fidchell?
  • What can we learn about Lugh from the Continental Celtic god Lugus?
  • What about the Welsh figure, Lleu Llaw Gyffes?
  • What can maps and language tell us about Lugh?
  • What clues can archaeology give us about his rise to prominence?
  • What is his relationship to the other gods and the Fomorians?
  • What modern festivals could be related to Lughnasadh?

Lugh goes to Tara to claim his place in the hall of the gods but first he will have to prove his value to them. To do this he must win at an ancient Irish version of chess called fidchell and undergo a test of strength from Ogma. Starring: Lugh, Nuada, Gamal, Camall.

Co-Starring Ogma, Macha, Gobniu, Dian Cecht.

We talk about Lugh, the festival of Lughnasadh, the continental celtic god Lugus, and the Welsh mythological figure Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

A cautionary tale on why you should always eat before you start work. 

Resources

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 except “riders of the sidhe chanting Lugh’s name”, by Marcas O’hUiscín. 

Summer Solstice Sunset at Tara – by Marcas

Episode 18: Lugh Lámhfada and his Resistance Militia

show notes s02 e08
Irish Mythology Podcast

Iúil 26, 2021

Episode 18

Lugh Lámhfada and his Resistance Militia

Thank you for listening to this episode!

St. Mochta’s House, Louth Village, Co. Louth.

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

Welcome | fáilte 

In this episode we hear about how the young god Lugh and the Dagda’s son Bodbh Dearg organise to fight against the Fomorians.  

We ask:

  • What kind of God is Lugh?
  • In what way does his name live on in Modern Ireland?
  • How do we know he was popular in the late Iron Age?
  • What clues can archaeology give us about the type of society that worshipped him?
  • What is his relationship to the other gods and the Fomorians?
  • What kind of festival was Lughnasadh?

Bres and the Fomorians are raiding Ireland but Nuada doesn’t want to drag the Tuath Dé into another war. Lugh and Bodbh Dearg take matters into their own hands and organise the riders of the sidhe into a resistance militia.

Starring: Lugh.

Co-Starring Bres, Bodbh Dearg, Nuada, Fomorians.

We also talk about placelore, Lughnasadh and what archaeology can tell us about the worship of Lugh.

A cautionary tale on why you should always assume that the fella making threats has back up. 

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 except “riders of the sidhe chanting Lugh’s name”, by Marcas O’hUiscín. 

Son of Fomóir: Bres, Éire, and the Fomorians

  • The Causeway Coast, Antrim photo credit: U123072 on en:Flickr

show notes s02 e07
Irish Mythology Podcast

Iúil 15, 2021

Episode 17

Son of Fomóir: Bres, Éire, and the Fomorians

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 Bres and Éire’s  quest to find Bres’s Fomorian father. It might not be as happy a reunion for Éire as it is for Bres.. 

We ask:

  • Who are the Fomorians?
  • Why are there so few stories involving Éire/Eiriu?
  • What do the vikings have to do with The Second Battle of Moytura?
  • What can the modern Irish language tell us about Mythology?
  • Is Elatha a social justice warrior?

Bres is throwing a strop after losing the throne so he goes to the least reliable person in his life for help (his dad).

His mother, Éire, comes along too.

Along the way they encounter strange human/goat hybrids and a potentially fatal ball game.

Starring: Bres, Éire, Elatha.

Co-Starring various Fomorians.

We talk about how an Irish word that has only recently fallen out of use might be a clue to one of the biggest mysteries in Irish Mythology.

A cautionary tale on why you should always make a tryst before sleeping with a stranger. 

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 

Episode 15 The Wooing of Étaín (Part 3): The Wooing of Ulster by Aengus

show notes s02 e05
Irish Mythology Podcast

Aibreán  14, 2021

Episode 15

The Wooing of Étaín (Part 3): The Wooing of Ulster by Aengus

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 how Aengus and Midir are doing a year on from the events of the last part of this story. Midir sustains an injury while visiting Aengus and to make up for it, the latter goes to County Down to ask for the hand of Étaín in marriage for Midir. 

We ask:

  • Was Aengus a love god?
  • Was he a god of poetry?
  • What was Aengus’s primary role in Irish Mythology?
  • How did the Gaeilic Cultural Revival of the 19th century  influence how we see Aengus today?
  • Why did WB Yeats become obsessed with Aengus?
  • How were tribal groupings in ancient Ireland similar to networks of mutual aid?

Midir loses an eye while trying to break up a fight; Dian Cecht works some healing magic; Aengus goes up to Down to woo Étaín for Midir; The Dagda fights an Octopus; WB Yeats is CANCELLED!

A cautionary tale on why you should only agree to things you know you can do, unless yer Da is the Dagda.

Resources

 

Ptolemy’s map* 2nd Century  – I have added the rough locations of the three main locations in today’s story.  

Cú Chullain and Ferdia statue in Ardee

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 

Featured Image Étaín and Midir, illustration by Stephen Reid in T. W. Rolleston’s The High Deeds of Finn (1910).

Episode 14 St. Patrick’s Day Special: Patrick versus Cromm Cruach

St. Patrick and Crom Cruaich. Illustrated by L.D.Symington. (Wikimedia Commons)

show notes s02 e04
Irish Mythology Podcast

Marta 11, 2021

Episode 14

St. Patrick’s Day Special: Patrick versus Cromm Cruach

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 how St. Patrick confronts a pagan idol whose followers are resisting the forward march of Christianity.  This deity, Cromm Cruach isn’t for going meekly into the night and makes a spirited defence of his place on the landscape and those who follow him.

We ask:

  • Why was Patrick determined to destroy Cromm Cruach?
  • Who worshipped Cromm Cruach according to textual sources?
  • Was Cromm Cruach even a deity or did Christian writers make him up?
  • Why was Patrick at odds with King  Lóegaire Mac Neill?
  • How did early Irish Christianity interact with native polytheistic paganism?
  • How did people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the past. 
  • St. Patrick’s Day, Paddy’s Day or Patty’s Day?

Patrick has had a lot of success spreading the word of God in Ireland, but one native deity and his followers are not going without a fight. Who will win this epic confrontation? Patrick versus Crom Cruach; This time it’s biblical!

We talk Patrick, Cromm Cruach, hagiography, human sacrifice, Lóegaire mac Néill, and the different ways Christianity and native Irish Paganism interacted. We also make a bit of time to talk old St. Patrick’s Day customs.

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 

Episode 12 Brigid – Goddess, Druid, and Saint of Imbolc

Photo from Brigid’s Well Faughart, Co. Louth by Stephie.

show notes s02 e02
Irish Mythology Podcast

Feabhra  01, 2021

Episode 12

Brigid – Goddess, Druid, and Saint of Imbolc

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 two  Brigids;  One is a goddess, the other, a saint, but there is a lot of crossover in their stories. .   We ask:

  • What is the connection between the two Brigids?
  • What did the goddess Brigid represent?
  • What magical acts did St. Brigid carry out?
  • What folklore and tradition is associated with Imbolc and St. Brigid’s Day?
  • What does the word Imbolc mean?

Brigid returns from tending her flock to see women huddled around the hearth with only a bit of bread between them. A bit of divine magic might be just what the doctor ordered.

Resources

credits

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

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

Except Music for a film by EvanJones4 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 public licence on freesound.org

Episode 10: The Dagda Strikes Back

show notes s01 e10
Irish Mythology Podcast

Samhain  24, 2020

Featured Image – The Gundestrup Cauldron – Attribution: Knud Winckelmann and Nationalmuseet- commons.wikimedia.org – CC-BY-SA-3.

Episode 10

The Dagda Strikes Back

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 how he strikes back against Cridenbel and Bres with the help of an otherworldly child. Meanwhile, Bres’s bad luck continues as the visit of a satirist doesn’t go the way he’d hoped.   We ask:

  • What was The Dagda’s role in myth and in the old pagan religion?
  • What rules around hospitality existed in  Brehon Law?
  • Did The Dagda represent a class of hospitalier called the Briugu?
  • Why were there laws governing satire in medieval Ireland?
  • Why should you offer  your guests a few biscuits with the cuppa?

The Dagda has had enough of Bres’s demands of his labour and Cridenbel’s demands of his hospitality. Now, with the help of a magical child and a satirist, The Dagda Strikes Back.

A cautionary tale outlining why you should always give your guests something decent with their cuppa.

Resources

  • The Second Battle of Moytura 
  • Ireland’s Immortals, A History of the Gods of Irish Myth – Mark Williams
  • Harp, Club and Cauldron, A Harvest of Knowledge (Lora O’Brien and Morpheus Ravenna ed)
  • A Cauldron of Abundance (from above book) by Chris Thompson and Isolde Ó’Brolcháin Carmody
  • A Guide to Early Irish Law – Fergus Kelly
  • Techno Viking 

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 (except Door – Stone – Large – by DWO Boyle attribution licence at freesound)

Episode 8: Dian Cecht and Nuada’s Silver Arm

show notes s01 e08
Irish Mythology Podcast

Deireadh Fómhair,  22, 2020

Episode 8

Dian Cecht and Nuada’s Silver Arm

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 Dian Cecht and how he recruits  the smiths, Gobniu and Credne to help him create a new arm for the deposed Chieftan Nuada..  We ask:

  • What was Dian Cecht’s role in myth and in the old pagan religion?
  • What is Dian Cecht’s relationship to Brehon Law?
  • What makes Dian Cecht a symbol of the medical profession?
  • Why were Blacksmiths considered to have supernatural powers?
  • How do we resolve contradictions in medieval mythological texts?

Dian Cecht receives Ogma’s message and sets out to find a way of fighting back against Bres’s tyranny. He recruits the blacksmith Gobniu and the silversmith Credne to help him create a new arm for the former High Chief of the Gods, Nuada.

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

Episode 6 Show Notes: The Druid that Killed John the Baptist

show notes s01 e06
Irish Mythology Podcast

Iúil 30, 2020

Episode 6

The Druid that Killed John the Baptist

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 druid Mog Ruith and his daughter Tlachtga travelling from County Kerry to the Middle East to study the magic of Simon Magus, and how on the way, Mog Ruith becomes the executioner of John the Baptist. We ask:

  • Who was Mog Ruith?
  • Why did he and his daughter, Tlachtga travel to the Middle East? 
  • Does this story have a hidden meaning that points to the early Irish Church’s struggles with both imported heresy and native paganism?
  • Why aren’t Mog Ruith and Tlachtga as well known as some other Irish Mythological figures?
  • Why did Mog Ruith behead John the Baptist?
  • Why were he and Tlachtga associated with Simon Magus?

We also talk about heresy, Roman influences in Iron Age Ireland, the oared wheel, and Kerry UFO sightings . 

Have you heard about the Druid, Mog Ruith and his most famous deed? I thought not. It’s not the sort of tale you would hear from a teacher or a priest.

Resources

  • Paice MacLeod, Sharon. Celtic Cosmology and the Otherworld. McFarland & Company, Inc. North Carolina, 2018.
  • The Holy Bible, ESV, Kindle Version.
  • The Siege of Knocklong
  • Smith, Andrew Phillip. John the Baptist and the Last Gnostics, The Secret History of the Mandaeans. Watkins, 2015.
  • The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Ed. Marvin W. Meyer. Harper Collins E-Books.

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

Air traffic control audio courtesy of http://www.liveatc.net

All sounds cc or attribution licence.

Sounds on attribution licence from freesound.org – 

  • Dsound1977 – Night Cyprus Sea
  • Dymewiz – Footsteps (Snow, Sand)
  • Xserra – Abu Dhabi, arab drums + Tanger drums
  • csengeri – Storm 200408
  • Inspector J – Footsteps, stone.
  • hifijohn – abstract background music
  • pogmothoin – Bodhran
  • sonsbcnintercultural – Setar Alireza Farrokhzadi