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Questions tagged [irish]

For questions on the mythology and folklore of Ireland.

6
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1answer
56 views

Where do Leprechauns live?

Like, when they aren't dragging people into the sea or granting wishes. The wikipedia article doesn't describe in much detail about where they reside. Holes? Mountain Tops? Tiny Cottages?
8
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3answers
150 views

Whence comes the association of Leprechauns with rainbows?

In the modern day, leprechauns are usually associated with a highly rigid depiction: wearing green, hat, buckled shoes, red beard, pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Some parts of this may come ...
3
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2answers
96 views

What is conveyed or connoted in the story that St Patrick banished snakes from Ireland, when in his time Ireland had no snakes?

According to tradition, St Patrick banished all snakes from Ireland. But it is thought that at least since the end of the last glacial period in about 9700 BCE, Ireland had no snakes. What is being ...
7
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1answer
136 views

Aoife and Cu Chulainn

In the Irish legend, did Aoife ultimately win or lose the duel with Cu Chulainn? Is it true that Cu Chualainn fell in love with Aoife?
4
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1answer
78 views

How Do The Fairies In Irish Mythology Spend Their Time

I have heard that they are "merrymaking and lovemaking" the entire time. But if there is someone more familiar with the lives of fairies, I would love to learn about their culture...at least some ...
4
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3answers
347 views

Who was Scathach and Aoife?

Back in September, I was reading a series called, "The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel," by Michael Scott. One of the main characters was The Warrior Maiden, Scathach. In this series, she had ...
5
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0answers
69 views

Who was the swift woman from from Irish Mythology described as having backward knees?

This question got me thinking about the Irish depiction of legs in mythology. I remember one woman, in particular, from (I believe) the Ulster Cycle, described as having backward legs, similar to a ...
10
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1answer
490 views

Are all Celtic Gods (Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and British) considered part of the same pantheon?

The term 'Celtic' means mythology from the British Isles, so are the gods from Irish, Welsh, and Scottish mythology all considered part of the same pantheon? For example, did people who believe in the ...
6
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0answers
95 views

Are there any good Jungian studies of Irish myth ( not generic 'Celtic')?

This kind of stuff is what I am interested in: Myths of Irishness: The Fomorian Connection. Articles would be ideally the best.
5
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1answer
113 views

Cows as symbols of Wisdom

I just finished a very interesting article "Boand" river-goddess and rebel" that talks about the bovine origin of her name, and makes a good case for cows as a symbol of wisdom in Irish lore. The ...
6
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0answers
136 views

Is “The Secret of Roan Inish” derived from a specific myth?

In the wonderful John Sayles film The Secret of Roan Inish (1994), the director presents a touching tale of a family with selkie connections. The film was based on the the novel Secret of the Ron Mor ...
11
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1answer
123 views

Why is it believed that characters from the Irish myth cycles were once gods?

I have a passing familiarity with some of the stories from Irish myth, at least in their translated form. One thing that has always puzzled me about these tales is the presumption among scholars that ...
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0answers
87 views

Is there any significance to Baile's Strand as the setting for Cúchulainn's duel with his son?

Particularly geographical, historical, folkloric or linguistic connections. I certainly can't find any such location on the map although there are a few coastal towns in Ulster that begin with "...
9
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1answer
133 views

What reason, if any, is there for the exact number of men and women who went with Cesair to Ireland in the Lebor Gabála Érenn?

In the Book of Invasions Cesair flees Noah's flood to Ireland as a kind of matriarch of her fleet. The sources all agree there was an incredible sexual imbalance between men and women, with a total of ...
14
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1answer
18k views

What did Cuchulainn's warp spasm look like?

In the Táin Bó Cúailnge, or Cattle Raid of Cooley, the great Irish hero Cuchulainn is said to undergo a process which appears to be quite similar to "hulking out". The most colorful translation of ...
9
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1answer
549 views

Symbolism of Irish characters with multiple pupils in each eye

Multiple translations of the Táin Bó Cúalnge describe Fedelm as having three pupils in each eye: She had a blue-grey and laughing eye; each eye had three pupils. (Dunn) Each of her two eyes had ...
9
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1answer
101 views

Where are the three Maels of Meath?

The Tain fairly often specifies specific geographical locations as the settings for its events. In the final battle of the Tain, Fergus is convinced to turn from the battle and expend his anger on ...
9
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1answer
223 views

How could Cuchulainn yield to Fergus?

This is closely related to a previous question: Why couldn't Cuchulainn yield to Ferdiad (or vice versa)? It seems clear from the answer there that Cuchulainn would be bound to fight to defend ...
5
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1answer
270 views

Why couldn't Cuchulainn yield to Ferdiad (or vice versa)?

Earlier in the Tain Bo Cuailnge, Fergus Mac Roich and Cuchulainn meet for single combat. At this time, Fergus makes an arrangement with Cuchulainn, that if Cuchulainn yeilds to him in their single ...
13
votes
1answer
164 views

Why isn't Súaltam disabled by Macha's curse?

In the Táin Bó Cúailnge, the men of Ulster are disabled by a curse placed upon them by Macha to feel her labor pains in their hour of greatest need, thus disabling them when the army of Connacht ...
13
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1answer
133 views

Why isn't Loeg disabled by Macha's curse?

In the Táin Bó Cúailnge, the men of Ulster are disabled by a curse placed upon them by Macha to feel her labor pains in their hour of greatest need, thus disabling them when the army of Connacht ...
11
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0answers
128 views

Why did the Lli and Archen rivers flood, separating Ireland and Britain?

In the second branch of the Mabinogion, King Bendigeidfran and his men travel from Britain ("the Island of the Mighty", or Ynys Y Kedeirn), intent on avenging the punishment of his sister, Branwen, at ...
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1answer
1k views

What happened to the Fir Bolg after Ireland was conquered by the Tuatha Dé Danann?

In Irish mythology, Ireland was once inhabited by the Fir Bolg, who were descended from the earlier Muintir Nemid. The Fir Bolg were later defeated by another group of Nemed's descendants known as the ...
13
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1answer
4k views

Why would turning clothes inside-out keep the Faerie away?

A recurring theme in Irish stories about the Faerie is that they can be kept away by clothing turned inside-out. This (according to this particular Wikipedia source about Spriggans) is "as effective ...