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14 votes
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What did Cuchulainn's warp spasm look like?

Hulking out is a fairly appropriate comparison to the riastrad, or warp spasm, as Kinsella put it, but far more monstrous than just green-tinged and well-muscled. Massively muscled, lower legs twisted ...
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11 votes
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Why isn't Loeg disabled by Macha's curse?

Láeg may have been a descendant of the Tuatha Dé Danann. His father Riangabar may have been one of the fairy folk, sidhe, a later version of the Tuatha Dé Danann. This would explain why he would be ...
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10 votes

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

Celtic refers to any of the peoples who spoke Celtic languages, and this includes France, parts of Germany and Austria, and northern Italy. The peoples of Ireland and Britain are called Insular Celts, ...
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10 votes
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What happened to the Fir Bolg after Ireland was conquered by the Tuatha Dé Danann?

According to a poem by MacLeigh which can be found and discussed in The Annuals of the Four Masters They fled to Connaught and having seized power from the Milesians in the 1st century ruled ...
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10 votes

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

Turn your cloaks / For fairy folks / Are in old oaks - Old English saying I couldn't find a definitive explanation of why this legend happens. What I have ascertained is that it turns up absolutely ...
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8 votes
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How could Cuchulainn yield to Fergus?

Fergus didn't offer only to retreat in battle himself. He promised to retreat with the men of Erin in tow. From 19. The Battle Of Fergus And Cuchulain (emphasis mine) "...give way before me ...
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  • 9,108
7 votes

Whence comes the association of Leprechauns with rainbows?

What appears to have happened is a 20th Century conflation of two different legends, one involving leprechauns and gold and another involving rainbows and gold. There is really no evidence ...
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  • 1,594
7 votes

Where are the three Maels of Meath?

While it certainly seems to explain the existence of certain hills at the time, there isn't any known landmark to attach this event to. The battle strongly appears to have taken place in Westmeath, ...
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  • 9,108
7 votes

How Do The Fairies In Irish Mythology Spend Their Time

Check out: Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland by Thomas Crofton Croker http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/39752 The Brothers Grimm translated Crokers Fairy Legends and provided a ...
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6 votes
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Why couldn't Cuchulainn yield to Ferdiad (or vice versa)?

Medb, the queen, had previously offered Ferdiad great rewards: And when Ferdiad was come into the camp, he was honoured and waited on, and choice, well-flavoured strong liquor was poured out for ...
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6 votes
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Why is it believed that characters from the Irish myth cycles were once gods?

There are several arguments in favour of the characters in Irish and Welsh myths being deities rather than heroic mortals. One is etymology: if the Irish champion Ogma has a name similar to that of ...
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5 votes

Where do Leprechauns live?

From livescience.com In his collection of Irish fairy and folk tales, W.B. Yeats offered an 18th-century poem by William Allingham titled "The Lepracaun; Or, Fairy Shoemaker" which describes the ...
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4 votes
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Who was Scathach and Aoife?

1) Who is Scáthach? Scáthach is the warrior woman who varyingly lives in the 'east of the world' who Cú Chulainn is sent to train with: Then Domnall said that Cuchulind would not have profession ...
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4 votes

Is it sound to academically analyze myth in translation?

This has always been a painful area in philology for several reasons: In many cases, verses in the original text can have several inferred meanings. For some languages and cultures, this is actually ...
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4 votes
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The structure of the Fae courts

Sanderson, Stewart F (December 1957). "The Present State of Folklore Studies in Scotland", may answer your question. The one thing I believe is universal in the two courts is matriarchal ...
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3 votes

Whence comes the association of Leprechauns with rainbows?

According to Ancient Origins Leprechauns are now understood to be the fairy tales of the past and fanciful stories to tell when one sees a rainbow. I'm afraid I can't find anything else either. ...
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2 votes

Who was Scathach and Aoife?

I recall that Scathach taught martial arts to Cú Chulainn on the Isle of Skye. Wikipedia confirms this: Scáthach (Scottish Gaelic: Sgàthach an Eilean Sgitheanach), or Sgathaich, is a figure in the ...
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  • 318
2 votes

Cows as symbols of Wisdom

I think there may be something to the Govinda idea, and the "white/wise" also links her to the Irish hero Finn, whose enlightenment came about because of her transgression. Her wisdom could also come ...
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  • 5,818
2 votes

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

It is tradition that tells us that St. Patrick banished all the snakes out of Ireland. The fact is that Ireland never had any snakes to be banished! So what is this legend trying to tell us? St. ...
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2 votes

Aoife and Cu Chulainn

I basically answer this question from the sources in another question here so I'll modify it for your question. Aoife is a warrior woman who Cú's teacher Scáthach seems to have an ongoing feud with: ...
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2 votes
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Are there recommended collection/translations of Irish mythology/folklore?

Let me start my answer by saying that Irish mythology is a complete mess, not in the sense of the myths per se, but of the sources. The division in the four major cycles is a convenient cataloguing ...
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1 vote
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Was Nuada Airgetlám accompanied by dogs?

As far as my studies have found what you have found is all there is. The association is strictly based on the common understanding that Nuada is the post-christian Irish descendent of the Celtic god ...
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  • 166
1 vote

Whence comes the association of Leprechauns with rainbows?

I think the answer is that they hide their gold where no one can find it - as an article in Time magazine puts it: Irish folklore described leprechauns as crotchety, solitary, yet mischievous ...
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1 vote

How Do The Fairies In Irish Mythology Spend Their Time

In Irish mythology, the fairies called the Aos Si (the People of the Mound), fairies would protect their homes in fairy rings, hawthorn trees, and the woods. They would also spend their time ...
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  • 338
1 vote

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

From the entry on the Irish heroine Ailinn in Patricia Monaghan's "Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore": One of Ireland's greatest romances revolves around this princess of the ...
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  • 1,624
1 vote

What did Cuchulainn's warp spasm look like?

It has been equated by many to the Viking Berserkers who became like mad beasts, biting on their shield rims, howling madly and impervious to sounds even though they went into battle unarmed and even ...
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1 vote

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

I wonder if it's because he and his "son" are in Co. Meath at the time. They were watching out for Medb's army at Iraird Cuilenn (Crossakiel, County Meath), not in Ulster. Another explanation might ...
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  • 5,818
1 vote

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

It is interesting to note that these rivers, as well as other sunken places, are mentioned in Patrick Sims-Williams's Irish Influence on Medieval Welsh Literature, p192ff. (Findable at Google Books.) ...
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