A Prayer to Brighid
Oh Great Brighid,
I am your ingot of iron,
and you are my smith.
What will you forge me into?
Will I be a spear, so that I may pierce darkness?
Will I be a hammer, so that I will build for the community?
Or shall I be a cauldron, so that I may care for your people?
I am iron and you will forge me into hard steel.
Polish me, so that I may shine in darkness
And be beautiful in your hands.
Bath me in your fire,
and I will be strong!
Teach Duinn (home of Donn), the Lord of the Dead (now called Bull Rock) off the coast of Co. Kerry. Donn is the modern Irish word for brown and appears as an element in many Irish surnames like Donegan, Donovan, Donnelly and on its own as Dunn/Dunne. However in the case of Donn the word derives from the the Celtic word ‘dhuosnos’ meaning dark - Dark Lord.
One 9th century source quotes Donn: ‘To me, to my house, you shall all come after your deaths’. Other sources, from the 8th to the 10th centuries, refer to Teach Duinn as the place ‘where the dead assemble’ and describe deceased people as travelling to and from it. The death tale of Conaire, who was slain by three red haired men, ‘sons of Donn, king of the dead at the red tower of the dead’. These three are further quoted as saying, ‘we ride the horses of Donn although we are alive, we are dead!’. Repeated references in the literature show that Teach Duinn was regarded as the western extremity of Ireland and it is tempting to connect the locating of Donn there with some accounts given by the 2nd century Greek writer Plutarch. Referring to a deity who lives in a sleepy state on an island off the land to the west of Britain, Plutarch calls him by the name of a Greek god of the dead, Cronus; and again the same writer describes how fishermen in that land were wont to hear strange boats travelling at night to a distant destination where the names of those who disembarked were called out.
Folk tradition testifies that two locations, in addition to Bull Rock, preserved definite vestiges of his cult. These were Cnoc Firinne (Knockfiema. a very conspicuous hill in the middle of Co Limerick) and the ‘Dumhcha’ or great sand dunes at Dunbeg on the west coast of Co Clare.
At Knockfiema he was known as Donn Firinne. The entrance to his palace was believed to be through a cavity near the summit of the hill. Folklore told of people being brought into the hill to be with Donn when they died and this was not seen to conflict with Christian belief since it was rationalised by the opinion that such people were not really dead but had been kidnapped by him. He was said to often leave his residence at night, riding a white horse and such folk accounts of him have been influenced by legends of other spiritual beings. For instance, he once took a man with him on a terrifying ride throughout Ireland and he was said to take away accomplished hurlers to join his team in hurling matches against rival otherworld communities. Like the fairies also, he resented people interfering with his hill by ploughing on its slopes but being quite genial, he preferred to appear and warn people to stop rather than to take immediate action against them.
Now, does The Morrighan have red or black hair?
I have seen both depictions. I haven’t finished reading the actual mythology yet but I think her hair color varied by which form\sister she appeared as.
Someone with more experience with the myths?
I’m actually pretty sure it has to do with what color death is associated with! lebornaciar has talked about this a little, that red was a death color or otherworld color in Gaelic cultures, so there she was considered to have red hair. But modern culture - American in particular - associates black with death. As a result, she gets depicted with black hair.
exactly that—i cannot remember which myths, if any, would have had reference to her hair colour, but red is strongly associated with death in most of the celtic countries, and i do know that traditionally she was described as wearing red. based on that association, i find it reasonable to conclude that she would most likely have had red or auburn hair as a sort of “default,” though it would also be reasonable to assume that when she appeared specifically as badb that she could have had black hair, as badb is the sister explicitly connected with crows.
in modern interpretations, due to the widespread european association between death and the colour black, you are more likely to see her depicted as dark-haired and wearing black. i would consider either interpretation or visualization to be equally valid, as i’m sure she could choose her appearance based on cultural context, but wearing red and (most likely) having red hair would have more basis in historical tradition.
Jim Crawford caught the lights shining over Magilligan, County Londonderry. (x)
oh my heart. oh, oh.
(Source: mothearmann, via echtrai)
What/who do you associate with me?
I’m curious. What are the, say, top 5 things you associate with me?
Can be a tumblr user, a book, movie, character, actor etc.
i’m curious. and i don’t talk to my followers here as much as i do on my main.
Secrets Rich and Strange: The Memory Keepers
Do you remember the way your grandmother smiled when she looked at flowers? Look, I have a picture here. Do you remember the songs that her grandmother sang, in the language that was the only one she ever knew? I can sing them for you. Do you remember the way your great-grandfather wept when his oldest son was taken from him? I can show you.