Sunday, 25 August 2013

Kerry Revisited

We have recently returned from a a few days away in Cahersiveen on the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. A beautiful place surrounded by mountains, sea, ancient sites and mythology.
Cahersiveen - Cathair Saidhbhín - means 'Little Sadhbh's stone ringfort' and in mythology Sadhbh was turned into a deer by the druid, Fer Doirich, for refusing his love. She eventually returned to human form and married Fionn mac Cumhail but was tricked by the druid who transformed her once more into a doe. 
Sadhbh was the mother of Oisín, whose name means 'young deer' and he grew up to be considered the greatest poet in Ireland.
Sadhbh's Ringfort may originally have looked similar to Cahergeal Fort which is situated a short drive away from Cahersiveen. 
We also visited the magical Well of the Fair Women above the town. 

For information and pictures of Cahergeal Fort please visit this wonderful site:

The hidden Well of the Fair Women on Beentee Mountain

Photographs of the stones near the Well © Ita Wrafter

St. Finan’s Well in the Glen at St. Finan's Bay

View from the well across the bay

Monday, 12 August 2013

Lughnasadh Blessings.

I recently took a break from writing to enjoy the great weather and to visit author, Dan Cronin in Kerry.
We have been writing to each other and talking on the 'phone a great deal after I visited The City last year - see ANU post August 2012.
His book about his homeplace in the foothills of the Paps of Anu was invaluable and Dan, who is 92, is truly an inspiration. 
Dan and Margaret, gave us a great welcome when we arrived and we could have stayed for hours talking about mythology, folklore and life.

Margaret and Dan

Back home we recently celebrated the first harvest, Lughnasadh or Brón Trogain, the older name for the festival at a local site in the foothills of the Slieve Bloom. 

 Tobar Lugna, Lugna's Well, Co. Offaly.
Photo by Colin Russell

The offerings included berries, herbs, flowers, barley and turf.
Photo by Colin Russell

Tomorrow I am back working on the book but wish you all 
Lughnasadh Blessings and a fruitful harvest.

Lugh’s name may have its roots in early words such as leuk, 'light' or lug, oath. 
His titles include Lámfhada, 'Long Arm' and Samhildánach, 'Equally Skilled in Many Arts'.
The Milky Way, Sliabhbra Luigh, is known as Lugh's Chain. 

Places within the painting associated with Lugh are:
Carn Uí Néid, Mizen Head, Co. Cork, Tory Island, Co. Donegal, Cruachan Aigle
now Croagh Patrick, and Sliabh Bladhma, the Slieve Bloom where the Lughnasadh 
fire was lit on Arderin, An Earagail, 'The Oratory', Mount Errigal, Co. Donegal, 
Lugh's Seat, on Moytura Hill, the Hill of Tara and Newgrange.  

Lugh holds the Sleá Bua, ‘Spear of Victory” as his light shines upon Rath Lugh, 
Co. Meath. In one story Lugh finally kills Balor, his evil grandfather at Mizen Head
and he places Balor’s head in the crook of a hazel tree, where it splits the tree in two. 
Bronze spear head, described by William Wilde in 1861, now in the National Museum
of Ireland, Dublin.