The Luck of the Irish in the New Year
How The Catholic church Pirated Halloween from Ireland One way the Christian faith overcame Paganism in Ireland was to adopt the idea, ‘if you can’t beat ’em join ’em.’ Halloween is a perfect example. In the Catholic faith, Halloween has been transformed into All Saint’s Day. Not a bad conversion. Still honoring the dead. Not burning people at the stake as in the time of the Spanish inquisition. No boiling a priest’s feet in oil like poor Durmot O’Hurley in the sixteenth century. That one was during the unforgivable reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Halloween or All Hallows Eve is not a Christian holiday at all. It is a Pagan festival time and referred to as Samhain. Continue reading
The Celts believed water had magical properties, hence the holy wells of Ireland. One reason might have to do with how the water got here. Though there are many myths about the beginning of civilization, one theory is that the world was covered in water, flooded so to speak, and when the waters receded, the most holy of it was left behind, perhaps seen as a passage between the earth and the Otherworld. The most holy and the largest of the waters, ( in Ireland at least) the River Boyne and the River Shannon. The water of holy wells was also seen as a regenerative life-force, perhaps to grow back severed limbs, make a woman conceive or give great wisdom when drunk or bathed in it. Continue reading
What did happen to the those who lived at the time of the Grianan of Aileach ? And what roles did they play? Were they Druids and Magicians, Princes and Warriors.perhaps? The very Elite of Society? According to Ptolemy’s 2nd century map of the world, from the 5th to 12th century AD, Aileach served as the royal seat of the Ui Neill dynasty.which extended from Tyrone to Donegal. Its listed as being destroyed in 1101 by Murtagh O’Brien. He ordered many of the stones removed so as to reduce the royal cashel to ruins.. It was re-built sometime in the 19th century based on the pattern of the stones left standing based on the design of other ring-forts all over Ireland.
Why did the Irish build Grianan of Aileach in the first place? It may have been for Pagan Rituals, perhaps even Sacrificing or it may have been an observatory to watch the stars. I prefer to think it was a type of ancient castle, a base for the Royal Elite. Continue reading