Well lads I've been stumbling across all these Goddesses hidden in the landscape all round the island of Ireland, on my musical rambles round and about. I mean I was always aware of the Paps of Danú, the twin peaks on the Cork and Kerry border, the paps of the mother Goddess Danú or Anú, the sovereign female personification of Ireland. Then I was up around Lough Derg and discovered I was in the territory of a female solar deity name of Grian. Grian is the Irish for the sun and is a feminine noun, but the myths surrounding this princess Grian tell how, on discovering that her father was not a mortal man, but a ray of sunlight, became distraught and drowned herself in Loch Gréine, the Lake of ths Sun, Lough Grainey. Her body was washed up along Lough Derg and she is buried at Toomegrainey, Tuaim na Gréine, the Tomb of the Sun.

I was above playing music in Pallasgreen in Limerick then and there she was again; the Irish is Pailís na Gréine, the Pallisade of the Sun, or the Pallisade of the Sun Goddess Grian. Nearby you have Cnoc na Gréine, her sacred hill and I was delighted to hear the story of how her enemies surrounded the mountain in order to destroy her, but she turned them into badgers. Retreating in panic the badgers were killed and subsequently eaten by their own people, a Limerick myth that mirrors the Greek myth of Medea.

Seven mile from Cnoc na Gréine lies the hill of Áine, her sister. Án means brilliant, splendrous, dazzling, and Áine means brilliance, splendrousness, dazzlingness, in the same way as  Bán means white and Báine means whiteness. Áine is a famous Sun deity and there are many legends surrounding her, including the story of how she was deceived and raped by Manannán Mac Lir, the Gaelic Sea God, whose base is in the Isle of Man.

Cnoc Áine or Knockainey is up there in that magical landscape that surrounds Lough Gur, a place full of myth and legend, the ancient religious capital of Munster.

All these goddesses appear in sharp contrast to the all male Christian trinity, like, the father, the son and the holy ghost! I mean the holy ghost might not be fully male but it's not a fully female ghost either is it?

Well that's all  I've time for now, I must tell yee later about another two sisters goddesses Nás and Boí, they're above in Naas and in Dowth, and then there's Tlachtgha, she has own hill in Meath, called in Englush the Hill of Ward,  thanks lads, best, John.

Published on 28th September 2019

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