E, edad, the aspen of the Oghamic alphabet.

The bird totem of this letter is ela, the whistling swan, the colour erc or red. Associated with the autumnal equinox.

EACH, a horse, anciently, the month of May, “the time for horse-riding.” OIr. ech, Cy. ebol, a colt, Br. ebeul, Gaul. Epo-, the Lat. equus, AS. eoh, Skr. acva-s. Note the god Eochaid, the “Horseman of the Heavens.” echtra, adventures, echdaran, a foreigner, the Eng. strange, echtress, a horsefight, eachrais, a horse-fair, a fair generally, eachrais, confusion, a mess, also eachdraidh, a history (based on adventures abroad). The Allfather, or creator-god was sometimes entitled Eochaid Breas, the “Shining-one with a Horse’s Head,” The Celts were initially woodsmen and hunters but became noted horsemen in the years before they took

control of the European continent. “A Curious relic of the old ritual magic still survived in north-east Scotland at the beginning of the twentieth century. This is the Horseman’s Word, which gave its possessor power over horses and women and was proof that he had become a man: When the youth was of age to be a man he was told he must appear for initiation. The place was a barn. The time was eleven on a dark of night. He must take with him a candle, a loaf and a bottle of whisky. At the door of the barn he was blindfolded and led before the secret court. This consisted of a few elder ploughmen, presided over by a master of ceremonies at an altar made by inverting a bushel measure over a sack of corn (i.e. grain). The youth was then put through a long questioning and made to repeat a certain form of words. In later days, at least, he had to suffer some indignities, some of them sexual, according to the humour of the court. At the climax of initiation, he got a shake of the Devil’s hand usually a stick covered by a hairy skin. Then he was given the horseman’s word. Then at last the bread and whisky, sacramental elements of universal significance, when passed round; and the youths had become ploughmen.” As to the Word: Some say it was “Both In One” (having reference to Lugh and Nuada), or perhaps indicating harmony between a man and his beast. With The “word” the new ploughman considered himself a master of women, being able to attract them and bend them to his will, even though they might be miles away. “The ploughman’s word was the token of a sort of freemasonry among ploughmen.” 1 EACH-DUINN, AN, The Horseman, the "Rider" of Lochbuie, the weregild of Maclean of Duart. In life, he was Ewen "of the Little Head, killed in battle while trying to depose his father Iain "the Toothless." His ghost still rides to presage the death of any Maclean of this ilk, and he has put in appearances in both Scotland and Canada. Hector Mor interned Iain on the Isle of Cairnburgh, away from "ordinary women" so that there would be no heirs in his lineage. He

Fraser, Sir James George, The Silver Bough, Vol. 1, pp. 97-98.

made the mistake of allowing Iain the “services” of a very ugly and bent crone by whom the laird had a son named Murdock. Murdock "the Stunted" escaped to Ireland and after many years returned to Scotland to become the ancestor of the present chieftain of Lochbubie. And see next. EACH-DUINN, horse; fuin, obs. Conclusion of a matter, calp. The symbol of subservience made by a free man to his lord, later by a tenant farmer to his overlord as a final gesture at death. At this time the best horse owned by the dead man was expected to be given over. In Scotland thgis practise was legally abandoned in 1617, but like much else in the Gaelic realm it persisted without the weight of law. EACHTRA, ECHTRA, Adventure. A class of tale characteristically connected with the journey of a mortal to the Otherworld. A very popular form of Irish literature from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. Echtrannach, foreign, adventurous, enterprising.

EACH UISGE, water horse. The latter word confers with easg, a ditch or fen, Ir. easgaidh, a quagmire, ease, water. EIr. esc, water, fen-water, Cy. wysg, OCy. uise, the Eng. whisky. Easg also indicates an eel or fen-snake, cf. the

modern tung, a snake, all matching Easga, the goddess of the “full moon.” The Scot. kelpie or tangie, a shape-changer which appeared variously as a snake, horse, human, or some compromise between these species. The weregild of certain Scottish families and the enemy of others. The chief animal “ghost” was the each uisge, a watersprite seen in the form of a young horse at the river bank. This creature often struck his tail in the water three times, each hit sounding like the crash of thunder. Afterwards he would disappear like lightning into a deep pool. The waterhorse came equipped with a magic bridle, and enchanted men by peering through the bridle loop. White wizards could undo this enchantment by looking through the bridal- bit in the opposite direction. If a Scot came into possession of a kelpie-bridle he was advised to look through the “holes” to see the invisible world. The each uisge was considered to be a horse of Mannan mac Ler, the god of the ocean. Only one bridle is known to have been held as a trophy amongst men: A daring member of Clan Macgregor, named Seumas or james, was tramping the road from Inverness to Glenlivet, when he sat to rest at the nether end of Loch Slochd. On rising he wished for “a good nag to carry me home.” To his amazement a horse appeared complete with bridle and saddle. Macgregor mounted the beast and was carried along the loch. Suddenly the “horse” bolted toward the water, and realizing he was astride a kelpie the man called for help from the Holy Trinity. At this the “horse” bucked off the rider and plunged into the loch. When Macgregor recovered his sense he found the bridle still in hand. This relic was passed to his descendants, and in the nineteenth century it became the possession of Warlock Willie Macgregor who lived at Gaulrig in Strathavon, Banffshire. Wilcox also held the Clach Ghrigar (which, see) and made a great deal of money put of both. His clients included childless women and farmers with ailing cattle. It is said that Loch nan Dubrachan in Skye was favoured by the water-horses. Two or three of the “kelpie tunes,” sung by these shape-changers, survive there. The

Cumha an Each-Uisge, or “Lament of the Water-Horse,” is based on the tale of one of these creatures who assumed human form and married an island girl. She divined his nature and fled from him with their child. The disconsolate kelpie sang a lullaby to mother and child hoping to educe them to return, and this has been p[reserved. Loch Treig, in Lochabar, is similarly noted for a number of these creatures. The “demon-steeds” are also legendary in Balquidder, where this “milk white steed” has lured some men to mount him before it plunged into the loch. A pool at North Esk, in Angus, is another haunt of this beast. The water-horse has been described as “the personification of the sudden blast of wind or of whirlwind which sweeps over the surface of the lakes and pools...of the Highlands...Some, however, identify the kelpie with the traditional lake monsters of the Highlands.” (The Silver Bough, Vol. 12, pp. 1235). At the village of Shawbost, on the isle of Lewis, there once stood a shelter known as “The Shieling For One Night.” This structure was shared at the taking-out of cattle by two Highland families. One June evening two female cousins, both in their twenties, came early to open the shieling. As they were preparing for bed a woman came looking for shelter. The traditional hospitality of Lewis had to honoured, so she was invited in. At dawn one of the girls awakened and found the other murdered in her sleep. Forcing the closed door of the cottage open she saw a horse trotting away and the assumption was made that a water-horse had stolen the spirit of the dead girl. The corpse was buried near the site, and the shieling was allowed to decay without further occupancy. Other animals of this species are the White Horse of Spey and the kelpie that lives in the Dee. It is claimed that the spirit of the river Spey insists on one drowning per year. The White Horse was never seen in fine weather but always appeared when there was thunder between the hills of Cromdale. His whinnying was then heard and his powerful form seen racing to-and-fro. The horse appeared to wet strangers seeming to offer them safe transport to some haven/ If any visitor mounted he was

subject to a break-neck gallop, which ended when he was carried into the deepest pools of the Spey. It is said that the White Horse sang aloud as he carried men to their death: “And ride well, Davie. And by this night at ten o’clock, Ye’ll be in Pot Cravie.” The Dee was even more demanding than the Spey for there it is said: “Ravenous Dee Yearly takes three!” A similar animal is the steed of Loch Pityoulish, located in the foothills of the Cairngorms. It was strongly suggested that bathers here always keep their heads above water. Inhabitants of Kincardine, observing the crannog, the remains of antique lake dwellings, insisted that these were the remains of a long submerged “castle,” the site of queer lore of every sort. The heir to the Barony of this place was playing with young friends near the water when they saw a beautiful steed grazing. They harnessed it with a silver bridle and silver reins and, in great excitement, mounted up. The horse galloped off into the loch dragging the boys down with him. The baron’s son severed his rein-fast fingers with a knife he carried and escaped death, but the others were consumed by the water-monster. J.F. Campbell thinks that this creature is a former river or lake-god “reduced to be a fuath or bogle.” He notices that the water-horse often fell in love with human females and approached them asking that they “comb his hair.” Ladies who were put on guard by the sight of sand admist the hair knew him as a “gainmheach ann” and sometimes fled from his attentions. He sometimes appeared as an elderly crone and visited highland homes where he was bunked with the young girls. In that case, he spent the night sucking the blood from their bodies. To escape from him a virtuous young woman had to flee “beyong the burn” as the water horse was proscribed from passing over water. See Easga. James Kennedy says this creature is of Icelandic origins and notes that one of the kind lived at Loch Glassy in the Cluny hills. EACHDRAIDH, history, EIr, echtar, adventures, Latin extra. See eachtra. History was considered a product of the “games” of the gods. See fidchell.

EACH URSAINN, the “newly-delivered horse,” i.e. death-duty. In tribal times it was traditional for the laird’s factor to remove the best horse or cow from the closest relative of a deceased tenant farmer as a return for “funeral expenses.” In one instance a widow was abused after she resisted Donald Mor, the representative for MacKinnon of Strath on Skye. Lauchlan MacKinnon whose mother had experienced similar treatment went after the factor, beheaded him, and washed his head at a place now called the “Well of the Head.” In Skye no man dared demand the death-duty after that happening. EAG, EUG, a nick, a notch, Moon, Ir. feag, Manx agg, Cy. ag, Eng. peg. Confers with ON. Egg, a nickname for Odin. To “nick” was to play unfairly, “to cheat.” Notice that Odin was characterized as “Odin Oathbreaker.” Eagal, fear, fright, dread, superstition, terror. Eaglais, a pagan temple, a Christian church. EALA, swan. s standing or pillared stone, MIr. ela, Cy. alarch, Lat. olor. Ealach, anything used as a hanger, a block for cutting, peg, pin. The sea-god Manann mac Ler had four children by his first wife Fionuala, but at her death he married Aife, who used her magic to change them into swans. Discovering this Bobd Dearg turned her into a demonic spirit of the upper air but his magic was unable to rescue the children from their fate. For a thousand years these children of Ler served as mascots to the Daoine sidh and while they lived at Lake Derryvaragh that tribe profited, the place becoming a resort where they came to hear the magical music of the swans. From then on their lives were more troubled and at Erris Bay they first heard the “thin, dreadful sound” of Christian church-bells. When a princess of Munster became betrothed to the Connacht chieftain named Lairgeb she persuaded him to capture the swans for her as a wedding gift. He seized and chained them with silver links and as he did so the spell was broken and they emerged from piles of feathers as four

aged people who died soon after. Anne Rice says that the swan was a cult-bird identified with solar deities (such as Lugh). She says that their existence cane be traced back through the Bronze to the Iron Age. The Irish hero Cúchulainn who was a son of Lugh, achieved mastery over the wild animals. When he decapitated the three sons of Nechtan Sceéne and was on his way back to his home he brought down twenty-four swans with his sling, but none of them were killed. At the same time he captured two wild deer and placed behind his chariot, hypnotizing all the animals so that they could travel without quarrel. It is said that he proceeded to Emain Macha “with the wild deer behind, and the flock of swans flying overhead (apparently untethered.” The relationship of the gods to swan-maidens is seen in Aislinge Oenguso, “The Dream of Angus.” Angus became enamoured of a girl he saw in his dreams, and seeking her found that she was a shape-changer who was a human or a swan in alternate years. Angus approached her in her animal form, shape-changed himself to a male bird. By flying three times around the loch, he bound her to him and was able to take her away to his palace. In another tale Cúchullain used his sling to bring down birds flying in the sky, linked to one another by a chain. The creature he injured was the love-lorn Derbforgaill, who shape-changed into a human on touching the ground. The hero seeing her in death’s clutch sucked the ball from her wound, tasted her blood, and became spiritually linked with her. Her life was saved but she was then prohibited from mating with the hero. Swan transformation is seen again in Tochmarc Etaine, “The Wooing of Etain.” When Midir god of the Underworld abducted Etain, the wife of Eochaid Airem, it is recorded that he placed his weapons in his left hand, encircled the woman with his right arm, and rose through a “skylight” into the heavens. There, the newly created pair were seen as swans encircling Tara before they flew out of sight. In a Snow White-like tale Aoife, the jealous wife of Ler

converted all of his children into swans, which magically held in this form for almost a thousand years. The motif of the chained-swan-woman is seen in Celtic lore: It was said that such animals would only accept food from the hands of virtuous wives. See next. EALADH. a peg to hang things on, learning, a skill, creeping slowly (to gain knowledge or game); elaidh, a song, an ode, music. Ir. ealatha, a knack at crafts, Cy. el, intelligence, cf with the root-word al, obtained through training. Ealdhain, art or science; luchd-ealdhain, scientists. Oir. ailad, elad, a tomb. Also a place where the dead were placed directly before burial. A later form is uladh, a treasure or hoard, from the fact that the dead often went to earth with their best possessions. From this we have Ulster, literally a “charnel-house,” a place where many lie dead. Thus we have Druim Ulaidh, Drumullie, near Boat of Garden, Scotland, with its tradition of treasure in a neighbouring loch. Clach na hUlaidh , “Stone of the Treasure,” may be found at Linnne Dubh on the upper reaches of Loch Linnhe. EALAIN, EALDHAIN, mechanics, learning, art, science, skill, ingwnuity, posey, simple trickery, a school or academy, ealadh, learning, skill, creeping along (as to surprise game, or obtain facts). EALADHAN, EALADHAIN, an open-air school. See above. The academies of druidism. Ealadhantair, air, high; an artificer. EALBHAR, a ne'er-do-well (Sutherlandshire); from the Norse alfr, an elf, a vacuous silly individual. A vacant individual. EALBHUIDH, the Ir. eala bhuidh, St. Columba's plant, St. John's wort. St. John’s Wort, St. John’s Wort, My envy whoever has thee. I will pluck thee with my right hand, I will preserve thee with my left hand. Whosoever findeth thee in the cattle fold

Shall never bee without kine. This magical plant had powers that could only be tapped if it was found by accident. The plant was hidden on the bodies of men and the bodices of women under the left armpit. It not only ensured plenty but prevented the evil effects of fay enchantment. EALG, obs. noble, expert, EIr. elg, thus Innis Ealga, the “Noble Isle,” i.e. Ireland, cf. Eng. Elgin. Note also Glen-elg. EAR. east. Eastward, Ir. soir, eastern, anoir, from the east, OIr. an-air, “from the elder days.” From “before the sun” presuming the observer is looking at the dawn. Opposite is iar, west. Associated with Christianity since Christ’s nativity took place in the east. Christians were buried facing east, pagans facing west. More anciently, men faced the sun-deity at his rising. The expression bheir a fa’n ear e, is literally “he brings it under the East,” i.e. within the scrutiny of god. The west was styled “behind or after (the sun has set).” EARARADH, night-watching on behalf of spirits of the dead, parching of grain for the quern by heating it over a flame, seeking or searching. Earas, conclusion, ending. EARCHALL,evil, misfortune, mischief, suffering. loss of cattle through death,

EARLAID. expectation, hope, The right, sometimes sold, enter into tenancy and have Only prevalant in the south was the term of leaving.

dependence, trust, confidence. between tenant farmers, to legal claims upon arable land. of Gaeldom where Whitsuntide

EARR, end, conclusion, extremnity, limit, boundary, champion, heroism, submerged rock at land’s end, grand, noble. Note next. EARRABHUBH, wane, especially the waning of the moon. The

taking of crops and animals and the killing of domesticated beasts, were acts reserved for the waxing of the moon, for their flesh was thought to shrink as the moon decreased in size. “The flesh of the animal is then without taste, without sap, without plumpness, without fat.” Similarly, they would not cut withes for baskets or house-building saying that such lumber was “then “without pith.” The waning of the moon was,.however, a time for ploughing, reaping grain and the cutting of peat, exercises where dryness was sought in the end-product. Eggs taken in wane were used in hatching in preference to those laid at the increase; birds hatched at this phase of the moon were considered too full of spirit to be easily managed. Animals were gelded on the wane for this stopped bleeding. It was said that bulls and cows could not procreate at neap tide, and rarely sought one another in the last quarters of the moon. A bull calf was expected from a successful mating in first quarter, a cow calf in the wane. EARRACH, spring, OIr. errech, from pers, before (summer), Eng. for-, fore, Germ. fruhling, of similar origins. Among the ancient Gaels it was divided into two parts: earrach geamhraidh, and earrach samhraidh, the winter/spring and summer/spring. The root word may be related to earr, enis conclusion (of winter). Note that the word also descirbes a champion. EASAL ARD RIGH. easal, “tail,” dispraised. The “King of the Golden Pillars,” who possessed seven magic pigs. Although killed and eaten daily, they regenerated each night. Those who ate them lived untroubled by disease. This god is a side-form of Mannan mac Ler. By now this point in their imrama three Tureen brothers had a reputation that travelled before them. At “The Island of the Golden Pillars,” where they were supposed to steal seven magic swine, the king Easal, on the advice of his counsellors, decided to surrender them without debate. The Islands of the Pillars hark back to the origins of the world of men. When things were newly formed, the gods used the

skull case of the dead giant to create the dome of heaven. Some support was needed for this structure and the gods sent four burly little men to the four points of the compass to serve the function of the classical Hercules. It was alternately suggested that the heavens rested upon golden pillars at the nine “corners” of the world. Interestingly, the individual underground hills of the Tuatha daoine were frequently said to rest upon similar pillars which could be raised on the eve of the quarter days. Similarly, it was held that An Domhain, itself, arose from the sea-bed on pillars, once in seven years. Within the classical domain, the nine pillars were upon the islands of the Hesperidaes. It has been noted that the Canary Islands were said to have each possessed a bronze pillar (although there are but seven islands) in historic times. Perhaps this is because the other two were on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar? In these places legend has it that standing stones were located, each marked Ne Plus Ultra, “Nothing Lies Beyond.” See mucca., Manann mac Ler, etc. EASG. obs., a ditch, a fen, bog, Ir. easgaidh, a quagmire, easc, water, easgach, abounding in eels, EIr. esc, fen-water, OBry. Exe, Scot. Esks, the Cy. wysg, a stream, currently, an eel, OIr. escung, a water-serpent. EASGA, obs., the full moon, the Moon goddess, archaic. the Lat. idus, in “full light.” Harvesting, hunting, and the killing of domestic stock was arranged near this moon, which was thought to promote fullness in man and beast. This was considered an appropriate time for weddings, and at one time, almost everyone abroad at night carried a “lucky silver” in his pocket which had to be to be turned over three times at the first sight of the new moon. The new moon of the goddess Samh was used to cut woodbine during the month of March. The wood was twisted into moon-wreaths and preserved until the following March, the invisible spirit it emanated being helpful in curing children who suffered consumption or the “wasting fever” (tuberculosis). Those who were ill were passed three times through the moon-

circle. See earrabhubh for notes on the waning moon. EASGANN, a grig, a merry fellow, a quarter-day fool, a lamprey eel. The latter “fish” is of ill-repute in Gaeldom. EASGAR, obs., the plague, easga-bhaineach, a lunatic, driven mad by the moon. EA-SITH, ea, privative prefix + sith, the Daoine spiritual; lackimg spirit, mischief, disturbence, ioracas, dishonest, wicked, faithless. sith, eas-

EATHAR, a boat, OIr. ethar, from itro, “a journeyer,” from the verb ethaim, I go, Lat. eo, Skr. emi. EATHA, cattle, corn, implying plenty. The name of the Pictish leader who led them from the Mediterranean to Scotland. Latinized as Ethus. He became their first king. In dispossessing the aboriginals, the Picts fought the battle at Farna and it is said that the trenches, head-quarters and castramentations are still imprinted on the soil of Cromarty. Eathla, obs. prayers. EBER MAC MIL, Eber Fionn, i.e. “the White,” the son of King Mil. He slew mac Cumhail the husband of Banbha, a queen of the Tuatha daoine. He refused Amerigin’s judgement that his elder brother Eremon should rule Ireland after the Milesian conquest. He attacked and destroyed his brother in the first war between the north and the south. In this contest the north prevailed and Eber established himself as the High King at Tara. EBER MAC ESRU, Also known as EBER SCOT. His father was the son of Goideal who was the son of Scota, a daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh Nectanebes. Some say this was the line of the Scottish branch of the Irish race. ÉBILU, a sister of Lugh who became the wife of Finntann mac Dochra. She is associated with Munster, Ireland, and gave her name to a glen east of the city of Limerick.

Confers with Bridd. ÉBILU, 2. a stepmother to Ecca and Rib the sons of a king of Munster. They fled with her intending to set up a new kingdom on a flat plain. The plain flooded producing Lough Neagh and they perished. ÉCCELL. One of the grandsons of a king of Britain who assisted the sons of Queen Mebd in the fatal attack on Conaire Mor at Da Derga’s hostel. The others were Ingcel Caech and Dartaid. ECHT, death, murder. ECHTRA, EACHTRA, expedition; ach, interjection of impatience + traigh, the sea-shore; echtral, land of the west. Applied particularly to the activities of those who journeyed into the western Atlantic seeking The Great Plain, The Land of Youth, The Land of Promise, The Land of The Living, The Island of Women, The Many-Coloured Land, An Domhain or High Breas Island. In most instances the expedition leaders were seduced into wandering by a spirit of the air, who promised moral victories, or by a sithwoman who promised extravagant immoral pleasures. Voyagers were considered god-inspired by a Gaelic deity. Eachdranach, a foreigner, the Lat. extraneous, the Eng. strange, G. each, a horse, echtra, adventures on horseback, adventures on a “sea-horse.” The echtrai which were first represented in folklore were translated into literature between the fifteenth and the seventeenth centuries and survive because their are numerous versions from that period. Echtral is a peculiarly Gaelic concept implying a voyage of the spirit as well as one in person. It seems to be based on the Old Irish preposition echtra, meaning “without.” A similar Welsh word is eithr, something “extra,” that which is beyond normal experience, thus echtra, the adverb, “adventures.” and Something of the meaning is also seen in the related Latin word extra. The Gaelic word iar or siar is related, the original

form being perhaps the preposition meaning “afterwards, afar” or “further on.” In special use it becomes “the west.” The great difficult in identifying directions in Gaelic text is realized when we note that the word for “east” is ear. The collectors of tales of travel were eachdairhean, the historians, their embodied subject matter being called echdranach, or “history.” Not all voyages to the west were great occupations, since there were many western islets within easy sailing distance of Gaeldom. To cover epic oceanic voyages the Gaels had a separate word im-rama, “about sea-tangle (seaweed),” suggesting possible encounters with the infamous Sargassos Sea. The imrama has to do with unwilling travellers, those pulled into the Atlantic by a sea-siren, or pushed there by banishment or some religious imperative. The longes , on the other hand, involved willing travellers, those who sought adventure or commercial advantage. The latter word is founded on long, a ship or vessel, the Old Norse lung, the Latin longa, a “ship of war.” Joseph Jacobs, the one time president of the English Folklore Society said that his study of classical and Irish literature made it clear that the Gaels “sallied out of Ireland to harry the lands of the East and Northeast” at a very early date. Like others, he concluded that they pushed as far north as Iceland and “accumulated considerable knowledge concerning the surrounding seas and a still more considerable stock of sailor’s yarns.” The earliest of these may have been“”The Tragedy of the Sons of Turenn.” as it is the only one to include the old god Lugh as a prime character. These curaidh, or champions, were forced to take up sea travel, and this is one of the characteristics of “imrama:” men did not choose their course, but were directed to the sea by some external force which they were unable to counter or resist. Thus mortals were blow by storm-spirits to the gates of Tir nan Og , or were seduced into that land by the caprice of immortals who promised endless life, love,food and drink. Two very old myths centre on this theme: “The Voyage of Bran,” and “The Tale of Connla,” both present the hero with a voluptuous maiden

who persuades them to follow her to “the Pleasant Plain, the Land of the Living Heart.” Some of the adventures of Bran are seen in the somewhat similar “Voyages of Maelduin,” which seem to be an eighth century compilation of everything offered up in the earlier centuries. “The Voyages of Snedgus and mac Riagla,” and those entitled “The Voyages of St. Brendan,” appear to be Christian reinterpretations of the Maelduin story. Brendan and his seafaring monks were as “driven” as if they had set sail before unexpected winds. They were not interested in the “easy” life, gold, slaves, or obtaining new territory for their ard righ, but sought “the grace of God,” and possibly found it. For a very long time the curach, or curragh, was dismissed as a boat incapable of taking on the ocean, and the imrama were dismissed as romances loosely based on adventures of coast-hugging traders and fishermen. “Leather boats” had been mentioned in the writings of Caesar, Pliny and Solinus, but they have survived as the coracles of British freshwater lakes and the salt-water craft of Dingle, Ireland. Unfortunately these models are somewhat degenerate, the former being capable of carrying only two occupants. The curraghs of Ireland are known to range up to about 22’ of length, but again they hold only four seamen. There are pictures of these primitive craft on some of the stone pillars, but usually details are scanty to begin with or have rubbed away with the passage of time. Fortunately an early Celtic craft is still seen carved in more than usual detail on the stone pillar of a cross overlooking Bantry Bay in the southwest, and the printing elsewhere dates it to the eighth century A.D. This boat is shown with five oarsmen (possibly paired) and a steersman. The record of Brendan’s voyage tells us there were ships of larger size, his having a complement of 14 men. Other records suggest that the largest ships might have had complements of up to 40 “heroes.” The major literary references to curraghs were published by G.J. Marcus in “Factors in Early Celtic Navigation,” Etudes Celtiques, Volume 6, 1952. Aside from Navigatio Sanctii Brendani Abbatis, the other great source of information is

Adamanan’s Life of Columba.See below. ECHTRA BRAIN MAIC FEBAIL, the “Sea-Voyage of Bran Son of Febail,” is preserved in fifteenth and sixteenth century manuscripts, and these are considered copies of a work first penned in the seventh century. This story may be much older as its elements are decidedly pre-Christian. The tale commenced when Bran was walking near his fortress. Hearing music he was unable to resist sleep and fell into a stupor beneath a tree. When he awoke he found a silver branch with a white blossom on it on the ground beside him. He went back to his dun and that evening was visited by a woman in foreign clothing in spite of the fact that the gates of his place were firmly bolted against such intruders. This strange sidh-woman sang a long lay to Bran describing the delights of her western homeland somewhere in the far reachs of the Great Ocean. The next day, Bran and his three foster-brothers decided to find this place, and in the company of twenty-seven warriors, they set sail on the Atlantic. Two days and nights out of Ireland they met Manann mac Ler riding behind his sea-horses travelling in an easterly direction. He paused to explain that he was headed for the Scottish kingdom of Dal Riada where he intended to beget a son by Mongan a queen of that land. For his part, Bran travelled on until he arrived at the “Island of Joy.” Here one of his crewmen jumped ship, but the rest travelled on until they arrived at the island alternately referred to as Eumhann or Tir na-mBan. The latter may be translated as the “Land of Females,” the former as a variant of neamh, or “heaven.” Here Bran and his crew were met by hoards of amorous women, and found maidens “all without care, fear of death, or subject to any sickness or infirmity.” They soon paired off with the locals “living sumptuously each with his woman.” This island of compliant virgins survived transplantation into Christian mythology and in the Breton

legend of St. Machutus (ninth century) it is given as the island of Yma a place inhabited by beautiful, but less willful, female angels. Bran had sailed to this island in the midst of a storm and might not have landed except that the beautiful princess of that place threw him a “blue clew,” the standard life line of Celtic witchcraft. She pulled the ship by magic to the shore and there the travellers remained for what seemed a single year. Soon the crew tired of unending sensual pleasure and petitioned their captain to go home to Ireland. The princess who had become Bran’s companion warned the mariners that time passed more rapidly in the human lands to the east, and Bran was not altogether willing to leave, but was finally persuaded to seek their old homesteads. As they left the woman warned all the Irishmen not to set foot on Irish soil, for she explained that a century of human time had passed and those who offended this taboo would immediately age by that century. As the coracle neared land one of the crew did leap ashore and was immediately reduced to a pile of dust. Seeing this, Bran laid by, wrote his story on Ogham wands and threw them to viewers on the shore. He then turned his ship back towards the west and from then “his face was not known.” This earliest of recorded Irish voyages is distinguished by the beauty of its poetry. ECHTRA CHONLAE CHOIM MAIC CUIND CHÉATHAIG, the “Adventures of Connla the Fair, son of Conn of the Hundred Battles.” This old Irish tale has much in common with the voyage of Bran. It appears in the Book of the Dun Cow, which is guessed to have been written about the year 1106, when its author a Christian named Maelmori , “the Servant of Mary,” was murdered. The original text is in metrical form, a sample of cante-fable, the form of all tales in the keeping of the senachaidh. It is said that Connla was the grandson of the historic Irish king named Conn, who had headship of that land between 123 and 157 A.D. Some have said that

Connacht was named after this ard-righ although that place was actually mapped somewhat before his birth. Connla appears to have been an authentic prince of the realm and is given as the eldest son of Art mac Conn in the “Annals of Clonmacnoise” where he is represented as Conly. He did not ascend the throne, and it was suggested that he was either slain or disappeared during his father’s lifetime. His brother Crionna mac Art was slain by his uncle in a political struggle and after Connla “sailed away to fairyland and never returned Art became known as Art the “Lonely,“ and it was claimed that he was “afterwards silent till life’s end.” Art was eventually succeeded by an exiled nephew, Lugaid Mac Conn. It may be assumed that the legend of Connla and his sith-maiden was first written in the second half of the second century. As it now stands, the manuscript is a “doctored” seventh century variant, touched by the hand of a Christian, or Christians, who introduced reference to God’s day of judgement and to the waning power of the druids. This addition is rather obvious and does nothing to separate the legend from its true roots in pagan pre-Patrician Ireland. Connla was the son with the “Fiery Hair,” a fact that sets him apart as having genes of the sithe. He was therefore certainly visited with the mixed blessing of the “two sights,” and the ability to see things very acutely at great distances. His birthright also protected him from death by fire or water. It is said that Connla first saw his fate as he stood with his father on the heights at Usna. This place was, itself, replete with memorials of the past, being ultimately named for the old god ‘Uis, or Huis, the English “Hugh.” also represented in Gaelic as the day-god Aod. Variously given as Uisliu (literally the “day-god Lugh”), it is also written as Uisnach, Usnach , Usnach and Usnagh. Usna was the husband of Ebhla , a daughter of the love-god Aonghas Og. He had an affair with Ebhla’s sister Maga and this produced the Clann Useneach and the famous Irish Red Branch hero Naoise who has been mentioned in the tale of Deirdriu. Connla’s bafinn was a beautiful maiden “all clad in white,” a certain characteristic of the Daoine sidh. Art,

who stood at his son’s side lacked the two-sights and saw nothing, but he heard his son ask, “Where do you come from maiden?” She responded, in words that the prince alone heard, “I come from Magh Mell, the Great Plain (of the Ocean), where there is neither death nor sin; where we keep holiday every day, where there is no strife. We who dwell there have our homes in the round green hills and men call us thus, the “Daoine sidh, (i.e. the Side-hill people of the goddess Danu).” This is noteworthy as the individual homes of the Algonquin Indians of eastern North America meet this description. It will also be noted that the Norse in their final foray in the region captured two children but lost their parents when they “disappeared into the earth.” In any event, the king and his courtiers stood dumbfounded at this seemingly one-sided conversation. When the king enquired of the empty air who it was that talked with his son, the lady made her voice clear to the whole company: “Connla speaks alone to a young maiden, untouched by age or death. I call him away to Innis Subach, the “Merry Plain,” to Magh Mell, where Boadag (i.e. Bobd Dearg) is ruler. There has been no complaint nor sorrow in that distant land since he became high-king. Come with me Connla of the Fiery Hairy which as ruddy as dawn. A sith-crown awaits thee, and there your comely face and royal form will never decay, and your youth shall continue until the end of time.” As Connla was his tanist or “heir” to the throne, the king was disturbed at this suggestion and called the druid named Coran to his side. He asked the druid to repulse the maiden, and Coran did so by chanting spells in the direction from which the voice had issued. At this, she began to fade from Connla’s sight, but before she had entirely vanished she threw an apple to the prince. The young man would not be parted from this artifact, and for the following month, would take no other food excepting bites from this fruit. As he ate, it reconstituted itself, so that it never diminished in size. As Connla ate more of this fruit he became increasingly enamoured of the strange foreign maiden.

When the month ended Connla and his father were, for some reason, on Magh Arcomin and here again the maiden emerged from a distant mist and walked toward the prince. Again only he could see her and she addressed him: “This is a fine land but it stands amidst short-lived mortals who walk in fear of death. The folk of the ever-living, beg and bid thee to come away with me to Magh Mall, for they now know you having observed your actions from afar.” This time the king and all his courtiers heard the maiden’s voice and the druid was summoned to chase her back to the Land of Shadows. While they waited his arrival the maiden addressed the king saying, “Great king, the druid’s power is little loved, and has no honour in my land. When the Great Law (presumably Christianity) comes here the druid’s spells will at last go to earth, and no more curses will fall through the lips of the black demons.” Sensing that this was so, the high king turned to his son and asked what he thought. The young man responded: “Tis hard for me. I love my own people above all else; yet this great longing to travel has fallen on me, and I wish to know the maiden.” The maiden hearing this replied, “Then the ocean itself is not as strong as the waves of longing. Come with me in my curragh, the great gleaming crystal ship that stands on the strand. Soon we will reach Boadag’s realm. I see the bright sun fail in the west, but we can reach it before night. At that place is another land and people worthy of your love, a place joyous to all who seek it. It is called Tir na-mBan, only wives and maidens dwell there. If thou wilt we will go there and live long together in happiness.” When the maiden had ceased to speak, and before the druid arrived, Connla turned with the invisible maiden and followed her to a nearby strand where they leaped into the curragh and departed for the west. The king and his people could do nothing to stop this and they watched until the crystal ship met with the setting sun, and then saw nothing more of this ship or their prince. It will be remembered that Bran also found himself

in Tir n-mBan, the “Land of Women.” This land is sometimes given in the tales as Tir na-n-Inghean, but the last word indicates “daughters” rather than “virgins,” as some authors have suggested. Here the women who greeted the heroes seemed more amorous than virginal. In both tales, Magh Mell seems to be the widest designation for a number of western lands described as lying fo na’muir, or “under the sea.” This may imply that they are sinking islands or merely take note of the fact that they were beyond the horizon in the western retreat of the sun. The Land of Women may very well be distinct from Aircthech, the “Ark,” or “Place of Clemency;” Ciuin, the “Mild” or “Civil Place;” Magh Mon, the “Land of Slowness” or “Negligence;” Imchiuin, the “Land of Butter-Melting Heat,” Subhach, the “Place of Merryment;” and all the other supposed synonyms for the “Great Plain of the Sea.” Whatever the case, the dwellers in the west supposedly told the men of Ireland that there were “thrice fifty distant islands in the ocean, all west of us, and each of them is twice or thrice as large as Eriu (Ireland).” As we have noted, folklore suggests that An Domhain may lie at the roots of Magh Mell , and the former land was not a totally happy place. Pagans, who believed in reincarnation, tended to view residence in the lower world as a temporary inconvenience and not permanent damnation, which is why they dwelt on the kinder aspects of life in the west. The Christians had a less flexible view of light and darkness. Thus, we find the adventures of Bran and Connla incorporated into those of later voyagers, a distinction being made between two different western lands: In Imram Maelduin the travellers arrive at two islands, one occupied by lamenting people who never fail in their complaints, another by a folk who are always joyous. The same two islands are mentioned in Imram Curaig Ua Corra, the “Ocean-travels of the Sons of O’Corry.” There are similar lands in the Latin Navigatio Sancti Brandani, which is based on Celtic models. The pagan version of some happy western land filled with compliant women was too bold for

Christian asceticism so it was converted Repromissonia Sanctorum, “The Land of Sanctuary,” or heaven on earth. see Connla.

into Terra Promised

ECHTRA CHORMAIC I D’TIR TAIRNIGRI, “Cormac’s Adventures in the Land of Promise.” High King Cormac mac Art received a branch of silver apples from Manann mac Ler’s servant. He asked for it without demanding the price and only afterwards learned that he had to surrender his wife and children to the Otherworld. After a year and a day the king was permitted to follow them by entering a magical fog. When all of the family was restored to Ireland the sea-king gifted Cormac with a goblet, “which has this virtue that when a falsehood it told it falls away into four pieces, but when truth is heard it reassembles itself.” The king was also given a magic tablecloth, which unfolded was found to provide an immediate banquet. He also retained the apple branch which allowed access to the Otherworld when it was shaken. See Cormac mac Art. ECHTRA NERAI, the Voyage of the Happy (Lucky) One, a servant of Ailill of Connacht. Access to the west usually involved an imrama. While the water route was the most commonly used we note cases where people flew to the Otherworld, and then there were the souterrains, which offered immediate “temporal displacement” from one world to the other. Not surprisingly, the most famous cave-entrance was Ráth Cruachan, the “Fortress of the Hip, or Hump,” which was once the property of Mebd. Cruachan was frequently given as an alternate name for Connaught province, and the old hill itself was described by Christian scribes as the “Gate of Hell.” The fact that the hill is also termed Rathcróghan ties it more firmly to the old warrior queen, for the word cró is Gaelic for a animal killing pen, blood, death, or a passageway (for example, the eye of a needle). Note also the fact that the Scottish word “cro” indicates “the weregild (i.e. banshee) of the various individuals in the Scoto-Celtic Kingdom, from the king on downwards.” The

ending gann indicated something which is “hurtful.” The site of this fortress remains as a huge ruin three miles north-west of Tulsk, County Rothcommon. It is a circular site about an acre in extent, surrounded by so many other structures, it has been described as “a town of fortresses.” Ráth Cruachan was still in use as the royal capital of the province in 645 A.D. when king Ragallach was assassinated there. The cavern of Cruach was not an easy entrance for there were guardians, some of which emerged into the world of men. One of these was Aillén, a malevolent Otherworld monster who used to come out of the cave at the unbinding season of Samhain. A pyromaniacal dreag , or dragon, he lulled the defenders of Tara to sleep with seamusic and then consumed them, often leaving their residences in fiery ruin. This went on until Fionn mac Cumhail opposed his music by pressing the blade of his magic spear to his forehead. He then drove off the beast and beheaded it. Airtiech was another supernatural resident of Cruachan. He had three daughters who once assumed the shape of werewolves and raided the countryside in every direction. The warrior Cas Corach played music to enchant them and convinced them that they should assume human form to have a better grasp of the melodies. When they shape-changed, the hero threw his spear at them, impaled all three at once, and beheaded them. With this reputation it is not surprising that men had to be bribed to enter the Hill of Cruach. Ailill of Connaught regularly offered a prize of a goldhilted sword to any man who would go to the gallows just outside the rath and encircle the foot of a dead captive on the gallows with a withe or band of willow twigs. This device then became as effective as a silver bough in gaining admission to the Otherworld. Several warriors went out on the Samhain to try this stunt but none but Nera followed through to the end of the adventure. As Nera was placing the withe, the corpse spoke asking that he be taken down and given a drink. Nera obeyed carrying the dead man half slung

over a shoulder. The pair found the first house they approached surrounded by flames, and a second encircled by a broad moat filled with water, so they moved on. At a third house the dead man was offered three cups of water. The dead man spat out the third cup at the people who had offered him hospitality and its poison killed them on the spot. Nera then carried the corpse back to the gallows as instructed. Returning to Ráth Cruachan, this gillie saw Mebd’s palace aflame and saw beheaded corpses scattered on the ground. It appeared that Fomorian invaders had used the opening of the “eye” that was the Cave of Cruachan to do what damage they could in the world of men. Nera followed this crew through the veil before it closed at dawn and on the other side became the “guest” in a sidh of the Otherworld. Here he was ordered to carry firewood and lodged with a female of the species. They became lovers and the sigh-woman informed him that what he had seen of the destruction of the rath was a possible future rather than an event, and that it could be forestalled by escaping to the east and destroying the entrance. Nera therefore took his wife and child back through Cruachan and told king Ailill what the future might hold for him and his kingdom. Ailill therefore sent Fergus mac Roth out to destroy the sidh , and the warriors did more, taking great plunder from its treasure house. These valuables included the crown of king Brion, one of the three wonders of ancient Ireland. This particular tale is obviously pre-Christian in origin, but the Echtra Nerai from which it derives is no later than the eighth century. Nera’s wife reminds one of Cliodhan (pronounced Cleena) another “goddess of beauty” who lived at first in Tir Tairnigri. She became hopelessly enamoured of Ciabhan of the Curling Locks, and they fled the Land of Promise for Glandore, County Cork. While she rested from the long sea voyage, her new lover went inland to look for food. The girl was lulled into sleep by the music of Manann mac Ler, and while she lay helpless, the sea-god sent a great wave to sweep her back to his domain. The

lover was, of course, left desolate, but her name was given to one of the three “Great Waves” of Ireland. These were the waves whose roar could be heard over all of Ireland when they responded to the moans of the magic shield of Conchobar mac Nessa, which always cried out when the bearer was in trouble. ECNE, knowledge or poetry. The triad son of the goddess Danu. EIBH, EIGH, to cry out, the death-watch, a tingling in the ear supposed to portend death, women voicing a catastrophe. EIBHIR. granite, ice, frost, the wife of the Fenian hero named Oisin. A fair-haired stranger said to have come from “a sunny country.” EIGEARRA. overblown satire, invective. Thus, "The only counterpart for your vagina is the great open sea between Orkney and Galloway." The satirist was considered godgifted and used his fast tongue with magical intent. See next entry. EIGG. EGA, the latter feminine. Thus from eag, a nick, a notch, vagina; Ir. feaga, Manx agg, Cy. ag, cleft. Eilean Eigg means, “The Isle of the Notch.” There are two Scottish islands which bear this name. Compares with the Lat. Egea insula, “the Egean Isle.” This name appears in early Irish literature as the name of certain saints of the Christian church, but always in the genetive case. Old Norse, Ygg, a “notched tree,” a secondary name for Odin. Eiginn, rape, force, violence, oppression. Eigir, small, insignificant. EIGIR. misersble, small. Insignificant. EIGIS, 'S A' BHEINN BHAIN, eigis, a bard, The “Sages of the White Mountain” in North Uist, Scotland. A druidic school which persisted in the Hebrides until the last century; eisgiseach. erudite. "the rightful heirs of the ancient knowledge and logic of pre-Christian Ireland; but the Church

grew powerful on the mainland of Europe and bit by bit the Christian faith prevailed in Scotland and everything was preserved that the Church wished preserved, and everything was destroyed that the Church wished destroyed." (Donald Son of Alexander, 1790-1884, The Hebridean Connection, p. 385). EILDER, an elder, an alder. Also known in England as the bourtree, or bowertree. In Scotland the elder-tree is ranked second to the rowantree as the most effective agent against witchcraft and the evil-eye. In Kirkcudbrightshire, a cross constructed with red wool and elder tree branches was affixed over the entrances to stables and byres to protect the animals. Drivers of horse-drawn hearses used to insist on carrying a whip whose handle was made of bourtree to act as a ward to the spirits of the dead that inevitably crowded their vehicles. The green juice of the inner bark may be applied to the lids of a baptised individual to give him the power to observe the unseen world at the time of the Quarter Days. Those who stood under elder trees at this time sometimes said that they saw trains of the Daoine sidh passing by. Scots Highland mountain-men often wear the bourtree as a boutonniere while climbing. Asked why they carry this plant in their lapels they answer vaguely, “Flies and things don’t like it!” EILE, other, another, obs. prayer, entreaty, oration, lowing of a deer, OIr. aile, Cy. aill, all, Bry. eil, all. Gaul. allo-, Lat. alius, Eng. else, cf. eileach, a mill-race, embankment, dam, allied with ail, stone. From this eilean, an island, EIr. ailean, possibly from ON. eylund, Eng. island. All islands were thought possessed by the sea-people and were regarded as “gates” to their western realms. EILEAN BAN, an-t-eilean ban, “the blessed isle.” the traditional name for Jura, “the holy isle.” from the tale that Earnadail, a Christian monk left instuctions that his body should be conveyed into the great ocean and buried at a place where mist gathered. His body was landed at Leac Earradail, and buried in the parish graveyard at

Killernanandale. Notice the secondary meaning of ban. This island is also called in OIr. Inbe, an incision, suggesting its indented coast. This word compares with Eigg. EILID, a hind. Oir. elit. Obs. The twenty-nine day month the Brythons called Elembivios (roughly, March). Cy. alain. EILIG, willow herb, a staple of witchcraft. EILTHIR, a foreign land, see above, eithireach, a pilgrim or traveller, OIr. eilithre, pilgrimage, these combine eile with tir, land, terra. Note above. EIRIG, ransom, EIr. eric, “buying or selling out. a weregild, or "dire"-fine; a blood-fine imposed by law upon those who accidentally, or intentionally, killed members of a clan. Unless this fine was paid, vengeance was sought against relatives of the murderer as well as against the offender himself. The fine for a poet was the same as that for the king. EIREALLACH, a monster, a clumsy old man from eire, a burden. Note eirig, above. ‘EIRINN, ‘EIREANN, anciently H’ERNI, the “h” is no longer employed in Gaelic. The “mother” of the Tuathan goddesses Eire, Banbha and Fotla by the god Dlbaeth. Confers with Anu or Danu, the matriarch of the Tuatha daoine. Ir. ‘Eire, gen. “Eireann. EIr. ‘Eiru, “Danu the Burden-bearer.” Cy. Ywerddon, Iwerddon, MCy. Ewyrdonicv. Ir., according to Ptolmey, Ioupvia, the Lat. Hibernia or Ivernia, Ierne (4th cent.) EIr. Ivernili, Iverjon or Everjon, usually refereed to Piverjo from Skr. pivari, fat (land), the land which is “rich-soiled, bursting with good things,”Lat. Hibernia or ‘Ibernia, also seen as Ivernia. The only Norse name that took any notice of ancient tradition was Ir-lande identifying the people of ancient Eiru. The Gaelic source of this word may ultimately be iar, west. the Skr. avara. western. This is the Eng. Earn or Findhorn. We think it also refers to the goddess Er, Ur. or Ara, seen in present day Scotland in combined name-forms

such as Mo-Urie or Mourie. This is said to be “the moon title Ra or one of its variants.” May confer with Ioua orIona. At least two Irish scholars have suggested that the word comes from the “unpronounceable” Indo-European word Piera, which they say confers with “fairy.” An early Irish form of this word may have been fáe, a “wild” thing. This word is still seen preserved in the modern Gaelic faolchu, which describes a wolf or wild dog. Note also h’Erni which is both the classical Irish name for Ireland and the maiden name of the Lady Cassir. She was the leader of an expedition from the Mediterranean to the Emerald Isle in the days just before the World Flood. Her married name seems to have been Banbha Cass-ir , or Cesair often too loosely translated as the “Lady Caesar.” EIRU, The third of three Tuathan queens met by the invading Milesian armies. In exchange for her co-operation they promised her that her name would be given the land on which they trespassed. At coronation feasts, and at yearly fire-feasts the union of the Milesian king with a virgin from among the Tuatha daoine symbolized their original agreement with this individual. EISCIR RIADA. The boundary between the north and southern halves of Ireland as set in ancient times. Eiscir, a sand hill; riada, a way travelled by chariot and horse, a roadway. Marked by a series of low mounds stretching from Galway to Dublin. Originally set with regard to the legal portions of the Milesian kings Eber and Eremon who were the first to halve Ireland. EISG, a satirist, a scold, lampooner, a satirist, Ir. eigse, a learned man, EIr. écess. Confers with eagna, wisdom, OIr. écne; same as aithne, both rooted in aith + gen, the Eng. know. One of the chief forms of magic, satirical poems were thought capable of causing physical illness and skinblemishes. The satirist was the most revered of the bards. See draoi. ÉISLINN, shroud, windings for a corpse, the magical binding-

boards upon which the shrouded corpse is placed for the rites before burial. Éis, (place of) delay, impediment, the word is also seen as éis linnseag, a shroud or penancesheet. EITEAG, white pebble, a precious stone, a fair maiden, Eng. hectic, the lapis stone, hecticus, this white stone was used as a remedy against diarrhoea and dysentery. The white pebble was seen as a resting-place for the spirit of the eitig. See next entry. EITIGH, EITIG, fierce, angry, stormy, ugly, a frightful spectre, a flaw, fault, Disease, the germs of disease, a long standing illness, decaying, consumptive, foul one, horrid, obs. To foreswear, abjure, refuse, contradict. “The lady who had this ugly name was really the goddess of loch and river...” the Scand. etick, Fr. hectique, Eng. hectic. fierce, dismal, OIr. étig, setig, an abomination, un-houselike, not house-trained, not fair, the Eng. thing. “the tutelary sprite of Etive is Eiteag. A glaistig or cailleach. A beansith or banshee. This is a Gaelic feminine proper name, not often taken up for use. The original lady who bore this name was “the goddess of loch and river,” who had a changeable stormy nature. Formidable lochs and sea-rushes reflect this in their names. Loch Etive in Scotland is an example. The sea-cataract at its entrance is termed a’Chongail but it is also called Eiteag, “the little horrid one.” In literature the word is frequently coupled with salach, “foul.” The land haunt of an eiteag is frequently designated as Glenn Salach. The “Foul Glenn (of Eiteag).” William Watson claimed to have known a man who had an acquaintance who “met her in Glen Salach - after a funeral.” ELATHU, sometimes ELATHA. A Fomorian king whose lands lay westward under the Atlantic. He was an exception to the rule that these people were ugly and deformed: “a man of fairest form with golden hair down to his shoulders.” The son of Delbaeth (Bith, god of death) he arrived in Ireland aboard a crystal ship and was met at the shore by Eri, or Erinn, the wife of Cethor. A queen of the Tuatha daoine she

nevertheless slept with this stranger and gave birth to a handsome son named Eochaid Breas. He gave her a ring and told her to give it to the boy in case he needed assistance at some future date. When the Tuatha daoine expelled Breas as their king he was thus able to get help from his Fomorian kin folk. There followed the second battle of Magh Tuireadh in which the “gods” and men overcame the giants, banishing them to places beyond the western horizon. ELEMAR. ElCMAR The legal husband of Boann; sometimes identified as Nechtan. He was sent to the Otherworld on an “important” state visit by the god Dagda. In his absence the Dagda mated with Boann producing Aonghas Og. Her husband was sufficiently dense to missed the fact that he was a cuckold, but his wife named her son Og, the “youthful,” wryly noting that: “Young is any son begotten at the break of day and born by evening, as was this one in the memory of my husband.” ELLEN. The three-headed monster of Cruachan. Also named tEllen trechend. or “Three-headed Ellen,” she used to emerge from the caverns there and devastate the land at the time of Samhuinn (Nov. 1). The word appears in English as Allen. She was eventually put to earth by Ameregin in single combat. One expert has identified this Otherworld being with Aillen nac Midna of the fairy-mound of Finnachad, who, as a matter of course, annually burned Tara until he was destroyed by Fionn. O’Rahilly derives the name from ailill which translates as “spirit,” or “elf.” In this three-headed being there seems to reside some longer memory of a three-headed deity whose destructive powers were only contained by sacrifice and annual rituals. See Amerigan. Note also trionaid. ELTAR. The single plain found in Ireland at the arrival of the early settler named Partholan. Described in the old records as a treeless barren. EMAIN ABLACH, e+maigh, his field, plain; ablach, a mangled carcase, from the a+bal+ach, the root being Beul, the god of

death. From this bel or bal, to die. Confers with the English jell and quell. Similar to the OIr. atbail, from the same root and prefix. From these the dialectic Scots. ablach. The plain of the palace of Manan mac Ler in the “Land of Promise,” within the western Ocean. EMER (ev-air). The wife of Cuchullain, a daughter of Forgall Manach, lord of Lusca, a place north of Dublin. Her father was against the match since there was “an elderly ugly daughter,” who had precedence in marriage. In the end Cuchullain leapt over the battlements and killed twentyfour of Forgall’s warriors before eloping with his love and carrying off her sister. Forgall’s sister raised an army against the northern hero, but he defeated it. Just before his death, Cuchullain had a vision of Emer being killed and thrown from the ramparts of the fortress of Dun Deaglan. This forewarning was the forerunner of his own doom, and in spite of his wife’s entreaties he travelled the final road to the Pillar Stone and death. EMERGIN, AMERGIN, the chief magic-maker of the Milesians, the race which invaded Ireland about the year 250 B.C. When the Milesians attempted to land the Tuthan wizards set a magical storm against the them and the great fleet from Spain was dispersed, and it appeared that the sons of Mil would not attain their Isle of Destiny. At this, Emergin chanted a charm that calmed the waves (See The Story of the Irish Race, p. 9-10). Upon landing, he took complete credit for the change in the weather noting: I am the wind that blows over sea, I am the Wave of the Ocean; I am the murmur of the Billows... etc (See Celtic Myths and Legend, p. 134 for complete text).” After the defeat of the Tuatha daoine, Emergin was asked to divide the land equitably between the conquered and the victors. In a mood for very rough justice, he deed the Tuathans all islands beyond the western horizon and all lands beneath the surface of the soil. In doing this, he was unaware of the extensive Irish souterrains, thus the Daoine sidh, or side-hill people occupied these places and the fay-race came into being. The descendants of Emergin described him as "Emergin the

White Knight", while the Daoine sidh recalled him as "Emeregin of the White Knees." Those who liked him claimed he was not only a magician-poet but "a prophet and man of great learning; a philosopher and a priest.” He reputedly possessed the second sight. and decreed that his famed “Exhortation” be taught “from the grandmother's mouth to the grandchild's mouth." (The Hebridean Connection, p. 427). This has been preserved, and says in part, "Among all the beasts of the earth there is one beast more bloody, more destructive, more cruel; more deceitful; more brutal; more nightmarish; more corrupt; more contemptible; more dishonourable; more stupid, than all the beasts of creation and this evil, dreadful, slavish, fraudulent creature will seek always to destroy you after I leave this world... there is but one succour against it and that is knowledge and truth. Knowledge puts it to flight..." The name of this beast was, of course, man. ÉNCHENNACH, the “bird dress.” Druidic equipment needed for flight; Mag Ruith’s skin of the hornless dun-coloured bull was brought to him. Then he was given his speckled bird dress with its flying wings and his other druidic gear. With it he rose up, in company with the fire, and passed into the air and into the heavens.” Conaire’s bird-warriors were all similarly equipped with these “hang-gliders.” When they laid aside their “bird-skins” it was noted that they looked like ordinary men. This was also the uniform of druids. ENDA. To the dismay of his sister, the abbess Faenche, this Irish warrior was no gentleman. He agreed to reform himself if he could be given her most beautiful novitiate as a wife. Unfortunately the young virgin, to closely attached to God, expired before the wedding could be consummated. Impressed by the apparent power of the Christian God in such matters, Enda travelled to Wales where he studied for Holy Orders under Saint David, and was ordained at Rome. At the last, a model of piety, he established the monastery at Aranmore in Galway Bay. ENNA AIRGTHETCH. The high king who was first to provide

his chieftains with silver shields. They were manufactured in the Srgetos (Silverwood) at Rathbeag on Nore, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Note the magical properties of airgoid, or silver. This metal was sometimes termed cimb orcerb. It was mined in Ireland from the earliest days and is given prominence in the sagas. EO, obs., a pin, thorn, grave, salmon, peg, good, worthy. EOCHAID, EOCHAIDH, (Yo-hee, Eo-hee), each + aidheam, horse + joyful, "the horseman of heaven" Sometimes given as Eochaid Oolathair, “The Allfather,”i.e. the Dagda. His alter ego was Eochaid Nathair, Lord of the Land of Shadows. Sometimes said to confer with the creator-god Dom. See each, echtrai and the following entry. Sometimes given preference over Manann mac Ler as the foster-father of the god-hero Lugh. EOCHAID ALLMUIR, a king of the Desi who fought seven battles against Cormac mac Art after the high-king attempted to expel his son from Ireland following the slaying of Cellach. Eochaid was eventually forced to resettle his folk in the kingdom of Dyfed in southern Wales. Independent Welsh records actually show that the Desi were residents of that territory in 730 A.D. when they were ruled by Teudor mac Regin. EOCHAID BRES, BREAS, "Bres the Beautiful." At the age of seven he was the size of a boy of fourteen years, a fact explicable in terms of his mixed parentage: His mother was a Tuathan named Sri and his father the Fomorian sea-giant Elathu who had his headquarters in the Hebrides. Initially Breas' male parent was unknown to him. When the Tuatha daoine invaded Hibernia and opposed the Firbolg residents at the battle of Moytura, their own king Nuada was "blemished" in battle, his right hand being stricken from his arm. An articulated artificial hand was substituted but he was still legally prevented from serving as high-king. Breas was elected king in his place, but was

soon seen to have no "gift" for kingship. The Fomorian seapirates who had fought against both the Firbolgs and the Tuathans renewed their oppression and taxation of the land, and Breas himself made heavy levies on his subjects. This would have been tolerated but Breas also showed himself "inhospitable." His lack of patronage unfortunately extended to the chief bard of the land, a man named Caibre. When he was badly served at the King's court, the bard composed a glam dicend, a biting satirical poem whose last line cursed Breas. The quatrain of power was repeated throughout the countryside and caused men to rise against Breas and chase him from the throne. In the meantime Nuada had approached the physician Diancecht, whose magic enabled him to grow an entirely new hand from the stump of his forearm With Nuada reinstated as king, Bres, burning with wrath and resentment, went stumbling back to his mother. She told him his father was a powerful Fomorian chieftain, and he went to the Hebrides asking for his assistance in retaking the throne of Ireland. Elathu gave him land and sea forces, and directed him to Tory Island, where he received further support from Balor "of the Evil Eye." Nuada ard-righ was unable to regain the countryside against this combined host, but fortunately a god-hero appeared in the form of Lugh "of the Long Arm." A foster-son of Manan mac Ler, Lugh brought with him to the Tuatha daoine cause the Boat of Manan, which travelled by reading thoughts, the Horse of Manan, which could travel on the sea as well as on land and an invincible sword named Fragarach, the “Answerer.” At the battle of Moytura this champion opposed Balor and killed him by projecting a great stone through his "venomous" eye. After that the Fomorian sea-giants were routed and fled to the northern and western islands and into the western sea. We are not told the fate of Breas, but it appears he retreated to the most remote redoubt of the seapeople, since one of the islands of Tir-nan-Og was

afterwards referred to as Hy Breas-il, or the Island of Breas. EOCHAID, The first two centuries after the birth of Christ saw the Tuathan rebellion and the recovery of the Milesian dynasty. The first in this new line of kings wasTuathal , who faced 133 separate battles before bringing any meaning to the title ard righ. His reign is remembered for the wedding of one of his daughters, Dairine , to King Eochaid of Leinster, Tiring of her, the king pretended she had died, and in due course sought the hand of Tuathal’s second daughter, a woman named Fithir. Through mismanagement, the two wives of Eochaid met, and soon their father marched into Leinster in an angry mood. The province and the king were only saved after this place agreed to pay the boru, or cow tribute, a crushing burden of tribute which was exacted for nearly 500 years. Thus Tuathal left his country a festering sore, the cause of many wars between Meathg and Leinster, with the other provinces arrayed on one side or the other at different times. EOCHAID MAC ERC. A king of the Firbolgs at the time of the Tuathan invasion. He is sometimes given as married to Tailtu, a daughter of the King of the Land of the Dead (i.e. Manann mac Ler). He named his palace Tailltinn (now Telltown) after his wife. He was among those opposed to placating the invaders saying, “If we give them the half they will take the whole.” He was involved in the great battle at Magh Tuireadh and finally was forced to retreat to a beach at Ballysadare, County Sligo, where he was slain. EOCHAID MAC MUCHTRA. A king of Munster who allied himself with Ailill and Mebd. He claimed a pedigree reaching back to Ith mac Bregon. As he possessed a single eye he was automatically disqualified from high-kingship. This Fomorian characteristic was endemic within Munster. EOCHAID OOLATHIR, the “Joyful Horse,” the Oolathair, the Dagda., the patriarch of the Daoine sidh. Taking note of the fact that the Tuatha daoine were skilled horsemen.

EOGH. long-sighted, eolas, knowledge. The ability to observe happenings at a great distance through the use of psychic runners or bafinne. Those who possessed this ability were able to perceive the distance as a hazy image superimposed on things near at hand. EOGABAIL. A foster son of Manan mac Ler, a druid who fathered the love-goddess Aoine. EOGHANN, A mortal god, one of two Milesians approached by the turncoat goddesses Banbh, Fodla and Eriu with a request that they conquer and occupy Ireland to resolve internal squabbles. EOGHANN A' CHINN, Eôghann, dial. Eôghainn, Ewan, MG. Eogan or Eoghan, EIr. Eogan, Evi-gonos, “well born,” avi, friendly, good, the Cy. Owen, Confers with the Oghmic Eva-cattos which evolved into Eochaid. Lat. Eugenius, Hence Mac-ewan. Iain of the Little Head, the weregild, or forerunner of death, for the Macleans of Duart. He was killed in battle while trying to depose his father. John Shaw says he was seen by "a few Inverness County (Cape Breton) informants" in 1978. (Tales Until Dawn, p. xxxv). EOGHANN MAC AILILL. A king of Munster who on the eve of the battle of Moy Machruinne slept with the daughter of a druid. The druid suggested this act, claiming that the child of this union would become high king if born on an auspicious day. Eoghann went to his death in battle before the child was birthed. As the natal-day approached, and it seemed that it might arrive prematurely, the mother sat astride a boulder in the middle of a ford and refused to admit it to the world. At the correct time the child was born although the mother died in the process. Because the head of the infant had been pressed against a stone it was flattened and the king-to-be was nicknamed Fiachra BroadCrown. EOGHANN MOR. The birth-name of Mug Nuadat, a king of

Munster, married to Beara, a “daughter” of a king of “Spain.” He went to war against the high-king Conn and forced him to split the land of Ireland. He ruled “Mug’s half,” the southern portion. Not content, he sought a share of all the trade goods flowing through Dublin and warred again against Conn, but this time was killed by him. Eoghann Mor’s son Ailill Olamh married Conn’s daughter Sadb and in another irony, he became the high-king in Ireland. EOIR, charm, incantatiun, spell. EOISLE, Charms thought against chanted next. a charm, a form of the word eolas, knowledge. were always rendered in poetic form and were capable of producing physical damage in the person whom they were directed. Charms were usually and have been compared with the songs of birds. See

EOL, obs. expert, knowing. Now: knowledge, discernment, science, art, a charm. A nostrum. EÒLAS, eol, a magician, as, springing from;a spell, knowledge. also the name of a son jointly fathered by three of Partholan’s druids. A charm, actions and words having a supernatural importance. Practitioners of the evil-eye might sub-verbalize something like the following: “I trample upon the eye as tramples the duck on the lake; as tramples the swan upon the water; as tramples horses upon the open plain; as tramples the host of the elements... Power of the wind I have over it; power of the wind I have over it; power of the wrath I have over it; power of fire I have over it; power of thunder I have over it; power of lightning I have over it, power of the moon I have over it, power of the sun I have over it; power of the stars I have over it; power of the firmament I have over it; power of the heavens and the worlds I have over it.” This same spell could also be used to counter the effects of the initial spell-casting. For best results charms were recited by "gifted" or "lucky" individuals.

The minor fire-charms have been preserved in folklore. Thus we find in present-day Cape Breton, Nova Scotia the following Gaelic charm, formerly used to bind the will of others: I am putting you under spells and crosses, And under nine constraints of the walking wandering sidh-mothers. That every lamb weaker and more misguided than yourself, May take from your head and your ear And your livlihood. If you do not... trans. John Shaw 2 In the last sentence, the service desired is inserted. This charm is effective three times; after that the person who has been word-bound is freed to employ the verses against his tormenter. There have been traditional charms to win love, cause enmity between lovers, set aside fever, sorrow and pains, ensure the rising of bread and insure against witchcraft. In the Christian era, the word-magic was retained, with the substitution of "more acceptable" god spirits; thus we find the following charm, to be said on undertaking a journey: Seven prayers, seven times over told, Mary left to her son of old, Bride left to her mantles length, God left to his own great strength, Between us and the fairie kind, Us and the people of the wind, Us and the water's drowning power, Us and temptations evil hour, Us and the world's all blighting breath,


Neil MacNeil, Tales Told Until Dawn, p. 28.

Us and the bondsman's cruel death.3

EÒLAS A BEUM SULA, charm against the injured eye. Numerous incantations were aimed at relieving the negative effects of the evil eye. Persons so afflicted were usually seen to be subject to vomiting and general malaise. The countenance of a suffer was described as greann, greisne, agus grannda, “grim. grusesome and ugly.” EÒLAS AN DEIDEIDH, charm used to relieve a toothache. EÒLAS AN T-SNIOMH, charm used to relieve a sprain in animals and men. Neil Macdonald of Albert Bridge Cape Breton recommended the following "Eolas an t-Sniomh", or "Charm for A Sprain" where a horse had been injured: Christ came out; He found the bones of a horse broken. He placed blood to blood and flesh to flesh; As he cured that, so cure this. 4 As the Gaelic was intoned Charles Dunn said that the "physician" wrapped a string "in a special manner" around the horses damaged leg. Hugh Mackinnon has said that the knot was not special, but had to be tied using the thumbs and forefingers alone.5 This charm worked as well with humans as horses and cattle. EÒLAS NAN SUL, a charm used against eye trouble. EO MUNGA, munga, bully, overpowering, the sacred tree of Munga, an ancient Irish yew tree which allegedly bore the

Padraic, A Treasury of Irish Folklore, p. 416. W. Dunn, Highland Settler, p. 42. Recounted to the author in



Down North, p.30.

fruit of the nut, the acorn and the apple, each in season. The leaves of the tree shaded the entire plain on which it stood. The dwelling place of a superior god since it could not be soaked by rain nor destroyed by fire. Similar to the Norse World-Tree, which embodied all of Nine Worlds. See craobh. ER. A son of Partholon. EIr. éra, from rá, to give. Similar to rath, luck note, favour. An individual blessed by the gods. ERANNAN. A son of Mil, who climbed the mast of a Milesian vessel to see if the wind keeping their fleet offshore was magically generated. In the process he declared the affirmative but fell to his death in the sea. In some texts this misfortune falls instead upon the eldest son of Mil, a boy named Donn. ERC MAC CAIRBRE. Cúchullain’s most persistent enemy. He slew Cúchulainn’s horse just before one of his companions killed the Ulsterman. He was afterwards killed by Conal of the Victories, one of Cúchulainn’s close friends. EREMON. Sometimes anglicized as Heremon. The first Milesian High King of Ireland. he was defeated and killed by his brother Eber who founded the institution of the high kingship at Tara. ERCOL. A Connacht warrior, the foster-father of Mebd of Connacht. He was defeated by Cúchullain just before he was named the champion of all Ireland. ERI. The wife of the Tuathan named Cethor. She met the Fomorian king named Elathu and consented to sexual acts. Their son was Breas who became king of the land when King Nuada lost his hand in battle. The Tuatha daoine found him parsimonious and rose up against him. He went to his father for help thus starting the war between the “gods” and the “giants,” an event that led to the complete destruction of the Fomorian interests in the east. ERIN, ERINN, western lands. Anciently applied to the

Western Isles of Scotland as well as to Ireland, the latter distinguished as Innis-Fail. ERNI. The female keeper of Mebd’s treasury. The chief handmaiden at Rath Cruachain. ESCUNG, now an obsolete word, a water-serpent, compare with easg, an eel and easc, water. The latter part of the word ung, covered with, anointed with. There are numerous references in Irish lore to supernatural water-serpents located in lakes and rivers. A comprehensive catalogue of their former retreats may be found in the Duanaire Finn. The war waged on them by the early Church suggests that the folklore that remains is a remnant of a older wider tradition of water-snakes as gods. As late as 1961 a Scottish story circulated concerning a spot where nineteen of these serpents were slain by shepherds. ETAIN (ett-an). The wife of the god Ogma, and a daughter of Diancecht, god of medicine. A pharmaceutical magician. ETAIN ECHRAIDHE, the daughter of Ailill of Ulster. The god Midir saw her in a dream and asked Aonghas Og to court her on his behalf Ailill demanded that Aonghas preform three tasks before agreeing to the marriage. These done, Etain went to live with Midir in Bri Leith. Here his first wife became jealous and turned the newcomer into a dragonfly. Even in this form, Aonghas recognized her, but before he could rescue her the enraged first wife swept her away on a whirlwind. She eventually fell into the wine of the wife of Etar, who became pregnant with her. This reincarnate Etain had no knowledge of her past and as an adult married the high-king named Eochaid. Midir abducted her to the underworld setting off events which ended with the rape and pillage of the Underworld. ETAR. The champion at Ulster during the reign of Conchobhar mac Nessa. His wife swallowed a fly containing the essential soul of Etain, wife of the god Midir. His wife, impregnated, gave birth to Etain Echraidhe, who was

completely unaware of her past history. ETARLANN, also given as Bresal or Bresal Etarlam. The foster father of Fuamnach, and a great wizard, he assisted her in getting rid of Etain, the second wife of her husband Midir, by shape-changing her into a fly. He was ultimately slain for this act by Aonghas Og who was Midir’s foster son. ETHAL ANUBBHAI, ANUBHAIL. A Tuathan ruler of the Uaman in Connacht. Aonghas Og, the love god fell with his daughter Caer Iboremeith, and courted her her father’s wishes. He was threatened with death Dagda and finally allowed the marriage. sidh of in love against by the

ETHLINN. The daughter of Balor of the Evil Eye. Balor’s druidic sons warned him that a grandson would bring about his death. Consequently, he imprisoned this girl in his tower on Tory Island. Twelve matrons were set about her to discourage male visitors but when Cian Contje came looking for the cow Glas Gaibhnenn, he came equipped with a cloak of invisibility. Looking for the magical cow he came on Ethlinn instead and they became overly fast friends. The attendants tried to keep the pregnancy of Ethlinn from her father but at the birth of triplets, Balor commanded that they be drowned in a whirlpool. On the way there the pin securing their carrying sheet broke and one child fell out at Port na Delig, the “Haven of the Pin.” The other two were drowned but the survivor was conveyed to Manann mac Ler who fostered him under the name Dul Duna. At maturity this child became Lugh, the hero of the Tuatha daoine in the war with the Fomors. In some tales the child was carried away from Tory Island by his father. Ethlinn eventually wed Lugh’s brother Nuada and conceived by him the lines that included Morna of the White Neck and Finn mac Cumhail. See Bradan Breith. ETHNE. EITHNE, eitean, a “Kernal” or Grain. She was nicknamed “The Sweet Kernal of the Nut.” The daughter of Roc, steward to Aonghas Og. She was born at the time Manann mac Ler delivered his daughter to be fostered by the

love god. Ethne, therefore, served as handmaiden to Manann’s daughter. It was discovered that she ate no food and took no drink after a chieftain of the mounds raped her. To prevent her death, Aonghas and Manann went on a voyage to the west and brought back two magical cows whose milk she could tolerate. Accompanying Manann’s daughter to the bath at the river Boyne, Ethne mislaid her cloak of invisibility and could not re-enter the world of the Daoine sidh. EUDAIL, treasure, cattle, treasure, the Lat. emo. EIr. ét, herds, riches, booty,

EUG, EIG, AOG, die, perish, decay, Death, a ghost, a spectre; as a verb, to die, perish, expire. Give way, decay; eugach, death-like, deadly, ghastly, ghostly, spectral; also used as a negative prefix, OIr. éc, Lat. nex, death, Skr. naç, to perish. A spirit that took the form of a weasel-like animal which attempted to rob dying people of their souls. Eugail, disease, eugais, want, privation. This creature was the totem animal of Lugh in his guise as the death-god named Cromm. Eug-bhoil, a deadly wrath. EUGAIL, EUCAIL, disease. All illness was said caused by evil spirits which entered the human body through an opening and subjugated or displaced the internal soul. This idea is not far removed from the germ theory of disease. EUMHANN, EMAIN EMHAIN ABHLACH. (avvin) The “Fold of Death,” (not apples as sometimes suggested). Eumhann, a pearl, an enfolded thing, OIr. ném, pearl, onyx, niam, sheen, the root is nem as seen in nèamh. heaven, OIr. nemed, a sacred grove. the Lat. nemus, a grove, All confer with neamhnuid, nemanda, pearly. Ablach from the root bel or bal, to die. A western island somewhere west of the coast of Alba (Scotland) ruled by Manann mac Ler. The voyage of Brann started when he was given a silver branch from an apple tree in this land. Not that Mananann mac Ler was “married to Fanaid, or Fand, the “Pearl of the Ocean.” Her name is the EIr. compound fonomat, i.e. vo-nom-anto, the

root being nem, to take, which confers exactly with nàmhad, an enemy, which turn relates to all of the above. Note next entry and see Fanaid. EMAIN MACHA, The “Pen-fold” of the triad goddess Macha, the baifnn of present events. The seat of the kings of Ulster in the Red Branch tales. Next to Tara it was the best known royal residence. It is identified with Navan a phonetic spelling of ‘n Emain, a place situated two miles from Armagh. In 355 A.D. this eleven acre site was ravaged by the three Collas, cousins of the High King at Tara. From that time on it continued as a ruin. It was claimed that the warrior-goddess founded the city but some say it was built by a namesake Macha Mong Ruadh who used forced labour to erect the ramparts. EUN, bird, OIr. en, Cy. edn, root pet, to fly, Lat. penna, wing, Eng. feather, Skr. patati, to fly. Hence eunlaith, birds. Animals of special importance to the art of prognostication. “The motif of the bird lover is one which is very widespread and of great antiquity. It is found in Celtic contexts in the earliest strata of literary tradition and in the later folk tales. It is also found in Scots folklore and widely throughout Europe...In the Irish tradition the role is not confined to men, both men and women appearing in the role of bird-lovers. Furthermore, the bird or bird-flock may bring about the desired situation without the lover himself (or herself) adopting bird form. There would appear to be a close link between birds and the sexual act in the case of divine or semi-divine beings. Frequently the bird or birds make magic music so that the lovers can better achieve union. - Anne Ross. The birds most often specified in this way were ravens, crows, swans, herons, owls, eagles, cranes and geese. Some of these birds were of an unspecified species, as next entry. EUN GLAS NA CEPAICH, the “Grey-bird of Keppoch." Grey birds were frequently totem animals of the Gaelic clansmen. The forerunner of death and disaster among the Macdonnells of Keppoch was a grey bird "seen for many

generations before a death took place in that family." According to Dr. Keith Macdonald this incarnate spirit was a inauspicious "small grey bird that came and sat on the window-sill and tapped on the window." After a death it disappeared and did not appear again until another clan member was destined for departure from the world. "Tradition does not record the exact date when it first appeared but its existence had long been known in the Braes of Lochabar. Alstair Carrach, and some of the other Keppoch chiefs and Braes people had a good deal to account for and may have been why the gods sent this harbinger of death to the living." The bird appeared for Captain Ranald Macdonnell and was seen by a retainer who was chatting with the man at his bedside. Coming downstairs the servant insisted that the priest be consulted as, "that man has not long to live." Other family members thought the alarm was exaggerated and suggested that the old patriarch was only suffering from "a slight chill and cold." The observer of the bird insisted: "I have seen the Eun Glas sitting on the windowsill all the time I was with the captain, and you may be sure that death is not far off." Although there seemed no reason to do so, the priest was called, and soon after the Father's departure the old gentleman worsened and died. The deathbird was also seen by Ranald's sister Barbara, and worse still it followed around the building to her window-pane and began tapping there. A few weeks after the funeral she also died. The Grey Bird was not proscribed from crossing running water for Major Alexander Macdonnell met it on Prince Edward Island shortly before his death. Further, "when the coffin was taken out of the house it stood on it all the way to the churchyard which was more than a mile away, until the body was being lowered into the grave, and then it flew upwards into the sky till it disappeared from sight. The circumstances were written home (to Scotland) at the time by several eye-witnesses. This is corroborated

by Mr. Alexander Macdonald of Upper South River, Prince Edward Island, who writes me that "at the funeral of Alexander Macdonald (properly Macdonnell), "Am Maidair Mor", who died in Prince Edward Island in 1815, the bird stood on the coffin in the presence of the whole crowd and a letter from Bishop MacEachearn, then of Prince Edward Island, to the Rev. Alexander Mac donald of Judique, bears witness to this statement. Finlay Macdonald, son of Catriona nighean Dughaill, remembers of having heard Father Alexander relating this story to his mother. Finlay still lives in Cape Breton.” (Celtic Monthly, p. 87). EUN LUGHA, The “lord of heaven’s hen,” the wren, “If the wren calls from the east, enemies are about to call. Should the wren call from the south-east, buiffons are on the way; if from the northeast, a bedfellow or woman is on the way; if from the north, dear to you is he that approaches. From the north-west expect pious folk. If the call is from the south a man will be slain that is important in your life, providing the sound is not between you and the sun. If the sound falls on your left ear there will be union with ,m,an from afar or cohabitation with a young woman. If the call comes from behind you will be cuckhold. If it arises from the ground behind you your wife will be taken by rapine on the part of another man in spite of all you may do. If the sound issues from the east poets may be on the road to greet you, or at least there will be tidings from them. If from the south you may soon see clergy, or hear deathtidings of some noble layman. The southwest indicates the coming of robbers, evil peasants or prostitutes. Sounds from the west are often allied with the advance of kinsmen. A noble hero is announced from the nnotrthwest. Noble hospitallers and good women come on this sound. From the north there advanced bad warriors, ill clerics, infamous women and wicked youths. From the south, expect sickness and wolves among the herds. If the song is from a stone or the ground a male relative will die. If the call comes from a cross, many men will die. The number of times the sound reverberates will be the number of dead, and the quarter from which the wren speaks is where men will die.” “The

little gold filigree wren from Garryduff, Ireland, although post-Roman in date, may be associated with the Druidic practise of augury rather than have a Christian connotation.” See droen, a wren. EUN SITH, supernatural bird, fairy bird, banshee. See the above note for one of this kind. According to Nennius the Picts introduced the craft of ornithomancy into Ireland: “The honouring of sneezes and omens, choice of weather, lucky times, the heeding of the voices of birds they practised without disguise.” According to folklore Saint Cellach’s murder was presaged by a gathering of birds: “The ravens cried as did the hooded crow, and also the wren as well as other birds...Then the raven of the yew tree of Cluain Eó came. The birds of prey which tore at the flesh of the saint died immediately. In some Scottish lore the flesh of the raven is regarded as poisonous. In the eastern parish of Alva it was once thought that men could be killed simply by shaking a horse’s bridle at these birds while saying, “ravens flesh and cranes flesh come out thy way.” This simple sympathetic reference to poisonous flesh was thought to bring immediate death to an enemy. On the other hand, ravens with white feathers were regarded as favourable omens. Although ravens and crows were thought

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