I, idad, the yew in the ogham.
Associated is illait, the eaglet; irfind, the colour white and the winter solstice as well as the magical number three. I, she, Ir. í, sí, OIr. í, hi, Cy. hi, Germ. síe, they, Skr. syá. Very similar to the G. sa an emphatic particle having the force of “I myself.” Also note G. so, this, here, in this place, her place, sin, that. See iubharr, the yew tree. Note that this goddess matches the Bafinn, the “three in one” deity. See iubharr. A form seen for the island of Iona.
I, art, science. IADH, to take a circuitous route, to magically bind, to bind, obs. to enclose. IAL, moment, time, season, a gleam of sunshine, Light. passing phenomena. See the next. Any
IALL, a “flock of birds.” A herd, a drove, Formerly “May god forgive you!” Now obsolete. One of the “keys” to divination, which was a druidic specialty. See next entry. Birds appear throughout Celtic tradition as gods and goddesses, as symbols of divinity and as messengers of the gods. The swan, the crane, the rave, and the hooded-crow had unbroken popularity as cult figures. The eagle and the owl and the goose had a period of popularity followed by a lessening of importance. It can be guessed that birds operated first as sky-messengers of solar-deities such as Lugh. The quarter from out of which birds flew and the tenor of their cries were therefore seen as god-directed and worth examining as a portent for the future.
IALTAG, a bat, iall + tagradh, flock of birds + ghost. ghostbirds, birds from the Otherworld. Flocks of birds were watched as omens of wide-sweeping events among men. These creatures were regarded as shape-changed deities, or spirits of the air, capable of landing and assuming human form at will. IAR, The West, the end of things, obs. bird, dark, black, dusky, IARBANEL, western gang. One of the three sons of Nemed, who escaped after the unfortunate experience of the Nemedians in Ireland. Some claim he retreated to the continent and fathered the Tuatha daoine. His brother Starn was acclaimed the patriarch of the Firbolg and his son Bethach, the direct ancestor of this tribe. IAR-CHULLACH, iar, obs. dark, dusky, black; the boar. IAR, SIAR, west, a special use of the preposition meaning behind (the horizon). Iargail, the west, evening, twilight, remote; iargalta, churlish, inhospitable, turbulent, surly; iarculta, backward. Iargan, the groans of a dying man, one “going west.” Iargainn, pain. The Otherworld of the Fomors, the gods and the Daoine sidh was considered to lie west of the horizon in the Atlantic. Pagans were buried facing west, IARNA, a hank of yarn, from the Eng. yarn. Blue-green yarn was used to ensnare animals and men and to accomplish prognostication and other forms of magic. Red and black yarns also had their functions in druidism. IARUNN. metal, iron, iron tool of any kind, blade of a scythe, Ir. iarann, OIr. iarn, Cy. haiaran, Corn. hoern, OBr. houaran, Gaul, iarnodori, OHG. isarn, English iron, all thought to be borrowed from the Celts, who were the first to smelt iron. The word iron is Celtic, its original form having been iarn in the Gaelic dialect. Notice that iron bars were the “goldstandard” of Gaelic civilization, and the redoubtable Queen
Mebd counted her worth in iarn-lestair, the number of “iron vessels” she possessed. The Celts developed the use of iron in the first millenium B.C. at a time when it was barely known to classical craftsmen.B y the sixth century B.C. they had developed formidable weaponry and were militarily superior to any of their neighbours. their axes and ploughshares were so good they were able to cut roadways through the previously impenetrable forests of Europe and open new farmland. The Gaelic word for a road is still slighe from the verb sligim, to hew wood. Without their iron swords the Celts could not have harassed the classical kingdoms. The iron swords of the Celts enabled them to sweep Europe, conquering Rome in 390 B.C. Not long after they defeated Thrace, Macedonia and the other Greek city-states including Athens. Iron bars of set weights were used as Celtic currency. In the story of the Táin, it may be remembered that when Aillil and Mebd were counting their individual assets they each listed a number of iarn-lestair, or iron-vessels. The Anglo-Saxons remembered the importance of this metal in their goddess Irenasaxa, literally the “Iron-sword.” It was, however, the Celtic Milesians who first developed the art of putting an edge to iron weapons, and this enabled them to overcome the Tuatha daoine, the warrior magicians of Ireland, who had great skills as druids but nothing more than bronze swords and spears as practical weapons. Thus these "gods" lost the land to mortal men. Banished to the "hollow hills" of Britain and to islands beyond the western ocean, they became the Daoine sidh, or "little people" and for ever after were adverse to iron in any form. The Rev. Robert Kirk has noted that “all uncouth, unknown Wights are terrified by nothing earthly so much as cold Iron..” As the sithe were allied with the druids and the human baobhe, these people are also repulsed by the "magic" of iron. Thus any of this kind can be bound in place by driving an iron spike into his, or her, footprint, and they can
be kept from houses by nothing more than a fish-hook driven into the wood of the doorway. Notice also that the mythic smith Goibhniu, who we have also identified as Goban, was known to have had his smithy at Sliab nan Iairinn, the “Iron Mountain,” east of Lough Allen in County Litrim. He is perhaps the only Tuathan described as forging iron. J.F. Campbell has noted that the iron sword created great wonder when it first appeared as a weapon of war. He says that other things made of iron also had magical attributes transferred to them: “in all popular tales...some mysterious virtue is attributed to iron; and in many of them a gun is a waepon which breaks spells.” Thus it was thought valuable to fire shot over the back of a “bewitched” animal. To look into the other world, or release an individual from enchantment, it was thought necessary to aim three times over the iron barrel of a rifle or shotgun. While these weapons were the most powerful in frightening the fay a reaping hook , horseshoe or nail was though to do equal servfice. Note that the sidhe shot stone arrows being unable to handle iron. IBATH. obs. ibh, to drink, A second son of Beothach. One of the Nemedians who fled to Boetia in Greece after the Fomorians defeated his people in Ireland. Like Iarbenal he is often given as an ancestor of the Tuatha daoine. I Breasil or O Breasil, High Brazil, see Breasil. IBCAN. A third son of Beothach the Nemedian. See Ibath. I NA-BEATHA, the “Elevated (place) of Life.” OIr. beathu, see bith for the root. Hence beathach, an animal, a living thing. One of the mythic Atlantic islands. IDATH, IBATH. The Connacht warrior who married Bafinn, the “sister” of Boann. His son Fraoch was reputed to be the handsomest warrior in ancient Ireland.
IFRINN, IFRIONN, hell, EIr ifurnn, from Latin infernum, Eng. infernal. A region unknown to pagan mythology. While the place was unknown, the Norse goddess Hel who supposedly supervised this land was not. A cold region of punishment or, at least, dullness and inactivity. Ifrinneach, hellish, extremely wicked, a demon. ILBREG, sometimes ILBHREACH. Son of the sea-god Manann mac Ler. He was the ruler of the sidh known as Eas Aedha Ruaidh, now known as the Mound of Mullachshee, located near Ballyshannon, County Donegal, Ireland. He was one of five candidates for high-kingship of the Tuatha daoine after the retirement of the Dagda. During the subsequent quarrel between the “gods of the earth,” Ilbreg supported the losing cause of Midir the Proud, who also called upon a contingent of mortal warriors led by the Fenian Caoilte. This man was sometimes said to have slain Ler the grandfather of Ilbreg. ILDÅNACH. the “All-craftsman", a title bestowed on Lugh after he proved himself at the court of Nuada. It has the sense of “Doctor of Arts and Sciences.” ILEACH, il, having plenty, variegated, Ir. ile, showing diversity, iol-, a prefix suggesting “many.”root pel, the Eng. full. Having special reference to Hel. the “parti-coloured” goddess. See I, “She,” who corresponds. The goddess Mhorrighan. ILEAGAS NAN DAOINE SITH, contentment with the earthly state, ile + agas, many + contentments of the "little people." Unlike the Christians the pagan seers did not threaten either eternal joy or eternal pain following death. "They were teaching that it is not meant for children of men to know anything of what passes after death. They taught that men should be friendly and kindly to each other, without distinction, while they dwelt in the world ... They condemned the creed that held that eternal vengeance or eternal mercy was the lot of all men at the other edge of death. They advised mental calmness and promised the peace that flows there from. This was not to the liking of
the Church which demanded obedience from all and yielding to Her belief and practise and overlordship and rule." (The Hebridean Connection, p. 386). ILLBREG, sometimes Ilbhreach. A son of Manann mac Ler, ruler of the sidhe at Eas Aedha Ruiadh, Ballyshannon, Donegal. He was one of five candidates for leadership of the Tuatha daoine when the Dagda announced that war-injuries demanded that he step down. During the war between the Upper World and the side-hill of Midir, he fought unsuccessfully alongside the Fenians and the Dark Lord. IMBAS, im, butter, Eir. imb; bas, Death. Jells which provided druids with their prophetic art. The “buuter” wassaid derived from the nuts of certain trees. IMBOLC, IMBOLG, im, + bolc, intensive prefix "about", "concerned with" + welted. Confers with the English abolish. The “Quarter-Day,” or “Rent-paying Day,” devoted to the goddess Bridd. A fire-festival was held on the eve of February 1, some said to take note of the dropping of the first lambs. As was usual for such situations, a time for blood-letting as well tale-telling, ritual sex and entertainment. The Christian’s termed this day “St. Brigit’s Day,” and considered that it marked the end of Christmas Tide. IMRAMA, IMMRAMA, “ wonder-voyages.” Travels into the western Atlantic. EIr. emigre, journey, expedition, imrich, to remove, to flit (from place-to-place). Eirich, to rise, rach, I go. In the great list of two hundred Irish romances, itself dating from the eighth century, six Imrama or “Overseas Voyages” are listed, and of these “The Voyage of Maelduin” is given as the first of its class. Of the others that are mentioned only “The Voyage of the O’Corras,” has come down to us. Two Imrama not mentioned in this story list are also known today, and “The Voyage of Snedgus and Riagla,” and “The Voyage of St. Brendan” are therefore
considered more recent works.“The Voyage of Maelduin” was probably assembled from various tales of travel by Aed the Fair, the chief story-teller at the Irish court in the eighth century. Joseph Jacobs thinks that he created his work by borrowing his theme of the love of an immortal maiden for a human hero from “The Voyage of Bran.” Two of the episodes appear cribbed from Maelduin (“The Isle of Wailing,” and “The Queen of the Magic Clew”), and something very near to these tales may also be found in “The Voyage of Bran.” Aed also borrowed from the mythic tales of the Tuatha daoine to fashion the story of “The Queen of the Brazen Gate,” but he also took Christian legends and worked them into the fabric of this voyage. He was familiar with the actual travels of his saintly countrymen as they traveller to evangelize the Northern seas. It is pretty certain that he borrowed yarns spun from the tongues of seafarers back from the distant Faeroes or Iceland. He handled these elements with a singular preception for their romantic qualities and effect, little guessing that they would be recast in a work of popular fiction, the famed Latin Navigatio S. Brendani , which breathed fresh life into the old legends. IMRAMM CURAIG MAILE DÚIN the “Coracular Ocean-Voyage of Maelduin,” was preserved in its oldest form in a manuscript which comes from the close of the twelfth century, and is thus later than they tales about Bran and Connla. The twelfth century manuscript is now lost, but it has been guessed that this tale dates from the second half of the eighth century. The Irish “Voyage of Maelduin” has been printed, with an English translation, by Dr. Whitney Stokes, in the ninth and tenth volumes of the Revue Celtique, and the retelling that follows is based on his version of events: Maelduin was a very successful explorer, returning after three years and seven months "driven in his barque to and fro over the boundless, fathomless ocean." The son of Ailill Edgebattle, he was fostered to the
King and Queen of Arran at the murder of his father. In later, years seeking the murderers, Maelduin built a ship "of wicker work, of eight thwarts (rower's seats) covered with ox-hides of hard bark-soaked red leather.” On the day appointed by his druid, the seventeen men and their captain raised "a many-coloured sail" and put to sea. In one day of sail and rowing they found land in two small and barren islands, where they stood off and heard men boasting of various piratical deeds including the killing of Maelduin's father. They suspected that the gods had favoured them by leading them so early to their quarry, but as they prepared to land a great wind came up which tossed them on the waves for three days and three nights. At their next landfall, Maelduin was driven off by a horde of voracious “ants” and sailed on for an additional three days and nights. On the next island they found a beast shaped somewhat like a horse but with long sharp talons. Thinking it seemed overly pleased to see them, the voyagers made another narrow escape to the sea. On a third island, they found men racing horses, but convinced they were an assembly of demons, did not remain long. A full week after their departure, they chanced upon a much larger island on which stood a huge residence, with two doorways opening on land and a third on the sea. Hoping to find food and drink, Maelduin put in, but found the place empty. Fortunately, they found liquor and provisions in four of the bedrooms but finding no other signs of life departed. Later, their provisions again ran short, but they came to an island with high cliffs on all sides. A wood came down at one place, and here the ship passed beneath apple trees but they found no fruit to satisfy themselves. The next place had a stone fence around it but here they were repulsed by the antics of a monster "whose skin revolved like a mill-wheel its flesh and bones remaining still." This monster threw stones at them from the beach and one passed through Maelduin's shield and lodged in the keel of the boat. At the next stop they were fortunate to find many trees bearing fruit, with golden apples on every bough. In
the orchards there were many small animals red in colour and shaped like pigs. It was observed that these creatures retreated into caverns at night but joined the birds in pilfering the apples by day. Two of the crew landed but were surprised to find that the ground was hot beneath their feet, so they hastily gathered food working quickly to preserve the soles of their feet from burning. Before long their apples were eaten and a great and thirst returned. Further, their nostrils were bothered by a sulphurous smell which seemed to arise from the waters. They were glad to find a new harbour in a island of white rock surmounted by a fortress. Around the fort were numerous snow-white houses. They entered the largest and found no occupants except a small cat which never gave up its play to consider the men. The wall of the house was designed in three sections. The top rank carried "gold and silver brooches fastened in place by pins; the next gold and silver necklaces as large as vat hoops and the third gold and silver-hilted swords. These were white quilts on sleeping pallets and garments of shining cloth. Again they found roasted meat and flagons of ale but no company. They ate and took away what was left of the food but Maeldun warned his crew that it was probably not a good idea to touch any of the treasure hung on the walls. Against his advice, a crewman attempted to carry of a necklace but as he walked toward the door the cat attacked him, its fiery eyes burning him to a cinder. After that Maelduin soothed the animal with careful words, put the necklace back in its place, cleaned the ashes from the floor, and set sail. The ship chanced next on an island on which there were double palisades of brass. On one side of this fence they saw sheep of white and on the other black animals. In the midst of the flock was a gigantic man who was keeping the colours separate. When he three black sheep into the white enclosure they turned white while white sheep thrown in the other direction turned black. Considering this ominous, they ignored their stomachs and travelled on.
On the next isle, which possessed a lofty mountain, they found, killed, rotated and ate a pig. Following the base of the mountain was a broad river. When a crew member put the wooden part of his spear into this body it was immediately consumed in flames so they went no further in that direction. Seeing a giant sitting among hornless oxen on the far bank they decide this was another unsafe place and moved on. Next they came close to the swirl of waters which they attributed to the workings of the miller of the gods. They came then to a land of people black in body and clothing who wore "fillets" about their neck and never seem to rest from wailing. Lots were cast to see who should approach them and one fell to Maelduin's foster-brother, who mingling with the crowd found himself caught up in their strange emotion. Maelduin attempted to rescue him, but the two men who followed were similarly afflicted. Four others followed being careful to refrain from breathing the air within the crowd, and these were able to rescue all but the foster-brother. In the end the sailors were forced to leave without him. On the next western isle they were met by a maiden "who entertained them and brought them food." She gave them a rather heady ale the strength of which left them unconscious so that they awoke three days later at sea, out of sight of the place and its hospitable lady. The next landfall was a small island featuring a fortress with brass doors and a crystal bridge at the approach. This proved as slick as glass and the crew eventually wearied of trying to get near the door. While they lay prone, a sidh-woman moved effortlessly over the bridge, took water from a nearby fountain and returned to the fortification. The mob followed but could not force the door. Their hammerings on the bronze fastenings finally produced a soothing music that lulled them to sleep. These actions and reactions were repeated for three days until the sidh-maiden came forth and greeted Maelduin, naming him and all of his crew and saying, "It is long since your coming hath been expected."
She then led them into her place and sent some to haul their ship upon the shore. She brought them a cheese-like food and liquor, but it was said, "she knew when they had enough and then ceased to serve them." The men thought that this woman would make a fit wife for Maelduin so they approached her on his behalf and she promised her answer "on the morrow." When dawn came they saw neither island, nor the sidh-woman, but found themselves adrift upon the empty sea. On the next island they met with a man clothed only in body hair (like the Fomors). This individual said, "I am a man of Ireland who went on pilgrimage in a small boat. This split under me so I went back to my native sod built again and ventured forth. The Lord had given me sod under my foot in this place which groweth by a foot each year. The birds of the trees of this place are surely the souls of my children and the kindred who await time's end. Angels feed me daily with half a cake, a slice of fish and liquor from a well. Whey or water is mine on Wednesdays; sweet milk on Sundays; bright ale and wine on feast days. At noon each of the souls of the dead receiveth the same, enough for each." The old man entertained them, provisioned them and predicted: "All of thee will reach thy desired country excepting one." At a new location, the mariners heard the sounds of smithies, anvils and sledges and saw cockleshell boats approaching over the sea. They retreated and were bombarded as they rowed by masses of glowing iron, which the chief smith threw after them. The sea hissed and boiled but the warriors fled swiftly to mid-ocean. Next Maelduin's people saw the undersea world in a place where the waters seemed so thin , misty and unsubstantial. Fearing that the surface might not support their craft they looked downward and saw roofed strongholds, and flocks and herds guarded by an armed man. Perceiving a beast attacking the man fled, and the creature fell upon an ox, devouring it in the twinkling of an eye.
At the next island they came to a great stream arching out over the beach and the water, and here the wanderers passed the ship through the spray without getting wet. At the falls they pierced the waters with their spears and brought out salmon in such vast numbers they could not gather them because of their great numbers. When they were thus resupplied they cruised on their way. Next they were faced with a great silver column rising in mid-ocean where there was no land. It had four sides, each measuring two oar-strokes in width, so that the compass of a column was eight strokes. The base could not be seen through the depth of water. A silver mesh was seen hanging down from the summit of these towers and as they passed under it Maelduin warned his folk not to cut it with their spears, "for what we see is surely the work of mighty men." However a man named Diuran cut away a sample saying that he would place it on the high altar at Armagh if he were lucky enough to return to Ireland. At that a voice issued from the top of the columns and if the men of Ireland could not understand the language they understood the mood of the speaker and hoisted their sails before the wind. Thereafter, they approached another large island, on which they found a vast plain, grassy and smooth and nearby a strong fortress enclosing "a goodly furnished home." There rode out from this place a woman arrayed in a blue hood, purple embroidered mantle with gold embroidered gloves. There were sandals on her feet and the horse furnishings were finely adorned. She returned to the fortress without approaching them, but afterwards a maidservant came to them inviting them within the walls. They were, again, royally entertained and as they were about to depart on the following morning the lady of the house suggested: “ Stay here for this is a place where old age has no place; rather you will keep what age you have at present and long life will follow attended by every joy and delight." Obviously, the travellers had attained Hy Brazil. "Why," questioned the sidh-queen, "go wandering longer from island to island under the western sun?" "How came you
here" asked Maelduin? She replied: "There dwelt a good man on this isle and I was his wife and these seventeen maidens his daughters and our children. When he died their was no heir, so I am queen, and go daily to judge the disputes of those others who live here." Following her advice they lived with the sighe for three winter months but it seemed to them more like three years and they soon talked of nothing but Ireland. When Maelduin refused to set sail for home the men murmured that Maelduin had more love for the queen of this place than his homeland and friends. Convinced by them, Maelduin once set sail, but the queen threw a clew and line after them and drew them back to dockside. Thereafter the group remained hostage for nine more months. On the next escape attempt, the queen threw the clew again and it lodged in the arm of a sailor. Seeing this Maelduin cut the arm off with his sword and thus they escaped from Tir-nan-Og. At the next stop, they plucked red berries from trees which looked like willows or hazel. It fell Maelduin's lot to sample this fruit, but the juice plunged him into a coma and they thought he was dead. After twelve hours be became conscious although hung-over. So his crew gathered the fruit of the land, moderating its alcoholic effect by mingling it with water. Thus supplied they rowed eastward. At another large island overgrown with yew and oak trees, they found meadows, sheep, a Christian church and a fortress. Within the church was an ancient cleric, who declared himself, "the fifteenth man in a community of blessed monks. We went forth on our pilgrimage upon the boundless ocean and came to this island. All are dead except me." Here they lived for another season. In the spring a huge eagle-like bird came to their island carrying green leaves and grape-like berries in its talons. It sat wearily pecking at the fruit as Maelduin and his men approached, but the bird did not heed them. Later that day, the first bird was joined by three others and then they flew off into the quarter from which they had come. The nearby lake was reddened by the berries the birds carried and Diurin became convinced that a plunge into the waters
would renew his youth. The others were less certain, but Diurin did bathe, and fact or fancy, he suffered no weakness nor infirmity, nor failing of eyesight, nor loss of tooth or hair throughout a very long life. Bidding farewell to their host they sailed now to an island around which was a fiery moving magical circle. Within it was an open doorway and as it came opposite them they could briefly see the indwellers, humans who were beautifully formed and dressed. "Pleasant it was to harken to their drinking songs and hard to depart, so delightful was their voices."They now turned the prow southward and found a man plastered close to a broad rock clothed only in his own white hair. "I was from Rorach in Ireland," admitted the man, a cook at a monastery. Is old the food and treasures of my brethren for treasures and jewels and became proud and haughty. They rejected me so I set to sea in a hide boat but I was driven to mid-ocean by contrary winds and in this place came upon one like myself but sitting upon a wave. When he asked where I was bound he said that my only destination would be a land of the damned for he could see I was surrounded by a crowd of sea-demons. Then he demanded I throw my treasures overboard or that my craft would remain motionless on the sea." So I did so and then landed upon this crag where I have lived for seven years and now do penance. Here I receive food each day and neither wind, nor wet, nor cold affects me." Then the hermit said, "You will all reach home except one man. And Maelduin you will have your murderer, but slay him not, for the God has spared you many times from perils at sea.” So they continued to the next place, an island filled with sidh playing and laughing without pause. The one who explored here did not return to the ship just as the two holy men had predicted. After this they landed on another island deserted of all but cattle, kine, oxen and sheep. Here they saw falcons exactly like those found in Ireland, so they noted their direction when they flew into the southeast and they rowed after them. Their next landfall was that which had been first in their voyage. At the door of the fortress on
that island they heard a man muttering that Maelduin was on their trail. A second said it was more likely he had drowned, while a third suggested, "Mayhaps he will wake you from your sleep tonight." "What shall we do when he comes?" asked a fourth. "Welcome him gladly, " suggested the chief among them, "for I have waited too long for his vengeance and he has suffered much in getting it!" At that Maelduin struck the knocker on the door and entered to tell his former enemies of the great things seen on the oceansea. Afterwards Maelduin retired to his own district and Diurin took the silver net he had stolen and laid it on the altar at Armagh. These adventures were soon carried far and wide; the high-bard of Ireland remembered them, and they were afterwards written down “so that men might appreciate the marvels and the generosity of the Christian God.” IMMRAM CORMAC MAC ART. Of all the ancient kings of Ireland, it is Cormac mac Art who is remembered as the greatest patron of the senachies and the historians of Ireland. Lugaid turned out to be a rude, ill-tempered high king, little mourned at his death. Cormac came and claimed his father’s throne, but at the investiture, a rival named Fergus Black-Tooth managed to accidently singe the young king’s beard giving him a blemish that disbarred him. The Black-Tooth became king for the year it took for Cormac’s face to heal, but he returned with an army and overthrew the usurper at Crionna on the Boyne. The Book of Ballymote says: “There now came to kingship Cormac, and the world became replete with good things: food from the land, gifts from the sea. There were neither woundings nor robberies in his time.” Another ancient account adds: “He was a king of great good judgement and Eirinn was prosperous in his day. Just judgements were made by him, and no man dare wound another, during the short jubilee of his seven years.” He did not always take wise council, and when his high steward persuaded him that the Munstermen paid too little in taxes
he warred against them and was forced into a humiliating settlement when they defeated him in Limerick. On a personal level he was a good man. When he saw that his wife Ethne was taking advantage of his concubine Ciarnat, he said nothing in rebuke of his wife but introduced the first water wheel into Ireland so that the unfortunate girl could grind the amount of grain that the queen set for her. A deeply religious man Cormac rebuilt Tara and reinstated the house of virgins that had charge of the fires of Beul. Dunlaing mac Edna once broke into this sacred retreat and killed those in the grove, and for that Leinster was levied an additional tribute for the support of the Samhain and Beltane. It is claimed that the connections that Cormac’s father had with the Otherworld were maintained and that his court, numbering more than 1000 paid staff members, welcomed visitors from all the lands: “The Galls, Romans, Franks, Frisians, Albanians, Saxons, Cruithnians (Picts), for all these men came seeking him, and he repaid their interest with gold and silver, with steeds, and with presents of chariots. But they came not for these prizes but because none was more celebrated, more dignified, or more wise...” At his court Cormac entertained the ambassadors of Manann mac Ler and was himself invited to travel to the west. It is said that he was approached by an young man who appeared on the green of Tara, and given a silver branch heavy with nine red apples. When he asked the use of this artifact Cormac was told that when the branch was shaken it had the capacity to easy the pain of wounded men, women in childbirth and those enfeebled by illness of any kind. Cormac therefore asked if the branch was for sale, and was told that it could be available if the king was willing to pay the price. Without thinking what he said the king admitted that he would pay any price for such a useful tool. The youth then claimed the king’;s wife, his daughter and his son as payment, and Cormac was forced to comply. When the family members learned that they would be separated from the father they were sorrowful, but Cormac shook the sigh
branch amidst them causing them to forget all sorrow and care when the departed with the young man into the west. After a year of loneliness Cormac decided to attempt to trace his lost family. It is said that the king travelled “through a dark magical mist” on a “wondrous plain.” Emerging he found men busily erecting a house, whose roof was being thatched with bird feathers, but as the workmen rode off to fetch additional feathers, one half of the roof, or the other, alternately flew away, so that it seemed the building project might go on forever. In another place Cormac watched a youth attempting to build a fire, but before he could fetch a second tree, the first was reduced to embers, so that he also seemed engaged in unending labour. Cormac journeyed on into this strange country and came, at last, two three wells, each covered by an immense stone head. Nearby he spotted a sheiling and entering found “a tall couple clad in many-hued garments.” They greeted the king and asked him to stay for the night. For food the country-man went hunting and returned with a wild boar, which he spitted and placed over a log in the floor hearth. When it came time to start the fire the stranger suggested that Cormac tell a true story, but the king suggested that the host tell one of his own, since the first story was by laws of hospitality the duty of one giving shelter . Thus the stranger said that the boar was one of seven similar swine and that these alone could provide enough flesh to feed the world. “For if a pig is killed and if the bones are returned to the stye it will be seen to be alive by morning.” This seemed a fabrication, but the fire burst into roaring life and the first quarter of the pig was cooked. The woman of the house was next asked for her story and she said she possessed seven white cows able to give enough milk to satisfy all the people of the world. This was also a true story, and so the third quarter was cooked. Cormac was now required to tell a story which would cook his quarter of the animal, and he said that he was on imrama, a search for his wife, son and daughter who had
been born away from him a year past by a fay-youth. At this the man of the house smiled as the fire burst into activity a third time.” Indeed, this is the truth, and now it appears we need company for this feast” At those words a portal opened and the family of Cormac entered. “It was I who was that youth,” said the older man, “and I who led you into this, my kingdom. Eat now and drink!” And while they ate Manann mac Ler commented on the parables to be seen in the western lands: “Those who thatched the roof with feathers, these were men who in earlier time sought riches and fame to build their house. The young men dragging hopelessly upon trees, they are those who labour for others,; much trouble is their due, but they are never able to warm themselves at their own fires. The three heads at the well consist of one which passes water and gets water; one which gets water but delivers none, and a third which receives water from the other two but gives up nothing, and this last is the worst of men.” When they had feasted Manann spread the table with a fresh cloth and said, “This covering may be asked for food and it will deliver to all deserving folk. From his belt he took a goblet and set it on the palm of his hand saying, “This cup has virtue in that a false story will shatter it, and a true story make it whole again, and these shall be thy recompense for the bother you have had in coming to my domain. And when they had eaten and slept, and visited, they rose in the morning and found themselves transported back to Tara, and beside them were the promised objects as well as the silver branch, which was afterwards found to serve as a eye on the Otherworld, and a key to passage to that western place. The Fomorian treasures which Cormac possessed were lost to men after his death. Cormac’s daughter Gráinne became engaged to Fionn mac Cumhail with unfortunate consequences for all of Ireland. One of his sons, Cellach was slain by a Dési warrior named Aonghas for raping his daughter. In the
process the butt of the man’s spear blighted the king by putting out one of his eyes. Cormac did not respond in kind, but exiled that clan to Meath, which was regarded as their patrimony. These men were not satisfied with old land and allied themselves with the king of Munster who eventually settled them in Waterford, a place still associated with the Dési. Cormac retired to Cleite Acaill, on the Boyne, where he spent his time writing a book concerning the requirements of kinship, another dealing with criminal law, and a third treating ancient historic and genealogic information. Unfortunately the last book exists only as fragments quoted by later writers. Although Cormac died in the year 267, more than 150 years before the coming of Christianity to Ireland, and had great respect for the old ways, there is an ancient tract identifying him as the third Irish monarch converted to the beliefs of Christ before the coming of missionaries. Tradition says that the great king of the Irish requested that he should not be buried facing the gods of the west, as was the fashion with his ancestors interred at Brugh na Boann, but that he be placed in the earth of Ros na Riogh, looking east for the “holy light that would soon make Erinn radiant.” Disregarding this nonsense, the druids of the court bore his body across the river to the Brugh but on the way a great wave swept down the river and carried his corpse to Ros na Riogh, and here his last wish was respected. IMMRAM FIONN MAC CUMHAIL, “The Voyage of Finn Mac Cool.” The “Chase of Gilla Dacar,” sometimes referred to as the “Gruff Servant,” is one of the Fenian tales in which the handsome Diarmuid played a starring role. When the summer service of the Fionn was over, the army made its fall encampment at Knockany in Munster, three battalions being encamped here to live off the land by hunting. In the particular year that is of interest, Fionn appointed Conan as master of the camp, while Diarmuid was named the leader of the chase. Once, while the principals of the hunt awaited the results of a chase by their hounds they were approached by a churl, “a huge, ugly, misshapen
fellow dragging along by brute force a great raw-boned, sway- backed mare.” It was noticed that his chest was “as broad as a door,” and that he was “wide-mouth, gaptoothed, with a head as shaggy as that of a wolf.” All in all, a presentable Fomorian giant! He carried an iron-mounted club, and when it banged against the horse’s side, she echoed like a hollow kettle. The horse’s ribs showed through a thoroughly flea-bitten hide. The horse looked so slight that every blow from the club seemed destined to cause it to fall sideways. This fellow announced that he wished to become a servant to Fionn, and said he was called the Gilla Daccar, or “Hard Gilly,” because he was a stranger to obedience and service. The members of the Fionn laughed at this, but Fionn considered the stranger with a degree of seriousness, and finally, he was voted into the company. Conan was instructed to the lead the new servant’s animal to the common land, but there it raised a commotion with the other steeds kicking and biting and snarling until there was total confusion on the grazing field. To ease this matter, Conan attempted to mount the nag to ride her out of the field. As he did so she fell to the ground with him in place and refused to rise. Laughing at this, the gillie suggested that a few others mount her, “She’s not used to so little weight my lad!” Getting into the spirit of the moment, thirteen men mounted themselves behind Conan Baldhead, and suddenly, to everyone's surprise, the mare sprung to her feet her bowed back becoming suddenly horizontal. All the Fionn laughed uproariously at this scene but the gillie took offense and said,”The humans of Ireland need not mock my horse. It that’s the way its to be I’ll leave Ireland, and tell other Fomorians not to hire out to such uncivil men.” Before there could be any response to this, the gillie walked off bawling after his horse to follow. At first the pace was measured, but then it picked up, and the fourteen unfortunates found themselves unable to detach themselves from the back of this magical animal. As she ran, the hollows in her sides filled out, and she became a full-
blooded white animal of majestic appearance. In the distance Fionn called his men to pursuit, but only Liagin the Swift made any advance on the galloping animal and her master. The chase terminated after the whole party burst into the ravines of Kerry, with the western ocean standing directly before them. Here it was thought that the gallop must end, but the mare galloped directly upon the sea. At this Liagin made a desperate grasp at the animal’s tail, and became the fifteenth man lost to the Fionn, for he could not release his grasp. Soon the seas-horse disappeared over the horizon, lost in the fabled regions of the west. Fionn and his warriors now consulted about their next move, and finally decided to outfit a sea-going craft to go in search of their abducted comrades. Some say that the men built a huge ocean-ready raft. “When that was done they made sails out of their mantles, put on board venison, took water, and sailed out upon the great sea.” The time they were at sea varies from a single day to “many days of voyaging,” the latter seeming a more likely period for any land not known to these folk. Their imrama took them, at last, to a cliff-faced landfall, which was beyond the climbing abilities of most men. Fionn and most of his men had to pause on the narrow beaches “to make ladders and hack out footholds.” Diarmuid being the most agile member of the crew, climbed the precipitous cliff using natural hand holds, and at the summit discovered a rough country with woods standing before a high mountain. Within the woods he discovered a well-worn path that led to a well. Seeing nobody about, he took a drinking-horn, dipped it into the well, and drank his fill. Almost immediately a warrior pushed his way out through the woods and challenged Diarmuid for drinking from his horn. Seeing no retreat from the man’s sword, Diarmuid pulled his own and began to fight. Although the
Champion of the Well was an experienced fighter he lacked Diarmuid’s stamina, and finally flung his sword into the well diving in after it. For two subsequent days, the hero hunted the nearby woods and returned at dusk for another draught of water, and an additional battle. In each case, Diarmuid tried to extend a hand in friendship, but the knight was always hostile, and on the third occasion, the Champion got his hands about Diarmuid’s waist and pulled him down into the deep. As the pair sank through the water, the human’s senses faded, but he regained them as he was dragged upward through a watersoaked passageway ringed with stone, that ended in the courtyard of a fortress. Armed men stood all about him. “Keep this one captive,” demanded the Champion of the Well,”hopefully he may be the only Irish champion of the Fionn that the King of Sorca has been able to bring into action against me.” As for Fionn, he and his men were all this time climbing the cliff, and at the top they came on signs of Diarmuid’s movements. They came at last to the well, where Diarmuid had been captured and here Fionn gave the cry of the Fionn hoping that Diarmuid might be able to answer. But he was in no position to respond if he did hear the rallying cry, and there came instead a sigh-chieftain who identified himself as Abartach, the “Bold One,” the king of Sorca , the “Bright Place.” “I am threatened by the King of Tir Fo Thuinn, the “Land Beneath the Flood,” he explained, “the one who would take from me the treasures that make me supreme in this realm, the Great Spear, the Stone and the Cauldron of the Deep.” Hearing this Fionn said, “Methinks you are the Gruff Gillie, why should I take sides against the King of the Undersea World against one who has stolen my comrades?” To this the king replied, “Search deep in your memory for my name, I have a promise from your folks from an elder day.” Fionn did recall that his father had been one of those entertained in a distant part of the western world,
and recalled that the host had been Albartach. Thus, like Cuchullain , Fionn became the reluctant ally of a sighpeople. This settled, the king of Sorca led men of the Fionn to a great cavern in the earth, and they entered passages and after a day’s travel by torchlight came to a fortress. There they were met with hospitality, but none of the retainers of Sorcasay anything concerning the fate of Diarmuid. In this interval, the hero with the love-spot lay unguarded but disarmed in courtyard of the king of the Land Under the Flood. While he slept, Diarmuid was approached in a dream by Morag (the Mhorrigan), who introduced herself as the sister of the king of Donn, the ruler of the Land Under Waves. “She was the one of the three colours - the whiteness of snow, the redness of blood, and the blackness of the raven that drinks the blood that has flowed on the snow. She was graceful in her stature and graceful in all her movements,” but apparently unaware of Diarmuid’s beauty-spot for she claimed to be in love with Fionn. “Take me to Fionn for I can aid your cause!” Diarmuid tended to believe her, but said he had know knowledge of where his leader was located. The lady being a boabd of considerable powers said that he was presently with the king of Sorca, and she led him by a secret passage from her brother’s realm to the place where the armies of his opposition were assembling. While the men of Sorca prepared for war, Diarmuid placed Morag within a ring of shields under a magical rowan tree where she would be safe from her “brother.”In the battle neither army yielded until Diarmuid’s sword pierced the shield of Donn. With that done Abartach was declared the victor, and Fionn was led off to be introduced to Morag: “When the harps played Morag chanted a poem meant for Fionn alone, and remembering that he had once been a bard, Fionn returned the compliment. Then the sigh-wom an turned to Fionn and said, enigmatically, “I shall be with you in Ireland!” Considering this promise, Fionn made
no further demand on the king for his services, but Conan wanted the use of the “mare of the ocean:” “Put fourteen women of this realm on her back, and let your own mare, who is queen of this place, bear up in the rear where Liagan was forced to hold, then return us all to our homeland.” The other fourteen who had been abducted cheered for this plan. the king of Sorca merely smiled and turned to Fionn saying, “Look now upon your men. When he did as he was told, the Fionn were no longer in a strange land but on the wide beach below the hills of Kerry. The people of the west gone. There was no sign of the fourteen handmaidens, but Fionn found at his side Morag. “He lifted the woman on his shield so that she could see her new home. And with shouts and songs they all marched inland to Fionn’s house which was on the hill at Alma. The sigh-woman in this tale is sometimes named Tasgaidh, loosely translated as “Tasha,” but having the real-meaning of “a treasury,” or “depository for good things.” In any instance this story clearly represents another form of the rape of An Domhain, the treasure which was carried away being represented in this instance as the female spirit of the deep. Morag may also confer with another woman possessed by Fionn, namely Sadb, a daughter of Boabd Dearg. Her name translates as the “straying-” or “lounging-one.” She was supposedly shape-changed into a fawn by the “Dark Druid” for some unspecified offense. One day while Fionn was hunting near his home fortress he came across her in this form and kept her from being killed by hounds. That night she appeared to her rescuer in human form, and became his mistress. They lived happily for a while, but the Dark Druid hearing she had been released from her spell, pursued her and made certain that she had no further relations with Fionn. Fionn searched Ireland attempting to recover her, but at Ben Bulben came upon a naked boy reputedly raised by a doe. Fionn recognized him as his own son by Sabd and called him Oisin or “Little
Fawn.” One can guess that the “Dark Druid” was Donn who tracked the lady for her duplicity in the battles of the Fionn with the king of the Land Under the Flood. IMMRAM OISIN, Oisin, the “Cornerstone,” became, in his day, the most famous bard in Ireland, as well as a redoubtable warrior. On a summer morning this champion of the Fionn mac Cumhail was standing with his father on the shores of Loch Lena, when they saw riding along the strand a maiden riding a snow white steed, like those seen in the kingdom of Manann. It was said that she wore a dark brown mantle that had the look of silk, and that the material was set with stars of metallic red gold. She wore a golden crown on her head and a crest of gold nodded on her horse’s head, while his hoofs were shod with silver. When she had come near Fionn asked her name, and she responded saying, “I am Nèamh (Heaven, the Scared Grove), she of the Golden Hair, and what brings me here is the love of the man Oisin.” Turning to Oisin she asked if he was ready to depart with her to her father’s land in the west, and he replied, “That I will, and to the ends of the world if thou wish it!” And it was said that he cared no more for earthly things so vital was the fairy spell which she projected. Then the two men stood transfixed as she spoke of Tir Tairnigri, the “Land of Promise.” Afterwards Fionn tried to recall all that was said on that breathless morning, and recalled that what had passed went something like this:
Fairer than any thine eyes have ever seen. There all year about fruit falls from the tree, And all the year long the bloom is on the flower. There with wild honey drip the forest trees; The stores of wine and mead shall never fail. Nor pain nor sickness known the dweller there,
Death and decay come near him never more. The feast cloys not, of chase none tire, Nor music ceases though forever through the halls; The gold and jewels of the Land of Youth Outshine every treasure of this world of men. Thou shall have horses of the sigh-breed. Thou shall have hounds that run down the wind; A hundred chiefs shall follow thee in war, A hundred maidens sing thee to thy sleep. The And And And crown of sovranty thy brow shall bear, by thy side a magic blade shall hang, thou shalt be lord of all the Land of Youth Lord of Neamh who wears the golden crown.
Before any further words could pass,Neamh turned her sigh-horse in the direction of the setting sun, shook the bells of the bridle, took up her man with her strong left arm, and fled down the wind. Although Oisin was never again seen by his father his association with men was not at an end. It is written that when the white horse of the sea reached the western ocean, it ran lightly upon that great plain away from Ireland. As they approached the distant sun,, it shone more fiercely, and the riders passed into a yellow haze in which Oisin lost all sense of time and place. At that, dream like images floated by on either side: towers and palace gateways ebbed and flowed, and once a hornless deer-like animal chased by a white hound with one red ear was seen. Again, the travellers saw a young maid ride by on the water upon another white sea-horse, her left hand bearing a golden apple. After her their came a young horseman on a third white horse, his purple cloak floating soundlessly behind him on the wind. Oisin asked Neamh who these persons were and where they journeyed, but the golden-haired one warned him that such questions were dangerous, and that it was better for
passers-by to ignore the phantoms they perceived on the way to the Land of Youth. In the Land itself Oisin was the hero in many adventures as his princess had promised: He once rescued a beautiful maiden from the keep of an evil Fomor and begat several male children by the princess of that far land including the far-famed Plur na mBan, the “Flower of Women.” After what seemed to him to be three weeks of intensive sensual delights, Oisin expressed his wish to be returned to Ireland so that he could visit his father and his old comrades. Neamh agreed on the promise that he would eventually return to the west, but she cautioned him that things might not be exactly as he had left them. With that she made him the loan of a white horse, suggesting that he remain mounted while in the land of men. In that country he found nothing of the Feinn or the world he had known and at last came to the suspicion that several hundred years of time had elapsed in the east in what had seemed to him less than a month. There, seeking to help some workers remove a stone from a field, he fell upon the earth, and immediately aged. In Christian versions of the tale it was said that Oisin met and was entertained by Saint Patrick but he was never converted to the new religion, and presumably returned to Tir Tairnigri when he died. IMMRAM SNEDGUSS AGUS MEIC RIAGLA, “The Voyage of Snedgus and mac Riagla.” which has been preserved in the Yellow Book of Lecan dating from the fourteenth century but is considered to date at least to the second half of the ninth century. In it, the men of Ross successful killed Fiacha mac Domnaill righ “for his intolerable tyrannies.” All were found guilty before the law and sixty couples were sentenced to banishment as ringleaders of the uprising. Two Christian monks, Snedgus and mac Riagla , sat as judges but they were sympathetic to the cause of the men whose fate was left “to the Great Ocean.”
Afterwards they set out on a voluntary pilgrimage following in the wake of the earlier curraghs. It is said that they drifted north-west “in the outer ocean” and after three days their thirst became almost intolerable. Christ took pity on them and brought them into “a river within the sea,” where the water had the taste and sustaining qualities of tepid milk. Afterwards they visited many other islands, at last reaching a landfall where they met people who spoke Irish Gaelic. Their first encounter was with a group of women who sang to them and told them that many generations of Irish considered this land home. They were eventually taken to the court of the king of that place, and he received them well asking their origin and mission. It was obvious that the king had knowledge of the earlier civil war in Ireland for he asked, “How goes it in Ireland, and how many of Domnaill’s sons still live?” They answered that three remained, “but Fiacha mac Domnaill fell by the men of Ross, and for that deed sixty couples were banished to the seas.” The king smiled and responded, “That is a true story: I am he who killed the King of Tara’s son (i.e. Fiacha) and we are partly those who were sent to sea. This action was well for us, for we will stay here until Judgement Day, and be none the worse for it, for this is a land without sin, without evil, and without sinful desires. This island we live on has been good to us, for it is the birthright of Elijah and Enoch.” Thinking this place suited their needs the two clerics remained presumably enjoying immortality in this western retreat. INA SPREACHAIBH NIMHE, “venomous sparks.” a gisreag or fiery spell. The effect of
IN CATTAIB, among the Cats. The ancient people of Sutherlandshire and modern Caithness. Shortened to Cataibh, “Cat-devil.” This word is analogous to the Irish Cat-raige, a “Cat-villain.” There are also references in Irish literature to Inse Catt, an “Island of Cats,” which is
not geographically identified. Prior to the Norse invasions the northeastern tip of Scotland was termed Cat-cape. The modern Caith-ness shows the Norse influence in using ness, a “neck” of land. In addition to Sutherlandshire and Caithness there was also the district between the Ord of Caithness and Dunrobin, once known as Machair Chat, the “Lowlands of the Cats.” The high ground was Braigh Chat, the “Upland of Cats,” and was described as lying on the two sides of the River Shin. The Parish of Kildonan used to be Dithreabh Chat, the “Wilderness of the Cats.” It is sometimes said that the Cats entered Sutherland from Caithness occupying all but Strathnaver and Assynt. They are supposed to have been of Teutonic origin and to have landed first in Moray where they served as mercenaries to the folk in those parts. Notice that the Earls of Sutherland accepted the title Morair Chat and portrayed a cat in fighting posture above their arms. Notice also that the Kyle of Sutherland was Caol Catach. The Norsemen regarded the mainland Cats as a tribe of Picts and they referred to the narrow sea north of their territory as Pettaland-fjorthr , the Pictland Firth, now called Pentland Firth. See catt. IN ORCAIB, among the Orcs, or “Boars.” Having reference to the Orkney Islands north of mailnad Scotland. Similarly shortened to Orcaib and presently represented as Arcaibh. The Latin Orcas was a name applied to the islands before 300 B.C so a Celtic boar-people must have been a presence by that time. There is also Denork in Fife which derives from Dun-orc, the “Fortress of the Boars.” INDECH MAC DOMNANN. INDECH MAC DE DOMMNAND. A Fomorian warrior, the son of the god Don, killed by Ogma at the second Battle of Magh Tuireadh. As he lay wounded he called for his personal poet Leat Glas, but the man could not help him for Mhorrigan acted against the Fomorians, This goddess of battle had promised to favour the Tuatha daoine and it is said that she took Indech’s blood from him and gave it to the enemy armies “from the full of her two hands.” “She gave it all to those at the ford of Unius, which was afterwards renamed the Ford of Destruction. “Indech son of
the goddess Domnu” has been described as “a man possessed or arts and accomplishments.” These were undoubtedly of a magical nature. His residence was the Western Islres of Scotland, His mother was the tutelary divinity of these islands and is distinct from, but parallel to, the landgoddess Danu. INGCÉL CÅECH The one-eyed son of the king of Britain. Exiled by his father he joined Conaire Mor’s dissident foster brothers and the Maines, who were the sons of Aillil and Mebd. Together they raided and plundered both Britain and Ireland. Their final raid was the totally illegal destruction of Da Derga’s Hostel, where Conaire Mor ard-righ was slain. INNE, genius, bowel, entrail, sewer, kennel, cf English innards. Also those who dissected animals and men seeking knowledge or omens from the condition of their innards. Innrach, to curse. INNIS, an island, sheltered valley, pasture land, a headland; Ir. inis, pl. inisi, Cy. ynys, Cor. enys, Bry. enes, Lat. insula, the Celt en-sti, “in-standing,” “standing in the sea.” INNIS CATT, “The Isle of Cats. The ancient name given the Shetlands. See cattaib. INNIS CENN-FHINNE, the “Island of Caer of the Fair-hair.” located somewhere in the western Atlantic. The undersea “island” where the “Fair-Haired Women” sat doing embroidery and borders when they were approached by Brian the eldest son of Clann Tuireann. “He put on his water dress and after a long time walking in the sea looking for the island he came upon them. And among the other things they possessed was a cooking spit which was part of his quest/ And when Brian saw it he took it up in his hand and he was going to bring it with him to the door of the place. But the women began laughing when they saw him doing that, and here is what they said: “It is a brave deed you are attempting; for even if your brothers were with you, the least of these three times fifty women could wrestle that
spit from you. But for all that, take the spit of all spits with you, since you had the daring to try in spite of what we can do.” INNIS EIGG, egg or ygg, conferring with eige, a web, the root of figh, to weave, a word corresponding exactly with the English witch. Notice also that Ygg is the Old Norse as well as the Anglo-Saxon form for egg, and this was an eddaic name for the god Odin, the chief of the wics and viks (witches and wizards). "The "long theine" (tall fire) is regularly seen off the Isle of Eigg (the inner Hebridean island which must never be mentioned by name at sea; it should be called (instead) Nem-Ban-More (The Island of Great Women)." It is never wise to mention the name of any god aloud as this brings his attention to the "petitioner." Odin, in particular, was known to have a short temper with men who called him without good reason. INNIS FION, the Wine Island, Ir. fíon, Bry, gwin, the Lat. vinum, from which vineyard, wine, winery etc., a mythic Atlantic landfall encountered by most of the early Gaelic explorers: In the Imrama Maelduin it is mentioned that his mariners came upon “an island where there were many trees, very like willow or hazel, with a wonderful fruit on them, much like apples or a wine-fruit, all having a large thick shell; its juice was so intoxicating that Maelduin, who sampled it, slept for a day and a night, and when he awoke, advised his companions to gather all of this fruit they could, for the world possessed no better drink.” The soporific effect was so strong the juice had to be mixed with water to adulterate its power over the mind. Wine has a prominent place in other tales of adventure, thus the mic Ua Corrae brothers (12th century) arrived at an island where they were surprised to find a stream of wine wandering through an oak forest. They drank only a little of these dark waters but did consume “apples” found growing on the banks of the stream, and afterwards
reported “feeling no war wounds, sickness, nor weariness from travel.” Saint Brendan also came upon Lat. Insula Uvarum, another “Wine Island,” where the hero intoxicated himself by eating fruit and drinking from a dark-stained stream. Fridtjof Nansen thought that classical tales of similar places influenced the Irish, but the reverse is just as probable. In any instance, he was also convinced that the Gaelic island had to be related to the Old Norse Vinland hit Gótha , which is now largely identified with costal North America: “As Norway, and still more Iceland, were closely connected in ancient days with Ireland, and as the Norse literature in many ways shows traces of Irish influence, one is disposed to think that idea of Wineland may have first reached Iceland from that quarter.” Nansen notes that one of the oldest source for a comment on Vinland “the Good,” is Hauk’s Landnámabók which relates the voyage of Are Mársson to Hvitramannaland (White man’s land). Interestingly, he picked up the tale from Ravn “Hlymreks-farer,” by way of Thorfinn, the Earl of Orkney (1064), who in turn told some unidentified Icelanders, who told Thorkel Gellison, who was, coincidentally, Are’s uncle. This note says that Ravn was a wanderer “who had long been at Limerick in Ireland.” As for Hvitramannaland “which some call “Irland hit Mikla,” (i.e. Ireland the Great) it was said to lie “westward in the Atlantic close by “Vindland” the Good. It is reckoned to be six “doegr’s” sail from Iceland.” In the Sturlubók, a similar Atlantic island is alluded to as “Irland et Goda.” (Ireland the Good). This has confused generations of readers as “Irland et Mikla” appears directly before it. This seeming repetition has been ascribed to “a copyists error,” but Nansen thinks it more probable that two places are indicated, the latter corresponding with “White man’s land,” the former with “Vinland the Good:” so “Irland et Gotha” may be a corresponding name for Wineland. (If so) we should again be led to Ireland as the home of the name.” Nansen has noted that “a combination of “hit gótha” with a proper name is otherwise unknown (in Old Norse literature), and points to Landit Gótha (Land of the Good or the Gods) as
the original form.” The Gaelic equivalent would be Tir nan Uath, the “Land of Dread,” which seems to fall back on the old Celtic god named Heuz or Ugh. The Old Norse form is more comfortably remote, and does not directly beg any unwanted attention from this westerner. A similar line is followed in England and Scotland where the fay-folk are openly called the “good people,” the “good neighbours,” or “the people of peace.” INNIS FLEODRADH, a floating island. Fleodradh, floating, is peculiar to the Hebrides, fleodruinn, a float or buoy from the Norse fljöta, the Eng. to float. Mythic western islands which were unapproachable unless visited by fire or “cold steel.” “On the coast of the English Channel sailors have stories of floating islands, which many of them have seen with their own eyes.” The most famous of these in the western Atlantic was Hy Breasil. See Tir-fo-Tonn, the “Land under the Waves.”. According to the Eyrbyggja Saga the “White man’s Land” was a forbidden place, like the island retreats of the morganu, the occasionally virginal druidic priestesses. We are reminded also of Mannann mac Ler’s Tir-nan-Og which was hidden from all but the most persistent men. Manann’s land was personally guarded by him and his sea-steeds and was cloaked in fog, or was magically submerged, or floated away when men attempted to approach. Remember that Glith the “glittering island” of the Anglo-Saxons was also seen only after men penetrated “a great darkness and mist.” The islands possessed by the Daoine sidh were very unstable places and some are referred to as the Innis fleodradhe or “floating islands,” because of their un-rooted condition. These islands are represented in the Swedish island of Sjóhaj or Flåjgland, which is also given as Smörland, and is located near Gotland. The first word suggests a mirage at sea, while the second comes from fluga, the English “to fly,” in other words, that which drifts about, a floating land
or island. Today the second word has the reduced sense of “looming from fog,” but it was probably once taken literally. Smörland also has a counterpart in Gaelic in Tir nan Smior, and the Norse form harks back to smör, grease , in particular butter, hence a fertile land. Many Scandinavian place names tack this on as a laudatory prefix, and it is seen in many Shetland names, for example Smeerin , the “fertile pasture;” Smernadal, the “valley with the fat pasture;” and Smeer-meadow. These all accentuate the valuable qualities of the place or the property. Thus in one of the sagas it is said of ancient Iceland that “it dripped butter from every blade of grass.” Legends of islands or even countries that disappeared or moved are widely diffused and numerous. In classical lore there is Delos, which was magically fixed among the Cycades. The Baleric islands and the Gorgades were of the same class as were the Hespirides. There was also Perditia. The are obviously different from the Spanish kingdom of Tartessos and oceanic Atlantis, which sank below the waves never to reappear. Ireland itself had an unstable reputation in ancient times and it was said to have floated on the Atlantic during the World Flood. At various times a floating island has been observed rafting about among the Faroes, and no one has yet been able to land on it. There are many such islands about the coast of Britain, and the English Channel is famous for these places that “always fly away before ships,” on which men are apparently not allowed to land. In Spanish folklore the best known floating island is San Morondon. Sailors have said that this islands are towed by the Devil, and that they host “the souls of dead men who are damned and must stay there until Judgement Day. One some of them terrible roars are heard, and the meeting with such an island is considered a sinister warning.” The concept of the vanishing island is sometimes embodied in the Old Norse villulland, which derives from Vili , the elemental god whose name means “water.” The related villa has the sense of a mirage,
illusion or glamour. The fabulous island of Frisland is called Villi-Skotland in one manuscript. Nansen thinks this makes it Irland it Mikla since “Scotland” was anciently the northern fraction of Ireland. Are Mársson was one of the visitors to this illusive place, which is apropos considering that his half-brother Kar was the result of his mother’s four-night stand with an elf-man. There are many such islands on the coast of Norway, and it was often said that they only arose from the depths or drifted into human sea-lanes at night or in thick fog. By the light of day they always vanished. It was said that they could made stable and visible by bringing fire upon them (this element was antagonistic to water) or by bringing man-made steel or iron upon them. The huldrafolk disliked losing their undersea property and often drowned the individual responsible for such an act. To avoid direct responsibility men often tied some metal object to an animal and then threw it from a boat so that it was forced to seek out the mirage. This supposedly explains why so many islands along the European coast bear the names of animals. Remember that Ireland itself was once named “Sow Island?” The animal chosen to do the deed was quite often a pig, the sow being preferred over the boar. This animal was of course symbolic of the sun-god, and its landing on a fay-island was the equivalent of sending fire ashore. There is also the point that the pig was the most compact animal carried on long sea voyages. Where no animal was available to act as a courier, a fiery arrow was sometimes shot ashore, it being difficult for the fay-folk to deduce who the archer had been. There are many Irish and Scottish Innis Mucce and the same holds for Scandinavia, where these “good-isles,” are seen bearing the designation svinöi, “swine.” Thus it is confidently said that Svinöi (in Nordland, Norway) came up, as well as Svinöi in the Faeroes, and doubtless it was the same with Svinöi or Landegode in Sunnmör. It was also through a sow that Tautra in Trondhjemsfjord was raised...and even Oland in Limfjord (Jutland) became visible through a sow with steel bound on
it.” Other islands were thought to have been brought to the surface, or out of the mist, through the co-operation of a horse, a cow or an ox. Gotland itself was said to have been a fairyland raised by some such mechanism. It is said that some fairy lands remain submerged because they are beyond the swimming abilities of domestic animals. The idea that animals may home in on the unseen world or fertile land is also found in English and Scottish mythology: The Macleods came upon their ancestral homeland by following a black bull. Then there was the Anglo-Saxon gentlemen named Glasteing “who went in search of his dream-sow and followed her from Wellis by a difficult and boggy path,” which is still known as “The Sow’s Way.” Eventually he found her suckling her young under an apple tree on a small island. Glasteing knew that this was a fay-place and brought his family there to settle. This island was later termed Glasteing’s town or Glastynbury, and is sometimes said to be the site of the mysterious land of Avallonia. The Somerset sow is equally well known, and it is remembered for having eight legs like Odin’s horse. The fact of its fouling upon elf-lands led to their recovery by men. The sacred nature of the AngloSaxon sow is shown in the fact that it was termed asasoge, literally, “Asa’s sow,” or “Odin’s sow.” These female creatures obviously confer with the Walkyra or Nornr, who are the Celtic Bafinne. The lakes of Britain are even yet filled with sunken fairylands, whose bustle is heard, even where they are not seen. Giraldus Cambrensis (twelfth century) said that an ocean island was always seen on especially clear days off the west coast of Ireland, but vanished when people attempted to reach it. At last a boat load of men came within bowshot, put fire upon it and fixed the island in space and time. The most famous Gaelic island of this kind was Hy Breasil which, we are told, “appears above the sea once in every seventh year, resting there on the edge
of the azure sea...it would stay up if one could but cast fire on its strand.” Unapproachable islands are a part of North American Indian mythology and some of the Great Lakes tribes mention encountering mist enshrouded places where they could hear the birds signing but could not make a landfall no matter how hard they paddled. Again in Iroquois myth it was said that the creator-god operated from “a great island which floats in space.” Like all the “goodlands,” this was a place of “eternal peace, where abundance is such there are nor burdens to bear, where there is great fertility so that every want is precluded.” This was a land where there was “no desire, no sorrow, no pain to disturb the unending peace.” The suggestion is always made that this mythology must depend on European models but there is absolutely no evidence against exactly the opposite line of influence. In the Bay of Fundy Isle Haut appears to be one of the floating islands brought to some semblance of rest. At that, many local mariners contend that it drifts with the tide, shows magnetic anomalies, and even disappears in stormy weather. Sebillot (1886) noted the presence of another such place: “At Boston, in America, there is found a myth of an enchanted green land (Green Isle invariable confers with Hy Breasil) out in the sea to the east; it flies when anyone approaches, and no white man can reach this island, which is called “the island that flies.” An Indian, the last of his tribe, saw it a few times before his death, and set out to row to it, as he said to join the happy spirits. He disappeared in a storm the like of which has never been known, and after this the enchanted island was never seen again.” Clearly some of these islands are true villuland or “mirages” in the current sense of that word. Donald S. Johnson thinks that the mythical island of Buss, “discovered” by the Franklin Expedition, is in this category, a part of Greenland or Iceland refracted into the empty waters south east of these places. He notes that “the thermal inversions (due to differing air and water
temperatures) which make low-lying islands and even islands beyond the horizon appear as high mountains are not limited to Arctic regions.” The Bay of Fundy, for example, gets most of its water by way of the Labrador Current and there are sometimes substantial differences between water and air temperature. Johnson says he has seen “phantom islands” while sailing in Maine waters. The islands which are supposed to have been “rescued” by men pose a different question, and we have already suggested a partial answer earlier on: There has been general oceanic flooding, there has been subsidence of the ocean floor and there has been uplift and deposition. The loss of Buss Island can hardly be blamed on recent flooding as its charted place in the ocean is now almost a mile below sea level. Further, there has been no known seismic activity in that region to account for such massive subsidence. On the other hand, Sable Island, south-east of Nova Scotia, is very nearly a floating-island because of weathering and erosion. As noted earlier, land can be gained as well as lost, and the various “pig-islands” may not be fabulous but represent depositional ridges in the estuaries of rivers. INNIS EUN, EUNLAITH “Bird Island,” the “Island of Birds.” Celtic root pet, to fly. Latin. penna, wing, Eng. feather, Skr. patati, to fly. EIr. enlaith. May confer with the personal name Iain, Ian, Ion or Eoin, the last being the earliest form of the name; the equivalent of the Eng. John. One of mythic islands of the western Atlantic mentioned in virtually every tale of travel in that direction. INNIS FADA, FHADA. See earlier entry. INNIS IAIN, IAN, ION, EÔIN, “John’s Island,” probably a contraction of Eôghann, “sprung from Eô or Æsus (the god Aod or Hu). His name is also seen in Eochaid, “Eô the Traveller.” Conferring with ion, fit, not also ion- a prefix, fit, almost perfect, god-like, thus iongantach, wonderful and ionmhas, treasure. The name confers with Ewan,
Joanna, Joan and Jane. Cy. Jone, Fr. Jean, Jacques, It. Giovanni, Sp. Juan, Port. João, Germ. Johann, Johannes, Hans, Dan. Jan, Russ. Ivan. Diminished in Eng. as Johnny, Jack, Jock, the latter used in a humorous or contemptuous context. Used to indicate commonality thus a possible connection with eunlaith, birds. Note the now uncommon Eng. expressions: jack-of-all-trades, jack trot, a ne’er do well, johnny raw, an inexperienced recruit, jack tar, jacko’-lanthorn, jack-o’-wisp, jack sauce, an impudent fellow, jack’s island, no man’s land, also a mean fellow, jack stripper, a card cheat; all indicating individuals, or things, of low social worth or monetary value. Note the further connection with the Roman god Jove whose L.L. gen. is Djovis, which can be shown to compare with the northwestern European god Deus, another form of the continental Æsus. Obviously, a discredited deity although his name is still seen regularly in Tues-day. Elsewhere this god is shown to confer with the ON. Thor and with Tyrr, who may be his dialectic double. Note that the Jove, or Jupiter, resembled Thor in having charge of lightning and thunder. From the European standpoint the Atlantic is often seen as the source of thunder. Additionally, it was observed that the sun-gods all sank into the western waters at dusk, thus it was assumed that these deities must have had retreats somewhere near, or perhaps below, the horizon. We have seen “Jove’s Island” in a mid-Atlantic position on at least one medieval map, but it seems to have been pushed into a crook of the mainland of Maritime Canada by 1525 when Wolfenbuttel charted this coast. There it is given as Y. des: Juhan . Two years later the island has drifted southward and is shown by Maggiola as sanctified and feminized as Ia de. S. Joan. The Santa Cruz map shows it south of Nova Scotia and represents it as Isl de S. Ivan. In 1555 La Testu has it as Ille sainct Jehan. For a very long time it was located alternately north and south of Cape Breton, which was then pictured as part of the mainland rather than as an island. Finally the designation settled on Prince Edward Island, until it was renamed after the French-English wars. This place fits well with Gaelic myth
since the aboriginals regarded it as a “beginning place” and said that a fountain of youth was located near Charlottetown. See Tir nan Og, the “Land of Youth.” INNIS MANNANN, the Isle of Manann or Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea; note also Grand Manan in the Bay of Fundy, between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, Canada. Manann once carried the treasures of his sea-kingdom in a bag made of crane-skin, and three of these birds guarded his land retreats crying out to mariners: “Do not enter? keep away? Pass by!” See Granda. INNIS MUC, Island of the Pig, Scotland. Earlier in this century the Rev. Alexander Fraser told of two local boys who found a tin on the beach and were trying to break it open when approached by two small boys wearing green vests. They appeared to have landed from a tiny boat in which the lads saw a sith woman and a dog “the size of a rat.” She invited them aboard for a sail, but they refused although they did accept samples of her “fairy-bread,” which were walnut-sized. After making small-talk, the little folk left by sea but promised to return at a later date. The two boys were found by their sister sitting rock-still gazing out to sea and were difficult to arouse from the “trances” into which they seem to have fallen. See innis mucce, muc. INNIS OISGE, the Island of Sheep.; oisg, a sheep, a yearling ewe. From EIr. oi, sheep + seasg, unproductive, sexually immature, barren; relates to the Latin ovi-s. Almost all of the Celtic ocean-going explorers touched down at a mythic Atlantic island bearing this name. In the case of Maelduin it is recorded that he came to a place which had a bronze wall dividing one side of the island from the other. The sheep to the left of the wall were all seen to be black in colour, while those to the right were white. “Between them was a big man who tended the flocks, and sometimes he put a white sheep among the black, where it became black at once, or a black sheep among the white, where it immediately turned white.” Experimentally inclined,
Maelduin peeled the bark from a known magical tree and used the white wand to touch a black sheep. Immediately the wand turned black. and seeing that some arcane magical spirits were loose on the island the mariners all fled back to the ocean. INNIS TILE. The Mir form of the Latinate Thule. Sometimes identified with one of the Shetlands or with Iceland. Dicuil, who was almost certainly speaking of the latter island, said there once 300 Irish hermits there but added that it was noew “empty of anchorites.” The soil of this place had magical properties; if a man strood too long upon it his feet became anchored in place. Three druidic kings supposedly ruled Tile. Monach mor, who lived there, was the son of Balbuadh and appears in literature as a founder of Clan MacLeod INNIS UAINE, uaine, green, cf. feur, In classical circles the Atlantic Ocean was termed the “Circumambient Ocean.” Later it became attached to the sea-giant named Atlas and the Atlas Mountains which were thought to be his African base. The Arab travellers termed it al-Bahr al-Atlasai . the “Sea of the Atlas Mountains,” which is found contracted in the English “Atlantic.” Metaphorically, it was Mare Tenebrosum in the Latin language and Bahr al-Zulamat, in Arabic, both indicating “The Sea of Darkness.” Anyone observing the piled thunder-clouds on the horizon at the mouth of the Mediterranean would think these designation appropriate, but for European Christians tenebrosum suggested evil and possibly invoked the infamous Prince of Darkness. The Circumambient Ambient Ocean or AllEncompassing Ocean seemed less threatening than its analogue, “The Dark Sea,” or al Bahr al-Muzlim but the expression “Green Sea” was far less propitious than some writers have suggested. The Anglo-Saxon grene , confers with growan, to “grow” and with the English words “grass” ” and “graze.” It therefore suggests productivity and good things. Not so the Gaelic counterpart, uaine. The Celtic root here is thought to be veg, to be wet, conferring with the Gaelic feur, “grass,” the Latin vegeo , to “quicken,” and
the English words “vigour” and “vegetation.” This close to the Latin uvidus, moist the Norse vekja, awake” and the English “wake” and “waken.” It can show to have attachments to the English “vigil,” and “watch.”
is also to be” also be “wait,”
None of this seems particularly dangerous, but wait a bit: underlying all, is a deity whose name is best left unspoken: She is Ur, Urie, Er or Ara who is obviously a Fomorian sea-goddess. Her name continues in modern Gaelic in ùr, fresh, new, “pure,” or green, in eur, refuse or waste, and in àra a kidney. Her name is only tabooed in the personal form and is seen in the combined form Mo-urie which has given rise to such family names as Murray and Mauray. The province of Moray, in northeastern Scotland, which was formerly a seat of the Scottish kings, is named for her and the male for is Mordunon which is “Merlin” in English. Anciently she was a moon-goddess with a male consort named a, the “Bald red-one,” the sun god Lugh. Bull sacrifices, in his name, were made on Saint Mourie’s Isle in Loch Maree, Scotland. It takes little genius to see that Mo-urie is a form of Mhorrigan, the sometime virgin goddess of the triad known as the Bafinn. It is a continuing peculiarity of the Gaels that they will not openly use the word uaine but substitute for it words having the sense of ”grey” or “blue-grey” or “blue.” The Green Ocean is not directly mentioned in their chronicles but on medieval charts we see it identifying the ocean south of the temperate zone or substituted for the Caledonian Ocean in more northern waters. It is usually represented, in these cases, in Romance languages which derive from Latin. Here the root is perhaps ver, the “spring or spring time,” from which the French vert, green or “verdant.” The word also implies unseasoned, unripe, callow, raw, sour, sharp, hale and hearty, indecorous, fresh and free. On Italian maps of the period it is given as ye verd and something very like this appears with other nationalities. In Celtic societies green was the fay colour. In the Arthurian tales we are introduced to Queen Guinevere, who is the May Queen or Mebd, the mature form of the Mhorrigan. When she went “a-
maying,” she invariably advised her knights of the Round Table to appear on the morning of the Beltane “well horsed and dressed in green.” For the pagans this colour symbolized recurrent youth and resurrection or rebirth of the earth, the gods, men and their kine. Nancy Arrowsmith has noted that a Dorset malewitch state authoritatively in 1566, that “there be three kinds of fairies, the black, the white, and the green, of which the black be the worst.” Earlier on it is noted that the druidic Mysteries the neophyte was elevated to full status after he entered a trance state in which he supposedly gained full consciousness of the world and all its sub states. When he emerged in the world of men, this attainment of full spirituality was symbolized when his white linen albus was replaced with one of green. This symbolized the spring of his rebirth into Mysteries in which he is said to have experienced death and emerged from it as a druidic initiate on the lowest rung of understanding. In Masonry, which preserves some of these rites, initiation used to be performed using green “as the symbol of immutable nature, of truth and of victory (over death).” The connection between this colour and the “unlucky” Daoine sidh, who some say bartered away their befinne for demons when they signed on with the Fomorian sea-gods, appears in various modern superstitions and taboos which are associated with the colour: In Pubnico, Nova Scotia, it is recorded that a local witch interfered with a dye-pot making it impossible for a local woman to dry her wool green. In each case when she dipped it the wool came out red. She was told to place a white hot horse she in the next pot-full to “singe the witch,” and after she tried this “a great noise was heard rising to a great height,” and afterwards her wool dyed properly without exception. No distinction was made ever made between the human boabhe , or “witch,” and the sithe. The chief tool of the witch was the “green clew,” which is often referred to obliquely as
the “blue clew of witchcraft,” These were balls of thread, and F. Marian McNeill speaks of having handled the buineagean, “which once belonged to a Highland “wizard” and were said to have been “worked” by him with dire effect between the two World Wars. Though green in colour, these are the “blew clews” of Lowland tradition. Again, the fact that the colour was considered inimitable to human interests in seen in this old saw: “Green Christmas, full graveyard.” There is also the matter of homosexuality: In the American they are often referred to as “fairies,” and their “secret uniform,” in days past was coloured green. In the Middle Ages green was considered the colour of unrestrained sexuality. Thus, “to wear a green mantle,” as Guinivere suggested, meant that one was bent on losing (or re-losing) one’s virginity. This was particularly true at the Beltane, or the May Day, or “Jack-O-Green” time in general. The lady of the old ballad “Greensleeves,” was obviously of easy virtue, and for the sleeve was considered a love-pledge in medieval times and virginal white was preferred over green. The first banshee, or bean sith was Mhorrigan, who became a tutelary spirit of the dead for her clan after she died. As such, she was often referred to as the “Washer Woman,” from her habit of washing the blood from the shrouds of the men of her clan who were destined to die in battle. She serves the Clan Mackay or Morgan by sometimes appearing in this, or some totem form, to announce a predestined death. Other less potent spirits hover about the great families of the Firbolgs. The banshee is sometimes said to stand in a middle position between the sithe and mortal men, since she is often said to have been “a mortal placed under an enchantment that gives her a fairy nature.” In the Highlands she is sometimes called the glaistig, or “grey-green-monster,” and here she is observed as a panlike creature, beautifully human from the waist up, a female goat from there down. To hide this deformity she wears a long green shift and is thus known as the maighdeann uaine, or “Green Maiden.” In life the Green Lady, or banshee, was usually a woman of high scruples and
honourable position if less than perfect morality. After death she haunted the house, or castle, that she supervised in life, and in death wandered the corridors and by-ways, often putting things in order. When any great fortune or misadventure was about to befall a household she let forth cries of joy or lamentation. This was the torman mulaid, a cry which could be of unearthly sweetness and melancholy. Hugh Miller speaks of the Green Lady of Banffshire, “tall and slim and wholly attired in green, with her face wrapped up in the hood of her mantle, who haunted the grounds of the castle where she had once been mistress.” Another of this kind is tied to Ardblair, “a property given to the Blairs by William of Lyon.” Stonehaven also has a Green Lady, in fact “Green Ladies are so common that people (in Scotland) have become quite accustomed to them, remarking only, “There she goes again.” The Green Island of Mhorrigan is common in Irish and Gaelic waters and has been spotted in every latitude from Cape Wrath to the southernmost tip of Cornwall. In Irish tradition, Emain Albach is sometimes identified with Arran and with Manann mac Ler and the Mhorrigan. In this case it is a rescued isle, the forecourt to the Otherworld, a gateway to the earthly paradises over the brink of the horizon in the western ocean. McNeil has noted that “the island paradise is confined to Celtic, and more particularly to Gaelic mythology; whereas the subterranean Otherworld is common to practically all European lands and races...One theory is that the island is the early conception (for the Gaels) and that after the introduction of Christianity the gods retreated to the hollow hills.” The other recovered green island is the huge mass of land now known as Greenland. In the Historia Norwegiæ (thirteenth century) is noted that the inhabitants were somewhat uncanny: “When they are struck with weapons their wounds are white and do not bleed, but when they fall dead the blood pours unceasingly.” The Dane, Claudius Clavis (fifteenth century), referred to the Greenlanders as “pygmies,” and said that they were only a little more than two feet in height. This same oddity was reported to Pope Nicholas V in 1450, it
being additionally noted that the residents were underground beings “who hide themselves in the caves of the country like ants. This mythical representation of the Greenlanders, reminding us of tales of the Gaelic Tuatha daoine, or “Northern people, is also forewarded by Olaus Magnus (sixteenth century).” These incidents are reminiscent of Maelduin’s troubles with mythic beings who carried off three of his companions. Again in the Imraam Brenaind mention is made of Brendon’s run-in with a luchrupán who filled a beach of one island they visited and took a particular interest in the crospan, the deformed individual in their crew. Nansen has interpreted luchrupán as “monkeys” but that is not the most direct translation, more accurately it is luch+rá+bann, the “bullying crowd of mice,” also called the “leprachauns,” or the “folk of Lugh.” The designation “Greenland” has troubled historians who note that land mass is not particularly verdant, but climatologists have noted that the place was more temperate when the Norse settled there. On the other hand there is a minority opinion that the name derives from Old Germanic models and ”comes from the inhabitants being bluish-green in colour.” This is interesting because of reports suggesting that some of the Daoine sidh were of exactly this complexion. Nansen has said that “the Skraelings (natives) of Greenland are called troll or trollknour in the Icelandic narratives.” These are the trows of northern Scotland, corresponding in most details with the sithe. Professor Torp, a consultant to Nansen noticed that the trolls, like the black elfs, were spoken of as svart , or “black” in complexion and character. But the word svart really implies something which is “blue-black,” and this is “an uncanny colour, a common Germanic trait; cf. Rolf Bluebeard (an infamous murderer and magician).” Here again the blue means green. The fate of the “green people” of Greenland is not known but possibly they moved westward in the face of Norse occupation of their lands. In the mid- sixteenth century, Green Island (sometimes entitled Grass Island) started to appear on charts and maps. Several historians suggest that the
designation is interchangeable with Hy Breasil, in which case it may confer ultimately with present-day Cape Breton Island or mainland Nova Scotia. On the Gestaldi map of 1548 it is represented as ye verdi and is positioned due south of or bellandi and the Labrador coast, somewhat west of a scattering of islands which seem to represent a fragmented Newfoundland. In 1564 we see it as y da grasa and this time it is southwest of Newfoundland on the Grand Banks. Eleven years later, Zalterrius has it as verde and has tucked it into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence between Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island. By the following century this mythological island was a non-entity. INNIS NA’ OIGHE, “Island of Virgins,” Ir. óigh, EIr. óg, uag, from the root aug, capable of increase, pure and fresh, unused. Oigheam, obedience, homage. Mariners who journeyed into the western Atlantic frequently found islands entirely peopled by virgin females. Notice that the novitiates of the goddess Mhorrigan lived alone on sea islands and it was claimed that their prophetic powers were directly linked to their physical state. Maleduin failed in his ambition to seduce one of these sea-maidens, but they were not beyond blandishments since their virginity was renewable on an annual basis at the time of the Beltane. When Maelduin and his men finally arrived at Eilean ma’ Ban, the “Island of Women,” he was more enthusiastically received at a feast where “each man had a maiden sitting over against him.” In this instance the queen of the island explained that the seventeen virgins were her daughters by her husband, who had formerly been king of the island. The voyagers remained on this Atlantic island “through the four months of winter, but at the end of that time it seemed to them they had been in one place for four years, and they wearied of it and wanted to journey on.” The former virgins were not so anxious to have their lovers depart and the queen used magical tricks to prevent their escape when they first attempted to leave the country. On a second try the queen threw a magical rope at the ship as it left its mooring. A crewman could not help but catch it and
they might have been reeled in a second time but Maelduin reacted quickly and cut off the man’s hand so that they could make their escape from this land of eternal youth and boredom. The story of islands populated by virginal ladies carried over into the medieval romances. In the mid fifth century Europe was troubled by the Mongols led by Atilla and his Huns. A writer of the period said they appeared “more hideous than demons,” and were “licentious to some degree.” The Huns were ejected from Italy by 450 A.D., and soon after some of them set about the conquest of Gaul. They were again defeated by a combined army of Goths, Visgoths and Franks operating under the expertise of a Roman named Aetius. The Huns were forced to retreat through Belgium, and crossed at last into Thuringia, Germany by way of Cologne, on the river Rhine. The Britons chasing a band of these same people from the islands chanced on the Huns at this place in 451. The collision of the Celts and the Mongols resulted in a massacre of innocent citizens that is almost certainly the basis for the legend of Saint Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins. Ursula is supposed to have been the daughter of Maurus a Gaullish king of France. The fame of this lady as a beauty, a wit and a devoted Christian had spread to the realm of the Brythonic court in England. The English king wanted Ursula to marry his son, who happened to be a thorough pagan. The young woman would have rejected the betrothal except that she and her father feared reprisals from the British Celts. At last Ursula agreed to a union in which the dowry was to be “ten fair and noble companions of like age to myself, accompanied each by a thousand virgin handmaidens, They will travel to Gaul in eleven ships, and if my terms are met I will wed three years hence.” Ursula was certain that these terms could not be met, but assured her father it mattered little since ”none on earth can change the will of the Divine goodness which has marked my lot.” Her father was uncertain what she meant by this, but was glad of the
delay, hoping that the groom-to-be might convert to Christianity or lose interest in Ursula during the three year cooling-off period. As it happened the dowry was paid almost immediately and Ursula decided to spend her time of respite on a holy pilgrimage and to this end learned the crafts of seamanship. Travelling first into the Atlantic, the fleet was scattered by storms so that Ursula and her companions were forced to spend time “on strange islands amidst barbarous people.” We are not told how the women protected their virtue, but it was intact when storms travelling out of the southwest blew them to the port of Tiel at the mouth of the Rhine. From here, they sailed up the river to Cologne and here an angel advised Ursula to travel to Rome for a meeting with the Pope. The fleet proceeded upriver into the Alps, and the maidens disembarked travelling on foot to the Eternal City. After making a tour of the tombs of the apostles, the girls went back to Cologne, their entourage now including Pope Cyriacus. The Emperor at Rome had been ambivalent about the visit of Ursula to his state fearing that her advocacy of Christianity might dislodge the pagan religion. He therefore hired the retreating Huns to slaughter the pesky virgins. When the virgins re-entered Cologne they were met by these mercenaries who came upon them “like wolves raging among sheep.” The eleven thousand were all slain without yielding to rapine but the huns spared Ursula hoping she might espouse their chief. When she proved unreceptive to his sexual advances, Atilla shot an arrow into her heart. After the heathens were exhausted from their bloody work angels appeared and routed them. The bodies of the martyred virgins were buried near the gates of Cologne and a small basilica erected in their memory. Ursula herself became a full-fledged saint and was received directly into heaven. The story was generally taken as a fable until excavations at Colonia Agrippina turned up human bones in the year 1183. Since these were recovered near the gates of Cologne they satisfied a lust for holy relics, and a brisk
trade in bone fragments lasted well into the fourteenth century. The veneration of St. Ursula continued and then plunged in the sixteenth century. Ursuline convents were established but the legend was rejected by Protestants, and the Catholic Church dropped her feast day in 1969. The tales of St. Ursula’s unintended voyages into the western Atlantic travelled with Christopher Columbus when he first wandered among the islands of the West Indies. On his second voyage he named fifty islands, among them San Juan Batista (now Puerto Rico) and the more easterly islands which he called Sta. Ursula y los xi mil Virgines, which we now know as the Virgin Islands. Columbus had a strong link with the legend since his home town of Genoa was also the abode of Jacobus de Voragine, the author of The Golden Legend, one of the earliest books to immortalize the travels of this Celtic heroine. References to winter weather in the pagan tales of the Island or Islands of the Virgins make it clear that it must actually have been sited somewhat north of Puerto Rico! Later map makers placed it close in against the shoreline of what we now known as Newfoundland. In the Reinel map of 1521 these islands appear a little northwest of Cape Race, scattered along the south and west shore of the larger island. Here they are entitled as Omze myll virgês. On the Maggiola map of 1527 we see them referred to as Onze Mil Virgines and on the Rotz map (1535) as. Virges, presumably an abbreviated form for the “Isles of the sainted Virgins.” Santa Cruz (1541) has them as Xj Vrvirgines, but they have the more pagan assignment of I: de plaisance within the Morgan Atlas (1542). They are represented as islands within an atoll by Gulierrez in 1550, and named onze myl virgenes. La Testu has varied the spelling as les Vierges in 1555 and they are still charted by Plancius as late as 1593. It is our view that they now represented in the offshore islands of St, Pierre and Miquelon, names which appeared in the following century.
IOBA, pl. IOBANNAN, tricks, incantations, similar to ubag, a charm. Ir. uptha or upadh, a sorcerer, OIr. upta, to fascinate or hold in thrall, Manx obec, sorcery, from ob+ba+t, from ba, to speak, hurt, touch. G. ud+bad, to “out-speak.” IOBAIRT, an offering, a sacrifice. an act of sorcery. Cf. ioba. IOC (eechk), medicine, pay, remedy, iocshlaint, cure, salve, remedy, EIr. icaim, to heal for pay. Note that the Gaels held that a spell was ineffectual unless paid for in kind or with silver. IODHAL, image of a god, from Latin idolum, the Eng. idol. The Celtic gods have been represented in bronze, stone and wood, and it is now known that pre-Roman wooden statuettes were commonplace. Lucan mentioned a forestsanctuary near Massalia, violated and destroyed by Julius Caesar: “There are dark springs running there, and grimfaced gods uncouthly hewn by the axe from untrimmed treetrunks, rotted to a startling whiteness.” Similarly Gildas, writing of sixth century Britain deplored the “grotesque, stiff and savage” wooden sculptures he found in similar quiet groves. IODRAMACHD, the transmutation of matter, enchantment, to switch one idea for another, the black school of magic. See sgoil dubh. IOLLAN. The son of Fergus mac Roth, He carried Conchobhar mac Nessa’s pardon to Deirdre and the sons of Usna. While Iollan was guarding them in the Red Branch hostel at Emain Macha, Conchobhar went against his promise and sent out assassins. He was thus killed by “friendly fire.” IOLP, possession of the sixth sense, iolp. many. Having many senses. The ability to perceive the past, the future or distant events was thought of as a "sixth" sense. Iolpphosadh, having many wives, polygamy, and needing all one’s senses.
IONN DRAIN CUAIN, sea-longing; ionn, a negative prefix against, denoting an unalterable condition or situation. Thus Scottish islanders divorced to the mainland pined “for one glimpse of the Western Ocean.” It was considered that the clans of the coasts and islands had sea-blood which they did ill to ignore. “The sea invites acquaintence, out out of it comes friendship, and thid friendship is much stronger than fear of the spirits of death. The sea for its part can be generous, but rough.” Many Barra fisherman entitle the Ocean cuile Mhoire, Virgin Mary’s Treasury. But the sea is known to have custody of those dead within her, and the Gael always buried those washed ashore as close to the high-water mark as they dared. In fact it was prayed that the Ocean should “recover her own.” The failure to observe this nicety is supposed to have led to a memorable flood of the Hebrides, when Cailleach bheurr rushed ashore to claim her own. The people of North Uist claim to have seen the death barge come into their waters, approaching the Temple of the Trinity, where the sea-dead are interred. They claim to have seen crews from the Otherworld unearth newlymade graves and carry off the bodies of men who have died at sea. It is said that the gifted can read the sounds of the ocean. “The Western Ocean alone speaks the Gaelic tongue. To an Islesman the German Ocean seems cold and dumb; it has no mermaids and no second sight; and if it has seals they are not the children of the king of Lochlann... deep ever calleth unto deep.” IORUAIDHE. A kingdom whose ruler kept the whelp-hound named Fáil Inis, who was invincible in battle. In reparation for killing Lugh’s father the Tuireen brothers were given the hard task of bringing this animal alive to Ireland. The King of the Island of Pillars (Manann mac Ler) went an extra mile behalf of the Tureens, accompanying them to the Island of the Dog, where he promised to persuade this brothermonarch, the king of Ioruiadh to surrender the black dog that guarded his keep. He noted that his daughter was married to this king and would probably prove agreeable. This was not to be, the owner struck down his “insolent” father-in-law, and fought the Turenns. Again they
triumphed, made peace with this monarch of that far land and took the dog. This creature has to be Coinn Iothair, the “weasel-dog of the high corn yard,” a creature otherwise known as Aog, the “guest,” a seeker after the souls of the dead. He was the gate-guard of Cromm the Crooked, the alter-ego of the sun-god Lugh. There is also little doubt that he corresponds with the Norse dog-god named Garm, the constant companion of the death-goddess Hel. “Beside Hel-gate, stood the fierce, blood-stained dog, cowering at times in a dark hole known as the Gnipa cave. This monster’s rage could only be appeased by offering a Helcake, which never failed those (of the dead) who had given bread (in life) to the needy.” As Nifhelheim traditionally located near Baffin Island, in the Canadian arctic, it may be presumed that Coinn Iothair was borrowed from this realm. IOLLAN MAC FERGHAS, the Fair. He accompanied his father Ferghas mac Roth and his brother Buinne the Ruthless to Alba tendering Conchobhar mac Nessa’s promise of clemency to Deirdre and the sons of Usna. Bach in Ireland these two brothers guarded the former exiles at the Red Branch hostel at Emain Macha. Conchobhar had no intention of forgiving Naoise for his elopment with the girl who might have been his bride and ordered them killed. At first Buinne and Iollan defended them, but the former was bribed to cease fighting. Iollan continued the battle rushing out to meet, and wound, Fiachra mac Conchobhar. Fiachra carried his fathers shield which moaned when the bearer was in mortal danger and Conall Cearnach, hearing it, rushed up and mortally wounded Iollan. The latter survived long enough to tell Conall of the high-king’s treachery and enraged the latter slew Fiachra. It is noteworthy that Iollan and Fiachra were magically bound by the fact that they shared the same birth-date. IOMADAN, a concurrence of disasters.lamentation, mourning. Ill luck was said to come in triads. This idea probably related to the fact that the deities were tri-partite. IOMADH CUR. “many turns.” A means of determining the sex of a curser or spell-caster. Experts claimed that it was
always possible to determine whether the evil eye originated with a man or a woman by seeking the significant imoadh cur, the many turns in the evil-doer’s dark wily heart. As we note elsewhere antidotes to the evil eye could only be passed from male to female, and female to male, in following generations. To initiate a cure some healers took water from a stream “where the dead and the living both pass.” When the medicine man returned to his patient a gold ring, a bit of silver and copper was sometimes placed within a wooden ladle and water drawn. A pagan or Christian incantation was then recited in a measured voice, the name of the sufferer and the effect expected being mentioned somewhere near the conclusion of words. After this the ladle was turned over and if the copper in it adhered to the wood the party responsible for the evil eye was known to be a man. If the precious metals adhered the evil one was observed as a woman. Female baobhe insisted that if men’s hearts were laid bare they would be seen to have more convolutions, and evil twists and turns than those of women. ION, obs. Image, The Sun, A Circle. Note several following. IONA, ionad, place, room, abode, sanctuary, an island in the West Isles of Scotland. Shave guessed that it was named after the Hebrew Iona, a “Dove,” since St. Columba who installed a Christian monastery there was nicknamed Colum, a “Dove.” His birth-name Crimmhann, a “Wolf” being thought inappropriateas a name for his mission. The island was always a religious shrine, but the earliest form for it was Ioua, and this was the name used in pre-Christain times when the island wasalso identified identified as Innis nan Druinidh, the “Island of the Druids.” The exact meaning of iona is lost but it may refer to the feminine genitive plural of the Irish Gaelicionadh, which is given as ionai, “her wonder; her surprise.” conferring with ionad, a “place.” The word may be broken down into roots which suggest something on the line of “not commonplace.”
At the northern end of Iona there are ruins of a dun just north of the Ridge of Courcil. “The Well of Eternal Youth is on the north slope and it is said that if a woman bathes her face and hands in it before sunrise she will become young again...This is an interesting remnant of the days before Columba when the people worshipped the sun (Aod or Lugh) and an unknown God. It is often supposed that this god lived in water (since he went into the western ocean each night), so that fountains and wells were considered sacred, and thought to contain magical powers...” A quarter of a mile north-east there is a similar well which was formerly approached by sailors seeking to buy winds to move their ships. ION-GOR, ion, almost perfect, god-like, a prefix denoting fitness, iongnadh, a wonder, that which is in-gnath, “not wont,” unusual, out of the ordinary. Gorm, blue-green (the fay colour) from the root gor, warm (colour), goir, a crow, the cry of a crow, Eng. garrulous, also gar, warm, and gàir, to laugh, Skr. has, to laugh. The god of “laughter in the sky,” conferring with Tar or Tor, the ON. Thor. He is related with the G. Iubhair, the “tall stately woman,” whose spirit rested at the summit of the yew-tree. Ion matches Eo as seen in Eogan, and this is the Celtic Æsu-gen, “born of Æsus, the Gaelic god Huisdean, or Old Hugh. Ion-Gor therefore disassembles into Thor-Hugh, the Gaelic Tor-Aod. See Iubhair. ION-MHAS, treasure. Perhaps connected with indbas, wealth. Treasure was protected by the cowalker of an individual who has agreed (implicitly or explicitly) to his own death. This created the lambent light which used to be seen about the tomb of dead heroes, who were buried with their valuables. The cowalker usually became discouraged by the dreary work of chasing off treasure-seekers and often sought liberation by giving living men clues to its location through visions or dreams. At that, his contract demanded that he do everything possible to protect the horde. He had no power over treasure-seekers unless they spoke, or made loud sounds. All such acts enabled him to
materialize a body which could do physical damage. IOL. many IOLDANA. a philosopher, iol + dan, many + fates. The latter word has connections with the pagan goddess Danu. IOL-DANNSA, a ball, promiscuous, country-dance. IOLNUALL, Juulvater, the Father of the Yule (Yell). iol, many; nuall, a howling cry; Irish nuaill; Anglo-Norman, noel; the Skr. nu, a cry. Old High German, niumo, a cry of praise and rejoicing aimed at the Allfather. The original father of the Yule was Thor. Also, a steward of Quarter-Day activities. IORRAM, the "at oar song", a boat-song. While easing the tedium of rowing this song was also thought to supernaturally speed the craft. Thus Manann mac Ler was often pictured as singing his ship forward even without the use of oars. IOSA, Jesus reincarnated. Christ. Ios, up from below, resurrected,
IR, squirrel, obs. anger, satire, a druidic lampoon. IR, obs. “Gift,” one of the children of Mil, lost at sea in the Milesian invasion of Ireland. His people were deeded the northeastern corner of Ireland which came to be called Ulster. They were the Scots, who later migrated to Dalriada and created Scotland. When the Norse first invaded Ireland they encountered these Ir-landers, and thus the name became attached to the entire island. Even after the Scots were pushed out of Lat. Scotia Major they were referred to as the Irelanders and their langauge is still termed "Irse" or "Erse," the Scottish variant of Gaelic. IR-CHIULLACH, a monster, ir, angry + cullach, a boar, a male cat, stallion, polecat.
IRE, state of maturity, The Earth personified. IREANN, IRNAN, patriarchal woman, mother of a race of people; ire, obs. The Ground, The Earth, field, soil, also ravage, plunder, pull out by the roots. This word combines ire with ann, a circle or revolution, within, therein. Confers with the goddess Anu. See next. IRIRE, obs. a curse, a malediction, rage, anger. IRIÉL FÅITH, an alternate name for the god Nuada. iris, lover of faith, heat, warmth. Possibly
IRIS, obs. Friend, lover, assignation of lovers, law, faith, rterligion, epoch, era, brass. IRNAN, one of three sorceresses who dwelt within Dún Conaran. It was she who spun a magic web that entangled some of the Feinn. When Goll mac Morna arrived on site he killed two of the sisters and threatened the third, who agreed to release her hostages. As they were being released this beansith managed to chant a geis which demanded that a warrior meet her in single combat before the agreement could be consummated. Goll fought and killed the witch and was rewarded by being given Fionn’s daughter in marriage. This lady and her sisters confer with the Anglo-Saxon goddess Irenasaxa and with the Gaelic Bafinn. See Tri Peathraichean coimbeac. IRT, Death IRUSAN. A giant cat that dwelt in the underworld near Knowth on Boyne. See cat. ITEODH, poison hemlock, opium, ite + odhar, feather + dark. One of the plants favoured in the creation of black magical potions. Others were the nightshade and foxglove. ITH, Eat, the “Hungry-one,” or possibly the “Fat One,” the
son of Bregan and uncle of Mil, the latter the namesake of the “Milesian” race. Ith was the first of the modern "Irish" to visit Ireland, "that lofty isle far away," which he perceived in a dream-trance from the towers of his redoubt in “Spain.” The three kings of the Tuatha daoine had him put to death for publicizing their kingdom, a fact that led to the Tuathan-Milesian war. IUBHAN, the king of Faylinn. Visiting Ulster “the land of giants,” he was made hostage, but was released when he used his magic to inconvenience his host. Eboudai. this word is considered pre-Celtic and of uncertain meaning, but is thought to correspond with the later Irish, Ibdaig, “men of Ibda.” note that the early Ebudognaos was the personal name Iubdan, “borne by the king of an overseas Country of dwarfs, whose adventures in Ireland are told in the tale of “the Death of Fergus” in Silva Gadelica.”” (William Watson, p. 38). Ptolmey suggsted that these islands were five in number: “The furtherest west is called Ebouda (or Aibiouda). The next to it is also Ebouda. After Rhicina then Malaios, then Epidion.” Pliny said they were “two days sail from the promontory of Caledonis and seven days and nights from the Orchades.” Since we are not sure what promontory was referred to, this not a large help in locating the isles. Malaois is theough to be Mull. This being true, Epidion is probably Islay but the others atre very problematic. IUBHAR, IUBARHRAICH, yew, "the service tree." See I + bharr, “she who is on the topmost branch, the Summergoddess.” Bârr, top, OIr. barr, ON. barr, pine needles, AS. byrst, Eng. burst. Lat. fastiguim, top, Skr. bhrshti, coming to a point. Hence G. barrachd, over-blown. I confers with iolair, the high eagle, who is Lugh the sometime mate of Mhorrigan the summer-goddess. Note also ion, “almost perfect,” godlike. A cult of the yew was said to have been situated at Iona. Macbain does not believe that the word can be tied to the English “yew” in any linguistic way. Similar, however to the Gaelic iubrach, the mythic boat of Fergus mac Ro in the Deirdre story. It was made of yew wood. This same
word used to describe a stately woman. St. Columba is said to have put the run to the druids who worshipped the trees of Iona. Note that the anti-cancer drug known as Taxol derives from the twigs and needles of the European yew (Taxus baccata). It was first isolated from the Pacific yew when the National Cancer Institute at Bethesda, Maryland, when thousands of plants were evaluated as anti-cancer agents in the years 1950-1980. The extract was found to be cytotoxic against a broad range of tumours including some of the leukemias, carcinosarcoma, sarcoma and lung cancers. See Ion-gor. IUCHAR, (chuch-ar), July, a key, opening, to spawn, whence the Lat. pecu, cattle and the Eng. fee. EIr. euchuir, opening. This is the lightly disguised name of the Old Norse god Lokki, (whose name may also be translated as Key) the god of underground fire,patron of the south wind and heatlighting. Iuchar na seachdain, a name for di-luain, “Monday,” the “key of the week,” and a very lucky day for the activities of men. Also note Iuchar, the second “son” of Tuireann (Thor). See Brian. Note also iuchar, the “Dog Days,” a period of from four to six weeks, variously placed between early July and early September. Classically called the canicular days, and anciently reckoned by the appearance of the Dog Star (Sirius) and the sun in the same quarter of the sky. Popularly, the period of "dead" sultry weather at the end of summer. The phenomena does not occur at the same time in all latitudes, and changes in a given region, over time, due to the progression of the stars. In Britain it was marked at July 6 in the year 1660, but by 1752 had to be put forward to July 30. Since then, the Dog Days have been counted as an event taking place in the fall. It was held that iuchar was the time when dogs were likely to go mad as their spiritual namesake was too close to the sun-god. This was also observed to be a period of plague and general unrest. When the Dog Days occur after the Samhain (Nov. 1) they were frequently referred to as "Luke's (i.e. Lokki's) Summer;" this being the equivalent of our own "Indian Summer." In Norse mythology note that wolf-dogs are in constant pursuit of the sun and the moon, and their
attempts to swallow it were thought to produce eclipses. Nevertheless, notice the Gaelic saying: “Saturday’s flitting by North, but Monday is by South; Had I but lamb to move, “tis on Monday I would go.” IUCHARBA. The third son of Tuireann (Thor) and hence Lokki. See above note. IUL. IUIL, an arrow, obs. July, the month. Now: a land mark at sea, a guide or course. Iulaigh, obs. a leader of men. IULG, any physical quantity characterized as having motion and direction. Druidical analyses of scalar and vector quantities. IUTHARN, hell; a side-form of ifhern, described in Christian mythology but having no place in pagan theology.