Celtic Myth Show News

Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

Category: Historical figures

Brigid’s Blessings on the Celtic Fire Festival of Imbolc

On Imbolc Eve Irish and Scottish women would clean and prepare their household for Brigid’s blessings during the night. Brigid was said to visit virtuous households and bring Imbolc blessings to the inhabitants. In some places in Ireland and Scotland it was a tradition to open all the doors and windows in the home and for the women of the house to stand at the threshold in order to recieve Brigid’s blessings. After being invited into the house a bed would often be made for her, and a wand or stick laid on the bed or close by.

Imbolc is dedicated to Saint Brigid; a major figure in the early Irish Church who predates the Saint to a pan-celtic pagan goddess of the same name. The festival which celebrates winter’s end, the onset of spring, and the start of the agricutural year is thought to be linked with Brigid in her role as a fertility goddess.

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Grainne Uaile: Irish Pirate Queen ready for release 2017

Grainne Uaille

Grainne Uaile

Basck in 2015, we announced that a film about Grainne Uaile (Grace O’Malley), the renowned Irish Pirate Queen was being made. Now, we are overjoyed to hear that it has an expected release date of early 2017! The Press Release tells us:

Early 2017 “Grainne Uaile – The movie” will be released from its ship in Ireland and sailing the festival circuits. A 3 hour epic, written and directed by Ciaron Davies and starring Fionnuala Collins as the infamous pirate queen, the movie was shot on location all over Ireland, North and south, on land and sea.

16th Century Pirate Queen

Exciting Combat Scenes

Exciting Combat Scenes

A violent and gritty retelling of the life of Grainne Uaile, the 16th century Pirate Queen from Ireland. She was a fighter, a pirate and a tough woman, carving her mark in a mans world. This exciting film is violent, dark, brutal, exciting and often darkly comic. The ultimate female action hero steeped in ancient Irish history.

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Irusan - King of Cats

The King of Cats and Seanchan the Bard

King of the Cats

King of Cats

There is a legend preserved in Ossianic tradition of the encounter between Seanchan, the celebrated chief poet of Ireland, and the King of Cats, who dwelt in a cave near Clonmacnoise.

In ancient Ireland the men of learning were esteemed beyond all other classes; all the great ollaves and professors and poets held the very highest social position, and took precedence of the nobles, and ranked next to royalty.

The leading men amongst them lived luxuriously in the great Bardic House; and when they went abroad through the country they travelled with a train of minor bards, fifty or more, and were entertained and accommodated free of cost by the kings and chiefs, who considered themselves highly honoured by the presence of so distinguished a company at their court.

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Scotts View: Three Peaks - Eildon Hills from teh article about Michael Scott, the Scottish Wizard

Michael Scott – The Scottish Wizard


Latest Episode!

The Borders of Scotland is an area steeped in folklore and fantastic stories of fairies and magical goings-on. One such tale is firmly based around a real historical personage – a remarkable man, whether or not you believe the more incredible stories about him. He is Michael Scott – the infamous Borders Wizard.

Through his studies of arcane books Michael is supposed to have tamed demonic forces to his will. His most famous act of wizardry was the reputed splitting of the Eildon Hills into the three peaks that we see today towering above the town of Melrose.

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Picts link to North Wales

Cartimandua, 1st century Celtic Queen of the Brigantes


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Cartimandua ruled in her own right rather than through marriage. She did eventually marry, but later divorced her husband and ruled alone. Her name has been translated to mean “well-groomed” or “sleek pony” which may indicate that she was pleasing to the eye. She may have played a role in the events of the Mabinogion and be mentioned in the Welsh Triads…

Cartimandua Queen of the Brigantes

Many people know the story of Queen Boudicca’s rebellion against the Romans. Fewer people realise that West Yorkshire and much of northern Britain were also ruled by a queen. Her name was Cartimandua and she ruled over a loose association of clans and tribes called the Brigantes. Queen Cartimandua seems to have had pro-Roman views. Consequently, relationships between the Romans and the Brigantes went well at first.

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Damn Slaugh, a Dark Fairy - from the Biddy Early – Ireland’s magical lady from Clare article

Biddy Early – Ireland’s magical lady from Clare


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Bridget Ellen Early (known as Biddy Early) was a traditional Irish herbalist who helped her neighbours. She acted against the wishes of the local tenant farmer landlords and Catholic priests and was accused of witchcraft. Born in 1798 in Faha, Kilanena, Biddy O’Connor was the daughter of a poor farming family. At sixteen, she was sent to Feakle to work as a servant girl and later to Kilbarron to work for a doctor Dunne. It was necessary for Biddy to go into service at such a young age so as to help her family survive in such hard times.

It was in Kilbarron that she married one Pat O’Malley, and the couple had one child, a daughter. Pat was to die however after a few short years of marriage.
Her second husband was a Tom Flannery from Carrowroe, who sadly died when their only child Tom was only eight years old.

First Story of Biddy Early’s Magical Powers

It was about the time of this husband’s death that the first story of Biddy’s magical powers occurs. Biddy being unable to pay the rent to the local landlord because of her husbands’ death and the expense of rearing her young son, was served with an eviction notice.

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SP42 2016 News Update Show – New CMP Episode


Latest Episode!

We soar into 2016 with a Special News update Show to bring you all the latest News from the Celtic Myth Podshow team (that’s us, Gary & Ruthie!). In this show, you’ll also hear 6 amazing pieces of music and a small reading by Professor Roland Rotherham from his new book, Sacred Falls: Saint Nectan and the Legacy of the Dragon. The Professor is a renowned Arthurian scholar and has appeared on our Show before, We heard him give a lecture about the “Ladies of the Grail” in Special Episode No. 14. You can read all about it and listen to the show again by going to http://celticmythpodshow.com/ladiesofthegrail. We finish off with a Promo for The Mythology Podcast and hope to see you soon!

How to Listen to the News Update Show

The Episode is available for subscribers to the feed, in iTunes, or you can download it or listen to it from our Episodes page. You can also listen on your Mobile Device by getting hold of our App (see above). You can read more details about the current show in the Shownotes.

Subscribing?

If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

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iphoneYou can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

CMP App on AmazonYou can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.
Windows Phone AppYou can now also find the Windows Phone App in the Windows Phone Store.
If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.

The Legend of St George and the Dragon


Latest Episode!

By tradition in England, 23 April is the day for a red rose in the button hole, the national flower. However, unlike other countries, England does not celebrate it like Americans celebrate 4 July with fireworks. In fact, you are more likely to see big St Patrick parades in England celebrating Ireland’s National Day, more than you would see any sign of St George’s Day being celebrated.

For most people in England St George’s Day is just another ordinary working day.

Despite the fact that St. George has been the patron saint of England since the 14th century, only one in five people know that St. George’s Day falls on 23 April.

More than a quarter of people living in England do not even know who their patron saint is!

St. George is the patron saint of England. His emblem, a red cross on a white background, is the flag of England, and part of the British flag. St George’s emblem was adopted by Richard The Lion Heart and brought to England in the 12th century. The king’s soldiers wore it on their tunics to avoid confusion in battle.

Who was the real St George and what did he do to become England’s patron saint?

St George was a brave Roman soldier who protested against the Romans’ torture of Christians and died for his beliefs. The popularity of St George in England stems from the time of the early Crusades when it is said that the Normans saw him in a vision and were victorious.

The Legend of St. George and the Dragon

St. George traveled for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country. The old man said:

Every day, he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The king’s daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.

When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit’s hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.

As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it.

The dragon’s scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.

He smote the beast with his sword, but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales, so that it fell dead at his feet.

The Real St George

Saint George is popularly identified with England and English ideals of honour, bravery and gallantry, but actually he wasn’t English at all. Very little is known about the man who became St George.

Quick Facts about St George

  • Born in Turkey (in Cappadocia)
  • Lived in 3rd century
  • His parents were Christian
  • Became a Roman soldier
  • Protested against Rome’s persecution of Christians
  • Imprisoned and tortured, but stayed true to his faith
  • Beheaded at Lydda in Palestine
  • St. George is believed to have been born in Cappadocia (now Eastern Turkey) in the year A.D. 270. He was a Christian. At the age of seventeen he joined the Roman army and soon became renowned for his bravery. He served under a pagan Emperor but never forgot his Christian faith.

When the pagan Emperor Diocletian started persecuting Christians, St. George pleaded with the Emperor to spare their lives. However, St. George’s pleas fell on deaf ears and it is thought that the Emperor Diocletian tried to make St. George deny his faith in Christ, by torturing him. St George showed incredible courage and faith and was finally beheaded near Lydda in Palestine on 23 April, 303.

In 1222, the Council of Oxford declared April 23 to be St George’s Day and he replaced St Edmund the Martyr as England’s patron saint in the 14th century. In 1415, April 23 was made a national feast day.

Patron Saint

St George is patron saint not only of England but also of Aragon, Catalonia,, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, and Russia, as well as the cities of Amersfoort, Beirut, Bteghrine, Cáceres, Ferrara, Freiburg, Genoa, Ljubljana, Gozo, Pomorie, Qormi, Lod and Moscow.

St George is also patron saint of scouts, soldiers, archers, cavalry and chivalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy, plague and syphilis.

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iphoneYou can also now download a Celtic Myth Podshow App from the iTunes store. This is the most convenient and reliable way to access the Celtic Myth Podshow on your iPhone or iPod Touch. You’re always connected to the latest episode, and our App users have access to exclusive bonus content, just touch and play! To find out more visit the iTunes Store or our Description Page.

CMP App on AmazonYou can now also find an Android version of the App which works identically to the iPhone version. You can find it on Amazon or by clicking the image to the right.
Windows Phone AppYou can now also find the Windows Phone App in the Windows Phone Store.
If you come to the site and listen or listen from one of our players – have you considered subscribing? It’s easy and you automatically get the episodes on your computer when they come out. If you’re unsure about the whole RSS/Subscribing thing take a look at our Help page.
Grainne Uaile still

Grainne Uaile, the toughest Pirate Queen strides out of Irish History


Latest Episode!

This winter “Grainne Uaile – The movie” will be released from its ship in Ireland and sailing the festival circuits. A 3 hour epic, written and directed by Ciaron Davies and starring Fionnuala Collins as the infamous pirate queen, the movie was shot on location all over Ireland, North and south, on land and sea.

A violent and gritty retelling of the life of Grainne Uaile, the 16th century Pirate Queen from Ireland. She was a fighter, a pirate and a tough woman, carving her mark in a mans world. Director Ciaron Davies said:

We wanted to create a strong female driven movie. Often women in film are seen as the victim or the love interest. This movie is different. Grainne is
tough, brutal, uncompromising and intelligent. She is also feminine and stylish. This is a very empowering female. The men in the world around her are all uniquely interesting, helping to create a rich tapestry of life in 16th century Ireland.

Bring a sword, your going to need it!

This exciting film is violent, dark, brutal, exciting and often darkly comic. The ultimate female action hero steeped in ancient Irish history.

Real life 16th Century Irish Pirate queen

“Grainne Uaile – The Movie”, is an epic historical adventure based on the real life of 16th Century Irish Pirate queen, Grainne Uaile.

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