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(c. 1650-1705) The wife of Francois de la Motte, Comte d'Aulnoy, Madama d'Aulnoy followed closely on the heels of the fashion for fairy stories initiated by Charles Perrault, but while Perrault's stories were true folk-tales only adorned by the admirable style in which they were told, her fairy stories were the undisciplined product of her own lively imagination. She indeed knew something of folk traditions, but used them in an arbitrary way. For instance, the theme of the bartered bed and the magic nuts is used in 'The Blue Bird', but the fairies are entirely unconvincing, a piece of arbitrary machinery. The stories have the quality of engaging attention, but the style is purely literary. They are forerunners of the CABINET DES FÉES, that monstrous collection in which the voice of tradition grows fainter almost with each successive tale, and the style increasingly flatulent. # 100
A Leinster lord at whose hostel Conary seeks hospitality. Conary's retinue at Da Derga. Ingcel and his own sons attack the hostel. # 562
DA DERGA'S HOSTEL, THE DESTRUCTION OF
One of the longest and most pathetic Irish sagas. It is among the few complete narratives of any great extent preserved from ancient Irish literature. The oldest manuscript was copied about the year 1100, but the saga existed in written form as early as the eighth or ninth century. According to the annals, Conaire was high-king of Ireland about the beginning of the Christian era.
Da Derga's Hostel was situated among the hills overlooking the village of Bray near Dublin, and was built over the Dodder, a little stream that flows through Donnybrook and empties into Dublin Bay. The story, though rambling and disconnected in spots, is told with real power and contains some of the finest descriptive passages in early Irish literature. After giving an account of Conaire's antecedents and birth, the story goes on to tell how the youthful king met his tragic and untimely death. He is represented as the grandson of the beautiful and unfortunate Etain, whose life history is recorded in 'The Wooing of Etain'. Like numerous other characters in early Irish fiction, he is subject to certain gesa, or taboos, which he violates only at the peril of his life. The fairy folk, in revenge for the injury which Conaire's grandfather had done them in destroying their mound, bring it about that Conaire breaks his taboos and so falls a victim to the perfidy of his own foster-brothers and of the British pirates who act as their allies. Though dealing primarily with one of the traditional kings of Ireland, the story is being mentioned here because of its connection with 'The Wooing of Etain,' to which it forms a natural sequel. (The story in full is brought in Cross and Slover's ANCIENT IRISH TALES, and in Jeffrey Gantz's EARLY IRISH MYTHS AND SAGAS). # 236: 'The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel' is part impacted myth, part heroic saga and part literary tour de force. The name of the hosteller in the title is uncertain: some texts give Da Dergae (the nephew of the red goddess) instead of Da Derga (the red god). In either case, the red deity is chthonic; and the mythic subtext deals with the slaying of a king, in a house of death, at Samuin (Samhain). Although there is no mention of an iron house, the raiders' attempts to burn the hostel suggests that it is related to the iron houses in 'The Intoxication of the Ulaid' and 'The Destruction of Dind Rig'. Curiously, although Conare is slain - and that is the point of the tale- the hostel is never actually destroyed. The opening episode, which describes the wooing of Etain by Echu Feidlech, expands upon the story in the second section of 'The Wooing of Etain'. At the point where Echu dies, however, something appears to be missing, even though there is no evidence of a lacuna. What follows in the manuscripts is very confused, even as to syntax, but it appears to be a garbled version of the incest episode at the end of 'The Wooing of Etain', and we can probably assume that, originally, the child is abandoned because it is the offspring of the king's inadvertent union with his own daughter. The conception of Conare Mar, like that of the Ulaid hero CuChulain, is duple, the storyteller in both cases attempting to reconcile traditions of divine paternity with those of ordinary mortal fatherhood. Once Conare has been installed as king, the tale begins to edge into a kind of history - perhaps it recalls a significant battle or raid in Irish tribal warfare.
Throughout 'The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel', Conare appears doomed: doomed to break his gessa (taboos), doomed to die for being the offspring of incest. Yet he is not entirely guiltless: the story suggests that he has shown poor judgement in excusing his foster-brothers from hanging and in interfering in the quarrel between his two clients. The structure of the tale is idiosyncratic; some may find the catalogue section tedious and the climax disappointingly perfunctory. Irish stories, in manuscript, do tend to become 'unbalanced': descriptive passages flower into luxuriant growths out of all proportion to their narrative importance (perhaps owing to the storyteller's showing off), while conclusions seem casually, even indifferently, thrown away (perhaps owing to the storyteller's or scribe's growing tired). But it is also true that descriptive catalogues of this sort were important to the Celts - both as literary set-pieces and as a matter of record - and that, in this case at least, the lack of attention given to the dénouement underlines its inevitability. # 166 - 236
# 562 (dôh-da) Dagda 'The Good' or possibly = DOCTUS, 'The Wise.' God and supreme head of the People of Dana, father of Brigit (Dana); the Cauldron of the Dagda, one of the treasures of the Danaans; father and chief of the People of Dana; Kings MacCuill, MacCehct, and MacGrené grandsons of Dagda; portions out spiritual Ireland between the Danaans. Dagda Samildanac means: The Goodly-Wise Many-Gifted One.
# 628: The greatest of the Irish gods seems to have been the Dagda. His name meant the 'Good God', and he was also known as the 'Great Father' and the 'Mighty One of Knowledge'. He seems to have been specifically associated with Druidism as the god of Wisdom, a primal father deity of tremendous power. Two of the potent Celtic magical and spiritual symbols were the special attributes of the Dagda; the cauldron and the club or staff; in Irish Druidic tradition they were primal and pagan magical implements.
# 166: A powerful chieftain of the TUATHA DE DANAAN. Son of Ethliu; father of Angus Og. # 454: Bres ordered him to build forts but would give him little food. Together with Lugh and Ogma, he planned to attack the Fomorians. He mated with the Morrigan over a river and she prophesied his success. Attired as a rustic fool, he entered the enemy strong-hold where he discovered the disposition of the Fomorians. His harp was called 'the Oak of Two Greens' and the 'Four-Angled Music'. With it he was able to play three kinds of music: the sorrow-strain, the laugh-strain and the sleep-strain. It was with the latter that he was able to subdue those Fomorians who had abducted his harper. He was the guardian of the cauldron which satisfied all hunger, brought from Murias. (See HALLOWS) His name means 'Good God', but his other names or titles are Eochaid Ollathair (All-Father) and Ruad Rofessa (Lord of Great Knowledge) indicating his similarity to the Wild Herdsman. He resembles the earlier Greek conception of Hercules.
# 100: Dagda was the High King of the Tuatha Da Danann, the immortal fairy people of Ireland, who were conquered by the Milesians, the human invaders who forced the Danaans to take refuge under the hollow hills. Though in hiding, they were still powerful over the growth of the land, and they destroyed all the wheat and milk of the Milesians, for whom neither grass nor grain grew until they had concluded a treaty with Dagda. Dagda had four great palaces in the depths of the earth and under the hollow hills, and he made a distribution of them to his sons. To Lug son of Ethne he gave one and Ogme another, and he kept two for himself, and the chief of these was Brugh na Boinne, which was very great and full of wonders, but Angus Mac Og got this from him by the help of Manannan son of Lir. For Angus had been away when Dagda distributed his palaces, and he was angry to find himself left out. But Manannan advised him to ask for Brugh na Boinne for a day and a night, and he would work a magic so that Dagda could not refuse it. Dagda gave him the Brugh for a day and a night, but when the time was over Angus said that it had been given him for ever, for all time consisted of a day and a night following each other for ever. Dagda rendered it up to him, for though he was High King of the great race of Danu, he could be conquered by cunning. Dagda had another and greater sorrow to bear, for he had another son Aedh, who had the same mother as Angus; and this son went with his father to his other palace near Tara. It happened that a great man of Connacht, Corrgenn, came to visit him and brought his wife with him. It seemed to Corrgenn that there was more between Aedh and his wife than there should have been, and he struck Aedh down and killed him before his father's eyes. Everyone accepted that Dagda would kill Corrgenn for this, but Dagda said that if Corrgenn was not mistaken he had reason for what he did, so he would not kill him; but he put a geasa on him that was worse than death. He had to carry the body of Aedh with him until he found a stone exact size to cover him, and then he must dig a grave on the nearest hill and bury Aedh and put the stone over him. It was many a long mile that Corrgenn walked until he found a stone on the shore of Loch Feabhail. On the hill nearby he dug the grave, and laid Dagda's son there and carried the stone to cover him. The great labour was too much for him and his heart burst and he died. Dagda had a wall built round the tomb and the hill has been called the Hill of Aileac, that is, the Hill of Sighs, ever since. It is not certain whether Corrgenn was a mortal man, but it is certain that Aedh was an immortal and the son of immortals, but he could be killed in battle, and this is true of all the Tuatha Da Danann unless they have some special magic that revives them. # 100 - 166 - 410 - 454 - 548 - 562 - 628 p 125
Arthur's fool or jester, whom Arthur himself made a knight as a joke, but who later shows his bravery in several tournaments. His wit and unorthodox behaviour enliven the more tedious passages of Malory's Book of TRISTAN. # 156 - 418 - 454
A Pictish king, father of the Otherworld woman Ailleann. # 156
DAIRE MAC FIACHNA
(da'i re moc fee'àh na) An Ulster chieftain; owner of the Dun Bull of Cooley over which the Cattle-Raid of Cooley was fought. # 166
Daughter of Bobh Dearg who desired Fionn to become her husband with her as sole wife for one year. When he refused, she gave him poison so that in his madness the Fianna deserted him. It was Daireann's sister, Sadbh who became the mother of Oisin. # 454
A Druid who discovers to Eochy that Etain has been carried to mound of Bri-Leith. # 562
Queen of Partholan. # 562
The Firbolg, father of Ferdia. # 562
A magician killed by Betis. After this feat, Beti's name was changed to Perceforest. # 156
A proud knight who used to trap other knights and make his brother, Sir Ontzlake, fight them. Arthur put a stop to this practice. # 156 - 418
DAMAYANTI AND MALA
Hindu legend, compared with story of Etain. # 562
# 562: (thana) The People of Dana are Nemedian survivors who return to Ireland; These People are by far the most interesting and important of the mythical invaders and colonisers of Ireland. The name, Tuatha De Danaan q.v. (or Danann), means literally 'the folk of the god whose mother is Dana', equivalent Brigit; name of 'gods' given to the People of Dana by Tuan mac Carell; Milesians conquer the People of Dana. Origin of People of Dana according to Tuan mac Carell; cities of Falias, Gorias, Finias and Murias; treasures of the People of Dana; the gift of Faëry (i.e. skill in music) the prerogative of Dana; daughter of the Dagda and the greatest of Danaan goddesses; Brian (ancient form Brenos), Iuchar, and Iucharba, her sons; equivalent Dôn, Cymric mother-goddess.
# 100: She is one of the Mother Goddesses of early Ireland, the ancestress of the Tuatha De Danann, who later dwindled to the Daoine Sidhe, the fairies of Ireland. Lady Gregory begins her book GODS AND FIGHTING MEN with an account of how the Tuatha De Danann came to Ireland, led by Nuada, and fought with the Firbolgs under their king Eochaid. Among the goddesses who fought under Nuada she mentions Badb and Macha and the Morrigu, Eire and Fodla and Banba, the daughters of Dagda, and Eadon and Brigit, the two goddesses of the poets, and she adds, 'And among the other women there were many shadow-forms and great queens; but Dana, that was called the Mother of the Gods, was beyond them all.' # 100 - 267 - 562
Send to Balor refusing tribute; the Fomorians bring on their champion, Balor, before the glance of whose terrible eye Nuada of the Silver Hand and others of the Danaans go down But Lugh, seizing an opportunity when the eyelid drooped through weariness, approached close to Balor, and as it began to lift once more he hurled into the eye a great stone which sank into the brain, and Balor lay dead, as the prophecy had foretold, at the hand of his grandson. The Fomorians were then totally routed, and it is not recorded that they ever again gained any authority or committed any extensive depredations in Ireland; power of Danaan's, exercised by spell of music; account of principal gods and attributes of Danaan's; reference to their displacement in Ireland by Milesians; Ireland ruled by three kings, MacCuill, MacCecht, and MacGrené; and all three of them welcomed Ith to Ireland. A great battle between the Danaans and the Milesians at Telltown follows. The three kings and three queens of the Danaans, with many of their people, are slain. But the People of Dana do not withdraw. By their magic art they cast over themselves a veil of invisibility, which they can put on or off as they choose. There are two Irelands henceforward, the spiritual and the earthly. The Danaans dwell in the spiritual Ireland; the Danaans represents the power of light; relation of the Church with Dana very cordial. See also: DANA and TUATHA DE DANANN, and DANAI DE DANAAN. # 562
DANAI DE DANAAN
It is somewhat strange that antiquarians have failed to recognize how nearly intertwined are the legends of the Danai and the De Danaan, in such a form as leads to the logical deduction that the hero Perseus, under the name Lugh (Light), may be acclaimed the true founder of the Erse nation, indeed that his name Perseus explains the origin of the word Erse, omitting the first letter 'P', which, as Rolleston shows, was not used in the ancient Erse tongue. Analogies relating to Perseus and Lugh are appended here with parallel numbers [1 and 1A, and so forth, as 1 will show the Danai (Greek) and 1 A the De Danaan (Erse)]. 1. Acrisius, king of Argos, warned by an oracle that his grandson would destroy him, determined that his daughter Danaë should never know a man. He placed her in a fortress in the care of priestesses where she grew up innocent of the fact that males existed. 1 A. Balor, king of the FoMori, warned by a Druid prophecy that his daughter Danu would give birth to a son who would slay him, confined the princess in a convent on Tory Island, attended by Druidesses, and unaware of man's existence. 2. Zeus visited Danaë as a ray of sunshine and she duly gave birth to the hero Perseus. 2 A. A god or hero, Kian, (Cian, the Mighty) disguised as a Druidess, obtained access to Danu, who gave birth to the Erse hero Lugh or Lug. 3. Acrisius ordered Danaë and her babe to be placed in a boat and cast adrift in the sea. She was rescued at the island of Seriphus and Perseus was duly brought up by Polydectes. 3 A. Balor caused Danu and her infant to be put in a coracle and left to the mercy of the waves. They were rescued, and Lugh was reared by Goban, the Smith. 4. Polydectes sent Perseus on a desparate mission to obtain the Medusa's Head which turned everything into a stone with a glance. He reached the Gorgon's island at farthest extreme of Ocean, by the aid of Hermes and Athene, rescued Andromeda, married her, and captured Meru, the capital of the Ethiopians. 4 A. Lugh was instructed in magic arts by Goban, the Smith. He eventually returned to Ireland or the Hebrides, taking with him his magic sword, the Sword of Light, a 'tathlum', and other magical possessions. 5. Acrisius, on Perseus return, fled to Larissa (or Argos), to escape his grandson, who followed him and slew his grandparent with a discus at a gymnastic meeting, hence fulfilling the oracle. He established the dynasty of the Perseids, called the Danai, from whom descended the Heracleids. 5 A. Lugh, on his return, found his grandfather, Balor, who opposed his entry. A great battle was fought with magic used by both parties, but Lugh finally slew Balor with his magic tathlum, freed his people from the FoMori and established the De Danaan or Erse as ruling race. See also: BRITAIN, THE RIDDLE OF PREHISTORIC. # 59 - 562
DANAIN THE RED
The Lord of Malehaut. # 156
# 562: Irish monuments plundered by Danes. # 100: There is a certain amont of confusion in Somerset between the Danes, whose incursions are still remembered, and the fairies. The name 'Danes' may be connected, in this Celtic pocket of England, with the Daoine Sidhe, the children of Dana. The Leicestershire Dane Hills may have the same origin. Ruth Tongue in COUNTY FOLK LORE VIII quotes an informant at Ashridge in 1907 who was convinced that the traditional buried treasure on Dolbury Camp was put there by the fairies, not by the Danes. There be a bit of verse as do go:
If Dolbury digged were
Of gold should be the share,
but nobody hasn't found the treasure yet.
And for why?
Well, to start up with it don't belong to they, and so they won't never meet up with it. 'Twill go on sinking down below never mind how deep they do dig. I tell 'ee 'tis the gold of they Redshanks as used to be seed on Dolbury top. To be sure there's clever, book-read gentlemen as tell as they was Danes, and another say 'twere all on account of their bare legs being red with the wind, but don't mind they. My granny she did tell they was fairies, ah, and all dressed in red, and if so the treasure med be theirs. If they was Danes how do 'ee explain all they little clay pipes as 'ee can find on Dolbury Camp. They did call 'em 'fairy pipes', old miners did. An' if there be fairy pipes then there was fairies, and nobody need doubt thay was the Redshanks.' # 100 - 562 - 675
In the TAVOLA RITONDA, a knight, brother of Dinadan, leader of the knights who discovered Lancelot and Guinevere together in compromising circumstances. Daniel was also the name of an Arthurian knight in a thirteenth-century German poem by Der Stricker. See: BREUNOR. # 156 - 238
The ancestress of the Tuatha de Danaan. So antique is her legend that no stories have survived. She is analogous with Anu, and may survive in BLACK ANNIS. See: DANA DANU. # 454 - 548
Sources of Danube, place of origin of Celts. # 562
(theena shee) # 454: The people of the Sidhe or hollow hills. The inhabitants of the Otherworld who, like the Fairies, live behind the world of men but sometimes co-exist peacefully with them. There is a long tradition that the ancient gods and heroes entered the sidhe and lived there. See AES SIDHE.
# 100: The Daoine Sidhe are the fairy people of Ireland, generally supposed to be the dwindled gods of the early inhabitants of Ireland, the Tuatha Da Danann, who became first the Fenian heroes and then the fairies. Other names are however given them for safety's sake, the 'Wee folks', 'the People of That Town', 'the Gentry', 'the Good People, or other euphemistic names. A good account of these Irish fairies is given by Yeats in the first few pages of his IRISH FAIRY AND FOLK TALES.
They are the typical heroic fairies, enjoying the pleasures and occupations of the medieval chivalry. Even in modern times their small size is not invariable; they are occasionally of human or more than human stature. Their habitations are generally underground or underwater, in the green raths or under the loughs or in the sea. These underwater fairies are well described by Lady Wilde in ANCIENT LEGENDS OF IRELAND VOL.I. They are supposed to be those of the Fallen Angels, too good for Hell: 'Some fell to earth, and dwelt there, long before man was created, as the first gods of the earth. Others fell into the sea.' # 100 - 454 - 711 - 728 - 756
Son of Fachtna, owner of Brown Bull of Quelgny; # 562
The sister of St Patrick in Jocelyn's LIFE OF ST PATRICK. She was said to have been Patrick's youngest sister and to have had seventeen sons. Gallet makes her an ancestor of Arthur in the following fashion: Darerca married to Conan their son Urbien had a son, Solomon, which had a son, Constantine, grandfather of Arthur. Gallet makes Darerca's sister Tigridia marry Grallo, Conan's grandson, thus connecting her with Arthur. # 156
DARK DRUID, THE
Changes Sadbh into a fawn; When Finn and his two enchanted dogs, Bran and Sceolawn, was on a chase,a beautiful fawn started up on their path, and the chase swept after her. At last, as the chase went on down a valley-side, Finn saw the fawn stop and lie down, while the two hounds began to play around her, and to lick her face and limbs. So he gave commandment that none should hurt her, and she followed them to the Dun of Allen, playing with the hounds as she went. - The same night Finn awoke and saw standing by his bed the fairest woman his eyes had ever beheld. 'I am Sadbh, O Finn,' she said, 'and I was the fawn ye chased to-day. Because I would not give my love to the Druid of the Fairy Folk, who is named the Dark, he put that shape upon me by his sorceries, and I have borne it these three years. But a slave of his, pitying me, once revealed to me that if I could win to thy great Dun of Allen, O Finn, I should be safe from all enchantments, and my natural shape would come to me again.' - So Sadbh dwelt with Finn, and he made her his wife; But later, when Finn was out on warfare, the Dark Druid came to the castle, and in the phantom-shape of Finn, he succeeded in smitten Sadbh with his hazel wand, and lo, there was no woman there any more, but a deer. Finn and the Fianna was then searching for seven years for Sadbh throughout the whole of Ireland, but didn't find a trace of her. See also: FINN and FINN MAC CUMHAL and OISIN. # 562
Dartmoor is infamous for the so-called 'Whist Hounds', the 'Hounds of Hell', said to be a pack of spectral dogs which haunt the locality and inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to write THE HOUND OF BASKERVILLES. The Whist Hounds are associated with the demonic Wild Hunt, which has the devil as the night huntsman; in particular, legends tell how the pack chases benighted travellers to the edge of Dewerstone Rock on Dartmoor to drive them over the edge to their doom. The notion of 'spectral' or 'ghostly' dogs, whether single or in packs, is found throughout the British Isles even today, and may be demoted versions of the ancient 'Ride of the Valkyries' of Norse mythology. The tendency to introduce historical personages as an outer guise for the forgotten gods may be seen in the fact that some locals claim the Whist Hounds are led by none other than Sir Francis Drake. In the north of England the hell hounds are sometimes called 'Gabriel Hounds', but the name has nothing to do with the Archangel of the Annunciation for the word comes from the ancient term 'gabbara', which was the equivalent of a 'dead body'. In Cornwall the Whist Hounds are called Dandy Dogs. Whatever their names, it is widely believed that when the baying of the hounds is heard then disaster bodes for the one who is listening, and those who see them, with their slavering jaws and red-coal eyes, is bound for a sudden death. Ralph Whitlock's IN SEARCH OF LOST GODS suggests that the prevalence of black-dog ghosts might be a result of the ancient practice by which dogs were sacrificed and buried under the doorposts or walls of new buildings, that their spirits or souls might act as guardians of the place. Very many stories are told of black-dog hauntings, but the 'spectral hound' weather-vane on the parish church at Bungay must be unique. The demon hound of East Anglia is called Black Shuck. # 702
DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF LOGRES
In the romance of TYOLET, it was she who required a knight to cut off the white foot of a stag. This challenge was taken up successfully by Tyolet who became her husband. # 156
In Welsh: Dewi. The Patron of Wales, who died in 601. Born in Dyfed, and founded twelve monasteries from Croyland to Pembrokeshire, where the regime was particularly austere, after the Celtic fashion. His habit of only drinking water supplied him with the nickname 'Aquaticus'. Even though he in Wales is remembered on March 1st with leeks, his actual emblem is the dove. # 454 - 506
A sword belonging to the biblical King David. It was used by King Varlan to kill King Lambor in one version of the Dolorous Stroke. # 156
A record of the life of David (Dewi), the patron saint of Wales, was written by Rhigyfarch, the eldest son of Sulien, Bishop of St David's in about AD 1090. The manuscript was written at Llanbadarn Fawr, near Aberystwyth. The birth of David was foretold by Gildas when he was preaching at Cae Morfa. A young woman called Non came into his church and he suddenly lost the power of speech. But later he was able to predict the important event that was about to take place. 'One Nonnita, a pious woman now present is great with child and will shortly be delivered of a son with a greater portion of the divine spirit than has ever yet fallen to the share of any preacher in this country. To him I resign my situation as better able to fill it, and this an angel of the Lord has delivered to me.' King Sant heard that a very important child was about to be born and he ordered his men to kill every new child in the area. However, a wild storm blew up and his men took shelter. St Non fought her way through the violent thunderstorm to collapse on the ground beside a huge stone. 'The place shone with so severe a light that it glistened as though the sun was visible and had brought it in front of the clouds.' In her pains of labour, St Non pressed her fingers into the stone which consequently bore their impression. The stone later became an altar table in the chapel built on this spot. At the moment of St David's birth the huge stone split into two. One part remained behind St Non's head and the other stood upright at her feet. (It is possible that she was sheltering under a cromlech.) It is believed that St Non retired to Brittany after David grew up and she is buried at Dirinian, Finisterre. A very fine sixteenthcentury shrine and effigy can be seen there in the chapel of St Non; close by is a holy well bearing her name and another, a mile away, is dedicated to St Patrick. Some writers have claimed that St David was related to King Arthur. It has been suggested that he was Arthur's uncle. It is also written that St David's father was a Prince of Ceredigion and that Non was the daughter of a chieftain in Mynyw, now Dewisland Peninsula. At the child's baptism by Elwin the Bishop of Munster a spring (Ffynnon Ddewi), suddenly appeared and Mafi, a blind monk, who was standing nearby, had his sight miraculously restored. David was raised at Henfynyw near Aberaeron and he became a priest at the small monastery of Ty Gwyn.
His tutor Paulinus was told by an angel to persuade David to travel widely. Consequently he visited many parts of Wales and founded monasteries at Llangyfelach and Raglan and also ventured into England to establish churches at Leominster and Glastonbury. On his return an angel told him to build a monastery at Glyn Rhosyn. An Irish chieftain called Boia tried to kill David and his followers but was struck by fever and his cattle were destroyed (this was attributed to the saint's powers). Boia later begged David's forgiveness and the cattle were brought back to life. However, Boia's wife still tried to make problems for David and eventually she became mad. Boia was killed by an Irish pirate, Liski. An inlet near St David's bears his name indicating the point were he landed. David founded his monastery in the most secluded and isolated spot that he could find. He led a very strict and spartan life consisting mainly of very simple food, hard work and devotion. His example had to be followed by all who joined him. They called him Dewi Ddyfrwr David the Water Drinker. He would drink no wine, eat no meat and did not use oxen to till the ground, but yoked his fellow monks to the plough. All work had to be carried out in silence and all property was held in common. No monk could call anything his own. St David sent his missionaries from here on many journeys to convert the pagans. His influence went out to people all over South and West Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Brittany. Villages named Llanddewi, which were originally churches founded by St David or his disciples, are to be found in many parts of South Wales. St David travelled to Jerusalem and also to Rome, where he was made a bishop. He was accompanied on this journey by Padarn and Teilo. Living to a great age, he eventually died on 1 March in the year 588 AD and it is claimed that his final words to his followers were: 'Preserve in these things which you have learned from me and have seen in me.' His bones were laid to rest behind the high altar in the cathedral (or they were hidden there at the time of the Reformation). Some of his remains were taken to Glastonbury for burial in 946. In 1120 he was canonized and over fifty medieval churches in Wales were dedicated to him. # 49
DEAD, LAND OF
The Irish Fairyland. Equivalent 'Spain'. # 562
# 562: The Celtic conception of Death contents an Otherworld which is not a place of gloom and suffering, but of light and liberation; the Sun was as much the god of that world as he was of this. Names of Balor and Bilé occur as god of death.
# 548: The circumstances of the hero's death have been foretold by druids or seers and in many cases he goes through life knowing precisely what his end will be. So fully are the incidents which culminate in the Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel and the death of Conaire prefigured by the wizards of the attackers that relatively few words are necessary to tell the story of the actual battle. This is no more than a repetition or a materialization of a story which has its origin and being in a world outside the limitations of here and now. One is reminded of the relationship between a sentence of death and an execution. The sentence has prescribed the form of death and nothing remains but to carry it out. CuChulain's journey to his last battle is a veritable 'death ride'. Before he sets forth, a number of omens warn him of impending doom. Weapons fall from their racks, and as he throws on his mantle the brooch falls and pierces his foot, and so on. He also encounters three crones, blind in the left eye, who with poisons and spells have cooked a dog on spits of rowan. The hero is thereby placed in a quandary: it is geis (a prohibition) for him to eat his namesake, the dog, and it is geis for him to pass a cooking-hearth without partaking of the fare. At first he refuses the invitation extended by one of the crones, but when she reproaches him for disdaining their humble meal he submits, and he eats it out of his hand and places it under his left thigh. Immediately the hand and the thigh lose their strength. The violation of geisa (or gessa) is a sure omen of approaching death.
The myths have a bearing on the meaning of death itself. They proclaim that death, however peaceful it may appear to be, is a work of violence, a cutting down. The myths do not mitigate the impact of death with soothing words; they present it in its grimmest brutality. And yet, the declamation of such stories at Samhain (31 october - beginning of winter), perhaps, and at wakes for the dead, had its proper function. They elevated death to the plane of the tragic and the heroic. From a human standpoint deaths may be dismissed as due to natural causes: accidents, diseases, and so on; some are expected, others are 'premature'. But mythologically speaking no death is natural, nothing is ever premature and there is no such thing as accident. Deaths are preordained; and the contingent causes are but the agents of pre-existent and precognizable destinies. It is noteworthy that folk-belief is in agreement with the myths. However 'sudden' the death, there will have been omens. An apple-tree will have blossomed out of season, a hen will have crowed like a cock, or a dog will have howled at night. Someone will have seen a corpse-candle or a phantomfuneral or there will have been a premonitory dream or an inexplicable uneasiness. These portents accentuate the eeriness and mystery of death; they enhance its meaning. It is a reality of whose imminence the natural and supernatural worlds are aware and of which they take cognisance. Unlike such contemporary banalities as 'Well, he had a happy life' or 'He did not suffer much' or 'He is better out of his misery', myth and folk-belief do not strip death of its significance and so do not depreciate the nobility of human beings. # 548 - 562
The Celtic Death-Ritual as everybody can use in modern time, according to Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki, is fully described in her latest book THE NEW BOOK OF THE DEAD (1992). # 23 pp 143-152
DEATH TALES OF THE ULSTER HEROES
In spite of the embarrassment attendant upon representing the unconquerable champion of Ulster as falling in battle, the ancient Irish saga writers could not resist the temptation to depict his death. The result was 'The Great Rout of Muirthemne' (BRISLECH MÓR MAIGE MUIRTHEMNE), generally known as 'The Death of CuChulain', which was composed , probably as early as the eighth century, by a writer of unusual ability. It is one of the most striking pieces of early Irish literature. The closing passage describing CuChulain's death is genuinely heroic in conception and in style. Fully conscious that his end is near, CuChulain goes forth to battle despite the omens that warn him; like Conaire in 'The Destruction of Da Derga's Hostel', he is forced to break the taboos upon which his life depends, and at length he falls fighting single-handed against a band of vengeful but cowardly enemies. The other two death tales, which Cross and Slover gives in their ANCIENT IRISH TALES, although written more or less to order, contain some interesting motifs, among the most instructive of them being the attachment of the pagan king Conchobar to Christian tradition. This particular phase of the story is obviously an afterthought added at a fairly late date to a narrative of undoubtedly primitive content. Because of CuChulain's position as the central figure of the Ulster cycle, the account of his death is placed first, though the death of Celtchar is represented by the author as preceding it. # 166
DEBILITY THE, OF THE ULTONIANS
Caused by Macha's curse; manifested on occasion of Maev's famous cattleraid of Quelgny (Tain Bo Cuailgné). # 562
(DET een eh)
(deh'ti re) Mother of CuChulain; sister of Conchobar. See also: DECTERA. # 166
Son of King of the Decies wooes Light of Beauty (Sgeimh Solais). # 562
# 562: Mother of Cuchulain by Lugh; daughter of Druid Cathbad; her appearance to Conor mac Nessa after three years absence; her gift of a son to Ulster, Cuchulain by Lugh. # 454: Sister of Conchobar. She and her fifty attendant maidens disappeared for three years. She was discovered, in bird-form, in a house of the Sidhe by Bricriu who concealed this from Conchobar - he merely told the king that he had been royally entertained in that place. Conchobar sent a message to the sidhe demanding that the woman of the house be sent to him, in order that he might sleep with her, according to the kingly rights. She was sent but was in labour on arrival. In the morning she bore a son and Bricriu at last revealed that the woman was Dectera. The father was Lugh, and the child was called Setanta until he killed the hound of Culann the Smith when he was afterwards called CuChulain. ># 454 - 562
John Dee (1527-1608) was Renaissance England's first Hermetic magus, a philosopher-magician in the Continental tradition of Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola and Henry Cornelius Agrippa and as one of the greatest mathematicians of his age, Dr Dee was a man of great and wide learning with that extraordinary capacity for concentrated study which seemed to characterize the men of the Renaissance. He was astronomer and astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I, with a subtle and profound intellect, fascinated by mysticism and entangled in it, and yet so innocent and guileless that he was an easy dupe to an impostor. It was Edward Kelly who introduced him to the dubious company of spirits who beguiled him for so long. He had already been attracted towards intercourse with angels by means of a mirror or crystal and through the intervention of 'a scryer' or medium, but in 1582 Kelly presented himself at Mortlake, and a partnership was established which lasted for over six years, all the initiative being in Kelly's hands, since he alone could obtain any response from the crystal. Dee was already much hated by the common people as a wizard, though he was still supported by the Queen. In 1583, Dee, Kelly and their wives left Mortlake and travelled to Holland, and the house was no sooner empty than a mob attacked it and sacked Dee's magnificent library of over 4,000 volumes. For six years they travelled over Europe, one patron after another wearying of Kelly's impostures, but Dee remaining blindly loyal. The first converse on the crystal had been through angels, but these deteriorated to spirits who seemed nearer to fairies than anything else, though they were intolerable prattlers. Sometimes the angels returned, and on one occasion they went too far, for they advised that the two philosophers should hold everything in common, including their wives. Jane Dee was much betterlooking than Mrs. Kelly. Dee regretfully agreed, but the wives objected, quarrels broke out and the two associates parted, though a correspondence was maintained between them. Dee's journal of the intercourse with the spirits was published by Méric Casaubon under the title of A TRUE AND FAITHFUL RELATION OF WHAT PASSED FOR MANY YEARS BETWEEN DR J. DEE AND SOME SPIRITS. It did no good to Dee's reputation, which has, however, been largely vindicated by the writings of Dr Frances A. Yates. # 100 - 231
DEE, THE RIVER
Now the Ford of Ferdia. # 562
# 701: Deer were always considered magical creatures. The extrusion of horn from their heads was a symbol of powerful life force. Horned deer were the animal prototypes of the Horned God. Medieval wizards expressly preferred parchment made of deer skin for the writing of their letter amulets. Durham cathedral was founded on the site of an ancient deer shrine. Its name was originally Duirholm, the Meadow of the Deer. It was a pagan pilgrimage center for at least four centuries. - # 161: In Celtic tradition deer are frequently the means of taking souls to the otherworld. There are Celtic, Irish and Gaelic goddesses associated with them, such as Flidass, Goddess of Venery, who has a chariot drawn by deer. They are supernatural animals of the fairy world and are fairy cattle and messengers. Stag hunts often end in some supernatural situation. Deer skin and antlers were used as ritual ornaments and vestments.
# 454: The Deer is one of the foremost transformatory beasts in British mythology, especially in its form of the White Doe or White Stag, which is frequently an otherworldly messenger which hunters encounter, leading them ever deeper into the forest to unknown wonders. From the WhiteStag encountered by Pwyll to the White Hart which Galahad sees, betokening Christ, pagan and folklore traditions have asserted the beauty and mystical grace of this creature. Sadbh was enchanted into the form of a doe. Gilfaethwy, while Gwydion was changed into a stag. The human antlered figure has been a potent image from primeval times onwards, from the shaman-hunter and the Wild Huntsman in his form of Cernunnos, to the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance which is still danced every September - the time when the deer are in rut. # 161 - 439 - 441 - 454 - 701
DEFECTS OF THE FAIRIES
Among the many beliefs held about the fairies, there is one strand which describes them as beautiful in appearance, but with a deformity which they cannot always hide. The Scandinavian ellewomen, for instance, have beautiful faces, but if looked at from behind are seen to be hollow. The evil but beautiful Glaistigs of the Highlands wear trailing green dresses to conceal their goat's hoofs. The Shetland Henkies were given that name because they limped in their dancing. J. G. Campbell, in his SUPERSTITIONS OF THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS OF SCOTLAND, says: 'Generally some personal defect is ascribed to them by which they become known to be of no mortal race. In Mull and the neighbourhood they are said to have only one nostril, the other being imperforate.' The physical defects of the Bean Sidhe as described by him are such that she could never under any circumstance be called beautiful: 'The Bean Sith was detected by her extraordinary voracity (a cow at a meal), a frightful front tooth, the entire want of a nostril, a web foot, preternaturally long breasts, etc. According to George MacDonald, The Aberdeenshire Brownies had a thumb with the rest of the fingers joined together. It seems likely that these characteristics were given to the fairies by people who believed them to be fallen angels, or yet more closely related to the Devil. The Devil's cloven hoof is perhaps one of the most common articles of folk belief. As Alexander Roberts put it in his TREATISE OF WITCHCRAFT, 'Yet he cannot so perfectly represent the fashion of a man's body but that there is some sensible deformity by which he bewrayeth himself.' # 100 - 131
# 166: (dâr'dre or dâr'dryu) # 562: Daughter of Felim; Druid Cathbad draws her horoscope; Conor decides to wed her when of age; nursed by Levarcam; she loves Naisi (Naoisi) and put a gease on him to carry her off; returns with Naisi to Ireland; forced to wed Conor, she dashes herself against a rock and is killed; the tales of Grania and Deirdre compared; Pronoun Deirdre: deer'dree.
# 454: Daughter of Fedlimid mac Daill, harper and chief-storyteller of Conchobar. Cathbad prophesied that she would bring death and sorrow to Ulster and, though the Ulstermen demanded her death, Conchobar fostered her secretly with Lebharcham until Deirdre was old enough to be his wife. Deirdre saw some ravens feasting on blood in the snow and wished for a man whose skin was white as the snow, whose hair was black as the raven's, and whose cheek would be as red as the blood. With Naoisi and his brothers, she wandered throughout Ireland, pursued by Conchobar, until they fled to Alba at last. Fergus mac Roigh was sent to fetch them back, promising Conchobar's friendship, but they were betrayed on their return. The sons of Usnach were slain and Deirdre was bound to Conchobar as his wife. He eventually gave her to Eoghan, a client king, who had dealt the death blow to Naoisi. Between these twin evils she flung herself from Eoghan's chariot and dashed her brains out on a stone. Her laments for the life she had lived in Alba contain the purest strain of poetic lament in Irish literature. Like Helen of Troy, Deirdriu ushers in the decline of Ulster's greatness.# 166 - 266 - 454 - 562 - 656
DEITIES, CREATIVE & FERTILITY DEITIES
# 160 p 186 ff
- Titles: Illuminating Intelligence
- Deities: Lugh, Bran, Brigit, the Dagda, Diancecht, Go Ibniu, Manannan mac Lir, Nuada, Cernunnos, Bel, Mab, Ma cha, Nantosuelta, Ogma, Rhiannon.
- Color: pure blue.
- Incense/Oil: lily of the valley.
- Animals: dolphin, whale, mermaid.
- Stones: azurite, turquoise.
- Metal: aluminum.
- Plants: carnation, honeysuckle, vervain.
- Wood: bramble.
- Planet: Neptune.
- Tarot: four Kings & four Twos.
- Magical Tools: cauldron, wand.
- Direction: South. Rituals involving: achieving equilibrium; spiritual manifestations; creative force; divine inspiration.
DEITIES, CREATOR DEITIES
Creator Deities (Rituals involving: divine consciousness; illumination; enlightenment; spiritual development and attainment; finding the karmic purpose in life) -
# 160 p 186
- Titles: Ancient of Ancients; First Cause.
- Deities: Anu Danu, the Dagda, Llyr.
- Color: brilliant pure white.
- Incense/Oil: wisteria, angelica.
- Animals: Hawk, winged dragon.
- Stones: diamond, zircon.
- Metal: electrum (gold & silver alloy), or piece each of gold and silver.
- Plants: shamrock, clover, woad, male fern, aspen.
- Wood: aspen
- Planet: Uranus
- Tarot Cards: four Aces
- Magical Tools: cauldron
- Direction: East
DEITIES, DEITIES OF JUSTICE
# 160 p 188
- Titles: The Great Helper; Scale-Balancer.
- Deities: the Dagda, Danu, Lugh, Macha, Sucellus.
- Color: deep purple, dark blue.
- Incense/Oil: cedar, carnation.
- Animals: unicorn, eagle.
- Stones: amethyst, sapphire, lapis lazuli.
- Metal: tin.
- Plants: shamrock, clover, oak, verbena, cedar, betony, dandelion, fir, meadowsweet.
- Wood: cedar.
- Planet: Jupiter.
- Tarot: 4 Fours.
- Magical Tools: wand, cauldron.
- Direction: North.
- Rituals Involving: honor, riches, health, friendship, the heart's desires, luck, accomplishment, religion, trade and employment, treasure, legal matters.
DEITIES, DEITIES OF LOVE
# 160 p 189 ff
- Titles: The Great Mother.
- Deities: Arianrhod, Brigit, Danu, Anu, Blodeuwedd, Branwen, Angus mac Og.
- Color: pink, green.
- Incense/Oil: apple blossom, mugwort, elder, mint, rose, sandalwood.
- Animals: cat, dove, sparrow.
- Stones: emerald, amber, malachite, jade, peridot, coral.
- Metal: copper.
- Plants: birch, catnip, blackberry, coltsfoot, foxglove, mugwort, thyme, yarrow, fewerfew, burdock, elder, pennyroyal, plantain, briar, verbena.
- Wood: birch, elder.
- Planet: Venus.
- Tarot Cards: four Sevens.
- Magical Tools: cauldron, wand.
- Direction: West.
- Rituals Involving: love, pleasure, the arts, music, writing, creativity, inspiration, expanding the intellect, marriage, friendship, beauty, fertility, compassion, children, spiritual harmony.
DEITIES, DEITIES OF THE SUN, HEALING & ILLUMINATION
# 160 p 189
- Titles: The Great God.
- Deities: Bel, Badb, the Dagda, Brigit, Diancecht, Ogma.
- Color: gold or pale yellow.
- Incense/Oil: chamomile, marigold, mistletoe, frankincense, cinnamon, bay.
- Animals: phoenix, snake.
- Stones: topaz, yellow diamond, yellow jacinth, chrysolite, goldstone, zircon, pyrite.
- Metal: gold.
- Plants: laurel, vine, ash, chamomile, centaury, marigold, rue, mistletoe, St. Johnswort.
- Wood: laurel.
- Planet: Sun.
- Tarot: four Knights and four Sixes.
- Magical Tools: wand.
- Direction: East
- Rituals Involving: honor, power, life, growth, money, healing, understanding the Deep Mysteries, building intuition, energy, favor, promotion, success, friendship, hope, prosperity, confidence, personal fulfillment.
DEITIES, DEITIES OF WAR, REVENGE & SMITHING
# 160 p 188 ff
- Titles: The Warrior God.
- Deities: the Morrigu, Arawn, Cerridwen, the Dagda, Lugh, Macha, Nuada, Pwyll, Scathach.
- Color: red.
- Incense/Oil: basil, pine, dragon's blood.
- Animals: wolf, horse, bear, ram.
- Stones: ruby, garnet, bloodstone, red topaz, red agate.
- Metal: iron, steel.
- Plants: oak, nettles, basil, broom, woodruff, holy thistle, pine, wormwood, hops.
- Wood: hawthorn, furze.
- Planet: Mars.
- Tarot: four Fives.
- Magical Tools: sword, cauldron.
- Direction: South.
- Rituals Involving: energy, courage, defense, will power, selfdiscipline, ridding yourself of garbage in order to attain higher aspirations, bringing rhythm and stability into life.
DEITIES, EARTH & GRAIN DEITIES
# 160 p 192
- Titles: The Sphere of Form.
- Deities: gnomes, fairies and folk, Anu, Branwen, Brigit, Cernunnos, Don.
- Color: yellow, brown.
- Incense/Oil: birch, cherry, cloves, lilac rosemary.
- Animals: toad, fairies, elves, gnomes.
- Stones: rock crystal.
- Metal: nickel.
- Plants: ivy, corn, willow, lily, grains.
- Wood: fir.
- Planet: Earth.
- Tarot Cards: four Pages and four Tens.
- Magical Tools: wand, goblet.
- Direction: North.
- Rituals Involving: organized material manifestations; healing mental and physical illnesses; inspiration for improving life on material basis; centering oneself; healing plants and animals; trance; any psychic work that calls for direct contact with spirits.
DEITIES, GREAT MOTHER GODDESSES; DEITIES OF THE UNDERWORLD
# 160 p 187
- Titles: The Great Taskmaster; Womb of Time.
- Deities: Anu, Arianrhod, Badb, Danu, Brigit, Cerridwen, the Morrigu, the Dagda, Diancecht, Don, Gwyn ap Nudd.
- Color: indigo, black.
- Incense/Oil: holly, juniper, yew, myrrh, cypress.
- animals: dragon, goat.
- Stones: onyx, jet.
- Metals: lead.
- Plants: oak, yew, beech, comfrey, elm, holly, ivy, horsetail, juniper, mullein, reeds, Solomon's seal.
- Wood: oak.
- Planet: Saturn.
- Tarot Cards: four Queens & four Threes.
- Magical Tools: sword or wand.
- Direction: West.
- Rituals Involving: stabilization of thought and life; help with groups; comfort when in sorrow; contact with the Goddess power; developing power of faith.
DEITIES, MESSENGER & TEACHER DEITIES
# 160 p 190 ff
- Titles: Messenger of the Gods.
- Deities: Taliesin, Merlin, Angus mac Og, Branwen, Cerridwen, the Dagda, Diancecht, Gwydion, Math Mathonwy, the Morrigu, Nuada, Ogma, Scathach.
- Color: orange.
- ncense/Oil: lily of the valley, dill, savory, honeysuckle.
- Animals: swallow, butterfly.
- Stones: agate, carnelian, alexandrite.
- Metal: quicksilver, alloys.
- Plants: fern, lily of the valley, marjoram, savory, valerian, vervain.
- Wood: hazel.
- Planet: Mercury.
- Tarot Cards: four eights.
- Magical Tools: goblet, wand.
- Direction: East.
- .Rituals Involving: business, legal problems, travel, information, logic, writing, controlling runaway emotions, organization, learning, locating the proper teachers, memory, science, creativity, divination, prediction, eloquence, speech, healing nervous disorders.
DEITIES, MOON DEITIES
# 160 p 191
- Titles: The Silver Huntress, Maiden of the Mysteries, Queen of Heaven.
- Deities: Arianrhod, Blodeuwedd, Bran, Brigit, Cerridwen, the Dagda, Danu, Lugh.
- Color: silver, lavender, pale blue, pearl blue, pearl white.
- Incense/ Oil: mugwort, lily of the valley, jasmine, lotus.
- Animals: dog, hare, hart, boar, horse.
- Stones: quarts crystal, moonstone, beryl, pearl.
- Metal: silver.
- Plants: mandrake, lily of the valley, moonwort, mugwort, waterlily, willow.
- Wood: willow.
- Planet: Moon.
- Tarot Cards: four Nines.
- Magical Tools: goblet, wand.
- Direction: West.
- Rituals Involving: change, divination, fertility, intuition, crystal ball, tarot cards, runes or other divination aids; dreams, magic, love, plants, medicine, luck, birth, visions.
DEITIES, THE CELTIC
Cæsar and the Gauls themselves tried to fit the Celtic deities or the Gallic religion into the Roman mythology. It mustn't be overlooked that the popular and bardic conception of Danaan was probably at all times something different from each other. # 562
The daughter of Morgan, king of the land of wonders and of Coinchend. Fairy mistress of Art son of Conn of the Hundred Victories. She could not be won by any man because of a prophecy that when she married, her mother would die. She was kept secluded and guarded by monsters, hags and hostile terrain - all of which Art surmounted in order to win her. # 166 - 188 - 454
(In Welsh: Dyfed) A kingdom in south Wales. Geoffrey of Monmouth states that it was ruled in Arthur's time by Stater. Ordinary history knows nothing of this ruler and tells us of a king named Agricola who ruled there in about AD 500, and of another ruler, Vortipor, who was an old man in AD 540. Before Agricola's time an Irish dynasty, the Ui Liatháin, ruled there. # 156 - 243 - 484
Visit to Britain of Demetrius; mentions island where 'Kronos' was imprisoned in sleep while Briareus kept watch over him. # 562
According to Heywood, Merlin's maternal grandfather. The name seems to be a corruption of the place name Demetia from where Merlin's mother came. # 156
# 454: The childhood name which Fionn took when he was tutored by Finneces. # 562: When Demna grew up to be a lad, he was called 'Finn', or the Fair One, on account of the whiteness of his skin and his golden hair, and by this name he was always known thereafter. He had a partly Danaan ancestry. His mother, Murna of the White Neck, was grand-daughter of Nuada of the Silver Hand, who had wedded that Ethlinn, daughter of Balor the Fomorian, who bore the Sun-god Lugh to Kian. Cumhal, son of Trenmor was Finns father, and was slain by the Clan Morna. # 454 - 562 - 583
In classical mythology, the being who was thought to have resolved primeval chaos into order. According to Conrad Celtis (1459-1508), Renaissance historian, he was the father of a nation in the Arctic northlands, the Germans. In Erasmo de Valvasone's LA CACCIA, Arthur entered the cave of Demogorgon on his route through a mountain to Morgan's palace. # 156 - 238
DENMARK, KINGS OF
In Anderson's Royal Genealogies, kings of Denmark in the 'Arthurian period', were Harald IV (AD 481-527) and Eschyllus (AD 527-43). Geoffrey says that Aschil, King of Denmark, supported Arthur in his last battle, but the MORTE ARTHURE says Mordred made the Danes his allies. Geoffrey Gaimar (a twelfth-century Welsh writer) says in Arthurian times, it was ruled by King Gunter. # 156
A princess of Munster, Deoca, (the 'woman of the South'). See: CHILDREN OF LIR. # 562
Deosil means Sunwise circles, the oldest ritual of all, and its representing the motion of the sun at an Otherworld threshold. At the proper time and under the proper circumstances, it is a very potent ritual to open the 'gate.' # 383 p 84
# 454: Derfel Cadarn (the Strong). Very little is known about him, except that his legend calls him a warrior who distinguished himself at the Battle of Camlan. He was the founder and patron of Llanderfel in Gwynedd, where a wooden statue of him on a horse, holding a staff, was shown. During the Reformation this image was burned at Smithfield along with Katherine of Aragon's confessor, Friar John Forest, because there was a prophecy saying that the image would one day set a forest on fire. Derfel is remembered on 5 April. # 156: A saint, founder of Llanderfel in Gwynedd. In Welsh tradition it was said he had taken part in, and survived, the Battle of Camlann. # 156 - 216 - 454
Dermot MacKerval (Diarmuid mac Cearbhaill) was High King in Ireland about 600 AD. He arrest and tries Hugh Guairy, who was hidden in a church by his brother the bishop, for murder. Immediately the ecclesiastics of Ireland made common cause against the lay ruler who had dared to execute justice on a criminal under clerical protection. They assembled at Tara, and laid their solemn malediction upon him and the seat of his government. # 562
DERMOT OF THE LOVE SPOT
(Dermot O'Dyna or Diarmuid) Follower of Finn mac Cumhal, lover of Grania, bred up with Angus at palace on Boyne; the typical lover of Irish legend; slain by wild Boar of Ben Bulben; friend of Finn's; described as a Gaelic Adonis; Donn, his father; His mother, who was unfaithful to Donn, bore another child to Roc, the steward of Angus. Donn, one day, when the steward's child ran between his knees to escape from some hounds that were fighting on the floor of the hall, gave him a squeeze with his two knees that killed him on the spot, and he then flung the body among the hounds on the floor. When the steward found his son dead, and discovered (with Finn's aid) the cause of it, he brought a Druid rod and smote the body with it, whereupon, in place of the dead child, there arose a huge boar, without ears or tail; and to it he spake: 'I charge you to bring Dermot O'Dyna to his death'; and the boar rushed out from the hall and roamed in the forests of Ben Bulben in Co. Sligo till the time when his destiny should be fulfilled.
But Dermot grew up into a splendid youth, beloved by all his comrades of the Fianna. He was called Dermot on the Love Spot, and here is a resume of how he got this appellation. 'With three comrades, he was out hunting and late at night they sought a resting-place. They soon found a hut, in which were an old man, a young girl, a wether sheep, and a cat. Here they asked for hospitality, and it was granted to them. But, as usual in these tales, it was a house of mystery. When they sat down to dinner the wether got up and mounted on the table. One after another the Fianna strove to throw it off, but it shook them down on the floor. At last Goll succeeded in flinging it off the table, but him too it vanquished in the end, and put them all under its feet. Then the old man bade the cat lead the wether back and fasten it up, and it did so easily. The four champions, overcome with shame, were for leaving the house at once; but the old man explained that they had suffered no discredit - the wether they had been fighting with was the World, and the cat was the power that would destroy the world itself, namely, Death. - At night the four heroes went to rest in a large chamber, and the young maid came to sleep in the same room; and it is said that her beauty made a light on the walls of the room like a candle. One after another the Fianna went over to her couch, but she repelled them all. 'I belonged to you once,' she said to each, 'and I never will again'. Last of all Dermot went. 'O Dermot', she said, 'you also, I belonged to once, and I never can again, for I am Youth; but come here and I will put a mark on you so that no woman can ever see you without loving you'. Then she touched his forehead, and left the Love Spot there; and that drew the love of women to him as long as he lived # 334 - 562
The derricks of Devon are described by E. M. Wright in RUSTIC SPEECH AND FOLK-LORE as 'dwarfish fairies, of somewhat evil nature', but they may have a better reputation in Hampshire. In 1962 a visitor from Hampshire suggested to Ruth Tongue that a little green-dressed, good humoured fairy who directed a stranger lost on the Berkshire downs might be a derrick. The Devonshire derricks would be more likely to lead travellers astray. ># 100 - 752
Aoife's cruelty to her step-children at Derryvar'agh Lake, where she in CHILDREN OF LIR enchanted them into swans for three times three hundred years. # 562
(dâr vôr'gli) Daughter of Ruad, king of the Isles; rescued from the Fomorians by CuChulain; married Lugaid of the Red Stripes. # 166
Foster-father of Conary Môr. # 562
DESCENT FROM ANIMALS
The seal occurs in Celtic and Gaelic lore and fairy tale as an ancestor; the wolf founded an Irish tribe and the 'Son of a Bear' occurs frequently in Irish and Welsh names. # 161
A King of Northumberland. # 156
DEVIL IN WALES, THE
Until the nineteenth century many country folk actually believed that the Devil lived in the mountains of Mid Wales. He was sometimes known as Andreas or Y Fall and was always described as black or very dark, appearing sometimes in the shape of a man with horns and cloven hooves or even taking animal form. Often he was said to resemble a hegoat and in witch-lore he appeared as a very black male goat with fiery eyes. In some old stories of Wales he took the form of a raven, a black dog, a black cock, a horse or a black pig. In fact it was believed that he could assume any form but that of a white sheep. However, he could easily appear as a black sheep or lamb. Sometimes he appeared in the shape of a fish or as a ball of fire or a huge stone rolling downhill, or as a mysterious and terrifying presence without form. - To prevent the Prince of Darkness from entering their homes, people used to whitewash their doorsteps. This habit still continues in some parts of Wales although the original reason may have been long forgotten. At one time, whenever the Devil's name was mentioned in church, people would spit for several seconds in contempt. There are many strange superstitions connected with the Devil in Welsh folklore.
The dragonfly is supposed to be the Devil's messenger; the caterpillar is the Devil's cat; the iris is the Devil's posy; the wild clematis is the Devil's yarn or thread; the lycopodium (clubmoss) is the Devil's claw; the euphorbia (spurge) is the Devil's milk; the palmatum is his hand; the Scabiosa Succisa is his bile and the wild orchid his basket. - If it rains while the sun is shining they say that the Devil is beating his wife. But if thunder is heard while the moon is shining he is beating his mother. - Sometimes the Devil would assume the form of a blacksmith busy at the anvil or stoking the fire. He has been described as the maker of horseshoes, bolts, bars and ploughshares. He was supposed to frequent moorlands, marshes, lonely mountainsides, crossroads, forges, narrow passes and ravines. Nightmares, bad dreams and delirium due to fever or drink were said to be the Devil's means by which he sought to get possession of people's souls. At one time people would not bury their dead on the north side of a churchyard because they believed that area belonged to the Devil and he claimed all places that lay due north. It was also thought that on Judgement Day all buildings would fall to the north and then the Devil could take his share.
There are various lonely places in Wales where he was supposed to keep his apprentices. Often they numbered nine, seven or five. The conditions of their employment were that when they learned their trade, the last to finish and go away had to be caught by the Devil before he had a chance to escape. A story is told of three apprentices who were about to leave. One was ordered to remain and he pointed to his shadow and said, 'There is the last of all!' The Devil had to be satisfied with the shadow and the apprentice became a man 'without a shadow' for the rest of his life. We may also hear that the Devil was once shut up in a tower in Mid Wales. He was given permission to get out at the top, but only by mounting one step a day. There were 365 steps so the ascent took him a whole year. There are legendary claims of people who managed to outwit Satan or even on some occasions cause him actual 'bodily harm'. In Glamorgan, St Quinton is said to have lamed the Devil on the hillside above Llanblethian and put him in misery for three days. The marks called the Devil's Right Knee Cap and Left Foot are to be seen on the slope concerned to this day. A Cardiganshire story describes Satan as a good-looking stranger appearing at a village inn where he offered to play a round of cards. But when the name of Christ was mentioned the Devil vanished up the chimney like 'a ball of fire'. It was a North Wales blacksmith who is claimed to have enticed the Devil one day into his forge and there hammered his right foot upon the anvil after which he was 'lamed for ever'. Similarly, in Powys and Glamorgan, there are stories of village blacksmiths who threw a noose of iron over the Devil's head, which he was unable to break. He was then dragged to the anvil and his leg hammered until he was lame. The Devil used to appear frequently in the village of Llanfor in Clwydd in the form of a pig and sometimes as a gentle man in a threecornered hat. Two local wizards were successful in capturing him and he turned into a cock. They threw him into Llyn y Geulan Goch, a deep pool in the River Dee, and he was told to stay there until he had counted every grain of sand on the bottom. At Llanarth Church in Dyfed the Devil once tried to steal a bell. However, he was noisy and awoke the vicar who frightened him away with a bell, book and candle. The Evil One climbed to the top of the tower and jumped and you can still see a mark on a stone in the graveyard where he landed. Throughout Britain and particularly in Wales there are many strange natural features of the landscape that are associated through legend with the Devil. At Bosherton Mere, Gower, can be seen the Devil's Blowhole. This is a small aperture which funnels out into a cavern. The sea, driven in by the wind, is ejected through the upper hole in jets of foam and spray 40-50 feet high. The Devil's kitchen at the head of Cwm Idwal is so called because at times during storms there are weird noises and steaming, dripping fogs in the cleft. It was seriously believed at one time that the Devil lived in a cave somewhere in the depths of Wales. One old story claims that he used to live in a cave on Pen y Cefn Mountain in North Wales. One day he was exorcized by the local people who held a service at the cave entrance. During the service he fell into a deep murky pool and it is said that he has been black ever since! # 49
DEVIL'S DANDY DOGS
This is a Cornish version of the Wild Hunt, closely attached to Dando and His Dogs, to the Gabriel Ratchets and the Wish Hounds, the Welsh Cwn Annwn and, more loosely, to Herla's Rade. This last is the legend that has the closest fairy connection; most of the other spirits are more nearly allied to beliefs about the Devil than about fairies. The Devil and his dandy dogs are the most dangerous of all the diabolical packs. Hunt, in POPULAR ROMANCES OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND, quotes a story of T. Quiller Couch's in which a herdsman is only saved from being torn to pieces by the dandy dogs by kneeling and praying:
A poor herdsman was journeying homeward across the moors one windy night, when he heard at a distance among the Tors the baying of hounds, which he soon recognized as the dismal chorus of the dandydogs. It was three or four miles to his house; and very much alarmed, he hurried onward as fast as the treacherous nature of the soil and the uncertainty of the path would allow; but, alas! the melancholy yelping of the hounds, and the dismal holloa of the hunter came nearer and nearer. After a considerable run, they had so gained upon him, that on looking back, - oh horror! he could distinctly see hunter and dogs. The former was terrible to look at, and had the usual complement of SAUCER-EYES, horns, and tail, accorded by common consent to the legendary devil. He was black, of course, and carried in his hand a long hunting-pole. The dogs, a numerous pack, blackened the small patch of moor that was visible; each snorting fire, and uttering a yelp of indescriably frightful tone. No cottage, rock, or tree was near to give the herdsman shelter, and nothing apparently remained to him but to abandon himself to their fury, when a happy thought suddenly flashed upon him and suggested a resource. Just as they were about to rush upon him, he fell on his knees in prayer. There was strange power in the holy words he uttered; for immediately, as if resistance had been offered, the hell hounds stood at bay, howling more dismally than ever, and the hunter shouted, 'Bo Shrove,' which (says my informant) means in the old language, 'THE BOY PRAYS,' at which they all drew off some other pursuit and disappeared.
The Cornish devil hunts human souls. The prey of many devils are witches; but in the Scandinavian legend it is Odin, lately become like Dando a demi-devil, who leads the hunt, and it is the elf-women whom he pursues. One can see in all these varying hunts how close the connection between devils, fairies and the dead can be. # 100 - 331
DEVIL'S HORNS THE SIGN AGAINST EVIL
To make the devil's horns, or the Horns of Cernunnos (the two midfingers bent inward and held by the tumb), as a hand gesture, is one of the oldest prophylactic signs supposed to avert the evil eye and placate harmful powers.
In some parts of Europe it is still considered more efficacious than making the sign of the cross. In antiquity it must have represented an appeal to the Horned God; then in the Middle ages, an appeal to the devil, who was often considered more influential in the earthly realm than God. The hand in the devil's horns position does bear a striking resemblance to the head of a horned animal. Perhaps even more pertinent to the diabolization of the gesture, however, is the fact that it was once intimately associated with the Goddess. But the Sign against Evil was also, however, by holding the Fist of Thor, the very potent Norse god. # 701 p 308
She was to be given in tribute to the Fomorians but was rescued by CuChulain who offered her in marriage to Lugaid. Angry at this slight she attempted to kill CuChulain. He wounded and then healed her by sucking her blood. By this action they became blood brother and sister. # 454
See: DAVID, SAINT.
Horse of Conall of the Victories. # 562
Dedications to Diana occur throughout Britain, including one temple which was re-dedicated on an old Iron-age site at Maiden Castle denoting perhaps a native cult of a similar, unnamed goddess. She was the goddess of venery and it is in this aspect that she is natively recognized. The site of St Pauls Cathedral, London, was anciently sacred to her and there is a tradition that live bucks were processed up its steps until medieval times. # 265 - 454 - 709
(de'ân häht - or - JAN kett) The great physician of the Tuatha De Danann. Grandfather of Lugh. Assisted by Credne, he made the silver hand to replace the one lost by Nuadu in battle. The mortally wounded Tuatha de Danaan were bathed in the well, Slane, which he had specially blessed by him, recovering to fight on. Killed his son Miach because of professional jealousy. See: CAULDRON. # 166 - 454 - 562
The goddess of the wood, mother of Dyonas and grandmother of Vivienne in the VULGATE VERSION. See: DIONES. # 156
(de ar moo id) Hero of the Fianna. Nephew of Fionn. He was fostered in the Sidhe of Bruig na Boinne by Angus Og. His father, Donn, accidently(?) killed the Stewards son in that place. The Steward struck his son with a wand and turned him into a wild boar, charging him to kill Donns son when the time came, on which account Diarmuid was forbidden to hunt that boar. He had a love-spot, making him irresistible to women. Grainne put a gease on him to run away with her when she saw the ageing Fionn who had come to woo her. They run away together but had no rest, since Fionn swore that they should not sleep under one roof on two consecutive nights, nor eat a meal in the same place twice. After a long pursuit, Fionn made peace with them, but he sent Diarmuid to hunt the boar which wounded him. He begged a healing drink from Fionn's hands, but such was Fionn's jealousy and anger that the water dripped from his fingers to the ground and Diarmuid died. Equivalent to 'Tristan and Iseult', or Lancelot and Guinevere. See: DIARMUID AND GRAINNE, THE PURSUIT OF, and DERMOT OF THE LOVE SPOT. ># 267 - 454 - 654
DIARMUID AND GRAINNE, THE PURSUIT OF
This tale is beyond doubt the most striking and tragic of the Finn cycle. It relates the trials and sufferings of Diarmuid, one of Finn's warriors whom Grainne, Finn's affianced wife, forced to elope with her. The narrative is somewhat prolix, but because of its comparative inaccessibility, Cross and Slover reproduce the entire tale, except for one or two episodes not directly related to the main narrative. This story, which has often been compared with the tragic romance of 'Tristan and Iseult,' differs markedly in manner from the stories of the earlier tradition. It is more discursive, more delineative, and less restrained in style than the tales of Ulster cycle or even than the earlier tales of Finn. And yet, its realistic treatment of human motive and its objective analysis of character, devoid of editorial comment, place it definitely in the most honorable line of Irish literary tradition. The episodic digressions contain a considerable amount of material that belongs to the fairy tradition of the folk in later generations rather than to the epic literature of earlier times, but they are none the less interesting and they illustrate the tendency, found even in the oldest recorded Irish literature, to combine such material with what we may call the 'classical' tradition of the heroic age. The main plot of the story and the general conception of the characters are certainly ancient. The earliest reference to the love of Diarmuid and Grainne dates from the tenth century. But the version to be found in Cross' and Slover's ANCIENT IRISH TALES, however, represents accretions through many generations. # 166
An enemy of Arthur. One of the tasks set Culhwch by Yspadadden was to obtain this man's beard to make a leash. To do this, Kay flung him into a pit and yanked out the hairs of his beard with tweezers. # 156 - 346
The boy who taunted the young Merlin for not knowing the name of his father. This drew the attention of one of Vortigern's counsellors to him as Vortigern was seeking a fatherless child. # 156
# 156: A Knight of the Round Table who saw no purpose in fighting for fighting's sake. He was the brother of Breunor the Black.He was killed by Mordred and Agravain. # 454: Apart from Dagonet, he is about the only figure in the Arthurian sagas who has a genuine sense of humour and no little satirical talent. He wrote a lampoon against King Mark, and in a tournament in which Lancelot took part played all kinds of pranks on the other knights. # 156 - 418 - 454
The senechal of Mark and a Knight of the Round Table. He sympathized with Tristan, whom he had felt had been mistreatet, and became his companion. When Lancelot ran off with Guinevere Dinas went with him and became Duke of Anjou. According to the TAVOLA RITONDA, after Mark's death Dinas became the King of Cornwall. # 156 - 238 - 418
Just below Llyn Dinas in Nant Gwynant, 2 miles north-east of Beddgelert, Gwynedd is an isolated woodedhill called Dinas Emrys.The mountainous place in Snowdonia where Merlin had his confrontation with Vortigern. Merlin claimed that the tower which Vortigern could not make stay up was falling over because of a subterranean pool containing dragons, one red and the other white, who were fighting in an underground lake beneath the rock. Myrddin (Merlin) subsequently dealth with them and built his own fortress on the hill top.
Excavation has revealed the pool, and some Iron Age relics, which back up the legend. As to how the dragons became confined there, the story of LLUD AND LLEFELYS in the MABINOGION gives details. When Llud ruled Britain, a scream, whose origin could not be determined, was heard each May Eve. Llefelys, King of France, furnished the information that it was caused by battling dragons. The scream would be uttered by the dragon of the British nation when it was about to be defeated. The dragons were captured and buried at Dinas Emrys. The main entrance to the fort is on the northern side of the hill and traces of a ruined tower 36 feet by 24 feet have been found on the summit. Nearby is a circle of tumbled stones about 30 feet in diameter which is said to be a mystic circle in which the dragons were hidden. At one time the fort was known as Dinas Fforan - The Fort with High Powers. Myrddin apparently hid his treasure in a cave at Dinas Emrys. He placed it in a golden vessel and that was placed with his golden chair inside a cave. He then rolled a huge stone over the entrance and covered it with earth and green turf. We are told that the discoverer of the treasure will be 'golden-haired and blue-eyed'. When that lucky person is near to Dinas Emrys a bell will ring to invite him or her into the cave, which will open of its own accord as soon as that person's foot touches it. A young man who lived near Beddgelert once searched for the treasure, hoping to give himself a good start in life. He took a pickaxe and climbed to the top of the hill. When he began to dig in earnest on the site of the tower, some terrible unearthly noises began to rumble under his feet. The Dinas began to rock like a cradle and the sun clouded over so it became pitch dark. Lightning flashed in the sky and thunder clapped over his head. He dropped the pickaxe and ran home. When he arrived, everything was calm again but he never returned to collect his pickaxe. Not far from Dinas Emrys is Cell-y-Dewiniaid - The Grove of the Magicians. There is a field here that once had a thick grove of oak trees at its northern end. Vortigern's wise men used to meet here to discuss the great events of their times. An adjacent field is where they were buried and at one time a stone actually marked the site of each grave. A white thorn tree annually decorated each resting place with falling white blossoms. # 49 - 156 - 308
The sister of Perceval, she went on the Grail Quest. The questers came to a castle where it was the custom to demand the blood of passing women to cure the leprous chatelaine. Hearing of this, Dindrane voluntarily donated her blood and died in so doing. In Italian romance, Perceval's sister is called Agrestizia. According to # 454, Dindranes body accompanied the Grail Knights on the Ship of Solomon to Sarras. # 112 - 156 - 454 - 748
(deen han hus)
DINEEN'S IRISH DICTIONARY
Reference to Dineen's Irish Dictionary. See : GEIS. # 562
(din-shen'cus) Ancient tract, preserved in the 'Book of Leinster.'# 562
Cantrev of Din'odig, over which Llew and Blodeuwedd reigned. # 562
(din'ree) Maon slays Covac at Dinrigh. # 562
A contemporary of Julius Caesar; describes Gauls, and note in particular the Gallic love of gold. Even cuirasses were made of it. This is also a very notable trait in Celtic Ireland. Diodorus about transmigration or reincarnation: 'Among them the doctrine of Pythagoras prevails, according to which the souls of men are immortal, and after a fixed term recommence to live, taking upon themselves a new body'. # 562
The father of Nimue. His godmother was said to be the goddess Diana. # 156
The name of two persons mentioned in the fourteenth-century Welsh BIRTH OF ARTHUR. 1. A daughter of Gorlois and Igraine, half-sister to Arthur. 2. A daughter of Gwyar and Lleu (Lot), sister to Mordred and Gwalchmai. # 156
An enchanted chatelaine, liberated by Gawain, who refused to marry her. # 156
The brother of Lac and uncle of Erec. # 156
Pluto, equivalent. # 562
Brother of Red Hugh and Kimbay, slain by Macha; five sons of Dithorba taken captive by Macha. # 562
DIURAN THE RHYMER
German and Diuran the Rhymer companions of Maeldun on his wonderful voyage; returns with piece of silver net. # 562
Animals and birds were closely involved with the ancient and universal practice of divination, which assumes that deities, or powers other than human, can and will communicate with humanity and express their desires. Divination also sought to reveal hidden secrets, to foretell future events or discover the probable succes or failure of undertakings. It was largely the province of priests, shamans and magicians but also affected everyday life in the occurence of personal omens. Innumerable methods were employed but the use of sacrificial animals was one of the most usual. This was called 'exispicy' and was the means of augury from the entrails of the sacrifice. Augury involved the flight of birds, or a bird; the posture when settled or any movement while settled; if they are scattered it means ill-luck and enmity, if together it signifies good luck and peace. The croak of a raven repeated three times when flying over a house is an omen of death; a crow settling on a roof and cawing is the same. The laugh of a woodpecker denotes intrigue, if against one, will fail, or that one could succeed in intrigue oneself; the laugh to the left has the opposite significance. Numbers are also important: one or two croaks of a crow or raven are favourable, three means death. Magpies are well-known for number symbolism. A crowing hen is 'neither good for God nor men'. The Roman College of Augurs distinguised between bird prophets as either OSCENES, or 'talkers', and ALITES, or 'flyers'; among the talkers were ravens, crows, owls and magpies; the flyers were eagles, vultures and migratory birds, although the latter could come into both categories as some talked as they flew, such as geese and swans. Patterns of migration were also of great significance. The way a cat faces when washing itself shows which way the wind may be expected to blow. The howling of a dog at night portends death and was associated with Hecate. # 161
# 156: (DUR nach) An Irishman who refused to give Arthur his cauldron for Culhwch. Arthur led an expedition to Ireland, Diwrnach was slain and the cauldron appropriated. See: THIRTEEN TREASURES. # 454: The possessor of a magical cauldron which would not boil the food of a coward. Is variously described as the steward of the King of Ireland and also as a giant. Finding of the cauldron is the subject of the early Welsh poem, the 'Preiddeu Annwn'. Also described in 'Culhwch and Olwen'. # 104 - 156 - 272 - 439 - 454
A forester of Uther and the father of Griflet and Lorete. His own father was called Ares. # 156
One type of brownie, but, according to William Henderson in FOLK-LORE OF THE NORTHERN COUNTIES, he is not nearly so acute as a brownie, and people are often heard saying, 'She's but a Dobie,' or, 'Ye stupid Dobie!' It used to be the custom in unsettled times on the Border to bury one's valuables and commit them to the charge of a brownie. If no brownie was to be had, people used to fall back on a dobie, which was always willing, but very gullible. There was, however, another use of the name as a tutelary family ghost. It will be remembered that the Cauld Lad of Hilton, who behaved like a brownie and was laid in the traditional way by a gift of clothes, was supposed to be the ghost of a stableboy killed by one of the Lords of Hilton. In the same way the silkie is often described as a ghost, and Lady Wilde describes the Irish Banshee as the spirit of some beautiful girl of the family, dead long ago but still concerned with its fortunes. In something the same way, the Dobie of Morthan Tower, Rokeby, is said to be the ghost of a long-past wife of the Lord of Rokeby, who was murdered by her jealous husband in the glen below. It is said that the blood which dripped from his dagger left indelible stains on the stairs. This dobie was more of a ghost than a hobgoblin, for it seemed to haunt the house in a ghostly way, and neither keened nor undertook domestic duties. In the end it was laid, not by a gift of clothes but by exorcism. # 100 - 302
A Knight of the Round Table, called 'the Savage', perhaps originally identical with Perceval. He used to hunt game in wild forests, hence his sobriquet. He was the son of Belinant and Eglante (# 44). Another version of the story made the Lady of Malehant his mother. # 156 - 418
# 701: Dogs were the usual attendants of the Celtic Mother Goddesses. When a god accompanied the Mother, he often took the form of a dog. The Celtic healer god Nodens took on his zoomorphic aspect as a dog. # 161: The dog is important in Celtic myth and appears frequently with hunter-gods, such as Sucellos, the 'Good Striker', and with the Horse-goddess Epona. Dogs are associated with the healing waters and Nodens, God of Healing, could manifest a dog. Dogs are also psychic animals and connected with divination and they are frequently metamorphosed people in Celtic lore. There are endless accounts of ghost, supernatural or enchanted dogs who could be either helpful or malevolent. # 454: The dog or hound has ever been a faithful servant of humanity and this is reflected in British myth and folklore where the dog is frequently one of the helping animals of the hero's search. Arthur's Cabal is one such dog, and Fionn's Bran and Sceolan are others.
The hounds of the Otherworld or Underworld are always white with redtipped ears, and these are the pack which ride with the Wild Hunt. CuChulain was named after he overcame Culainn's hound and it was geise for him to eat dog's flesh - a proscription he broke just before his death, since it was also his geise never to refuse hospitality offered to him: the Morrighan invited him to eat of a roasted dog. # 454 - 701
There is a theory that they were related to the Conchind (Dogheads), a legendary people who ruled Ireland. There may be some connection with the Cunesioi, a tribe whom Herodotus places beyond the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula, and the Concani who, according to Horace, lived in Spain. # 156
The wife of Arthur in Fielding's TRAGEDY OF TRAGEDIES (1730). This was a parody and consequently Arthur's queen had a ridiculous name. # 156
Dolmens, Cromlechs and Tumuli. A dolmen is a kind of chamber composed of upright unhewn stones, and roofed generally with a single huge stone. They are usually wedge-shaped in plan, and traces of a porch can often be noticed. The primary intention of the dolmen was to represent a dwelling-place for the dead. A cromlech is properly a circular arrangement of standing stones, often with a dolmen in their midst. The dolmens proper gave place in the end to great chambered mounds or tumuli, as at New Grange, which we also reckon as belonging to the Megalithic People. They are a natural development of the dolmen. The early dolmen-builders were in the neolithic stage of culture, there weapons were of polished stone. But in the tumuli not only stone, but also bronze, and even iron, instruments are found at first evidently importations, but afterwards of local manufacture. See also: MOUNDS. # 562
DOLOROUS BLOW (OR DOLOROUS STROKE)
# 454: The Blow accidentally struck by Balin which wounded the Grail King, Pelles, and caused the Wasteland. # 59: The ESTOIRE places it earlier when King Varlan (or Brulens) killed King Lambor with David's Sword. # 156: The stroke which caused the Waste Land to be rendered barren making the Grail Quest necessary. In Malory it occured when Balin stabbed Pellam with the Lance of Longinus, destroying three countries as a result. # 156 - 418 - 454 - 604
# 562: Don, or Dôn (o as in 'bone'). A Cymric mother-goddess, representing the Gaelic Dana; Penardun, a daughter of Don; Gwydion, son of Don, genealogy set forth. # 454: The mother of the Welsh pantheon as projected within the four branches of the MABINOGION. She has been associated with the Irish Danu. Her life and deeds are unrecorded, so antique is her origin. She represents the Celtic Magna Mater as the mother of the sacred tribe, the genetrix of all peoples. In star-lore she is remembered in the constellation, as Llys Don, or Casseopeia.
# 100: The Welsh goddess Don was the equivalent of the Irish goddess Dana, and it seems likely that she was an immigrant from Ireland, for the Children of Don correspond closely in character and functions to the Children of Dana. Govannan the smith was the British equivalent of the Irish Gobniu, Ludd or Nudd of Nuada, for both had silver hands and Gwydion was a many-skilled god like Lugh. The Children of Don were in frequent conflict with the Children of Llyr, who were the British equivalents of the Irish Children of Lir. # 100 - 272 - 454 - 548 - 562
The father of Carduino, he was killed by poisoning. # 156
# 562: 1. Mac Midir, son of Midir the Proud. 2. Father of Dermot; gives his son to be nurtured by Angus Oge (Angus Og). # 454: Donn was the Lord of the Dead. His house, Tech Duinn, was located on one of the islands off south-west Munster. It is here that the dead gather prior to their Otherworld journey to the isles of the Blest. # 454 - 562
DONN CUAILGNE (QUELGNY)
(down koo ile nyeh) The Brown Bull of Cuailgne was owned by Daire and became the object of much strife. He was the eternal enemy of a swineherd; both of them went through time in different shapes animals, dragons, demons and birds - until the Cattle Raid of Cooley, when his rival was the White Bull of Connacht. The two bulls killed each other in combat. See also: QUELGNY. # 454
Da Derga's hostel at Donnybrook. # 562
Ailill slain in church of Doocloone; Maeldun (Maeldûn) at Doocloone. # 562
(dunya-oi) or the 'Night-Man'. A kindly spirit who gave warnings of storm, sometimes by a voice shouting, sometimes by a misty appearance of a man who spoke and gave warning, and sometimes by the blowing of a horn, which must have sounded rather like a Swiss alpen-horn. Gill mentions the Dooinney-Oie in A SECOND MANX SCRAPBOOK, and gives a longer account of various warnings received in A MANX SCRAPBOOK without mentioning the Dooinney-Oie by name. An amusing story of a Dooinney-Oie who got too fond of playing his horn is told in Dora Broome's FAIRY TALES FROM THE ISLE OF MAN. Howlaa seems almost indistinguishable from Dooinney-Oie, except that he never speaks, but only howls before storms. # 100 - 105 - 250
A Scottish variant of the Northumberland Dunnie. Like the Dunnie, the Doonie appeared in the form of a pony, but often as an old man or woman. It was far more benevolent than the Dunnie; the stories about it are of guidance or rescue. Hannah Aitken quotes one published in the GALLOVIDIAN ANNUAL (V 1903) in which a school-boy, climbing the steep rock that overhangs Crichope Linn in Dumfriesshire to take young rock-doves, slipped and fell right down the precipice. He caught hold of a hazel bush, but it only gave him a few moments' grace. He looked down to see if he would be drowned in the Linn or dashed to pieces on the rocks - there seemed no other choice - when he saw a strange old woman standing on a ledge some way beneath him, who held out her apron and told him to jump into it. He jumped, for he had no choice. The apron gave way and he fell into the Linn, but as he rose to the surface the old woman pulled him out by the scruff of his neck, and led him to safety by a hidden path which he never found again. Then she told him to get home and never to harry the doves again, 'Or mayby,' she said, 'the Doonie'll no be here tae keep ye.' With that she was gone. # 100
The son of Claudas who was killed in a fight with Lionel and Bors. # 156
A son of King Pellinore and a Knight of the Round Table. # 156
DOUBLE OR DOPPELGÄNGER
The name of a river in Linnuis (Lindsay?) where four of Arthur's battles were fought. # 156 - 494
A history of Dover Castle in Kent could be a history of England, if not of Britain. It is not without significance that in a 20-mile compass of coastline are still found four of the most marvellous fortifications from periods as far apart as the ancient British, the Roman, the Norman and the Tudor, for the coastline which hinges on Dover has been the subject of constant invasion threats throughout the history of Britain. The oldest of these fortifications is from the Iron Age, being the Belgic fortifications at Bigbury to the west of Canterbury, the earthworks contouring some 25 acres of land. Among the many interesting finds from this site is a virtually intact slave chain of iron, with a fascinating barrel padlock, a reminder of the slave-centred communities which existed in Britain even before the Romans brought their own extensive slavery system to this country. In the first century the Romans of Claudius landed at Richborough, where the smooth green walls of the fortification ramparts are still curled like some enormous serpent among the few remains of the enormous marble monumental building set up to honour Domitian and his general Agricola for their conquest of Britain. The Normans built Dover Castle mainly on Roman foundations, but the Romans appear to have used the earlier fortifications of the ancient Britons for their own guidelines.
Deal Castle was more free in its construction, for when Henry III decided on his break with the Pope he constructed a number of artillery forts along the coastline, the most famous surviving (and, indeed, originally the best) being that at Deal, which has a ground-plan of six conjoined lunettes or 'petal' bastions as symbolic of the Tudor Rose. Something of the Iron Age fort is still visible in the wide swing of the Dover Castle enclosures, while considerable remains from Roman times are eclipsed by the justified fame of the Roman 'pharos' or lighthouse in the grounds of the Castle, next to the Saxon church of St Mary-in-Castro. Substantial remains of Anglo-Saxon, Norman, Plantagenet and other dynasties, right through to remains eloquent of the tragedies of the First and Second World Wars, are found in and around the Castle or City. It is not surprising that with such a long and complex history beneath its belt, Dover Castle should be able to claim its ghosts. The oldest of its ghosts is the Roman soldier who is said to be seen near the Pharos, while another ghost is a thousand years nearer our own time, belonging to the period in which Peverell's Tower was constructed. It is said that the ghost of an old woman and her dog appear outside the walls; presumably this is the couple supposedly immured within these great walls for magical purposes, because the stones would not stay in place during construction. A much later ghost - yet almost two hundred years from our own time is the drummer boy, whose headless spirit is seen wandering the grounds of the castle and who is said to have been murdered in a brawl during the Napoleonic wars. Whether the material is historical or mythological, Dover really consists of a series of stratifications, built one upon the other, often with only little destruction of what went before.
When a trench was being dug in Market Street in 1955, a hoard of coins, presumed to have been buried in 1295 when Dover was sacked by 10,000 Frenchmen, was revealed; what was significant about this collection was that the money came from seven different nations in the medieval world. These coins, so symbolic of Dover's place in history, are now on display in the local museum (Dover Town Hall). The walls of Dover Castle are in parts 20 feet thick and attained their full girth under Henry II, though it is known that the Castle has had continuous military occupation from Saxon times until the present century; they were nominally handed over to the Ministry of Works in 1958, but still used for military ceremonial functions. Nowhere in Britain is it possible to find so substantial a building which is so redolent with history and so intimately woven into British mythology. When in the days of the bad King John the rebellious barons invited the Dauphin of France to England, he first besieged Dover Castle, demanding that the Constable in charge, Hugh de Burgh, hand over the keys to this guest of the barons. Defiantly, and with some prescience, de Burgh shouted back that he would never hand over the key to aliens, for 'it is the very key of England'. Perhaps the story is a nice piece of mythology, though it has the ring of truth about it and is undoubtedly spiritually true; for sure, it is a tale which could be told only of Dover Castle, for no other place is the key to England. The Dauphin failed to gain entry, and eventually his troops were defeated, but years later, in 1295, the French, tired of English raids on their own northern ports, arrived in full strength and completely destroyed Dover itself, though they obviously regarded the castle as beyond their military purchase. # 702
In the tumulus at Dowth, which is close to that of New Grange, Ireland, is entirely of the same character and period as the ship symbols found in Egypt with rayed figures and quartered circles, obviously solar emblems, occur abundantly, as also at Loughcrew and other places in Ireland, and one other ship figure has been identified at Dowth. # 562
# 701: The European dragon was often synonymous with the Ouroboros or Earth Serpent. In Brittany he was 'the dragon of the Bretons.' Each May Day, it was said, he uttered a terrible scream that could be heard underneath every hearth fire, demanding burial of a tub of mead as an offering to him. The official emblem of Wales is still the red dragon, derived from the Great Red Serpent that once represented the old Welsh god Dewi. # 161: The Celtic dragon represents sovereignty, power or a chief, such as Pendragon, the Celtic word meaning 'chief'. The Red Dragon of Cadwallader or Cadwaller is the emblem of Wales - 'upon a mount vert, a dragon passant, wings expanded and endorsed gules - the Red Dragon Dreadful'. It was blazed on King Arthur's helmet in battle, later it was associated with Geoffrey of Monmouth and Owen Glendower. The Saxons had the white dragon as a royal standard. In early Britain it depicted supreme power.
The Heraldic dragon varies greatly, especially in the shape of its ears, but the wings are always those of a bat; the tongue and tail can be barbed; it breathes out fire and is a symbol of power, wisdom and one who has overcome an adversary or fortress. The Tudor Red Dragon indicates Welsh origins. Dragon Tygre and Dragon-Wolf are composite creatures and support the arms of the City of London. # 454: The Dragon appears in much more than its classical forms within British mythology. It is sometimes a worm and is derived from northern European prototypes (Lindorm). It is sometimes a waterserpent or monster. In all instances, the dragon exemplifies elemental power, especially of the earth. The dragon which Saint George overcomes is symbolic of paganism, but such obvious symbolism overlays a great deal more subtle imagery. The two dragons which Merlin Emrys releases from under Vortigern's tower are emblematic of the vitality of the land which is chaotic unless tamed or wielded by a true ruler. In a story about the origin of Samhain Eve we read that the dragon is symbolic of the Cailleach who holds the power of winter over Brigit's lamb, symbolic of spring. See also: DRAKE, SIR FRANCIS.
# 100: The Dragon slain by St George was an heraldic dragon, wit bat's wings, a sting in its tail and fiery breath. We find it in some of the English fairy-tales, and it is to be seen in church carvings and in many of the Italian pictures of St George, such as the Carpaccio painting, where the dragon is pathetically small. Most of the British dragons, however, are Worms after the Scandinavian pattern, wingless, generally very long, with a poisonous rather than a fiery breath and self-joining. Nearly all the Celtic dragons are worms. Worms and dragons have some traits in common. Both are scaly, both haunt wells or pools, both are avid for maidens and particularly princesses, both are treasure-hoarders and are extremely hard to kill. It seems as if the model on which both are founded is the fossilized remains on prehistoric monsters. In England there are legends of a few winged, fiery dragons, the Dragon of Kingston for instance, who 'cooked his meat to a turn' according to the tradition picked up by Ruth Tongue in 1911 from Cothelstone harvesters and recorded in COUNTY FOLK-LORE, VOL.VIII. He was choked by a great boulder rolled down the ridge into his mouth as he opened it to belch out flames. The Dragon of Wantley was a true dragon, typical in his attributes, behaviour and the method of killing him, though this was also used against worms. A condensed version of the rhymed account given by Harland and Wilkinson in LEGENDS AND TRADITIONS OF LANCASHIRE is representative. One item worth noting is the anointing of the champion by a black-haired maiden, for maidens played a large part in the dragon legends: This dragon was the terror of all the countryside. He had fourty-four iron teeth, and a long sting in his tail, besides his strong rough hide and fearful wings. He ate trees and cattle, and once he ate three young children at one meal. Fire breathed from his nostrils, and for long no man dared come near him. Near to the dragon's den lived a strange knight named More of More Hall, of whom it was said that so great was his strenght that he had once seized a horse by its mane and tail, and swung it round and round till it was dead, because it had angered him. Then, said the tale, he had eaten the horse, all except its head. At last the people of the place came to More Hall in a body, and with tears implored the knight to free them from the fearful monster, which was devouring all their food, and making them go in terror of their lives. They offered him all their remaining goods if he would do them this service. But the knight said he wanted nothing except one black-haired maid of sixteen, to anoint him for the battle at night, and array him in his armour in the morning. When this was promised, he went to Sheffield, and found a smith who made him a suit of armour set all over with iron spikes, each five or six inches in length. Then he hid in a well, where the dragon used to drink, and as it stooped to the water, the knight put up his head with a shout and struck it a great blow full in the face. But the dragon was upon him, hardly checked by the blow, and for two days and a night they fought without either inflicting a wound upon the other. At last, as the dragon flung himself at More with the intention of tossing him high into the air, More succeeded in planting a kick in the middle of its back. This was the vital spot: the iron spike drove into the monster's flesh so far, that it spun round and round in agony groaning and roaring fearfully, but in a few minutes all was over, it collapsed into a helpless heap, and died.
The Serpent of Handale in Yorkshire seems to have been half-way between a serpent and a dragon, for it had fiery breath and a venomous sting. It was a devourer of maidens, and a young man called Scaw killed it to rescue an earl's daughter. The dragon, who haunted Winlatter Rock in Derbyshire was said to be the Devil himself, taking that form, and was driven off by a monk who planted himself on the rock with his arms outstretched in the shape of a cross. So great was his concentration that his feet sank deep into the rock and left the impression of two holes there. In the second part of the tale, a concerted effort of the neighbouring villagers drove off the dragon. He sought refuge down Blue John Mine and the Derbyshire springs have tasted sulphurous and warm ever since.
# 725: Aldrovandus gives fifty-nine folio pages to dragons, and turns up much interesting material in the process. He deals with humans of the name of Draco, with sea-serpents, tarantulas, plants, trees, stars, devils, quicksilver, mountains, traps, fistulae, sirens, Hydras, anacondas, whales, leviathan, fossils, heiroglyphs and even with an early form of aircraft called a Dragon, though not manufactured by De Havilland, which flew. He adds that it is possible for unscrupulous people to forge a dragon, by plastic surgery on the cadaver of a Giant Ray. But his main point is that the words 'dragon' and 'serpent' are interchangeable. He points out that the reptile which attacked Laocoon is called by Virgil a serpent in one place and a dragon in another. 'Why', wrote Kingsley in 1849, 'should not these dragons have been simply what the Greek word dragon means-what ...the superstitions of the peasantry in many parts of England to this day assert them to have been- "mighty worms", huge snakes?' This is the proper way to regard them. 'Dragon' was simply the medieval word for a large reptile, and the more one regards it as not being a joke from the fairy stories, the more interesting the tales about the Dragons may prove to be.
# 49: Welsh Dragon Lore: Dragon stories can be found in many parts of Wales and it would seem that they played a large part in the folklore of the Middle Ages. Many of the stories seem to have some connection with the origin of ancient sites of worship. Church paintings and carvings traditionally interpret the dragon killings as a symbolic battle between the forces of good and evil. The Christian heroes were generally knights in shining armour such as St George and St Michael, and they always managed to slay their dragons after long and dangerous battles. The mythical dragons were often given the responsibility of guarding treasure secretly hidden in deep caverns in wildest Wales. Even up to the end of the nineteenth century there were country folk who firmly believed in their existence. In the Vale of Neath there was a story of a dragon or winged serpent that was thought to frequent the area near the waterfalls of the Pyrrdin, Mellte, and Hepste Rivers. It concealed itself in the rocky gorges around Pont Nedd Fechan and apparently made a general nuisance of itself in the neighbourhood. Trelech at Bettws in Dyfed was once the home of a winged serpent. It was usually seen on or near a tumulus known as Crug Ederyn. When this was excavated a stone-lined grave covered with rough slabs was found. It was reputed to be the grave of Ederyn, an early prince or chieftain of Wales. - Dragons and winged serpents were also reported around Lleyn and Penmaenmawr in Gwynedd, the ravines of the Berwyn Mountains, Cadair Idris, the wilds of Cardigan (Dyfed), Radnor Forest (Powys), the Brecon Beacons, the marches of Carmarthen and Worm's Head, Gower. In South Glamorgan, Llancarfan was haunted by several winged serpents and reptiles. The woods near Penllyne Castle concealed winged serpents which terrorized the neighbourhood. An eye witness described them as very beautiful, saying: 'Some of them had crests sparkling with all the colours of the rainbow. When disturbed they glided swiftly, sparkling all over, to their hiding places. When angry they flew over people's heads with outspread wings like feathers in a peacock's tail.' He denied that it was an old story to frighten children but insisted that it was fact. His father and uncles had actually killed some of them for they were 'as bad as foxes for poultry'. - Stories of winged serpents were told in the neighbourhood of Radnor Forest and several parts of North Wales; they were exterminated by local farmers. It is of interest that the Griffin, like the dragon, once had a prominent place in the folklore of Wales. The strange beasts is often depicted on inn signs and such names as The Griffin or even Three Griffins were popular for wayside pubs in the nineteenth century.
We end this chapter of dragons, with a briefing from Janet Hoult's DEFINITION OF THE DRAGON. # 323: The dragon is a well known symbol all over the world, and although there are slight variations in its usual depiction (i.e. basically that of a large lizard with ears and wings), several main features are constant throughout. As the symbol is so widespread, I wondered when I first started to research the subject whether dragons could have actually existed on the earth at some time in the past, but had now become extinct. However, several years further on, I have found that there is no evidence for a theory of that kind at all. Dragons are not even a race memory dating back to the days of the cavemen and their encounters with dinosaurs, as over 60 million years separate the end of the dinosaur age with the beginning of mankind. In previous centuries the case for dragons, as with many other mythical beasts, was more plausible, for nature was accepted unquestioningly as the work of God, existing solely for the use of teaching of man, and stories of fabulous foreign beasts, although only dubious hearsay, were taken as truth. Early discoveries of fossilised dinosaur bones, and travellers' tales of Komodo dragons would have added further proof. Medieval bestiary writers such as Topsell, Gesner and Aldrovandi knew people who knew other people who had seen a dragon, and there was a thriving trade in fake baby dragons. These 'Jenny Hanivers' as they were called were lizards with bats' wings attached to them, and were imported from several countries, those from Japan being considered the best. The Anglo-Saxon word 'drakan' is probably a Greek derivative, either from 'draco' meaning a dragon or large snake, or from the verb 'derkein', which means to see clearly. Dragons were credited with clear sight, wisdom and the ability to foretell the future. # 49 - 52 - 100 - 161 - 286 - 323 - 438 - 454 - 640 - 675 -701 p 243 - 725
DRAGON'S HILL, OXFORDSHIRE
The curious natural formation below the white horse of Uffington is said to mark the site where St George killed the dragon. The top of the hill is said to have been so poisoned by the blood of the dragon that it will no longer grow vegetation - in fact the top soil has long been eroded, to leave the chalk surface open to the skies. From historically-based mythologies we learn that the founder of the West Saxon kingdom, Cerdic, slew Natanleod at this spot, along with 5,000 of his soldiers. Natanleod was called the 'Pendragon'. # 702
DRAKE, SIR FRANCIS
(1540-96) The first circumnavigator of the world who fought against the Spanish Armada, he has passed into legend as a hero possessed of supernatural powers. The Spanish called him El Draco (The Dragon), and the luck which attended his daring exploits certainly pointed to special guidance. The drum which accompanied him on his circumnavigation is kept at Buckland Abbey; it can be heard beating when England is endangered. Moreover, Drake is supposed to be only sleeping like Arthur, and will rise at his country's need. # 454
(1563-1631) See: DIMINUTIVE FAIRIES.
DREAMWALKER TO FAIRY HILLS
In the Andaman Islands, the Oku-Jumu ('dreamers'), who functioned as medicine men, came into possession of their spiritual powers by consorting with spirits in the jungle, by dreaming , or by dying and returning to life. Similarly, in the early Celtic epics of the British Isles, those heroes who, when riding through a forest, allow themselves to be led into the pursuit of some visionary beast, presently find themselves inside the fairy hills, engaged in adventures of a timeless, dreamlike surreality. For the forest speaks to deeper centers than do city streets. And for those people in our time who have never been quite convinced of the high importance of the deeds and gossip of the marketplace or village compound, the exitement of the imagination that a forest fastness or a wild seacoast can awaken may become an irresistible fascination, leading in the end to a transformed life. # 133
DRESS AND APPEARANCE OF THE FAIRIES
The fairies of Britain vary as much in dress as they do in appearance and size. Most people, asked off-hand about the colour of the fairies' clothes, would answer 'green' without hesitation, and they would not be far astray. Green is generally acknowledged to be the fairy colour, particularly in Celtic countries, and for this reason is so unlucky that many Scotswomen refuse to wear green at all. Red runs green very close, and in Ireland the small trooping fairies, the Daoine Sidh and the Shefro, wear green coats and red caps while the solitary fairies, such as the Leprachauns, the Cluricaun and the Fear Dearg, generally wear red. William Allingham describes: 'Wee folk, good folk, trooping all together,green jacket, red cap and white owl's feather.' This seems to be the typical costume of the small trooping fairies.
The Lil' Fellas of Man, about three feet in height, are described by Sophia Morrison as wearing green coats and red caps,or occasionally leather ones on hunting expeditions.Their hunting dogs were of all fancy colours, green, blue, red. Red caps were very common for all kinds of the homelier fairies. Even the Merrow in Crofton Croker's story wore a red cap to enable him to go through the sea to a dry land under it, and gave a similar one to his human friend, which had to be thrown back when he returned to land. Red, blue and white caps were used in various stories of fairy levitation. Grigs, little South Country fairies, wore red caps. A Cluricaune of the Abbey Lubber type is described by Crofton Croker as wearing a red nightcap, a leather apron, long light-blue stockings and high-heeled, buckled shoes. Even the mourners at the Fairy Funeral in Bowker's GOBLIN TALES OF LANCASHIRE, though they were sombrely clad otherwise, wore bright red caps. The green-clad fairy ladies enjoyed a touch of red as much as the fairy men, but they introduced it in their slippers, like the little lady in 'The Fairies of Merlin's crag' from Gibbing's FOLKLORE AND LEGENDS, SCOTLAND, who was eighteen inches high, with long golden hair hanging to her waist, a long green dress and slippers. The tiny fairy gentleman who wooed Anne Jefferies was too much of a dandy to wear a red cap, but he brightened his green clothing by a red feather in his hat. In Somerset the fairies are said to wear red, and the rougher Pixies green. This is the opposite way round to the Irish colour scheme. Elves wear green. Many of the Green Ladies of Scotland were connected with the dead, and so naturally wore green, for green is the Celtic colour of death. The Silkies of the North of England generally wore glistening white silk, the White Ladies of Man wore white satin, and the Tylwyth Teg of Wales wore white. Isobel Gowdie, the self-confessed witch who gave a vivid account of her Traffic With The Fairies, described the Fairy Queen rather prosaically: 'The Qwein of Fearrie is brawlie clothed in whyt linens, and in whyt and browne cloathes.'
A Fairy Queen whose visit to a Galloway cottage is described in J. F. Campbell's POPULAR TALES OF THE WEST HIGHLANDS, VOL.II, was more glamorous: She was very magnificently attired; her dress was of the richest green, embroidered round with spangles of gold, and on her head was a small coronet of pearls... One of the children put out her hand to get hold of the grand lady's spangles, but told her mother afterwards that she felt nothing. This magnificent vision came on a prosaic errand; she wanted to borrow a bowl of oatmeal. In the Celtic legend of ST COLLEN AND THE FAIRY KING, blue is introduced with red; the king's pages wear liveries of scarlet and blue, impolitely denounced by the saint as, 'Blue for the eternal cold and red for the flames of hell.' Manx fairies sometimes wore blue. In Gill's SECOND MANX SCRAPBOOK we are told of a little gnomish man seen between Ramsey and Milntown, about two feet high, - 'wearing a red cap and a long blue coat with bright buttons, white hair and bushy whiskers. Face very wrinckled. Very bright, very kind eyes, carrying a small but very bright lantern.' In Jenkinson's GUIDE TO THE ISLE OF MAN, 1876, he reports being told by a farmer's wife that her mother always maintained that she had actually seen the fairies, and described them as young girls with 'scaly, fish-like hands and blue dresses'. The little mouse-sized fairies in the Suffolk story of Brother Mike wore blue coats, yellow breeches and little red caps. The fairies described by a friend to Walter Gill as seen in Glen Aldyn were greyish all over, something the colour of a fungus, a foot to eighteen inches high. The earthbound Trow in Shetland was also grey. A sombre note is struck too in Hugh Miller's account in THE OLD RED SANDSTONE of the departure of the fairies: the horses 'shaggy diminutive things, speckled dun and grey, the riders stunted, misgrown, ugly creatures, attired in antique jerkins of plaid, long grey cloaks, and little red caps, from which their wild, uncombed locks shot out over their cheeks and foreheads'. This confirms Kirk's much earlier statement that the fairies wore the costume of their country, as tartan in the Highlands. John Beaumont's fairies, whose visits to him he describes in A TREATISE OF SPIRITS (1705), were dressed in a most unusual fashion:
They had both black, loose Network Gowns, tied with a black sash about their Middles, and within the Network appear'd a Gown of a Golden Colour, with somewhat of a Light striking through it; their Heads were not dressed with Topknots, but they had white Linnen Caps on, with lace about three Fingers breadth, and over it they had a Black loose Network Hood.
A rather engaging dress on little people of three feet high, but not at all the kind of costume one would expect to see on a fairy. There were other eccentric costumes. The Gunna, a Highland fairy boy who had been banished from the court, wore fox skins; the kind, solitary Ghillie Dhu dressed in leaves and green moss; the sinister Northumbrian Duergar wore a coat made of lambskin, trousers and shoes of moleskins and a hat of green moss decorated with a pheasant's feather. The BROWN MAN OF THE MUIRS wore clothes of withered bracken. In the more literary descriptions of fairies from the 16th century onwards, they are said to wear clothes made of flowers, of gossamer spangled with dew and of silvery gauze, but these clothes are not so often found in the traditional accounts, though we can quote the foxglove caps of the Shefro. Beyond these there are a number of fairies of all kinds who were naked. The Asrai, the water-spirits, were beautiful, slender and naked, only covered by their long hair.
Many of the nymph-like fairies danced naked in their rounds, as the witches were said to do, a fashion imitated by the modern witches. Many of the Hobgoblins were naked. Brownies generally wore ragged clothes, but other hobgoblins were often hairy and naked. The Fenoderee is one of these hairy monsters. There is Lob-Lie-By-TheFire, Hob, or Hobthrust, the Bogan, and the Urisg who was like a satyr in shape. The Shetland Broonie 'King of the Trows' was presumably naked, since he was laid by a gift of clothing. One naked little hobgoblin, however, was not shaggy, if we may trust his own pathetic description of himself:
'Little pixie, fair and slim,
Not a rag to cover him.'
It is no wonder that the lament called forth the gift of clothing that laid him, but he did not go weeping away like the Grogach of Man, but ran away merrily, as Mrs Bray tells us, chanting:
'Pixy fine, Pixy gay!
Pixy now will run away.'
Some fairies wore clothes indistinguishable from those of mortals, fine and fashionable like those of Cherry's Master in the tale Cherry of Zennor, or homely and old-fashioned; or sometimes archaic, like the costume of the market people seen at the fairy market at Blackdown: Those that had occasion to travel that way, have frequently seen them there, appearing like Men and Women of a stature generally near the smaller size of Men; their habits used to be of red, blew or green, according to the old way of Country Garb, with high crown'd hats.
The descriptions given by Katharine Briggs in AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAIRIES of fairy clothing and appearance have not dealt with those skilled in shape-shifting, who can change their size and appearance at will, nor do they make allowance for the power of glamour possessed by most of the fairies, which can only be penetrated by the use of the fairy ointment, or a four-leafed clover. # 60 - 86 - 100 - 130 - 165 - 247 - 474 - 485
A son of King Pellinore and a Knight of the Round Table who received his death wound from Gawain. # 156
or Droll-teller. See: WANDERING DROLL-TELLER.
Undoubtedly the single aspect of Celtic life and culture which springs most readily to mind when the subject is discussed is the existence of the mysterious priesthood known as the Druids. Little or nothing is known about them beyond the descriptions found in the writings of Julius Caesar, who founded most of his knowledge on the Gaulish Celts rather than the native Britons. Beyond this we know that the word 'Druid' probably stems from the word Duir, 'oak', which has given rise to the assumption that the Druids were priests of the sacred oak groves believed to have once proliferated in Britain and Ireland. Other fragments of informations suggests that there were a number of Druid Schools which taught the precepts of their religion, and trained their formidable memories (they were required to momorize vast genealogies for the scattered tribes of the island). Beyond this, all is speculation - or nearly all. While we still do not possess any valid documentation on the Druids, there are hints and clues scattered throughout Celtic literature and archaeology which enable us to piece together a sketchy picture*.
*See: # 386: Anne Ross and Don Robins: Life and Death of a Druid Prince, Rider, 1989, for the very latest speculations, in which the author's convey evidence that one of the well known finds in a bog in the northern part of Jutland, Denmark, were the remains of a famous Druid Prince). # 455 p 13 ff
A dwarf on whom Gawain bestowed his mistress Ydain who had tried to leave him. # 153 - 156
That the Druids regulated all religious ceremonies and festivals goes without saying. Like other ancient priesthoods they studied the movement of the sun, moon and stars and regulated the calendar accordingly. As with many other nations they had festivals at the equinoxes and solstices. The year was personified at these festivals at the spring by a youth, at the summer by a middle aged man, at the autumn by an elderly man and at the winter by an old man. It is probable that the lighting of bonfires at certain times, which is a very ancient British costum and has continued until recent times, is of Druidic origin. Besides lighting these at the solstices and probably also at the equinoxes there were two other festivals which were of especial importance. These are Beltaine on the 1st May, and Samhaine on the 1st November. The Druids, however, attached even more importance to the moon, and there were festivals on the day of the new moon on the sixth day of the moon and on the day of the full moon.
It is not believed, however, that they celebrated any nocturnal ceremonies; all their services are said to have taken place in daylight.
All the ancient religions were sacrificial in nature, and it has been alluded to the allegation that the Druids offered human sacrifices. A recent exponent of Druidism, however,(# 207) repudiates the idea that human victims were ever sacrificed, but admits that sheep, oxen, deer and goats were burnt, their charred remains having been found at Avebury, Stonehenge and even under St Paul's, which was built over a Druidical place of worship. Professor Canney says, 'It is doubtful whether human sacrifice was common. It would seem to have sufficed to take a few drops of blood from the victim and to burn only the wickerwork dummy.' White bulls were, however, offered, according to Welsh bards. This reminds one of Ancient Egypt.
# 455 ( W. B. Crow: The Mistletoe Sacrement, p 51 ff) - # 207
In THE BOOK OF DRUIDRY by Ross Nichols, the foreword is written by a Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, Philip CarrGomm. These words describe the Druidry from a very knowing point of this Order, and the following is a briefing from that.
'Many people these days are turning to the native traditions of various cultures in an attempt not only to reconnect with their roots and their heritage, but also in an attempt to find a living spirituality that can lead them out of the psychological wasteland that has been created by industrial society. Great attention has been paid to the native American tradition, and to the shamanistic practices of such diverse cultures as the Siberian, Tibetan and Australian Aborigine. Less attention, however, has been given to a tradition which lies closer to the ancestral roots of most European, and hence many North American, people - the Celtic tradition, whose spirituality is epitomized in the path of the Druid. The reason for this lack of attention has almost certainly been the belief that the Druid path has been lost. In reality, although the Druid path has often disappeared from the historian's view, it has never been lost as a tradition - only hidden from the public gaze. But often that which we think of as lost is only in fact hidden from us for a time, in order that we may discover or rediscover it at the right moment.
For nine years after Ross Nichols' death the manuscript of THE BOOK OF DRUIDRY appeared to be lost, until in 1984 a strange series of events led to its rediscovery and preparation for publication. During the last two years of his life, Ross Nichols, the Chosen Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, had been working on a book that he hoped would be able to convey most of what he knew of Druidry to those who were not initiated into its inner workings. Having just completed the final pages of the book, he died unexpectedly in 1975. The Order that he had led with such competence and enthusiasm soon became dormant, and his successor closed the Order in 'the apparent world'. During the confusion that ensued after his death - from the inadequacy of his Will and the fact that his study and flat remained unlocked for a considerable time - the manuscript, the Order teachings and papers passed into a number of different hands rather than to his successor. Nine years later, these scattered documents were assembled again to revive the Order in its modern form and to bring THE BOOK OF DRUIDRY to publication in the form that it is today. It is important for readers of this book to remember that this book was written back in 1973-74, and to know that since that time a number of writers - such as John and Caitlín Matthews, Bob Stewart, John Michell and Gareth Knight amongst others - have explored the areas of research covered by Ross in great detail from both a scholastic and an esoteric viewpoint, and a study of their work will add a depth and richness to the understanding gained from reading this book. Ross clearly came to a decision in writing this that he wanted to reveal much of the nature of Druidic teaching, and yet he was still bound by his position within the Order to be discreet and cautious.'
Philip Carr-Gomm, London, 1989. From the Introductory Ross writes this: 'Druidry is the Western form of an ancient universal philosophy, culture or religion, dating from the days of early man when the three were one. It is of the stone circle culture, the groves of sacred trees, the circular dance. It has been traced by some as far as India in the cult of Siva; its oak tree burials are not infrequent in the West. With the numerology, orientations and magical square calculations recently made, it is seen to link with the near-universal surveying system, with its meaningful number and mystical geometry, that lends colour to the ideas of a race of highly-developed beings originating from an Atlantis somewhere, or coming in flying chariots from another world or dimension. At no time has Druidry agreed with the idea of evolution from the animal as the main human origin, but has always conceived of a supernal, giant or deific basis to its universal shape. Druidry has never been tied to the cult of any god-focus; its members, earlier and later, seem always to have been experimenters and explorers in various lines of learning. Pythagoras, sometimes considered as a founder, in such a perspective was a collector and developer of much earlier geometrical ideas.
William Blake was an intuitive teacher, often by hyperbole, of the highest truth: 'Ancient man contained in his mighty limbs all things in heaven and earth.' Always profoundly conscious of a great supernal design, such thinkers linked with the mystical sides of many religions, but found Druidry itself something larger than any of them. The Sufi, the Arhat, the higher Christian mystic, even Augustine of Hippo or the German stigmatist, Theresa Neumann, share certain concepts of Druidry. Meanwhile, the Romans attempted to exterminate, the Roman Church excommunicated, and the seventeenth and even the earlier eighteenth-century Christians decided that on the whole Druidry had been, and was, intolerable. Only an antiquarian vicar who was also an alchemist dared, from his own entrenched position, to break the general rule: The Revd William Stukeley was head of the Order in England from 1722 to 1765. The intolerant intellectual atmosphere meant that Druidry has largely developed underground in recent centuries, and Druids became as cagey as Freemasons in admitting their connection. So successful were they in laying false trails that one recent professor, writing in full ignorance of modern Druidry, dismisses as laughable the idea that the eighteenth-century movement could possibly have begun its assembly of groves from many quarters under the aegis of John Toland (HISTORY OF THE DRUIDS, 1719), although he had written papers, later edited as a book, on Druid culture and antiquities. Lord Bulwer Lytton's family in times past furiously denied that he was a Druid, whereas we know the grove of which he was Chief. William Blake, although frequently using Druids as horrifying semi-mythological figures in his writings, managed to keep secret his connection with them so deftly that the chief authority on Blake today, Kathleen Raine, did not know of the link. Yet Blake had told no lies about it, and at least once had announced his Druidry, on the one occasion he came publicly into conflict with authorithy, at Chichester in 1802. Blake was indeed a Druid; he was Chief for 28 years, and through him, jointly with Stukeley, appear to come the main inner ideas of Druidry today. At no time, it now appears, have reasonable records of the Order been kept or, if so, they have been destroyed through the various schisms and quarrels over succession that have occurred from time to time. Mainly, however, it has been the early Druidic prohibition of writing and the insistence upon the learning by heart of long wisdom-poems that have handed on the learning, mouth-to-ear, through the centuries. A sense of secretive power and a great poetic metaphorical ability have indeed characterized the Welsh side of Druidry, so that even when written it has been difficult to interpret the meaning and teaching hidden in the ENGLYNS. To give any account of the development of Druidry is therefore impossible in the documentary historical sense. Whilst one may be fairly sure of the general outline, the gaps are larger than the areas covered by what is known. # 497
DRUIDS, DOCTRINES OF
Regarded as intermediaries between God and man; the sovereign power in Celtica; suppressed by Emperor Tiberius; Aryan root for the word discovered; testimony of Dion Chrysostom to the power of the Doctrines of Druids; religious, philosophic and scientific culture superintended by the Doctrines; record of Caesar regarding the Doctrines of Druids; cosmogonic teaching died with their order. # 562
DRUIDS, MAGIC OF THE
Magic among the Celtic peoples in ancient times was so closely identified with Druidism that its origin may be said to have been Druidic. That Druidism was of Celtic origin, however, is a question upon which much discussion has been lavished, some authorities, among them Rhys, believing it to have been of non-Celtic and even non-Aryan origin. This is to say that the earliest non-Aryan or so-called 'Iberian' or Megalithic people of Britain introduced the immigrant Celts to the Druidic religion. An argument in favour of this theory is that the continental Celts sent their neophyte Druid priests to Britain to undergo a special training at the hands of the Druids there, and there is little doubt that this island was regarded as the headquarters of the cult. The people of Cisalpine Gaul, for instance, had no Druidic priesthood. Caesar has told us that in Gaul Druidic seminaries were very numerous, and that in them severe study and dicipline were entailed upon the neophytes, the principal business of whom was to commit to memory countless verses enshrining Druidic knowledge and tradition. That this instruction was astrological and magical we have the fullest proof, and it is with these aspects of the Celtic religion alone that we have to deal in this place. The Druids were magi as they were hierophants in the same sense that the American-Indian medicine-man is both magus and priest. That is, they were medicine-men on a higher scale, and possessed a larger share of transcendental knowledge than the shamans of more barbarous races. Thus they may be said to be a link between the shaman and the magus of medieval times. Many of their practices were purely shamanistic, whilst others were more closely connected with medieval magical rite. But they were not the only magicians among the Celts, for we find that magic power is frequently the possession of women and the poetic craft. The art magic of Druidism had many points of comparison with most magical systems, and may be said to have approximated more to that black magic which desires power to render oneself invisible, to change the bodily shape, to produce an enchanted sleep, to induce lunacy, and the utterance of spells and charms which caused death. The art of rain-making, bringing down fire from the sky, and causing mists, snow-storms and floods was also claimed by the Druids. Many of the spells probably in use among the Druids survived until a comparatively late period, and are still in use in some remote Celtic localities - the names of Saints being substituted for those of Celtic deities, - as in Well-worship a possibly Druidic cultus, and certain ritual practices which are still carried out in the vicinity of megalithic structures. In pronouncing incantations, the usual method employed was to stand upon one leg, to point to the person or object on which the spell was to be laid on the fore-finger, at the same time closing an eye, as if to concentrate the force of the entire personality upon that which was to be placed under ban.
A manuscript preserved in the Monastery of St Gall and dating from the eight or ninth century, has preserved magical formulae for the preservation of butter and the healing of certain diseases in the name of the Irish god Diancecht. These and others bear a close resemblance to Babylonian and Etruscan spells, and this goes to strengthen the hypothesis often put forward with more or less ability that Druidism had an eastern origin. All magical rites were accompanied by spells. Druids often accompanied an army to assist by their magical art in confounding the enemy. There is little doubt that the conception of a Druidic priesthood has descended down to our time in a more or less debased condition in British Celtic areas. Thus the existence of guardians and keepers of wells said to possess magical properties, and the fact that certain familiar magical spells and formulae are handed down from one generation to another, is a proof of the survival of Drudic tradition, however feeble. Female are generally the conservators of these mysteries, but that there were Druid priestesses is fairly certain. There are also indications that to some extent Scottish witchcraft was a survival of Celtic religio-magical practice. # 612 - 613
The visitor to the ancient monument of Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain in southern England, may well encounter a remarkable spectacle at the time of the Summer Solstice. If he is there around sunrise on June 21st or at noon on that day, he may find a grave body of white-robed men and women engaged in ceremonies and processions among the stones, and if he enquires, will be told that they are The Druids. If he gives the matter further thought he may well ask himself the question 'Who are these Ancient People, and are they in their rightful Ancient Place?' The answer is not a simple one. It involves archaeology and ancient history; literary souces in classical and Celtic languages; the history of ideas and of literary and artistic fashions from the last few centuries up to yesterday. It is also bedevilled with almost unbelievably fatuous speculations and fantasies, and shot through and through with (in Leacock's famous phrase) Moonbeams from the Larger Lunacy. With these words begin Professor of Archaelogy in the University of Edinburgh, Stuart Piggott his Introductory to his book THE DRUIDS from 1968. And he continues, 'This Book tries to present a sober account of a subject all too often given a cosy place among the Comforts of Unreason. Perhaps it may be asked why an uncertainty should present itself at this point. The Druids have in fact achieved a place in the average Englishman's mind as part of his heritage, set with Magna Carta or Cavaliers and Roundheads in a misty perspective where Hampton Court, Stonehenge or Chatsworth can act as a back-cloth as required. The more knowledgeable may remember that Julius Caesar wrote about them; the less critical may accept the unbroken survival of the priesthood until today. Like the past, they are felt to be only marginally interesting, and are accepted without more thought than is allotted to the rest of what passes for history in most persons' minds. But the Druids do, in fact, have a remarkable interest as a phenomenon, for in the form they are seen today they are the endproduct of a long story which illuminates in the most fascinating way, how a consistent and recurrent pattern of thought, emotion and belief about some of mankind's eternal problems can persist to worry thinkers from Hesiod in Greece of the eighth century BC to modern writers of science fiction on both sides of the Atlantic. Quite apart from the archaeology of Early Iron Age Europe and the nature of pagan Celtic religion, we shall have in this book to consider the Golden Age and News from Nowhere; the Noble Savage and the Fall from Grace; natural wisdom and remotely-dwelling superior intelligences. ... We shall see how the ideas of Primitivism and the Noble Savage were taken up again from their classical origins by scholars whose training in thought and unconscious apprehensions in feeling came in fact from the same Greek and Roman sources. To this were soon to be added elements of increasing fantasy, as the Druids, now standing charismatically within the Stonehenge horseshoe, became a compelling magnet for many a psychological misfit and lonely crank, and we find ourselves in a world of books which all too frequently, are like that on witchcraft written by the sinister Mr Karswell in M. R. James' ghost story, who 'seemed to put the GOLDEN LEGEND and the GOLDEN BOUGH exactly on a par, and believe both: a pitiable exhibition, in short'. As we can see from this brief notes from Stuart Piggott, his book THE DRUIDS promise to be a critical but sober investigation of the whole phenomenon called Druids. For many years another scholar, Lewis Spence, waited for a book to be published on the subject of Celtic-British magic. Many essays and articles appeared, but no comprehensive single volume. Finally Mr Spence could wait no longer. He decided to write that book himself. THE MAGIC ARTS IN CELTIC BRITAIN became that book, and a considerable part of it is about the Druids, a subject which Lewis Spence through his profounding research aquired a formidable knowledge of.
# 612: The very name of "Druid" has been the subject of obstinate contention. Generally, and probably because of a statement of Pliny the Elder, it has been interpreted as referring to the Greek word Drus, "an oak". Rhys criticizing this, remarks that no recourse need be had to Hellenic sources, and finds the genesis of the term in the ancient Gaulish Celtic name for that tree. Other examples are presented like "dru-vid" 'very wise', "druid" from the British dar 'superior' and Gwydd, a 'priest'. Drud in old British, signified 'a discreet or learned person'. In Scottish Gaelic Druidh means "a magician, or sorcerer". Spence's own impression is that it is scarcely possible to divorce the word "druid" from the Old Celtic Derw 'an oak'. Still, he feels that the derivation of the word from Drud or Druidh, "wise" or "learned", has much to commend it, although it may well have been accepted from the name of the practitioners of an oak-cult. In any case does he believe that the etymological study of the term does not appear to have arrived at that stage where conclusive statement regarding it may be indulged in. We know rather more about Druidism than we do of the beginnings of the Christian faith in this island, yet we are invited to regard the whole question of the existence of Druidism as a hypothetical one! 'One thing at any rate is clear,' remarked the late Professor Edward Anwyl, 'that the Druids and their doctrines, or supposed doctrines, had made a deep impression on the writers of the ancient world. There is a reference to them in a fragment of Aristotle (which may not, however, be genuine) that is of interest as assigning them a place in express terms both among the Celts and the Galatae.
In his HISTORY OF THE DRUIDS John Toland suggests that when Druidism was banished from what is now England it took refuge in Scotland and Ireland. So far as Scotland is concerned, precise record fails us for the earlier centuries. One of the first allusions to Druidism in that region tells us that Drostan, the Druid of the Irish Picts, designed in war-time a magic bath of milk which healed the wounded. But these Irish-Pictish Druids, we are informed, were driven into Scotland. 'From them are every spell, and every charm, and every sreod (sneeze), and voices of birds, and every omen' - in short, all Magic in Scotland proceeded from them. A similar magic bath of milk was resorted to by the Druid of Criomhthan, Chief of Leinster, in a war waged by the Irish and their Pictish allies with the British. The latter had poisoned their weapons, Keating informs us, but Trosdane, the Druid in question, advised the Irish leader to dig a large pit, in which the milk of 150 white-faced cows was to be poured. In this the wounded Irish and Pictish warriors were immersed, with the result that a perfect cure was effected in every case and the invading Britons were vanquished.
That Druidism, or the indwelling spirit thereof, survived in Ireland for generations is merely the plain unvarnished fact, and those writers who make question of this survival delude not only their readers but themselves. That the Irish Druids were in some manner associated with the tradition of the mystical Tuatha De Danann appears probable. 'They [the Druids] are represented,' says Miss Eleanor Hull, an authority of standing, 'as having come to Ireland with the Tuatha De Danann, the early magicians and kings, and to have been in the service of the Irish Cruithnigh' (or Picts). 'According to tradition they must have been in Alba (Scotland) long before, for we hear that King Cormac of Tara in the third century sent for Druids from Alba to practise magic for him against the King of Munster.' She adds that every Irish king had his personal Druid, as had every queen, that these priests took rank next to the king, that Druids were themselves occasionally kings, that they received large territorial grants for their services, that they married and were succeeded in office by their sons (as in the case of the early Christian priests in Scotland, up to the eleventh century), that they were genealogists, annalists and physicians. But upon Druidism was to be imposed a cult which was to have the most powerful repercussions upon its general religious and magical texture. This was the cult of the divine king. It may or may not have been an idea extraneous to Druidism. The likelihood-nay, the certainty-is that it took on a various semblance in every country to which it penetrated, mingling in all probability with the older and primitive faiths of each. But, Egyptian as it was in its remoter origin, it certainly did not supersede the Celtic element in Druidism, which absorbed it and transfused it with the Celtic spirit.
# 572: Generosity has emerged as aprized virtue. In the ACCALLAM na SENORECH or Colloquy of the Elders, the aged Cailte, last of the Fenians, finds himself in the monastery of Drogheda where he engages in a somewhat testy debate with St Patrick, making unfavourable references to the saint's God whom he regards as vengeful, pettyminded and parsimonious. He tells him that if the leaves of the autumn trees were true gold or 'the white wave silver', Finn would have given it all away. No less important a virtue was a robust self-reliance and integrity. Asked by St Patrick what maintained them through life, Cailte answers, 'The truth in our hearts, the strength in our arms and the fulfilment in our tongues'. The tripartite form of this indicates it may have a genuinely Druidic origin and a somewhat similar tripartite list is given by DiogenesLaertius who tells us the Druids taught that 'the gods must be worshipped, no evil done and manly behaviour maintained'. We are also told that the Otherworld was a place where truth reigned. Manly behaviour was obviously important. Alexander the Great, who asked a Celt what he most feared, was told, nothing 'so long as the sky does not fall or the sea burst its bounds'. The phrase is peculiar insistent. Sualdam Setanta, trying to rally the Ulstermen to the support of his son, CuChulain, shouts, 'Are the heavens rent? Is the sea bursting its bounds? Is the end of the world upon us?' Later in the same epic, the warriors of Conchobar assure him they will continue to fight until overcome by these cataclysms. In 1282, when news reached his fellow countrymen that Llewelyn, the last Prince of Wales, had been killed by the English, the bard Gruffydd ab yr Ynad Coch, lamented:' Oh, God, why does not the sea cover the land? Why are we left to linger?'
# 412: The religion of the ancient Celtic peoples has been one of the most misunderstood of the pre-Christian European religions. The priesthood of this religion has been the object of more speculative fantasies than any other European priesthood. Since the rediscovery of the 'barbarian' past of ancient Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries, each generation has made the druids representatives of the irrational ideals of the times. This is mainly because at the time the druids were rediscovered from classical sources, the philosophies then current in Britain had developed the ideal of the 'noble savage' and the concept of 'natural religion' - both of which played a large role in the rise of the antiquarians' fascination with the druids, megalithic monuments and the origins of the British people. The 'Age of Enlightenment' had seen the rise of scientific thinking, but also following it came the rise of Romanticism and many fringe areas of speculation. British and Anglo-Irish antiquarians such as William Stukeley, John Toland and Edward Davies, to name a few, started publishing a great deal of this sort of work. To many of these writers and to their followers in later times, the idea that the Celtic people and their druids were polytheists and made sacrifices to their gods and goddesses was abominable. Many tended to project their Christian religious ideas onto the druids and created a smokescreen of fantasy around them. Others, despising the 'barbarism' of their ancestors, took a very grim view, thought of them as nasty savages and made up horror stories about them in much the same way as they had done with the American Indians or Polynesian peoples. There have been countless other fantasies created about the Celtic peoples and their druids since the 19th century. Mainly each group has tried to project something of its own ideals of the 'noble savage' into the Celtic tradition, whether it be 'British-Israelism,' matriarchy, pan-shamanism, UFOlogy and megaliths or a kind of sword and sorcery fantasy. However, there is another version of the Celtic traditions which is grounded in solid scolarship and the scientific methods. This is the view grounded in comparative studies of linguistics, history, folklore and the mythologies of Indo-Europeanspeaking cultures. With these methods and tools we can truly discover what the Celts believed in by asking the Celts themselves what their old religion was about instead of telling them what their religion was about. This means not to allow oneself to create an old Celtic religion or druidism from one's own aspirations and beliefs, but instead to reconstruct the religion based on the oldest documents that preserve the authentic elder faith. This is what Tadhg MacCrossan has done in his book THE SACRED CAULDRON. He has asked the old Irish storytellers, brehons, filidh, druidh, ollamhs and so on what they believed and did and he got the answers through careful study of the native traditions. The author continues: 'I have used the best critical materials and primary sources available in the relevant fields. I have diligently compared the Celtic traditions with other Indo-European traditions with which they are closely related. (Although the term 'IndoEuropean' is normally considered to be a linguistic designation, it is used in my book, for the sake of convenience and in accordance with modern scholarly practice, to refer to peoples and cultures which historically have used Indo-European languages.)
Whenever Celtic tradition was silent on a particular matter, I have reverted to the traditions of the Indo-Europeans - the ancestors of the Celts - as reconstructed by great comparative mythologists such as Georges Dumézil, Emil Benveniste, Bruce Lincoln, C. Scott Littleton, Jarich Oosten and many others referred to in the bibliography of the book. But the important thing to remember is that I have endeavoured to keep the Celtic tradition as authentic as possible. My book is not intended to provide a simple do-it-yourself religion, but as a true guide for those who want to follows the ways of their ancient Celtic forebearers or those who are fascinated by the ancient Celtic religion and want to understand something of its metaphysics.' THE SACRED CAULDRON is the result of a decade of study and research. Not only has the author studied the old Celtic materials but has even put many of the ideas into practice and experimented with the system as a whole in practical ways, and more or less written the book as a guidebook for becoming part of a new 'Celtic Renaissance'. It is a fact, says MacCrossan, that the ancient Celtic peoples had a male-dominated society. The ancient Celtic way of life was rugged and rough, and we must take this into account when we consider what they were doing in the elder days. To fail to take these differences between our modern society and their ancient culture into account is to be not only ethnocentric but also chronocentric. # 177 - 214 - 301 - 328 - 412 - 526 - 554 - 572 - 612
The cave at Drumadoon, on Arran Island, Strathclyde, which is now called 'the King's Cave' after Robert Bruce but in earlier times was identified with the legendary Fionn (as were the many stone circles on the island - see: BRODICK, ARRAN), has several Viking carvings on the central pillar, the most interesting of which appears to represent a man holding what might be a bow over the top of his head; what the 'instrument' really represents is anybody's guess, however. Other carvings include the image of a horse, and what might be a twohanded sword or cross, suggesting that the cave might once have been used for religious purposes. The notion that Robert Bruce was associated with the cave appears to rest on the fourteenth-century Scottish-verse chronicle 'The Bruce', written by John Barbour, The Archdeacon of Aberdeen, which makes no mention of Bruce or his men even visiting the cave. It was during his stay in Arran, presumably at Whiting Bay, that Bruce met the Arran woman with 'second sight', who predicted that he would eventually free Scotland from the enemy. In order to show her own faith in the prophecy she had made, she sent her two sons in his service. # 702
The son of King Tryffin of Denmark. While he is listed as a follower of Arthur, one story (#92) tells how he was to meet Arthur in a single combat. He craftily told his three pet griffins to go ahead and kill the first man who came to the field, expecting it to be Arthur. However, Drudwas's sister was Arthur's mistress and she delayed her lover. Drudwas himself arrived first and the griffins, not recognizing him, killed him. See: TWENTY-FOUR KNIGHTS. # 30 - 156
(doov) (means Black) She was a druidess who, on discovering that her husband had another wife, drowned her rival. Her husband then cast at her with his sling and she fell into a pool which was called Dubhlinn or Dublin. The Romans called it Nigratherma - literally Black Pool, but perhaps a more ancient name for Dublin is Baile Atha Cliath or the Town of the Ford of Hurdles. Michael Scott in his IRISH FOLK AND FAIRY TALES, 'The Dawn', claims that it was the 'savage northern Vikings who discovered the small, almost circular valley surrounded by the mountains on the east coast of the fresh green land they sought to conquer, and there they would build the city they would call Dubh Linn.' # 166 - 454 - 579
She was the wife of Mongan, born on the same night as he. She was loved by Brandubh, to whom Mongan was tricked into giving her up. However, with the help of Cuimhne, the hag, she was regained. # 454
He loved Aoibhell who prophesied that he would die in battle unless he put on her cloak of invisibility. # 454
Conary goes toward Dublin; Conary's foster-brothers land at Dublin, for raiding purposes. Possibly origin of the name, Dublin, see: DUBH, and PLACE NAME STORIES. # 562
(also Dubric; in Welsh: Dyfrig) An important Celtic saint, who died about the year AD 550. He was a bishop and possibly also abbot of Caldey. According to Geoffrey, he was Archbishop of Caerleon and crowned Arthur. In her recent book MERLIN (1988) N. L. Goodrich has sought to identify the saint with Merlin. # 156
(doov'tah däl'cheng a) 'Duffy Chafer-Tongue.' Son of Lugaid; an Ulster warrior noted for his evil disposition; shares with Bricriu the role of the Thersites of the Ulster cycle. # 166
A considerable British kingdom in post-Roman times. It covered Devon, Cornwall and other areas of the south-west of England. Constantine, whom legend makes Arthur's successor, was King of Dumnonia. # 156
(doon) A stronghold, a royal residence surrounded by an earthen wall. # 166
(doon dal'gan) CuChulain's chief stronghold; now an ancient mound near Dundalk, co. Louth. # 166
A horse of Arthur's said to haunt the Co. Durham village of Castle Eden. ># 156 - 753
(909-88) Abbot of Glastonbury and Archbishop of Canterbury. Patron of goldsmiths, jewellers and blacksmiths. Dunstan regularized monastic procedures and codified the present Coronation Rite. He was extremely talented, being able to embroider, paint and play the harp, as well as being a goldsmith and working with other metals. During his making of a golden chalice, he was said to have been assaulted by the devil whom he held fast by the nose with his red-hot tongs. His emblem is still that of a pair of pincers. A treatise on alchemy entitled 'On the Philosopher's Stone' is attributed to him. His feast-day is 19 May. # 454
These Border spirits, also called Powries, like the more sinister Redcaps inhabit old peel-towers and Border keeps. They make a constant noise, like beating flax or grinding barley in a hollow stone quern. William Henderson mentions them in FOLK-LORE OF THE NORTHERN COUNTIES and says that if the sound gets louder it is an omen of death or misfortune. He mentions that the foundation of these towers, supposed to have been built by the Picts, were according to tradition sprinkled with blood as a foundation sacrifice. The suggestion is that dunters and redcaps were the spirits of the original foundation sacrifices, whether human or animal. # 100 - 302
Reference to cup-and-ring markings in book 'Monuments of New Spain'. # 562
Germany is the great home of dwarfs, and the Isle of Rügen has dwarfs both black and white. The Swiss mountains are also the homes of dwarfs, but though there are many stunted and grotesque figures in English fairy-lore, it is doubtful if they were ever explicitly called 'dwarfs'. The best candidates for the name would be the pygmy king and his followers who accosted King Herla in Walter Map's story in his DE NUGIS CURIALIUM; but he is described as more like a satyr; the spriggans of Cornwall are small and grotesque and travel in troops like some of the German dwarfs, but they are never so called. There are more solitary fairies of the dwarfish kind, such as the 'wee, wee man' of one of the Child ballads (No.38), who is stunted and grotesque and of great strength. His description is anticipated in a 14th-century poem quoted in the Appendix to No. 38. The nearest approach to a black dwarf is the North Country Duergar, and the Brown Man of the Muirs is like him. Dwarfs are often mentioned as attendants on ladies in Arthurian legends, but these ladies hover so much between a fairy and a mortal estate that their attendants are equally nebulous. On the whole it is best, as Kirk would say, to 'leave it to conjecture as we found it'. # 100 - 424
DWYN, SAINT OR DONWENNA DWYNWEN
(fifth or sixth century). The daughter of King Brychan. Acertain Maelon wished to marry her but she rejected him; she dreamt that she was given a drink which delivered her from him but turned Maelon to ice. She then prayed that he be unfrozen, that all lovers should find happiness in each other, or else be cured of love, and that she herself should never marry. She is accordingly the patron of lovers in Wales. Fish were kept at her holy well where she became a nun. They were believed to reveal the destiny of querents at her shrine. She was invoked for the curing of animals. Her feast-day is 25 January. # 454
(duv it) Pryderi and Manawyddan at Dyfed; Gwydion and Gilvaethwy at Dyfed.
See also: DEMETIA. # 562
# 562: ('Son of the Wave'). Son of Arianrhod. His deathgroan the roar of the tide at mouth of the river Conway. # 454: He was the brother of Llew. He was nicknamed Son of the Wave because he swam off into the sea after being baptized. One of the Triads relates to a lost story concerning his death at the hands of his uncle, Gofannon, where it is called one of the Three Unfortunate Blows. # 104 - 272 - 439 - 562
(seventh century) The daughter of an Irish king. She looked so like her dead mother that her father conceived an adulterous passion for her, to escape from which she fled with her confessor to Holland. She is patron of the mentally afflicted and is remembered on 15 May. # 454
Mortal visitors to the Otherworld. # 384 p 32
The father of Vivienne, according to the VULGATE VERSION. # 156
Brother of Gereint. # 156 - 346