Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Mythology of Ancient Ireland — The Mythological Cycle

Irish mythology is rich in culture and superstition, and is the basis of Irish Faery-Faith. Traditionally, Irish historical mythology has four cycles. These cycles provide a mythological account of the five ‘waves of invasion’ which swept though Ireland, and are vital to the development of the Celtic Pantheon. The four Irish mythological cycles are:
  • The Mythological Cycle;
  • The Ulster Cycle;
  • The Fenian Cycle;
  • The Historical Cycle.
The Timeline of the Mythological Cycle

There is often some debate as to when, exactly, the Mythological Cycle is supposed to occur in regards to world history. This is not an easy thing to determine, as this cycle is filled with fantastical tales of myth and magick, and so has little in the way of fixed events.

However, there is one event within the Mythological Cycle that can be dated — the invasion of the Milesians. This can be placed at around 1000 BCE. Since this event occurs at the end of the Mythological Cycle, it can be assumed that the bulk of the Mythological Cycle takes place before this time.

What is the Mythological Cycle of Ireland?

The Mythological Cycle is a set of myths and legends which are based primarily on the Tuatha De Danann. From the Tuatha De Danann, the very beginnings of the Celtic Pantheon can be formed. This cycle is also the source of the entire Faery Lineage or Ireland, from which the modern idea of the fairy was born.

Many, if not most, of the legends of the Mythological Cycle abound with tales of enchantment and magick. This era of Irish mythology focuses very heavily on victories that are gained by superior knowledge and wizardry. These victories almost always involve the Tuatha De Danann. The Tuatha De Danann themselves are derived from the Ancient Ones of Ireland (otherwise known as gods, both male and female). It can be said that the Tuatha De Danann are the gods of ancient Ireland.

In addition to information regarding the Tuatha De Danna, the Mythological Cycle reveals the accounts of the five waves of invasion, including the three certain colonizations of Ireland. These colonizations were the result of battles, great and small, which give brief glimpses into the ancient Irish ethics of war. The five waves of invasion are:
  • Partholan;
  • Neimheadh;
  • Fir Bolg;
  • Tuatha De Danann;
  • The Milesian.
The most distinctive features of this cycle and its legends are intelligence and magick. Where the Ulster Cycle stresses a warrior attitude, the Mythological Cycle teaches the lessons of intelligence, intuition, and the ability to reason.

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