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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #270 on: February 22, 2009, 12:57:59 am »

funeral song, feast, or cry over the corpse of the former--more or less performed to this hour by their Christian descendants. There would otherwise be dismal wanderings alone beside the Irish Styx, as with Homeric heroes.

The ghosts are variously described. The Ossianic ones appear indistinct and mystic in cloudland, floating with the wind. Such phantoms were of the worst sort, says O'Kearney; who adds--"Irish pagans never dreamed of spirits after death having assumed any such forms, either in Tir-na-n-Og, Flaith-innis, or any other happy abode of departed heroes. The spirits from Elysium always appear in their proper shape, and spoke and acted as if they were still in possession of mortal life."

There are many elements regarding ideas of the Dead which are common to both Greeks and Irish, though not direct borrowings. Entrances to the nether world were recognized in portions of the East; and Joyce tells us--"In my boyhood day, the peasantry believed that the great limestone cavern near Mitchelstown, in the county Cork, was one of the entrances to Tir-no-noge."

Dermat, in company with a wizard, or Knight of the Fountain, descended a well, and came into a country of delightful flowers and trees, palaces and castles. There a lady fair cured Dermat of the wounds he had received in battle, besides entertaining him with music. In the Fate of the Children of Turem MS., we read of the Island of Fincara, which was sunk beneath the waves by a Druidic spell long ago. Then, one Brian, in quite modern times, provided with a magic water dress and crystal helmet, saw most charming-looking ladies. In the Voyage of Maildun, also, a privileged person was enabled to behold the Mog-Mell plains of pleasure, though these rather belonged to Fairydom.

In Plato, we have an account of banquets in Hades. In Irish MSS. are many references to the good things below.

p. 300

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