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SEANCHAS-L  December 2010

SEANCHAS-L December 2010

Subject:

Cows and Coverings

From:

Searles O'Dubhain <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

List for Scholars and Students of Gaelic Folk Traditions <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:01:50 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (49 lines)

At this time when the Moon has been eclipsed and teh Sun has looked 
into the womb of the earth, I am reminded of the tales of Newgrange, 
Dowth and Knowth which tell us how their inner darkness was 
maintained until a brother and sister (or the Sun's wife and her lover) 
had intercourse because of their great attraction for one another. The 
SUn and the Moon literally stood still at such a time. In fact time itself 
stood still. In the union of Sun and Moon the spell of darkness was 
broken once agin and time resumed, with the addition that a new, 
young son had been born in the "no-time" of a night and a day as all of 
time.

All of this eventually migrated into a tale about a great bull chasing his 
remaining seven hefers across the plains of the stars as Bo Dibad (or as 
a bullowned by the same):

From Gwynn's Dindshencas:

DUBAD
 
Dubad, whence the name? Not hard to say. A king held sway over Erin,
Bressal bo-dibad by name. In his time a murrain came upon the kine of
Erin, until there where left in it but seven cows and a bull. All the
men of Erin were gathered from every quarter to Bressal, to build
them a tower after the likeness of the Tower of Nimrod, that they
might go by it to Heaven. His sister came to him, and told him that
she would stay the sun`s course in the vault of heaven, so that they
might have an endless day to accomplish their task. The maiden went
apart to work her magic. Bressal followed her and had union with her:
so that place is called Ferta Cuile from the incest that was
committed there. Night came upon them then, for the maidens magic 
was spoilt. "Let us go hence", say the men of Erin, "for we only pledged
ourselves to spend one day a-making this hill, and since darkness has
fallen upon our work, and night has come on and the day is done, let
each depart to his place." "Dubad (darkness) shall be the name of this
place for ever", said the maiden. So hence are Dubad and Cnoc Dubada
named.

(Similar tales are told of Newgrange and Knowth.)

The questions remain as to whether this event is a solar or a lunar 
eclipse and which is the male and the female of the pair. I prefer to 
think of it as the Moon covering the Sun (of course, the question still 
remains as to who was the male and who was the female of the two :-).

Now that's a good visual and tale for the visitor's centers to put into 
the orientation presentations!

Searles O'Dubhain

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