> I'm not sure that I understand your response. I was thinking in
> of the story of Connaire Mor's death, in which a completely improbably
> of circumstances and Catch-22's arose which in turn lead him to
> violate his
> geasa which in turn led to his death.
As I stated in a previous post, the universe did not just
suddenly turn on Conaire Mor. He made a wrong judgment in a legal
case--choosing his childhood companions over the plaintiff--and he
voluntarily violated one of his geasa by interfering in a dispute before
he was called to arbitrate. When a king acts in a way that is not
"right" (Old Irish, cert; modern Irish, ceart), he shows that he is no
longer in balance himself; one of the signs of the "right" king is his
ability to make true and just judgements. Furthermore, his "wrong"
actions shows that he can no longer act as a conduit of the energy from
the goddess of sovereignty to the land and its inhabitants; the mystic
link of king and land has been broken. Before these actions, the land
was peaceful and prosperous and outlawry was unknown. As Conaire
approaches the hostel of Da Derga, the myths notes that the countryside
is in disarray. Destruction, disorder, and general lack of prosperity
are inevitable as a consequence of Conaire's wrong actions. His own
death is a foregone conclusion since he has upset the balance that keeps
his geasa in order. By his own actions, he chose his death. It was not
an arbitrary whim of the universe.
> I never said prophecy had to explain
> itself. I was simply observing that, say, Lleu probably never
> that he would ever actually find himself in the absurd position in
> which he
> could be killed until circumstances put him there. It's like Merlin's
> prophecy that someone would die by hanging, falling and drowning (or
> whatever the actual three modes were; I don't have the book handy at
> moment). A person can only die but once--unless you happen to be the
> individual that this prophecy is issued for; then the story finds a
It seemed to me that your previous comments were confusing geasa
> You really don't need to be rude.
to my way of thinking, you were rude first.
> To my way of thinking, trying to discuss
> "Celtic" material without referral to outside sources is like
> attempting to
> discuss Physics without drawing any information from Chemistry or
> Mathematics. The Celtic peoples were not isolated, and most of the
> that we have for information about the Celts have been transmitted
> non-Celtic filters or have been impacted heavily by non-Celtic
> sources. If
> you try to discuss only what is 100%, purely Celtic, it's going to be
> very short discussion. If you are willing to look at how similar
> themes, etc., develop in similar situations for which we do have
> data, then it becomes possible to hypothesize that analogous
> occurred in areas settled by Celtic peoples.
I am extremely willing to refer to outside materials, but I
think to look to outside sources without considering the internal
sources that are more readily available and, may I say, are sometimes
more plausible, is to stretch unnecessarily for an answer.
Also, there are areas of Celtic culture--such as the earliest
Irish materials--where the influence of outside "peoples" was
considerably less than in, say, Cornwall or North Britain.
Finally, I object to the discussion of "Celtic" as if the Celts
were a single people in a single spot with a single set of influences.
In fact, they were a diverse group inhabiting a wide area and subject to
diverse influences. To refer to "Celtic" materials dismisses the varying
nature of the archaeological and literary materials we have from the
various Celtic groups. The wonder of Celtic culture is that, in spite of
all this diversity, there is still much that persisted to the degree
that we can at times point to something and say, "THAT is
characteristically Celtic," but we need to be very careful that we don't
use the word "Celtic" when we are really referring to something that is
Gaulish, Celto-Romano, Irish, North British (later Welsh), Cornish,
Manx, Breton, Celt-iberian, Galatian, or (eventually) Scottish.