The Crane Bag


The Druidess.  A. Cabanel.

[Graves, R. The Crane Bag and other Disputed Subjects.  Cassell, London.  1969].

“Pagan properly refers to the superstitious survival of pre-Christian beliefs in country villages remote from a Christian city…”

“…Celtic is properly applied only to well-armed Danubian tribes of the Iron Age…”.  Thus – Greek – Celti, Galates. Latin = Galli.

These tribes – overspread Europe and Asia Minor (sacked Rome and Delph). British Isles > two waves.  7th century BC = Q-Celts (Goidels).  5th century BC = P-Celts (Brythons).

Imposed language/culture on “…more gifted  non-Aryan Bronze Age agriculturalists…”.  These came – British Isles – 1000 years before. Fron north Africa – one horde via Spain, another via Europe/Norway.  The Romans never reached Ireland, nor destroyed the Druidic culture.

The Sea God’s Crane Bag – belongs in Irish Legend to Manannan (God of the Sea). Crane Bag = skin of Aiofe (woman who was magically transformed – Crane). Aoife = ‘pleasing’. Another Irish legend (Mider). Lived in Isle of Man (after Manannan) – kept 3 cranes (warned off visitors).

St Colomba = ‘crane cleric’. Cranes – reputation for disagreeability. Tuarotrigaranos (‘The Bull with the Three with three Cranes’).

Celtic Druids never committed their religious secrets to writing – in “…all secular matters used Greek. not Roman letters.” (3).

Druidic alphabet – arrangement = Pelasgian in origin. Druidic element – credited to – Ogma-Sun-Face.  Li Aan writes of Ogmius (White haired Celtic Hercules).

Original Pelasgian alphabet = 20 letters. (Thus B. L. N. = Beth-Luis-Nion).  Hence Ogham speech cyphers. Graves references Ogham in: Secret Languages of Ireland by R. A. S. Macalister.

Alphabet = M – Manannan. G – Goibne (the smith). Some characters were borrowed from the Formello-Corveti Western Greek alphabet. Supplied consonants not found in Goidelic, but needed for Brythonic, Gallic, Norse.

“Manannan’s own shirt” = a sea-map. Further reference given by Graves = [Early Irish Myth and History.  Rahilly].

Assail = lightening god. Mushrooms in Latin/Italian called ‘little-pigs’. The “bones of assail’s swine’ = mushrooms. Ritual eating of mushrooms = discarding of stems (as bones are from meat).

Irish poetic tradition = Ogham alphabet brought by Ogma-Sun-Face. Spiral crane dance in honour of Apollo (+ sister Artemis) = Delos.  Delos = “…centre of the sacrosanct poetic world called the ‘sons of Homer’.”

Graves – writing of Ross’s ‘Pagan Celtic Britain’ – “All else is branded as mythical – mythical being, like pagan, a word that denies truth to any ancient non-Christian emblem, metaphor or poetic anecdote.” [7]. “How blind some archaeologists can be!”.

Asiatic colonies – (Greek) = Southern France. Close trade relations – pre-Classical Greece and pre-Celtic British Isles.  Proof = lunulae (new-moon-shaped- collars) of Wicklow gold found in Mainland Greece.

Imprint – Mycenaean dagger – Stonehenge. Trade connection – implies “…common religious ties…” [3]. Suggested by Greek Taurotrigaranos and ‘Druid’.  In Greek Druid = priest of the drus (oak tree with edible acorns).

See also – oracular grove at Dordogna in northern Greece. Ties – Greece/British Isles down to classical times. First British coinage – modelled on Greek not Latin. Land of the Hyperboreans (‘Back-of-the-North-wind-men’) = Apollo’s other island, Britain (according to Hesychius).

Straw wrapped gifts – annually – via tribes > Apollo’s shrine (Delphi) = amanita muscaria. Goats = religious importance – Greece. Sacred – ancient Pelasgian Goddess of Wisdom = Athene + Apollo – Hellenic God of poetry and music.

Myth = gods (Olympian) disguised as birds and animals fled to Egypt from Typheus. Typheus > eruption of Santorini volcano (15th century BC).  Apollo chose to be a crane.

Greece/Ireland – cranes – sacred to poets. See – Pelasgian poet (Ibycus of Samos) whose death was arranged by a flock of cranes. The Crane Bag contained alphabetical secrets known only to oracular priests and poets.  Cranes = totem birds – poetically educated priests (who counselled Queens/Kings).

Gallic coins (Roman occupation) show a Gaulish king as a bull (see Mycenean Greece/Minoan Crete). His druids (who drew wisdom from the Triple Goddess) appear as three cranes. Ireland – Triple Goddess (Brigid). Brigid – among Pelasgians = ‘Brizo’ = protected poets, physicians, smiths.

Eating of crane-meat = tabooed in Ireland and Scotland. Likewise – Hazel (tree sacred to poets) = tabooed as hearth fuel. Midir (Irish Hermes) lived in Manannan’s Island (kept three cranes). Protected secrets = religious calendar, mathematical system.




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