Myths of the Side

Intro – Focloir na Side = ‘dictionary of the mounds’.  Side = fairy-hills. From Mesolithic (6000 BC) – bodies of ancients buries in these mounds (= tumuli). Spirits – therefore – resided within. Notable – side = Sid an Broga = legendary home in Boyne Valley of – Aengus, harper to the gods.

At Sid an Cealtrai – (Downpatrick, County Down) – 2 burial sites, associated with Oissin, son of Finn mac Cumaill (Finn mac Cool).

Thus myths = Irish folklore in pure form, therefore – “…these myths are but guides to a symbolic understanding of our ancient culture, masks behind which truths may be discovered.” [A Guide to Irish Mythology.  Smith, D. (1996)].

Popular surviving remnant – sid cult = mounds open on Samain = Halloween > gods/goddesses roam the land.

Sid ar Cruachain – fairy cave at Cruachain, near Tulsk, County Roscommon, especially associated with Samain. Thus – host of spirits leave cave led by the Morrigan = Great Queen.

Scholars – sid = star , therefore stellar worship. Others – sid = Greek – ‘seat of the gods’. The “…veneration of the sid included a communion with all natural phenomena – rivers, mountains, wells, etc.” [11].

Affinity = valuable possession. Therefore – 3 possessions of Dagda (Irish Zeus). Thus – symbols of three areas. Club = warrior aspect. Harp = music + poetry. Cauldron = Celtic spirit. Ancient Irish sagas/stories = 4 cycles of tales. Mythological Cycle; Ulster Cycle; Fenian Cycle; Ossianic Cycle (= Cycle of Kings).



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