No apologies necessary Craig! I understand!
I have always been drawn to the Celtic or Gaelic legends (as well as the Native American traditions of this country…)
My mother was drawn to those Celtic traditions as well (maybe a little of that in our blood)
She bought a beautiful stain glass window with a Celtic pattern, which symbolized no matter where you go you return home.
Mother was an astronomer, earth scientist and artist.
And I remember reading legends about Cumhulain and Finn McCumhal at quite a young age. In addition to books on astronomy and earth science, Mother also had a collection of books related to the Gaels/early Britons, both history and legend as well as later historical fiction and legend inspired fiction. It was delightful!
And I learned through various self study…including Campbell and what other books I could find…though my knowledge could still be limited.
I am familiar with the Mabinogion and the seasonal celebrations from Imbolc (Feb 1st the feast of Brighid goddess of smith craft, fire and poetry and healing sometimes also associated with St Brighid)
Beltane May 1st
The equinoxes and the solstices
(since my Mother was an astronomer she appreciated these times)
And Lughnasa in August. In addition to Samhain.
Yes alas I was thinking about Samhain!
For me the equinoxes and the solstices hold the potential of a veil. And along with the other times have a sense of in between.
One thing I do remember, which crosses over out of those various tales and the later fictions they inspired is “the purple hour.”
My mother loved observational astronomy the best and as an artist, she had a love and appreciation of color as well as the constellations, moon, stars and other astral bodies.
Something as subtle as the color change of the sky often caught her attention.
There is a time when the sky turns this “uncertain purple.” It may be just before or after twilight.
Yes I suppose one could call it the “witching hour,” but it always felt to me that it was indirectly related to those early Gaelic traditions. Or maybe has earlier origins elsewhere.
But the cool thing about it is that it’s not relegated to season but is hidden within the passage of every day. As long as no storm. So that feels like another boundary or veil to me!
I’m sure there are others out there with much more knowledge than me and who have studied more in depth on Gaelic history, myth and legend!
I learned a wee bit when dancing with a Celtic rock band whose leader was a music/history professor and storyteller who knew quite a bit about Gaelic history/legend.
The Wintry Queen…the battle between the Oak and holly king. And darkly mischievous faeries.
And what I have read is fascinating…too…
My cat Taliesin was named for the Welsh bard. And indeed seemed to be gifted with a similar charm that wrapped people around his long Siamese tail!
This is a bit off subject, but it has always intrigued me that both the Gaels and the Cherokee have similar traditions of “little people,” and “immortals.”
And the immortals would help the Cherokee fend off attack and they would come out of the ground but it reminded me of the old stories of mounds in Gaelic country (well accounting for the variations between early Gaels, Welsh and early Britons)
And the little people were both helpful and mischievous.
I love mythology!
I want to know more too! And love coming here because there is always something new to learn…sometimes have to freshen my perspectives!
Even with familiarity of Campbell and a small bit of Jung…somehow the word “imaginal,” escaped until I returned to this board. so that’s fascinating!
I certainly understand the need to give it more than an imaginary substance to delve into it!
And I’m also curious about the coining of the word “imaginal” to steer it away from the “imaginary,” so it would not be dismissed.
Thank you for the essay!