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Author Topic: The Invasion Cycle as a creation myth?  (Read 8545 times)
nigel
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« Topic Start: May 23, 2008, 10:38:15 pm »

I was reading a book on Celtic Myths (sure it's an old one) and listening to some Celtic Folk Music (and Celtic Folk Metal) and began rethinking about the Invasion Cycle as a creation story.

First you have the Partholan and then the Nemed come after them, the Partholan fight off the local Formorians, which could be representative of Chaos, The Partholan then die, and then you have the Nemed, who also die. This could be the first stage of creation, Order beating back Chaos, the Partholan and the Nemed could represent the cycle of Life and Death, and the bringing of order to a chaotic world.

Then you have the Fir Bolg, they are almost proto gods. Almost like the Greek Titans, but not quite. They still can't conquer the Formorians, but they come close.

Then the coming of the Tuatha De Dannan, they are the actual gods and beings of power that make up everything. In an animist twist, the non-important common people are the spirits of the land. They are briefly conquered by the formorians, but then Lugh comes, brining Arts and Sciences together to beat them, thus Order beating Chaos.

Finally, the Milead come, they are the humans, they finally bring everything into full being, they are the final invasion and reap the benefits of the Ireland that has been formed by the other four invasions.

So, what do you think? Completely off the mark or maybe on to something? It's all strictly UPG mind you.
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Juni
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« Reply #1: May 23, 2008, 11:06:09 pm »


I am almost positive I have read a similar interpretation of the Invasions as Creation, but for the life of me I can't remember in which book. I'll have to do some digging.

I personally think it's a perfectly reasonable Creation myth prototype.
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« Reply #2: May 23, 2008, 11:18:09 pm »


That's what I was thinking, the land is shaped and formed through these invasions so why not.
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« Reply #3: May 23, 2008, 11:21:19 pm »

That's what I was thinking, the land is shaped and formed through these invasions so why not.

But the land was already there.  And who created the many races?  Could you explain what you think was created by the invasions?
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« Reply #4: May 23, 2008, 11:27:41 pm »

But the land was already there.  And who created the many races?  Could you explain what you think was created by the invasions?

I can't cite sources because it's been too long since I read it, but I do recall a concept of Danu and Bile as the creators of the universe. I don't know how widely it's accepted, but Erynn Rowan Laurie does acknowledge it in her book Circle of Stones though she doesn't state her feelings one way or another.
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« Reply #5: May 23, 2008, 11:31:09 pm »


Granted, the land was already there, but it was flat and shapeless, three lakes and a plain that's it. Then as the invasions came in, more lakes and mountains and things were formed. The first two invasions the people came from the west. So perhaps they just arose or we are missing a piece. It's not uncommon for people to just kind of appear, if they are more then mortals.
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« Reply #6: May 23, 2008, 11:31:58 pm »

I can't cite sources because it's been too long since I read it, but I do recall a concept of Danu and Bile as the creators of the universe.

I just dug up a creation myth written by Peter Berresford Ellis that uses the Danu/Bile concept for creation, while trying to find the myth I mentioned to nigel. It's chapter one of his book Celtic Myths and Legends.
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« Reply #7: May 23, 2008, 11:34:24 pm »

But the land was already there.  And who created the many races?  Could you explain what you think was created by the invasions?

Another thought: these questions beget the question who created the creator? I think at some point in a creation myth, there has to be an acknowledgment of unexplained or incomprehensible existence; perhaps it's just a little further into the creation myth for the Celts than for other cultures.
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« Reply #8: May 23, 2008, 11:38:32 pm »


This is also true, also, keep in mind these beings don't seem to be fully mortal, the mortals don't seem to come until the last invasion.
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« Reply #9: May 24, 2008, 09:06:30 am »

Another thought: these questions beget the question who created the creator? I think at some point in a creation myth, there has to be an acknowledgment of unexplained or incomprehensible existence; perhaps it's just a little further into the creation myth for the Celts than for other cultures.

There is always that question, yes.

I was more wondering if the different races all came from the same place, or do we assume they are all from different sources?
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« Reply #10: May 25, 2008, 01:07:28 pm »

So, what do you think? Completely off the mark or maybe on to something? It's all strictly UPG mind you.

For me it's a new and interesting way of looking at things.  The only fly in the ointment is that Donn is a Milesian, yet he is also a god.  How do you factor him in?
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« Reply #11: May 25, 2008, 01:11:41 pm »

I just dug up a creation myth written by Peter Berresford Ellis that uses the Danu/Bile concept for creation, while trying to find the myth I mentioned to nigel. It's chapter one of his book Celtic Myths and Legends.

Peter Beresford Ellis is a folklorist, and while I'm using him as a source for my Irish deity research I have big question marks over some of the things he has written, mainly because he clashes with the Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, and whatever you can say about the Oxford series, they are known for their accuracy.

For example, Peter says that Aibell is male, Oxford say Aibell is female.  The rest of the facts are mainly the same, so I know they're talking about the same person but I haven't yet found a third and fourth source to clarify Aibell's gender.
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« Reply #12: May 25, 2008, 01:27:35 pm »

Peter Beresford Ellis is a folklorist, and while I'm using him as a source for my Irish deity research I have big question marks over some of the things he has written, mainly because he clashes with the Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, and whatever you can say about the Oxford series, they are known for their accuracy.

For example, Peter says that Aibell is male, Oxford say Aibell is female.  The rest of the facts are mainly the same, so I know they're talking about the same person but I haven't yet found a third and fourth source to clarify Aibell's gender.

He's certainly a folklorist, and he states in the volume I mentioned that most of his stories are his own work, pieced together from years of hearing fireside stories from his family.

He is, though, a respected scholar in the CR community (and outside of it). He is always clear to note what is his and what is from a verifiable source. Do you recall which work cited Aibell as a male? I'm curious to do my own research.
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« Reply #13: May 25, 2008, 01:44:22 pm »

He is, though, a respected scholar in the CR community (and outside of it). He is always clear to note what is his and what is from a verifiable source. Do you recall which work cited Aibell as a male? I'm curious to do my own research.

Yes, I've got it clearly in my notes that "The Dictionary of Irish Folklore" by Peter Beresford Ellis says Aibell is male and "The Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology" by James Mackillop says Aibell's female.

If you find any more sources for Aibell can you please point me towards them?  I need to clear up Aibell's gender and most books don't give Aibell a look in.
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« Reply #14: May 25, 2008, 01:52:08 pm »


Well, to finally settle the world into the full physical realm the early settlers had to have some degree of power. So perhaps the early settlers were gods, then as they slowly lost power, or something, similar to the Egyptian stories of the earliest times where Ra is the pharaoh.
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