Tlachtga

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Tlachtga was a powerful druidess in Irish mythology. Tlachtga's name was attached to the Hill of Ward, which was the site of prominent festivals in her honour in the Middle Ages.

Name[edit]

Tlachtga (pronounced CLACK-da)[1], also Tlachta. Taebghlas or Tlachtga, as in Tlacht or Dlacht-agha, is the holy fire, from the Chaldee dlak ardere. Originally from the Persian festival of Afuman/Asuman, the angel of Death, and is now kept in Ireland on "All Souls" Day (Samhain, November 1st). One of the great assemblies or fairs [Old Irish oenach; Modern Irish aonach] of early Ireland[1].

History[edit]

According to Irish tradition, Tlachtga was the red-haired daughter of the arch-druid Mug Ruith. She accompanied him on his world travels, learning his magical secrets and discovering sacred stones in Italy.

She was raped by the three sons of sorceror Simon Magus, her father's mentor, and returned to Ireland where she gave birth to triplets called Cumma, Doirb and Muach issued from three different fathers. They were born on the hill that would bear the name of their mother. The triple birth is a common theme in Celtic mythology, and her death from grief and the construction of a fortress at her grave echoes the story of Macha.

Sacred hill[edit]

The Hill of Tlachtga is associated with the Hill of Ward in County Meath, and its celebrations rivaled those at Tailtiu. The major ceremony held at Tlachtga was the lighting of the winter fires at Samhain (November 1). The ringfort built on the hill was associated not only with the kings of Mide, but also with Munster as well. The site was known in the popular culture of medieval Ireland as a place where Mug Ruith's flying machine roth rámach had been seen, and where the ard rí Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair had held a massive assemblage in 1168.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b article "Why Tlachtga" [1]
  • James MacKillop (1998). Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. London: Oxford. ISBN 0-19-860967-1.

External links[edit]