When the Celts first arrived in Ireland, it was Amhairghin and the Sons of Mil who after a brief encounter with the goddess people’s, the Tuatha de Danann withdrew over nine waves before crossing the waves again in a battle of druids which presaged their second arrival. We chose that image to describe our Nine Waves Immersion, only the thought is that it is a journey through nine waves and each wave being an initiation, as it were, into the Myths of Ireland. Together the collection of chosen myth can constitute what Moriarty would call a ‘safari of stories’.
The ‘Through Nine Waves’ immersion offers an opportunity to experience the Irish encounter with the divine, the gift of a way of seeing the world, silver branch perception, to learn of the first people to arrive in Ireland, after an epic journey that makes the great Homeric Odyssey look tame, to experience the three wisdoms of the Irish, to meet a mighty shamanic figure able to shapeshift and who lives or 5500 years so has seen it all, and to learn of the first great political thinking of the Irish, distributed power and the fifth province.
The ‘Through Nine Waves’ immersion gives an encounter with the cultural hero for the Irish, a great warrior figure, who must ask, is this a romance or a tragedy, even a comedy or perhaps to an iconic tale; it introduces us to the arrival of the Celts (Ireland had great cultures before the Celts arrived!); and finally introduces us to two of the powerful high kings and a body of stories long forgotten because colonised people do not tend to tell king tales, the revel or trickster is more their thing.
The “Through Nine Waves” immersion also introduces some important thinkers in the evenings led by Barre Fitzpatrick on Edmund Burke, Ireland’s great political thinker and practitioner whose ‘great melody’ as Yeats and Conor Cruise O’Brien pointed out was to confront abuses of power; it introduced a writer, Ian Hughes whose book “Disordered Minds” spells out how the most important political leaders of 20th and 21st century suffered from one, two or three important personality disorders; and finally a Professor of Psychology, Michael Fitzgerald, talks about the important of Myth and Psychology.
We also include some previous Bard Participants whose work as artist or writer is a particular but important form of retelling. Karina Tynan and Paul Joyce feature in this series. And finally, and importantly, we ask the participants to engage in their own retelling of the myths they have heard in the Nine Waves Immersion.