Understanding the Power of Women and the Portrayal in Irish Myth with Karina Tynan.

Overview of the Immersion

The Classicist, Mary Beard, in her powerful recent book Women and Power points to the inherent misogyny in many of the classical myths and the matter of mute women and brutal men. In Homer it is Telemachus tells his mother Penelope to “shut up” and illustrates the silencing of women in the epic.  She asks how can “we” (women) be heard and suggests that women ’not only need to be resituated on the inside of power’ but ‘that power itself has to be redefined”.

Working within the framework of Irish Myths we will explore these ideas and proposals. We will ask  what is the nature of power in the Irish Myths and was power indeed a very different idea in the world or Archaic Ireland and particularly those that are based in the Goddess Culture of the Tuatha de Danann. Specifically, we will build on Karina Tynan’s excellent Autumn Bard Series on the “Women in the Tain” and again hear Karina’s tellings. This author is indeed giving women voice. These are women from the Mythological Cycle, the Fenian Cycle and the King Cycle.

Our Eight Week Experience in the unique Irish Mythology through Oral Myth Telling, Group Discussion and exploring contemporary relevances

Saturdays 4.30 to 6.30pmMyth
I) Jan 22ndCesair: building my own Arks Cesair and the ‘mothers of the world’ are, in the ‘mythic history of Ireland’ the first peoples to arrive. They were denied a place on Noah’s Ark, or was that just the story. Perhaps they had no interest in getting on the Ark?Cesair and the Mothers
2) Jan 29thDelgnat: Women and the Law The first legal judgement in the Myths is in the story of the Partholonians. It is a judgement in favour of the wife of Partholón, Delgnat.Partholonians in the Mythological Cycle
3) Feb 5thBrigit and the Concept of the Triple Goddess
We know little in the texts of Danu, the Goddess figure of the Tuatha de Danaan. We do however have much material about Brigit, both as Goddess and Saint. We will explore the idea of the Triple Goddess.
4) Feb 12thFuamnach and Etain: Envy at work Exploring jealousy and envy and the betrayal of women and the subsequent actions and how those actions based on envy are portrayed.Midir and Etain
5) Feb 19thSadhbh and Niamh Cuin Or: Otherworld Women Otherworld Women and the idea of “utopia”.  What do we learn from these ‘otherworld’ journeys?Fionn Mac Cumhall and Oisin
Break for a Week
6) Mar 5thGrainne: Love and Duty Geasas, desire and world making, An explorations of some powerful dilemmas  as love and duty meet in the world. And also the idea of worldmakingDiarmuid and Grainne
7) Mar 12thAchtan and and Mes Buachala – Wolves, Horses and a Small King  The Mothers of a great King and initiation themes. WhatCormac Mac Airt
8) Mar 19thWomen and Power As always in the Bard over to the participants to do their own analysis and reflection and then craft a re-telling or some piece that captures their thoughts,  either individually or in small groupsRe- Tellings
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