Chonac smólach marbh sa choill é seargtha ar an screablach.

It’s been a while since the last post, so here’s something a little different for 2020, a poem by Tralee born Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh.

Chonac smólach marbh sa choill

é seargtha ar an screablach.

Bhíos ag déanamh trua de

nuair a tháinig madraí de rúid

is thugadar ruathar fúm

ag snapadh, ag glamadh

agus drant orthu.

Uaimse do tháinig liúbhéic,

gach bagairt is buille coise:

Bhí ina bhúirchath eadrainn.

Chorraigh na ba sna goirt

is chuireadar leis an gcór allta.

Theith lucha is dallóga fraoigh

isteach faoin doire donn,

sheas madra rua ar shiolpa,

a cholainn iomlán righin.

Chuimhníos ar mo choisíocht;

bhí ceithre chrúb fúm.


I saw a thrush-corpse shrivelling

on the woodland’s scrabbly floor.

I was busy pitying it

when there came a harrying pack

of strays that set about me;

they bayed and snapped,

growling bare-toothed.

From my throat such roaring;

my every curse and foot-swing

made a bellow-war between us.

Fields of agitated cattle

augmented that wild choir.

Mice and shrewmice shrunk back

into the oakleaf brown interior

as a fox reared upward on a stony ridge,

its stance utterly rigid.

I remembered to run,

felt the four paws under me.


translated from the Irish by Billy Ramsell


Image is a detail from a design for a Medieval Wolf Patch (originally sold by Kings Hand Press Etsy store (now closed sadly))


#werewolf #conriocht #billyramsell #AilbheNíGhearbhuigh #wolf #wolves #poem #poetry #irish #Gaelige #irishgaelic #kingshandpress

Cunomaglos -Celtic Wolf Lord

Cunomaglos is usually translated as Hound (or Dog) Lord, however a deeper linguistic dive into his name and his Apollonian parallels suggest something quite different.

In ancient times Dogs and wolves were linguistically almost synonymous. Tracing backwards we can see how the Irish word for hound

𝘤𝘶́ (see Cú Chulainn – Culann’s Hound) derives from the Primitive Irish 𝘤𝘶𝘯𝘢, itself from Proto-Celtic *𝘬𝘶̄ and ultimately from the theoretical Proto-Indo-European word for dog *𝘬́𝘸𝘰̄́.

The continental form of lupus, lykos, is rarely found in Celtic, save for the Ulkos coinage in the extinct Lepontic language from Cisalpine Gaul, where it is likely borrowed from the Graeco-Roman.

And then the Nettleton Shrub inscription dating from Roman era Wiltshire in the U.K.:

𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗔𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗶 𝗖𝘂𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗹𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝗜𝘂𝘁𝗶 𝗳𝗶𝗹(…)𝗶𝗮 𝘃(…)𝗼𝘁𝘂𝗺 𝘀(…)𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗶𝘁 𝗹(…)𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗺(…)𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗼

𝘛𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘥 𝘈𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰 𝘊𝘶𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘴, 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢, 𝘥𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘴, 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘰𝘸, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺, 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺

It seems from this that, Cunomaglus was used as a synonym for a local Britanno-Celtic god that was called Apollo on Latin inscriptions. The dedication above is for or by a woman with a Celtic name.

Apollo’s Wolf connections are well attested and it is highly plausible that the two were perceived as similar deities, making Cunomaglus far more likely to be Lord of Wolves/Wolf Lord.

#Cunomaglus #cunomaglos #nettleton #apollo #lykaios #wolf #Wolflord #cu #Cuna #CúChulainn #protoindoEuropean #wiltshire

“Wolfing”, Díberg and Fianna

“Brigandage that is the activity of organised bands of killers, was particularly abhorrent to the Church, and in the Old Arraí is associated with Druidism and satirising among the sins for which there could be no remission of penance. It was regarded as a Pagan practice and evidently had its own ritualistic code of conduct.” Díberg as defined by R. Sharpe.

O’Mulcronys Glossary describes the etymology of díberg as “dí-bi-arg – ‘non-be-hero’ for he is not reckoned with heroism like the hero of the fianna, for denial of God and and clientship with the Devil is not proper to heroism.”

This may very well be a later interpretative gloss by Christian scribes, as older sources make no distinction between those described as fiannas or díberg.

In the Togail Bruidne Da Derga, Connaire son of Eterscél, King of Tara, and the sons of Dond Désa, the féindid or fían-champion are fostered together. But when Connaire fulfils his destiny and succeeds his father as King of Tara – where taking of díberg is now taboo. Ultimately the three brothers continuing violent behaviour (díberg) in verses 19 and 20 is explicitly linked with Wolves:-

They took up díberg with the sons of nobles of Ireland around them. A hundred and fifty of them under instruction when they were wolfing in the territory of Connachta.

𝐓𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐧𝐞 𝐃𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐚

#Fianna #diberg #díberg #oldIrish #fiannas #Connacht #Connachta #donddesa #TogailBruidneDaDerga #Connaire #Tara

Ancient Irish Wolf Warriors

𝐖𝐨𝐥𝐟 𝐂𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐀𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐈𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝

The warrior and dogs/wolves are often synonymous in ancient Irish lore. Particularly telling is an ancient Irish term for wolf, “mac tire” (literally translated as “son of the land”). It is plausible that this is connected with the even older concept of the adolescent Indo European Wolf Cult – especially as “vagabond warrior” the original meaning of “Mac Tire” gradually came to mean “wolf.”

In Ancient Ireland, as in Old Norse Culture, it was common for Kings and warriors to have canine aspects to their names. Cú Chulainn is perhaps the most well known taking the name “Culainn’s hound,” after killing the smith Culainns guard dog. The Fíanna were renowned for their hunting hounds.

The Cóir Anmann (The Fitness of Names) is a late medieval Irish tract where each verse/entry explains the meaning of an epithet associated with a character in early history or mythology. Verse 215 in particular contains a very revealing description

𝘓𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘍𝘢́𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴, 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘢́𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘥, 𝘪.𝘦. 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧-𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘴. 𝘏𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘴𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰, 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦𝘥, 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥, 𝘢𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘮 𝘰𝘧 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘴. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘓𝘢𝘪𝘨𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘍𝘢́𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘥, 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘭𝘧-𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘦.

“Fáelad” translates to “wolf-shape” or “wolfing” and this was also connected to the activity of warrior bands called díberga (marauders, brigands) in the Togail Bruidne Da Derga.

𝐂𝐨́𝐢𝐫 𝐀𝐧𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐧

𝐓𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐧𝐞 𝐃𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐚á_Derga’s_Hostel

Image adapated from original by 𝘀𝗮𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶 on deviantart

#Ireland #wolfcult #CúChulainn #IndoEuropean #TogailBruidneDaDerga #Fáelad #CóirAnmann #LaignechFáelad #díberga #mannerbund #männerbund #männerbunde

She wolves and Wolf Goddesses

Last year I gave a 1 hour talk on Female Werewolves and Wolf Goddesses at the Heathen Women United Conference

Link to full audio –

#shewolfpack #shewolf #shewolves #dianagoddessofthehunt #dianagoddess #apollo #miletos #shewolvesofjulich #hecate #letogoddessofmotherhood #ruminagoddess #lupercalia #latonagoddess

Old Norse and Irish Shapeshifters

Metamorphoses: a Comparative Study of Representations of Shape- Shifting in Old Norse and Medieval Irish Narrative Literature

A fascinating overview of shape shifting in Old Norse and medieval Irish literature by Camilla Michelle With Pedersen.

Full paper here: