Thursday, August 18, 2005


UI's Celtic Mythology - Fand

Fand, in Irish mythology, was the wife of Manannan Mac Lir. One day she quarrelled with her husband and he left her. When she was attacked by the Fomorii, Fand sent for Cuchulainn. Fand's maidens appeared to Cuchulainn in a vision, beating him with rods, which left him sore for a year. Having gained his attention, they explained that the goddess, Fand, needed his help to fight the Fomorii. Cuchulainn came to her island and defeated her enemies, and remained for one month as her lover. Before he returned home, they arranged to meet again in Ireland. But Cuchulainn's wife, Emer, found out about this secret meeting and took fifty of her maidens armed with sharp knives to kill Fand.
A confused argument then took place between Fand, Emer, Cuchulainn and Manannan Mac Lir, who had also learned of the arrangement. But in the end, Fand decided to stay with her husband and forget Cuchulainn. Manannan Mac Lir then shook his magic cloak between Fand and Cuchulainn so they would never see each other again, and druids gave Cuchulainn and Emer drinks of forgetfulness.

What a great story! Some things I'd like to comment on though:

1. Was it really necessary to beat Cuchulainn with rods to get his attention? And did it take him a year to go and help out Fand? If so, was Fand being attacked for a whole year?
2. How dangerous is Emer to take fifty of her maidens with sharp knives to kill Fand?
3. Wouldn't it be great if couples could have drinks of forgetfulness in reality?


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