Dublin 2019 Dublin, Ireland MSMU Travels

#WhatsTheCraic: Exploring Mystical Ireland

Thank you for joining me as we wind down #WhatsTheCraic on our study abroad experience in Dublin. I hope that you have enjoyed yourself on this journey through Dublin with me. Our group will be taking finals this week and returning to the States next weekend. In today’s blog, we will be exploring the mystical side of Irish culture. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Hill of Tara and Bru Na Boinne.

Let us begin with the Hill of Tara! It’s located in County Meath, about 45 minutes outside of Dublin. What is very interesting about this site is that it has a 360-degree view. This view creates a significant strategic advantage. If there was ever a war or battle being fought, this 360-degree view will allow you to see your enemies from either side. People who were captured during battles were kept at the bottom of the hill in the Hostage hole.

Mount student Mason in front of the hostage hole

The Hill of Tara dates back to 600 BC. At one point, Tara was the ancient capital where about 142 kings were crowned upon. Most famously Lóegaire, who was said to still be buried at the hill.

You’re probably asking yourself where exactly the mystic side of this Hill is. Well, hold on to your hats! During this time in Ireland, the people believed in the Earth mother goddess. They believed that it was the King’s duty to keep the mother happy. If there was any bad weather or poor harvest, the king was always to blame. Sacrifices would be made such as animals, humans, and even the king themselves! This history surprised me because I never thought and the mythical side of Ireland.

The headstone and seat of Lóegaire

But what really took my breath away was Bru Na Boinne. Bru Na Boinne is located in the Boyne River Valley which is also in County Meath, and its name means palace or mansion. It is said that the Bru Na Boinne is older than the Stonehenge and the Pyramids; all of the stones when discovered were moved over 20 km to where they stand today. An interesting fact is that the skylight of the structure is completely aligned with the horizon. Therefore, during the winter solace, the tomb was able to receive light for seven days. Now for the mythical side of Bru na Boinne. According to Celtic mythology, this structure was used as a place for Irish gods to stay as they go back and forth from the earth and the spiritual world. It was fun exploring the mythical side of Irish culture as part of my last moments here. This experience was the icing on the cake and a highlight of the time spent here.

Bru na Boinne

Thank you for joining me on one of the last excursions I’ve taken during my trip abroad. I hope that you have enjoyed your time with me as we explored what made the Irish, Irish!

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