This original story of the Irish goddess Bóinn was written by Laura Murphy and is being offered for the first time here on KnotWork Storytelling. Laura takes what we have from the medieval manuscripts from the Christian monasteries and then follows her own divine inspiration, or the imbas forosnai you’ll hear so much about in our conversation.
If you hear a phrase that plucks at the strings of memory, know that Laura has woven in a few lines from other great Irish writers who have inspired her, who have offered their imbas, including W.B. Yeats, George Russell (also known as AE), Ella Young, Padraig Pearse & Sinéad O’Connor.
Laura Murphy is an activist, healer and Poet in Residence for Herstory; the powerful movement in Ireland telling stories of modern, historic and mythical women.
Laura is a passionate campaigner for Ireland’s Mother and Baby home survivors and other issues surrounding equality, environmental and social healing including the recent successful campaign to make Brigid’s Day a national public holiday in Ireland.
Laura’s work is centered around the ancient Irish poetic practice of “Imbas Forosnai,” which means “Inspiration that Illuminates.” Comparable to the Buddhist concept of Enlightenment” or contemporary “Flow-State,” Imbas Forosnai is said to be a gift of the Goddesses Bóinn and Brigid. It was a practice mastered by the ancient poets of Ireland to bring truth to power and healing to society.
- The long legacy of patriarchal suppression of the feminine that appears in Bóinn’s story, just as it did in the story of Eve and Mary Magdalene. There’s punishment for “tasting wisdom.” How did these stories change our understanding of the feminine across centuries?
- Laura’s experience with Lyme disease as a “lived experience of Bóinn’s ordeal.”
- Experiences in the dark chambers - Bóinn in Newgrange, Marisa’s experience at Oweynagat (the “Cave of Cats” at Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, which is said to be the birthplace of the goddess Morrigan). The spark of Imbas comes in the deepest, darkest spaces just as alchemy, the creation/discovery of the golden light, happens in the power of beholding the dark.
- Laura’s first deep experience with Imbas Forosnai: A sacred pilgrimage route that connects Brigid’s birth and death place and spans from Dundalk, the Hill of Slane, Tara, and Kildare. In a mystical experience as she crossed the River Boyne, Laura felt the gift of poetry flow through her.
An Invitation to Go Deeper into Bóinn’s Origins & Mythology
In our conversation, Laura mentions her dear friend Anthony Murphy who has written a monograph that compiles all known references to Bóinn called “Bóinn: the Goddess of the River Boyne and The Milky Way.” It presents a full and untainted account of the mythology behind her.
Also available is a prose-poetry masterpiece he wrote in a state of Imbas flow, inspired by Bóinn called Return to Segais.
Laura had the honor of proof-reading both. In turn, she says, these books were instrumental in her connection with Bóinn and in Her healing. Both available at www.mythicalireland.com
Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." billyandbeth.com
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