Episode 5

Bright And Obscure: Stories of the Irish Goddess Áine with Jen Murphy | S. 2 Ep. 5

Our Story

A Irish sovereignty goddess whose origins lie with the mythical Tuatha Dé Danann, Áine is also a sun deity, a bean sidhe (woman of the Sí), and fairy queen. Our guest Jen Murphy comes to KnotWork with a collection of Áine tales. 

In a story from the mythological period, Áine has an ill-fated meeting with the unjust king Aillil Ólomm, who strips the land bare and threatens the goddess. Later, Áine is also found in a 14th century tale of Gerald, Earl of Desmond, also known as “The Wizard Earl.” Finally, a story collected in 1938 by the Irish Folklore Commission about a wise woman named Áine with two daughters who refuse to follow their mother’s marital advice, each with disastrous results.

Our Guest

Jen Murphy is the creator of Celtic Embodiment, a cutting-edge modality that fuses the ancient wisdom of Celtic Mythology with the emerging field of Feminine Embodiment Coaching to transform modern life for women. Jen is a certified Feminine Embodiment Coach and holds a degree in Medieval Irish & Celtic Studies and an M.A. in the Anthropology of Development. Coming from a lineage of storytellers and wisdom keepers on her maternal line, Jen is fascinated by the natural coalescence between our ancestral myths and our bodies as a potent brew to reclaim our sovereign power. 

Find Jen at www.celticembodiment.com/ and on Instagram: @celticembodiment

Our Conversation

  • The ancient Celtic Sovereignty myth: the divine marriage (the banais ríghi). When the Sovereignty goddess unites with the king, she expects fir flaithemon, the prince’s truth. A worthy ruler needs to be just, truthful, and discerning. Parallels to Sumerian tales of Inanna and her partners.
  • The importance of reciprocity - between people and land, between sovereignty goddess and king
  • The ways that religion and politics collude together and exploit the land
  • Connections to Arthurian Grail legend and “The Elucidation,”a tale that describes the rape of the Well Maidens that leads to the closing of the wells and creation of the Wasteland.
  • Hospitality as a key aspect of mythology and culture
  • Ireland as a “goddess obsessed” island. And yet, with all of the divine feminine magic, all of the Mother Goddess worship, it was not a Utopia for women. There were ways in which the coming of the church offered a haven for women, and monasteries became places of learning.
  • Jen’s personal story of what it meant to see all part of herself, integrate the energy of midsummer, the deepest energy of the grandmothers, a death of a part of the self, and  rebirth and integration

Our Music

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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About the Podcast

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KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond

About your host

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Marisa Goudy

Marisa Goudy is a story healer, a writing coach, and a word witch. Her book, The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic, was released in 2020.
Marisa nurtures writers and storytellers in her long-running online writing community, the Sovereign Writers’ Knot.
On this show, Marisa combines her passion for story with her love of Irish literature, culture, and folklore and her fascination with the Celtic world. She has a particular love of stories of heroines, goddess, and women whose tales were forgotten by history.