Episode 2

Ireland's Forgotten Goddess-Queen-Witch with Meg Sweeten | Ep 2

Published on: 2nd February, 2022

In this week's story, you'll meet Mongfind, the Sovereignty Goddess turned queen turned witch who appears in the Book of Lecan, a medieval Irish manuscript compiled at the turn of the fourteenth century. Her story is part of the better known tale of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the founding father of the O'Neill clan.

This story was written by Marisa Goudy. It is an adaptation from the translation of the original manuscript, inspired by the interpretation of the tale by Gearóid Ó Crualaoich in The Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wise-Woman Healer.

This week's guest Meg Sweeten helps me uncover the layers of modern meaning contained in this ancient story. Meg is a certified meditation + mindfulness teacher.  She is also the founder of The Soul Cabin, a practical online resource for inner wellness. This virtual space supports modern women looking to rekindle and maintain a connection to themselves, through all the seasons of their lives with: meditation, resilience techniques, nature-based practices, and soulful community.

Find Meg Sweeten at www.thesoulcabin.com and on Instagram @thesoulcabin

In our conversation, Meg and I explored:

  • How, in mythology, the power of earth and nature are even more meaningful than the human struggles and shifting perspective.  
  • The importance of honoring the land we live on, particularly North Americans. We may not know the stories of the native people whose land we now live upon, but the stories of our ancestors can still help us develop a relationship with earth and nature. As white Americans, we reflect on how the more rooted you are in your own lineage and family heritage, the more rooted you are, and the more able you are to confront white supremacy, fragility, and cultural appropriation.
  • This story and all stories as a product of their times and the preoccupations of the storyteller.
  • Tension between human will (the masculine) and the tides of nature (feminine). 
  • Shapeshifting characters and the way we shift the shape of characters based on our own experiences.
  • The very modern feeling elements of this story: slavery, class, privilege. The difficult and shadowy elements of mythology, and how these heroines are very different from the simpler fairy tale princesses that are (theoretically) easy to love.  
  • The source of the Mongfind story, The Book of the Cailleach, calls us to recognize the power of names and naming, and why some characters are forgotten.

Dive deeper into these stories of Ireland and the Celtic world and explore your own stories

Explore Marisa's work and get a copy of The Sovereignty Knot : www.marisagoudy.com

Follow the show on Instagram and join our vibrant listeners' community on Facebook.

Join the Sovereign Writers’ Knot, Marisa’s online writing community for healers, heroines, dreamers, and wisdom keepers. New members are invited to apply through March 2, 2022: www.marisagoudy.com/sovereign-writers

Our show music is a compilation of traditional tunes, including The Cape Breton Salute, performed by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy: http://billyandbeth.com/

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About the Podcast

KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond
In each KnotWork Storytelling episode, we'll explore a different story from mythology, folklore, or history, particularly from Ireland and the Celtic World. Then, my guest and I dive deep into why these ideas and characters still resonate today.

Your host is Marisa Goudy, author of The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic. She is a Myth Worker, a Story Healer, a Writing Coach, and a has an MA in Irish literature from University College Dublin.

Join us as we wander through these ancient storylines as we set out on a quest to learn from the past, better understand the present, and craft a sustainable future.

Every episode reminds us that age-old stories are medicine for this modern moment.

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.