Episode 3

The Coming of the Sons of Mil, a story by Brian Walsh | S5 Ep3

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Reweave Your Own Myths

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This tale of druidic magic and epic battle tells of how the Sons of Mil, the first of the Gaels, came to Ireland and divided the land with the race of the gods, the Tuatha Dé Dannan. At the geographical centers of Ireland’s spirit and power, Uisneach and Tara, you’ll meet the great poet Amergin, the three goddesses who gave Ireland its name, and the Good God Dagda.


Brian Walsh is a professional storyteller who specializes in Celtic Mythology and folk tales. He is also a clinician and educator in a hospital setting, where story listening is at the heart of his work.

Brian’s has told at diverse venues including the Toronto International Storytelling Festival, the Parliament of World Religions, Pubs, University settings, and around the campfire under the stars.

He lives and works in Toronto, Canada, on territory covered by the treaty 13 and the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant — an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy, the Ojibwe, and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.

Find Brian’s upcoming gigs at brianwalsh.ca and on instagram @brianwalsh.ca.


  • What it means to tell stories of Ireland here as members of the Irish diaspora on Turtle Island: If gods only had resonance on one island, they would not be gods, they would be genus loci (protective spirits of a place).
  • There is time and place for specific stories, and then there is telling according to what the moment requires.
  • This is a Bealtaine story: according to the Irish Annals the Sons of Mil arrive in Ireland on the eve of festival:  Thursday, April 30 1699 BCE
  • Elements of fairy lore come from this story - the balance and reciprocity required for co-existing with the Good People.
  • Role of memorized poetry of Amergin in Brian’s telling of the story. The rosc pattern in poetry is a sort of circular sacred repetition.
  • Stories can be used to raise people up or to weaponize. This story could be heard as a tale about the right of conquest, or as a caution about the power of keeping the balance between peoples, between the human and the divine, between the people of the earth.
  • Asking audiences to sit with you in the ambiguities of these stories. We can’t make the gods into moral figures by contemporary standards.
  • The trope of the worthy opponent enables both sides to ask when the work of a battle has been done and when it is time for reconciliation.
  • Brian’s personal story of coming to this tale and to Irish mythology: a search for roots beginning as a young teen that led to a sense of home. How the Canadian wilderness of northern Alberta the landscape of ancient Ireland in a way that the current Irish flora and fauna do not.

Our Music

Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy: 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.

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