Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cave Of The Cats

 I tried to find a better picture of this place in Ireland. Traditionally, I spend All Hallows Eve honoring my ancestors.  This year is no exception, but I find myself worried about the outside cats that have taken up residence outside my side door.  My landlord is suspicious (she hates cats) that those cats are mine and she most certainly is watching me closer because of them.  I wish there were someplace I could put them where they would be safe and Ohio version of Oweynagat would be perfect.  Tonight as I honor my ancestors, I will also be honoring all the cats I have ever had and that have ever owned me!
 Several sites in Ireland are especially linked to Samhain. A host of otherworldly beings was said to emerge from Oweynagat ("cave of the cats"), near Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, each Samhain.[24] The Hill of Ward (or Tlachta) in County Meath is thought to have been the site of a great Samhain gathering and bonfire;[16] the Iron Age ringfort is said to have been where the goddess or druid Tlachta died, giving birth to triplets that resulted from rape.
In The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain (1996), Ronald Hutton writes: "No doubt there were [pagan] religious observances as well, but none of the tales ever portrays any". The only historic reference to religious rites is in the work of the "thoroughly unreliable" Geoffrey Keating (died 1644), who says that the druids of Ireland would gather on Tlachta on Samhain night to kindle a sacred fire. However, his source is unknown. Hutton says it may be that religious rites aren't mentioned because, centuries after Christianization, the writers didn't know what they had been.[12]
The idea that, in Old Irish literature, Samhain is particularly associated with the supernatural is due to Jeffrey Gantz and others. Hutton criticizes this as unfounded; he argues that the gatherings of royalty and warriors on Samhain are simply an ideal setting for such tales in the same way that many Arthurian tales of are set at courtly gatherings at Christmas or Pentecost.[25]

Post Script  I am delighted to report and present landlord does in fact like cats.  But like me, she knows our street is dangerous for them, as cars go much too fast for cats to thrive.  It is a good thing they have 9 lives, but they need all 9 of them on our street!

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