Over the past few weeks, I have been reading excerpts from the wonderful The Golden Bough by James George Frazer on Live Irish Myths, the weekly livestream about Irish mythology.
Sir James George Frazer was described as 'one of the great scholars of our time' in the 20th century. He published his seminal work, The Golden Bough, almost a century ago. It is a landmark study of the worship, sex practices, strange rituals and festivals of ancient peoples around the world. It is a 'study in magic and religion'.
In the first episode (which was episode #205 of the Live Irish Myths series), I read from a chapter called 'The Killing of the Divine King', where we saw parallels with practices in early medieval Ireland.
In the next episode, I read about the Greek god Dionysus. And you might ask, "how is that relevant to Irish mythology"? Watch the episode below to find out!
In the third episode, I spoke about the various forms of the 'corn god' or 'corn spirit', and there are distinct parallels with ancient Irish agricultural customs involving the Cailleach - the last sheaf of wheat or barley made into a figure and kept until the next sowing. Watch the episode below:
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