Autumn 2014

Our first meeting in the TCD Graduate's Common Room took place on the 22nd of October under the watchful gaze of Samuel Beckett.

Our topic for the evening was The Hero's Journey in which we looked first at the Navajo myth of Where the Two came to their Father and then the Scottish fairy tale: The Brown Bear of the Green Glen. The former charts the journey of twin heroes to their Father the sun and the second charts a journey culminating in the meeting with the Neolithic/Bronze Age goddess.

Spring 2014

Vikings Clontarf 2014
Battle of Clontarf April 1014

Had a trip to Knowth carrying over the theme of Neolithic sites from last year. Considering Knowth is the most important megalithic site in Europe the OPW could have put a bit more imagination into its presentation. Grand trip but compared to Newgrange the site is shoddily presented.

By comparison the reenactments and general Viking ambience of St.Anne's Park in commemoration of the thousandth anniversary of the Battle of Clontarf was surprisingly good. All the Vikings hailed from Scandinavia or Normandy adding realism to proceedings. I added all the photos to the gallery under Early Irish.

Winter 2014

The inaugural Theatre of Memory Symposium hosted by the Abbey Theatre was opened by the President Michael D. Higgins with a scintillating speech. A couple of excerpts:

The President, Michael D. Higgins, opens
the symposium with a remarkable talk on:
Myth-making and Ethical Commemoration
What remembering and imagining have in common is myth-making: the one, remembering , is often initiated so as to achieve a healing; find a rationalisation; construe an event in such a way as to be both a warm cloak for the self and a dagger for the threatening other; the other imagining , needs myth to retain belief, not merely as assurance or reassurance, but as a mechanism for the retention of hope in the unrealised possibilities of being human, truly free, in emancipatory, celebratory, joyous co-existence, with and for, others.

Towards the end of his speech he added:

Ethical commemoration need not be extraneous either to historical understanding or to myth-making, I suggest. And I would like to reiterate the call for new myth-making that I made in New York in 2012 – a call for new myth-making that would be both contextualised historically and emancipator, respecting the right of unrealised dreams to be remembered as well as the facts of failure.

Many of the presentations over the three days reached were of an equally high calibre and we will treat it as an MRT event next year and try and get a few people along.
All talks are available on the Abbey Theatre of Memory on Sound-Cloud. TD 1Feb2014

Word Sleuth:

*weghos (PIE) - way,path:-

The old PIE root is manifested in English way and German weg. However if we look eastwards, in Sanskrit we have marga. About which, discussing the difference between temporal art and the religious iconography of India's myriad gods and goddesses, Joseph Campbell writes:

In contrast to the figures in works of secular art (desi) they [images of the gods] open the mind to brahman and are know themselves, as the path or the way (marga). The sanskrit marga is derived from mrg, to hunt (by following the track of an animal through the forest to its lair), the animal to be found through contemplation of the image of a god being, of course, that indwelling golden person (purusha) which is one's own eternal portion. (The Way of the Seeded Earth vol1 p29)
Further east we find the notion in Chinese tao or dao, The Way, a comprehensive philosophy of life which unlike the introverted philosophies of India is very much imbued with awe at the physical wonder of the world. Further east again in Japan the word reverts again to many different paths with the word   - dō . It retains its abstract sense and can be found in the names of many disciplines such as Bushidō 武士道 - the Way of the Warrior; Chadō 茶道 - the Way of Tea; Jūdō  柔道  -the Gentle Way; Kendo 剣道  - the Way of the Sword, Aikidō 合気道 - roughly, the Way of Harmonising (with) Life Energy. The indigenous Japanese pantheistic religion is called Shinto 神道, roughly, the way of the spirit/s.
The dash and lower part of the character denotes movement and the right part of the character denotes chief/main. So the kanji in its most prosaic sense means main road.

Title: A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters - Authors: Kenneth G. Henshall - Pub: Charles E.Tuttle Company - ISBN: 4-8053-0509-6
Title: The Way of the Seeded Earth I - The Sacrifice - Authors: Joseph Campbell - Pub: Perennial Library - ISBN: 0-06-096350-6
Title: Wikipedia Articles - Authors: Various - Pub: Wikipedia, - ISBN: n/a