I figured that I was long overdue a post on Irish/Celtic mythology. I decided to rectify this with a post explaining my blog title! Hope you enjoy!
The Phantom Cat
Phantom Cats are essentially large felines who are spotted roaming around outside of their indigenous territory. There is nothing alien or supernatural about them, they are simply out of place! I love big cats and my first ever school project was on big cats- cheetahs and panthers being among my favourite. Here in Ireland there have been sightings in places such as The Phoenix Park. I thought it was a cool name!
The Celtic Otherworld
The 'Otherworld' part of my blog post comes from the concept of the Celtic Otherworld, the realm of the dead. In Irish mythology it appears to be akin to a kind of heaven, it's inhabitants never grow old and there is no sickness. Often-times it was thought to exist underwater, underground or alongside the human world. It was most strongly associated with the sea and with waves, a point which makes sense when you consider the fact that Ireland is an island. Although it may be understood as a kind of heaven, it has nothing to do with the Christian concept of Heaven or Hell. Such places appear throughout various mythologies, for example Elysium. Elysium is a Greek version of the afterlife which sees it's inhabitants enjoying a beautiful and happy life after death.
Many Otherworld tales tell of a beautiful maiden who lures a human male to these summer-lands in exchange for his help in battle. Of course, they are usually never seen again. Such tales say that the voyage was made in glass boat or a white horse. I myself am most familiar with tales involving a white horse.
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I got this line from Bram Stoker's Dracula, the exact quote being 'Listen to them: children of the night. What music they make'.
Thanks for reading.