Retellings by Karina Tynan
Illustrations by Kathy Tynan
Release date coming soon
Táin is a collection of mythic stories covering the territory of the great epic, The Táin Bó Cúailnge from the Ulster Cycle of Irish Mythology that are told from the perspectives of the women. While each story is a stand-alone piece, they all play their part in giving a sense of the complete tale. Poetically retold and intuitively illustrated, the stories capture the hearts and souls of the women, bringing them alive in a deeply personal way, through a backdrop of death and slaughter.
This is a work of intuition and personal creativity, where the stories have taken place in me and been harrowed by me. I give Queen Meadhbh of Connacht as an example of that harrowing. When I came to write her, I had great trouble finding my way towards her promiscuousness and hedonism from my own personal consciousness. It wasn’t until I realised that it is mother nature herself who is the most promiscuous and hedonistic of all. This helped me to acknowledge a promiscuity and hedonism in myself that is not alway seen as feminine. I also began to see manipulation as a quality, even an art, and more often than not, used for good. It is often automatic to judge the likes of Meadhbh negatively. Maybe if we look more closely at her, she can show us how to counteract the limitations that have and continue to be upon women.
Myth always holds the potential for wisdom and insight, and so, like poetry there is often more to be seen than the poet intends. This leaves these stories open to many interpretations, as is evident from the response of the artist, Kathy Tynan who has found her way creatively and intuitively through the women’s stories.
I have been working and living with Irish Myth for more than twenty five years as a writer, a Psychotherapist and a team member of the Bard Summer School which runs in July each year for the past twenty five years on Clare Island Co Mayo. The Bard explores Irish Mythology for its contemporary relevance and wisdom. There is also a new branch of the Bard to be found at bardmythologies.com