Episode 2

Danu: Rise of the Mother, a story by Laura Murphy | S4 Ep2

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Our Story

Laura Murphy returns to KnotWork for the third time with a tale of the Irish goddess Danu that is part creation story and part initiation rite. 

Our Guest

Laura Murphy is a poet, activist and healer from Ireland whose work centers around the ancient Irish poetic practice of Imbas Forosnai. The filí (seer-poets) of pre-Christian Ireland used this practice to bring healing to society and truth to power.

Laura’s Imbas-infused work has been featured in the Abbey Theatre’s critically acclaimed "HOME: Part One," Herstory Light Shows, TG4’s "Imeall" and RTÉ documentary "Finding Brigid."

Laura was the inaugural Poet in Residence at Herstory, the movement illuminating female role-models, she was a key player in the campaign to make Brigid’s Day a national holiday in Ireland. She is an advocate for Mother and Baby Home survivors. 

Follow Laura on Instagram: @everose

Art for this episode, “Danu Rising” by Yuri Leitch of The Ogham Grove.

The Danu Chant at  the end of Laura’s story is written by Jenny Ní Ruiséil; sung & recorded by Melanie Taylor.

Our Conversation

  • Dánu gave her name to the people of the goddess Danu, the Tuatha De Dannan, the most celebrated divine beings, but she is mentioned only a couple of times in Irish mythology. 
  • Our relationship with gnosis and ‘the mystery”: our birthright is to hold the mystery, not to solve the mystery
  • The role of the Grandmothers: in the story, across spiritual traditions, and in Irish society in recent generations
  • The calling to be an elder in midlife
  • What it means to follow your dán: an Irish word that simultaneously means gift, skill, art, poem, soul and destiny
  • When the English language replaced the Irish we lost a poetic way of speaking and expressing that was closer to the mysteries
  • The alignment of stars (the constellation Casseopia), sacred sites, and features of the land (Paps of Anu in Killarney); Laura is inspired about these connections thanks to ideas brought forth by Yuri Leitch.

More complete show notes will be available at the Myth Is Medicine Substack.

Our Music

Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy: billyandbeth.com

Work With Marisa

  • 1:1 Writing Coaching: If you are working on a spiritual memoir or wellness professional or a creative entrepreneur who wants to use stories to build your business, book a free consultation with Marisa. Learn more at writingcoachmarisa.com
  • Find more of Marisa's writing and get a copy of her book, The Sovereignty Knot: www.marisagoudy.com

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About the Podcast

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KnotWork Storytelling
Myths Retold, from Ireland and Beyond

About your host

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Marisa Goudy

Marisa Goudy is a story healer, a writing coach, and a word witch. Her book, The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic, was released in 2020.
Marisa nurtures writers and storytellers in her long-running online writing community, the Sovereign Writers’ Knot.
On this show, Marisa combines her passion for story with her love of Irish literature, culture, and folklore and her fascination with the Celtic world. She has a particular love of stories of heroines, goddess, and women whose tales were forgotten by history.

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