home   about Linda    about Etain    writing & editing   workshops    contact


We are the hero of our own story

—Mary McCarthy

Essays fro Eden


Visit Linda's Internet Feature:

Etain: Empowered Change

Design by: dwij@dwij.org

About Etain

Etain, a goddess in Celtic mythology whose name means the "shining one," was a legendary beauty. She was much loved by the god, Midhir. Midhir's wife Faumnach was jealous of Etain and cast a spell on her, turning her into a butterfly. Yet, even transformed into such a small and seemingly insignificant creature, Etain continued to express her love to Midhir, often humming him to sleep at night. Infuriated, Faumnach caused a magical wind to carry Etain across the sea; she was blown into a great castle and landed in a cup of wine where she drowned. Swallowed when the wife of Edar, an Ulster hero, drank the wine, Etain was again transformed and reborn as a human child. All the while, Midhir continued to search for Etain. He found her, a grown woman, as beautiful as ever,and married to Eochaidh, the King of Ireland. Tricking Eochaidh, Midhir flew away with Etain, having turned her and himself into swans.

Etain is at once human and divine, royal and "common," beautiful always; never losing her shining nature in the face of impossible odds. Metaphorically, her story speaks to all of us, as we are all Etain. We all endure many transformations in our lives that we may view as hardships, but even so, our inner core remains shining. Accessing that inner core, I believe, is the key to regaining and retaining a sense of our true self.

© 2012 Linda Maree