A few months ago I blogged on the journey towards acknowledging Sinann’s presence in my life. I called this Sinann and Me
. Its a personal account as many things within the modern Craft movement goes. What I never got around to disclosing was the dream I had the night after I posted that piece.
I dreamed that I was up home in Carrick-on-Shannon and just walking around looking at all the changes that had come about since I’d moved down to Limerick for college. I walked around the town and looked at all the bars and pubs that had been done up. I met with some faces I knew from school and immediately could feel the wave of sadness in them as they missed what was at the cost of what could be. I told them that they wouldn’t find the people they knew here anymore and to try looking elsewhere. As I did so another face revealed itself in the corner of my vision, a guy I used to be involved with. He was with what looked like the Loch Ness monster only smaller.
As I went after him to see what ‘Nessy’ was doing in Carrick-on-Shannon I circled around the town again and realised that ‘Nessy’ had gotten too big for the area of the river Carrick rests upon. The guy was not separated from ‘Nessy’. ‘Nessy’ had by now left Carrick and gone in the direction of Limerick but there were islands and stuff blocking my view of where exactly. I woke up feeling very ecstatic with my dream’s strong symbolic presence and so promptly after working with Sinann.
I immediately texted two friends. One whom originally suggested I attempt some workings with elementals to learn more about this deity and another from the Grove of Sinann. It was a few weeks later when I heard back from the latter. It seems that she and another member of the Grove had been researching Sinann and found an island at Inis Crothrom. There had been a hospice for women there run by 7 saints all called Sinann. The hospice grounds seem to have been disturbed at some point and there were reports of a “river monster” attacking people so that the hospice stones could be returned. I have yet to sit down with my friends at the Grove and chat this over in more detail but I found all this to be very empowering personally.
Another google revels much more to the myth in the form of St Senan [sen-an] and the Cathach or sea-serpent of Inis-Cathaigh
or modern day Scattery in West Claire. The Claire People article online found here
has much more on this. It’s possible that Senan is the masculine form of Sinann and etymology of the word lends itself to rivers being feminine in old-Irish (Sean-Gaeilge), this I will have to pose to a linguist friend of mine. If so there is room to believe that the goddess was at one time a god. Its not completely evidentiary though as the Goddess Sinann could be where St. Senan obtained his name from. Many early Irish Christians would keep the name of local spirits or gods alive but provide a hybrid rationale for this. In short the most probable explanation is that Senan could be a male dedicant of the Goddess Sinann which gave rise to the myths of St. Senan if at all.
“From Iniscarra he went to Inisluinghe on the river Shannon, where he established a ‘cell’ or church. (Inisluinghe has not been identified.) While he was in this island the daughters of the local chieftain received from him the veil of religious life.” (www.clarelibrary.ie) From this however is possible link to my friend’s work on the seven, women Saint Sinann’s of Inis Crothrom. There is also mention of women being forbidden from his own island yet he did pass on other veils to virgins.