I found some of the ideas in Invoking Ireland much easier to express with these quotes and pictures. You can click them to see larger versions.
Shaman tells a story of the smoke of a turf fire, of turf itself, and of an inner prehistoric landscape experienced. Speaking of the sods he'd bring from the shed each night for his fire -- "They were older, I'd remind myself, than Ireland's oldest folktale," Moriarty tells us. "What that folktale was I didn't know, but how strange it was, crossing a yard at nightfall with a prehistoric landscape in a bag on my back." He goes on to tell how one night he sat by his smoking fire, and the reek of it worked a mystical intoxication on him, and he was transported to that ancient landscape. He found an ancient pair of boots there, and putting them on, he began a strange journey. There was a lake which "didn't mirror some things it should mirror. It didn't mirror a red horse on a ridge. It didn't mirror its own islands." He continued on, experiencing a wood stinking of death, and experiencing life as a tree being felled, until finally, "The two sides of the path came together. I entered thick darkness and I didn't see the house until, seeing an old man by the fire, I realized I'd already walked into it." Here, after a riddling conversation with the old man, the adventurer undergoes a sort of agony and death, until, "it death-rattled the life I'd been living, modern life, out of me."
Shapeshifters and Magical Animals is a three week course led by Kris Hughes. We will be looking at stories and poems from Scotland, Ireland and Wales concerning the themes of transformation, wisdom, immortality, and time.
It starts on 10th April, 2021. Information and registration at this link.