Tuesday, May 03, 2011

365 Doodles - Day 123

Another 'Odd God' for you today. Balor of the Evil Eye was an evil giant magician in Irish mythology and leader of a race called the Fomorians. They are sometimes described as men with the heads of goats or as ‘things that came out of the sea’ (The name ‘Fomorian’ is believed to come from the Old Irish fo muire which means ‘under the sea’). In yet another description they had one eye, one arm and one leg. Descriptions of Balor are similarly confusing; in some accounts he has one huge eye, in others, two eyes with one being much larger. In yet another he has a large eye in the centre of his forehead and another at the back of his skull. Quite how he saw the world is a matter of some conjecture. What is sure is that Balor’s eye was a thing of great power and destruction. It could kill anyone that Balor looked at and he once used it to blast the islands off the west of Scotland. Apparently, his eye became charmed when it absorbed the fumes from the foul potions brewing in druids’ cauldrons. He normally kept the eye closed and employed four men to open the heavy lid using a Heath Robinson-style contraption of ropes and pulleys. Balor was eventually killed by his grandson Lugh who used a sling-shot to drive the eye through the giant’s head where it lay on the ground and its deadly beam burned a hole so deep that it became Loch na Suil – the ‘lake of the eye’ – in County Sligo.

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