My name is Aisling. I’m a writer and journalist, and I created this new website as my own personal corner of the Internet. I called it “Weaving Legends” not just as a nod to my love for folklore and mythology, but also as an expression of my interest in the stories we “weave” for ourselves day in and day out: the personal and cultural mythologies that influence how our societies are constructed, and who we perceive ourselves to be.
I believe in a reality that extends beyond what can be physically heard, seen or quantified. I’m the co-editor of a spiritually-themed magazine here in Ireland called Positive Life, and I think this job couldn’t easily be done if I had no interest in the spiritual aspect of life! Still, I know that my experiences and perspectives are mine alone, and I would never seek to push what I believe onto others. I regularly read and write about teachers, practices and events that challenge my perceptions. There are some things I whole-heartedly understand and embrace, and some things I don’t, but I always appreciate having the chance to learn about them. Such is life!
“I called this website ‘Weaving Legends’ not just as a nod to my love for folklore and mythology, but also as an expression of my interest in the stories we ‘weave’ for ourselves, day in and day out.”
My interest in mythology is rooted in more than just an intellectual curiosity. There has always been a part of me that resonates deeply with tales of mystery and magic. I have a profound sense of this whenever I reread books such as Women in Celtic Myth by Moyra Caldecott, Ever Ancient, Ever New by Dolores Whelan, or the folk tales so diligently recorded and compiled by Lady Augusta Gregory and W.B. Yeats at the turn of the twentieth century. The culture that produced these legends is the culture of my ancestors.
Speaking of Yeats … the final lines of his famous poem, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, sum it up perfectly for me.
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey / I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
I believe in the power of the imagination. Even in a world that can indeed seem “grey” at times, I live for the hints of magic and wonder that are never too far away. I love stories that speak of bygone times and distant, fantastical places. The images and emotions that they evoke help me to explore the ancient past (and how it might have shaped the present), and in so doing, come to a greater understanding of my own self and my own place in this world today. For anyone else out there who feels the same way – or who may have been scolded for being too much of a “dreamer” as a child – I think it is extremely nourishing for us to honour that part of ourselves, while also being very grounded and aware of the day-to-day realities of our lives. It is important to remain in tune with what is going on in the world around us, and to know what we can do to help and preserve it.
“In a world that can seem ‘grey’ at times, I live for the hints of magic and wonder that are never too far away.”
Environmentalism is another major interest of mine. I am a writer with the animal advocacy and green living website, One Green Planet (based in New York City). I started writing for them in 2013 – the same year in which I went vegan – and my work with them has taught me a great deal. This website will often feature articles on sustainability, animals, what I have learned from my experiences as a writer and activist, and musings on my hopes for the world.
I can’t promise that my blog will not, on occasion, be filled with pictures of dogs being silly and adorable (especially pictures of my own dog Buddy – here is a link to a One Green Planet piece I wrote about him).