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Magic Illuminates the Mundane: a story of Flidais by Regina de Búrca | S5 Ep7
Episode 726th June 2024 • KnotWork Storytelling • Marisa Goudy
00:00:00 00:59:36

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The fairy woman Flidais and her cow Maol are mysterious characters from Irish mythology, but  Regina de Búrca brings deep, flawed humanity to this Otherworldly being.


Regina de Búrca was raised in a bookshop in the West of Ireland, where her fascination with the Irish language and mythology began. In 2010, she graduated with an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University in England and has had various short stories published since then. She has been an editor of the online speculative fiction magazine 'The Future Fire' since 2009 and was shortlisted for the Minds Shine Bright short story competition for a story about a Sheela-na-Gig. In 2021, she produced the first Irish language version of the Rider Waite Tarot deck. Right now, she is working on the  'Journey through the Tarot via Irish Herstory' on Substack, a series of posts that connect historic Irish women to each of the 78 Rider-Waite Tarot cards. 

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Regina is generously offering a special discount for podcast listeners. You can save 10% off Tarot decks and readings when you  use code KNOTWORK at checkout. Visit for more.


  • A story of exile and curses that explores the consequences of following power rather than love. 
  • Regina is fascinated by how the gods become mortal, and vice versa.This fairy woman’s humanity shows so clearly (particularly when it comes to addiction and the need to escape pain. 
  • Maol the cow is the only being in the story who is described in detail - this is a storyteller’s technique to emphasize her importance
  • A story with something terrible at the core of it - animal abuse - and how to hold it with sensitivity, and a happy ending
  • Elen of the Ways, also known as Elen of the Woods, is sometimes conflated with Flidais. The ways in which modern interpretations can blend ancient goddesses, particularly those we do not know much about. 
  • The paradoxical distinctions between the human and the animal.
  • Sheela Na Gig, the crone and the fertility talisman who appears at the very end of the story
  • Sympathetic magic: when  you touch something and then you’re imbued with its powers. 
  • The potency of the time of year and wheel of the year in the story. The power of the light at Litha, the summer solstice.
  • The rising temperatures across the globe and role of the Sun in tarot - when is the Sun positive, and when does it burn?
  • The Irish goddess Áine: listen back to Jen Murphy’s story in S. 2 Ep. 5 
  • Reclaiming the story of Pamela Colman Smith, the illustrator of the Rider-Waite  tarot deck

Our Music

Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy:

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