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The Cradle of King Cormac Ulfada1The destiny of this warrior sage and king-hero, Cormac MacArt Ulfada (Cormac or Corb-mac meaning ‘A Chariot’, with Ulfada translated as ‘Long Beard’) is represented through his association as a Wolf King of masterful transition. Reared amongst wolves miraculously he converted to Christianity two centuries before St Patrick’s arrival to Ireland.

King Cormac was the first great King of Ireland. His birth is a thrilling, terrifying and redemptive tale of destiny and transformation. At birth he was taken by wolves to the Caves of Keshcorran. His grandfather was a wolf deity and Cormac became a shapeshifter and known as Ireland’s Wolf King. Keshcorran represents the shapeshifting tastes of the storied Tokaji desert wine used to age the whiskey.


A night cracked prophesied sky, the pledge hostaged to trail upon Nía Nói Grainne’s Nine Hills2Born during a storm-filled night it was prophesised Cormac’s delivery must take place at a sacred location over the nine hills of Nía Nói Grannie near the Dun of Lughna, the Lord of Corann. thundered forth upon the eight hoofed chariot rig’s lightning strike, to place King Cormac Ulfada’s crowned head upon the chimerical high heather at the Wild Wood of Creevagh’s3The wild wood forest where King Cormac was born was situated outside Ballymote, County Sligo. brushwood bed.

There Ireland’s most beautiful, Etani,4His mother was Etani (daughter to Olc Acha) gave birth to Cormac almost simultaneously to when her lover Airt (the father of Cormac) was killed in battle. in fifty byres showery5Etani was regarded as Ireland’s most beautiful woman. Such was her desirability her father had fifty well-watered byres around her as protection. When preparing for Battle of Mucrama, Airt (when visiting Olc Acha) was warned he had left too few offspring. Thereby an impromptu but significant wooing-episode was arranged between Etani and then King of Ireland as a form of hieros gamos or sacred marriage. guided her father, the noble herdsman, Olc Acha,6Olc Acha, a druid-smith and seer, was known as the ‘Wolf of the Night’. the Wolf of Poetic Inspiration, thrice herdsman, smith and seer, to capture King Airt’s divine dowry.

Etani’s bounty, her wolf warrior king child, was safe to keep, when Mac Con7Mac Con was the leading enemy of Airt. cast turned upside in upon the Place of the Twigs8Known as Dun Brosna or the Place of Twigs. its forest fundament suantraigi9A Suantraigi was a magically induced trance. When Etani was in this beguiled condition Cormac was snatched by a she-wolf. deep.

A moon-filled parturition sought in deepened trance, to drip his Cú Glas10A Cú Glas is a haunting hound or lone warrior while a Nia means the blessed son of a transitory relationship – the synthesis of which is represented in Cormac. foot into the sacred well and reign over the Kingdom of Gabros,11An ancient territory that ranged over the mountains of south Ulster to north Connacht. to guard the Three Egged Fer Tri Lugna N-ogh12The tribe of Corann. men’s darkened dell.

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Ripped within the west’s whirlwinds horses fell in glazed pitch to entwine, the slumbered Otherworld saw Cormac’s father beheaded on the Plain of the Oll Muca Swine.13Airt was killed at the Battle of Mag Mucrama, near Galway Bay.

A dark dream screamed to break her neck as Erin’s glorious canopy14Etani had a premonition she would hang and from her neck a tree would grow who was to be the leader of Ireland. lay prostrate upon a blood track of cold pangs, this exalted destiny of Ben Tet’s15Ben Tet – a famous Irish she-wolf. protective Faoilteach16Faoilteach means the wolf mouth and into which Cormac was snatched. fangs.

In driven hail the maid and child soon lost within Cloonagh’s steep ache barren, the roaming hound Ben Tet guided past the suckling sleek red dogs of the great Hart-She-Wolf to the smithy’s Keshcorran cave.17The Clann Greccraige’s leader Grecc mac Arod, was a warrior of the Lord Lughna, who found Cormac and brought him safely to the Caves of Keshcorran.

Here bound in promised bands against all slaying, drowning, fire and sorcery,18Olc Acha placed Cormac under protective bands which warded off dark magic. he faol-whelped19Fáelad or Faol are ‘the Wolfing Fellows’. It was claimed the ancient Irish could transform in wolves to commence a strange or terrifying attack. and gambolled free before Lughna the Hunter in silent fosterage by the Clan Greccraige.

For Ulfada’s body read the impassioned stone face of Tobar Cormaic20The sacred font where the babe was blessed is called Tobar Chormaic, a well situated in front of Keshcorran. in attack, to gnaw the tail of chaos21A Celtic symbol of renewal is a hound biting its tail. and thus restore him from the mourning infinite Otherworld’s growling track.

There the cubit of judgments high quenched from Cormac’s Cup22Cormac’s Cup (in Irish Cuach Cormaic) was the Magic Cup of Testing and a precursor to the Holy Grail. It broke into pieces when lies were told and mended when the truth was told. the Divine King of Four Quarters’ ascent, when ignorance’s prided trek did shine forth upon his chariot steeped in regal descent.23Having arrived at Rath na Rí (meaning the Palace of Kings) within the Royal Court on the Hill of Tara (though an unheralded churl and known only as the Chariot Child) he was later recognised as Ireland’s rightful monarch (indeed with a much greater claim to the crown than Finn McCool). By 214 AD, King Cormac Ulfada was crowned Ard Rí or High King of Ireland. He commenced a series of wars, is famed for a series of Brehon law axioms (known as the Laws of Cormac) and increased the Borumha (tribute) due to him.

As the Long Bearded Royal Sage of Etani’s shift shadowing white knee knew, if the testing cup,24When placing this cup upon his lips King Cormac Ulfada answered every question posed. Being considered the greatest regenerative king of ancient Erin he was Ireland’s equivalent to King Solomon. when upon your lips, was presented heaven graced or hell sent true, ‘can you pay the guardian’s price now in satisfaction due?’