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Author Topic: The Cailleach  (Read 12120 times)
SunflowerP
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« Reply #15: November 03, 2010, 08:26:50 pm »

Mm, I figured. Thanks for that article. It definitely puts things into a better perspective, but I don't think the entry per se says he is completely wrong, but it kind of looks more like a UPG spin on the whole idea? Or maybe thats just because I'm looking at it from that angle.
I'd say the article supports his UPG very well - at least as well, and possibly better (though I'd have to know more about the details of his UPG to be certain) than his own pseudo-etymology does.  This amuses me; it's an object lesson in the pitfalls of trying to construct verification for the unverified, rather than either putting the time and effort into doing the research properly, or letting your UPG stand or fall on its own merits.

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« Reply #16: November 04, 2010, 10:28:00 am »


I'm going to try to articulate my thoughts here, but I'm not sure I can, so just prod me if I'm being clear as mud. Cheesy

The Kemetic fluidity of deity is something that really makes sense to me, and I see a lot of parallels between the Celts and the Kemetics. I think this fluidity is most obvious with the Morrigan, though I think a lot of people just see it as lacking the resources to be definitive, as opposed to actually being able to be herself and then someone else, without losing herself.

That is how I approach Brighid. She is many; she is a little bit different wherever she goes, because her people are a little bit different, and while she can be all of her selves at once, she isn't always. Bride, with her connection to the Cailleach, is not my Brighid. It is one of her selves that I have no relationship with, so the Cailleach plays no role in my religious life.

I really hope that made sense.
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« Reply #17: November 04, 2010, 10:52:51 am »

That is how I approach Brighid. She is many; she is a little bit different wherever she goes, because her people are a little bit different, and while she can be all of her selves at once, she isn't always. Bride, with her connection to the Cailleach, is not my Brighid. It is one of her selves that I have no relationship with, so the Cailleach plays no role in my religious life.

I really hope that made sense.

That made sense to me.  (But I'm very tired right now and my head hurts, so...  Wink )

I have a similar viewpoint about Brighid having many selves.  I take it a bit further, though, and speculate that the Being I know as Brighid is also known by other names to other groups/times.  And while Her basic nature is constant, some of the details may vary.  I also believe Brighid is much older than the Celts.

However, what I understand of the Cailleach is VERY different from how I understand Brighid.  That might be because I haven't read enough about tC (I really hope that abbreviation isn't offensive!) and, therefore, don't have a deep understanding of Her nature.  But, to me, She feels like an entirely separate Being from Brighid.  And so She plays no role in my religious life, either.

OTOH, I think I need to learn more about Her and Her connections to Brighid.  Maybe I'll find something if I dig deeper.

Does anyone have a favorite source for info on tC?
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« Reply #18: November 04, 2010, 12:38:47 pm »

Does anyone have a favorite source for info on tC?

Besides the 'Book of the Cailleach', among other folklore something that touches me deeply is 'the Lament of the Old Woman of Beara'

http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/beare.html




'Three great ages: the age of the yew tree; the age of the eagle; and the age of the Cailleach Bheira.'
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« Reply #19: November 05, 2010, 12:08:28 am »

The Kemetic fluidity of deity is something that really makes sense to me, and I see a lot of parallels between the Celts and the Kemetics. I think this fluidity is most obvious with the Morrigan, though I think a lot of people just see it as lacking the resources to be definitive, as opposed to actually being able to be herself and then someone else, without losing herself.

That is how I approach Brighid. She is many; she is a little bit different wherever she goes, because her people are a little bit different, and while she can be all of her selves at once, she isn't always. Bride, with her connection to the Cailleach, is not my Brighid. It is one of her selves that I have no relationship with, so the Cailleach plays no role in my religious life.

I really hope that made sense.
<nodnodnod> I don't necessarily subscribe wholesale to the Kemetic-style fluidity - not so much because I actively disagree, but just because of my perpetual agnosticism and my preference for developing my own understanding via direct experience/UPG - but I find it extremely useful for getting a handle on the way that individuation/identity doesn't work the same way for deity-type people as it does for human-type people (or, hmmm, doesn't fit the narrative of the standard human social constructs about individuation/identity, something that can also be true for human-type people... but that's a whole 'nother can of rumination, one I might take up with Darkhawk at some point since I'm pretty sure she'll know what I'm pondering there).

The way you express it above is a pretty fair reflection of my own view/experiences.

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« Reply #20: November 05, 2010, 11:54:32 pm »


I found something really interesting today, while looking up on stuff on Brighid (while procrastinating on my post  Cheesy).

Quote from: Wikipedia article on "Brigid of Kildare"
According to the Tradition of the Orthodox church, Saint Brigid lost one of her eyes which saved her from being married against her will. The following are the first and second troparia of the fourth ode of the canon of the saint from the Orthodox Matins service:

    Considering the beauty of the body as of no account, when one of thine eyes was destroyed thou didst rejoice, O venerable one, for thou didst desire to behold the splendour of heaven and to glorify God with the choirs of the righteous.

    Spurning an earthly betrothed, and praying beyond hope that the refusal of thy parents be changed, thou didst find aid from on high, so that the beauty of thy body was ruined.

I found it interesting because the Cailleach is described in a couple of accounts of having only one eye (although I'm not sure if its a singular eye, or one's missing). Just a bit of food for thought, I guess.
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« Reply #21: December 19, 2010, 02:58:42 am »

That could be a connection. Being a patroness of wild animals in some regions, Boí being a variant of bó(cows&cattle), on top of the fact she was related to a cow-Goddess on Inis Boí, and in some legends said to own a big bull called Tarbh Conraidh.

Where is Inis Boí located? I'm trying to Google it and nothing seems to be coming up. Is this an older name, or a fictional place?
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« Reply #22: December 19, 2010, 04:15:04 am »

Where is Inis Boí located? I'm trying to Google it and nothing seems to be coming up. Is this an older name, or a fictional place?

It's an island at the tip of Cork's Beara Peninsula. It's an older name, the modern one being Oileán Baoi. http://www.geograph.ie/photo/284002

Inis is an Old Irish term for "island", the modern, oileán is obviously a loan word. You see both used interchangeably on road signs, but for some reason I've seen oileán used more frequently in Munster.
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« Reply #23: December 19, 2010, 04:23:35 am »

It's an island at the tip of Cork's Beara Peninsula. It's an older name, the modern one being Oileán Baoi. http://www.geograph.ie/photo/284002

Inis is an Old Irish term for "island", the modern, oileán is obviously a loan word. You see both used interchangeably on road signs, but for some reason I've seen oileán used more frequently in Munster.

Ahh, okay. Thanks! Smiley
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« Reply #24: December 19, 2010, 04:26:43 am »

Ahh, okay. Thanks! Smiley
No probs!  Cheesy
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« Reply #25: January 24, 2011, 09:19:13 pm »

So, how do y'all approach this aspect of Brighid's story?  Or do you?

I hadn't given the Cailleach much thought until my trip to Ireland back in the fall. We visited the Cailleach Beara rock. (Yes, I do have photos, though the sort of junk people consider "offerings" might be a bit shocking...)

I definitely feel the presence of the winter hag this year, though not as harshly as last year when we got 40-something inches of snow. This year it's been wind and biting cold. Maybe she's laughing at us. Maybe I'll feel much better when she melts into a nice, friendly maiden in the spring.

Karen
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