Friday, 10 June 2011
My Cailleach and the Spirit of Albion
I've been looking at the Cailleach. Knowing that she is the patron of a very good friend is a little unnerving, but there is something about this goddess that I'm drawn to nonetheless. And now I think I know why.
She is another ancient deity, probably neolithic - not by name, but by essence. Just as Elen is. However, as Elen is light, Cailleach is dark, they are a perfect balance to each other.
For a while now I have associated the Cailleach with the rocks that I am pulled by. But I wrote in my correspondences without actually having done much in depth research into the material on her. I was particularly impressed that I'd already associated prickly bushes, like holly and gorse, to her, and the smell that you get at water boundaries, like the seashore and at waterfalls. Those are new associations, but they are very strong. These particularly features in her legends.
The clincher, for me, was that she was the Lady of the Beasts...particularly, in Scotland, of the deer. She IS Elen in winter! Or the elder Elen. Whereas Elen is the Green Lady, with lush vegetation, Cailleach is the Grey Lady, of dormancy, not death, but hibernation.
Yes, she's a big scary giant, but I have always been a sucker for the "underdog"...I'm a wolf! She can be harsh, she protects the herds by culling the weak and sick, and so makes the herds stronger. She does what needs to be done, and I find a great deal of comfort in that.
Perhaps strong women NEED a big scary giant of a goddess, they need someone bigger and badder and stronger than they, someone that they can lean on for a change, instead of being the supporter.
She, and Elen, Arianrhod and Cerridwen, to me represent the Spirit of Albion, the spirit of the very land I am part of. I am very much connected with this land, and this, I reckon, is yet another reason why.
Love and hugs
Personal elemental correspondences
Cailleach = Earth (blue rock)
Elen = Fire (yellow sun of dawn/dusk, and red hair)
Arianrhod = Air (star castle of Caer Arianrhod)
Ceridwen = Water (with her cauldron and her shapeshifting)
Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. From Wikipedia