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Slachdan of The Cailleach


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"She with the all knowing eye of two faces One of royal blue and youth Beautiful and desirable Giving birth to a nation Our mother who nurtures us Cradling us to her bosom

She with the all knowing eye of two faces One of deepest black and knowledge Withered, aged, older than time Standing guard over her people Guiding them back to her ancient womb She with the all knowing eye of two faces Mother and Crone With us at the beginning and at the end She with the all knowing eye of two faces Sees all injustice A quick and swift warrior is she Do not fear the unleashing of her power She with the all knowing eye of two faces Teaches through destruction To renew the life process She with the all knowing eye of two faces Cailleach"

She rises on the eve of Samhain, the Cailleach, the Crone Goddess of the Winter. Wherever she and her Slachdan appear cold will strike the ground turning the earth hard with frost. She scours the Earth with her cold breath, bringing snow and treacherous weather.

Her name means the “Veiled One” and She is very old.  No one knows for certain where She came from, when the Celts arrived in Ireland The Cailleach was already there.  She has been called Old Wife, Old Woman and the Blue Hag of Winter.  In Celtic myth the Hag represented the spirit of the land, and held sovereign power over the earth and kings. For a Celtic king to retain power he was required to “marry” the Goddess of the earth.

The Cailleach is said to be responsible for raising mountains, and creating the ancient burial cairns and barrow mounds.  She is a Goddess of the Underworld, associated with the ancestors and the realms of death and rebirth. The Cailleach is connected to the bean sidhe (Banshee), the wild women of the Faeries, She haunts the faerie mounds and entrances to the realm of the Fey.  You may also find Her near sacred standing stones, the “bones of the earth”.  Her companion the  Owl is also associated with death, the underworld, magic, and the ability to see spirits.  

As a Goddess of transformation and death, She oversees the culling of the old, and lets die all that is no longer needed. With the passing of the winter months, the Cailleach finds and guards the seeds for the coming re-birth of Spring. She stands at the cusp of life and death, intimately connected to the witches of old, the wise women who presided as midwives over birthing and who prepared the dead for burial. As the “Veiled One” the Cailleach guides us through our inner realities and dreams.  She teaches us to let go of (allow to die) all that no longer serves our higher purpose and guides us through the many deaths and rebirths of our life’s transitions. She is the final phase of the Triple Goddess who rules the wheel of reincarnation. She teaches us to embrace the trans formative power of darkness and leads us into the light of re-birth.

SACRED TO THE CAILLEACH -  rocks, deer, reindeer, cattle, and horned skulls. swine, goats, sheep, wolves, bird, fish, trees, and the plants holly and gorse

SACRED PLACES -  rivers, lakes, wells, marshes, the sea, mountains, boulders, megalithic temples and standing stones

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