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This is the main blog for the fellowship Comhaltacht na nGaedheal: Cairdreabh nan Gàidheal. Edited and managed by Rob Barton

Lá na Cailleach...

Gaelic culture and religion.Posted by Rob Barton Tue, March 21, 2017 11:47AM
..... (Day of the Old Woman - The Veiled One) - in Scotland this marks the time of the winds...... winter there breaks with winds - strong winds..... funny thing is that here where our Poball lives, in the North Eastern US, winter breaks with winds also..... "in like a lion out like a lamb" is what we were told about March when we were kids..... the winds this year have been blowing strong..... especially with the last few winter storms..... the final hammer blows of An Cailleach before she takes her rest..... tired from bringing winter - and from standing guard over the fields, under their blankets of snow...... quietly in the corner... that last sheaf of one growth to be the first seed of the new fields.

She who built mountains.... She who built islands..... Her grave is inside a hill - a hill that was built - by hand when the people did not even know of the use of metals ..... even before they were Gaels.... yet the tales of the making of the surrounding mountains..... so old - how long has this tale survived??? passing from aged lips to youthful ears.... across countless generations...... what was her name - when those stones were young??? That moment in the year when the days are equal and light is truly about to take dominance - that is the time when the light reaches into that ancient grave.... and her world is illuminated??? or something - someone may be illuminated.

She has buried many husbands - as she returns to her youth only to age again as the cycle of time turns around and back upon itself.... Mother of many gods were are told..... Mother of many tribes we are told..... when you stand and look at the far away mountains and see the veil of the clouds drifting around them..... she whispers her name..... when you stand on a mountain and those clouds become a fog around you.... her embrace is chilly and you shiver from her touch..... a Mother's cool hand on a fevered head.... the most profound silence - and you feel eyes on you there in the mist...

Honour to An Cailleach.... Ancient Mother... ancient builder.... wielder of staff and hammer.... bringer of winter..... the storms that rage.... the winds that clear the skies.... pour offerings to her.... speak her name with honour over the feast as the firelight flickers across the faces..... celebrate the winds.... celebrate the parting winter..... honour Her as she passes - for a time- into The Mountain.....

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