30 Days of Devotion: Day 9

Misconceptions and mistakes about The Cailleach

So little is known about The Cailleach that really, it is difficult to know what is misconception or mistake and what is not.

three-great-agesShe is included within the Celtic Pantheon of Deities, heroes, and giants but also stands apart from them, and it’s entirely possible that She is not originally part of the Celtic tales but was brought in later, or that She was already in Britain and was assimilated during one of the waves of early Celts into Scotland, Ireland, and the rest of the British Isles.

I believe that tucking her in with the Celtic mythology just tidies things up a bit for people who want their Gods, and especially their Crone Goddesses, to be a bit better contained.

Of course, I could also be entirely wrong. After all, we know that over 2000 years ago the Greek historian Herodotus was writing about the Kallekoi tribes on the Iberian peninsula (the modern countries of Spain and Portugal). We know from current genetic and archaelogical evidence that the Celts of Ireland came from the Iberian peninsula. So perhaps they brought The Cailleach with them.

Or did one of those even earlier human groups who had briefly inhabited the British Isles during the inter-glacial periods of 100,000-500,000 years ago bring Her back to the Europe mainland with them when they abandoned their settlements during the Ice Ages. (Read: Homo Britannicus: the Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain by Chris Stringer.)

Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes about The Cailleach can be in underestimating just how ancient She really is.

 

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