> I will add that in the Irish tradition Cailleach is considered to be a different person than Brighid.
Hence the interest in what Fran has to say about the association of Brigit to cailleach....
>Like the Scots, the Irish regarded the spring & summer weather, i.e. the weather after Imbolc/Brighid's Day to be mild thanks to Brighid, and credited the fall/winter weather to Cailleach. However in March there are the "borrowed days" or "Days of the Cailleach" which the Cailleach begs off of Brighid to throw a few final wintry days our way. See Kevin Danaher _The Year in Ireland_ for details.
So the same dualism appears in Ireland as in Scotland, i.e., between Brigit/Bride and Cailleach Bearra/Cailleach (summer versus winter)? The game played at Samain where the Maiden defeats the Hag; would suggest that the Irish remembered a similar conflict as between Bride and Cailleach?
> Based on that mythos the Cailleach is a separate person from Brighid in the Irish folk tradition, not an older version of the same. Even in mythic reasoning, wherein timelines often get mixed up, it would be unusual for the elderly version of someone to show up and borrow something from the younger version of themselves. Yet Cailleach borrows days from Brighid. The weather cycle is modeled on their relationship and the weather can jump back and forth between them willy-nilly, quite dissimilar from the ageing process which proceeds through menopause and doesn't look back.
The crux of the situation for me is whether Brigit can be identified as maiden form of the earth goddess to Cailleach’s hag form.
> I am less familiar with Scottish tradition so for all I know those crazy Scots do see Brighid and the Cailleach as the same person. In Irish tradition however they seem to be separate.
True some of those crazy Scots considered Bride and Cailleach to be one and the same; they even name corn dollies after them. Yet prominent in Irish tales is the concept of the laying down with the sovereignty goddess in the form of a hag and she being transformed into a beautiful maiden. This suggests that Cailleach being transforming into Bride is part of Irish mythology?
While from “The book of the Cailleach: stories of the wise-woman healer” by Gearóid Ó Crualaoich: “Evidence of the hag-goddess’s personification, in the Irish tradition, of the fertility of the domestic, rather than wild herds and flocks is also to be found in the milk and butter symbolism of customs associated with the feast of Imbolc, on 1 February.” The professor is working from assumption that Cailleach can be equated to the Boyne River. (I love the connection for it would add another connotation to Angus Og’s possession of Brugh na Boinne at Samain, then a burial chamber could be considered as the womb of the goddess. Samain is when the game of the Maiden defeating the Hag was played. Samiain is also when Lugh defeated the childern of Cailleach. Personally I beleive Samain was a start of summer festival.)
For me it is important to confirm Brigit and Cailleach as one goddess. For by association with Slavic Morena, she becomes the companion of the summer god of growth. So by association with Bride, Angus Og becomes the Irish Jarilo (St George). While Lleu’s murder by Blodeuedd would also associated Lugh with Jarilo. Dadga would become associated with Perun. While, the mischievous Veles, the Slavic horned water god, could be associated with Irish gods associated with Neptune; i.e. Neachtain or Manannan. (As I tend to believe that Goibniu is Manannan by another name; so the stories of Gobban Saor would be relate to the fosterage of Lugh. (Veles fosters Jarilo))
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