I will add th
I am following this discussion with great interest.
I will add that in the Irish tradition Cailleach is considered to be a different person than Brighid. 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.
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.
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.
P.S. "Crazy Scots" said lovingly and with great affection :)
Temple of the River now has its own Facebook page!
From: Bernard Morgan <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Fri, April 2, 2010 9:11:28 AM
Subject: Re: [OLD-IRISH-L] 'St Brigit in the Book of Kells' - Public lecture
> In respect of prophesies of Christ and the devil, I'd just say the idea of St. Brigit as a cailleach (veiled woman/hag/woman of the woods) found both in Cogitosus and the Book of Kells is a profoundly ethical one, and the complementary St. Brigit the dragon a very, very friendly dragon.
In regard to the “idea of St. Brigit as a cailleach (veiled woman/hag/woman of the woods)”; is Brigit consider to be a hag? To my mind a mythical hag is a post-menopausal woman who is no longer "fertile" and so signifies winter? As in the Scottish Cailleach who stops plants growing in the winter season (the truth being there is no growth in winter due to a lack of sunlight)? So could the goddess Brigit be an Irish version of the Slavic goddess Morena. Who in spring is a beautiful nature goddess and following the murder of her husband Jarilo (the god of summer) at the end of the harvest, she becomes a nightmarish winter goddess (Scottish Cailleach or Irish Beira)? (I am thinking of an association with the tales of Blodeuedd and Bláthnat.) (The Slavs drown the winter Morena at start of summer, which reminds me of the drowning tales of Irish goddesses.)
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