October 30, 2018

Samhain (Hallowe'en), 31 October

From the cover of Gearóid Ó Crualaoich’s book. Artwork by Katherine Beug. http://katherineboucherbeug.com/

In Ireland, Samhain, (October 31st) today’s Hallowe’en, is traditionally associated with the figure of the Cailleach, whose traditions are beautifully recovered in Gearóid Ó Crualaoich’s book, *The Book of the Cailleach.*

Along with her daughters, the cailleacha, sometimes known as goddesses, the Cailleach, dropping huge boulders from her cloak created the world — mountains, rivers, wells, and megalithic sites such as the Hill of the Witch at Lough Crew. Her mná feasa the Wise Ones of old Ireland continued her memories and traditions in ritual and song.

However, in Old Irish classical literature, the Cailleach traditions are largely re-interpreted and inverted...

The imagery of Great Creatrix is now represented as a terrifying Witch on her broomstick. Why?...

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Messages to: Mary Condren - Trinity College Dublin

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