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The Cailleach by ThaliaTook The Cailleach by ThaliaTook
The Cailleach by ThaliaTook (print image)

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'Cailleach' is a general Irish or Scottish term for an old lady or hag, which derives from an older Irish word meaning 'veiled one'; in Irish and Scottish myth there are several variants of the Old Lady of Winter.

In Ireland the Cailleach Bheire is a sovereignty and therefore a land Goddess, meaning that through Her the kings rule; She appears to men as an old lady and demands their love. When they agree to it She then becomes a beautiful young woman. She is said to have had fifty foster children, and Her grandchildren make up the peoples and tribes of the land.

On the Isle of Man the Caillagh ny Groamagh is the Old Woman of Gloom; She is a weather spirit in some ways. If the weather is good on February first, She comes out, which means the rest of winter will be harsh; if however February first is rainy, She stays inside and milder weather is to come. And yes, this is directly related to the American holiday of Groundhog Day, via the German and the Pennsylvania Dutch, oddly enough.

I have based my version mostly on the Cailleach Bheur, a Scottish aspect of the Cailleach. She is the blue-faced hag of winter, the daughter of the weak winter sun; I have given Her wintry hair trailing behind Her as She brings the snow.
:icontsuki222:
Tsuki222 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2015
Great pic!
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Submitted on
September 11, 2012
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