Fionn mac Cumhaill

Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn Mac Cool) was an Irish warrior hero who features in stories from the Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology.  He also features in the folklore of Scotland and the Isle of Man.

Fionn was the son of Cumhaill, the leader of the Fianna, and Muirne, daughter of the druid Tadg mac Nuadat.  As Muirne’s father was against the match, a battle ensued which killed Cumhaill.  Muirne, already pregnant, was spared, however her child Fionn was put under the protection of Fiacal mac Conchinn and his wife Bodhmall.  A warrior woman, Liath Luachra, taught Fionn the arts of war, hunting and magic.

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Ériu, Goddess of Ireland

Éire / Éireann/ Éirenn / Éirinn / Erin

Ériu was a Queen and patron goddess of Ireland around the time of the Milesian invasion.  She was seen as the Goddess of Irish Sovereignty along with her sisters, Banba and Fódla.  Ériu’s name is thought mean ‘earth, soil’ or ‘plentiful’, as well as ‘fat land’ or ‘land of abundance’.

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Cailleach, the Veiled One

Scotland – Cailleach Bheur (Gentle Old Lady, Divine Hag), Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain), Cailleach Mor (Great Old Woman), Carlin, Scotia
Ireland – Cailleach Bhéirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe
Isle of Man – Caillagh ny Groamagh (Gloomy Old Woman), Caillagh ny Gueshag (Old Woman of the Spells)

The Cailleach is a Celtic goddess associated with winter, storms, mountains and the landscape.  She is thought to appear in late autumn, as the earth’s bounty wanes, and decides the fate of spring to come.  She is a dark mother and harvest goddess, both a destroyer and creator of life.  It is thought she rules the dark half of the year, from Samhain to Beltane, while her counterpart, Brigid, rules the light half.  The Cailleach is often depicted having a chilling appearance, with a blue face and long silver hair.

cailleach1 228x300 Musings From the Mossy Trail

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Brigid, Exalted One

Brigit, Brigid, Brighid, Bríde, Brìd, Brìg, Brigantia, Breo-Saighead, Breo Aigit (Gaelic), Ffraid (Welsh), Mary of the Gael, Saint Brigid (Catholic)

  • Brigid is a very important Triple Goddess in Celtic mythology.
  • Her three aspects include the Fire of Inspiration as patroness of poetry, Fire of the Hearth as patroness of healing and fertility, and Fire of the Forge as patroness of smithcraft.
  • She is also linked to prophecy, divination, agriculture and livestock, feminine arts and crafts.
  • She can be thought of as the Celtic equivalent of Roman Minerva and Greek Athena.

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Cerridwen, Keeper of the Cauldron

Cerridwyn, Ceridwen, Cyrridven, Caridwen, Kyrridwen

  • Cerridwen is a Welsh goddess of inspiration, wisdom, rebirth, transformation and prophecy.
  • She is known as the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge, the mother of transformation and change, and the white lady of inspiration and death.
  • Cerridwen holds great power and knowledge and is often described as a crone goddess, creating a triad with Blodeuwedd and Arianrhod.
  • She often represents the darker aspect of deity and has connections to the Underworld.

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