In the Gaelic language, Cailleach translates as old woman or hag. In Goddess mythology Cailleach is the Celtic Goddess of weather and storms. As a crone Goddess she is associated with the season of Winter, bringing brutal cold, biting winds and snow. She is fierce and, sometimes unforgiving.
The most predominate tale tells of Cailleach capturing the beautiful Maiden Goddess and holding her captive in a mountain cave until the arrival of spring.
And I am a writer, writer of fictions / I am the heart that you call home / And I've written pages upon pages / Trying to rid you from my bones / My bones/ My bones / And if you don't love me let me go / And if you don't love me let me go
Here we are, just past the midpoint between Litha and Mabon. The sun, while not at its zenith, is still high in the sky and hot upon the land. Early crops are being harvested while even more bounty makes ready to soon laden our tables and altars with sustenance and gifts, and fill our pantries with stores for the dark half of the year.
In ancient Rome, today is the feast day of Neptulia, set aside to honor Neptune, God of the seas and fresh water. The mythology of Neptune is somewhat a mystery, much like most of the deep sea remains to us. His early association with the Greek God Poseidon muddies the waters, so to speak. One aspect that differs in some detail is the more romanticized mythology of Neptune's ardent pursuit of his undersea queen, Salacia, a beautiful sea nymph.
The Goddess in Her many aspects teaches us the mystery of the cauldron—birth, death and rebirth. Nowhere is this unfolding of regeneration more evident than in the garden bower at high summer. Heady with the fragrance of rose, valerian, lily, sweet pea, peony and more, the air itself seems ripe with life. As blossom turns to bloom then fades to seed or dies back to root we witness a time lapsed allegory of our own days on this earth, ending with the promise of new generations.
I don't always have much to say about my actual artwork as the Muse presents Herself, but this time I feel compelled to explain. This is a very quick pencil sketch on cheap copy paper, the result of this muse's urgent desire to come forth and be recognized, whether or not I was prepared to receive Her.
The result came off looking more like Lady Liberty than any Goddess I recognized. Except for the wings, and She was pretty insistent about those wings.
Imbolc, though most often observed on the first of February, approximately half-way between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, is more than a celebration of a day. Historically it marks the season of lambing and lactation in the ewes – the old Irish Imbolg meaning in the belly, and the medieval Oimelc, meaning ewes milk. In this respect, Imbolc is a season and the heralding celebration was often observed as much as two weeks before or after the beginning of February.