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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in the Cailleach Winter Goddess Dark Goddess

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Now the falling of the leaves, now the short'ning day:

for Summer is a-going out, and Winter's on the way.


I've been to lots of Harvest Suppers down the years, but I can't think of another that ended with a spontaneous (and heartfelt) invocation of Old Witch Winter.

Usually, we're hoping to stave Her off for as long as possible. This year, we can't wait.

It's been a long, dark Summer here in Minneapolis since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer on Memorial Day.

First came the opportunistic looting and arson that stalked the initial protests.

Then came the dithering of our gormless City Council, whose major strategy for bringing about systemic change seems to consist of waiting for someone else to come up with an idea.

Then came record levels of shootings, carjackings, and break-ins, while the authorities wring their hands, and do nothing.

So I guess it isn't surprising that after the feast's closing song, we should suddenly all rise to our feet and start shouting—shouting—to Old Witch Winter to come and put an end to it all. Shut it off! Close it down! Summer be gone; Winter, come!

As you know, spontaneous magic is always the most powerful of all.

Well, that's the thing about Old Witch Winter: invited or not, She always comes.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Melting Old Witch Winter

 Propitiate, v. (< L propitiare, to render favorable, appease) 1. trans. To render propitious or favorably inclined; to appease, conciliate (one offended).


The good news: it may not be time to kill the black goat in the back yard just yet.

Not quite.

In pagan lore, a propitiation is an offering that you make when you want Them (or one of Them) to stop what They're doing. As one would expect, propitiatory sacrifices take many forms.

Here in Snow Country, winter started off understated, but late in January it turned nasty. We've been running 20-30 degrees colder than usual (we haven't seen above freezing for almost a month), and we broke the historic snowfall record for the month of February. There's a blizzard predicted this weekend and another for mid-week, with possible total accumulations of twelve or so inches to add to the three-some feet of snow already on the ground.

Fortunately, everyone agrees that Old Witch Winter loves pancakes. Why, I'm not sure—there must be a story out there somewhere, probably buried under the snow—but she does.

So, as I write this, the yeast sponge bubbles away in the warmth of the oven. By the time the snow falls on Saturday, the batter will be nice and sour and stinky: just the way she likes it.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Griddle cakes are the oldest bread that there is. Happy eating!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've never heard that story about pancakes and Winter, but I like it. It just so happens that I was lucky enough to find a packag

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Cold from Between the Stars

It doesn't come every year, but it's here now: the Deep Cold, the Cold from Between the Stars.

This is Cold that kills, a vampire cold that sucks out warmth and moisture: Eater of Life, the great void which will never be sated until it has engulfed everything that is, until all that is Unlike has been made Like Unto.

Gods help us, this too is She. With Her fearsome Winds, She comes, snow swirling around Her skirts.

Life slows to stasis, huddled in its little warmths. If these fail, we die. In the streets, the sirens shriek out again and again. Terribly, even Fire obeys Her.

Deep Winter.

We call You by Your ancient Name.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Winter Crone

Cailleach walks the winter hills: in an old Gaelic song 'Cailleach Beinn a' Bhric' she has 'a great grey grisly paw' and is cold and wet, but cares for her deer. The hunter who sings to her laments her keeping the deer from him. This version is from Songs & Hymns of the Gael:

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Cailleach, Dark Winter Goddess

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