Tag Archive: cailleache


Goddess Cailleach Bheur

"The Cailleach Bhuer" by ~AltaraTheDark

“The Cailleach Bhuer” by ~AltaraTheDark

“Cailleach Bheur’s themes are balance, cycles, rebirth, overcoming and winter. Her symbols are snow and blue items. In Scottish traditions, this is a blue faced crone Goddess who blusters with power throughout the winter months. She brings the snow and cold until the wheel of time turns toward spring on Beltane (May Day).

Just as darkness seems to be winning, the Crone Goddess stirs in the earth’s womb and inspires hope. She knows that the time for rebirth as a young woman will come in spring, when She will fertilize the earth. For now, however, the first step is renewing the sun, whose light will begin to get stronger.

Since this Goddess is one of cold honesty, wear something blue today to encourage personal reserve, control, and truth with yourself throughout the day.

In keeping with the themes of the Winter Solstice, you could try this mini-ritual:

In the morning, cover your altar or a table with a yellow cloth (maybe a napkin or placemat) to represent the sun. Place a blue candle in a central location on the table, along with a bowl of snow to represent Cailleach Bheur and winter. As the candle burns with the light of the sun, the wax shrinks and this Goddess’s snows melt, giving away once more to the power of warmth and light.

Keep the remnant was and re-melt it for any spells in which you need a cooler head. Pour the water from the snow outside to rejoin the Goddess.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

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Well, the Cailleach has appropriately blessed us with Her presence yesterday and overnight here in Upstate New York!  Now, it’s beginning to look like a real North Country holiday season!  It was quite inspiring while researching Her and I was able to find a TON of great info that I listed in the “Suggested Links” at the bottom for you to browse through at your own leisure.

"Cailleach" by Mairin-Taj Caya

“Cailleach” by Mairin-Taj Caya

Patricia Monaghan had this to write about Cailleach: “Her name, pronounced correctly, sounds like clearing her throat, but ‘coyluck’ is a near approximation.  One of the world’s Great Goddesses, She went by many names: Cailleach Bheur or Carlin in Scotland; Cally Berry in northern Ireland; Cailleach ny Groamch on the Isle of Man; Black Annis in Britain; the Hag of Beare or Digne in Ireland.  She was vastly ancient; the Irish Triads say: ‘The three great ages: the age of the yew tree, the age of the eagle, the age of the Hag of Beare.’  She could endlessly renew Her youth.  All the men She loved – and they were countless – died of old age as She went on, returning to the prime of life, finding another pretty young one with whom to share youth.

"The Cailleach Bheure" by Jill Smith

“The Cailleach Bheure” by Jill Smith

She had one eye in the middle of a blue-black face, an eye of preternatural keenness.  She had red teeth and matted hair ‘white as an apron covered with hoarfrost.’  Over it She wore a kerchief and over Her gray clothing, a faded plaid shawl. She owned a farm and hired workers for six months with the stipulation that none would  be paid who could not outwork Her.  Looking at the hunched old thing, many a man fell for the trick and paid with his life, dying of overwork while trying to keep the pace She set.  So strong was She that She carried boulders in Her apron; the ones She dropped became mountain ranges.

She controlled the season and the weather; She was the cosmic Goddess of earth and sky, moon and sun.  Beacuse She does not appear in the written myths of Ireland and Scotland, but only in ancient tales and place names, it is presumed that She was the Goddess of the pre-Celtic settlers of the islands off Europe.  She was so powerful and beloved that even when newcomers imported their own divinities, the Cailleach was remembered” (p. 77 – 78).

Cailleach rules the dark half of the year, from Samhain to Beltane, while Her young and fresh counterpart, Brighid or Bride, is the queen of the summer months.  At least one tradition views Bride and the Cailleach as being one and the same, with the Cailleach drinking from the Well of Youth at the beginning of each spring, whereby She is transformed into the youthful Bride. However most traditions in Scotland have them firmly pitted against each other as two differing personalities.  She is sometimes portrayed riding on the back of a speeding wolf, bearing a hammer or a wand made of human flesh. [1] [2]

“Alternate names: Cailleach Bheur, Cailleach Uragaig, Cailleach Beinne Bric (‘Old Woman of the Speckled Mountain’), Cailleach Mor (‘Great Old Woman’) (Scotland); Cailleach Bheirre, Cailleach Bolus, Cailleach Corca Duibhe (Ireland); Caillagh ny Groamagh, Caillagh ny Gueshag (Isle of Man).” [3]

I would really like to share a neat short film with you that Grey Catsidhe had shared with our Druid group back in November entitled “An Cailleach Bheara“.  Click on the picture below to be taken to the Irish Film Board (ifb) site.

cailleach

I also really enjoy and respect the work that rainbowpagan2 on YouTube does, so I wanted to share this video as well.

 

 

 

Sources:

Firedragon, Tansy/Rachel Patterson. Tansyfiredragon.blogspot.com, “Cailleach and Bride“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Cailleach”.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “The Cailleach, Celtic Crone Goddess of Winter“.

Wigington, Patti. Paganwiccan.about.com, “Cailleach, the Ruler of Winter“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Firetree.net, “Cailleach“.

Forest, Danu. Danuforest.co.uk, “The Cailleach, the old woman of winter“.

McHardy, Stuart. Goddess Alive! Goddess Celebration and Research, “The Goddess in the Landscape of Scotland“.

Mysterious Britain & Ireland, “The Caillech Bheur“.

PaganPages.org, “Cailleach“.

Shaw, Judith. Feminismandreligion.com, “Cailleach, the Queen of Winter“.

Shee-Eire.com, “Cailleach Beara“.

Sparrow. Journey Around the Wheel of Life, “Cailleach“.

Tairis.co.uk, “Bride and the Cailleach“.

The Suppressed History Archives, “Crone“.

Wikipedia, “Cailleach“.

Woodfield, Stephanie. Darkgoddessmusings.blogspot.com, “Bride and Cailleach: Drinking from the Well of Youth“.

WolfWinds, Silver. Order of the White Moon, “Cailleach“.

Binah

"Goddess of the Black Moon V1NC" by Roland Burbon

“Binah’s themes are peace, cooperation, unity and spirituality.  Her symbols are bees, lilies and lead. In Cabalistic tradition, Binah embodies spiritual discernment, love, stability and awareness. As the third sephirah of the Tree of Life, Binah becomes a Divine Mother, guiding Her children toward attainment and comprehension.

Her name literally translates as ‘the understanding’, which gives form and function to all other aspects of life. Bees are sacred to Her (as divine messengers), as are lilies (white in purity), and lead (which gives us a foothold in reality).

Binah’s energy was present in 1934 when Brotherhood Day began to bring people of diverse faiths together in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. The thrust of the day is universal brotherhood, accenting our likenesses instead of our differences.

So, take time today to learn more about other faiths and foster an open exchange of ideas. Perhaps visit a church or temple and observe quietly, seeing the the Goddess is there too.

To promote strong spiritual roots in your own life, as well as the understanding to nature those roots, try this spell:

Take a piece of lead (maybe from a pencil) and hold it in your dominant hand, saying:

‘Binah, walk with me; understanding impart
Every day be part of my Heart.’

Write this down and put the incantation in your shoe so that Binah will walk with you wherever you may be.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Binah is the Intuitive Self, Understanding, the Foundation of primordial Wisdom. Understanding is the essence of Binah. Wisdom suggests complete and infinite knowledge while Understanding suggests the ability to grasp the unfoldment or use of this wisdom. She is Organization and Form as well as Female Potency. Her Yetziratic title is ‘The Sanctifying Intelligence’ (that which makes consecrates and makes holy) and the three other names for Her signify Binah’s triple aspect – Marah, the Great Sea, The Mother of all Living from which all life has its beginnings (and which is the root for Mary, Mother of all living); Aimah, the Fertile or Light Mother and Ama, the Dark Mother and Crone; all aspects of the Goddess from innocent Persephone to terrifying Cailleache belong to Binah. She is the archetypal womb from which all life sprang into existence. The Hebrew God-name for Binah is Elohim which is a feminine beginning ending with a male pronoun – in other words – the Gods and Goddesses to whom She gives birth. Binah is the Supernal Mother – the Feminine Aspect of God.  She is compared to other Goddesses like Shakti, Maya, Anima Mundi and the black Madonna.

Keter, Kochma & Binah form a balanced triad: The infinite realized self (Keter), Spiritual will and purpose (Kochma) and Spiritual love and awareness (Binah).

Binah is associated with the color black.  She is not depicted as a dark woman per se, but the characteristics suggest it. Binah is one of the levels in the Tree of Life system.  Each accomplished point is characterized by a color and aspects.  Near the top of this tree is a dark sphere called Binah. It is the Third Path.  The next two paths are called Kochma (the Second Path) and Keter (the First Path).  Binah is linked to the Supernal Mother and the womb.

Binah is black because She is veiled, conceiling the brillance that lies underneath.  Binah is a disciplind teacher, Her form is Saturn and demands patience and consistency from Her student.  She can answer all questions, even those that are most difficult.  Binah works slowly because She is powerful.  It takes much discipline and understanding to manage the full power found on path of Binah.  Because of the special connection to Saturn, many assume Binah is masculine but in essence is feminine.  Even with all the demands Binah makes on those in the soul-cultivation process of the Kabbalah, Binah is a dotting mother, nurturing and given to help those influenced by Her to grow and mature strongly.

The virtue of Binah is Silence. Silence invites receptivity. If we are silent, we can listen and so learn, but if we are talking the gates of entrance to the mind are closed. It is the resistance and receptivity of Binah which are Her chief powers and what She uses to destroy Her enemies. As one learns and achieves a level of wisdom, the wisdom must be shared not hoarded.

Binah is the mark of the scientific and rational thinking.  Other characteristics include rational intelligence which is displayed and cultivated in philosophers, scientists and writers. (Matomah Alesha, The First Book of the Black Goddess, p. 249).

In Binah you come to understand that true understanding stems from knowing what you must struggle through and what you must let go of to grow. It is here that you learn the whys of the necessity of restrictions, of forms, and of limitations operating within your life. It is here that you touch and understand the mysteries of birth and death for what they really are, the transition of the immortal soul to a higher plane, purpose, and being. [1][2]

BINAH – THE GREAT MOTHER
God Name – Elohim
Archangel – Tzafkiel
Virtue – Silence
Vice – Avarice
Titles – Ama, Aima, Mara, The Sanctifying Intelligence
Magickal Image – Mature Woman, Vagina
Gods – Saturn, Kronos, Frigg, Kali, Cailleache, Demeter
Planet – Saturn
Stone – Pearl
Animal – Dove, Raven
Herbs – Cypress, Lily Poppy
Fragrance – Myrrh
Experience – the Sorrow of Life which must be transcended
Symbols – Vulva, Chalice and Veil

CROWN CHAKRA MEDITATION

We can invoke Binah to help balance our Crown chakra. Here is a simple Binah Meditation in which Binah’s energy can help you restore inner balance, mental clarity and a connection to spirit back into your life. To invoke the powerful and positive characteristics of Binah, gather together several violet-energy gemstones. Light a violet or white candle (to symbolize the violet or white energy of the Crown chakra) and ask to receive Binah’s energy and abundance. Ask Her to enter your Crown chakra. When you do this, you may feel a tingling sensation – this is normal and just means you have connected with this chakra. Ask Binah to heal your chakra and help restore balance. Sit in this space for a while and when you feel ready, thank Binah and bring your conscious mind back to the room you are in. Hopefully you will feel restored, energized and in balance after this simple meditation. [3]

For some further in-depth and detailed information on Binah, please visit Isis Book & Gift, Qabalisitc Magic Article Lesson 10: Binah and WisdomsDoor/Reality Creator Books, Binah: The Tree of Life.  Also check out The Internet Sacred Text Archieve, The Kabbalah and Whispering Worlds, The Tree Of Life: The Kabbalah.
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