Spring Equinox- Gaelic Options

March 6, 2015 at 6:35 am Leave a comment

We don’t have evidence that Ye Olde Celts celebrated the spring equinox. But there are always options, if you do want to celebrate it, or a holiday near that time.

In Scottish folk tradition, Latha na Caillich (Day of the Old Woman) is observed on March 25th.  To be clear, there are multiple spirits referred to as an Cailleach in Scottish lore, and Cailleach Bheur shows up in Irish lore. So they should be referred to as nan Cailleachan, plural, or if you are familiar with one of them from a particular locality, be clear about which Lady you are calling on!

Scottish-

La na Caillich– essay on Tairis

Latha na Cailiche– Brian Walsh

Irish-

An Cailleach Bhearra– on Tairis blog, about her possible Irish connections to the spring equinox

Naomi J has also done a lot of research and devotional work with Baoi/an Cailleach Bhearra, the goddess of the Beara peninsula in Ireland. 30 Days of Deity Devotion posts.

Some polytheist alternatives to St. Patrick’s Day have been proposed-

Hero feast for Cu Chulainn– PSVL (pronounced cuh hull-linn) Look thru the Cu Chulainn tag for further ideas.

My personal idea is to honor the sovereignty goddesses Eriu, Banba and Fodla, specifically Eriu, for whom Eire is named.

Ruadhan, a Boetian polytheist of British & Irish descent, honors Britannia & Hibernia, the Roman national personifications of Britain and Ireland. Though they have been adopted by the natives and Hibernia is also various called Eriu, Kathleen ni Houlihan etc. He even wrote a myth explaining their origins.

In another post he notes: “One thing that I regret not posting about this year is my ritual and prayer for my re-envisioning of Shrove Tuesday as Pancake Feast of Britannia and St. Patrick’s Day as Bacon & Cabbage Feast of Hibernia.” I’m always interested in seeing creative polytheist alternatives to St. Patrick’s Day- or for that matter interesting spiritual takes on any secular holiday. (just yoinked that from my post on Tutelary Goddesses)

and here’s PSVL’s thoughts on Hibernia

Other people honor deities and spirits they associate with this time of year, if it’s more springy in your area, that might be Angus Mac Og and his swan-maiden lover, Caer Ibormeith.

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Entry filed under: Celtic/Druid, Holidays. Tags: , , , , .

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