This because I’m spiritually cranky today, but it still pisses me off. There are two beings that do not exist in history that pagans love to create, one is Lord Samhain. THERE IS NO SUCH GOD! And the other is The Cailleach, WHO ALSO DOES NOT EXIST!
I did a bunch of research today to try to confirm what I have always been told and did not find one single source that refers to a goddess named the Cailleach. Cailleach is a descriptive term meaning old woman. Old men in the Outer Isles of Scotland refer to their wives as the Cailleach which is the equivalent of a biker referring to his partner as my old lady. See the book “Crowdie and Cream” for an example.
Every primary source I could find equated a reference to the word Cailleach as a reference to an aspect of Brighid. The word itself…
At the ends of the universe is a blood red cord that binds life to death, will to destiny, and each of us to the other.
Let the knot of that red sash, which cradles the hips of the Goddess, bind in us the ends of life and dream.
We are each of us with our own share of hopes and misgivings.
Let our thoughts lay together in peace.
At our deaths let the bubbles of blood on our lips taste as sweet as berries.
Give us not consolation, give us magic.
Give us the spell of living well. We rise and walk.
The sky arcs ever around and the world spreads itself beneath our feet.
We are bound mind to Mind and heart to Heart.
No shadow exists between our footsteps and the will of Goddess. We walk in harmony, heaven in one hand, earth in the other.
We are the knot where the two worlds meet.
Red magic courses through our veins like the blood of Isis ~ magic of Magic, spirit of Spirits.
We are proof of the power of Goddess.
We are dust and water walking.
From the book of coming forth AKA the Egyptian Book of the Dead
Translation by Normandi Ellis
It’s funny how memories can be so mixed. When I was a kid Thanksgiving meant up to 20 at my Grandparent’s house. My Grandparents, several Great-Aunts and Great-Uncles. My Aunt and Uncle and their 2 and then later 3 kids and my brother and when I was 10 my sister and parents all around the huge table that sat 16 and a kids table. I loved that part of it.
But the other part for me was stressful and I hated it. The more people around the more stressful it was. Lots of people that feel free to touch you and say things to you that you only saw at most 3 times a year. For a half blind empath this was torture. I was always a picky eater which made the mealtime even worse because all these people decided it was their mission to get me to eat. About all I would eat voluntarily at that point in front of them was turkey skin and a glass of milk. Everything else was going to be thrown up. And I hated it with a passion.
Until I was 7 I don’t really have visual memories of Thanksgiving because that was when I had the eye surgery but I have emotional memories of some people’s energy. The two Great-Aunts who didn’t like me and thought I was trying to be the center of attention and said things that hurt. All the helpful (NOT!) suggestions about trying different things when I just wanted to get away from the table. My mom being really embarrassed about my not eating like it was her fault. And no one, not even my grandmother (well, maybe Uncle Winn) getting that I was overwhelmed and hating them all.
Uncle Winn and my dad were always the ones who found the phone books I had to sit on because I was smaller than everyone else. And the only ones I would let lift me up onto my chair but that put me where everyone could see what I was or wasn’t eating.
It wasn’t until some of the Great-Aunts and Uncles started dying off and there were fewer of them that I started to get some peace and the rest finally gave up trying to change that I started to add more things to my plate. Never have gotten to the point where I can eat a whole plate unless I’m home with just my sister and that’s all that’s left this Thanksgiving. Hopefully, I’ll see my last surviving Aunt this Christmas and some of my three cousins but we have dwindled and of the 6 cousins. One is deceased and only one is married and he only has step-kids. So we are a small gathering even when it’s at my Aunt’s.
But at least fifty years later I can eat in peace without a lot of large strangers commenting on me as if I wasn’t there, the tiny half blind kid who just wants to stress barf at the end of the table.