Despite the graphic I cobbled together a day ago, I actually do not approach or perceive any of the gods in a human form – at least not in their natural state. I believe the gods are capable of assuming human form, as well as other forms; but I do not consider deities as having a default human form. I see the gods in the main as sentient energy. I do not actually see a dancing hag, dropping stones from her basket as she moved through the countryside to form the mountains. I see the description as important; yet I do not take it literally. I see the Cailleach, as I do any other god, as being an energetic force that acts in this world (as well as others – this is a post for another day, though). I do not need to see her operating in a human form to envision her actions and interactions – for me, sensing her energy is enough. Continue reading
Women of power in the Viking Age
One of the things about trying to understand the Cailleach is an attempt to understand the role of women in ancient societies that may have had something to do with the Cailleach. Thus, this article, written by Marianne Moen and titled, “Women in the Viking Age then and now,” caught my attention rather quickly. The article, to briefly summarize, suggests that perhaps the greater degree of sexist and chauvinistic thinking toward women exists now, among archaeologists (and thus the cultures they operate from and within), rather than during the Viking Age. Moen raises some very valid examples of how many are misinterpreting the available evidence in order to fit Viking Age Scandinavian society into a gender framework that it quite likely doesn’t belong within. Continue reading
Landscaping with the Cailleach
Where do I come in?
There is apparently some debate regarding the plausibility of matriarchies among ancient peoples. This is interesting to me, as I wish to start down a path that will most certainly lead through periods in our ancient past, to a goddess so ancient that even the ancients couldn’t remember her with great accuracy. As a man, I am curious about how things work in a society that isn’t run by men, or doesn’t govern itself by idealized notions of masculine domains. I’ve never lived in such a society or culture, I simply have no experience with it. But I think before I get too far down this path I’m on, I should at least consider the matter. Continue reading
The Cailleach and Odin
Odin is a god I have had a good understanding for and with for quite sometime. When I first started reading about the Cailleach, I was struck by the similarities between these two … as far as I could tell, they could be brother and sister, just from the general descriptions. Both are fond of storms, both have a single eye, both are respected for their great age and wisdom, both are wintry sorts, are associated with death; and while Odin wields his mighty spear, the Cailleach is known to wield a wand. Clearly, there are plenty of differences; and I was prepared to dismiss the similarities as mere coincidence – in fact, I did dismiss them as coincidence for the better part of this past year. Then I read an article that caused me to rethink things … Odinists who lack a healthy sense of humor might want to think twice before reading further. Continue reading
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