This post is mostly addressed to Pagans and to those who write or comment about Pagan gods. I have noticed in a lot of places where Pagan gods are referred to as ‘the gods of old,’ or ‘the old gods,’ or ‘elder gods.’ My question is: why? Is this done because the word lends a certain degree of authority to the gods? Or is this a remnant from Abrahamic religious influences, where the gods are regarded largely in the past tense? If the former, do the gods actually need such a word to lend them greater authority, or increase our regard and respect for them? If the latter, then it would seem this is a habit that should be seriously reconsidered by modern adherents.
I have been seeing this a lot lately, as I already said – it is possible that it is no more than normal, and that I’m simply sensitive to it because I’m looking to the Cailleach, and seeing the Stone Age. But even if she has been in human awareness for so long, I regard her very much as a deity for the present and the future. She is, to me, perhaps ancient – but no more ancient than any other god, at least not by human reckoning. I’m hesitant to regard the gods in a human form as it is, let alone try to assign to them a human reckoning of age. Deity is deity to me, at least as far as age goes.
A large portion of my life has been focused on learning to identify polarized ways of thinking and perceiving the world. In therapy, I learned to identify this sort of thinking within myself; and I guess it was just a matter of time until I learned to start recognizing this sort of thinking in others and in society. It isn’t my mission to eliminate this kind of thinking – in my case, it’s how my mind is hardwired – but I do dedicate myself to being aware of this kind of thinking. Usually, from here, I can make the choice as to whether or not I wish to base my actions on a polarized perspective … it is the awareness that provides me with the choice. This whole process is not lost on me when I look at the world around me – from polarized politics down to us versus them mentalities found in all levels of society, right down to bitter arguments between people who prefer to eat one way, and others who do not. In contemplating the things I am learning and discovering about my impressions of the Cailleach, the polarization offered by a Winter (and thus also a Summer) goddess has not been lost on me, either. Continue reading →
Enter the tomb in her mountain. If she accepts you and allows you to see the tomb for what it is, you will not return to this world unchanged.
The Celts do not seem to have been the first to be aware of or build a relationship with the Cailleach. Although the word, ‘Cailleach,’ is a Gaelic one, it derives in part from a Latin loan-word … it would make sense, if the Cailleach were native to the British Isles and truly Celtic, that her name would not owe any part of itself to the Romans. If she were Celtic, but not native to the Isles, would there not have been evidence of her among the mainland Celtic tribes to the south (as seems to be the case with Danu)? As of yet, I have not read about this being the case. So my question is, from which culture does awareness of the Cailleach come? In the Isles, prior to the arrival of the Celts, is a time of sporadic population that goes back a while – an article on Wikipedia about prehistoric Britain says Homo sapiens has been present at various points for ‘tens of thousands’ of years. This leaves us with plenty of options to choose from …. Continue reading →
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