I have always been fascinated with the changing seasons and this time of year is my favorite. Fall leads into winter, bringing longer days of darkness. I do not know why, but this is the most inspiring time for me to write.
Fall and winter belong to the Crone, the darker aspect of the Goddess. There are three faces to the Goddess, mirroring the three phases of the moon. There is the Maiden (new moon), Mother (full moon) and Crone (old moon). The Crone has always been my favorite and she comes in many different disguises of Hecate, Badb, Cerridwen, Atropos and The Cailleach. She has many other names as well in different cultures, but she is always the one who has the power of prophecy, she is wise, she is the bringer of death, of change and of cleansing. She is associated with the winter months because those are the months when the earth rests and readies for spring. She is feared by most, but respected by all. The raven, crow and wolf are her animal guises.
Though she is a goddess of death, she is necessary to the fabric of life. Without death, we can have no life.
The Cailleach (veiled one) is the center of my trilogy titled Dark Goddess. I chose her because she is known in Ireland and Scotland, which corresponded with the settings of my story. She is one of the oldest goddesses who personifies the cutting winds and harshness of the northern winter. She is usually an old hag, but there are Irish myths that show her as a beautiful young maiden. In legends, she appears to the hero as a hideous old woman to test his heart for kingship. The one who kisses the old hag is rewarded—she changes into a beautiful maiden and bestows sovereignty on him.
There are many stories about her, but the one I focused on is the legend of The Cailleach and Brigit. The Cailleach ruled in the winter months and Brigit ruled in the summer months. The part that interested me about this legend is that they may have been two different faces of the same goddess. I decided to write a story using that theory and what may have caused that to happen.
In my trilogy, the Cailleach’s destiny is entwined with that of an Irish clan and goes back to the battle between the Milesians and the Tuatha de Danaan of ancient Ireland. She makes an appearance in the first two books, but the third book of the trilogy (Winter’s Requiem) belongs to the Cailleach. It has just been contracted with Awe-Struck and should be out sometime in 2010.
‘Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic’
My book page at Awe-Struck