PG36 Winter Solstice And The Storm Hag
On the mornings of the Winter solstice also known as midwinter on December 18th to December 23rd inclusive is an auspicious time to connect to the Cailleach, the Storm Hag, goddess of winter and wilderness who creates tempests in the seas and covers the land in snow. Cailleach comes from the Old Gaelic word for “veiled one”, she is an ancient goddess of Ireland and Scotland who was, over time, recast as an ugly old witch who can transform into a number of birds, such as the heron, eagle and raven.A common theme in the Cailleach tales is her vast age. In some tales she was born when the earth began and is the mother of all the other gods and goddesses. It is said she is also the mother or foster mother of several powerful Irish clans. Newgrange a Neolithic monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath is very much associated with the Winter Solstice festival. Constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Around four and a half minutes after sunrise on these days, the sun shines down the 'roof-box' of Newgrange and illuminates the floor deep within the very dark main chamber 18m away.