Thursday, March 27, 2014

Waxing of Light, Waning of Darkness

Glass úar errach aigide,
úacht ina gaíth gignither,
glaidsit lachain linnuisci,
luind cendach corr crúadéigme.
Cluinit cúana a ndíthrebaib,
fri h·éirge moch matanraid,
dúscit eónu a hinnsénaib,
móor bfiad riasu bfirteititt,
a fid, a féor glass.
Spring with a chill bite is borne,
the breeze cast in whispers cool;
the cry of ducks' held on high,
and the hard tune of the crane's call.
The cadence of hounds is heard
as haled are morning's marches,
moving to life all the land;
it's light a glittering guide
where glens and grass spring.
~ Translation by Hymir's Kettle
{I believe that the poem was originally from The Book of Leinster--formerly Lebar na Núachongbála}
As a gardener in a region with long winters {this one particularly long!}, I always look forward to spring, when I can finally dig dirt instead of snow.
Last year I started observing Latha na Caillich, which as a Gaelic Polytheist and as someone who lives where I do seems like a sensible time to celebrate the coming of spring. It is a day where I make offerings to both An Cailleach and Brigid; for me personally An Cailleach is very present during the dark part of the year and the winter and to me  Brigid oversees renewal and regeneration.

During Latha na Caillich there are some sources that state that this is when An Cailleach loses a yearly fight to the coming of spring, where she either turns to stone, falls asleep until the winter, or becomes young again. Some of these sources associate the triumphant spring with Brigid, although as Annie of the Tairis site points out, it is unclear where the An Cailleach/Brigid connection originally comes from {here and here}.
So my decision to honour both Goddesses during this time are just due to making sense to me, more so than based on any firmly rooted tradition.
While I have been eagerly awaiting spring to show its face, I have been keeping myself busy starting seeds for the garden and making charms for new beginnings and rebirth. Hopefully soon spring will be here and I hope that you are all having a wonderful beginning to this new season.
I leave you with a song version of the poem I posted above.


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