Credhe, Celtic Goddess of Love and Spirit Contact by Judith Shaw


judith Shaw photoCredhe, also known as Creide or Cred is an Irish Faery Queen Goddess of Love and Spirit Contact. She is associated with Danu’s mountains, the Paps of Anu.  These are two gently rounded high hills that were adorned by the ancients with earthen and rock mounds and cairns positioned on top to represent erect nipples.  Her Sidhe was most likely located near the Paps of Anu.  She is also associated with crystals, the color pink and rose oil.

Credhe, Celtic Goddess of Love, by Judith Shaw

The most well-known of Her stories illustrates Her power, a woman’s power, to manifest her heart’s desire.  Credhe vowed that the only man who would win Her heart would be the one who could write a perfectly crafted poem, describing in detail every aspect of her home and its contents. She lived in the beautiful and peaceful Otherworld ruled by Manannán mac Lir, God of the Sea. This place was known as Tír Innambéo or’ Land of the Living’. As it was inhabited mainly by women, it was sometimes called the Land of Women.  Mortal men were not allowed in unless invited. Thus Her would-be lover must write this perfect poem without advantage of sight.

Yet Credhe knew who she preferred.  She appeared to Cael (also known as Coll), a member of the Finian warriors, in a dream.  He fell in love with Her and was determined to find Her and become Her man. To write the perfect poem he journeyed to Brugh na Boinne, (the location of Newgrange) to solicit the help of the woman who had been his nurse. She revealed the images of Credhe’s beautiful home to Cael.  With this knowledge and his heart full of love, he wrote the poem which won Credhe’s heart.

Cael convinced Finn and his fellow warriors to give up on battle for a time and help him win the hand of Credhe. Over hills and stones they traveled until finally they arrived at Loch Cuire.  They knocked on the door of Credhe’s Sidhe with the shafts of their golden spears. Credhe herself appeared accompanied by 150 beautiful faery women.  “Why have you come?” She inquired.

Finn himself responded “We seek your hand in marriage.”

“Who is it that seeks my love?” She replied.

Finn replied that it was Cael, great-grandson of the King of Leinster.

“And has he a poem prepared for me?” She inquired.

“Yes,” Cael said stepping forward.  He rose up and sang his poem in Her honor.

He began with a call to Credhe of the Fair Hair, who commands her household, to listen to his poem. Then he continued.

“A bowl she has with juice of berries in it to make her eyebrows black; crystal vats of fermenting grain; beautiful cups and vessels. Her house is of the colour of lime; there are rushes for beds, and many silken coverings and blue cloaks; red gold is there, and bright drinking-horns. Her sunny house is beside Loch Cuire, made of silver and yellow gold; its ridge is thatched without any fault, with the crimson wings of birds. The doorposts are green, the lintel is of silver taken in battle. Credhe’s chair on the left is the delight of delights, covered with gold of Elga; at the foot of the pleasant bed it is, the bed that was made of precious stones by Tuile in the east. Another bed there is on the right, of gold and silver, it is made without any fault, curtains it has of the colour of the foxglove, hanging on rods of copper.

“The people of her house, it is they have delight, their cloaks are not faded white, they are not worn smooth; their hair is fair and curling. Wounded men in their blood would sleep hearing the birds of the Sidhe singing in the eaves of the sunny house.

“A hundred feet there are in her house, from one corner to another; twenty feet fully measured is the width of her great door; her roof has its thatch of the wings of blue and yellow birds, the border of her well is of crystals and carbuncles.

“There is a vat there of royal bronze; the juice of pleasant malt is running from it; over the vat is an apple-tree with its heavy fruit; when Credhe’s horn is filled from the vat, four apples fall into it together.

“She that owns all these things both at low water and at flood, Credhe from the Hill of the Three Peaks, she is beyond all the women of Ireland by the length of a spear-cast.

“Here is this song for her, it is no sudden bride-gift it is, no hurried asking; I bring it to Credhe of the beautiful shape, that my coming may be very bright to her.”

Credhe was well pleased with Cael’s poem. She took him for her husband.  The wedding-feast was held right away. It lasted for seven days, enjoyed by the faery folk and the Fianna alike.

In another story the crystal chamber mentioned in Cael’s poem plays a large role.  Like other ancient cultures, the Celts believed that crystals possessed healing power. In our current world, crystal energy is used in many technological applications.  The visionary scientist Nikola Tesla said in the early 1900’s, “In a crystal we have clear evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nontheless a living being”

In this story, Art, son of King Conn was on a perilous quest when he arrived at the home of Credhe.  She welcomed him, gave him a  golden mantle and placed him in Her crystal bower.  He stayed a month and then resumed his quest, empowered and strengthened by the crystal energy.

Call on Credhe for help in matters of love, in the search for your perfect mate, and for aide in communication with the spirit world.  Credhe can also help with the correct use of the healing energy of crystals.  May the sweetness and beauty of Credhe be with you always.

Sources:  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14465/14465-h/14465-h.htm#L38, http://www.goddessalive.co.uk/index.php/issues-1-5/issue-3/the-paps-of-anu, https://broomcloset.wordpress.com/tag/goddess-creide/

 

Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life.  Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her artwork.  She continues to be inspired by the Divine Feminine in all of Her manifestations. Originally from New Orleans, Judith now makes her home in New Mexico where she paints and teaches part-time.  She is currently hard at work on a deck of Goddess cards. Her work, which expresses her belief in the interconnectedness of all life, can be seen on her website.

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Categories: Earth-based spirituality, General, Goddess, Goddess Spirituality, Goddess Spirituality, Paganism

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10 replies

  1. Lovely and such beautiful colors.

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  2. Always enjoy your paintings, great to meet Credhe, thanks, Judith.

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  3. Thank you Judith. I love the image of a woman of strength and healing.

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  4. Love the position of her hands (mudras – varada & vitarka?), echoed in her neck brooch, echoed in her hair.

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  5. Yes nmr the hands are in the gyan mudra position which is a healing and calming one and apparently very popular. Because of Credhe’s work with the healing energy of crystals and Her calm approach to things I thought it was a good one for Her to use. Use of that mudra was a conscious decision but the reflection in Her hair and the neck brooch was totally unconscious – I love the way that happens with art.

    Carol I also love pink and green together and combine them often in my painting. Though I realize now that I have stayed away from pink for these Celtic Goddess maybe because of the cultural stigma of pink being “girly” (implication of weak). So it’s great to reclaim pink as a color of strength with this painting of Credhe.

    Sarah, and Barbara and anyone else who reads – as always thanks for reading and going on this journey with me of discovering the Celtic Goddesses.

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  6. I was once married to a poet………..

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  7. Farrellink, unfortunately much about the Celtic Goddesses has been lost to us. Their stories were oral and did not get written until around the 12th century of so, long after Christianity had taken over the hearts and minds of the people. Each Goddess I explore is like taking a journey through a labyrinth with many twists and turns; multiple and contradictory stories or complete absence of info beyond a name.

    To me Credhe seems to be an aspect of Brigid whose rituals and honors do remain to this day. I found no specific rituals around Credhe though. Maybe someone else knows something…..

    Ah Barbara… the sweet words of a poet….

    Hanadi, thanks for reading.

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