Elen of the Ways and the Antlered Goddess (Part 2 of 2) by Deanne Quarrie

Deanne QuarrieClick here to read Part 1, published Sunday March 18.

Imagine a fairy chain stretched from mountain peak to mountain peak, as far as the eye could reach, and paid out til it touched the high places of the earth at a number of ridges, banks and knowls. Then visualize a mound, circular earthwork, or clump of trees, planted on these high points, and in low points in the valley, other mounds ringed with water to be seen from a distance. The giant standing stones brought to mark the way at intervals, and on a bank leading up to a mountain ridge or down to a ford the track cut so deep as to form a guiding notch in the skyline as you come up.
– The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins.

The Deer Goddess of the Ancient Caledonians were called Colossal Old Women. They were all local spirits, all with different names.  Their stores were similar, however as they went with the herds, milked them in their respective districts. Their deer were called “fairy cattle.” The deer were always in the care of the female. In many myths the fairy woman transforms herself into a deer, often antlered.

The bean-sidhe are mistresses of the place and are called the Cailleach or Cailleach Mhor (Huge Od Woman). They are the giants of Celtic myth who sang to the deer calling them “darling deer” or “beast of my love.”  All these giantesses are wild, showing no sign of domestication and they date back to Paleolithic times. Continue reading “Elen of the Ways and the Antlered Goddess (Part 2 of 2) by Deanne Quarrie”

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