Saturday, October 10, 2009

The tale of Cailleach Uragaig, Colonsay

After Pig's Paradise, we came to a grim grey headland on Colonsay's NW coast called Cailleach Uragaig. The Cailleach is a Celtic Goddess who has powers to shape shift herself so that she can appear as a hag, a mother or a virgin. She is a winter spirit who ushers in winter by washing her plaid in the Corryvreckan and she can often keep the arrival of spring at bay. On Colonsay she kept a young girl captive and hid herself from the girl's angry lover by transforming into this grey headland.

Although we slowed in respect, there were no damsels in distress requiring of our assistance.

The long interval swell had increased to about 2m and we now searched for somewhere safe to land before the impending nightfall. Young fulmars wheeled inquisitively round us before returning to their ledges on the headland, to report our progress to the Cailleach. If we were caught out by night then surely the Cailleach would come and get us and then we would be found dead on some remote shore, just like the Scandinavian Prince Bhreacan...

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