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Panorama of Scottish Mythological Gods, Goddesses and Giants

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Scottish mythology and folklore make a finely woven tartan (journey) rug threaded with a group of colourful and generally darkish tales which have emerged from the lengthy historical past of Scotland; each elaborated and bettered by successive generations of storytellers. However what if some characters among the many pantheon of fairies , useful and troublesome spirits, demons, angels, mermaids or the malevolent entity of an historic mountain big reported as haunting the Cairngorms mountain vary, are actual?

The Big Suttung and the Dwarfs , by Louis Huard. (1900) illustration from The Heroes of Asgard: Tales from Scandinavian Mythology  by A & E Keary. (Public Area)

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Whereas that is an apparently extraordinarily ‘fringe’ declare, even essentially the most hardened skeptical reader will on the conclusion of this text be inclined to agree. Nevertheless, in an effort to perceive the character of this real-life big’s specter, one should start at a time earlier than time, when an enormous goddess roamed barren lands that will a lot later turn out to be generally known as Scotland.

Saturn, Jupiter's father, devours one of his sons by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) (Public Domain)

Saturn, Jupiter’s father, devours considered one of his sons by Peter Paul Rubens  (1577–1640) ( Public Area)

Seasonal Goddesses, Gods and Giants

Whereas Greek and Roman myths had been written by philosophers serving elitist agendas ‘all’ Scottish myths have themes taken from nature, inflicting the identical story to vary drastically from place to position reflecting the distinguished options in localities, providing views of how folks interacted with nature at numerous occasions of the yr.

Like in most elements of historic Europe, Celtic tribal goddesses had been most frequently related to rivers, springs and lochs as these pure options finest mirrored the paranormal powers of female fertility and divinity. One facet of goddess worship targeted on a youthful, virginal and fertile summer season goddess, usually aimed toward sustaining an abundance of crops and contemporary water. One other facet of goddess worship, or reverence and worry, was targeted on the picture of a wizened outdated ‘hag’ generally known as the darkish Queen of all Scottish giants, the goddess and giantess Cailleach Bheur – the ‘Previous spouse’.

From Beinn Ghobhlach towards Cailleach Head Little Loch Broom to the left and Annat Bay to the right. The Minch straight ahead.( CC BY-SA 2.0).

From Beinn Ghobhlach in the direction of Cailleach Head Little Loch Broom to the left and Annat Bay to the appropriate. The Minch straight forward.( CC BY-SA 2.0 ).

Cailleach Bheur was additionally known as ‘Beira – the Queen of Winter’ and this terrifying outdated witch was credited with having crafted the nation’s lochs, rivers and mountains with a magic wand or hammer.


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Ashley Cowie  is a Scottish historian, writer and documentary filmmaker presenting authentic views on historic issues, in accessible and thrilling methods. His books, articles and tv reveals discover misplaced cultures and kingdoms, historic crafts and artifacts, symbols and structure, myths and legends telling thought-provoking tales which collectively supply insights into our shared social historical past .   www.ashleycowie.com.

Prime Picture : Macbeth by John Martin  (1789–1854) ( Public Area )

By Ashley Cowie

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