S, sail, willow. Seg, the hawk; sodath, the colour of fire; April 15 until May 12. Monday.

SABH, ointment, salve, spit. Human spittle was often used as a curative agent. SABHD, a lie, a fable, straying, lounging. Similar to saobh, liable to err, the root is svoibo-s, turning aside (from truth), wavering. Cy. chwifio, to turn or twirl, the Eng. swoop and sweep. SABHAIL, DU THAOBH AN T-, “The Two sides of the barn.” The “pleasant” wedding rite of singing “at the two sides of “an sabhail.” One group consisted of the bride’s friends and relatives, the other of the groomsman’s friends. The side that persisted longest would end by saying, “An du-chapaill oirbh!” This contest seems to have presaged the ruling force in the union. Seeing a capuill, or “black mare” is known to have predicted every unpleasantness short of death. SADB. The daughter of Boabd Dearg turned into a fawn by the Dark Druid. In human form she mated with Fionn mac Cumhail giving him the son named Osgar. SAGAN, SAGAIN, obs. roundel, circle, the fold of a serpent, spire. The chief symbol of druidism; indicates closure and regeneration, sagart, a priest. art. high. This latter word also describes a ram with missing testicles, sagatachd, priesthood, sagartail, holy, pious. See next.

SAGART, priest, one who attends to religious or holy things. Ram with one missing testicle. Sagartail, the Eng. Sacerdotal. SAGH, obs., a bitch, drink, suck, guzzle. Same as sath, plenty, abundance, a surfeit. Saibhir, wanton; saich, satiated; See next. SAIBHUN, same as samhan, a female dog, bitch, horse, trout, small-sized giant. And see next. SAIDH, SAIGH, SAIGHTHE, SAIGHIN, (sow), a bitch. Ir. saith, MIr. sogh, sodh, EIr. sod, she-wolf. Confers with the AS asa-soge, a sow or female pig. Also one of the hounds that travelled with Cromm na Cam, the Prince of Darkness. The Mhorrigan. This lady had attachments with the ON. Saehrimner, “a marvellous beast, slain daily by the cook and boiled in the great cauldron. Although Odin’s guests had true northern appetites and gorged themselves to the full, there was always plenty of meat for all...Moreover...the boar always came to life again before the time of the next meal.” Compare this creature with its Gaelic counterparts under sod, muc and muice. SAIGHDEAN SITHE, fairy arrows. Invisible by the Daoine sidh against their enemies. SAIGHNEAN, lightning, a hurricane. SAIL, obs. the willow-tree, the letter S, a salute. Guard, custody. See next. SAIL-SPIROID, in current use: a guardian spirit, a bas-finn. SAILM, an oak-bark preparation used founded on English salfe now salve. to staunch blood; projectiles used

SAIMH, SAIMHE, luxury, sensuality, obs. Entwine, embrace, sexually couple, Ir. saimhe, luxury, peace of mind, EIr. saim, pleasant, Eng. sweet. Cf. samhach, quiet, still, pleasant,

allied with Eng. soft and same (of a like mind, peaceful with one another). obs. saimhin, bait, allurement. All based on the goddess Samh, the Eng. Sum. See samhuinn. SAIMHEACHDH, coupling. Saimhin, obs., bait, allurement; saimhrighe, obs., lovers of pleasure. SAINGLIU DUBH, the Black of Saingliu. The second of two horses kept by Cúchullain. Both were born on the same night as the hero, thus forming a human-animal triad. Their fate was tied to his. These totems were side-forms of the goddess Mhorrigan. SAINNSEAL, the handsel, a gift given at New Year's or to mark marriage or any new enterprise. From Sc. handsel, the M. English hansell. Obs. Eng. hand-sellan, to deliver in person. Literally, hand-sealing a bargain with another person, or the gods, through a hand-signal. The former generally took the form of a handshake; the latter, a crossing of oneself or the external landscape, the first protective, the second a crossing out or curse. The handsel seems to have been invented by the Old Norse and was tied to their New Year which commenced at the beginning of the festival known as the Juul, or Yule, the Gaelic Noll. By Old Style reckoning this holiday coincided with "Mother Night" or midwinter, the shortest night of the year. After that, the sun returned by degrees, as a new year dawned. The conclusion of the Yule proper took place ten days later on the "Night of the Bane," when the King of the Yule (an Odin/Uller figure) was deposed and sometimes burned. From the earliest times this was the penultimate continental European festival, devoted to Thor, Odin and Frey. One handsel of this season was directed at Frey. the "patron of every joy", a god particularly invoked by married couples who desired to live in harmony. His symbol was a golden boar, and he was considered reincarnate in such animals at the Yule. At this time "Frey's boar" was cut down and eaten as symbol of the dead but regenerate god, who was thought reborn through ingestion and digestion.

The boar’s head was always presented first at the Yule feast, crowned with laurel and rosemary. Before it was carved so that all could partake of the god-spirit, the head of the family placed his hand upon it, swearing "by the boar of atonement" that he would be faithful to his kin, and would fulfil all obligations promised in the coming year. Other retainers followed him, from the greatest in the kingdom to the lowest kitchen-servant. This dish could only be carved by a man of unblemished reputation, and wrongdoers cringed in its presence for fear the god would strike them dead. Men and women who had lived together for a year in peace were awarded a portion of the remaining boar's flesh. Andras the Horrible and Ansel, or Hanselm represent dialectic spellings of one name given the god-spirit of the north wind. The celebration of Hansel is definitely known to have come to Britain from Scandinavia. The Danish word "handsel" means to make a gift of money (or patronage, i.e. a bribe) to seal a bargain. The Icelandic handsala is more reserved, suggesting only that the participants shake hands on concluding an agreement. In the Gaelic lands. this sassenach custom was understood to be a token gift presented to mark the beginning of some new enterprise, such as marriage or the construction of a new home. The handsel was also understood to represent "earnest money" that is the down payment, to be followed by a number of "easy" instalments. Handsel Monday, in Scotland, was the first Monday after New Year's Day, a time of much hand-shaking and the giving of small gifts to servants, tenant-farmers and children. Although this January special day has vanished from the calendar, it once vied with Hogamanay and New Year's Day as the most important Scottish winter festival in the year. In the early eighteen hundreds, the only recognized vacation for the working class was the annual fair at Beltane or Samhainn and Auld Hansel Monday. This was the

day when working-people returned to their families "spent the close of day with a few close friends".

and

Servants could look forward to a hand out after the fashion of the English "Boxing-Day", and this usually took the form of a breakfast hosted by employers. A typical Scottish menu consisted of sheep's head broth, followed by goose or beef-steak pier, ending with currant dumpling or plain pudding. Befitting this red-letter day, there was a plentiful supply of home-brewed ale and whisky. Not all hosts were generous and in the worst case, the "treat" might consist of fat brose, toasted oatmeal with fat poured over. Old Handsel was already an institution when the Reformation struck Scotland. When the Yule was abolished at the instruction of the Presbyterian Church, the custom of the handsel persisted, but when the calendar was reformed the restrained rites were forwarded to New Year's Day, thus sloughing off associations with what had come to be regarded as a "Popish" if not a "pagan holiday". In the seventeenth century, the Kirk kept a watchful eye on Auld Handsel calling up offenders before the Sessions to answer charges of drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Calendar reform was introduced in Scotland in seventeen fifty-two when eleven days were removed from the month of September. After the change, the somewhat conservative Scots sometimes continued to celebrate the old dates. In attempting to place Auld Handsel in the year, some Scots said it was taken from "New Year's Day plus eleven days stolen". As a result most of the Highlanders celebrated eleven days after the New Year, and in time this was set as January twelfth. As some people preferred the new calendar, there was "a serious lack of conformity on the date with others celebrating Auld Handsel on New Year's Day or upon the first Monday in January. No matter how much Scots disagreed on the date, the celebrations were always similar to that of Hogamanay.

The celebration officially commenced after midnight on the day before Auld Handsel, when horns were blown and noise makers employed to chase off the wolves or little people. Singing and dancing, the youngsters of each community proceeded through their village, adding to their numbers at each home visited. The noise made certain that all were at least made aware of the celebration. After much marching, dancing, drinking, and drifting, the residents assembled for a breakfast feast and afterwards splintered to visit friends and relatives or participate in games or sports. The nature of Handsel Day varied. In Highland communities the game of "shinty" was popular, but some villages preferred football or cock-fighting. Whatever the diversion, a "curious licence" was allowed (as at Hogamanay) to carry out practical jokes aimed at the adult population. In a few places, there were "disagreeable accidents" where marksmanship involved the use of antique rifles or shotguns. Kirkcady had a custom peculiar in the fact that Ravenscraig Castle was opened to the young as a place for their games. In nearby Wymess, youngsters, bearing lighted candles visited a cavern having a magic well in it. By the nineteenth century the purpose of this annual visit was forgotten, but it was said to have some link with the Yule fire-festival. At Dumfermline and Sterling, Auld Handsel lasted several days and until the middle of the nineteenth century, festivities generally took up a week of time. Kirkcaldy and Dumfermline kept this old day longer than most communities. Editorial opinion in both towns was in favour of some "great national holiday" throughout Scotland, with New Year's Day being an appropriate substitute to serve in place of the "annual Saturnalia". By eighteen seventy, Auld Handsel had been extinguished although a few hold-outs formed the Auld Handsel Monday Association, which met in

the evenings for nostalgic re-unions of earlier participants. Unfortunately, these hotel-meetings involved the middle and upper classes and not those who were its first supporters. When the observance of Christmas was abolished by the Presbyterian Church, the custom nevertheless persisted but was now held after the New Year, thus avoiding any association with the "popish" festival of the Yule. Even so, the Kirk kept a watchful eye on these proceedings. In the seventeenth century there were cases of offenders being ordered to appear before the Kirk Session of Aberdour for being drunk and disorderly on Handsel Monday." At that time, Handsel coincided with the first day of January, which had become the New Year's Day on the Gregorian calendar. A problem arose in 1752 when the calendar was reformed by removing eleven days from September. Many Scots refused to recognize the new system thus some celebrated Handsel on January 1, New Style, while hold-outs remained with January 1, Old Style (now eleven days later on January 12). As more people adopted the reformed calendar serious disadvantages faded. No matter what the date, the celebrations throughout Scotland were much like those for the Quarter-Days. The celebrations started just after midnight with first-footing, the blowing of horns, general noise-making, singing and dancing. Except that they did not dress as mummers, young people moved from house-tohouse in the spirit of other similar festivals, adding to their numbers with each house visit. Some of the revellers kept busy until dawn, and there were communal breakfasts followed by a sport’s day. Auld Handsel Monday, set at the first Monday after the New Year, whether reckoned by the old calendar or the new, became the premier holiday for working people throughout Scotland. Although it is now hardly remembered, it was in 1845, the only recognized holiday for the working classes. In most places there was a winter fair and on Auld Handsel Monday, servants and farm-labourers enjoyed the luxury of spending a day with family and friends. Auld Hansel was

also the time when this group might expect a small gift or gratuity from employers. Quite often this took the form of the breakfast, funded by those in positions of power and wealth. On the day of Handsel Monday the games and pastimes varied between communities. In some places shinty was played; elsewhere there was cock-fighting or bull-baiting. At Callendar it was noted that the young folk enjoyed "a curious license,"Being able to carry out practical jokes on their elders without repercussions. At Currie, raffles and bird-shoots were called for. At Kirkcaldy, the youngsters were admitted to Ravenscraig Castle for formal gaming, but in the nearby parish of Wemyss, these same folk bore torches into a cave possessed of a "magical" well. The exact purpose of this visit had been forgotten by the nineteenth century but there may have been links with earlier fire-festivals. This august holiday continued into the last century in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy, but the buffets of the Church and confusion over the correct date led to formal abolishment of the festival in 1870. What traditions remained became attached to New Year's Eve, New Style. In some English villages this ancient custom is still observed, although the reward is now a flitch of ham or bacon. The giving of this gift led to the act of using the "handsel day" to give small advantages to farm workers and domestics. The opening of a new year was regarded as an appropriate time to seal business relationships with a handshake (thought to have more validity than a written contact) and to pledge marriage or start a new business. In both cases, it became proper for relatives and friends to present a small "handsel" as a gift. These habits came to the British Isles with the Norse invasions, but fit well with traditions already in place. In Scotland, "well before the Reformation, the giving of alms or handsel was part and parcel of the Christmas festivities. SAL, SAIL, SAILE, the sea, salt water, the willow, slimey, dirty, Lat. salum, Eng. swell, Bry. c’hoalen, salt. Salach, dirty. salann, salt, the Lat. sal, salt.

SALL, obs. lampoon, satire, invective, bitterness, singing, harmony. SAM, The Sun. SAMALILIATH. sam, see next; lileadh, obs. sucking, licking the lips. The Partholonian who introduced ale into Ireland. SAMH, SAIMH, MIr. Sam, (sah, sow), sorrel, a clownish individual, rest, ease, a god, a giant; also "a savage, flock, fold, herd, a god, giant, clown, mist in warm weather," fat, rich, productive; the smell of air in a long-closed room, stink. sorrel. cf. obs. The Sun, The Ocean (Sutherland), originally the goddess of Sum-mer, Samhair, “High Summer, Samhuinn, Samhainn, Hallow-tide, the days around November 1. The month called November in the English world. “Summer’s End,” Cf. Sc. sow, one of dirty appearance. Confers with EIr. saim, pleasant and with saimhe, luxury, sensuality, peace. Samhach, quiet, still, pleasant. peaceable, serene; samhachan, a soft or peaceable person; samhan, female dog, bitch, horse, large river trout; samhanach, savage, giant, monster; sasmhas, delight, pleasure; samhlach, a typical, ghostly, spectral; samhladh, a ghost, slender person, person near death; samhlaich, assimilate; samluth, brisk, active; samhnag, the bonfire on the eve of Samhuinn; Samhnaich, Dead Summer, Winter; samhraichail, belonging to summer, summer-like; bringing in summer; Samhradh, the season belonging to Summer; Samhrag, a trefoil, shamrock; samhuilt, a precise resemblance, an image, apparition, slender person; Scot. sow, one who makes a dirty appearance, a “pig.” Precise counterparts are the Middle English summer and the Middle Eng. summe, highest, a superlative, similar to Fr. somme. Lat. summus, highest, the source of other words such as super. cver and sub, under. Having two aspects; any aggregate and from this a host, gathering or assembly. Also the word sum as used in arithmetic. The source of the word Summer, a goddess of two aspects;

anciently, the AS. Sumor, a compound of Sum + mer, any female animal. the “High Bitch,” Confers with ME. somer or sumer, Dan., zomer, Sw. sommer, Cy. haf, the warmest part of the year, Skr. sama, year. Also note the ON. samr, together, which is the English word same. All related to our word sweet. The Gaelic word "samh" has numerous European cousins including the Old Norse samr, the Scandinavian "samme", the Old High German "sam", the Russian "samy" and the Sankrist "sama". Like the Anglo-Saxon word "sam", "samh" is rarely seen disassociated from another word, and like all the others, has the meaning of "half". Thus, the Danish Samsoe , or island of Samme, is presumably named for its location halfway between the mainland of Jutland and the island of Sjaelland. The Anglo-Saxon word "samsoden", was similarly applied to half-sodden, or halfcooked food. The obsolete English word samdede, meant half dead, just as samhale, indicated a person in less than peak condition. Sammy is another abandoned word, once used to describe a half-wit, ninny or simpleton. Samhuin is literally half-time. There are two periods standing on either side of any half-time, and these were anciently identified as samhradh, or summer, and geamhradh (geowr-ug), winter. Since then, we have added foghar (foh-ur), autumn, and earrach (ehruch), spring, but these were unknown to the earliest Gaelic hunters and herdsmen. The Maritime seasons have been described as ten months of winter and two of damned poor sledding, a description of the year that may have Gaelic roots. It is guessed that two events governed the herdsman's year: the removal of animals from upland pastures with the onset of winter, and their return to these fields at the opening of summer. The two important Celtic festivals contained no agricultural landmarks such as midsummer (the festival of the first harvest) and mid-winter (which celebrated the return of the sun), happenings of interest to "tuathanachs", or farmers.

This goddess was Bonne, or Boyne, also called the the Bridd, whose followers, the mortal earth-goddesses of the Brugh na Boyne, had as their ultimate death-world, Tir na t’Samharaidh, the “Land of Summer,” a place closer in character to Tir nan Óg than to the dreary northern netherlands associated with An Domhain. The Dead Lands included the Fomorian “winter-islands” of Dun Sciath, the “Fortress of Shadows,” and Hy-Falga, the “Hidden Place.” Summer Land was, or lay close by Magh Mell, the “Plain of Happiness,” and Tir na mBeo, the “Land of the Living.” As we have said, Samh was the goddess of the easy season, the ritual bride to the kings of Tara, one of the Daoine sidh, who came annually out of the Brugh na Boann to celebrate beultainn, the “Fires of Bil.” Her name, like that of her male associate Bil, has gathered about it the characteristics of numerous local deities such as the basfinne, the “death-maidens” who the Norse called the valkyra. Particularly allied with Samh is the Fomorian seagoddess known as the Mhorrigan, the youthful form of Mebd and Macha. She is often also seen as affiliated with Aoine and the matriarch of the Daoine sidh, the deity called Anu or Danu, who is ultimately Domnu, the creator-goddess the equivalent of the male Don. Her over-wintering form, the Macha was most often referred to, less informally as the Cailleach bheurr, or “Winter Hag,” although she was sometimes designated as Cailleach beara, the “Bear Woman.” She was also called Bui, the “Pale Yellow One,” goddess of (and dominant over the male) Winter Sun. Thus, she was the half-year mate of the enfeebled and whitehaired Lugh, in his guise as Cromm, the god of the DeadLands. Because she controlled the winds of winter this goddess was alternately called Fea the Hateful, from the Gaelic ve, the verb “to blow.” Bui is obviously Búanann, also seen as Boann or Boyne, the “Mother of Heroes.” In some tales. she is spoken of as “the lady who taught martial arts and ran a school for warriors.” The name signifies ‘Lasting One, ’ “ but the name Boanu or Anu, is more often translated as the “Cow-fire” goddess. Also associated was Cathubodua, the “Warrior cow-person.” The Book of Lecan says that she was regenerated as a virgin maiden on seven

important occasions, and married at least seven kings. She had fifty foster children in addition to those from her own loins, and”founded many tribes and nations.” This is quite probably Mebd Lethdearg, of the “Red Side,” the daughter of Conán of Cuala, a queen of Leinster. She was represented as a goddess of sovereignty to whom it was necessary for the king to be ritually married to be legitimized. Although she had numerous affairs she was the legal wife to nine high-kings, including Conn of the Hundred Battles, Conn’s son Art, and Art’s son Cormac in a short list. Alternately named Luain, the “Moon.” We note also occasional reference to Samhain, “a dreaded Druid god, Lord of the Dead and Prince of Darkness, the chap who assembled the living dead.” He appears to be a modern invention or a male knockoff of the goddesss. In the well-known tale, "The Dream of Aonghas," the god fell in love with a dream-maiden, and being certain she walked the land of men, asked his brother Bodb Derg (Red Crow). for magical help in finding her. The girl was finally pointed out as Caer Ibormeith, the daughter of a side-hill dweller living in Connaught. Aonghas enlisted the aid of Ailill and Mebd, the rulers of that province, in persuading Ethal Anubhail to part with his daughter. Ethal sent word that he could not comply since his daughter was the product of a dalliance with a swan-maiden (one of the shape-changing children of Domnu), and she moved with her mother's kin on Loch Bel Dragon, The Lake of the Dragon's Mouth. The father noted that if Aonghas could identify her from among one hundred and fifty resident swans, he was welcome to have her. Being a god Aonghas had no trouble with this, and courted her and won her love while he was in swan-form. This lady thus became the bridd, the bride; a character much honored as the goddess of love. The swan personae was one she could not escape, and on the Samhuinn she always reverted to this configuration and fled from Aonghas of the White Steed. The Scots said she was no willing wanderer but was periodically taken by the dark death god whose name was Bel or Bile. Some held that she was a

winter prisoner within Ben Nevis, Scotland, where she awaited annual rescue at the Beultainne. A larger number of Celts held that her prison was somewhere in the winterlands of the north-west, or perhaps within An Domhain. Like all of the mortal gods Aonghas died and his inheritance was "the green island of perpetual summer (and youth) that drifts about on the silver tide of the Atlantic." There he suffered from the inevitable amnesia brought on by other loves and occupations, but on the Samhuinn he invariably dreamed of his Samh, and went riding out from his western palace to find and succor her. It was sometimes held that the Cailleach Bheur, or Winter-Hag, attempted to keep them apart, but by Bride's Day (February 2) it was always evident that she had failed. With the return of the spirits of the Samh and Aonghas Og to their Brugh on Beultainne (May 1), the rule of the Bel and his winter cohort, the Cailleach, were seen to be at an end and summer sat enthroned again upon the world of men. In the first quarter, until Lugh's day (August 1), during the time entitled, "the days of the long sun," the happy couple excised their sunny influence from Tir na tSamhraidh, or Summer Land. By mid-summer it was clear that the powers of love and the sun were on the wane, and in the second quarter the pair were less attentive to one another. With their ardor decreased the sun became progressively more distant, cold and lacking in life-giving powers. In the Gaelic world summer was the samhradh, literally, the "riding out time of Samh." Her final day of some authority was Oidhche Shamhna, now known as Hallowe'en, but she was memorialized in the month of November which was an tSamhuinn. Thus commenced a new year and "the days of the short sun," which were given into the hands of the death god Bel and his consort the Cailleach Bheur, also known as the Winter Hag. This pair was northwest, the source Their summer palace, Atlantic island of Dun thought to live somewhere in the of the most violent winds of winter. and place of exile, was perhaps the Scaith, the Fortress of Shadows. The

shadow queen seems to be the Norse giantess Skadi , who following a number of trial marriages, allied herself with Uller, the god of Winter. The battle between the seasons is also seen in Norse mythology where Skadi is recognized as the shape-changed goddess Frigga, who is usually paired with Odin. Like Aonghas, Odin had a tenancy to "lose his place," and went wandering the earth in summer and late fall. While he was gone his authority, and his "wife," were taken by his "twin," the god Uller. By the first day of May, Odin always returned to a regenerate Frigga, driving off the unwanted suitor. Lugh and his bride may be thought of as a manifestation of Dagda and Danu, the patriarch and matriarch of the Daoine sidh, and he has another dark personae in Crom the Crooked. In some of the tales Lugh struggles against Crom to restore summer. If the agents of light are the land gods; those of dark are decidedly the Fomorian sea-giants. The Cailleach, the ruler of the three months of the graine lugha, or failing sun, is described as one-eyed and hairy, “like the seals of the ocean.” From this last characteristic, she was also known as Mag Moullach, the one with the Hairy Hand. She was also given as the Beire, or Bear. Various Anglo-Saxon tribesmen identified her as the Old Sough, Gyre-Carline, The Storm-Wife or Gentle Annie. The death goddess was said to have a local seat within the Scottish mountain called Ben Nevin, and came forth from it on or about the time of the New Year (November 1), to wash her great plaid in the whirlpool of Coire Bhreacain, the "Cauldron of the Plaid." "Before the washing it is said that the roar of a coming tempest is heard by people on the coast for a distance of twenty miles, for a period of three days until the cauldron boils. When the washing is over, the plaid of old Scotland is virgin white." The Cailleach was represented in lore as a hag, the mistress and guardian of wild animals, but no friend to men. In her season she went about brandishing her magic staff, blasting the vegetation and the beasts of men with bolts of

lightning. At the peak of her bad temper, which came at mid-winter, she rode before the storm-winds, her packs of ravaging animals seizing and carrying off the souls of the dead. Sometimes the withering winds also carried away the bodies of those not yet dead. The Reign of the Winter Hag ended nominally at the Imbolg, which we now term Groundhog Day (Februrary 2). The latter is a perfect remembrance of the Cailleach since she was a Bear, Grund Hogge, or Earth Beast. The Imbolc was also called Bride's Day remembering that this was the day when Lugh chanced upon his lost bride. According to one tale the Samh was kept imprisoned during the "short months," a guest within Ben Nevis; but there is more general agreement that Lugh had to travel to the An Domhain, or the dark islands of the west, to recover her. While Lugh sought to carry her off on his white stallion, the Cailleach made every effort to hold her, and in this interest raised the storms of spring. In the week known as A Chailleach she still still makes her best effort, her final overthrow coming after the day that bears her name, Latha na Cailleach, the Auld Hag's Day, March 25. The complete failure of the powers of the winter deities was symbolized in the celebration of Beltane (May 1). It would seem that Lugh and Bil, and the Cailleach and the Bride are not really contending personalities, but components of a single god and goddess. Some of the old tales reinforce this by saying that the Cailleach retreated annually to the Island of Youth, far out in the western sea, on the Oichche Bridd, or Eve of the Bride. In the center of woods in that place (as in An Domhain) there was once a fountain of perpetual youth. "There at the first glimmer of dawn, before any bird has sung or any dog barked, the hag drinks of water that emerges from a crevice of a rock, and having renewed her youth, emerges as Bride, the fair young goddess at the touch of whose wand the dun grass turns to vivid green, starred with the white and yellow flowers of spring." Of course, the transformation of Beul to Lugh and Cailleach to Samh was only made fast on the first of May,

and in the interval from Bride's Day to Beltane schizophrenia (and mixed weather) prevailed, as it does to the present. , or failing sun, is described as one-eyed and hairy, like the seals of the ocean. From this last characteristic, she was also known as Mag Moullach, the one with the Hairy Hand. She was also given as the Beire, or Bear. Various Anglo-Saxon tribesmen identified her as the Old Sough, Gyre-Carline, The Storm-Wife or Gentle Annie. The death goddess was said to have a local seat within the Scottish mountain called Ben Nevin, and came forth from it on or about the time of the New Year (November 1), to wash her great plaid in the whirlpool of Coire Bhreacain, the "Cauldron of the Plaid." "Before the washing it is said that the roar of a coming tempest is heard by people on the coast for a distance of twenty miles, for a period of three days until the cauldron boils. When the washing is over, the plaid of old Scotland is virgin white." Her season, extending from May 1 until October 31, was entitled the samhradh (saur-ach). The celebration at the end of her reign was the samhainn (tav-inn) a name also applied to the month we call November. The Gaels were a cattle-people, who recognized two seasons based on happenings in the herdsman's year. The first of these was the removal of animals to lowland pastures, a duty completed by the first day of winter. May Day marked the date by which they had returned animals to the upland meadows. The most important festivals of their year contained no agricultural landmarks such as mid-summer and mid-winter, these holidays being added when farming peoples joined their ranks. Sir George James Fraser thinks that the Samhainn was the more important of the two festivals. He has noted that new fires were kindled at this, the beginning of the Celtic New Year. Divination was given attention, and the spirits of dead ancestors were welcomed, while evil spirits were discouraged through ritual magic. This was the time when the baobhe (witches) were at large and the sidh loosened from their magical binding. Alexander Macbain has noted

that samhuinn may derive from the same root as the English word same which is also the basis of the English assembly. He also says that the gathering at Tara took place "on 1st November while the Ceit-shaman, our Ceitein was the first feast held on 1st May." Mary L. Fraser has noted that "The druidical feast of Samh'in, the second great event of their (pagan) year, was coincident with Hallowe'en. On this day they killed the sacred fire and discharged judicial functions with which superstitious usages for divining the future were intermingled...(eg) the eating of a salt cake before retiring in the hope that one's future husband might appear, with a glass of water, to the thirsty dreamer...the only day on which Satan was unchained..." At the Samhuinn Maritime Canadians once placed candles in every window (to drive off evil spirits and serve as a beacon for spirits of the welcome dead). "On this day the old people used to carry, personally, food to their poorer neighbours. There seems to be something quite pagan about the injunctions given and carried out by careful housewives on All Soul's Night not to throw water out of doors for fear of harming the spirits..." Fraser further indicated that Samh was a moon goddess; and noted the local superstition that crops and animals only fatten during the increase of the moon; and that animals were not killed on the wane lest they lose body weight. Human hair was similarly only cut on the wane, "otherwise it would grow too fast". Observing the summer moon (which personified Samh) over the left shoulder was thought to invite bad luck; so men were careful to observe it over the right shoulder. Wishes made on the new moon came true, provided an object was held in the left hand and the cross signed with the right. Changes in the phase of the moon used to be carefully watched as it was observed that "a change in the moon always brings a change in the weather." Some of our ancestors held that "The prevailing weather at the time of the change would be the weather for all of the following quarter." Some went further than this suggesting that the

weather that came with the change would continue until the cycle was complete. Mariners also noticed that the sea was usually calm for about twenty-four hours before and after the full moon; but at the full moon "there is generally blowy weather." It was also said that both the new moon and the full moon brought "a swell on the water" and my grandfather Guptill used to say that "fish will rally at that time." "The tide runs fastest then, fish follow the bait better on the run and the hook is best set at that time." Men also noticed how the incarnate Samh sat in the sky. When she was seen with her tines up it was noted that "the moon holds water" and a dry period was expected in the next few days; otherwise she was thought to be "spilling water" and rain was anticipated. If the moon was close to a high-magnitude star it was observed that fine weather was in the offing since "the star is trolling a long painter (towline)." If an intense tow-star was seen at a distance it was assumed that the long lead was needed in anticipation of stormy seas. A "star-dogged" moon was the worst omen; this rarity was supposedly a star within the inner tines of the moon, a physical impossibility. Whatever was observed, this was supposed to suggest the worst possible weather since the tow star was within the mother-ship. The old-world Gaels said that the sun and the moonspirits were pursued in the sky by the wolves or dogs of the under-sea world, who (at the time of eclipses) came near to devouring her. Maritime Canadian seamen said that the sun as pursued by sun-dogs; the moon was considered at hazard because of pursuing dawfish (dawnfish or dogfish) which are a species of shark. Although these sharks are too small to be a hazard to men they were always considered ominous: "A ship followed by a shark is due for bad luck." The cloud formation known as the sharks mouth is infrequent enough to be remarkable. When it occurs the clouds are seen to arrange themselves in parallel rows (like sharks teeth). These rows usually fan out from two points on opposite horizons and are most expansive directly overhead. "When the shark's mouth is seen, wind will come from one of these quarters."

SAMH, sorrel. Plants with a sour taste because of their oxalic acid content. Oxalis is a noted member of this group. Poisonous when consumed in quantity. SAMHADH, a congregation of folk. SAMHAIL. SAMHUIL, likeness, alike, things of the same kind, similar, Cy. hafal, Corn. haval, avel, Nry. haual, Lat. similis, Eng. same. A characterization of those who gathered for the Samhain. SAMHAILDANACH, “skilled in all the arts.” An epithet first applied to the Irish god Lugh (sometimes regarded as the consort of Samh). SAMHAINN, SAMHUINN, (tav-inn), Cape Breton pronounced sah-oo-yan), November, Ir. Samhna (souna). See following entries. A brother of Cian Contje bore this name. According to some tales this little red-haired boy had charge of the Glas Gaibhleen, while his brother was having a weapon forged. Balor of the Evil Eye tricked the child into parting with this magic cow thus inspiring Cian’s voyage to Tory Island. Ellis says that the Samhain festival is named after this poorly defined Gaelic god. Samhuin has been described as "a Celtic feast of the departing sun" but it was also the beginning of a New Year. Sir George James Fraser thought it was more important than the beultaine, as new fires were rekindled then, divination of the future was attempted, the spirits of dead ancestors were welcomed home, and evil spirits were discouraged through ritual magic. The nature of the samhuin is reflected in related words such as the Cymric, or Welsh "swm", the colloquial Scottish or northern English word "sam" and the Sankrist "sam" all indicating a collection of people or things gathered in one place. The obsolete English "sam" is related to the Anglo-Saxon verb "samman", "to collect, or gather,

unite, join, or consort with". The English word "samed", "to be together at one time", is no longer used but the word same, a synonym for alike, has survived as have derived words such as similar, some and shame. It is obvious that the Samhuin involved large scale public rites. One man's shame is another's religious practise and the nature of the Samhuin is approached even more closely in the Sankrist word "samadh", which is defined as "an act of profound meditation, where a god-like state is approached through self-immolation, cremation or burial." In ancient India, where the Indo-European languages (including Gaelic) are thought to have originated, such acts were usually limited to holy medicants, who had shrines erected over their dead bodies. These religious fanatics were referred to as samans, or shamans, and their trade was called shamanism. The "holy-men" were not always on the up-and-up for the word sham is derived from their name. Apparently they became adept at illusion, trickery and cheating, which allowed them to establish more than one shrine. At first, the shamans were Indian beggar monks, but their name and reputation was passed to itinerate magicians in northern Asia and Europe. The shamans were mediums who claimed that the gods, demons and spirits of the dead were only accessible to ordinary men through their paid intervention. They represented a very early development of a professional priesthood, which became popular throughout the world. Shaman is now applied very loosely to people who act as tribal magicians or medicine men and has become particularly attached to North American Indian spiritual advisors. The Sankrist or Samkrist people spoke Samskrit, words combining "kyta", "made perfect", with "sam", "by combination". As Sankrist was a collective, the word san, or sam, used alone was taken as descriptive of individuals, and might identify a lord or lady of high rank. SAMHAN, female dog, a bitch, corresponding with the

English summer, a horse, large river trout, a smaller-sized giant; also the savin or savine-bush AS. savine, MEng. saveine, Lat. sabina. Commonly called the juniper. A plant found in Asia, Europe and northern North America. “the druids, also, use a certain marsh plant that they call the samolus, this must be gathered with the left hand, when fasting, and is a charm against the diseases of cattle. But the gatherer must not look behind him, nor lay the plant anywhere except in the drinking trough (of afflicted animals.” (Pliny, Natural History, XXIV, p. 104). This plant has bitter acrid tops used in human medicines as an abortive compound, and it also considered for the relief of gout. The North American red cedar is within this group of plants. SAMHANACH, SAMACH, from samh, still, pleasant, EIr. sam, at ease, at rest, quiet, allied with Eng. soft, the OHG. samfto, softly, Goth. samjan, please. a wooden handle, a spirtle, a magical staff; also for the people named for the goddess Samh also known as Summer. The name of the goddess confers with the Skr. gramana, beggar-monk, one devoted to the gods, from which the people of the Ural mountains obtained shaman, a practitioner of magic. These were invaders of the British Isles whose arrival was foretold by Lugh and Nuada: "After the Feadarlaich shall come the Samhanach tribes, the Arrogant Samhanaich, the Despot Samanaich, the Rancid Samhanaich. these savages shall destroy the civilization of wise men in every land they visit." (The Hebridean Connection p. 464). The exact identity of these unwelcome intruders is not known. To save members of the community the bother of treating individually with the creator-god, specialists in magic took up the business of communicating with him. The most capable of these were able to convince fellow tribesmen that they were in on close terms with the Oolaithir by developing the crafts of sleight-of-hand, ventriloquism, augury, and the "silver tongue". The priests who were most intelligent knew that there was an element

of make-believe in their profession, but many came to believe their own propaganda. Shamans, priests and successful war-leaders, relieved of field-labour, had time to devote to becoming "gods". The pagan religions always assumed that men, being fractions of the creator-god, could aspire to godhood, thus the old Scottish saw: "Men are born above their station!" The magicians knew that men were exposed to impersonal forces which might spoil their rise to power, but they believed that humans and gods could be manipulated through spells and charms. In ancient Egypt the magic-makers said they controlled even the highest gods, and demanded their obedience on threats of destruction. Similarly, in India, the Hindu trinity was regarded as submissive to sorcerers, to the extent that it was said: "The universe is subject to the creator-god; the gods are inferior to the mantras (spells) of the Brahmans; therefore, the Brahmans are our gods." It is not surprising that the Celtic druids exercised their power over men by claiming to influence the spirits of nature, but it is shocking to note that some Christian priests used magical-rites as a power-base. In France, not many decades ago, Sir James George Fraser said that, "the majority of peasants still believe that the priest possesses a secret and irresistible power over the elements." These men had little possibility of becoming kings among men, but their pagan counterparts often managed to become persons of great importance through the awe inspired by their elaborate ritual acts. The most impressive magician in a tribe could rise to wealth and power, and use these as levers to the kinship. SAMH-DAIL, Summer Dale, Saddall, located ten miles north of Campbellton, Scotland. Sometimes given as ON sandell, a sandy dell, but the former seems more appropriate, a “quiet or peaceful valley.” The Somerled of the Macdonalds is buried here. The monastery here was inhabited by the Cisterian Order, monks who had, in all 13 monasteies throughout Scotland. Exempted from paying tithes (because

of their great piety) they became wealthy. Taken in by their own press they became a drain on the surrounding communities and were suppressed at the Reformation. It is claimed that the monastery was established by an individual who had done in a near relative. Haunted by his spirit he applied to the Pope who granted him absolution on a promise he would establish a church. SAMHLADH, a ghost, a spectre, slender person, an antitype or pattern of reality. SAMHNA, SAMHNAG, SAMHNAGAN, Samh-na-aigeannach, spirited Samh, meditative Samh, "the fires of Samh;" aigeach, a young horse; aigeann, the deep, IIr. oician, the English ocean. The Samh was a sea-giantess, and her kind were often referred to as "the flames of the sea," from the phosphorescence of the waters. The name given the fires of the Quarter-Day eve before the first day of May. There were individually the teine-iotoiche:, or “fires of the night.” Anciently, the Night of Samhain, it became All Saint's Eve, All Souls Eve or Allhallow's E'en in Christian times, and this was contracted to Hallowe'en in English-speaking places. This holiday was termed Hogmanay in Anglo-Saxon-lowland Scottish communities. "On the last day of autumn (October 31) children gathered ferns, tar-barrels, the long thin stakes called gainisg (sedge), and everything suitable for a bonfire. These were placed in a heap on some eminence near the house and in the evening set fire to. The fires were called "Samhnagan." There was one for each house (although probably a single communal fire in the earliest times) and it was an object of ambition who should have the biggest. Whole districts were brilliant with bonfires, and their glare across a Highland loch formed an exceedingly picturesque scene. In the parish of Callender, they still blazed down to near the end of the eighteenth century. When the fire had died down, the ashes were carefully collected in the form of a circle, and a stone put in, near the circumference, for every person interested in the bonfire. Next morning, if any of these stones were found to be displaced or injured, the people (were sure) the persons represented were known to

be fay or devoted and could not live twelve months from that day (earlier on, this may have been a means of selecting sacrificial victims)...In villages (of the northeast) the boys went from house to house and begged a peat, usually with the words, "Ge' us a peat t' burn the witches!" When they had collected enough, they piled them in a heap, together with straw, furze, and other combustible materials, and set the whole on fire. Then each of the youths, one after another, laid himself down on the ground as near as he could without being scorched, and thus laying allowed the smoke to roll over him. The others ran through the smoke and jumped over their prostrate comrade (who surely represented a victim of the fires in earlier days?). When the heap was burned down they scattered the ashes, vying with each other to see who should scatter them most." (The Golden Bough, p. 736). The beneficent effect of smoke is noted in all accounts of these fires. With this one, in particular, two flames were frequently kindled, and the cattle driven between them so that they might be relieved of evil-spirits and the diseases that attended them. In point of fact, the heavy smoke was probably a serious bother to external parasites, which were either killed or dropped free on the ground. In the hag-ridden years, the ancestors of these first pyromaniacs set similar fires in their fields to bring down witches in flight. Once the treats had been collected at the Samhain and the tricks enacted, the ritual of torching the Hallowe'en fire was set about. At Balquidder, in the last century, the fires of Samhainn were described as "a custom chiefly observed by children." Fraser noted that "The fires were lighted on any high knoll near the house; there was no dancing around them." This was not the case in northeastern Scotland where it was said that "Villagers and farmers alike must have their fire." In our provinces the urge to fall pyromania was extreme, and I well remember flying (courtesy of Trans Canada Airways) over a Hallowe'en landscape where the grass-lands seemed entirely aflame. Spring and summer

used to be the seasons of burning. More specifically, we had a childhood habit of roasting potatoes wrapped in tin-foil in a Hallowe'en bonfire of leaves. Perhaps more significant than this was the communal fire which the adults arranged each fall for the tidal flat standing before Blackhall's Beach, at Oak Bay New Brunswick. In the 1940's tuberculosis and "infantile paralysis" were periodic scourges which frightened the entire community. In an attempt to escape these diseases those who had the means fled from the towns to summer "cottages" in the less crowded countryside. Blackhall's Beach was rented on ninety-nine year leasehold from the Anglican Church and was the site of numerous rudimentary buildings that housed a full-time population of women and children and an overnight and Sunday influx of male adults. These people provided their own evening entertainment, chief of which was "the beach fire" invariably scheduled for one of the last warm weekends in October. Ostensibly this fire was set to clear the beach of driftwood and other debris "before winter". Afterwards my grandfather painstakingly raked the black shale beach. Whatever the adults said, it was obvious to the children that these end-of-summer rituals had nothing to do with actual housekeeping since the winter ice invariably undid all these efforts. The day-long collection of beach wood took place on a Saturday and was reminiscent of similar activities which used to take place in Buchan shire, Scotland: "When they had collected enough peats, they piled them in a heap, together with straw, furze, and other combustible materials, and set the whole on fire." In our case, the fire was not made on a height of land but far out on the tidal flat where flames and sparks could not endanger the surrounding fields or forest. Aside from driftwood, the materials included dried seaweeds, beach grasses, fallen logs and parts of rotted wooden lawn furniture. The communal supper was not obtained by threat, flounders for a fish chowder coming

from the sea and clams from the mudflats, everything timed to the demands of the tide, which had to flood sometime near midnight. The cooking of food took place over modest beach fires, the clams being steamed between layers of seaweed. The whole evening is remembered as having the bittersweet sense of that time of year when "autumn to winter resigns the pale year." After "the feed" time was given to singing, fiddle and accordion entertainments, many of the men wandering away from the fire for a drink from their private stock or their own whispered rituals. The bonfire which was kindled was massive, smoky and filled the air with embers, and surely resembled the "Coel Coeth" of northern Wales. In that place, people watched as the flames died and then threw into the ashes a white stone, bearing individual identifying marks. Having said their prayers, they paraded three times around the expiring light and went to bed. "Next morning, as soon as they were up, they came to search out the stones, and if any one of them was found missing, they had a notion that the person who threw it would die before he saw another Hallowe'en." Our custom was more like that of the Perthshire Highlands, the colour of the "omen-stone" being of little importance, compared with their placement in a circle at the edge of the fire. These were hefty rocks rather than pebbles and were chosen for heat resistance, for their fragmentation due to heating and sudden cooling was taken as a bad sign. They were partially buried in sand by individuals interested in future events and were left to the broad sweep of the tide, whose waters soon overcame the last sputterings of flame. Each rock supposedly represented the "befind" of the individual who positioned it and if it was seen to be missing or damaged in the morning this was taken as a sign that the person was "devoted" and probably destined to die within the year. If the rock was moved by the water this was taken as evidence that person would travel, the distance being proportionate to the displacement.

Snakeskins were sometimes posted on cottage walls to protect against lightning and accidental fires, but if one was not found in the season, cottagers might carry away a burnt stick from the "clean-up fire" to serve the same function. The very name of this fire ties it to the old pagan custom of burning away the various evils of the land, although no reference was ever made to doing this to prevent the baneful influence of witches or fairies, Satan, the Morrigan or Aod. In an older days, all fires were extinguished throughout the Gaelic countryside and "new fire" was taken to each hearth from the "samhnagan", an act symbolizing the "taking to earth" of evil and new beginnings. Hallowe'en was often referred to as All Soul"s Eve from a common belief that ancestral shades sought out the new fire. Mary L. Fraser noted that candles were set in the windows of Antigonish County homes to guide souls of the departed to their former places of residence. She also said, "There seems to be something quite pagan about the injunction given and carried out by careful housewives on All Soul's Night not to throw water out for fear of harming the spirits." Sir James George Fraser says that this time was one "when the souls of the departed were supposed to revisit their old homes in order to warm themselves by the fire and to comfort themselves with the good cheer provided for them in the kitchen or the parlour by their affectionate kinfolk. It was, perhaps, a natural thought that the approach of winter should drive the poor shivering ghosts from the bare fields and leafless woodlands...Did not the lowing kine not then troop back from the summer pastures? and could the good-man and the good-wife deny the dead the welcome which they gave to the cows? While men spoke of the dead in the hours after the fires had died, they sometimes made attempts to divine the future of those who were alive. On Hallowe'en men had best access to their befinds or guardians and might see through their eyes events to come. SAMRACH, SAMHRADH, Summer, (sah-oo-rug), literally, "the

bringing out time of the Samh."belonging to Sum, bringing summer, EIr. samrad, Cor. half, M. Br. haff, Br. hanv, Skr. sama, the year, English Summer. summer. Bry. Samonios, thirty days, corresponding in all cases with the month now called June. It will be noticed that raidh also appears in geamhradh, literally the season of the game-keeper. "Raidh" has the same sense as the Anglo-Saxon "rad", or ride; thus winter can be thought of as the time for the ride of the game-keeper, while the Samhradh was the riding-time for whatever spirits controlled the other half of the year. The samhradh commenced officially with the "feis", or feast called beultaine, or bealtaine (Ir. G. b'aulhin'i), the English Beltane, which took place on the first day of the month of May. This season began and ended with a ritual fires, the first on May eve and the second on Samhuin eve. When Christianity gained an edge over the pagan "dawn-religion" of the Gaels, the evening before Samhuin became known as All Hallow's Eve, or Hallowe'en, while Samhuin proper was renamed Hallowday or All Saint's Day. Seumas MacManus has noted that while the Scots still lived in Scotia Major, or Ireland, their "great Feis was held at Samain (Hallowday). It lasted for three days before Samain and three days after..." SAMHRADH. Samh’s quarter. See radh for details. Summer, the month of May. SAMHUINN, Hallowtide, the period about Hallowe'en. Ir. samhain, EIr. samuin, samain, sam-fuin, the ending time for Samh, "Summer's end." The root may be som, like or same, similar to the Latin simul, from which the English assemble. This was the time for the annual fire-festivals, held to mark the beginning of each new year. The summer counterpart was Cet-shamain, now entitled simply Ceitein, "the first feast" held May 1 of each year. This holiday was termed Coel Coeth, “Blackened Wood,” on the Isle of Man, and was the festivity the Anglo-Saxons remembered as Hogmanay. In Christian times it became All Soul's Eve, All Saint's Eve, or Allhallows Eve, contracted to Hallowe'en.

SAMTRUSC, trussed up, “twisted by Summer.” damaged by the will of the gods. Leprosy, a disease thought spread by spirits abroad at the Quarter-Days. SANAS, augury, a whisper in private, advice, warning, knowledge, science, an understanding of word-magic, a glossary, a dictionary, word-magic, after san, obs. holy. Sanasan, a glossary, etymology. a whisper, private hint, warning, Sanasaiche, an etymologist or word-smith. SAOBH-AORADH. superstition, saobh, to charm, infatuate, to err, to go the wrong way. SAOBH-SGEULACH, stuff. idle tale, fiction. The telling of such

SAOGHAL, the world, an age of the world, life, from Lat. saeculum but allied with Cy. hoedl, life. SAOI, a good and generous man, a scholar, a warrior, EIr. sai, a sage, from the root vat, faith. Cf. saoihhir, rich, from the added root bher, to bring. SAOIBHAGEUL, a fable. SAOR, a sawyer, a carpenter, a freeman, free, derived from the root su + viro + s, “good-man.” literally one “free of fear,” i.e. free of sai, trouble, pain, the Lat. servus. Thus names such as Gobhan Saor. See sar. SAOTHAIR AN DAOI, the “devil’s work,” applied to any landform whose origin is or was unknown. In English terms such as the Devil’s Dike, the Pict’s Wall, The Roman Wall are substituted. Saothair, punisher, torturer, diseased man, false-land; that which appears as land at low tide but is within the inter-tidal zone and deluged periodically. SÀR, oppression, Lat. sperno, Eng. spurn. See above and note below.

SÀR, excellent matchless, noble, brave, a hero, Cy. hoer, positive in outlook, stubborn, assertive, thus an oppressor. This word appears in Ogam in names such as Netta-sagru, Sagarettos, Sagramni, based on seg, strong, fast, victorious, mighty, the Skr. sahas, might. SÀR EUN, an “excellent” or “oppressive bird.” Individual symbols of the deities of the pagan Gaels. The eagle is sometimes identified with Lugh but, otherwise, has a surprisingly small role in cult mythology. The crane is more persistent. Usually it is represented as a shape-changed woman, often the possession of a god. It was disliked in folklore even after this connection was lost. Its flesh was tabu in Ireland and it was believed to have the power of bringing death to anyone who ate it. It became attached to Christian churchmen once it ceased to be regarded as a servant to the old gods. The raven, the crow, the owl and the goose were similarly “honoured” Otherworld birds. They were once conceived as messengers of the deities, servants of the gods, and as the gods, or goddesses, incarnate. They were, at times, signs of evil, bringers of luck, or harbingers of death. SAS-MHORT, murder. SATHURNA, SATHUIRN, SATHAIRN, DI-, (je sa-ern-e), Saturday. H.A. Guerber says that this day remembers Satere, the "thief in the night", another name for the Norse god Lokki. The older spelling is Sathuirn. Confers with sàth, to stab, pierce, thrust, to transfix, plenty, great, abundance, enough meat and drink, a surfeit, saith. ba + uir, earth; the ON. aurr. The fast-breaking day. "Saturday is good for changing one's residence if going from south to north (Lokki was the god of the south-wind), but it is not right to spin on a Saturday night. A woman who once did so had her spinning fingers joined together." (Celtic Monthly, p. 162) SCADABHAGH, SCATHACH, SGATHAGH, EILEANAN, the Island of Sgatha, the Isle of Skye, named after a baobh womanwarrior who hired out to train Gaelic fighters. See entry

below. SCÉIL, boasting, prattling, a story. In OIr. sgéal. Often transcribed as sgal, a howl, a shriek, to give tongue; MIr. scal or skall, to sound a cry, similar to the ON. sköll, a toast at drinking parties. The stories of the Gaels were of two varieties: the primhsgal and the fosgal, the “important stories” and the “lesser stories.” The categories under “prime tales” included battles, voyages, tragedies, adventures, cattle raids, military exploits, courtships, elopements, concealments, destructions, sieges, feasts and slaughters. The “under tales” consisted of pursuits, visions, exiles or banishments and the eruptions of lakes from the underground. SCEOLAN. The faithful hound and nephew of Fionn mac Cumhail. Its brother was Bran. These two dog-children were born to Fionn’s sister Tuireann while she was magically altered as a bitch by the jealous mistress of her husband Ullan. SCETNE, the landing place of the Fomorian host when they came to oppose the Tuatha daoine in final battle. The Fomorians included “their king, Balor of the Strong Blows, and Breas, one-time high-king of Ireland. Also present were Indech mac De Domanann, Elathu mac Lobos, Goll and Ingol, Octriallach mac Indech and Elathu mac Delbaeth. Lugh sent his father Dagda to spy out their camp and delay them while he rallied the men and gods of Ireland. The Fomorians thinking they could make sport of this land god invited him to take porridge with them for he had a reputation as a great lover of that meaty broth. They filled the Cauldron of the Deep with twenty gallons of new milk, and stirred in equal quantities of fat and meal. In this they placed the carcasses of pigs and sheep and boiled everything together. They poured this into a great eating hole in a rock and said he could he could take his fill so that they might not be reproached for showing poor hospitality. They, nevertheless, warned him to leave nothing uneaten, “For we will make an end of you if you do!” So the Dagda took the wooden ladle he

carried with him and ate until the soup “bowl” was empty. When it was gone he actually scraped the gravel for remnants. The Fomorians laughed at his huge belly, but after he had slept the god took his leave without suffering anything more than threats. SCHIEHALLION, sidh, the little people; ON, hall. hill found in Robertson country (Athol) The sith-

SCHIEHALLION MOR, the “Great-hall of the Sithe", found on the western side of the Island of Handa in Mackay country (Sutherlandshire). It is now partially lost to the Atlantic Ocean. SCIATHBHREAG, the Bregians, members of carriers of the Salmon or “speckled shield.” the Féinn,

SCOTA,obs. SGOTAI, SGODAI, Ir. Scott, pl.n. Scuit, earlier Skuit, d. Scottaib, an Irishman, later a Scot. Lat. Scotia, Ireland (Adamnan), Scoti, the Irish. Scoti Britanniae, the Scots living in Britain, those in Dalriada, Scotland. Another form of the Latinized Scota or Scoticus. The root is usually given as ON. skatt, the English scathe, hurt or cut. Some authors suggest they were the “cut-” or “tattooed-men,” but the word more likely refers to their hostile nature. Note that the word is allied with the Goth. skatts, money, the Germ. schatz, treasure, or holdings in cattle, wealth, “masters, owners.” The ultimate source is perhaps found in the winter-goddess Skadi, who had a falling out with the Scandinavians and moved her stock to Scotland. Note the Gaelic sgiot. scatter, cut, from Norse skjota, shoot. The termination “air” is obsolte but used to indicate a territory or region. The word also suggested controversies over land, the inheritance or possession of property. A herd, A Cow. Skadi, the matriarchal goddess, may have given her name to the Kingdom of the Scots, later named Scotland or Skotland. According to other accounts, Scota was the

daughter of the Egyptian pharaoh Cingris. She became the wife of Niul and the mother of Goidheal, the progenitor of the Gaels. There was a third lady of this name, the supposed daughter of the pharaoh Nectanebus, the wife of Mil. She was killed warring with the Tuatha daoine and is buried at Scotia’s Glen, three miles from Tralee in County Kerry. See Sgatha. SCOTRAIGE, Eir., a vassal sept listed in the “Book of Ballymore.” Their geographical position was unstated. The form Scott is certainly a contraction. The modern G. Equivalent may be Scottaib, originally a dweller in Ireland, currently a resident of Scotland. During the four centuries of Roman withdrawal from Britain the Scots invaded Dal Riada in Alba from northern Ireland. This was about the year 500 A.D. about the advent of Celtic Christianity in nearby Northumbria. Adamnan classified the mainland Scots as Scoti Britanniae and said they consisted of genus Gabran and genus Lorni. The latter may have been mercenaries similar to the Feinn of Ireland. SEABHAG, SEOBHAG, (showag), same as seaghd, a falcon. SEAC, to wither, EIr. seccaim or secc, to shrivel, Cy. sychu, to dry from Lat. siccus. The G. searg, wither, is the same word. This is the OSax. swercan, to become gloomy, and is related to the G. seasg, barren, dry. at the root is the Celtic sit, dry. The chief effect of “witchcraft,” anciently called “withercraft.” SEACHD-MHIOS. The ”seventh month.” In spite of the literal meaning. this is July. SEACHD-SIONA, the seven elements, water, ice, wind and lightning. i.e. fire, air, earth,

SEAGH, sense, esteem, Ir. seagh, high regard, esteem, strength, seaghdha, learned, Mir. seg, strength, Gaul sego-, pith, filled with spirit, ON. sigr, victory, the Indo-European word segh, to hold. This word has reference to the

mythological Daoine sidh, or “side-hill folk.” The next word confers and shows additional linguistic connections. SEAGHDH, Shaw, anglicized as Seth, sometimes aspirated in Gaelic as Ay. Formerly Siach, Schiach, Scheach, Scythach, Sithigh. Represented in The Book of Deer as Sithech, the MIr sidhach, wolf. The same word as sithich or sith, one of the side-hill people; the direct descendants of the Daoine sidh, who "went to earth" following their defeat by the Milesians. The feminine personal name Sitheag, anglicized as Shiak or Shihag. The southern Shaws of Ayrshire and Grenock are descended from the Teutonic de Shaw of England, but their name influenced the northern spelling and pronunciation, the latter having once been "shee." Moncrieffe says that Shaw was aspirated to create the Gaelic Clan Ay or Ha. SEALBH, possessions, cattle, luck, EIr. selb, OIr. sel, take by force, Cy. helw, possession, ownership, Eng. sell and self SEALBHAG, sorrel, the “bitter herb,” cf. Eng. sorrel perhaps from the word sour. SEALG, a hunt, OIr. selg, Cy. hela, to hunt, Bry. Selgo-vae, now known as Solway, the “Road of the Hunt.” the root sel, to capture, as in sealb, possessions, cattle, good luck. After the ON. goddess Hel, the Gaelic Cailleach bheurr. SEALGAR, a hunter. The Gaels of the western highlands were only gradually weaned from hunting and herding after the great Caledonian Forest was chopped away by Norse shipbuilders and deliberately burned to eliminate "wolves" (sidh) and "bandits". Agriculture was a poor substitute on this rainy coast and cropped failed regularly every second year. Noticing that his tenants were starving on their oatmeal diet, Clanranald, the proprietor of South Uist imported potatoes from Ireland in 1743. Clanranald actually had to imprison some of his farmers before he could convince them to plant spuds, and even after they were harvested, people refused to eat them. In the most barren lands of the far north, the clans took work as

military mercenaries, thus gaining their daily bread second hand. SEALLADH, sight, view, vision, dream, supernatural sight. See an-dara-sealladh. SEAMH, SEIMH, good luck, chance, prosperity, mild, peaceful; also a charm used to make one’s friends prosper. See next entry. Resembles samhach, quiet, still, pleasant. Possibly allied to Eng. soft. See the goddess Samh. SEAMHAS, good luck; also seannas, good chance and seamhsail, lucky, from the English chance. It was said that men would receive as many blessings as curses in a lifetime, thus the wise Scot sought to avoid surfeits of either good luck or bad. SEAMLACH, a cow that gives milk without her calf being present, an impudent or silly person, Scot. shamloch, a cow that has not calved two years in succession. SEAMSAN, hesitation, delay, quibbling over a point, a sham. Northern English sham, a trick. a cecit, similar to shame. SEAN (shawn), old, OIr. sen, Cy. & Bry. hen, Gaul. seno, Lat. senex, Goth. sinista, oldest, Eng. seneschal, an elderly advisor, Skr. sanas. Seanagar, old-fashioned. knowing, seanair, the “high old-one,” a grandfather. SEANACH, crasfty, lucky. SEANACHAS, conversation, a story, a tale, history, genealogy. Hence senachaidh, a reciter of ancient lore. The priests who arose to gather and periodically reiterate the rules of human conduct used myth as the backbone of the ethical and moral edifice we call religion. A problem with myth has always been the fact that it essentially verbal rather than recorded history. The scientist and the historian place great reliance on ideas

magically embedded upon paper for future retrieval. It is an irony that the invention of writing is usually credited to the gods, in the case of the Celts, Ogma, of “the silveredtongue.” The Old Norse said that their runes were given to them by Odin. Magazines such as “National Enquirer” make it clear that the printed word is not essentially truthful simply because it seems to have more persistence than the spoken word. The printed word often preserves unintended errors or even deliberate lies in our history and science. The old senachies among the druids were at least held to an oath: It is my duty To preserve inviolate the history of the fathers, To instruction, From mouth to mouth, from knee to knee, The witness and the heritage most precious In the power of the free, as opposed to the unfree, Without injury to any person or thing, Without twisting the truth, in opposing deceit, Without strengthening evil, without weakening justice, So long as the blood is warm, and breath in the body... As far as we know, excepting the Hippocratic Oath, there is no promise of veracity in the modern arts and sciences, and fable is probably more often immortalized now than it was in times past. Speaking to the question of truthful accountings, Irish historian Seumas MacManus has said: “the ancient myths of Ireland are far from baseless myths. The Irish people cling to tradition. Not only were the great happenings enshrouded in their memory forever, but even little events are seldom forgotten. We know that away back to the remotest antiquity , the senachie and the pass it along without bias by

poet were honoured next to the king because of the tremendous value the people set upon the recording and preserving of their history. The poet and the senachie following the fashion of the time, took advantage of their artistic privilege to colour their narrative to an extent that to the modern mind would seem fantastic. But it was the details of the story that were granted this liberty. The big, essential facts had to remain unaltered. The things of importance no poet of repute could or would dare to falsify.” SEANACHAS, tale, story, narration, conversation, discourse, talk, speech, language, tradition, chronicle, history, a history, antiquities, genealogy, biograohy, old stories. SEANAIR, high and old, a druid, elder, older relative, member of parliament etc. SEANFHACAIL, sean, old; facail, sayings. The wisdom of the elderly. strife, proverbs, wise

SEANMHAIR, sean, old; marach, big and ungainly; a grandmother or grannie. “Bordering on the supernatural were stories told of the “grannies” or healing women. They were last in a line of women who had been more numerous in the days before the rise of the medical profession...From generation to generation, the grannies had passed on the mysteries of their healing arts, an essential element of which was the “charm” - the secret word or words which helped in the healing process. For example, if the grannies were told that someone had something in his eye, as long as it could move, she could take it out (even if the person happened to be at a distance) provided she had his full name and baptism, and knew which eye it was in. This was done by taking a special bowl to the spring where the charm was repeated and the water was dipped three times. No matter where the person was, the offending object would leave the eye. This charm had come from Scotland. It was probably Gaelic but since secrecy was essential for the efficacy of the charm, nobody but the granny knew this for

certain...Unfortunately this charm was lost (on Pictou Island, N.S..) when the last grannie died over on the mainland, before she could pass it on to a successor who also had the “gift.”” (Pictou Island Nova Scotia, pp. 15-16). SEARBHADAIR - M'ILLEATHAIN, Maclean's Towel, searbant, from the English servant; mac Gill' Sheathain (Iain), the “Servant-lad of the sith named Iain.” A seat of the Macleans is Ardgour, a Gregorian home at Allt Coire, above Loch Clunie. Behind it stands "Maclean's Towel," a waterfall which is closely watched since it has been predicted that the Maclean's will only hold their lands until this rivulet runs dry. SEARBHAN, “Eastern Declivity,” Trees, being rooted in the underworld, were regarded as influenced from above, but guarded from below. Thus a one-eyed Fomorian named Searbhán had charge of a magical tree, squatting at its foot by day and sleeping in its branches at night. Of terrible appearance, he turned back the powerful warriors known as the Feinn. During the pursuit of Diarmuid and Grainne, the pair made friends with this sea-giant and persuaded him to hide them among the leaves (i.e. in the Otherworld). there were safe there from pursuing enemies but when Grainne grew hungry and began to nibble the berries (was sexually active with him) and Diarmuid had to kill him. SEARG, wither, OIr. sercim, illness, Osax. swercan, to be overtaken by gloominess. English sear. One of the arts of the boabhe. See next. SEARGACH, the act of withering, to cause withering, to cause decay, blistering, fading or pining away; the blasting (of corn), scorching a crop. See next. Searmonaiche, a fireand-brimstone preacher SEASG, barren, dry, EIr. sese, Lat. siccus, dry, situs, thirst. From this seasgair, literally the “high-and-dry one,” a person in comfortable circumstances, cosy, one who is warm and quietly disposed. From this also seasgann, a fenny

country, a marsh, i.e. a place devoid of normal plant life, a “barrens,” cf. with Eng. sedge. Seasgach, causing barreness. SEIC, a sac. A meal bag made of rushes or hide. satisfactory container for magical relics. Peritoneum. A

SEID, swelling of the body due to excessive food. Surfeit, voluptuessnesss. To blow, as the wind, breathe upon, as in witchcraft, pant, puff, flatter, inflate, prompt another to do evil, seidean, quicksand, seidir, lazy inactive person, seidrich, hissing of serpents, asthmatic. See next. SEIDEAN SIDE, SIDE GAOILE, GAOT SIDE, the sithe-wind, seid, to blow; the sidh gale, the "fairy" blast. A sudden gust, or whirlwind, of air said caused by, or surrounding, the Daoine sidh as they travelled (see also, faet fiala, the cloak of invisibility). Wise men seeing this breeze, bowed to it, wishing the "little people" bon voyage. Those that failed to slow good manners were often injured with dust or a sprig blown into an eye. The Daoine sidh sometimes guarded treasures and those who sought to steal it away were often lifted out of this world on the siden side. When this wind appeared under a gray sky it was the signal of the passing of a soul from the world of men; on a sunny day it was an omen for good haying weather. SEILEACH, a willow, EIr. sail, genetive saileach, Cy. helyg, willows, Corn. heligen, the salix, Brey. halek, willows, Lat. salix, Eng. sallow. A cult-tree useful in creating homes and coracles as well as magic. SEILE-SGANN, placental membrane. a seal, the placenta of an animal, used as the focus for witchcraft. Considered a sign of Fomorian attachments if found positioned over the head of a human at birth. If kept it was proof against drowning and death by fire. SEIRC, love. SEIRM, sound, a musical note, a musical noise, as the ringing

of a bell, Celtic root sver, song, Skr. svara, sound, music, Eng. swear, answer, Lat. sermo, a speech, Eng. sermon, Cy. chwyrnu, hum, snort, the Eng. chirp. Seist, the melody of a song, a ditty, SEISE, pleasant to the senses, a match, equal in abilities, a comrade, companion. A more powerful partner was considered likely to tap, and draw off, the vital energies of a less powerful mate or co-worker, seiseachd, sensuality, noisiness, a treat. SEMION MAC STARIST. The progenitor of the Firbolge. SEOD, SIOD, a jewel, a hero, same as seud, a treasure, Lat. sentis, a real presence, a being. SEONADH, SEONIADH, augury, sorcery, druidism. Also identified as a water-sprite of Lewis propitiated with a cup of ale. On an annual basis, the folk of the isle came to the church at St. Mulway. Each family campoed there and used malt to brew ale.One representative of each family group then waded into the sea up to the waist carrying a cup-full of brew. There he cried out Seonadh, I give thee this cup of ale, hoping that you will send the seaware to encrich our ground in the copming year.” The ale was then thrown to the water. This ceremony was performed at night and afterwards residents went back to the church where a candle had been lighted before the altar. The congregation stood respectfully before the flame which was suddenly and deliberately extinguished. After that the parishoners retreated to their make-shift camps in the field s where they made good use of the surplus of ale. In the morning all the islanders returned home expecting that their crops would flourish in the coming year. This word confers with seun, a charm for protection. SEUDAG, a charm, jewel. SEUN, a charm, also to defend using a charm, EIr. sen, good luck, a blessing, a sign from a god, Cy. swyn, a charm and

swynor, a magician. Related to the Latin signum, the "sign of the cross." This device was used to ward off evil long before Christianity. In Scotland tailors were approached for remedies against evil-spirits in much the same way that cobblers were considered in England. A story is told that a tailor, in the north, was once "troubled" by a baobh who came to him seeking embers to start her fire. The tailor's wife was busy at her churn when the witch-woman entered and the crafts-man said, "Keep busily at it." He gave the visitor every thing she required but took one ember and muttered words over it, thus creating a charm, which he then dropped into a tub of cold water. When this happened the witch-woman's fire went out and she came a second and a third time looking to renew her fire. The woman saw the third ember dropped into the water, and seeing it muttered, "Let my hand away!" indicating she now found herself bound in place. The tailor assured her he would not unless she promised never to raise her arts against him again. She did this and then showed her hand which was seen bruised as with strokes from the churn paddle. All through this the tailor's wife had continued to churn, and the tailer explained that the baobh had felt every blow of the paddle. When the lid was taken from the churn there was, however, nothing in it except three perfectly churned lumps of butter." (Celtic Monthly, p. 220). SEUNADAIR, a charmer, one who uses charms and enchantments, conjurer, a defender against magic, seunmhor, one who has powers of enchantment, enchanted, using such power, seunsail, risky, in danger of enchantment, seuntas, seuntas, a charm, an enchantment, magical power, state of defense against magic, propitousness in supernatural matters, denial, concealment, stench. SEUN, SEN NEMED, a “charmed grove.” After Nemed the leader of an early colonial attempt on Ireland. Sometimes considered the ultimate ancestor of the British folk. There is only one Irish place of pagan provenance bearing this name. This is Nemed on Sliab Fuait in what is now the Fewer Mountains. The Christians did, however, borrow the

idea of sacred groves from the pagans, and Saint Patrick had sen nemed, an “ancient sanctuary” at Dunpatrick. There was one fidnemed on the Isle of Lemnos and the gaels were praised when the held their forces from entering ni ra-chill na nemed or “sanctuaries.” Violation of such places was punishable by a fine. In Scotland, which was much later Christianized there are plenty of reminders of Nemed. There was Medio-nemeton, or “Mid-Shrine” standing on the line of the Roman Wall between Forth and Clyde. And one ancient gloss says that Patrick himself was born at Nemthur somewhere in northern Britain. Dumbarton stands in a district referred to as Neved. There is also Navitie Hill near Loch Leven in Fife and it was hear that Christians established the Convent of St. Andrews. SEUNAN, SINAN as in breac-sheunain, freckles. “Fire spots,” considered a mark of association with the dreaded Fomorian sea-giants. SGUABADBH NAN TUINNIDH, sguab, a broom or besom; badbh, witch; nan, of the; tuinnidh, hard firm, similar to tuinneasach, deathful. Euphemistically entitled, "WaveSweeper," the blazing ship of Manann mac Ler, especially when piloted by the Cailleach bheurr. It is believed to be a galley that passes once in seven years between the Isle of Man and the Hebrides. Some say that these tours represent Manan's inspection of his land realms, but others insist that he gathers the souls of dead men for transport to Tir nan Og or An Domhain. This ship is also entitled the Teine thall, or “Tall Fire.” SGAD, a loss, mischance from the Scot. skaith, the Eng. scathe, the Germ. schaden, to hurt, from the ON. goddess Skadi. Confers with the Eng. scatter. See Sgaitheach, the Gaelic equivalent of this lady. SGADARTACH, a group of ragmuffins, anything scattered about in a haphazard manner, cf. the Eng. scatter. SGAIL, a shade, a shadow, MIr. scail, OBry. esceilonn, a

curtain, a dividing line, the root ska as in sgath. See next entries. SGAIN, burst, rend apart, with the root in skad, to rend, divide, cut, Skr. skadate, to split. Sgainnir, scatter, make scarce, the Eng. scatter and squander. SGAIRNEACH, a heap of loose stones sited on a hillside, also the sound they make in falling, cf. Scot. scarnoch, a crowd, a tumult, noise. SGALG, a servant, husbandman, rustic, EIr. scoloca, said taken from ON. sklalkr, a gille or servant, a slave, Goth. skalks, Germ. schalk, a knave, Eng. marshal, seneschal. Sgallis, insult, contempt, mockery. Allied with sgal, a shriek or howl, the crying of a dog, cf. sqel, to hit, to split. SGAOG, a foolish or giddy female, the Scot. skeich, Eng. shy and skittish. Sgaoim, skittishness. SGAOIM, a fright, a start due to fear, skittishness. EIr. scingim, I start, Skr. khanj, limp. SGAP, to scatter, from skhad, divide, the ON. goddess Skaddi, the “Disperser.” Similar to Eng. scape and escape. Also note sgar, sever, separate, sunder, Eng. shear. See next.

SGATHEACH, SGAITHEACH, SCATHA, SGATHA, sometimes SCATHACH, a shade, a shadow, Cy. ysgod, Cor. scod, Br. skeud, English, shade, shadow. Uncapitalized sgatheach is sharp, edged, cutting; sgait, a prickle, a chip of wood beneath the flesh, from sgath, to lop off. Allied with Eng. scatter. Also allied with sgar, sever, separate. The root may be sker, put asunder, the Eng. shear, or seq, cut; both related to the Gaelic sgeir, a skerry, i.e an “island” cut off from the mainland, “a rock in the sea,” all from the ON. goddess Skulld often represented in the giantess Skadi. She confers very closely with the Bafinn often being identified as the third of the Norse fates. She is perhaps remembered in the named Scatland or Scotland and Skraelingaland, the ON. name for a portion of Atlantic Canada. in Skadi was a giantess (the Cailleach bheurr) the goddess of winter, whose father was the ugly frost-giant, inadvertently killed by Odin's people. She came to Asgardr expecting compensation and some say Odin married her to keep the peace. Others say she was allowed to choose from among

the gods the one she wished to marry, judging their worth from their legs alone. In this unusual beauty-contest she selected Niord, a god of the sea. They lived together but were incompatible and Skadi finally teamed-up with Uller/Odin, the god of winter. After a time she tired of him and moved her animals across to the western islands, where she remained. This mistress of battle was also called Sgathach nUanaind, the Horrible and Sgathach Buanand, the Mercenary, and she was said to be the daughter of ArdGreimne (the High Sun). The suffix uanaind can be interpreted as “(one) having a fixed purpose,” and it was often written alternately as buanna, a “mercenary,” This corresponds with Búanann, an alternate form for the goddess Boann or Boyne, who is allied with the Mhorrigan and the various sea-deities of the west. She is said to have been a daughter of Árd Greimne (High Stronghold) and she dwelt in the fortress of Lethra (on the Other Side). The island of Sky was named after Sgathach, and there she conducted a military academy. Her most famous student was Cúchulainn, who she trained for a year and a day. She gave him the formidable weapon known as the gae bulg. Sgathach’s daughter Uathach became Cúchulainn’s mistress and bore him the son named Conla. Similar to Mhorrigan. See sgithe. SGÀIL, SGATH, SGAITH, shade, shadow, a ghost of things living or dead. See Sgaitheach and Bafinn. SGAIPEAN, a ninny, a dwarf, sgad + peanas, mischance + punishment; from Scand. skaith, the English scathe, from the ON goddess Skadi or Skulld, the third goddess of fate, the lady given the task of cutting the threads of life for men and the gods. SGANRADH, scatter. dispersing, terror, similar to sgainnir. to

SGARBH, a cormorant, the Hebridean island of Scraba, from the ON. skarfr, a cormorant, the N. Scot. scarf; cf. ON. skarfva, to cut out in order to join together, scara, to clinch

the planks of a boat, the Germ. schharben, to cut small, chop into bits, thus Eng. scarf, to cut away in channelled strips, as the flesh of a whale. Also scarf-skin, the epidermis. Gaelic sgar, to sever, separate, OIr. scaraim, Cy. ysgar, to separate, OBry. scarat, same, the Celtic root sker, part, sunder, the Germ. scheren, shear, cut, the Eng. shear, a skerry, a rocky island or islet, all conferring with scar, by all implications, a dangerous place. Thus, “Among the many Sudereys (southern isles of the Hebrides) the island of Scarba, alone, can outmatch the coast of Glamorgan (Wales) for its clamorous walking-dead. Resembling a dolphin in shape Scarba is lofty (1500 feet) with awe-inspiring cliffs. Located north of Jura “it ranks among the most haunted islands in the world,” This is not surprising as the place was the land base for the “Winter Hag” known as the Cailleach bheurr. She was actually seen personified in the adjacent whirlpool of Corryvreckan which unversed taletellers speak of as “the lair of an enormous sea-beast and the headquarters of powerful Celtic sea gods.” These latter are no less than Lugh and Manann mac Ler. The “ship of the dead,” piloted by one of these deities begins its annual run into the Atlantic from this whirlpool. The beginning of winter is announced in northern Scotland when the Cailleach begins her “washing” and moans are heard from this place. “Few fishermen, even today, will venture near Scarba’s shore after dusk, for many a rumour tells of the dreadful cries echoing across the sea from Scarba, and of the strange eerie forms seen flitting along the shore in the light of the moon. Here there are certainly more sinister phantoms than ordinary ghosts and spectres. Legend states that sailors who have been most evil in mortal life come here for penance after death and have to walk Scarba’s cliffs forever; some to be chased eternally by the famous Grey Dog, drowned between Scarba and Longa, which belonged to Prince Breacan of Lochlarn. As they run from the dog’s fangs the phantom sailors must recite their crimes in a loud voice.” In Celtic art the cormorant is sometimes represented as having three horns, the crest representing a central horn. This creature is often illustrated as chainbearing, indicating its links to a triad deity. Note also sgor ,

sgaith, and nem-ban-more . SGEACH, SGITHEAG, the hawthorn berry, EIr. sce, gen. sciach, Cy. ysbyddad, the hawthorn, Bry. spezad, fruit, a currant. SGÉANN DÂN. the Shandy Dann, a witch, in person or effigy. Also known as the Shony. Sgéan, a sudden fright or start, a wild facial expression, sgeann, a stare, gazing long upon a thing’ dân, fate or destiny, after the bafinn. Note sgaiteach, sharp, an edged tool, cutting, from sgait. the Eng. skaith, a curse; scathing, a prickle, a chip of wood lodged under the skin. Has correspondence with the goddess Danu. AS. sceand, shame; note also the English shandrydan, a rickety, time-worn vehicle from the horse-and-buggy era, “a witches’ trolley.” Dr. George Henderson identifies her with Sjofra, one of the goddesses mentioned in the Eddas. In any case, the word is probably Norse by way of the Isle of Lewis. The ancient practise of “Torching the Shandy,” was preserved as late as the reign of Queen Victoria, when it was a part of the Hallowe’en rites at Balmoral. In those days an effigy known as the Shandy Dann was kept in effigy on a shandrydan and hauled about by a torch- bearing procession of townsmen. She was transported to an already stoked fire in the town square and there papers were read by an advocatus diaboli suggesting why she should be spared death by fire. This advocate being considered an unreliable witness of character she was, of course, condemned, and she and her sledge went up to the skiers amidst the skirl of bagpipe music. Her human attendants sprang from her blazing car at the last possible moment. “All of the residents at the Castle enjoyed this curious rite and none more heartily than the head of the Empire herself.” The Rev. J. M. McPherson saw this curious rite as a communal business, “the destruction of a witch as representing the powers of darkness.” See Samhuinn for more details. It seems clear that the witch is the sea-goddess Mhorrigan or Samh for the inhabitants of Bragar used to sacrifice to a sea-deity named Shony “at the Hallowtide.” A special ale was brewed at this season, and some chosen representative of the community waded into the sea and poured out a

libation, saying: “Shony, I give this cup of ale, hoping you will send us plenty of sea-ware (seaweed) for enriching our grounds in this coming year.” SGEILM, boasting, prattling on, a thin-lipped mouth, a tattler’s mouth, from the root skel as in sgal, howl, shriek. SGEINNNIDH, twine, flax, hemp thread, Ir. sgainne, a skein or clue of thread. Scot. skiny, probably from Eng. skein. The chief material used in witchcraft. SGEIR, a rock in the sea, a skerry, from the ON sker, whence the English scaur or skerry, a place “cut off” from the rest from the G. root sgar, “sheared.” SGEUL, a tale, OIr. scel, Cy. chwedl, the root seq, to say, Lat. inseque, this say I, I tell, Germ. sagen, Eng. say. SGEUN, dread, disgust, a look of fear, Ir. sgean, fright, a wild look, from skeng, to start or spring, ON. skaga, jutt out. SGIAMH, beauty, OIr. sciam, cf. Goth. skeima, a light,, AS. scima, ON. skimi, a gleam of light, Eng. shine and shimmer. SGIAN (skane), a knife, EIr. scian, Skr. cha, to cut off. Lat. scena, the knife of a priest, Eng. section, saw. SGIATH GAILBHINN, the Storm Shield, ON. skith, firewood, a billet of wood, a tablet, a shield made of wood. At the battle of Magh Tuireadh, Lugh struck the head from Balor of the Evil Eye after he had killed him with his sling. He hung the venomous head in the forks of a hazel-tree and the leaves were shed from that tree because of the poisonous vapours that came off it. For fifty years nothing frequented that tree excepting ravens and crows. At the end of this time Manann mac Ler approached and bade his men dig u p the tree for its wood. As they did some a poisonous vapour arose from the ground, and nine men got their immediate death from the radiation. Nine more men died at a later date and none others were permanently blinded. Nevertheless,

Luchtaine the Carpenter made a shield and a set of chessmen out of the wood for Manann, and he passed these relics to Tadg mac Nuada, who deeded them to his grandson Fionn mac Cumhail. SGEUL, a narrative, a tale, OIr. scel, from a root-word, "I tell," sgeulachdan, narrative tales. John Shaw says that oral mythology, embodied in the long narrative stories, was the province of male tale-bearers: "Occasionally women recited from the body of historical and legendary lore and more frequently they were the custodians of songs (with their associated stories, musical traditions, charms and various other branches of oral tradition. Joe McNeil does not recall any instance of Fenian tales being recited by women in his own district though the area boasted a good number of women story-tellers. (Tales Until Dawn, p. xx). "The druids, highly educated as they were, preferred to transmit their lore orally to chosen disciples; to record it would have lessened its magic. They did not want too familiar a congregation; the less available the mysteries the more potent their effect." Scientists have tended to dismiss myths as relics of a past where allegory was taken literally because science was in the hands of amateurs who liked truth less than comfortable theology. Even wordsmiths, who are clearly of the Celtic druidic tradition, are uncomfortable with myths: “traditional stories of unknown authorship, ostensibly with an historical basis, serving to explain some phenomena of nature, the origins of man, the customs, institutions, religious rites, etc.” The word “ostensibly” makes it clear that Mr. Webster, and his lexicographers, wanted to disassociate themselves from the old world of myths. The truth is, modern men is neurotically attached to explaining everything he sees while the ancients were often content to record natural happenings as they observed them. Perhaps each new generation can only exists in this unpredictable, uncontrollable world by thinking themselves less child-like and inept than those who came before?

Mythology is now seen as fable, untruths meant to explain the terrors of the night and create ghostly terminators able to scare an essentially amoral group into observance of the few basic rules, without which civilization is impossible. The priests who arose to gather and periodically reiterate the rules of human conduct used myth as the backbone of the ethical and moral edifice we call religion. A problem with myth has always been the fact that it essentially verbal rather than recorded history. The scientist and the historian place great reliance on ideas magically embedded in paper for future retrieval. It is an irony that the invention of writing is usually credited to the gods, in the case of the Celts, Ogma, of “the silvered-tongue.” The Old Norse said that their runes were given to them by Odin. Magazines such as “National Enquirer” make it clear that the printed word is not essentially truthful simply because it seems to have more persistence than the spoken word. The printed word often preserves unintended errors or even deliberate lies in our history and science. The old senachies among the druids were at least held to an oath: It is my duty To preserve inviolate the history of the fathers, To instruction, From mouth to mouth, from knee to knee, The witness and the heritage most precious In the power of the free, as opposed to the unfree, Without injury to any person or thing, Without twisting the truth, in opposing deceit, Without strengthening evil, without weakening justice, So long as the blood is warm, and breath in the body... As far as we know, excepting the Hippocratic Oath, there is pass it along without bias by

no promise of veracity in the modern arts and sciences, and fable is probably more often immortalized now than it was in times past. Speaking to the question of truthful accountings, Irish historian Seumas MacManus has said: “the ancient myths of Ireland are far from baseless myths. The Irish people cling to tradition. Not only were the great happenings enshrouded in their memory forever, but even little events are seldom forgotten. We know that away back to the remotest antiquity , the senachie and the poet were honoured next to the king because of the tremendous value the people set upon the recording and preserving of their history. The poet and the senachie following the fashion of the time, took advantage of their artistic privilege to colour their narrative to an extent that to the modern mind would seem fantastic. But it was the details of the story that were granted this liberty. The big, essential facts had to remain unaltered. The things of importance no poet of repute could or would dare to falsify.” Ignoring these myth limits us to recorded history which reaches back about 6000 years into our past. Some anthropologists say that men have walked the planet for as much as 4 million years, and this leaves us with no knowledge of about 3,994,000 passes of summer and winter. To ignore this wealth of material the observational and deductional powers of ancient man have to be dismissed out of hand, and we are forced to presume that, for generation after generation, the past was never witness to anything more exciting than the occasional incursion of a hungry predator into the caves of men. This is a very doubtful interpretation, although we would never pretend that myths and legends were all duly attested eyewitness accounts, unencumbered by artistic flourishes. When bad things happened to “good” people, in the course of three million or so years, we think that ancient men noticed even if they didn’t commit the memories of catastrophic terror to clay tablet, papyrus, wood or paper. Vine Deloria, author of Myth and the Origin of Religion (1974) guesses that creations stories might not be fables

but “collective memories of a great and catastrophic event though which people came to understand themselves and the universe they inhabited. Creation stories may simply be the survivor’s memories of reasonably large and destructive events.” Of course there may have been repeated times of destruction and construction, so that the world’s cultures were forced to reinvent tales of global disaster and rebirth. There may not be a racial-memory as such, but some rattling good tales have been handed down to us, and we can be assured that they have some central truths. The alternative to this view is a colossal impertinence, which is almost racial in its overtones. Admittedly, some of our forbearers had smaller brain cases ( but some had larger), and we would guess that they were far more intelligent and accomplished than is generally supposed. Samuel Noah Cramer says there are mythologists who think that myths are “trivial superstitious fairy tales of little intellectual and spiritual import...” Opposed to them are others “who believe that the myths represent the most profound achievements of the human spirit, the inspired creation of gifted and unspoiled minds, uncontaminated by the scientific approach, and therefore open to profound cosmic insights...” In addition, there are schools of thought which suggest that myths are spoken forms of rite and ritual and those who insist that ancient myths have an etiological character, being tales invented for the purpose of explaining the nature of the universe, the destiny of it, and the origin of the customs, beliefs and practises of men. Cramer thinks that the origin, character and significance of myths is a separate matter from their veracity: He says that it would not seem unreasonable to expect that folklore might be “based on the written texts of the myths as contained in the written documents of the ancients, and not on the versions surmised and improvised, transformed and recast by some modern enthusiast with an axe to grind and a point to make.” He is one of those who assumes that the printed word has extra power or implicit magic. SGIOBA, a ship’s crew, from ON. skip, a ship.

SGIODAR, splashing about in a bog through muck and mire, diarrhoea, related to the Scot. scutter and skitter. SGIOGAIR, a jackdaw, a buffon, a mocker. See above. SGIOLC. to slip in or out without being seen, a form of witchcraft. The Eng. skulk. SGITHE, MIr. Skeith, rhyming with neith. Nom. Scia; genitive Sceth, dative Scii. The Isle of Skye. Sgithe is later. Same as Sgath. The nominative is now an t-Eilean Sgiathanach. Compares with the Norse Skith. SGIUNACH, a bold and shameless woman, a charm for getting all the fish in the waters into one's own boat to the annoyance of one's neighbours. SGLEAP, ostentation, to flatter, to stare open-mouthed at a person one wishes to impress. SGLEO, boasting, romancing, Ir. scleo, boasting, the use of “high (magical) language.” SGLEOGAIR, a troublesome fellow, an unwelcome guest, cf. sgleog, snot, phlegm, a knock at the door. Sgleoid, a silly person, a slattern or whore. SGLAIM, wealth acquired means. See glam. by questionable (i.e. magical)

SGOD. conceit, error, defect, blemish, trailing, dragging, , corner of anything, airiness, coqetry, foppery, undue pride, lordliness, command, rule, disposal. Allied with the next. Same word as sgot, having a small property at the corner of nowhere, a piece of land cut off from the rest, a small farm, a small flock, a small villegae, thus also sgoth, a concealed hut, a shaded shelter for sportsmen, a son, the choicest part of anything, overhanging cloud, steep rock, abrupt hill. Confers with sgotai.

SGOIL BANN. What the boabh did for a living would later be termed craft by the Anglo-Saxons, and magic in the tongue of the Normans. Among the Tuatha daoine, these people were probably members of a priviledged class, which the Milesians described as the "aes dana" (people of poetry). The phrase actually embraced a much wider variety of skills, including musicians, bards, singers, historians, jurists, physicians and those who worked with metals. The skills of any of these might be "sgoil-dubh" (black art) or "sgoil-bann" (white art) depending on whether they were used to damage or aid an individual. Any poorly developed craft was labelled sgoitechd, which is to say silliness or quackery. The basic kinds of Gaelic "magic" involved divination, or sooth-saying, employing an da shealladh (the two sights) and wonder-working, which carried ordinary crafts to god-like heights. SGOIL DUBH, "the black arts," sgoil, school, literally the black school. In Celtic Britain there were no witches. The hagges and wights, the ancestors of the witch, arrived with Anglo-Saxon sea-rovers, who did not "trouble" the island kingdoms of Britannia and Hibernia until the middle of the fifth century after Christ. It is a misnomer to speak of Celtic witchcraft, and it is equally improper to speak of druids, witches and bhaobhs as if they were all equal participants in the "sgoile-dubh", or black-arts. The "sgoil-dubh" was anciently considered the business of the "bhaobh", or "baobh". This word is retained in the Gaelic tongue to describe "a hag, a male or female practitioner of magic, or a carrion crow." It used to be thought that the baobhs were capable of assuming the form of the crow and the word "druid" has, similarly, been preserved in Gaelic to indicate another black bird commonly called the starling or thrush. When Englishmen found themselves in an awkward situation, they spoke of being caught "between the devil and the deep blue sea." A Gael with few options would say that he stood, "eadar a'bhaobh 's a' bhuarach", which is, "between the magician and the staked cow." The latter tended to get surly from standing in the

sun, and there was "a superstitious fancy" that men nudged by the horn of a tethered cow would afterwards be childless. 1 SGOILTEACHD, silliness, quackery, teachd, boasting; boasting school. Christian view of the sgoil dubbh. above. the See

SGONAICHEAN, scones, the lowland form for bonnach, or unleavened bread. SGÔR-SGRAIDEAG, SGÔRR-SCRIÂD, SGEIR-SCRIÂD, a sharp rock in the ocean, the ON. skaerr, Eng. scar, a cliff, also shore, the AS. score. Confers with ON, sker, G. sgeir, a rock in the sea, Eng. skerry, seaur, “cut off,” similar to shear. The last word, a diminutive woman, a hag, witch or crow, an old cow; an “island of witchcraft.” All from the ON. skratta-sker, a wizard or troll skerry. There are three prominent skerries in Scottish waters: The one off the extreme northwestern coast is represented on current maps as Sula Sgeir, the “Gannet Skerry,” but is noted on a 1611 sea-chart as pfouil Skarre, the “fell or “foul Skerry.” The Skellig Rocks off southwestern Ireland, also entitled St. Michael’s Skerry, seems an equally unlikely spot for human habitation but we are assured that a thousand years ago between 500 and 800 monks of the Celtic Christian Church considered this a monastic centre. The island still preserves the beehive huts and oratories used by those holy men. Like monasteries elsewhere these passed into ruins after raids by hostile Irish tribes and the Vikings. This word may have its ultimate root in Kari, the Old Norse god of the upper air, an elemental whose “brothers” were Lokki and Hler. His feminine counterpart is perhaps Thomas M. Murchison, Prose Writings of Donald Lamont, Edinburgh, 1960. Notes, #10, p. 172. He says: "Baobh is applied to several female supernaturals of very evil omen."
1See

Skati, the goddess of the winter winds, the Gaelic Cailleach bheurr. These sea-islands had the benefit of fresh air, thus the MEng. schere, pure and bright. Notice that the Grecian hero Odysseus fleeing from Calypso’s mid-Atlantic retreat, was carried on a “swimbladder” to Scheria an island kingdom which appears to have been dominated by the Phoenicians, and was perhaps an outpost of that ancient Mediterranean civilization. The natives of this place may have been the Nemedians who fled the Fomorian giants of Ireland. It is noted that the Scherians had once lived on the islands of the Cyclops (oneeyed-giants) but had fled from the oppressions of these savages. Again, they resemble the Tuatha daoine being described by Homer as “god-like, fearing no man.” They were said to be extremely wealthy and lived in such remoteness they were “undisturbed by the alarms of war.” It is recorded that they had no need for bows or arrows and that their chief joy was oceanic navigation. Like the ship of Manann their craft were fast cutters apparently driven by an intelligence that required no pilots. It was said that their trade ships knew “every bay intimately,” and that they had the fortune of being governed by a king who was “a just man and a beloved sovereign.” This classical island is reminiscent of the “northern isles” where the Tuatha daoine gained their learning in the magical arts, for it is said that although this island was in a northern location it had a courtyard near the palace which was “four acres in extent.” Within the confines, the visitors noticed pomegranate, pear, apple, fig and olive trees and saw that these plants were magically touched since “neither winter’s cold nor summer’s drought arrested their growth.” The vineyards were equally prolific and there were garden-borders “of all kinds blooming the year around.” Surprisingly, there are such “summer isles,” off the northwest coast of Scotland, places where semitropical plants are commonplace. SGOR-SGRAIDEAG DUBTH, the “Black Skerry,” also known as

“The Black Skerry of MacPhee.” Note that Mac-Phee denotes “Son of the Sith,” thus an individual with supernatural assets. The last of the MacPhee lairds at Colonsay being defeated by the MacNeils was forced to take shelter in a cave at Urkaig Beag. This cave has an entrance from the land and another towards the sea. The chief placed his three guard-dogs at the sea-entrance, and positioned himself at a place in the cavern where the cave contracted so that a man could only pass on his hands-and-knees. When MacPhee saw theshoulders of an enemy poke through he beheaded him, and dragged his corpse inside. When five or six foes went missing, the remainder decided to dig down into the cave from above. hearing them decided to flee through the seaentrance which was now below the tide. He started the mile swim across Kiloran Bay, and had nearly escaped when he was spotted. A lucky arrow lodged in his hip and he was forced to land on a rock in the stream. There he extracted the arrow and completed his swim. The cave where he harboured is today known as MacPhee’s Cavern while the rock where he stopped is the Black Skerry. SGRAB, write, erase, scratch, sgrabach, rough, and the writers or scratchers, “an sgraid” an old hag, also an old cow or mare. Sgraideagach, puny, diminutive, ugly. Sgraingeag, surly woamn, sullem woman, niggardly woman. See next. SGREAGAG, shrivelled old woman, penurious or mean old woman; greagair, an old man of the same sorts. SGOTH, a boat, a skiff, a Norwegian skiff, from Scand. skude, ON. skuta, a cutter. SGRAIDEAG. a small morsel, a diminutive woman, the Ir. sgraideog, a hag, an old cow or mare. Cf. Sc. cradyn, a puny sickly child, skrat, a puny person and skratti, a wizard, a goblin, "Old Scratch", a pagan god, the Devil. See Sgatheach. SGRÀL, host. A huge force consisting of many individual units. Formerly, an individual having the power of life or death over a hostage, or guest. Also, the pack of animals

and souls of the living and the dead that trailed the winterdeity, as he or she swept south, seeking new recruits at mid-winter. This was the crowd referred to in the lowlands as the "Unsely (unsilly, not funny) Host." In the Old Norse communities this band was labelled the Asgardreia, or “Asa's Pack” after the god Asa, or Odin. Alternately, these soul-collectors were entitled the "Raging Host, Gabriels Hounds, Woden's Hunters," or simply the "Wild Hunt." The leader of all this in Scotland and Ireland was the Gaelic Cailleach bheurr, their Nathair or the Norse Odin, who was sometimes reckoned as the “Lord of the North Wind.” In this guise Odin rode out upon a jet-black steed, that had eight legs. His pack travelled on anticyclones of wind and souls were swept away on the storm, supposedly riding forever in the upper air, upon gusts that whirled in an endless counter-clockwise array. As the leader of disembodied spirits the Death-lords (or -ladies) were in charge of hunting hounds, and men of earlier times fancied they heard the barks of these monsters and the beat of horses-hoofs in the rush and roar of the winter wind. In Scotland, as elsewhere, it was thought bad business to mock the host by repeating the storm noises. It was reported that those who did were often snatched away before their allotted time on earth was ended. The few who wished the wind-god good hunting, sometimes found themselves possessed of a haunch of meat thrown down from a thunder-cloud. In some cases, this "meat" turned to a pile of gold overnight. If the death-god left a household with a small black dog, it was understood that this hound was a stray and had to be well-kept until the winter-clouds gathered again unless it could be exorcised or frightened away. In the middle ages, when the old gods had become a memory, northern folk still dreaded winter-storms for their spiritsapping effects. In Christian times, when Odin was no longer known, men still remembered the host, and could only guess that the leader was some human criminal, thus

leadership passed variously to King Arthur, Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa, or other notable sabbath-breakers, supposed to have been given this duty as punishment for sin. As the winds blew most fiercely during the days of the Yule (Yell), peasants were careful to leave a measure of grain in the fields for the passing host. The leader of this gang in Gaelic parts was the Nathair or the Cailleach bheurr. SGRÂL, AN, The Host. again a whole made up of many individual parts. Conferring with sgriothail, sgrios, destroy or break up into minuatæ. The ultimate root is sgar, to severe, separate or cut away. This is the OF. graal, the F. gréal, Lat. gradalis, referring originally to a vessel or container cut up into compartments for different kinds of food. Possibly a terraced structure as gradus, stepped, the San Gréal or Sainted Grail, more often referred to as the Holy Grail of the medieval Romances. Conferring with ON. skrá, dry shedding skin, a parchment; the Gaelic sgreag, dry, parched, the Eng. scraggy, shrunken, possibly referring to the solid part of the host. This last confers with sgreataidh, disgusting, horrible, which relates to the ON. skratti, a monster, wizard or goblin, and to skrat or skraeling, a puny individual, a dwarf. The name skratti relates to skatti, a tax-payer and to the Eng. Old Scratch, the Devil. Again, the Gaelic sgrios, destroy, and sgreubh, to dry up or crack because of drought. The ultimate reference is to the mortal-goddess Sgratheach who the Norse called Skatti or Skadi, whose name is given Skatiland or Scotland. A variant of this name was also visited on a portion of North America discovered by the Old Norse during the first century: Skraelingaland. From her, the Gaelic sgàth, a shade or shadow, and Sgratheach is the “cloaked one,” the shaded one. Skadi is their goddess of winter; the Shandy-Dann of Scottish folklore. She was nicknamed the Cailleach bheurr, or “Winter Hag,” and corresponds with the Gaelic Danu, Anu or Boann who is also the triad goddess known as the Bafinn.

In Scandinavia the goddess of fate was known as Nornr and one of her three parts was Skulld, who is said to confer with Hel, the warder of the underworld known as Nifhelheim. The English Holy Grail is an interesting concept as the Anglo-Saxon halig, or holy has direct reference to Hel. In English a grail was a vessel, chalice or cup perhaps taking note of the LL. gradalis, a vessel used for liquids. In Christian mythology the expression The Grail or Holy Grail was reserved for a legendary platter from which Christ is said to have eaten his Last Supper, and in which Joseph of Arimathea caught his blood at the Crucifixion. It was sometimes, erroneously, described as the wine glass, or chalice, which he used at that supper. The Grail was supposedly brought to England and there preserved for many centuries by the knights of the Grail. Its bad reputation was in its reaction to imperfect individuals. Eventually it overlooked too much evil and vanished from human sight. Some of the knights of King Arthur’s court quested after it, but those tainted by impiousness or impurity were barred from finding it. In the end the perfectly pure triad of Bors, Percivale and Galahad viewed this “Christian” relic and were immediately assimilated into the Otherworld. Norma Lorre Goodrich says some of the medieval writers identified the grail as “a cup or a chalice; some thought it was a platter, or a monstrance, or a brilliant gemstone. All associated it with a dazzling white light...” The “rehistorian,” Michael Bradley noticed a loose similarity between the medieval San Greal and the modern French sang real, and interpreted the word as “blood royal.” His esoteric arguments led to the conclusion that the True Grail was the physical bloodline of descendants of Jesus Christ secretly preserved and protected in Europe and Canada by descendants of the Knights Templar (see Holy Grail Across the Atlantic). The only problem with this is the fact that The Grail is older than Christianity and has the patently pagan connotations noted above. The Grail is the pagan Coire Dagda or, the “Dagda’s Kettle,” or Cauldron of

Abundance, which appears in both Gaelic and Cymric mythology. This Coire Mor , or “Great Kettle,” has been identified as a metaphor for the Atlantic Ocean, its plant and animal life providing all that men might need. The “pigs of the sea” which gave the Fomors and the Tuathans immortality may represent these resources. It was, also, a talisman of god-spirit, the source of abundance and reincarnate life in Celtic mythology. In the Welsh legend of Bran it was taken from Ireland where it was returned as part of the dowry of his sister Branwyn. In Taliiesin’s poem it is represented as part of the spoil from Annwan, or Hades, brought out of the western ocean by Arthur. In this case it is to have been deposited in the Castle of Pwyll at Caer Pedrywan in Wales. It had a rim of pearls at the edge and was tended by nine virgin maidens who fanned the fires beneath it with their breaths and refused food to any man who was “forsworn.” This is similar to The Gaelic conception except that the Dagda placed it, for safe-keeping, with the goddess Mhorrigan, the daughter of the creator-god Don, rewarding her duplicity in allowing them within the gates of An Domhain. Most remotely it is said that the Cauldron represented the sun itself, a kettle pouring forth light, heat and accompanying fertility upon the earth. Lugh was the Gaelic god of the sun, and the Ocean was often referred to as “Lugh’s Kettle,” as it was seen that he passed into it each day at dusk. In the early myths of the “Rape of the Deep,” it is said that many treasures were taken away, and sometimes the Cauldron is spoken of as a “Stone of Abundance.” As we have noted Lugh was entitled Lugh “of the Long Arm,” because he was invariably seen carrying the “Spear of Creation,” and this “lightning weapon” was equated with the male sexuality and abundance. Following this concept back into Indo-European myths we encounter the lightning-lance of the thunder-god Indra, which seems to be translated into Norse mythology as the hammer of Thor and the lightning-staff of the goddess Bolg or Bolt, the Gaelic Boann. Notice that the sword of Tyrr was said

fashioned by dwarfs from “a stone that fell from heaven,” and this was similar to the sword of Nuada which was struck against the spear of Lugh to fashion the worlds. However it happened to be represented, this source of inspiritment, symbolized the tendency of the world toward chaos and the restoration of order in the seasons by some divine instrument and/or champion. This centre of all being was also consulted to bring an end to end famine, war and pestilence. We know that the pagans fashioned mockcauldrons into which they dripped the blood of enemies from lance-point. Some Christian poet, in a flash of inspiration, transformed the ancient Cauldron into the cup of the Eucharist, and then Chrestien de Troyes launched the idea in European literature under the title Conte del Graal. This was the tale of Perceval and that itself is significant in the fact that the Welsh per is the Irish coire, a “kettle.” Notwithstanding, the graal or “grail” is represented it this tale as “a blood-dripping lance.” Twenty years later, Wolfram von Eschenbach reformed the graal describing it as the sustenance of the guardian knights of Grail Castle: “It is called lapsit exillis, or the Gral.” The term lapsit excillis breaks down into lapis ex celis, the “blue-stone from the ceiling (i.e Heaven). It is significant that the mythic sword of the Old Norse god Tyrr, which was named Tyrfing (Tyrr’s finger), was similarly made of meteoric iron. This Gral was said deposited at Anjou, France, by a flight of angels. Its power for good was renewed by a dove that alighted on it on Good Fridays. Its repository was the Castle of Montsalvat where it was guarded by four hundred knights, all vowed to virginity, excepting their king, who was commanded to reproduce in order to support the order. The Grail was said to speak to men through messages which appeared on its face. It was said that sick or wounded men did not die as long as they gazed on this amulet of Heaven and its servitors, like the Tuatha daoine, never wearied or grew old as long as they were within sight of it. he The knights saw it daily transformed into bread and wine, and upon this magic

foodstuff they lived individual lives in excess of two hundred years. Each man found in it the taste he most desired, thus it was noted that the food was a son gre, or “custom tailored.” The connection of this food with Manann’s “sea-pigs,” which were eaten and then regenerated themselves overnight seems obvious. A stone of Abundance is seen in the Welsh “Peredur.” It was guarded by a black serpent (Mhorrigan’s stand-in) which Peredur slew, afterwards giving the amulet to a friend named Etlyn. The final transmutation of the Grail recreated it as a cornucopia or a drinking vessel with all the magical properties of the Cauldron of the Deep preserved in full. The word grail has been said derived from the Low Latin cratella, “a small vessel or chalice,” but that word may be derived from Celtic models rather than the reverse. It will be recalled that the Dagda’s cauldron and Lugh’s spear, were the chief treasures of the Tuatha daoine, but they also possessed Nuada’s sword and the Lia Fail, or “Talking stone.” Interestingly, these are the very objects which folklore and literature place in the Grail Castle. Wolfram also included there the notion that the Grail could only be touched by a virgin maiden, and said that it was invisible to pagans, who could not benefit from its powers. It is, perhaps, a sad comment on Christian morality that the knights who protected the artifact were finally corrupted to the man. See An domhain, muc, samh and saigh. SGREATAIDH, disgusting, horrible. Cf ON. skratti, monster, the Devil, "Old Scratch." See above entries. a

SGREUCH, dried up, parched, cracked by drought from Sc. scrae, a dry withered elder, skratti, the Devil, Eng. Screw, the Devil. Note the Samhain rite of “Fathoming (Embracing) the Screw:” “In Shetland a small stack of bere (barley) was set aside for Broonie (Brownie). One went blindfold into the courtyard and fathomed the screw three times sunwise and three times widdershins, and at the last turn embraced the

shade of the future spouse. Elsewhere an undedicated screw sufficed.” SGRID, last breath of life, thought to carry with it the spirit of the deceased. SGROB, scratch from the Lat. scrobis, a ditch, and scrofa, a pig, a “scratcher” in the dirt. Eng. scrape and grub. Another collective name for disenfranchised pagan gods or the Devil. See muc. SGRIOB AN TUIRE, “the boar’s rayk.” the course gollowed by this mythic animal to its death; having reference to a famed boar-hunt and rights of passage. Thus we have in Sutherlandshire The Tongue, one of the places where Diarmaid’s final hunt has been located. In the Legend of Saint Andrews it may be noted that King Hungus granted Cursis Apr, “the boar’s course,” as a right-of-way, “to God and St. Andrews.” SGUIT, SCUITE, wanderer. Particularly a resident of the Western Isles of Scotland. Macpherson’s scuta from which he derives Scotti and the ON. Scotti-lande. See also Sgath. SGULANACH, flippant, evil-tongued. After the ON. goddess Skulld. SHELAGH, anglicized spelling, originally SIGHLAG, "the pretty sidh." Eng. Sheila. Also seen as Sheelagh, the "englished" form of the Gaelic sith, one of the side-hill folk, or little people; those the English call elfs or fairies. The pronunciation is "shee" in Ireland and "shaw" or "shay" in Scotland. + lag, weak or hollow, curved, and thus laghach, pretty. Similar to the Latin electus, chosen over others and the English election. Similar to the Irish Gaelic sidh, a fairy hill and their word sigh, a fairy. Siabhrach, siobrag and siochair are a few of the equivalent names in the Scottish Gaelic. There are numerous other local forms of the word in both Ireland and Scotland, all derived from the Old Irish side, those the Romans recognized as the "dei

terreni," or "gods of the earth." Their dwellings were the sid and side was the ancient name for their magical powers. The last two words are similar to the Greek sed, a dwelling place, seat or abode. The Romans learned of these "people of peace" and introduced into the theology at Rome as the novensides, the "new (British) gods." Finally we have sithean, literally "the peaceful home", a green fairy knoll. Sidh is sometimes translated as wolf, or as venison, the feed of wolves. A generalized name for any female leader of these sigh would be siabrach-laghach, which may be anglicized as sheelagh. The earliest Sheelagh was the daughter of the Celtic god Dagda, variously represented in folklore and literature as the May Queen, Mebd, Morgan, Samh or Bridd. See mhorga and Cailleach bheurr which are also synonymous. In the Christian mythology of Ireland Saint Bridd, Brigid, or Brigit, is considered the female equivalent of Saint Patrick, who died in the year 460. She is supposed to have been born in 450 to a chieftain named Dubhtach (the Dark One) of Fang and a Christian bondswomen living in County Louth. Dubtach's legal wife was not fond of the child and so Bridd (the Bride) was fostered to a druid, in nearby Faughart. Interestingly, this is the site of the ford between northern and southern Ireland, where the northern hero Cuchulainn single-handedly beat off the armies of the wolf-witch queen Mebd or May. Brigit adopted her mother's religion rather than the druidic traditions and supposedly founded "a convent" at Kildare. Some have guessed that she chose this site because it was easy to gather the recently converted at such well-known places. What is not so easy to explain is her establishment of "a sacred fire in an enclosure outside the church." The flame was kept perpetually alight and was guarded by twenty virgin nuns. This does not sound like anything remotely connected with Christian creed, but the fire burned on until it was ordered extinguished by the archbishop of Dublin in 1220. At that, it was rekindled and only went dark at the time of the Dissolution of the

monasteries and nunneries. The warmth of Brigit's personality was sufficient that she gathered 10,000 converts to her convent. Those were the days before such places were unisexual retreats and it was noted that while Brigit "had no interest in marrying, she never eschewed the company of men." As the abbess became more powerful she invited bishop Conlaeth to come to Kildare to serve the interests of the males in her community. He was a fine artificer in gold, silver and iron and the community began to specialize in the production of metal objects for religious and secular use. Some of the nuns worked with the men in the forges and design shops but others specialized in weaving, dyeing, cloth work and medicine. Four years after the birth of Saint Columba, in the year 525, Brigit died and her remains were placed "in one tomb with Patrick at Down." She was clearly a woman of mythic dimensions described (long after her supposed time) as "the prophetess of Christ; the Queen of the South; the Mary of the Gaels." Irish historians have rebelled at the suggestion, but there is obvious merit in Sir James George Fraser's idea that, "St. Bride, or St. Bridget, is an old heathen fertility goddess, disguised in a threadbare Christian cloak. Probably she is no other than Brigit, the Celtic goddess of fire..." Anciently, a tribe known as the Brigantines were known to have crossed from Belgium to northern England and to have migrated from there to northern Ireland, the seat of St. Brigit's power. They are sometimes compounded with the Tuatha daoine (northern people, or people of the goddess Danu). Folklorist T.W. Rolleston supports Fraser, noting that "Dana also bears another name, that of Brigit, a goddess much honoured by pagan Ireland. Her attributes were in great measure transferred in legend to the Christian St. Brigit of the sixth century." The name of the older goddess was also found in Gaul (France) where she was inscribed as Brigindo. In Greater Britain (England) she was worshipped as Brigantia.

Her father/husband was sometimes given as Dagda (father of the day) and their grandson was Ecne (pronounced Yeo-hee) whose name means "knowledge" or "poetry". Dagda and Danu, or Brigit, represent the source of the Tuatha daoine, "the gods of the earth", and she was identified as "the mother of the Irish gods." The Tuatha daoine were eventually defeated and "driven to earth" by totally human invaders who have been identified as the Milesians, or sons of Miles. They had insignificant magic as compared with the Tuathans but they had the advantage of ultra-sharp iron weapons. It was after the Tuathans were driven to the hinterland, and to refuge beyond the sea, that they were contemptuously dismissed as the Daoine sidh, or side-hill people. The pre-eminent female leader among these defeated people was Mebd, the "wolf-queen" who took residence under Sliab Cruachan in the southern province of Connaught. She was definitely curvaceous, and pretty, and elected to office by her Irish peers. On the other hand, she was hardly as generous with her enemies as her incarnation in Saint Brigit would suggest and she was definitely more than casually interested in men. Brigit, herself, was a superior horsewoman, being represented in a contemporary hymn as the "cailleach", or nun, who used her chariot to "range the Curragh" behind two spirited horses. The same was said for the southern "queen of the May" but she did more than spread the word of God, being a warrior of the highest order. She cut down Cuchullain's pal, Cethern in armed combat. Complaining of this unknown assailant Cethern noted: "As I stood a tall, long-faced woman with soft features came at me. She had a full head of yellow hair and two golden birds stood strangely silent on her shoulders. She wore a purple cloak folded all about her and had five hands of gold decorating her back. She carried a light, stinging, sharpedged lance, and held her sword in a woman's grip over her head. Truly she was a massive, frightening figure of womanhood." Hearing this Cu chullain smiled wryly: "You are lucky

to remain alive for that was certainly Queen Mebd of Cruachan. This character is Sheila, the personification of storm at sea. Like the ocean she is a shape changer: she is often pictured as a hooded crow, or a dark haired warriorwoman. This is also the case with mermaids who were seen at the surface as having golden hair but it became seaweedcoloured when they were in their deep-water homes. It is on record that Mebd was as generous as Brigit with her friends, but enemies were beyond the pale. While Cuchullain and his friends believed in fair play, Mebd felt no similar constrains. At the onset of war, she abandoned the north, and visited a curse on the men of Armagh, promising them monthly stomach cramps not unlike those of the female menstrual cycle. They might not have survived the initial invasion except for the help of the offshore hero Cuchullain, who came to them from the Island of Scathach, off the western shore of Scotland. He held the pass (where Brigit was born) until his allies recovered their strength. Mebd is a personification of the voracity, willfulness and ambivalence of the ocean. On one occasion, Mebd suggested wiping out friendly tribesman fearing their eventual attachment to the northern cause. Her consort Ailill condemned this suggestion as "a woman's thinking" and said it was "an evil concept." Mebd, the mhorrigan, said candidly that she never slept with a man unless another stood in his shadow ready to do duty. She was always willing to use her sexuality to cement alliances, thus she said she would sleep with the warrior Fergus if he would march against Cuchullain. When that failed to inspire him she offered wealth and marriage to her daughter. Ailill had a great deal to forgive, but did so saying, "I know much about queens and women and I lay all fault in marriage with the strange swellings within a woman';s breast and with her natural lust." Cuchullain was a repeated target of Mebd's alternate bursts of lust and hate. At one "truce", the lady sent six armed warrior against Cuchullian but he cut them down.

Next the queen suggested a one-to-one meeting, promising she would come accompanied by her unarmed maids-in-waiting. Cuchullain's charioteer was doubtful of her honesty and advised his co-adventurer: "Mebd is a forceful woman; if I were you, I'd watch for her hand at my back." Thus advised, Cuchullain took along a hidden sword, and it was just as well, for the accompanying maidens turned out to be fourteen armed men in disguise. Even after that, Mebd appeared to her nemesis as a beautiful, although shape-changed woman. When she propositioned Cuchullain, he said something to the effect that he was too busy and tired to bother. At that she became truly annoyed, revealed her real identity, and promised evil times. At their next meeting, she fought him in serpent form, worried him as a wolf, and tried to trample him after she shape-changed into a ravaging herd of cattle. Eventually, Cuchullain fought the black queen to a draw, but she had the last laugh. When the hero was an older man, she approached him as the three old crones (the hags written into Shakespeare's Macbeth). By subterfuge, these fates convinced Cuchullain that he should share a stew with them. Unfortunately, it contained dog-meat, which was his "geis", or taboo. As a result, he was paralyzed on one side, but even then he and his stallion held off enemy warriors for three days and nights. Not long after, Mebd was herself killed when an enemy shot a fruit-stone into her forehead with a slingshot. Mebd may therefore be seen as the alter-ego of Brigit; the former an adherent of the dark forces; the latter a representative of light, wisdom and knowledge. Actually, the matter is more complex than this, as the supreme goddess, Befind, was known to be a triad. The Befind resemble the Roman Fatii and the Scandinavian Nornr; each group consisting of three women who were responsible for the fates of the gods and men. The goddess of the past was the sheelagh, pretty, vivacious, quixotic and sexually active, and most often called Mhorrigan, or Morgan. She is alternately Samh or Brigit or Danu, the matriarch of antique

times. Her mature counterpart, the goddess of the present, was usually said to be the warrior-queen Mebd, Maeve, or Badb (the last translates from Gaelic as witch, wizard, hag or carrion crow). The crone of future events was entitled Macha. While these spirits might be encountered individually it has to be understood that they were each components of the larger Befind. The woman adherents of Befind became the befinds, the spirits given to men and women as guardians at their birth. In Atlantic Canada the "line storm" is sometimes alternately called "St. Patrick's storm" or "Sheila's storm". This event is usually a snow-storm that comes about the time when the sun seems to cross the equatorial line at the time of the vernal, or spring, equinox. Sometimes parallelling the equinoctial gale, Sheila's storm was expected "a little before or a little after" Saint Patrick's Day (March 17) and was expected to be one of the most difficult storms of the year. It is noted elsewhere that the sigh (shee) controlled the weather. Those that dwelt in the underworld were the daoine sigh, while those who lived beneath the ocean were the daoine mara, and the latter controlled the face and force of the waters. In Gaelic parts of the Atlantic Canada folklorist Mary L. Fraser has noted that any spontaneous assembly of women is guessed to be an omen of storm. She says: "This may be a survival of the Old Celtic myth of Cailleach Bheurr (The Winter Hag), a giant woman who brought the storms of winter." This woman is, obviously the "horse-faced hag" who the early Irish called Macha, the third form of the Befind. In ancient Ulster Macha was said to have assumed the sheelagh form and to have taken residence with a young man named Crundchu. He impregnated her, but noticed that even encumbered she could outrace the deer of the forest. Being addicted to gambling, he bet that she could outrace the king's horses. At the race-course, she pleaded with the men who were assembled to put off the running until she was

delivered, but the men of the north had no pity. "Then bring on the horses," said Macha, "I will certainly beat them but my curse will fall upon you for this infamy." She did as promised, but fell immediately afterwards and gave birth to twins. Arising she held the boys aloft and faced the men saying, "Men of Ulster! From this hour, for nine times nine generations, you will be as weak and helpless as a woman in childbirth for five days and four nights of each month, your spirit robbed when it need be strong." Thus the goddess of fate abandoned the northerners, and blighted them with "the Debility of the Ultonians". This caused them to call for the services of Cuchullain, who was unaffected by the curse since he was in Scotland at that time. It was, of course, Queen Mebd (another form of the Befind) who opposed this northern hero. It is significant that North Americans remember Ground-hog Day (in Luneburg County, Nova Scotia it is called Dak’s Day, or Badger's Day). This informal holiday is celebrated annually on the second day of February when men look to see if the groundhog sees his shadow. If he does, six additional weeks of winter are expected. If the day happens to be cloudy it is supposed that the back of winter is broken. In Scotland, men considered bears to be their "ground-hogs" and looked to their emergence, after hibernation, with similar interest. Interestingly, the Micmac tribesmen shared this concept: "The second of February was regarded as a turning-point in the seasons, and sun seen on that day was not hailed with delight. There is the Indian wise saw that goes, "If the bear can see his shadow on February second, he goes back to his den for more sleep." Anciently, this was a pagan quarter-day which the Gaels entitled the "Imbolc", "Imbolg" or "Imbolt." This is another two part word, derived from "im", once every twelfth-month, periodically + " "bolt", a welt. This refers to certain religious practises that need not be examined in this context. The time was also called "Bridd's Day" which was renamed St. Bride's Day or Candlemas. Even after

Christianity was established in Britain, rural men and women thought it practical to consult the spirit of Bridd in the highlands of Scotland. There, the beginning of February was seen as the time for the emergence of mean and animals from their winter of hibernation or inactivity. It was also the time for the real or ritual deflowering of the "oigh" or virgin animals of every species. It is of interest that the Gaelic word for virgin resembles "og", any young animal, and "oighre", ice. Thus, the Imbolc was held at the revival of vegetation and was a fertility festival. One of its intentions was to melt the ice of the Cailleach Bheurr and return the fertile summer-queen Sheelagh to the land. Sir James George Fraser tells us that some of the old customs were still practised in the Hebrides in the last century: "The mistress and servants of each family take a sheaf of oats and dress it up in women's apparel, put it in a large basket and lay a wooden club by it, and this they call Bridd's bed; and then the mistress and servants cry three times, "Bridd is come; Bridd is welcome." This they do before going to bed, and when they rise in the morning they look among the ashes (on the hearth) expecting to see the impression of Bridd's club there; and if they do, they reckon a good crop year, and the contrary they will take as an ill omen." Another commentator says that "one or more candles are left burning nearby all night long." The interpretation of this we leave to the individual, but it has obvious sexual overtones. Spring is much later appearing in Maritime Canada than in Britain, nevertheless the old weather lore that surrounds the Bride's Day is well known in parts of our region. Fraser tells us that people in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, referred to February as "the wolf month". This is understandable since "Faoilleach" is the old Gaelic month extending between what is now mid-January and midFebruary. The month derives its name from "faol", anciently a name for the winter sea, but is now that given "a wild dog" or "a wolf." In Irish Gaelic "mi na Feile Brighde", the month of the Wolf-Bride", is used to name February; in

Scotland "am Faoilteach" is the modern form for January. According to local myth, the Cailleach sent her "wolfstorms" out into the world all through "wolf-month." It was her spirit (she was, after all, the "bear-woman") which emerged from the winter darkness of her cave on February 2. She was content if the skies remained grey on her day; but the appearance of sunlight, and the reminder that her powers were fading, was always sufficient to cause her to vent her fury on the land. As Fraser has noted, the first three days of the third week of February were "the sharktoothed days", a time when the "sea-wolves" were joined by "biting, stinging east winds." Then came "Feadag", the "plover-winged" time, marked by three days of swift, fitful blasts of rain - bringing winds that killed the sheep and the lambs." "Fead" indicates a flute, whistle, blast, or breath of air. In Scotland "an Gearran" is the entitlement for the month of February, but it used to be a period of time following that of the plover or wind-bird. In any event it was a four week interval, beginning as late as March 15, and was perhaps at first, thought dependent on the whims of the Old Bear Woman. The meaning of "gerran" is "gelding", any young but sexually mature animal. Related words are "gearr," the sexually precocious hare; "gearrach", any flow of bloody fluids, and "gearraidh," pasture-land between the shore and the moors. This time was always invariable followed by "Cailleach", the Old Woman's week, which was characterized by horrid weather. What followed was the time called "Oisgean," the three days given to the birthing of the "Ewes." Finally, there was the month of "Mart" (the Cow), or March, and Sheila's Storm, sometimes called Sheila's Broom, the very last gasp of the Winter-Hag, near the time of the vernal equinox. At this, the Cailleach Bheurr threw her hammer "beneath the mistletoe" and became reincarnate as Samh, the goddess of summer. The Cailleach Bheurr, known as Mother Night, or Mother Gode, in Scandinavia, was considered at the height of her power at Yule eve, and her ascendancy was celebrated in

the twelve days of Yule, which ended January 5. As a consequence, here as in Europe, "it was commonly held that the weather on each of the twelve days between Christmas and Epiphany indicated what might be expected of the corresponding twelve months of the year. Consequently (fishermen and farmers) drew weather calendars on this basis; the early hours of December 25th, for example, indicating the weather for the early part of January, its later hours proving what the close of the month would be like." Weather forecasters watched the midwinter solstice with a great deal of interest for it was suggested that "the way of the wind and weather (on the day) when the sun crosses the line will be reflected in conditions during the following three months." A seaman explained the effect in this way: "Last December, remember that the sun crossed with the wind south and thick o' fog. Then, afterwards, we had a very mild winter. Irrespective of this, it was always held that, "If Candlemas (Brigit's Day) be clear and true; there'll be not winters one, but two!" Another version of this homilie goes: "If Candlemas Day be fair and bright, Winter will take another flight." Another version says: "If Candlemas day be fine and fair, The half the winter's to come, and mair (more)." At the time of Sheila's storm, near the spring equinox, the wind was watched with equal interest for it was said that "when the wind happens from the west fine weather will follow." The other quarters carried their own predictions following this little verse: When the wind is in the north Dare the mariner not go forth. When the wind is in the south Blows the bait in the fishes' mouth. When the wind is in the east Venture not, nor man nor beast. But when wind is in the west Then the weather's always best. Creatures unrelated to water-goddess always sought cover when Sheila was at large. Thus it was stated that "when hens run for cover, it is a sign of storm. Cats and

hares, which were an animal-totem of Sheila acted very differently, running, jumping and frisking like the wind itself. It is another local belief that loons are particularly plaintiff just before an easterly gale. The wind that was particular to Sheila originated in the north; and was that which she rode when her host travelled the Yule-tide sky seeking the souls of the dead. Hereabouts, that wind was sometimes called "the stepmother's breath." Sheila's last gasp was sometimes referred to as Sheila's Broom and this storm usually came in mid-March at about the time of the vernal equinox. That storm is often the worst of the winter in these parts and is alternately identified as the line storm, or the Saint Patrick's Day storm. SI, She, see I. Note next word which confers. SIABHRACH, SIOBHRAG, SIBHREACH, Ir. siabhra, EIr. siabrae, saibur, a ghost, one of the wee-folk or Daoine sidh. Cy. hwyfar. Confers with siab, blowing into drifts, similar to the ON. sveiper, the English sweep. Note also siaban, the Gaelic for sea-spray or drifted beach-sand. Siabhas, a futile or useless act. Also seen as sheelagh, the "englished" form of the Gaelic sith, one of the side-hill folk, or little people; those the English call elfs or fairies. (The pronunciation is "shee" in Ireland and "shaw" or "shay" in Scotland). In this case the form is sith+ lag, weak or hollow, curved, related to laghach, pretty. Similar to the Latin electus, chosen over others, and the English election. Similar to the Irish Gaelic sidh, a fairy hill and their word sigh, a fairy. Siochair is an equivalent name in the Scottish Gaelic. There are numerous other local forms of the word in both Ireland and Scotland, all derived from the Old Irish side, those the Romans recognized as the "dei terreni," or "gods of the earth." Their dwellings were the sid and side was the ancient name for their magical powers. The last two words are similar to the Greek sed, a dwelling place, seat or abode. The Romans learned of these "people of peace" and introduced into the theology at Rome as the novensides, the "new (British) gods." Finally we have sithean, literally "the peaceful home", a green fairy knoll.

Sidh is sometimes translated as wolf, or as venison, the feed of wolves. Sheelagh was the daughter of the Celtic god Dagda, variously represented in folklore and literature as the May Queen, Mebd, Morgan, Samh or Bridd. See mhorga and Cailleach bheurr which are also synonymous. In Atlantic Canada the "line storm" is sometimes alternately called "St. Patrick's storm" or "Sheila's storm". This event is usually a snow-storm that comes about the time when the sun seems to cross the equatorial line at the time of the vernal, or spring, equinox. Sometimes parallelling the equinoctial gale, Sheila's storm was expected "a little before or a little after" Saint Patrick's Day (March 17) and was expected to be one of the most difficult storms of the year. It is noted elsewhere that the sigh controlled the weather. Those that dwelt in the underworld were the daoine sigh, while those who lived beneath the ocean were the daoine mara. The latter controlled the face and force of the waters. Creatures unrelated to the water-goddess always sought cover when Sheila was at large. Thus it was stated that "when hens run for cover, it is a sign of storm. Cats and hares, which were animal-totems of Sheila acted very differently, running, jumping and frisking like the wind itself. It is a local Maritime Canadian belief that loons are particularly plaintiff just before an easterly gale. The wind that was particular to Sheila originated in the north; and was that which she rode when her host travelled the Yule-tide sky seeking the souls of the dead. Hereabouts, that wind was sometimes called "the stepmother's breath." Sheila's last gasp was sometimes referred to as Sheila's Broom and as we have said this storm usually came in mid-March at about the time of the vernal equinox. SIAN, storm, rain, foxglove, a charm, same as seun. The source of digitalis which slows the pace of the heart, and stills it in an overdose. This was one of the plants “most favoured by witches,” and its bell-like flowers were entitled “witches’ thimbles.”

SIAN A BEATHA BUAN, charm for a lasting life. The first word has been given as “a local occult agency, supernatural power used to ward away injury. When MacLeod of Bearnasdale was on his way to the battle at Culloden in 1745 he went first to a baobh on the island of Skye who chanted a protective charm for him. At the battle it was claimed that although he was pelted with bullets he escaped unharmed. Afterwards it was discovered that his coat was filled with bullet holes but not one metal pellet had penetrated his invisible shield. The incantation sought the intervention of the gods or God seeking that “no spear shall rive thee; no sea shall drown thee; no woman shall wile thee, and no man wound thee.” SIAN CHRIOS FHAGLAIN, prophetic weather belt; an enchanted belt used to increase the strength of the wearer or allow him to predict future weather or events. Known to have been possessed by Lugh and the Old Norse god Thor. This artifact was also used by the Micmac Indian folk-hero Glooscap. SIANACH, a monster, screeching, roaring, storminess; sian, a storm. screaming, yelling,

SIANAN, BREAC-SHIANAN, freckles, denoting a possessor of the two-sights. Possibly from sian, foxglove, which has a spotted flower. Another form of the first word is, sianan, derived from seun, a charm. Freckle-faced people were thought related to the Fomorian sea-giants. SIAR, westward, aside, from s-iar. The s is a contraction of suas, under and iar is the west. From this siaranachadh, languishing, and siarachd, melancholy, the effects of travel in the forbidden Atlantic. In each of these words the effect is that of “going backwards,” i.e. “against the sun.” SICIR, wise, steady, cf. Scot. sicker, MEng. securus, which persists in Eng. sure and secure. siker, Lat.

SID, SIDE (sheej), weather, peaceful weather following a

storm, tide. From the root sed. to sit. Ir. use side in the sense of “a blast of air.” Also note tid which seems allied with ON. tith, the Eng. tide. Allied with the sithe, the little folk and siochair, the "people of peace." The chief work of the boabhe and bodache was the creation of weather on demand. SID-BUIDB. The side hill of Len Linfiaclach the smith of the fay-people. SID-CHAILLINN, SCHIEHALLION, SIDH-CHAILLEANN, "hall of the little people." The hollow-hills of the sithe, variously located in Scotland, Ireland and eastern North America. Each god was allotted an individual hill before the leavetaking of Manann mac Ler. These included: Sidhe Fionnachaidh, occupied by Ler; Sidhe Bobd, the retreat of Bobd Dearg; Sidhe Bri Lith, the place of Midir; Sidhe Airceltrair, that of Ogma; Sidhe Rodrubai, Lugh; Sidhe Eai Aedha Ruaidh, in which was built the palace of Ilbreach, the son of Manan; and Brugh na Boinne, coveted by Dagda but finally acquired by his son Aonghas Og. There were many lesser sidh-hills. The most famous in Scotland was Sidchaillinn Mor, the “Great Hill of the Sithe,” in the northwest in Mackay country. Note also Sidh-Chailleann, the Grampian peak knowe by the Scot. Schiehallion, or as “The Fairy Hill of the Caledons.” Others of note include: Tom na hurieh, Invernesshire, the Fairy Hill of Aberfoyle, the Calton Hill, near Edinburgh, and the one in the Elidon Hill where Thomas the Rhymer had his encounter with a Fairy-Queen. “It is doubtful if a parish in Scotland did not once possess at least one fairy hill, although these are gradually being forgotten; and in addition there was in every region a larger hill (mot) where fairies from far and wide foregathered on the eve of the Quarter Days and other high occasions.” SÍDH DUMAHAIL, DÒMHAIL, the “Bulky Side-hill.” Near Leyney, Connacht, Ireland. Here the sithe were harassed by “pirates from overseas,” and sought the help of a former Feinn named Ceolta. With his help the “fairy-folk” prevailed but the hero was left wounded. The wee-folk, in

recompense, predicted that Ceolta would live seventeen years and die by drowning in a pool near Tara. They offered him eternal life, but the man refused knowing this would compromise his soul. SIDH ERCMAN, Ireland. “When Ena Nemed, son of Nama, reigned over the Gaels, he had two horse reared for him in the Sidhe Ercman of the Tuatha De Danan, and when the horses were let loose from the Sidhe, a bright stream of water burst out after them, and the foam spread over all the land for a great length of time, and it was there until the end of the year, so that the water was called Uanib, that is foam on the water, and it is still Uanib today.” SIDHE NECTAIN, “Nechtan’s Side-hills. the Hill of Carberry, County Kildare, Ireland. The god Aonghas allied himself with Ogma and the Dagda in the pillage of An Domhain and the execution of the proto-giant known as Oolathair. After the Tuatha daoine were themselves routed by the people of Mil, the Dagda had the responsibility for allotting the sidhe, or “side-hills,” to those of his folk who wanted to remain within Ireland. Aonghas was not given a hollow-hill as his father thought that he should personally inherit the family “homestead” on the death of Boann. Aonghas, however, extracted a promise that he would be allowed to spend “the last long day and night of all time,” at the Brugh. The Dagda , never a great intellect, failed to realized that he had promised his son occupancy throughout eternity. Since “the twelfth of never,” never arrived Aonghas became the defacto owner of this place which is now equated with Newgrange. Newgrange is not a fabulous place but a real passage grave, consisting of two side chambers and an end chamber, in the form of a cross, all buried within a sweeping mound of stones. Sean O’Riordain says that “the excellence of the work and the height (20 feet) makes the Newgrange roof an impressive feature of this great monument.” This place was originally the site of the fortress of Nechtan, an early water-god often identified as the legitimate husband of Boann. Sidhe Nectain is the traditional location of the Well of Segais, the source of all

the world’s knowledge. SIGH, (shee, shay, shaw), the daoine sidh, the side-hill folk devoted to the goddess Danu. Sigh is a contraction of siabhrach, siobhrag, sibhreach (the spelling varies between districts) which appears to derive from the Old Irish Gaelic siabra. The word confers with the Welsh hwyfar which is used in such names as Gwenhwyfar or Guinevere, in each case a fairy, elf or fay, one of the wee folk. Hence: siaban, sand drift or sea spray; siab, a dish of stewed periwinkles (Hebrides); siabhas, a useless ceremony. The siochair gave the impression of malformation even where visual defects could not be seen. Keightley says they are separate from the liosalfar and the svartalfar, the light and dark elfs, "the more usual appellation for them being troll or trold (the Scottish trow). Like the dark elfs and the sidh, the siochair were represented as living in caverns, and from this were sometimes termed the bjergfolk, or hill-people. They were extremely rich living "in fine houses of gold and crystal", and were obliging and neighbourly; freely lending and freely "borrowing". Keightley says that they had "a sad propensity to thieving, not only to stealing provisions, but women and children." The most noteworthy characteristic of this tribe was their dislike of noise, particularly the chant of Christian psalms and the ringing of bells. Those who were plagued by them knew the remedy! They had properties of invisibilty and shape-shifting, the ability to foresee the future and reward their friends. They had not much personal beauty being possessed of humped backs and long crooked noses. The daoine sidh were generally regarded as the descendants of men. When the Tuatha daoine were defeated by the Milesians they were left no recourse but to swear allegiance to the Fomorian sea-gods and take refuge beneath the hollow hills of Ireland and Scotland, or join the Fomors in Tir Nan Og. In exchange for their complicity, Manann mac Ler gave the sidh their cloaks of invisibilty, the magic diet

against aging, and access to "the pigs of Mannan" who were a reincarnate source of never-ending food. The sidh resembled the North American little men in all but their size and social habits. The sidh were "wee folk" in the old sense of the word, "tall and thin" rather than small or diminutive. It was said of them: "Their attire is green, their residence the interior of hills. They appear more attached than their neighbours (the elfs and fairies) to monarchical government, for the fairy king and queen were recognized by law in Caledonia (northern Scotland). They were more mischievous than the southrons, and less addicted to dancing." King James VI of England suspected their might be a "jolie court" composed entirely of these "seed" people, but felt their reality was not something that should be "believed by Christians." Questioned why the Crown burned witches for having "congress" with the completely fabulous sidh, James was unable to answer. Tradition says that the elfs, fairies and sidh fled Greater and Lesser Britain "by the reign of James or Elizabeth at the fartherest." A little after this the entire clan was found landed in North America. As some Gaels considered the sidh descendants of the Firbolg settlers of Ireland and Scotland (those bearing the prefixes Mc, Mac and O') they were nicknamed the mickeleens (sons of the little ones). We have seen this name applied particularly to a group of little people at Seabright, Nova Scotia, but the English "fairy" is more often seen than either this designation or "sidh". This is a cause for confusion, but there is no doubt of the identity of the race that settled the Shean (Gaelic Sidhean, sidh hill) which is now the land upon which the town of Inverness, Cape Breton, sits. Mary L. Fraser says that: "In this district there was a small hill, shaped something like a large haystack, where the old people (colonials) used to see "little people" in the thousands." Before they moved in to develop the area, the Scots would

not walk in that place after dark. The few who tried to approach the sidh found that they vanished from sight exactly like the elusive mikumwees. Nova Scotia historian Will R. Bird thought that the "pixies" at Mother Cary's Orchard Indian Burying Grounds, in the Kejemukujik Lake region of Nova Scotia, might have predated white settlement, but the stories of their residence caused a neighbouring body of water to be named Fairy Lake. There was another well-known hill within the present city of Dartmouth, one in the Dagger Woods at Beech Hill, Antigonish County, and a fifth within Sugar Loaf Mountain in Cape Breton. At the Beech Hill location a man was abducted although "returned in good condition.” Again, in New Hampshire, it was reported that fay-folk were in resident as early as 1720 having come to that place with a Irish Presbyterian emigrant. While he flourished, they died out “after lingering a few years ina very melancholy and desolate way...” They were supposedly last seen in New England about the year 1816 when a testy temperance man spoiled the hospitality of his New Hampshire inn. The landlord’s wife, stout, buxom and never fazed, patronized the liquor agents when he was not about and thus maintained her “own heart whole.” It was now rumoured that the little people had taken permanent residence at the inn, and in spite of the landlord people on the road began to drop by to observe this curiosity. The “folk” were never seen but guests were invited to listen to their chatter in “Yankee-Irish dialect” from oine of the back rooms. The Inn benefited from this blessing and the landlady had less time to visit with her gin-bottle. As the novelty of this situation began to wear thin, customers disappeared and it was whispered that the voices were witch-inspired or those of a ghost. The little visitors provoked by this disbelief left and some say they retreated to Old Ireland. These folk are often confounded with English elf or fairy, but they were never a true little-people, the word

indicating sigh indicating a seed-like, or enduring race. These aristocrats of the realm of faerie were said to be beautiful to look at, and in the latter days were seen to be of great age and potential power. It was noted that the sidh lived ordinary lives if left undisturbed, caring for their animals, drinking whisky, and raising children. If seriously molested they could react against "men" with great violence. Their touch was seen to sicken or madden humans, who were similarly afflicted by their breath and their "elfarrows" which caused paralysis that often led to death. It was guessed that the bog-people kidnapped those who disappeared from Gaelic villages as slaves or concubines. Any visit among them saw time pass in an attenuated way and those who escaped from their underground quarters were invariably morose, insane, afflicted with a sexual disease, aged, or possessed of strange divining or healing arts. When they were seen it was noted that they were thin, up to six feet in height, handsome and young-looking in spite of their suspected great age. Befitting an ephemeral race, their forms appeared shadowy, and it used to be said that they could only materialize within view of a human. Their skin was observed to be soft, their hair long and silky and their essential clothing of sun-drenched white linen. Their speaking and singing voices were seductive, but their way with the single pipe, bagpipes and harp was unrivalled among men. They dressed well until the tax-men came to call; thus the Tain Bo Cuailgne says: "They all wore green cloaks with four crimson pendants to each; and silver cloak-brooches; and kilts with red tartaned cloth, the borders or fringes being of gold thread. There were pendants of white bronze threads upon their leggings and shoes, the latter having clasps of red bronze. Their helmets were ornamented with crystal and white bronze and each had a collar of radiant gold about his neck, with a gem the worth of a new-calved cow set in it. Each wore a twisted ring of gold about the waist, in all thirty ounces of this metal. All carried white-faced sheilds bearing ornamentation in silver and red bronze. There were ferrules

of silver upon their spears and the had gold-hilted swords carrying coiling serpent forms, gold and carbuncles. This astonished all who saw their parade." SIFIR, a male of the Daoine sidh. SIGEAN, diminutive person, a silly pleasant face. Like the Daoine sidh. person, one with a

SIGHIDEACH, spectre, “fairy,” pereson accried off by the Daoine sidh. SIMON BREAC. The son of Starn. After the defeat of the Nemedians by the Fomorii, this man and his followers fled from Ireland. Arriving in Thrace they were enslaved, but escaped to become the Firbolge. SINE, a teat, also a personal name, often rendered phonetically as Sheena, Sheenagh, Shennah, Shena, Sheena or Shiona. Eng. Jane, Jayne and Jaine being sometime variants. A female of the Daoine sidh. Norse, spani, a teat, Scot. spain, to wean from the teat. A feminization of Iain, the Eng. Ian or John. “One of the common folk.” Seonaid or Janet is a diminuation of this name. Scottish nicknames include Jess, Jessie, Jessy. Jennie, Jenny. Netta and Nita which also occur as independent names. Note also the related Janice, Joan and Jean. SINEACH. a “stretched out horse,” a sea-serpent. See muirdris. One of the characteristics of kelpies, tangies and other “monster-horses” was their ability to stretch out allowing any number of riders. SINNSEAR, ancestors, EIr. sinser, elder, ancestor, from sean, old SIOCHAINT, peace, from sigh or Siobhalta, civil, peaceful, mild, polite. sith (which, see).

SIOCHAIR, SIOCHDAIREAN, one of the Daoine sidh, a "fairy."

MIr. sidheaire, a host of little people, EIr. sithchaire, from sith, an individual of this race. SIOCHARRA, “fairy” darts. SIOGAIDH. sion, unpredictable; gad, a switch; gadhar, a “lurcher (dog).” a word applied to the motion of a snake. Music is described thus when it magically twines and coils about the heart. SIOL, a seed, OIr. sil, semen, rooted in Celt. se, a sow, the AS. surname Sile, anglicized as Sheila or Sheela, one of the Daoine sidh, or “seed people.”In Christian mythology the name becomes Cecilia supposedly remembering the blind saint who was a patron of music and those without sight. Celia is a diminuation of this name. Cecil is the male form in English. SIONADH, obs. lord. The root is perhaps sion, the source of unpredictable things, something, anything, weather, from sian. Note also sen, the Lat. senior and the Eng. sir. SIONAN. The daughter of Lodan mac Ler. She went to the Well of Knowledge, or Cauldron of the Deep, which lay at the headwaters of the Shannon. As with Boann, the water rose against her and she was drowned in the seas of the west. Some said that the river was a pursuing sea-monster and the river was named after her. SIONN, phosphorescence, sunlight, also seen as teine-sionnachain, playing about with light. The appearance of the merpeople when seen after dark. SION NANSAR, “Heroes' Heaven,” the equivalent of the Old Norse Valhalla, usually identified with Tir-nan-Og and others mythic islands of the western Atlantic. SIOCALL, Gaelic for for the Eng. circle. SIORRITE, SIRITE, the English soiree, evening festivities;

siorruidh, eternal, sior, long, continual, OIr. sir, a comparative from sìor-rad, eternity. The “eternals,” the first word conferring with sithe, the little people. The ending ite indicates a feather or wing; a flying fairy. siorruidh, eternity, eternal. SIOTHLAGH, a sheelagh or sheila, siota, a blackguard, a pet, related to the Scot. shit. Also SIOTHLAGH-NA-GIG, gig, small, diminutive; figurines carved of stone which are explicitly sexual. The male figures show an erect penis, while the females typically show a vaginal opening held apart with the two hands. It is presumed that these figurines had magico-teaching functions in communities where men and women were often too tired from manual labour to "preform." Perhaps because of their lingering power, the sheilas were picked up by Christian churchbuilders and placed within the walls of their structures, often in seemingly inappropriate locations. The early fathers do not seem to have been disturbed by these images, or if they were, felt no sense of sin. Remember that the Culdee priest were not celibate! The medieval church of Rodil on the island of Harris was once filled with these extravagant representations of how to do it. The Clan MacLeod of Dunvegan seem to have been liberal with respect to preserving their interesting heritage, but in the nineteenth century, the island passed to Murrays of Atholl. The then Earl of Dumore discovered the sheila-na-gigs shortly after he built Amhuinnsuidh Castle. Lady Dunmore either disapproved, or was too deeply moved by the figurines, for she routinely instructed her gamekeeper to use his shotgun to blast away the private parts of these stone sithe. (Highland Clans p. 22). In Ireland siothlagh na bhoga, the “sheila of the wetlands,” a whore. Compares with the Scottish Gaelic corr, a “crane” or a “whore.” SIR, (the vowel is short), to search, from sper, to “foot it,” i.e. till the soil, the ON. syr, a pig, one who “roots in the earth,” a farmer. Not an inferior craft, see saigh and muc. SITEARN, Latin cithara, a stringed instrument somewhat

like the lyre. The musical instrument of the sithe, "harp". . Said to have been a five-stringed instrument somewhat like the classical lyre. It was among the instrument proscribed by Christian missionaries as an instrument of dark forces. In the end the bagpipes of the peasant class were almost the only ancient musical instruments to survive. See next entry. SITH, long-striding, quick-paced, to dart, to shock, to gnash, bite, span, grasp. A determined position. SITH, SIGH, SIGHEOG, plural, SITHE, SITHICH, SITHICHE, peace, quietness. tranquility. Rest from war, reconciliation, a truce; also one of the Daoine sidh. Spiritual. Having a long quick stride, to dart, sudden attempt to bite or grasp, taking a determined stance. Ir. sidh, a "fairy" hill, OIr. side, the "earth-gods", whose dwelling was a sid. Side, the collective magical powers of the little people The root word appears to be sed, a place of worship, a temple. Similar to the classical sed, the "seat" of a god. In Latin there is reference to these Gaelic earth-god who were imported to Rome as the noven-sides or noven-siles, i.e. "the new gods." Note also the Latin sidus, a constellation, "the dwelling place of the gods." The Gaelic sidhean is similar to the English side-hill, thus these were the Tuatha daoine, defeated by the Milesians, and banished to the British countryside as the Tuatha daoine, i.e. "northern" or "rustic-people." Note also sithionn, literally sithe-flesh, also termed venison. The little people were shape-changers who often travelled as deer. “The most active spirits of Highland mythology.” SITH BHEATH, immortality. SITHCHENN, a druid, seer or smith. Niall of the Nine Hostages and his four brothers consulted one of these folk to determine their futures. He fired up his forge and placed items within it to see what each would attempt to rescue. One took out a sledge hammer, another a pail filled with ale, a third bellows, one a spearhead, another dried sticks, but

Niall rescued the anvil, betraying the fact that his destiny was greater than that of his brothers. He eventually became the most powerful High King in Irish history. SITHEIN, the sithe-hill at Bailanduin, behind the Cloichfoldich mansion housen Strathtay, Scotland. Consisting of a dun, a circular mound twelve feet in height and fifty feet in circumference. On this is a stone with score-marks said made by fairies sharpening their blades on this natural whet-stone. SITHEIN ATH-LEODAIR, a sithe-hill , "a Kiln under a Dungheap." The residence of the Bafinn, the Gaelic goddess of fate on the island of Uist in the Hebrides. She supposedly retired here "at the end of the big world (the Golden Age of Celtdom)," and has been instructed to refuse her favour to men for a period of three thousand years. "Once the old woman of the son of Iodhagan was out upon the slopes. It was a hot day and the lambs were grazing. On the fairy hill of Ath Leodair she sat down. At last she lay down and fell asleep. Between waking and sleeping she became conscious of a muffled muttering as if people were arguing with one another...She heard them clearly agreeing on one thing, and that is that they would carry the worldly one to the Fairy Bower as soon as she would wake up. But the old woman (hearing this) jumped to her feet before they noticed. She then ran with might and main, shouting at the top of her voice, "When the forest withers, when the forest withers!" Indeed, she frightened the fairies for a brief while so that they took up her cry. Before they collected their wits, the worldly one had made them look like silly asses and they retired into the hill, still arguing savagely among themselves." Later the sithe were seen by two girls of a neighbouring village, who claimed they all had "the faces of hornless sheep." Among them was a orator, who addressed his fellows while standing on his head. To scatter them one of the girls made brief mention of several Christian dignitaries including Mary, "the mother of God" and Saint Columba.

SITHEIN, SITHEAN DRUIM MHAC BHRANDUIBH, “the fairy knoll of the ridge of the son of Bran the Black.” naera Onich, Argyll, Scotland. SIUBHAL SITHE, siubal, walking, moving, stirring, similar to the English swimming. The sithe-wind, their mode of passing invisibly from place to place. Also known as the slidean side, its power was personified in the wind god Myrdynn (see gaoth) who the Norse knew as Ve. Odin was often given as the god in charge of the north wind and in Scotland this duty was given to the Cailleach bheurr or Balkin, Lord of the Northern Mountains, all supernaturals who led the host of the dead. The baobhe and mentally "challenged" people were known to be able to call upon the sibuhal-gaoth, or “traversing-wind,” to move instantaneously from place to place: "Mrs MacMullin came out from Scotland and settled at the rear of East Bay (southwest of Sydney, Cape Breton), with her only child, an idiot boy. She had left behind her in the old country a set of horn spoons that she prized very highly, but never expected to see again. The idiot boy formed the habit of leaving the house every evening at nightfall. He would go out even in the teeth of the storm, and would not return until daylight. His mother never knew where he was, nor did the neighbours. But one morning he returned bringing one of his mother's much prized horn spoons. A little later he brought another, then a third, a fourth, a fifth, until all the spoons were returned to her. His mother and the neighbours believed that on account of his idiocy, he had the power of travelling through the air, and that in his nightly disappearances, he had crossed the seas, and brought back his mother's treasures." (Folklore of Nova Scotia, p. 110). A member of my own family claimed that the baobhe had no power of their own to subvert time and space, but used their forked-sticks and brooms to pass from ground level, up a chimney, to the level of the rooftops. There they were met by the "wind-bucks" who, for consideration,

carried them where they wished to go. Incidentally "strong wishing" was once considered a sinful act. It was a popular belief among Celts that if you wished yourself anywhere at night (whether you were a practising witch or not) you were sure to travel (spiritually if not corporeally) to the desired location. This was not, in itself, a dangerous business, but the "earth-spirits" were certain to demand payment for the transport, and it was never certain what they might require. Any individual who thoughtlessly wished himself in a new place after dark was advised to hedge saying aloud, "I wish I was at..., from the bottom of my soul I wish this, but not on this night." In Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, two families living on adjacent farms had children who were friends. When they were adults, Malcolm remained at home, but Mary moved to Montreal. Soon after her departure, Malcolm arose one night as if assailed by an ailp, or "nightmare" creature. He felt a great pressure on his chest and awoke to see a shadowy figure very like that of Mary kneeling on his chest, an open umbrella over her head. Amazingly she closed the umbrella and began pummelling him about the head and chest. He seemed caught in a dream and only exorcised her wandering spirit with great mental effort. The next morning he was physically black and blue and too ill to work. When he was again up and about, he wrote Mary enquiring what she had been doing on the night of his encounter. Amazingly she wrote back saying she he had been very lonely at that time, and had walked the streets of Montreal, blaming him for allowing her to leave for the big city. She said it had been drizzling all that night and she had been carrying an umbrella. She had wished herself back in Nova Scotia with Malcolm and seems to have been granted her heart's desire with a vengeance. (Folklore of Nova Scotia, p. 53). Again, at Antigonish Harbour, a young man named William was awakened on a stormy night by the voice of his brother who was not present in the area, but far away at sea. Nevertheless, Dan heard his familiar tread on the back stairway, and saw his figure dressed in sea-oils, enter his

room. "Is that you Dan?" questioned the land-dweller. "Yes." was the reply. "I've come a long weary way, walked here from Cape George (eighteen miles)," At that the travelling brother undressed and took his place in the bed. Seeing that his brother was settled, William turned down the lamp and slept. In the morning, he awakened to find that Dan had already gone about the day's business, or so he thought. When it became apparent that no one else in the family had seen his brother, and that he was nowhere on the premises, William had to conclude he had encountered a substantialseeming spirit of the night. A full fortnight later, this was confirmed when William arrived home in the body. Asked about the stormy night he said, "Yes, I remember, our schooner was just rounding cape George, the waves were mountains high, and I wished with all my heart and soul that I might be home." (Folklore of Nova Scotia, pp. 54-55). SIURSACH, a prostitute, a whore, from Eng. with G. feminine termination. SLABHCAR, a sloucher, a taunter, from slouching fellow, hence the Eng. slouch. ON. slokr,m a

SLACHDAN DRUIDHACH, slachdan, a beetle, a rod, related to the verb slachd, to thrash or beat. Similar to slacc, a sword. The Eng. words slash and slay. + magician, thus a magician’s rod. In a tale from the West Highlands, a king set on adventure entered an old castle where he was met by an old crone “whose looks were evil, but whose words were smooth and pleasant.” When he crossed her threshold she drew the slachan druidhach on him and he fell, dead. Three sons went to avenge the father, and only the last had the sense to insist that the witch woman go before him across the stoop. He attempted to kill her with his sword, but she seized it and caused it to adhere to one of the stone walls. In a wrestling match, the man seized the magic rod and knocked off her head with it. In an inner room he found the bodies of his two brothers and revived them with a touch of the rod.

SLÀN, healthy, whole, Lat. salvus, solidus, firm, Eng. solid. This is the Eng. silly, the Scot. sely, from this last the family name Seely, etc. Originally a “wholesome” name conferring with Germ. selig, blessed (if naive). Skr. sárvus, whole, all in one piece. WBr. holl, Lat. sollus, whole, all. Not one of the Daoine sidh or the dead, the latter comprising the Scot. unsely host. Possibly after Slan, Slaine or Slainge the son of Partholan, the first Gaelic physician. His grave is at Dinn Righ, which is also known as Duma Slaine, “Slan’s Grave.” SLAN MAC DELA. A Firbolg ruler of Leinster who fought against Nemed. SLAT, a rod, a twig, similar to the English lathe. An implement used in acts of magic. A magical extension of the human arm used as a conduit of power. See also piseralas. SLATAN DRUI’ACHD, the druid’s rod. MIr. slatt, Cy. llath, Br. laz, MEng. latt, AS. laetta. Perhaps cognate with iubhar, the yew. This tree was the preferred wood for wizard’s rods. In former times there were many tree cults it being believed that the gods and men originated as the spirits of trees and that they could become reincarnate within them for periods of time. An important yew-tree cult formerly existed on the island of Iona, which some render in Gaelic as Tom-naa-Iubhraich, the “Knoll of the Yew-wood trees.” This druidic sect was wiped out by Saint Columba. Iona itself is said to be a side form of Iubar, translated as “The Place of Yews.” A Well of the Yew was formerly located at Easter Ross, but the ancient tree associated with it was cut down in the last century. The best-known extant yew is that at Fortingall, Perthshire. It is known to have stood at the time of Christ in the Glen Lyon, and is currently protected by a wall and iron gratings around its roots. See bha firid, aige beoir. “The Highlanders retain a tradition of the slatan drui’achd, which they say was a white wand.” (James Logan). Note that in Atlantic Canada it was once commonplace for unmarried girls to seek “the stick” of their husband-to-be. This

phallic symbol was considered to possess the characteristics of the future mate. Thus a slender stick brought a thin man not overly endowed, while a stout stick gave way to a robust mate. Where a woman proved overparticular in her judgement of marriageable men, it used to be said that she would surely end “married to some stick in the woods.” If a woman married badly it was agreed that “when she danced through the woods she picked up a crooked stick!” SLAT N’ NATHAIR, rod of the Dark Lord, who was the alterego of the sun-god Lugh. The magical extension of the arm of Cromm the “Crooked.” SLAUGH, the “aerial host,” Also, people, folk, an army, a multitude, the spirit world. O slaugh!, a cry for succour from the Daoine sidh. Slaugh-ghairm, Equivalent of the signal for a gathering of clansemen; usually a distinctive clan war=cry. Scottish”Unsely (un-silly) Court.” Members of the Daoine sidh and the human dead in counterclockwise flight. Confers with their leader Lugh. “ One day an old man of North Uist was walking along by the seashore when he was impelled to look up, and what should he see approaching him through the air but a great spirit-host; and in the forefront were the shades of men, hawk on wrist and hound straining at the leash, whom by the beauty and nobility of their countenance he knew to be Oscar and Finn and the great heroes of old; and they were moving swiftly westward toward Tir nan Og. The old man stood spell-bound until the vision had passed, and even after he reached home, he could for a time find no speech, so overcome was he by the wonder of what he had seen.” These packs of the dead were usually assembled under Lugh or the Cailleach bheurr at the Yule and frequently included men of less heroic proportions. “The Slaugh may not be unrelated to a natural phenomena - a whirlwind that raises dust on the roads and is known in the North East (of Scotland) as “a furl o’ fairies ween.’ (a whirl of fairies’ wind).” J.G. Campbell guessed that “these eddies are

amongst the most curious of natural phenomena. On calm summer days they go past, whirling about straws and dust, and as not another breath of air is moving at the same time, their cause is sufficiently puzzling. In Gaelic the eddy is known as oiteag sluaigh, “the people’s wind,” and its motion as falbh air chuiseagan treorach, “travelling on tall grass stems.” By throwing one’s left shoe at it, the fairies may be made to drop whatever they may be taking away - men, women, children or animals. The same result is attained by throwing one’s bonnet, saying, Is leat-sa so, is leam-sa sin! “this is your’s, that is mine!” A naked knife will do the same as will earth from a molehill.” See oiteag slaugh. See sloc and saigh. SLEAGH, a dart, a spear; EIr. sleg, to hurl or sling. The blunt end was referred to as cnap-starradh, a bronze or brass ball filled with stones. In the field it was shaken to maintain contact between allies, to dissuade evil spirits, and to demoralize the enemy by suggesting a larger force than was actually present. SLEAGH AN LAMH LUGH, Lugh's spear, sometimes described as “the Spear of Life"; integral to the Gaelic creation story. In the tale Lugh is represented as the sun and Nuada, as his twin, the moon. Bored by their existence in chaos, the two decided to create the universe. In a play at battle Nuada brought his irresistible sword against Lugh's immovable spear, creating the sparks that are the stars of the universe and ultimately the stuff of life. Like Odin's spear, Lugh's spear was a magical extension of his arm, the wood being derived from his own spirit. In the war between the Fomorian giants versus men and the gods, Lugh used this “dart” to blind and kill Balor of the Evil-Eye. SLEAMACAIR, a sly person, cf. ON. slaemr, bad. SLEMUIN. The “bull” possessed by the goddess Mhorrigan. See Odras. SLIAB, SLIABH. SLAIB, mire, a moor, a mountain, root slib,

to slip or glide down a slope. Norse sleipr, slippery. Similar to Eng. slab but regarded as native Gaelic. SLIABH BALOR, Balor’s mountain. When the Cauldron of the Deep was removed to the land it was placed in the geographical centre of Ireland a site first called Sliab Balor, which was named after the hero of the Fomors. That name was no longer appropriate after the land-gods killed him and purloined his spirit. He is clearly another model victim for seasonal sacrifices and his hill became Sliab Uisneach, The “”Hill of Huis,” or Hugh the Horse. We have already indicated Hugh’s connections with all of the “good” gods of war and agriculture. The “navel of Ireland” was located at the place where the four ancient provinces had a common boundary. The idea of an genius astral, or landspirit, with a base at a particular location came long before the New Age concepts of sacred sites and “power points.” Mountains or hills are quite frequently given as places for spectacle and unexpected movement, and indeed the laws of physics exclude much action on a level plain. The mountain of Labna in south America was one of these sites during the Mayan Late Classical period, but Nantai San, in Japan, is still climbed by pilgrims seeking enlightenment. There are similar locales world-wide, the Micmac version being Blue Mountain on the central uplands of Nova Scotia. SLIAB CALAD, “Slieve of the Mooring Place.” MIr. calad, a harbour, bay, cove. Some say that the Gaelic is borrowed from the Romance languages, hence It. calata, and the Fr. cale, cove. The underlying Celtic root appears to be qel, to hide, as in the Eng. hoth, a hole. hollow or cave. Perhaps related to clad, a ditch. Midir is perhaps the antithesis of Aonghas or Lugh. Often referred to as “Midir the Proud,” he was the son of the Dagda who “went to earth beneath Slieve Callery west of Ardagh, County Longford. His first wife was Fuamnach and his second Étain is sometimes seen attached to Ogma. He is said to been chosen as a foster father to Aonghas, which explain why this god is not shown taking an active who have may role

against him in the troubles that followed. Midir confers in many ways with the Welsh Myrddin, the Anglo-Norman Merlin who the Romans called Merlinus. This god-hero is, in turn, reflected in the earlier Welsh underworld deity named Gwyn, “who was a great hunter, the one who conducts the souls of the dead to Annwyn.” His antagonist was the magician called Gwydion, “a friend of mankind and giver of the arts of civilization; he wars against the underworld deities.” Linguistically Midir boils down to “a cave threshold,” or “an eye in the earth,” and it may be significant that the country called England was once referred to as Myrddin’s clae, which is to say “Merlin’s enclosure.” Additionally, one of the wonders of the ancient world was Merlin’s cave, located somewhere in central Britain, and referred to as “The Cave of the Winds,” from the perpetual breeze that blew up from the depths of the earth. Some said that this was an entry point to other worlds and guessed that the wind was one which travelled “between the worlds.” It was also agreed that the World Flood commenced with waters which gushed up through this opening and that the cave’s location was lost beneath the silts that covered it when the waters subsided. Looking carefully at this myth leads to the conclusion that this place was one of the power-points of the elder world, one of the mysterious “navels” so often referred to in early literature. Remember that the Oolathair was either dismembered or relieved of his belly-button, and this was sometimes given as the cause of the Great Flood! Remember also that Misgarth, the great Norse “Middle Garden” was constructed of reorganized bits of the dead proto-giant. Midir may confer with Norse word, and represent the earth in a male configuration. In this case, the concept of rushing waters may be seen as part of a vaguely defined fertilization process. The name Fuamnach identifies Midir’s first wife with underground “noise,” and perhaps this is why he tired of her company and took Étain, the “kerna l” of all things, a lady who surely confers with Samh,

the goddess of “Summer.” It is said that the expression “as fair as Étain” still identifies any Gaelic beauty whose charms are without question. Fuamnach the Cold One was very jealous of this rival and used the magic she possessed to turn Étain successively into a pool of water, a worm and a fly. While Étain was in this last form the witch-woman raised a storm that lifted the fly out of the underground and buffeted her for seven years in the skies of Ireland. In all this time Midir and Aonghas sought the seemingly lost lady, but nothing could be deduced from her disappearance until the long period of storm ceased and the fly settled within the Brugh na Boann. Being no novice at magic, Aonghas immediately recognized the enchanted Étain but had no idea how he might raise the spell. While he was working on this question Fuamnach tracked down Midir’s love and raised more winds which blew her away. This time her fly body fell into the drinking glass of a chieftain’s wife, and thus she was impregnated with this goddess of the Daoine sidh. When Étain was reborn she had no memory of past events. This was the time of the high king named Eochaid who being wifeless discovered the beauty known as Étain, the seeming daughter of the Milesian lord named Etar. The king wooed her and brought her back to Tara as his wife. There the high queen became troubled with dreams of one who claimed to be her husband in a past life, and before long the underworld king appeared before her to invite her to rejoin him in his side: “...that marvellous land, full of music, where none says,”mine” or “thine,” where white always are the teeth, and black the brows of men and women. Their eyes always flash with many-coloured lights and the hue of foxglove is on every cheek. Pleasant it is true is the plain of Ireland, but these are deserts compared with the Great Plain which lies beyond. It is a wonder of this place that youth never surrenders to age, and that there men are all fair and without blemish, and women conceive freely without taint of sin...O lady, come with me to this far land and the purest gold will rest on thy head, thy meat will be the swine’s flesh all unsalted (the pigs of Manann); new milk and mead shalt thou drink, and live forever.” In spite of

this persuasive argument Étain was not ready to accept a pig in a poke, “a stranger without name and lineage.”To remedy this, Midir revealed his background, and spoke of his wife’s 1,012 year incarnation following her birth in the Land of Youth. Ultimately Étain accepted her fate, but only on condition that the Eochaid agree to some form of annulment of their marriage. Having to be content with this, Midir approached the king on the Hill of Tara knowing that his weakness was gambling. After playing a number of games of fidchell in which Midir was the consistent loser, the king was led to propose a final game the stakes to be at the pleasure of the winner. Thus Étain was demanded after Midir revealed his true prowess at the game, and Eochaid was bound to honour his word. An hour was set when the queen would be “reclaimed,” but Eochaid set a trap for his rival, surrounding his castle with a host of armed warriors. As it happened this was a useless preparation. As the king sat feasting, Midir suddenly materialized at his table next to Étain. Holding out his right hand he caught the lady about the waist, and the two rose away from the assembly straight up and out through a roof window in the palace. Angry and bewildered the king and his men followed to the out-of-doors, where they observed two white swans circling and moving toward the side of Slievenamon. Not an ready loser, Eochaid summoned his chief druid, who tried to regain the queen through magic. Not much of use was accomplished through this except that the ogham written upon three wands of yew revealed where Midir and Étain were located. This allowed the king to assemble his forces and mount a campaign against the Otherworld. In this he had the support of some of the Daoine sidh: When Boabd Dearg had been elected high king of that tribe, Midir had supported the opposition led by Ler and Manann mac Ler, and those of the old “gods” who were on the opposite side now supported king Eochaid. This combined force spent nine years digging up one

souterrain after another, but while the diggers slept, the people of the sidh repaired the damage. At that, the men finally came upon the inner stronghold, the “gate” to the Otherworld. Seeing that this was indefensible, Midir offered to compensate Eochaid ard-righ for his loss by sending him fifty beautiful handmaidens. When the high king refused, he sent Étain to the surface-world,along with the maidens, each shape-changed in her image. It is said that the queen gave some intimate sign which allowed the human king to recognize her, and thus she was returned to the world of men, and lived with Eochaid for ten years before his death. In that time she bore him a daughter who was also named Étain. This daughter, distinguished from her mother as Étain oig , the “younger,”married Cormac, the king of Ulster and from their line came Ireland’s most famous high king, the man named Conaire mor. This was the last major war between men and the “gods.” Those of the Daoine sidh who allied themselves with men were absorbed into the large gene pool. The sithe were not decisively defeated, but they withdrew further into their underground retreats, and followed the sun westward into the sea, becoming at last a people unknown outside folklore. Eochaid was not quite home free for he offended the tribes of Tethbai ( a district comprising parts of Westmeath and Longford) by demanding statutory labour to build a road across the Bog of Lamrach. The foundations for the road were laid with the trunks of trees, but the people resented the task and on the eve of Samhuin set their ritual fires about Eochaid’s palace while he was inside. As a result, the causeway was never completed. SLIABH MIS, anglicized as Sleemish, County Kerry. Here was found the fortress of Cu Roi which very much resembles An Domhain. The entrance to this place could never be located after dark, and the owner could chant a spell that caused the fortress to rotate like a millstone. SLIAB MONAIDH, a mountain range The Gaelic word is though

borrowed from the Picts, OBry. monid. In modern Gaelic monadh indicates hilly ground. Once used more generally as a territorial or district name, implying particulaly the mountainous parts of Scotland. Some of the rulers of the land were entitled “The Bear of the Mountain.” The “Mountain Slab” proper sometimes implied the Grampian Range. Then there was Sliab monaidh in of Findchad, from which an Irishman purloined “fairy-cattle.” Note than dun Monadh was described as baile righ Alban, “the king of Alba’s stead.” It was to this residence that Cuchullain came when he was in quest of Emir his wife-to-be. The Fian were once involved in the taking of this place, and the sons of Usneach probably stayed here for they were termed as being from dun Monaidh. This may have been Dun Add, the old seat of the Scottish kings, but the reference was likely applied to any seat of the king. SLIAB NAMON, a famous underground palace located at Tipperary. Fionn stood here and gave himself to the Irish maiden who first reached the top. Grainne won him with disastrous consequences. SLIDEAN SIDE, sithe-wind, the whirlwind used for transit by the Daoine sidh. See slaugh. SLIGHE AORAIDH, “the way to worship.” See slaugh, which is related. Aor, worship, but formerly, “a curse.” SLINNEARACHD, slinnean, a shoulder blade, shoulder, OIr. slind, a tile, smooth and sharp, Eng. sley and slay (with a weapon). A means to divination. In this rite, meat was cleaned from a shoulder blade without using a knife. The diviner inspected the transparent part of the bone and from the disposition of spots on it predicted events in the future. At feasts or marriages a “bard’s portion,” usually the rump, was delivered by chance to some individual. This person was expected to compose an extemporaneous verse in honour of the event. SLIOCHD The mythic "ard-righ" (high king) called Ard-bheur

(the high bear), or Arthur led an mythic assembly known as the sliochd a company of bears. The word is similar to the Gaelic slighe, a path or way through the woods. In the English language we have the similar word slew, a host of people or animals; in particular the devils of the Devil. The Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English says that a slew or slough is "a hollow in an uneven or snow-covered road that causes a vehicle such as a horse-drawn sleigh to lurch sideways." In the past these obstacles may have been created by the slue for it is said that this species "lay at roadside jumping up to frighten or waylay strangers." The slue were exactly like the sea-going soughs, or sows, in fact the two words have the same root in the Anglo-Saxon tongue. Confers with the Anglo-Saxon sleuth, sloth, sloucher, slaughter and slought, to cover with mire. Also similar to the word slew, a large number, as, "a slew of people." A multitude, a host, the host of the Devil, or of devils. Local dialectic forms for this creature include zwoog, swoog or sow, all pronounced sough. The former use is in Prince Edward Island, the word being derived from the Middle English swough, or sough. The zwoog is a creature that can be called to tranport a cowalker from one place to another. In this, it corresponds exactly with the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, guy's buck. When lowland Scots settled Deer Island, N.B., they found an Indian water-demon resident off the south-western shore, a spirit that occasionally materialized as the world's second-largest off-shore whirlpool. This they named the Auld Sugh (since corrupted to Sow). Sugh also corresponds exactly with the Middle English swough, which derives from the Anglo-Saxon swoogan. This is similar to older Teutonic words which mean to sigh or whistle. It is confluent with the Old Norse suugr, a rushing sound, like that of moving wind or water, and confers with the English word surf. The Old Sough was a place of hollow mummers, moans and sighs, as well as a salt-water drain (a secondary meaning of seugh, sewer or sough). Elsewhere we refer to the Gou Gou and the Woodswhooper, beings who seem to be particularized forms of

this creature. Both produced uncanny sounds which had the capacity to frighten men to death. The fishermen of our waters still listen for the "rote" as a guide to their position on the water, particularly when they travel in fog. This word is the Anglo-Saxon "ryn", the Old Norse "rauta", to roar, and defined any sound heard in nature, whether produced by the sea, winds, thunder or some unidentifiable agency. When Henry Hudson made his voyage into Canadian waters, he was keenly aware of everything within hearing and in his diary we read: "Wee heard a great "rutte" or noise with the Ice and Sea...We (therefore) heaved our Boat and rowed to towe out our ship farther from the danger." A Sable Island fisherman once explained that he was "listening for the "rote" as "the surf breaks with a different sound all along the shore." Unfortunately not all sounds on land and sea were as easily placed as to source. In our own century, scientists have been puzzled by cannonades of high intensity sound that appeared along the eastern coast. At first it was assumed that these were due to the after-shocks of jetaircraft breaking the sound barrier, but it was later shown that there were no crossings of airplanes in the places where these noised occurred. It was finally decided that these were "moog sounds." By chance, the word is phonetically associated with "zwoog" and "sough." We are not sure that science has eliminated spirits as a source of these noises, since these are the rumbles and thunders and creakings of the moving earth as it stretches across its plates. Long ago the Indians of Connecticut chose Machemoodus as a spiritual gathering place because of the "earth music" they heard there. The name means "place of sounds" and has been shortened to "Moodus". The Wangunk Indians suspected that the bear-like growlings which they heard at this location were gods breathing from the caverns of the earth. The phenomena is lived with on a daily basis by residents who describe the effects as ranging from the sounds of corks popping from champagne bottles to the rush of a cavalry at full charge. Whatever the intensity, from

light popping sounds to the sensation that the bottom of the feet are being hit with a sledgehammer, the "thunder underfoot" is almost unceasing. Actually such noises occur from time to time in all kinds of locations and are due to minor earthquakes along faults. Most faults are deeply seated and the sound is generated to far from the surface to carry to the ears of men. The Moodus quakes are noisier than most because they the faults there go down a mere mile (as compared with an average of six to nine miles). The Moodus movements do not lose their voice, and the overlying rock is a particularly good conductor of sound. Since the town is located between two nuclear power plants residents have shown more anxiety about the integrity of these buildings than with the general effects of quakes which constantly juggle their dishes in the pantry. The fay people were often described as "being of the smallest size and uniformly habited in green." On the other hand, they were recognized as shape-changers, able to alter their size and appearance at a whim. After "threshing the corn, churning the butter, drinking the milk &c," one goodfellow was observed "lying before the fire like a great hurgin bear." Keightley noticed that "picklehaaring" (hairy sprite), the German term for the zany or merry andrew, seems to have resembled the English puck-hairy, a creature very like the sliochd, one that "wore a vesture of hair or leaves, thus making it rough like the brownie and kindred beings." "From bug also comes bugbear, and bugleboo, or bugaboo. They owe their origin probably to the ho! ho! ho! (or boo! boo! boo!) given to puck or robing goodfellow, as well as to the Devil (or Pouke) in the Mysteries. Bull-beggar may be only a corruption of bugbear or bug-a-bear." The Scottish pawkey and the Gaelic bogle are both related to these creatures, who were reputed to lay at the roadside jumping up to frighten or waylay strangers. In general, the maliciousness of this slough-dweller was in proportion to the wetness or dryness of his countryside, the dryer the surround the less dangerous the sidh may be only a corruption of bugbear or bug-a-bear."

The Scottish pawkey and the Gaelic bogle are both related to these creatures, who were reputed to lay at the roadside jumping up to frighten or waylay strangers. In general, the maliciousness of this slough-dweller was in proportion to the wetness or dryness of his countryside, the dryer the surround the less dangerous the sidh. Our ancestors, in Atlantic Canada, had some trouble with the eastern panther, which was perhaps a projection of the woods-whooper, but they had more difficulty with pigs and bears, the first our mythic sows, the other our slue. Pigs were not native to the Maritime Provinces and the first settlers turned them loose to make their own way during the warm months. Unfortunately they developed tusks and were very much like wild boars, so that they could only be brought to the dinner plate after being shot in the head. In Pictou County, Nova Scotia, notice was taken of a bear driven to a stump by enraged domestic pigs, which finally got him off balance and gored him to death. We have mentioned the caution with which aboriginals treated the Old Bear Woman, and white men had were equally careful with her offspring. Even so they were casualties and as late as the year nineteen hundred, Amos Wite of Memramcook was reported eaten by a bear while he was in the woods picking berries. Even Christian ministers considered recall of the bear-spirit a potent curse. When the Hansons and Turners of Bocabec Cove, New Brunswick refused to leave their woods work to bury the "old man" of their tribe, the Presbyterian minister promised them a visit from "a great bear who will tear you with jaws of iron." At Cocaigne, on the northeastern shore, a child was born with bear-paw marks, brown spots covered with hair, "on account of a fright the mother received from a bear." The sidh-bheur or slue were however more often heard than seen. Invisible bears created noise, but no physical damage,in Nova Scotia at Glen Haven and Tantallon. On the other hand a "real" bear was constantly sought

at Hoyt, New Brunswick, after it killed sheep and farm animals and smashed a milk shed. They trapped it and followed the slue on an obvious trail through the woods, but the trail was never traced to an end and neither animal or trap was recovered. When lowland Scots settled Deer Island, N.B., they found an Indian water-demon resident off the southwestern shore, a spirit that occasionally materialized as the world's second-largest off-shore whirlpool. This they named the Old Sugh (since corrupted to Sow). Sugh also corresponds exactly with the Middle English swough, which derives from the Anglo-Saxon swoogan. This is similar to older Teutonic words which mean to sigh or whistle. It is confluent with the Old Norse suugr, a rushing sound, like that of moving wind or water, and confers with the English word surf. The Old Sough was a place of hollow mummers, moans and sighs, as well as a salt-water drain (a secondary meaning of seugh, sewer or sough). Our ancestors had frequent run-ins with corporeal bears; it is reported that the son of Amos White was eaten by a bear while berry-picking at Memramcook, New Brunswick, in 1900. It is not surprising that they incorporated this ravaging animal into their legends. For the most parts ghost-bears were the source of inexplicable noises in the woods, but left little sign of their night-time visits. One exception was the mythic New Brunswick creature known as Old Shan who left, "a path through the woods like a bull-dozer might make today..." It was formerly believed that the spirit of a bear might be projected on the unborn within the womb. Thus it was noted at Cocaigne, New Brunswick (1878) that a child had been born with what appeared as brown spots "covered with bear-like hair" on its body and these were blamed upon "a fright the mother received from a bear." There were, apparently, bear-like creatures in the Hell: When the Hanson and Turner boys of Bocabec refused to come out of the winter woods to bury their patriarch, a local minister cursed them in public. Afterwards, a ballad was written promising that they would

each meet their death beneath "jaws of iron and teeth of steel." It is said that latter day members of these clans have been pursued in their dreams by bear-like wraiths. SLIGHE, a way, EIr. slige from the root sleg, I strike (with an axe). Ro sligstear ro selgator rotu: They hewed out ways. Confers with slachd, thrash or beat, strike; the Eng. slash and slay. The Celts were the first road-builders and landdevelopers. This word is related to the next. See slaugh. SLIGHEGALLION, Slievegallion. Something of Cúchullain’s troubles with the side-hill folk is preserved in the tale known as “The Chase of Slievegallion: Here we are again introduced to Culann the Smith, who is often taken as the human form of Manann mac Ler or his father Ler. He was said to reside within the sidh of Slievegallion, the “Hewn Out Way of the Stranger.” It was this ”god-giant” who had his guard dog strangled by the young Setana who was afterwards nicknamed Cúchullain. In the Fenian version of the tale this Tuathan-Fomorian divinity had two daughters, Aoine and Milucra , both in love with Fionn. As Ellis has said “Aine has been identified with Anu, mother of the gods, as well as with Mhórrigán, goddess of battles.” The youthful Aoine once admitted that she had no interest in white-haired men and her sister saw this as a means of having Fionn for herself. According to this tale, the Fionn were at the hunt when they came upon a doe near the Hill of Allen, and ran it northwards until it was forced onto Slievenamon, the “Holy Hill,” a veritable focal point of Tuathan magic, a place very similar to Hugh’s Hill in legendary lore. Fionn alone saw the doe disappear into the mountain-side, and it was he who encountered the weeping Lady of the Mountain. She claimed to have lost a golden ring in a nearby lake and asked Fionn to find it for her. He tried and at last succeeded, at which the lady plunged into the lake and disappeared. Fionn then saw that the waters of the lake had been magically charged against him for his youth had fled, and he was so feeble and

ancient that his hounds failed to recognize him. When the chase party caught up with Fionn his voice was so weakened he could barely whisper his identity. Fionn said he thought he recognized the perpetuator of his misfortune as Milucra of Slievegallion. The Féinn, therefore, placed their leader on a litter and carried him to that side, where they began to dig. Like others before them, they eventually penetrated the gates of the Otherworld, where they were met by a maiden carrying a drinking horn of red gold. She was Aoine, the goddess of love and youth, and the first “drink from her cup” restored him, but left his hair white. It is said that Fionn’s hair colour would have been returned with another sip, but he was content to be young again and went his way with prematurely grey hair. Fionn’s failure to accept the second draught from the drinking horn was tantamount to having other love interests, and the fay-woman were exceptionally jealous beings. At Slievegallion there is an antique standing stone on the mountain-top, which the locals used to avoid as the dwelling place of the Baobd or “Witch” of the Lake. Although the place was not often visited a mysterious beaten path, worn by inhuman feet, is still seen to lead from the lake-side up the mountain to the standing-stone. SLIOCHD, posterity, a tribe, MIr. slicht, a trace, track, a vestige (of the past), root. sleg as seen in slighe. Similar to Germ. geschlecht, race, lineage. Confers with sluagh, people, the OIr. sluag. The ard-righ (high king) called Ard-bheur (the high bear), or “Arthur” led an mythic assembly known as the sliochd a “company of bears.” The word is similar to the Gaelic slighe, a path or way through the woods. In the English language we have the similar word slew, a host of people or animals; in particular the devils of the Devil. The Dictionary of Prince Edward Island English says that a slew or slough is "a hollow in an uneven or snow-covered road that causes a vehicle such as a horse-drawn sleigh to lurch sideways." In the past these obstacles may have been created by the slue for it is said that this species "lay at

roadside jumping up to frighten or waylay strangers." The slue were exactly like the sea-going soughs, or sows, in fact the two words have the same root in the Anglo-Saxon tongue. All confer with the Anglo-Saxon sleuth, sloth, sloucher, slaughter and slought, to cover with mire. Also similar to the word slew, a large number, as, "a slew of people." A multitude, a host, the host of the Devil, or of devils. Maritime Canadian dialectic forms for this creature include zwoog, swoog or sow, all pronounced “sough.” The former use is in Prince Edward Island, the word being derived from the Middle English swough, or sough. The zwoog is a creature that can be called to tranport a cowalker from one place to another. In this, it corresponds exactly with the Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, guy's buck. When lowland Scots settled Deer Island, N.B., they found an Indian water-demon resident off the south-western shore, a spirit that occasionally materialized as the world's second-largest off-shore whirlpool. This they named the Auld Sugh (since corrupted to Sow). Sugh also corresponds exactly with the Middle English swough, which derives from the Anglo-Saxon swoogan. This is similar to older Teutonic words which mean to sigh or whistle. It is confluent with the Old Norse suugr, a rushing sound, like that of moving wind or water, and confers with the English word surf. The Old Sough was a place of hollow mummers, moans and sighs, as well as a salt-water drain. A secondary meaning of the Eng. seugh, ie. a sewer. SLINNEARACHD, from slinnean, a shoulder. A method of divination involving the examination of meat cleared from the shoulder of a cow or lamb. This had to be done without the help of steel implements and the diviner was chiefly interested in the transparent portions of bone. From the disposition of patterns seen there he could presage what might happen to any person from whose flocks the animal had been taken. SLIOGACH, sly, sleek, fawning, sligtheach, sly from Scot.

sleek, ON. slikr, slick, smooth, Indo-European sleig, to glide. See sliabh. SLOC. a pit, a slough, root, slug, to swallow whole, AS. slóh, Germ. schlucht, a hollow, a ravine; slup, lubricus. See next. SLOINN, surname, OIr. slondim, name, Cy. ystlyned, kindred. SLUATH, SLUAGH. People, multitude, host, army, Ir. sluag, slog. Implies a servant. Dwellers in or along a slighe or slough. Related to the Gaelic sloc which is the German schlucht, a hollow ravine. Dwellers in the outback. Also confers with the Samh and with the Eng. “Summer,” slop and sow, The common rabble, the main elements of the Gaelic sgral, or host, which, see. Sluadh, the host of the dead. In Maritime Canada the form of this word is slew, sloo. slue or sow, and is used to describe a hollow in an uneven or snow covered road. The Old Sow, the world’s second largest whirlpool, is located southwest of Deer Island in Passamaquoddy Bay, New Brunswick. Confers with Sgatheach and slaugh, which see. SLUGADH, SLUDACH, that which swallows. The act of swallowing, engulfment, absorption, devouring, gluttony. A curious spring in the parish of Cromarty, Scotland. It gushes with undiminished volume until it shuts down, suddenly, each summer. In the autumn it bursts forth from it side-hill in undiminished strength. It supposedly took on this character after a seventeenth century happening involving two residents of nearby farms. One, a tacksman, and no friend of the other, made haste to drink first from the spring. He then muddied the waters and noted, “Now it’s ready; drink your fill!” At this an offended spirit reacted, causing the water to boil and dry up. On the opposite side of the frith, a new jet of water appeared where there had been none before. The tacksman, uncouth though he was, could not suffer the evil-eyes of his neighbours and went to a seer for help. The wizard suggested he clean the stream with a linen towel, lie in the vicinity of the former fountain, at the hour of the offense, and await the justice of the stream. He

did this and a jet of water erupted from the ground. At the same time the distant fountain across the frith disappeared. It is clai med that the naiad of the stream still continues to withhold her bounty at the season when it would be best appreciated by men. 2 SLUAGH-GHAIRM, a call to war, a pre-arranged clan signal for a gathering. Each district had a distinctive battle-cry. SMACHD, authority, correction, MIr. smacht, a fine imposed for breaking the law, from s-mag, the root being magh, to be strong, Eng may. SMAG, SMOG, a paw, see mag, magh. SMARACH, a lad, a juvenile, Skr. maryakas, a little mannie, Cy. morwyn, girl, merch, daughter. In Aran a marlach is a child of either sex, from two to five years of age. SMEILEACH, pale, ghostly, ghastly, smeilean, a pale, puny person, cf. meileach. SMEUR, SMIAR, smear, anoint, Ir. smearaim, smear, possibly from the Eng. See smior. grease, to

SMERART, the high anointed ones, i.e. “Beloved of the gods.” In pre-Roman times they occupied the Oykel and Carron basins of Scotland. The Latin is either Smertae or Mertae. The word is a participal formation from G. smeur. Cognate with smior, bone marrow, Eir. smir. Note the Gaul. goddess Canti-smerta and the one called Rosemerta. She is equated with the L. Mercurius, who Caesar says was the most worshipped of their Gaullish gods. This deity was devoted to war, industry and the arts and was the god they also called Teutates, “who was wont to be worshipped with human blood.” He was also said embodied in Esus , the Gaelic Aod. There seems to be little doubt that the warriors of this clan were ritually besmeared with blood, perhaps that of
2Miller,

Hugh, Scenes and Legends of the North of Scotland, p. 18.

enemies, or men slain in battle, the liquid representing that of the sacrificed and reborn god. There were several sites named Sliab Smertain in County Cork, Ireland, and there is still a Scottish ridge dedicated as Carn Smeart. Note that the beardless youthful heroCuchullain once provided him with a necessary ulcha smearthain, “smeared beard,” by casting a spell upon a handfull of grass he seized from the earth. Notice that Solinus says that the ancient Irish victors “drink the blood of their slain and then anoint their faces with it.” SMERTAIN, thought to be an epithet of the Gaullish war-god Esus, the Gaelic Aod. See above. SMIODAN, spirit, from Scand. smeddum. Relates to smior the English smear, bone-marrow, sometime considered to be the place of the life force in animals and men. SMIOR, smear, marrow, EIr. smir, AS. smeoru, lard or butter, ON. smjorr, butter. SMIOT. To throw in the air with one hand and hit with the other, Eng. smite. SMIUCHAIREIN, smiur, smear; a dining-room in the land beneath the waves. The Fomors ate raw meat (until Cian Contje made them a gift of cooking-fire) and were without eating utensils. Has reference to barbarous eating habits. SMOG, see SMAG, a paw, cf. ON. smjuga, to creep through a hole. AS. smugan, to creep, Eng. smuggle. SMUAIS, marrow, the juice from the interior of bones, to smash (bones). SMUCAN, smoke, drizzle, Eng. smoke, G. smuc, post-nasal drip. Smuid, the same word. SNAILLEAN, counter-charms cut from wood. The equivalent of certain runes first fashioned by the Norse god Odin. The

Gaelic snaillean were the invention of Ogma. SNAIM, a knot, EIr. snam, a bond, from the root ned, to bind, Lat. nodus. See next. SNATH, thread. "A man was going to mass early on Sunday morning...as he crossed the strand, he found a woman and her daughter engaged in framing witchcraft by means of pieces of thread of various colours. He tore up the whole apparatus and rebuked them for malice and breach of the Sunday. They entreated him not to reveal what he had seen, and promised their protection in return for his silence. Nevertheless after mass he told the story. Shortly after, when he was about to sail for the mainland, a black crow settled on the mast of his boat and a storm arose in which he perished. This story is not only true but of recent occurrence." (CM, p. 220). Notice snaithean, directly below. SNAITHEAN, the woollen snare, a counter-charm against evil spirits, snath + engach, thread + a fetter, a net, an entrapment. The ultimate counter-charm. Folklorist Miss A. Goodrich-Freer stated: "I have never heard a case it which it had failed (Celtic Monthly, 1901, p. 219). The snaithean was a pleated or knotted length of wool thread, that taken from black lambs being preferred. In Canada black horsehair was often substituted for wool. Goodrich-Freer said that "Certain persons in most districts know how to make it, and can repeat the charm (which activates it). The person who fetches it (from the charm-maker) should carry it always in the palm of the hand, not between the fingers and the thumb, because they are "not blessed." This magical device was then placed on the animal or person thought to have been "overlooked" by dark force, and had to be kept in place until the effects of the "evil eye" or "spell-casting" were lifted. The maker of a snaithean could diagnose the presence of the "evil eye" as he was invariably "seized by a fit of yawning" while weaving the thread. If the weaver experienced some of the symptoms of the illness of his applicant, it is assumed that

some other form of evil was in action. To determine whether the baobh producing the ill effect was male or female, the maker of the snaithean usually produced a frith or horoscope along with the knotted thread. When the thread was placed upon animals, latter-day users said the Latin "Pater" and then intoned the following charm: An Eye will see you. A Tongue will speak of you. A Heart will think of you. He of the Strong Arm is blessing you. The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. Four persons there are who may have done you harm. A man, a wife, a lad, a girl. Who is to turn that back? The three persons of the Trinity, The Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. I call Mary to witness, and Bridd. It will be a human thing that has done you harm With wicked wish, Or with wicked eye, Or with wicked heart. That you (name of person or animal) be well From the time I place this about you. In the name of all, the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost. Freer thought that the reference to "the Arm" applied to the crozier of St. Columbus, but it could as easily identify the more antique Lugh "of the Long Arm." The effect of this device is shown in accounts from "the Powers of Evil in the outer Hebrides (Celtic Monthly, p. 220)." A woman who fell ill at the sea-shore, suspected she had been "eyed" after she passed a man leading two ponies and carrying grain on his back. In her weakness, she found her way to the nearest croft, where she nearly succumbed to vomiting and shivering. The residents gave her butter mixed into warm milk to sooth her stomach, while a man who was present being sure she had indeed been "overlooked", set about twisting threads, which he passed round the hearthfire three times (these fires were set at the mid-point of

the room). He then tied the artifact to her hand and she began to improve. In another instance a girl came to a local counter-charm maker begging a snaithean for her sister, who appeared gravely ill. As Ranald "the Tie-Maker" was in the presence of others when the request was made, he refused, noting that he was now a good Christian, and that the village priest had instructed him not to practise the elder-day arts. Seeing his difficulty, the petitioner managed to get him away from the crowd, and he then asked his wife to twist some wool on her spinning wheel, so that he could make a snaithean. "The girl got better, and is alive to this day to prove the efficacy of the cure." Magical knots were also put to prophylactic use since it was difficult to avoid encountering magicians on the road to market. Thus Freer has noted that, "If you buy a horse or cow in the market you are almost sure to find a piece of black wool round its tail, well out of sight, under the tail...This must be burnt when removed." It is noteworthy that the snaithean was regarded as ineffectual if the maker demanded payment for his weaving. Notwithstanding, those who received this help considered themselves under a powerful obligation to the weaver, who had to be repaid in kind at some future date. In New Brunswick, Canada, a variant of the snaithean may still be in use. This is "hair from a black stallion's tail" which is worn below a high necked sweater, or (with the ladies) beneath a ribbon of velvet. Asked whether black hair from some other animal might suffice, a user said "no, I tried cow's hair and it was no good. I had to trouble myself for stallion's hair, and when I feel a sore throat coming on, I wrap it about. I've never had a sore throat now in seven years, but once when I mislaid my cord. Now I wear it pretty constant and am well again!" Speaking on this subject, Joe Neil MacNeil, of Cape Breton, said that stallions were reliable allies against evil spirits, but that a mare was likely to join the opposition, "she would side with

your enemy and harm you...But it was also said that if a rope were put around her rope, even if it were nothing more than a woollen yarn...she would side with you and fight fiercely against the spectre." (Tales Until Dawn, p. 217) It must be noted that most rural farmers and herdsmen, here and in Britain, once belonged to secret societies, such as the Horseman's Word or The Ploughman's Word, and considered themselves allied with ancient gods, who have since been associated with the Devil. Scottish historian Hamish Henderson says that "the Horseman's Word" embraced the entire farm labourer population of the NorthEast (in Scotland). Its principal ceremony was an elaborate initiation rite in the course of which young lads became "made Horsemen."...The Horseman's Word developed out of earlier cults about the middle of the last century. The cult was exported to Ireland by Scots planters (and presumably found an easy passage to America with the Highland Clearances and the various potato famines). The final rite of initiation, which usually took place at Samhuinn (Old Style, about Nov. 11) was followed by a "signing over" to "the Deil" and the giving of the passwords that would enable the new Horseman to call for supernatural help. Afterwards, if the "newly-made man" found himself troubled by a ill-natured mare, he had only to "say his lessons over" and "a horse would appear. He would have good cause for fear for that horse would be the Devil - but if he took courage and slipped the collar (snaithean) over the uncanny cratur's head and mounted it, he would never afterwards have trouble with any pair of horses." (Scots Magazine, May 1967, p. 118-124). Some of the Gaels contended that knots were "locks" against evil-spirits, being effective counter-charms to ward off the familiars of human magicians, wolves and even Aog, or Bil. When a boabh was brought to the stake at Saint Andrews in 1572, it was found that she wore a white cloth about her neck, and within it they found many knots tied upon strings of wool. They took these from her, much

against her will, for she cried out, "Now there is no hope for me." Notice that the source of magical power of the witch and her victims was the same. In ancient times, the god who empowered the horsehair may have been Eochaid, "The Horseman of the Heavens," whose name derives from each, a horse. He is first mentioned as the high-king of the Firbolgs, the first people to establish a capitol at Tara in Ireland. The name was later applied to Eochaid Breas, who may been thought of as this god reincarnate. In the latter form, this god was associated with the dark forces of the sky and the sea, as evil incarnate, thus his association with the "modern-day" Satan. The horned-gods of the past included Fomorian seagiants with the heads of sheep, and these may been the forces drawn into play in creating the earlier snaitheans. In every instance, it was thought that the baobh launched an evil spirit with her "troubling eye", or mysterious chants. This invisible traveller entered the victim through a body opening and produced the effects of illness by contending with the internal soul for control of body functions. In the worst case, the foreign spirit won, and the individual lapsed into a coma, followed by death. While this was going on, the body of the instigator lay, at home, in a trance state which could only be broken with the return of his familiar and reinstatement of his own primary soul. Counter-charms did no harm to the witch-spirit, but "locks" such as the snaithean had the effect of preventing the witch-soul from returning to its place of origin. If this continued for a long time, the body-functions of the evildoer were thought compromised. At this, the instigator was forced to confront his victim asking mercy, which might be granted if the curse was lifted. This was usually a difficult decision for the baobh since the runner, or secondary-soul, demanded blood once it was unleashed on a mission. If possible, the magician would redirect the bafinn to a secondary victim, thus the old Gaelic saying that individuals were sometimes "saddled with someone else's

ills." There was a danger here, since vengeful bafinn could not be caused to operate against people who were without guilt. In this event, the runner would return and vent his wrath against the witch. SNATH-DEILBHE. warp-spasm; snath, thread; deilbh, in the process of forming, warping. The Norse berserker-rage, a complete shape-change of the human body creating an inhuman fighting machine. In both communities this effect was fuelled by the drinking of blood containing potent hallucinogenic herbs. See crómagan, the drink that inspired this condition. SNATH GORM. the blue-green thread of witchcraft. The blue clews carried by baobhe and wound about animals or objects as an enchantment. SNEADH, a nit, a house-goblin, OIr. sned, AS. hnitu, Eng. nit, the Scand. niss-god-dreng, a house fairy similar to the boabh and bodach. SNEDGUSA. possibly from the above+ gas, a stalk or twig, a diminutive. A cleric in the household of Saint Columba, the subject of the Imram Snedgusa acus meic Riagla, “The Voyage of Snedgus and mac Riagla.” which has been preserved in the Yellow Book of Lecan dating from the fourteenth century but is considered to date at least to the second half of the ninth century. In it, the men of Ross successful killed Fiacha mac Domnaill righ “for his intolerable tyrannies.” All were found guilty before the law and sixty couples were sentenced to banishment as ringleaders of the uprising. Two Christian monks, Snedgus and mac Riagla , sat as judges but they were sympathetic to the cause of the men whose fate was left “to the Great Ocean.” Afterwards they set out on a voluntary pilgrimage following in the wake of the earlier curraghs. It is said that they drifted north-west “in the outer ocean” and after three days their thirst became almost intolerable. Christ took pity on them and

brought them into “a river within the sea,” where the water had the taste and sustaining qualities of tepid milk. Afterwards they visited many other islands, at last reaching a landfall where they met people who spoke Irish Gaelic. Their first encounter was with a group of women who sang to them and told them that many generations of Irish considered this land home. They were eventually taken to the court of the king of that place, and he received them well asking their origin and mission. It was obvious that the king had knowledge of the earlier civil war in Ireland for he asked, “How goes it in Ireland, and how many of Domnaill’s sons still live?” They answered that three remained, “but Fiacha mac Domnaill fell by the men of Ross, and for that deed sixty couples were banished to the seas.” The king smiled and responded, “That is a true story: I am he who killed the King of Tara’s son (i.e. Fiacha) and we are partly those who were sent to sea. This action was well for us, for we will stay here until Judgement Day, and be none the worse for it, for this is a land without sin, without evil, and without sinful desires. This island we live on has been good to us, for it is the birthright of Elijah and Enoch.” Thinking this place suited their needs the two clerics remained presumably enjoying immortality in this western retreat. SOD, an awkward person, a stout soul, cf. Scand. sod, a heavy person, the OIr. she-wolf from which the modern saigh, a bitch, ultimately the goddess Samh or Summer, who was accused of untidy housekeeping. Sod, the noise of rushing or boiling water, the steam of water in which meat is boiled, Ir. sod, boiled meat, particularly pork, related to ON. soth, the broth or water in which meat has been boiled, Eng. sodden, seethe, sod, Scot. sotter, to boil slowly, sottle, the noise made by boiling porridge (which anciently contained meat). The Eng. sows of Manann mac Ler, and thus his one time “daughter-consort” the Mhorrigan, or “Great queen of the Ocean.” All the “billow maidens” were renewable virgins, “eaten” at dusk but reincarnate by dawn. The Scot. sodick or soudie, an “ample” and clumsy woman. G.

sodal, pride flattery, insolence, the OIr. sotli, animosity, the source of the Eng. and Fr. sot, a drunkard. Also, sodan, caressing, joy, a happy reception, sog, mirth, good humour, tipsiness, sôgh, luxury, riot, EIr. suaig, having many pigs, prosperous, soidean, a jolly or stout fellow. See feiss, a female pig. The sacred nature of the Anglo-Saxon sow is shown in the fact that it was termed asa-soge, literally, “Asa’s sow,” or “Odin’s sow.” These female creatures obviously confer with the Walkyra or Nornr, who are the Celtic Bafinne. Fredrijof Nansen has said that: “The Norse myth of the sow must have found a favourable soil among the Celts, as according to the ideas of Celtic mythology the pig was a sacred animal in the religion of the Druids, especially concerned with Ceridwen, the goddess of the lower world.” She is, of course, the Cornish Horridgwen, known in Gaelic myth as the Mhorrigen. “The Celts had heard of the pig that by the help of steel causes fairylands to remain visible; but regarded this as being connected with the animals sacred properties (and not with the steel). It cannot have originally been a Celtic conception, otherwise we should meet with in other Celtic legends.” Nansen did not read widely enough and apparently lacked a knowledge of Scottish and Irish folklore: To begin, the Gaelic goddess of fate was the tripartite Bafinn and her youthful form was Mhorrigan, the “Great Queen of the Ocean.” She was usually referred to as the Samh , pronounced “sawh’ or “saah,” which is to say “Summer” personified. She was also termed the Saigh or “Bitch.” The Irish form of this is saith, sagh or saighin, the Middle Irish sogh or sodh and the Early Irish sod, a bitch, especially a she-wolf (the favourite totem of Mhorrigan). It will be noticed that his confers exactly with the Anglo-Saxon soge and the English “sow.” The Anglo-Saxons often termed this goddess Asasoge indicating her sexual attachment to the god Asa, or Woden who is the Gaelic god Dagda or his son Lugh. Notice

that the depersonalized word samh,” is defined as “a clownish individual; cf. Sc. sow, one who makes a dirty appearance, “a pig.” Notice also that the boar was a totem animal of the two Gaelic male gods mentioned above. This goddess is spoken of in the Cuchullain tale as the “Great Black Sow,” and she confers with Boann, Anu, or Danu, the matriarch of the Tuatha daoine. After they became the Daoine sidh, these people were frequently seen in the form of goats, sheep, horses, cows, dogs, cats, hares or pigs. A number of Welsh observers agreed that they perceived fay-folk as sheep. These disappeared from the hill side but “About half-an-houur before sunset, they saw them again, but not all alike (each person had his own perception of them); for some saw them like sheep, some like greyhounds, some like swine, and some like naked infants. They appeared in the shade of the mountain, and the first sight was if they rose out of the earth. This was a notable appearance of the fairies seen by credible witnesses.” As the Milesians approached Ireland as an invading force it has been said that they at first called it the “Sow’s Island,” “as each hill seemed to have the semblance of a pig.” Historians have guessed that this was because the place had the appearance of a pig’s back, but the explanation is deeper than that: The Firbolgs were the first settlers to leave certain descendants in Ireland and they said that their ancestor was a pig-god. By the time of the invasion their mythology was one with that of the Daoine sidh who supplanted them. The idea of a pig-god may ultimately go back to the Fomorian shape-changers, for the creator-god, Don, also known as Ler had seven daughters, sometimes referred to as the “wave-” or “billow-maidens,” The chief of these was his daughter/wife, Mhorrigan, who resembled the Welsh Ceridwen in having care and control of the famed Cauldron of the Deep. It will be recalled that she paired herself with the land-god Dagda the father of the Tuatha daoine. This “pig-goddess” is thus insinuated into the main line of the fay-people.

Incidentally, the Fomors are particularly associated with Munster and the people of Breg in the south of Ireland. Drimne Breg, the “Ridge of Breg,” still carries the alternate name “The Back of the Great Sow,” from the days when it was associated with the powerful Tuatha daoine. Fionn mac Cumhail was a Milesian Gael, and Aonghas Og one of the defeated Tuatha daoine. It is said that ten hundred of these two folk once gathered at Brug-na-Boann which lay in a hollow hill near Tara. During the festivities Fionn baited Aonghas about his lack of hounds, horse and military strength. Aonghas retorted saying that Fionn possessed all of these things, but suggested that his host was incapable of cutting down a single “Tuathan pig.” Fionn countered, saying that his two hunting dogs had never failing in bringing down any pig. A battle might have ensued but Fionn was sober enough to advise his men: “Let us leave off, for we are but few among the Men of Dea.” As a result they retreated to Slieve Fuad where the Feinn happened to be encamped at that time. As a result, the Tuatha daoine began boasting of how they had “conquered” the Milesians and in a year’s time Aonghas invited the men of the south to hunt for some of his “pigs” (i.e. Firbolg warriors). The Feinn agreed to the hunt , and “on a plain to the east,” found “a terrible herd of great pigs, every one of them the height of a deer. And the leading pig was blacker than a smith’s coal, and the bristles on his head were the like of thorn-trees,” It is said that this hunt brought losses to Aonghas but was also grievous to Fionn whose force was depleted by ”ten hundred missing men not counting servitors and dogs.” Enraged members of the Feinn suggested marching against Brugh-na-Boann to avenge their dead, but Fionn knew that these “pigs of the ocean” were virtually immortal and would regenerate themselves if they were not ritually destroyed. The bodies of most of the pigs were destroyed in seven need-fires but the lead pig was impossible to destroy until woods with magical properties were burned around it. After that the Feinn marched against Aonghas, but

they were met by emissaries suing for peace. Fionn was uncompliant until the Tuathan explained that the lead pig had been his shape-changed son, and that the others had includes the son of the Narrow Sea, the son of the King of Seagulls, a grandson of Manann mac Ler “and seven score of the stately sons of kings and queens of the western realms.” At this Oisin “the Wise,” consulted with Fionn saying, “It is best for us to agree and pay whatever fines are required for there is no help in this!” And thus, peace was made and the two races gave foster-children to one another as security. For all that, Aonghas was never particularly friendly toward Fionn and that is why he afterwards aided Diarmuid when he stole Grainne from the leader of the Feinn. The “pigs of the sea,” appear in the story about Easal, the “King of the Golden Pillars,” (which may confer with structures supposedly located on the Canary Islands). He possessed seven magic pigs. Even after they were killed and eaten at feasts each night, they arose each morning regenerate. It was noticed that anyone who ate their flesh was never afflicted with disease. Easal befriended the sons of Tuireann (thunder-fire) and gave them his pigs which were a part of their world-wide quest. It is said that this king, whose name translates as the “weak-one,” had a daughter married to the king of Ioruaidhe , who lived on an adjacent sea-island. The Tuireann’s later bespoiled taking away Fail Inis, invincible battle-dog that lived there. This is a kinder version of the rape of An Domhain by the Dagda and his sons. In both cases, the “pigs of the sea” were carried back to Ireland to benefit the sun-god Lugh. Even the redoubtable Manann mac Ler had trouble with these pigs: It is reported that his hounds sought “a pig that was destroying the whole countryside” in the vicinity of his Irish retreat (he was given property by the land-gods for his help against his own Fomnorian kin-folk). It was said that this single animal (which may represent Firbolg guerillas) had made a desert of his place. The animals tracked this sow to a lake, but it turned on the pack of dogs and fairly

decimated them. Afterwards the pig swam out to an islandrefuge in the middle of a lake and appears to have settled there. The island was afterwards termed Muc-inis and the loch, Loch Conn, the “Lake of the Hounds.” In some tales it was said that some of the “seaswine” remained the property of Mannan mac Ler. When the Tuatha daoine accepted Manann’s invitation to serve the sea-gods in return for invisibility and immortality, they were invited to the “Pig Feast,” and had to renew this rite on a yearly basis if they wished to remain perpetually youthful and full of vitality. Again these pigs could be eaten at evening but were completely recovered by dawn.. These creatures are of course parallel to Odin’s boar named Sæhrimnir , “Sea-froth,” or “Sea-sperm,” the creature that would “always come to life for the next meal. In Old Norse mythology a similar beast, the “Golden-bristled One,” was given to the god Frey by the dwarfs (who correspond somewhat with the Fomors). In Celtic mythology the boar is one of the totem-animals of Lugh. The pig was almost the only animal transported on the first ships that came to North America. It took up little room as an immature animal and could be turned to fend for itself during the summer. It was vicious enough to defend itself against bears and could be killed in late autumn as a source of food for the winter. It was a prolific, if not very tidy beast and some animals were overwintered, so that it must have seemed almost immortal to those who depended on it. Clearly there is some interplay between Old Norse and Celtic myth, but the “pig-god” cannot be clearly credited to either language group. SOIR, the east. EIr. sair. The source of all Christian doctrine and mythology. SOIS, fond of ease, snug, from Scot. sosh, sociable. SOISE, a ball of fire in the air; a portent. See fear dreag. Soisgeul, gospel.

SOISE A’ BHÀIS, also entitled SOLUS A’ BHÀIS. The “ball of light.” A portent of bas or “death.” Some individuals in Gaelic communities kept lights at night hoping to escape seeing the “death light.”Frances MacEachen speaks of the light as being red in colour, but that was not invariable. She also mentions a Cape Breton woman who, as a child, stood in awe of the warning of her grandmother’s death; “Later in life she became less nochalant when seeing the red light. While tying a mocassin she looked up to see solus a’ bháis glowing brightly in her kitchen. She froze, stunned, staring at the light for a few seconds. It left her feeling as though all the blood (was) drained from her body. “I knew something awful was ging to happen,” she said. She noted that the telephone stretched exactly to the place where she saw the light. “I knew I was going to hear it (the bad news) on the phone...”” That afternoon there was an explosion at the mill where her husband worked. Although her husband was unscathed four men died,an dword of the accident came by phone just as she expected. Elsewhere a woman saw a light which had the general shape of a light bulb and was “a pretty blue shade.” She noted that it sped over the roof-tops of her village, passed across an open field and zoomed off into the heavens. She did not mention the light to her friends as she understood its meaning, but the next day she heard that a neighbour had passed on.3 See fear dreag SOMHITH. An entirely shapeless supernatural made of the beginning stuff. Often perceived as black or grey spheres of “anti-matter.” SONA, happy, the opposite of dona, which, see, literally “doing pretty well.” SONN. a stout man, hero, from earlier sonn, a club, a staff, a cudgel, a beam, Skr. spand, to draw or move about, Lat. pendo, that which hangs down. Well endowed, after the fashion of the Dagda. See this entry.
3MacEachen,

Frances, “Am Braighe,” Autumn 1994, p. 14.

SONRAICH, ordain, OIr. sainriud, hence sain, to sign the cross ordaining something to the protection of the Christian God. Outward saining had the weight of a curse. SORAIDH, a farewell, a blessing, from EIr. soreid, happy, successful. eg. "On Going On A Journey" Seven prayers, seven times over told, Morag left to her sons of old, Bridd left to her mantles length, The gods left to their own great strength, Between us and the sithean kind. Us and the People of the Wind, Us and the water's drowning power, Us and temptation's evil hour, Us and the world's all-blighting breath, Us and the bondsman's cruel death. SORCHA THIR, SORCHIR THIR, “The Land of Light,” solus, light, Eir. solus, bright, obs. sorcha, light, AS svelan, to glow, Eng. sultry; Skr. svar, sheen, the sun. In medieval times the Gaels used this as a name for Portugal but earlier on the meaning was any land to the south of Gaeldom. The land of the north was lochlann, which see. SPANG, a spasm, a twinge of conscience. Usually thought of as an imposition of the outer spirit. SPAD. kill, fell, Ir. a clod, a sluggard, a eunuch, cf. Cy. ysbaddu, to exhaust, to deplete, to geld, from the Lat. spado, an emasculated male, hence the Eng. spayed. Spadair, a fop or braggart, one who talks loud but cannot perform. SPART, energy, power, substance, Ir. spairt, brain, a splash, plaster, daub. The physical form of the human brain was well known to our ancestors, who frequently saw its tissue splattered about. The spirit, the empowering force

observed to flee at death. See the related word spiorad. SPAG, having a clubbed-foot, a claw or paw, the limb of an animal, a clumsy-legged person, Cy. ysbach, a claw. G. spaga-da-ghlid, a buffon, a quarter-day fool, a tomfool. Spagach, an inarticulate man or woman, spaig, wrymouthed, spagluinn, ostentation, conceit. SPEARRACH, a fetter, a binding spell; speir, hoof, ham, claw, talon, ankle. A means of binding evil spirits by plunging an iron steel knife into a foot-print of the creature; equally useful against supernaturals or human baobhe. e.g. The following, a charm against marsh fever. While it was intoned three horseshoes were nailed to the bedpost: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Bind the Nathair to this post. Thrice smite I with holy croc. With this mell, I thrice do knock. First for God But one for Wod, And one for Lok! Reference is made to "holy croc" (Holy Cross) but earlier versions refer to the Cailleach's staff or Thor's hammer, and the trinity may be the Bafinn. In this interesting mix of Christian and pagan tradition, the spellbinder calls for the assistance of God, but hedges his bet by asking the help of "Wod" (Odin) and "Lok" (Lokki). SPIDEAG, a delicate or slender creature, from Scot. spit, a small, hot-tempered person, spitten, a tiny mischief-maker, the Eng. spit. A “fairy.” SPILIGEAN, a seedling, appearance. See above. a human who is dwarf-like in

SPIORAD, spirit, OIr. spirut from Latin spiritus. The Cy. ysbryd, Cor. speris, Br. speret. Each human was thought to

possess and inner soul, or spirit and an external spirit, the latter gifted on a man by the gods. By Victorian times, the soul was regarded as something other than a little spirit, resident under the breast-bone, or in the head, given responsibility for the physical workings of the body. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible points out that the word "soul" is used throughout most of the Bible as an exact synonym for "life". In the earliest versions of the Old Testament it was never confounded with "spirit", or "the animating principle", as is now the case. The idea that the soul was immaterial and capable of surviving death has no Biblical foundation, but seems to have derived from the Church Fathers, especially St. Augustine. He argued that this immaterial force, which drove the human spirit, had to be immortal "because it was the repository of imperishable truth." In redefining the soul as the "immortal essence of life" the Christians made the word soul nearly synonymous with ghost, or spirit. The major difference between this, and pagan belief, is that the latter held out for periodic rather than a single rebirth. Christians agreed with the pagans that "everything is eternal" but did not share their insistence that "life is a kaleidoscope of power, and death a mere shifting of the glass." All spirits may be sub-divided into those that are immortal and those that are mortal. The creator-gods, such as the Anglo-Saxon Alfadur, the Abenaki Kjikinap, and the Gaelic Dagda belong to the first group. The elementals were also considered unchanging, timeless, and not subject to periodic death and reincarnation. The god of fire was called Loki in Scandinavia. His German counterpart was Laugar, and in England he was Lob-Lie-By-Fire. The Gaelic equivalent was named Lugh. The god of the waters was variously known as Hler, Eagor, Ler or Llyr in the northern countries. The god of the air was Kari, Carey or Wyn ab Nudd. All of these gods were easily recognized by the fact that they have names which reveal nothing of their

character: Kjikinap, for example translates as Great Power; Dagda as the Father of Day; Loki as Bound Fire and Wyn ab Nudd as Wind of the Night. Fraser noted that the immortal gods had no marked individuality and no accepted traditions as to origin, life, adventures and character. Like the Christian "God the Father", they were remote characters with their own objectives and hobbies, and rites aimed at them were magical rather than propitiatory. The elemental gods had names synonymous with the elements and their powers were always restricted to this domain. No special class of persons was given charge of firing flaming arrows into the air to promote sunlight, and priests were not considered necessary to the act of sprinkling water on the ground to encourage the help of the water god. These were all rites of simple sympathetic magic, as was flapping a rag in the air, or whistling, to encourage the wind-god. The rites were performed informally without the need for a temple, as occasion demanded. We have spoken of the spirits of men, who were a mortal-race. In most countries folklore identifies other spirited beings who were classed apart from either men or the higher divinities. Almost all legends agree that the first race on earth was the giants. After them, the creatorgods constructed the mortal-gods, who immediately warred with the giants. Because the big fellows had few magical abilities beyond the "evil-eye", divination, and shapechanging, they were defeated and suppressed by the wonderworking latter-day gods. The mortal-gods were credited with creating the little people as their first experiment. Variously called the sidh, elfs, wights, fairies, or mikumwees, they were gifted with the forms of men but were superior to them in their knowledge of magic, longevity and intelligence. Men were the last race to people the earth, and only gained superiority over the others through their use of iron, which allowed the construction of superior tools and weapons. What little magic they possessed survives in the technological crafts.

SPOTH, geld or castrate, Lat. spado, a eunuch, whence Eng. spay. SPRACADH, strength, sprightliness, from Eng. sprack, lively, ON. spraekr, do, Eng. spark, sparkler. SPREANGAN, a cloven stick employed in acts of magic. The English spring, a flexible rod. The "divining rod," made from hazel, alder, beech, or apple, or some other water-loving tree. Used to discover the presence of metals, hidden water, treasures, to point out thieves and locate the victims of murder. Traditional extensions of the arm, and energies, of the sithe and the boabhe. They were used as a mode of transport before brooms came into fashion with the witch-clans. "The talent for making the divining rod turn is given only to a few...One can determine whether one has received it naturally by cutting a forked branch from a hazel-tree and holding one of the two tips in each hand. When his foot is placed on top of the object that is being sought, or upon clues that may indicate the location of the object, the rod will turn independently in the searcher's hands and will be an infallible guide. No less astonishing is that the rod turns only when the holder intends it to turn (toward whatever is sought). Thus when a stream of water is to be identified, the rod will not turn when the diviner passes over hidden treasure or clues to a murder." (Dictionary of Witchcraft, p. 54). Jacques Aymar, a peasant born at Saint-Veran, France in 1862 became a mason, who was also noted for his use of the diving-rod. "Some have attributed his rare talent to the precise moment of his birth, for his brother, born during the same month two years later, had no success with it. Previously the rod had only been employed in searching for metals used in alchemy, but he laid claim to the discovery of underground streams, forgotten landmarks, spells, thefts and assassins..." (Dictionary of Witchcraft, p. 20). SPROCHD, dejection, sadness, MIr. broc, anxiety, sorrow, cf. murach.

SRAC, tear, rend, rob, Lat. rapio, Eng. rape. SRAON, stumble, make a false step. rush forward with more violence than objectivity, MIr. srained, dragging down, defeat, overthrow, scatter, EIr. scroenim, hurl, drag, defeat, the root ster, to strew, scatter, etc. SRATH, a valley, a strath, OIr. israth, meadow land located along the banks of a river or loch, a swampy place, from ster, to scatter, to spread, Lat. sterno, I strew, Eng. strand. SREATHAN, caul of an unborn animal. An object much sought as the focal point for foresight. SREANG, to extend, to draw out into threads, to tear away, also: string, a line, a cord, rope; a charm to ward off the effects of the evil-eye. See next. SRENG. A Firbolg warrior who cut off the hand of the Tuatha king named Nuada, thus subjecting Ireland to the TuathanFomorian war. In Connacht, people of the seventeenth century still confidently pointed out Sreng as an ancestor. SRION NA-H-EANACHAIR, sometimes BODACH SRION NA-HEANACHAIR, “the bodach with the long nose,” a supernatural bodach supposedly the shade of an gille donn, the ancestor of the Browns of Carradale Glen, Scotland. He was the youngest son of a former chieftain of The Macmillan. He is “supposed to have inhabited the hills for generations” and his lamentations presaged the death of “a certain clan.” This lad contracted brain-fever, and in this state fell into a three mile passage into the earth and there was either killed by the fall or drowned. The cries of the gille donne as a caointach issue from this pit and are said to be sufficient to make the ground tremble. This creature is used by parents to terrorize naughty children! SRUAN, shortbread cake having five corners. SRUTH, a stream. Eng. spurt, spout.

STAC, a precipice, a steep hill, related to ON. stakkr, a stack (of hay), Scot. stack, a columnar isolated rock in the ocean. STAIR, stepping stones in a river, a path marked by stones in a bog. The Eng. stair, from the root tar, to cross. STAN, obs. tin, Cy. ystaen, Bry. stean, Lat. stannum, tin. Currently, below, down below. Staoin, pewter. STAOIR. ventriloquism, staorum, bending of the body to one side. It can be guessed that this craft was used where druids interviewed standing stones or talked with a god resident in a fire or a cloud. Where the nature of this "stage-effect" was understood it was still considered valid magic, since trickery was seen as a craft gifted on those favoured by the spirits or the gods. The use of this form of misdirection was the basis for charges of witchcraft in "the hag-ridden years:" "Toward the middle of the sixth century a woman named Cecelia attracted attention in Lisbon (Spain). She possessed the art of modulating her voice in such a way as to make it appear to issue at times from her elbow, at times from her foot, at times from a place it would be improper to name. She engaged in conversation with an invisible being...who answered all her questions. The woman was a reputed witch and was possessed by the devil; however, as a special favour, instead of being burned at the stake, she was merely banished forever to the island of St, Thomas, where she died peacefully." (Dictionary of Witchcraft, p. 38). STARN MAC SERA., The brother of Partholon. STARN MAC NEMED. The father of Tuan, the progenitor of the Firbolge. STARRAN, an elderly dwarf; starr, fashion, starrag, obs. Wry-necked. to move in a jerky

STARR-SHUILEACH, having the eyes physically distorted, stard, moon-eyed, cf. ON. starblindr, blind because of a cataract, Eng. stare, having a fixed-gaze from some such cause, Scot. stare. Starr, sedge, star, a mote in the eye. The latter condition was considered to tie a man to the uncanny Daoine sidh. STEAFAG, a little staff or stick, from Eng. staff. STEOCAIREAN ITEIN GEOIDH, "goosequill drivers," propagandists, whose craft of writing (using quills) was also considered spirit-driven. STEORNADH, under the guidance of the stars. STIC, STIG, a staff, imp, demon, long-legged, a devil. a ghostly person, a fault, blemish, defect, pain, blackguard, uneasiness, from Sc. stick, any act which is bungled. A ghost, a skulking person and imp of the Devil. This is the English word stick. Stican an donais, an “imp of The Devil.” Stican an deamhain mhoir, “imp of the Great Demon,” Stican taighe, a “house-imp.” Note the English dia. Old Stick, the Devil. Gaelic kings were barred from power if they had any noteworthy physical deformity. Magicians were frequently hired to produce pimples on the face of a rival. It was suggested that this was accomplished by spell-casting, but the act was probably coupled with the use of strong herbal preparations applied to the victim through sleight-of-hand. Note that “unlucky first-footers (at the quarter-days) included those with a lame leg, splay feet, flat feet, and generally all those having impaired faculties not acquired through accident.” Also in this category: “persons of immoral (in the widest sense) character; hypocrites; those with who were stingy, sanctimonious, or had eyebrows that met on the brow.” Also suspect: “Persons carrying a knife or any pointed tool and those wearing mourning or black clothing.” All such individuals were seen as relatives of the uncanny Fomors. In spite of precautions ill-luck could be avoided when the stigean arrived by throwing salt on the fire at entry; by having the first word before the visitor; by

signing the cross; by burning a wisp of straw on the hearth; or by placing a red hot ember in water. In each case the god of another element was brought to play against the god of the ocean. STIG, STICEARTACH, a skulking or abject look or attitude, a ghost that haunts the exterior of a house, from ON. stygr, shy. As used in glais-stig. See also stic. STIOLTADH, smelting. The creation of cast metals was considered a form of magic. This “art” was practised from an early date by the adherents of the goddess Bridd and her “brother” Lugh. STIORC, to stretch out at the time of death, from Eng. stark? Stiorlag, a thin, worn-out rag, a used-up woman, stiorlan, a thin person, stiorlach, watery porridge. STOILIEAN, membrum lecherous, bawdy. mas; stoileanach, wanton, lewd,

STOL, a stool, the stool for reconsideration upon which couples to be married stood during marriage. Much later, the repentance stool for those doing church penance. STRACAIR, a troublesome fellow, a quarrelsome stranger. STREAFON, the caul covering unborn animals in the womb. It was though lucky to retain this if a person were born with it over his head. STRIG, an explosion, a sound like a blast furnace, particularly a noise of supernatural origin; as that heard in Ireland when the druids of the Milesians and Tuatha daoine warred with each other. In earlier days it was said that the nature-spirits governing the air waged war "with the fiery spirits of Heckla (a volcano in Iceland)." "At such times, many of the fiery spirits are destroyed when the enemy hath brought them off the mountains to fight over the water. On the contrary, when the battle is upon the mountain itself,

the spirits of the air are often worsted, and then great moanings and doleful noises are often heard in Iceland, and Russia, and Norway, for many days after." (Reginald Scott, 1665, quoted in Ghosts Fairies Gnomes and Other Little People, p. 183). Such sounds persist and some are now credited to movements along faults in the earth's crust. The noise produced by explosive weaponry. See gae bolg. STRIOPACH, a whore, from OFr. strupe, from Lat. struprum, dishonour, violation, the Eng. strumpet. STROG, paint, a craftsman skilled in painting upon wood. Image making was considered a high art, the image being considered spiritually akin to the original. Anything done to harm the sculpture or drawing or painting was thought to reflect negatively upon the object or person associated with it. Even the names of men could be inscribed on wood, and destroyed, to their detriment. STROM, a stream within the sea. The Gulf Stream would be one example. A lesser example is the extension of the fresh-water of the Saint John River into the adjacent Bay of Fundy in north-eastern America. The two bodies are of drastically different temperatures, colours, and densities and do not mix for many miles seaward. In fact, the river is still intact beyond the island of Grand Manan. This gives rise to a phenomena known as "tidal-streak." At the streak the water is physically higher within the stream and broils at the intersection of fresh and salt water, forming at the same time a miniature tidal bore at sea. Men with fish-nets in the water remove them at the approach of the "strom" since it carries debris which may damage them. A phenomenon ascribed to the presence of water-sprites. STUAIC, a little hill, a rounded promontory, “of sullen countenance.” Eng. steep. Also stuc, Ir. stucan. a small conical hill, stucach, horned, from Teut. stuka, winged, Eng. stook, a shook of corn (12 sheaves), cf. stuiaic. above. Stuic, a projecting crag, having an angry or threatening look.

SLUAG SIDE, the "wind riders", the sidh-host. The sithe were sometimes pictured as riding straws within the wind after the fashion of horses. They were, themselves, invisible to all but those with the "gifted" eye. STRUIDHLEACH. A wicked woman, one who has no good intentions. STRUILEAG, the “boat of the wits.” In olden days every person at a festival was expected to contribute in some way to the entertainment, When one had sung, or dances, or recited or played upon his musical instrument he would say struileag seachad orm gu ___. Naming the next entertainer. This was “passing the buck,” putting responsibility on the next person. STRUTHAN, cake made on St. Michael's Day and eaten on his day. Michael is associated with the pagan god Lugh, originally his cake. SULATAM Dechtire. MAC ROTH. Cuchulainn’s “mortal father.” See

SUAN, SUAIN SIDE, sith-sleep. An unnatural sleep imposed upon people when the sithe crouched upon their chests. Those subject to these ailpe sometimes claimed to have been sexually assaulted while sleeping and women were sometimes impregnated. This was an dream-ridden sleep from which men and animals arose unrefreshed and weary. Those faced with many months of this torture died and their souls were carried into the sidh-hills. Sometimes said inspired by sidh- music or song. See ailp. SUANTRAIGHE, suan + treaghaid, sleep + transpiercing, biting, soulful. The magic sleep music first practised by the gods Dagda and Lugh. The geantrighe (laughing music) was that first invoked on the harp by Moriath, the daughter of Scoriath, when she was courted by Labraid Loingsiuch. As her parents did not approve of the swain, the two were never permitted to be alone together. In desperation

Moriath hired her father's harpist to play at their next feast. His lively passages were followed by the suantraighe which left the whole assemblage in a state resembling death. The young couple took the time while the court slept to become lovers. When the queen arose, she looked once at her daughter and then turning to her husband said, "Arise Scoriath, thy daughter respires the breath of a plighted wife." SUBHACH, merry, OIr. sube, joy, opposite of dubach, from the root bu, to be. SUBHALLACH, obs. Religion. SUD, dialectic for sid, other, yonder. The Otherworld. SUGH, SUGHAN, juice, sap, to drain, to suck up, Ir. sughaim, EIr. sugo, to suck. The lowland Scottish sowan or sowen, usually referred to in the plural. Sowans Nicht was Christmas Eve "when friends foregathered around a big bowl of sowans. Sowans cooked with butter is a traditional Samhain dish. At that time, a ring was often put in the mixture and whoever found it was considered the next to be married in the new year. Sowens consisted of oatmeal "sids" (the inner husks of the oat grain, combined with water and salt). These ingredients were boiled and held for a week in summer "a little longer in winter." Strangers thought it unpalatable but it was meant to be taken with "a social glass of strunt (any alcoholic drink)." SUGH AN SGEACH DHU, “Juice of the Blackthorn,” taken as an antidote against witchcraft and the evil eye. SUIBHNE GEILT. An Irish king cursed by St. Ronan for his paganism. In spite of his human form he possessed all the characteristics of a bird. A tale from the Scottish Highlands identifies him as a resident of Trotternish on the island of Skye. He supposedly created such mayhem there he was banished to the Hebridean island of Mainland. There the creature lived until the locals tired of his wickedness and

decapitated him. Afterwards he became a malignant and dangerous ghost which floated above certain passes falling upon travellers to suffocate them. A young man finally impaled the head on his sword blade and reunited it with the body. In this condition the corpse was exported back to Skye and the haunting ceased. SUIDHE, suidh, a seat. Applied to places where gods, heroes or saints took their rest. Suidheachan Fhinn, “Fionn’s Seat” at Loch Broom is only one of many. The same holds for the may places held in memory of King Arthur, St. Columba and his ilk. There were also, anciently, many judgement seats and seats of learning. SIUIDHE ARTAIR. Arthur’s Seat, located near Edinburgh. There is another in Aberdeenshire. And one at the head of Glenlivet. SÙIL, sùil, eye, from svar, “to burn,” From the same Celtic root: seall, look thou; sealladh. sight; Cy. selu, to espy, to gaze. selw, beholding; haul, the sun, Breton, sell, a look, sight, heaul, the sun; the Bry. Sul or Sulis, a goddess of fire and thermal waters, who the Romans equated with Minerva. They entitled her waters Aquae Sulis, the “Waters of Sul,” and theses are still to be seen at Bath, England. This Celtic goddess was also based at Hesse, Germany, where she is referred to as “the Eye of heaven.” This being the case she is the female form of Lugh or Aod. See next entry. SÙIL OLC, the bad-eye, the evil-eye, first mentioned in mythology as possessed by the Fomorian giant Balor of The Malignant-Eye, whose gaze felled his Tuatha daoine enemies as they stood before him on the battlefield. He was killed by his grandson Lugh, a personification of day and the sun. Attributed to the Mhorrigan and her baobhe, all of the Fomorian line of descent. Goodrich-Freer says that the evileye is not related to eye colour, "nor necessarily upon any desire of doing harm, and the person so unfortunate to possess it may even (unintentionally) injure his own children. The people who have skill in making snaithean,

“counter-charms,” say they know without being told whether the eye was that of a man or a woman." These are people who "quite unwittingly bring misfortune upon others" and are members of a much larger fraternity described as the "droch chomhaliachen" (which, see). "Father R had a good cow which died of some internal inflammation; but of course the Evil Eye was at the bottom of it...He had a capital pony; and a few days after the cow's death, one of his parishioners looking at the pony, began to dispraise it in no measured terms, with the notion of warding off the (further) attention of the Powers of Evil. Another advised him to put his new cow in a park (paddock) at some distance from the chapel, on Sundays, so that it might not run the risk of being "overlooked" by any of the worshippers." (Celtic Monthly, p. 162). To counter the effects of the evil eye it was advised that individuals turn their coats after the fashion of the Daoine sidh. In point of fact, any article of clothing, at any level, worn inside out was said to confuse evil-spirits concerning the identity of an intended victim. Saint John's wort and the marsh ragwort were carried for this same reason. SUILEACHD, the effects of the evil-eye. SUILEAN NA FEANNAIG, "the eyes of the crow", a phrase implying voraciousness, gluttony, over-ambition. The Morgan and the baobh, whose totems were the crow, were said to share piercing evil eyes. SUIRE. a maid, nymph, mermaid, perhaps from Lat. siren. see Daoine mara. SULTAM MAC ROTH, also Sualdaim, the brother of Fergus mac Roth, Cuchullain’s mortal father. During the Tain wars he attempted to raise the accursed men of Ulster. Unable to do so he turned toward his horse, the Grey of Macha, with such suddenness he came upon the rim of his own shield, which sliced off his head. The severed head continued to give the battle call until the curse of Macha was lifted.

SULTAINN (tool-tinn), September. suil, eye, originally sun + teine, fire. Possibly having reference to the quarter-day fires at the end of this month. The first word resembles the English wheel and the Latin sol. In honour of the sun-god Lugh. SUMACH, plaid. SUMAIR, gulf, whirlpool. Sucker, swallower, drinker, glutton, drones of a bagpipe. SUMAIRE, leech, serpent, reptile, cudgel, leathal weapon. SUMHAIL, closs-packed, tidy, tame, quiet, peaceable, humble, obedient, obseqious; sumlach, crowding, pressing, together; sumlachad, the act of crowding closer and closer together (as at quarter-day festivals). See samh. Note conference with Eng. summer. SUTHAINN, eternal, OIr. suthin from su + tan, under + time. Unaffected by the passage of time.