March the 25th brings upon us the Day of the Cailleach, or in actuality the end of this hag’s reign. Although folklore tells in other versions she is to end her time on St Patrick’s Day, also being known as La na Caillch, Auld Wife’s Day, or Day of the Lady. As it is now a time for the lady, the Maiden of Spring to take over the reign.
The folkore of this story is that although the Cailleach has been loosing her power as winter melts into spring, she is a force and hag like no other, and does not go down without a fight. The maiden is now drifting upon the lands, bringing life to vegetation, to flourish and grow in abundance by a wave of her wand to the lands. But alas, legend tells that as the Cailleach begins to feel her powers slipping away now, becoming enraged and in defiance conjures some of the worst winter storms in the months of January and February. Attempting to forestall the waning of her rule, this be a time of winter storms known in legend as “A Chailleach.” To this she carries on her hag the slachdan, or “wand of power,” and to where she throws this, nothing will now grow… a winter curse.
This war between maiden and crone continues, until the 25th of March, which was focused on the spring equinox and was originally the new year. This is when the hag looses her battle, goes underground within the depths of darkness and decay, awaiting Samhain’s return, and the return of her power and reign. So it be on this date then that I pay homage to the Cailleach, and give this hag her due. I pour her libations and bid her farewell from my woods, awaiting this mighty hags return… )0(