The word “cailleach” in the Scottish-Gaelic means old woman!, Owl in Gaelic is “cauileach-oidhche” , believe it or not it means “night-cockerel” or “white old woman of the night.” Because the owl was most often associated with the Crone aspect of the Celtic Hag Goddess “Cailleach”. The owl is often a guide to and through the Underworld, a creature of keen sight in darkness, and a silent and swift hunter. Celtic folklore says the wise owl can give you wisdom by helping unmask those who would deceive you or take advantage of you. “Hoo” knew?
Creepy Irish Creatures…The Gray Man or Far Liath appears as a fog and covers land and sea with his mantle. He obscures rocks so ships crash upon them and darkens the road so that travelers unwittingly stumble over cliffs to their deaths.
The “Pooka” or in Irish púca (Irish for spirit/ghost), is primarily a goblin like creature in traditional Irish folklore. The pooka is considered to be both a bringer of good and bad fortune. The pooka could either help or hinder rural and mariner communities. The goblin like creatures were said to be shape shifters which could take the appearance of black horses, goats and rabbits.
September 23rd, the Autumn Equinox. To Celts – this is the Second Harvest, when the ripe Acorns fall from the wild Irish Oaks and we plant them in fertile soil. This wonderful time is the time when day and night are equal in length. Equinox meaning “equal night”.
In Ireland there is an ancient Irish equinox temple at Knowth, near Newgrange (Brú na Boinne). Knowth has a 100-foot long passage that only is light by the Sun on the morning of the Spring and Autumn Equinox.
The Banshee, bean-sidhe (woman of the fairy may be an ancestral spirit appointed to forewarn members of certain ancient Irish families of their time of death. According to tradition, the banshee can only cry for five major Irish families: the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors, the O’Gradys and the Kavanaghs. Intermarriage has since extended this select list.
Whatever her origins, the banshee chiefly appears in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a raddled old hag. These represent the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death, namely Badhbh, Macha and Mor-Rioghain.) She usually wears either a grey, hooded cloak or the winding sheet or grave robe of the unshriven dead. She may also appear as a washer-woman, and is seen apparently washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die. In this guise she is known as the bean-nighe (washing woman).
Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard, usually at night when someone is about to die.