Cailleach Bheur

Referred to colloquially as “The Queen of Winter,” the Mountain
Picts venerate this goddess of death and winter, usually propitiating her with blood sacrifices at Bealltainn in order that she might relent and let Cernunoss free to renew the land.

She is depicted as giant blue-skinned hag. Her satchel is full of magical stones that she scatters as she strides over the land after Samhain; where they strike mountains spring up. Her breath is a blizzard that brings death and her long black talons create furrows in the earth that fill with water and form the lakes and rivers that flow from great Terminus Mons of Pictland (Northern Getae).

Cailleach Bheur doesn’t have a priesthood or worshipers per se, but the matriarchs of the Mountain Pict clans are responsible for leading the rites and ceremonies of Bealltainn. The most coveted blood sacrifices are infants, preferably kidnapped from lowland Kelts, otherwise they tend to sacrifice captives unless they are truly desperate and must sacrifice one of their own.

Kelts have a goddess they also refer to as “The Queen of Winter” who may or may not be related to The Cailleach Bheur. This goddess, Biera, is a cold but beautiful woman who rules from the perpetually snow-capped mountain Sliabh na Biera (Biera’s Mountain) far north of Getae. She brings the winter snows and her twin sister Brighde rules the sun, who melts the snows which waters the streams, which provide water for the herds.

Cailleach Bheur

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