Loch Awe (II)

21 Feb

This is just a short one, a different version of the origin story of Loch Awe at the hands of the Cailleach. In this tale, the Cailleach is the daughter of Griannan the sage – Griannan being a diminutive for the sun. Thus she is the daughter of the ‘little sun’ – as in the weaker winter sun, perhaps.

Bera the aged dwelt in the cave of the rock. She was the daughter of Griannan the sage. Long was the line of her fathers, and she was the last of her race. Large and fertile were her possessions; hers the beautiful vales below; and hers the cattle which roamed on the hills around. To Bera was committed the charge of that awful spring, which by the appointment of fate was to prove so fatal to the inheritance of her fathers, and her fathers race. Before the sun should withdraw his beams she was to cover the spring with a stone, on which sacred and mysterious characters were impressed. One night this was forgot by the unhappy Bera. Overcome with the heat and chase of the day, she was seized with sleep before the usual hour of rest. The confined waters of the mountain burst forth in the plain below, and covered the large expanse, now known by the lake of Awe. The third morning Bera awaked from her sleep. She went to remove the stone from the spring; but, behold! no stone was there. She looked to the inheritance of her tribe! She shrieked. The mountain shook from its base; her spirit retired to the ghosts of her fathers in their light airy halls.

Barbour, Unique Traditions Chiefly of the West and South of Scotland, 1886, p188.

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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


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