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The Queen of Winter: Beira, The Cailleach

Three fantasy style crystal necklaces inspired by Scottish myth and legend

 

January’s themed collection is inspired by the Gaelic legend of Beira, also known as The Cailleach, and the Queen of Winter.

     Beira is seen as a creator deity, and her legend begins at the start of time. She and her 8 sisters were said to have lived inside the center of the earth. One day the sisters began digging and carving out rocks to fill the giant packs they were carrying on their backs. Once they finally carved their way to the surface they emerged in the ocean and each sister picked a direction to venture and thus the sisters parted ways. Beira went in her own direction and eventually got tired and stopped. She unloaded the rocks from her pack and used her mighty hammer to shape the rocks into mountains and glens and formed what is known as Scotland today.
     Beira wore a white plaid which was dirty by the time she was done creating the landscape, so she took it out to sea and washed it in a giant whirlpool. She laid the white plaid out on the tops of the mountains to dry - so when people see snow covering the mountain tops they know they are under the protection of The Cailleach.
     The Cailleach can translate to a few different terms such as witch, goddess, old hag, old woman, or creator. She is described as looking like an old woman with ghostly white or blue skin and red teeth, and wielding a staff that would freeze the ground with a tap. The Cailleach is seen as neither good nor bad, but was a protector of the wolves and was also a deer herder.
     There are 2 differences in the myth surrounding the transition from winter to summer. Some lore says that on Feb 1st Beira would transform into a crow to collect firewood. If she built a large fire and made the day very sunny then winter will last longer, however if she oversleeps then the day will be dark and gloomy making summer come quicker. This tradition has been turned into Groundhog day today.
     The second version is that at the end of winter her sister will come to the land and the two will fight. Her sister will always win, but if the fight lasts longer than Winter will last longer. When Beira eventually loses, she wanders off to regain her strength to fight her sister again at the end of summer.

    The jewelry collection will launch on 1/30/22 at 7 pm EST. Stones in the collection will be Moonstone, White Chalcedony, Fluorite, Sapphire, Tanzanite, Amethyst, Lapis, Marcasite, Garnet, Amber, Black Tourmaline, Blue Labradorite, and more.

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