return to Home Page
or move on to Goddess Ganga, next chronologically,
or use Her Cyclopedia Index

Greine, {Sun-Gold-Grain}.

Alternate meanings: {Grain}, Hateful-Goddess, Repulsiveness, Ugliness.
[to Whom the eighth day of June, day 159, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Celtic: Ireland
Perhaps particularly Connacht. First literary mention in The Fionn Cycle, possibly recording 9th century AD struggles with Vikings, certainly reflecting a much older tradition of land protection.
Linguistic Note: Monaghan gives 'hateful goddess', and Mac Cana gives 'repulsiveness, ugliness' as the meaning of Her name (under the form Gr inne). {I don't remember where I found the form Greine}. The main meaning is a folk interpretation, utilizing the meaning given for Grian, the association of the colour, and the intuited etymological relatedness of the English word, grain.
Description: She Whose power awakens earth's fertility; Crone Goddess of the sun, herbalism, wisdom, sorcery and agriculture; She Who sanctifies the land with Her love; She Who comes clothed in the mountain mist; She Who can cloak Herself with invisibility.
To Whom Sacred: rush (rushes made up part of the bed Diarmaid prepared for Her); rowan (mountain-ash -- in which the lovers sheltered); birch (birch tips made up part of the bed Diarmaid made for Her on the night of their elopement); The Bed of Diarmaid and Gr inne (a folk name for a dolmen); gessa (spell, which She laid on Diarmaid); the number 7 (on their first night Diarmid cut a clearing with seven doors to it, in the wood where they stayed).
Male Associates: son, Mac-Greine, Son-of-the-Sun. Betrothed, and eventual consort, Fionn, The-Fair-One. Lover with whom She eloped, Diarmid- (Diarmuid-) ua-Duibhne, Diarmid-of-the-Love-Spots. Perhaps Fionn and Diarmid refer to rival year gods, of summer succeeding winter. Sharvan, the surly, guardian of the rowan-tree in which the lovers took refuge from Fionn. Source: Funk & Wagnall SDFML 462; Graves WG 182 and Mac Cana CM 104, 110-11, image of type of dolmen called bed of Diarmaid and Gr inne; Monaghan 122, 124; Walker WEMS 507.
Grian, Sun.

Geography/Culture: Celtic: Irish.
Description: Goddess of the sun; Mother of all Irish women.
To Whom Sacred: griannon, 'sun-house' (a roofless living space). Source: Monaghan BGH 124.
Granno, ---.

Geography/Culture: Celtic: Europe. Especially north France, Belgium, and parts of Germany.
Linguistic Note:{Surely related to English: grain?}.
Description: Perhaps the legendary Irish mortal Greine devolved from an earlier agricultral Divine Shehe still remembered in the Auvergne folk invocation: "Granno my friend, Granno my father, Granno my Mother".
To Whom Sacred: fire; granno-mio (a torch of straw fastened to the top of a pole, lighted and waved under the branches of fruit-trees); ashes of the granno-mio (shaken over fields and put in poultry nests for good laying); fruit-trees in general; pancakes (ie, fritters -- festival food); the number 7 (at Grande Halleux " is a common saying that seven bonfires should be seen if the village is to be safe from conflagration").
Festivals: the first sunday in lent. Various activities connected with the kindling of bonfires and lighting of straw torches, associated with fertility in grain and fruit crops, including the ceremoney of the Grannas mias. The bonfires sometimes include the burning of a figure variously called The Witch, The Old Wife, or Winter's Grandmother.
Male Associates: perhaps the male quality of Granno refers to Celtic Grannus, whom the Romans identified with Apollo. Source: Frazer GB 706-710; Mac Cana CM 30.
worked on: August 6, 1991; May 1995.
Return to the top of this document.