Children of Ben Dudlach
The Mother Spirit is the most widely revered and complex of the Cealtanach Spirits. She can appear in one of many different guises, bearing a variety of names and even different personalities. Of the Spirits she is the closest to being a genuine Goddess, though she could be just a collection of related and powerful Sidhe Lords, or a series of legends about different people that have somehow gotten combined over the centuries.
She is the mother of both the Stag Lord and the Thane of Summer. In popular worship she is usually depicted as a triple Goddess – Maiden (Nemain), Mother (Macha), Crone (Badb). But Druids believe that she has seven incarnations:
Nemain – Nemain appears as the most beautiful young woman that the viewer can imagine. She is joyful and full of life and energy. Where she walks the earth blooms under her feat. Heroes fall in love with her and she passionately loves them back, with the innocence of a girl who has never had her heart broken. She represents spring, birth, youth, infatuation, hope, and foolishness.
Macha – Macha appears as a pregnant woman of middle age with silky hair and abundant hips, and full breasts. Places she favors have bumper crops, productive livestock, good health and long lives. Women revere her and she is protective of all those who tend a hearth, raise children, and welcome strangers into their homes. She represents autumn, fertility, security, family, hard work, and hospitality.
Badb – Badb appears as an ancient woman with long silver hair and a bent back holding a lantern. She is usually seen comforting the elderly or sickly infants and even animals that are close to death. All who seek knowledge or wisdom admire her and she rewards patience and diligence with the light of her knowledge. She represents winter, wisdom, knowledge, patience, comfort, and sleep.
Morrigan – the Morrigan appears as a fully armored young spear wife with jet black hair, though she also appears as a Raven. Indeed some believe that all ravens are the Morrigan and treat the birds as fearful omens. The Morrigan is a mischevious Spirit who hovers near battlefields or places where death is likely to visit soon. Occasionally she may favor a hero for her own inscrutable reasons, but her favor is just as likely to be a trap as a boon. She represents battle, fickle fate, and betrayal.
Fea – Fea appears as a strong huntress clothed in leaves and carrying a golden bow. She loves the thrill of the chase and exhibitions of skill. She is revered by Hunters and any who rely on wits, skill, and dexterity to ply their trade. She has no time for cowards or weaklings. She kills only weak or sick animals, thus keeping the forest healthy and strong. She represents skill, vitality, the wild, and the moon.
Anann – “Gentle Annie” is death personified. She appears as an albino girl no more than 7 or 8 with her eyes rotting in their sockets. Though Badb represents old age and often comforts the dying, and the Morrigan may cause a fair amount of death, it is Anann who actually carries the dead to their resting place. For those who die honorable or heroic deaths, or those given proper cairn burials by their clan this means ferrying them across the sea to the west. Dishonorable clanless are left behind to become revenants or bahnsidhe. Honorable clanless are sometimes granted roles as guardian spirits, or united with Danu. Rarely Anann may choose to reincarnate someone as a beast or a tree for reasons of her own.
Danu – Danu is never depicted as a person. She is said to be the earth itself from which all life springs. Druids revere her as the animating force behind all of their rituals and magic, but she is neither kind nor cruel. She is indifferent. She is behind abundant years, but also droughts. Rain, but also floods. Fertile soil, but also earthquakes. She represents Uldain itself.