Facts verses Fiction . . . . Did you know . . .
In “Mortal Magick“, I included a wee bit of the legend of the famous ruins of the “Fort of Shadows” within Dunscaith Castle, located on the south end of the magical Isle of Skye.
The warrior queen, Sgathaich, was told to once reside in the fortress and train her own academy of warrior women. To this day, Skye legends rumor the once grand castle, was built by a witch or fairie on one single night, then surrounded by a pit occupied with snake and beaked toads.
Female warriors began training at an early age, and were known as, Ban-gaisdegaig, meaning band of warriors. For centuries, Celtic women have been portrayed as goddesses, warriors, Druidesses, pirates; and of course we can’t forget those magical beings such as healing witches, old hags, and Selkies. Today, women warriors still appear on Celtic coins.
FACT – In London stands a bronze statue of a warrior queen and her daughters, riding a chariot into battle. Known as Boudicca, ruler of the Celtic Iceni, this woman was most recognized for leading a major revolt against the Romans In Britain.
Queen Maeve (Medb) – In Ireland, the ancient female ruler, Medb (or Maeve) was known as the warrior queen of Connacht, and is best remembered for the legendary Cattle Raid of Cooley. (Ulster Cycle) It was told that “her word was rule”, even over her own husband. There is still question to whether she was real or not . . .
Ancient Sister Rivals – Aye, ’tis told that, Scathach (pronounced “skya”) was famous for training one of the greatest Irish hero legends, “Cuchulainn”. Her rival, Aife, happened to be her sister and considered another one of the finest warriors – both women were told to lead armies. You decide whether this was fact or fiction . . .
True Viking Discovery We definitely can’t deny the fascination for women warriors over the centuries. I adored watching old TV series of amazon women leading different lives, in enchanted places. To think of the mysterious and courageous lives they led, protecting what they stood for. I was thrilled to read about the latest discovery last fall, regarding the Viking skeleton unearthed in 1889, in Birka, Sweden! Can you imagine – the skeleton proved to belong to a woman warrior! A “Shieldmaiden”, buried with a sword, shields, ax, a spear and even the remnants of two horses.
(***Celtic women resources, warrior women, and Viking warrior woman searches can direct you to more information on the above mentioned, if you’re interested to find out more)
Not all of us can be “warriors” in the old sense of the word, as we face other challenges in this ever changing world! But we can still “dream” and “imagine” what it might have been like. I love creating new characters for my stories . . . The women I write about are pure at heart, go after their dreams, “love their man”, and never give up. . . .
Thank you for joining me, and I hope you enjoyed a wee peek at both fiction and reality . . .
Please feel free to leave a comment, and I invite you to join me again the end of this month, when my next post will be about a “real woman”. One I highly respected and admired for her courage and beliefs . . . entitled, “My Irish Mum was a War Bride”.