Beira, Queen of Winter

Hello my Lovely readers, and welcome to Femme Fatale Friday~Holiday Edition!    For this winter holiday Femme Fatale Friday I have chosen the Queen of Winter from Celtic myth, Beira as my subject!

Beira comes to us from Celtic cultures, especially Scotland and Ireland.    Alternately she is said to be known as Cailleach.   This alternative name is said to be literally translated to mean “veiled one.”   She is often seen as not just a Goddess of Winter, but also a mother of all other Gods and Goddesses.   

One of the most common images of her is as a crone, or a hag in less kindly terms.    She is the elder who presides over the dark half of the year!   Beira can be seen as a fearful figure due to the association with Winter.   She is presiding over the time of year when everything is dying and dead.    It is a cold and very dangerous climate.    In old times many people could freeze to death due to not having adequate shelter.    It would then make much sense that people would find her a frightful figure because of her association with a time of year that they already found fearful!

In truth she was one of the most powerful of all of the Goddesses in Scotland!   She could control the weather, and change the landscape to suit her pleasure.   It is thought that the reason she was viewed as so powerful and worshipped above other Scottish deities was due to the fact that Winter lasted so long.    It would be a dangerous thing to not respect this very powerful and dangerous time of the year.    They worshipped her and the season in a bit of a fearful way!    In this sense some can say that she was also hated, as being thought to hold the lives of all in her hands.   She could easily choose to freeze anyone she wished to death!

By personality she is depicted as being fierce and cruel.   She had a fiery temper, and that meant that fearing her was an intelligent move for the ancient Scots!   In her story she would change as the cycle of the year wore on.   She would become a young woman in spring and go through her life cycle as the year turned.   She would be a crone by her most powerful time of winter!   In this way I see her as being similar to our concept of Father Time and Baby New Year.    In both cases we see a figure whose whole life cycle takes place in the span of one year, and regenerating at the dawn of the following year!

I hope that you have enjoyed this brief Femme Fatale Friday Holiday post about this very fatale Goddess of Winter.   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a lovely version of this Goddess.    I found the image on

Further Reading