Cailleach Oidhche - The Hag

The Element Encyclopedia of Witchcraft: The Complete A-Z for the Entire Magical World - Judika Illes 2005

Cailleach Oidhche
The Hag

This Scottish folk name for owl literally means “night hag” or “old woman of the night.” Among the most ancient Neolithic statuettes are those depicting sacred owl goddesses. Ancient “Eye Goddesses” are also sometimes identified as owls. (These stark images emphasize large, staring, owl-like eyes and the exclusively female parts of the human anatomy.)

Owls are associated with death and rebirth. Hag-goddesses sometimes serve as psychopomps, those spirits who escort and guide dead souls to their next destination. In this role, hags sometimes manifest as owls.

See ANIMALS: Owls; DICTIONARY: Psychopomp.