|Dimensions||15 × 3 × 18 in|
Beautifully detailed Celtic Mermaid Goddess Áine Wall Plaque cast in Cold Cast Bronze
Plaque Measures 12″ in Height.
The Goddess Áine has three forms: a maiden mermaid, lammas mother and crone/hag linked to the Tir na n’og. As a mermaid she lives at the bottom of Lough Gur (Enchanted Lake). As a young woman she is a powerful creative goddess, who made the fairy people and gave life to the earth. As a hag she defends her realm under the lake.
In other versions of her myth, she is the wife or daughter of the sea god, Manannán mac Lir. The feast of Midsummer Night was held in her honor.In County Limerick, she is remembered in more recent times as Queen of the Fairies.
Lough Gur in County Limerick, is a magical and mysterious place that is rich in folklore along with a wealth of archaeology and history dating back to Stone Age times and has been an important place of worship for over 6,000 years. Lough Gur itself is prehistoric and has remains of hut circles, enclosures, limestone outcrops and caves which date back to the Neolithic period. Due to votive offerings discovered within the lake and caves, it is regarded as a Neolithic Ritual centre. The hill of Knockainey (Irish: Cnoc Áine), near Lough Gur, is named after her. There is also an ancient Solar Wheel, as well as a sun temple, on the shores of Lough Gur as Áine is also associated with the Sun and Summer Season.
Aine has often been seen in the persona of a mermaid, combing Her hair in or nearby the water. In the mid 19th century it was reported that Aine came out of the lake and sat upon the Surdeachan, a flat topped limestone slab also known as the ‘house-keepers seat’ to comb Her hair with a golden comb. In 1971 Tom Carrol affirmed that ‘She still sits on the Surdeachan, combing her hair with a golden comb and she’ll continue to do so (un)til her comb is worn out and Her hair white’
One day, the Earl of Desmond found Áine in her mermaid form combing her hair by the lake. He snuck up on her and stole her magic cloak, which put her in his power. She agreed to bear the Earl a son in exchange for her freedom. This boy grew up to be exceptional in every way, once jumping into and out of a bottle. Later, due to a curse, he was condemned to spend eternity under the lake with his mother. Her son’s spirit can be seen every 7 years riding the shoreline of Lough Gur, which will not be released until the shoes of his horse are as thin as cat’s ears!
It is also said that once every seven years Lough Gur dries up and you can see the sacred tree at the bottom of it. The tree is guarded by Áine in her hag form, while she knits the fabric of life. A man on horseback once tried to steal her cloth, but Áine made the waters of the lake retrieve the cloth, and a part of the horse as well.
The King of the Gold Mines was once accused of adultery by his wife-to-be because he was given a present by Áine. In her Celtic mermaid form she has made a likeness of him out of magic seaweed. The story ends tragically when the king is killed and his betrothed dies of grief. Mermaid Áine changed the lovers into two trees that grow together.
Artist: Maxine Miller
|Dimensions||15 × 3 × 18 in|
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