in the Spotlight
by Fiana Sidhe
MatriFocus, a Cross-Quarterly Web Zine for Goddess Women Near & Far
Cliodna, of the Tuatha
de Danann, is a Goddess of the sea, the afterlife and beauty. She was
known as the ruler of the waves. It was said that every ninth wave embodied
her and would be much higher and stronger than the other waves.
Cliodna would sometimes shapeshift into a bird, a Celtic symbol of the afterlife. Legends also tell of her having three magical birds whose songs could bring rest and health to those who were ill. She was the daughter of Gebhan, Irelands last Druid, and in other myths she is said to be the sister of Aife and Edain. Cliodna often walks the Earth in the form of a beautiful woman.
Some say that her name means 'shapely one of the fair hair'. Some myths say that when she spent her time on Earth she dwelled in a Marble Castle on Loch Dearg, Lake of the Red Eye. Many legends are told of Cliodna luring her human lovers into the Faery realm, and they were never seen or heard from again. In one of Cliodnas love stories, she fell in love with the handsome Ciabhan, and the two tried to run away together. They sailed away, but Mannan sent a huge wave to bring Cliodna back home to the otherworld or Faery realm, and Ciabhan was drowned by the same wave.
Cliodna was then never
again allowed to leave the otherworld, and became the Goddess of the afterlife.
In other versions of this story, Cliodna was also drowned by the great
wave, and the Irish landmark Tonn Cliodna was named in honor of her passing.
Birds, especially sea birds, sand dollars, abalone shells, and sand are
all sacred to the Goddess Cliodna. Ask for Cliodnas aid when doing
magic involving water or the sea, love, beauty, or the afterlife.