Goddess of beauty; sea goddess; death goddess. Beautiful, lusty, Cliodna of the Fair Hair is one of the Tuatha De Dannan, daughter of the sea god Mannan. She is also the matron of waves, especially large waves and the ninth wave of every series of waves that break on shore.
Cliodna (pronounced kleena) rules the Land of Promise, an otherworld where there is no violence or death. She is associated with the coastline of Ireland near Cork. Carrig Cliodna, in County Cork, is her sacred hill. With time, Cliodna devolved from goddess into a fairy queen of Munster. She was then said said to be the daughter of Geban, the last druid in Ireland. Cliodna is the protectress of the O’Keefe family, who some say are her descendants.
When she assumes human form, Cliodna is the most beautiful woman on earth. She often takes mortal men for lovers, but being loved by Cliodna can mean being loved to death. When Cliodna takes a man to the otherworld, he is never seen again.
Cliodna once fell in love with a young human, Ciabhan of the Curling Lock, and she escaped from the otherworld to be with him. They reached the shore of Ireland together. Ciabhan (pronounced keevan) went hunting, and Mannan put Cliodna into an enchanted sleep. He then sent a wave that drew her back into the Land of Promise. There is another version of this legend where it is Cailleach, the crone goddess, who sent her fairies to lull Cliodna into the enchanted sleep, and then sent the wave that drowned her.
It was an Irish belief that every ninth wave that breaks ashore has magical properties. Tonn Cliodna, the great wave of Cliodna, is mentioned in Irish mythology as being off the coast at Glandore, in County Cork. Cliodna can be viewed as incarnate in every ninth wave.
Songbirds and sea birds are sacred to Cliodna. She often takes the form of a sea bird, and she has three magical birds that heal the sick by singing them to sleep. Nine is her sacred number. Invoke Cliodna for beauty, healing, fairy magic, love spells, life after death, water magic, and contact with the Otherworld. A beach is the best place to call upon her, since she may take the form of a sea bird or a large wave.
Cian was the son of Dian Cécht and Danu. Cian had two brothers: Goibhniu (master smith), and Sawan. But according to Oidheadh Chlainne Tuireann (Death of the Children of Tuireann), his brothers were Cu and Cethe; they were the sons of Cainte.
Cian possessed a magic cow that had endless supply of milk. When Balor deceived Sawan (who was guarding the cow), Cian took revenge upon the Fomorian captain, by seducing Balor’s daughter, Ethlinn. Ethlinn bore Cian three sons.
It was prophecised that Balor’s grandson would one day kill him. Balor had Ethlinn (Ethnea or Eithliu) imprisoned in the tower. When her sons (triplets) were born, Balor threw each son from the tower into the sea. Only one infant was saved by Manannán (Manannan) and a Druidess named Birog. Birog brought the child to Cian. Cian put the child, whom he named Lugh, into the care of his brother Goibhniu.
Cian’s death was only briefly given in the Lebor Gabala Erren, saying that he was murdered by the sons of Tuirill Biccreo – Brian, Iuchar and Iucharba. The story was greatly expanded a lot later, in the Oidheadh Chlainne Tuireann (or the “Death of the Children of Tuireann”)
When Lugh manhood, he became the Deliverer of the Tuatha Dé Danann. When the Danann gathered an army to oppose the Fomorians. Cian was sent to enlist fighting men from Ulster. On his journey, he transformed himself into a pig to avoid the sons of Turenn, whom he had blood feud with. However, the sons of Turenn weren’t fooled by Cian’s disguised and mortally wounded the pig (Cian). Cian pleaded with the sons of Turenn that he wished to transform back to a man, they granted his boon.
When Lugh discovered his father’s death, Lugh captured Turenn’s sons. Lugh sent them in impossible quests (eric), if they were to escape execution. The brothers fulfilled most of the tasks. Most of the eric, Lugh sent them were obtaining items to help the Danann with the war, such as the magic spear from Persia, and the magical pig-skin that can heal any wound or disease. In their last tasks, the brothers were mortally wounded. Turenn pleaded with Lugh to heal his sons with the healing pigskin. Lugh refused. The sons of Turenn died from their wounds, thereby avenging Cian’s murder.
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