Selection of the Cailleach

Cailleach 2013 by Richard Winpenny
The Cailleach at Samhuinn 2013, photo by Richard Winpenny

The process for selecting the Cailleach differs from that of the Kings. The Kings are big presence, with the character often built on ego, their first step in their journey is self-nomination.

The Cailleach on the other hand, is not a role born of such ego, as such, She is instead chosen from amongst the society. Essentially, everyone is a possible candidate. A group consisting of the Blues and other experienced volunteers, including trustees, is formed. A brainstormed list is created, without judgement, from what these people have been observing and hearing. As this happens, feelers are put out, names are put forward by other people and enquiries are made. This list is then discussed in detail until 2 or 3 names remain. The Blues then use this shortlist for further discussion. Their preferred candidate is put forward to the Board for approval.

Ultimately, the reason She is chosen is many-fold, but the primary one is the same reason the Kings are asked to come forward, that is: it is part of the nature of the role.

Cailleach 2012 by Raini Scott
The Cailleach at Samhuinn 2012, photo by Raini Scott

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