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19"x19", seventeen piece relief carved Celtic deer and dragon ceramic tile set.
Available from http://earthsongtiles.com
The graceful hind, a female red deer, was especially sacred to the Celts and Druids. In Scottish tradition they were milked in the mountains by fairies and known as "fairy cattle" Some say they are fairy women taken the form of a deer and it is said that in a fit of jealous rage a fairy queen once turned one hundred sidh girls into hinds. There were at least three great hag goddesses that were connected with and cared for these fairy cattle. Cailleach-mor-nam-fiadh who lived in the mountains on Jura, The great Hag of Clibric protected them from hunters and the Cailleach Beinn-a-bhrie hearded and milked them in the forests of the hills. Like the Great Hags of Scotland, Flidhais the Irish goddess of wild things cared for the deer like cattle and was also known as the deer goddess. In both Irish and Scottish tradition, the mother of Ossian was turned into a hind by enchantment before she gave birth to the hero-poet. The hind was probably the most common wild and hunted creature in ancient Britain and was highly respected not only as an important source of food and clothing, but as a magical shape shifting animal, capable of affecting the lives and ways of men.