'Níl fadhb agam. Tá Badhbh agam' - 'I don't have a problem. I have a Badhbh'.
Ireland has always been a place of spiritual connection, from the earliest tribes connection to the Otherworld, through the first christian hermitages set up in places of solitude and privacy, even to this very day when folk come to experience the island, home of their ancestors and indeed their Gods.
Amongst the Tuatha Dé Danann we find mention of the Badb, or Badhbh in modern Irish. She is listed, along with her sisters Macha and The Mórrígan, as a Goddess of battle and death. Said to take the form of a hooded or scald crow the Badhbh flies over the battle fields of Eireann and that her raucous cries cause the weak of heart to quail in terror.
Possessed of the oracular skill, the Badb is quite often seen prophesying the doom of the worthy and unworthy alike. In the form of the washer at the ford we see her as a stooped crone laboriously scrubbing the blood and gore from some garment or armour, turning the river's waters to red. The identity of the doomed can be told in the recognition of the garment, for if the washer's hands are upon you own shirt then soon your time will come, and in blood and battle shall you meet your end. To die in battle was not always a thing to fear, for in facing a confrontation, standing your ground and meeting an honorable end a warrior can be said to fulfill the duty to which they have sworn their life. The prophesy of the washer could be seen by some as the culmination of their calling.
Yet those who experience the attention of this deity are not always doomed to fall in battle, for the Badhbh can also speak to the doom of that which limits a person, inciting them to greater feats by challenging them to overcome their own reservations. Calling to a person from atop some challenge they must face, exhorting them, not with gentle whispers, but with harsh and grating caws to rise up, take on their power and excel.
Do you hear the call of the Badhbh? Does she speak of the end of your limitations?
If that is so then just maybe you too can say 'Níl fadhb agam. Tá Badhbh agam' - 'I don't have a problem. I have a Badhbh'.