You are here:
  1. » Home
  2. » Areas
  3. » Mythology
  4. » Europe
  5. » Celtic mythology
  6. » Scathach

Scathach

by Almut Wille
Scathach ("the shadowy one"), is a warrior queen and mistress of a school for young warriors. The school is located in Scotland on the island of Skye, reputedly named after Scathach; other sources say she's living in the Alps. She initiates young men into the arts of war, as well as giving them the "friendship of her thighs", that is to say, initiating them sexually. She grants three wishes to the hero Cuchulainn, because her daughter Uathach, being in love with him, has told him how to make her do it. The three wishes are to train him in the arts of war, to marry her daughter Uathach and to tell his fortune which she does by using imbas forosnai ("charm of the palms"), party foretelling the events of the Tain Bo Cuailgne (Cattle Raid of Cooley) in dark terms.

Scathach is said to be the daughter of the king of Scythia. Aoife, another fierce warrior queen, is reputed to be her sister, while Uathach, her daughter, is a fellow teacher at her school. She also has two sons named Cet and Cuar from an unnamed man and trains them within a secret yew tree. Another source tells that she is mother to three maidens named Lasair, Inghean Bhuidhe and Latiaran, the father being a man named Douglas.


Article details:

  • Pronunciation:
    scou'-ha, or skah'-thakh
  • Etymology:
    the shadowy one

Page tools: