Irish Mythology

The Gods and Spirits of Ireland

BEAN NIGHE

Irish Death Goddess

Also known as Washer Woman, Washer At The Ford

The Washerwoman of Doom

She runs the Mórrígan Laundry Service, coming soon to a battle near you. She is a harbinger of fateful tidings. Think scare tactics.

An unsuspecting soldier wakes up one morning, stumbles down to the stream and discovers that his smalls are in the clutches of a frightful hag. The creepy old washerwoman is scrubbing a blood-stained uniform in the stream. His uniform.

The garments drip red into the water and she glares at him with a ‘you’re next’ look in her eye. Then she turns into a crow and flaps off. Result: the poor soldier returns to camp with the sinking feeling that today’s battle won’t be going his way.

His clothes are sodden, his sword has gone rusty, and crows swirl around looking him straight in his eye. They lick their beaks as the enemy forces surge into the camp...

Gods are not much concerned with domestic duties. When you have incredible power you are not going to fiddle-faddle around doing the dishes. A swift thunderbolt or flood will get it out of the way.

Gods that do take in washing tend to disguise themselves as hags or crones. It stops those awkward questions. A baleful look and a bucket of blood should be enough to prevent almost anybody from dumping a shopping trolley in the river.

Sadly this aspect of Godliness seems to be in a decline. Where is The Washer at the Ford now? She hasn’t been seen for ages. Perhaps she has invested in a domestic appliance. Or did she start a chain of laundromats?

Bean nighe Facts and Figures

Name: Bean nighe
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Washer Woman, Washer At The Ford

Gender: Female
Type: Goddess
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Death
Area of expertise: Death

Good/Evil Rating: NOT OKAY, be careful
Popularity index: 1444

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Article last revised on May 19, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

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