Red is a symbol of danger and I feel it is a colour Celtic women earned as mothers, warriors and virgins. They have a genetic stamp of self survival of both words and actions which they generously pass on to their children.
Macha, a war goddess, was the catalyst for this painting. Her husband boasted his wife could run faster than the king’s horses. Despite being pregnant, she raced the horses and won, giving birth to twins at the finish line. For this, she put a curse on the men of Ulster to suffer her labour pains in their hour of greatest need which was usually when they went to war.
The image of the hag is plentiful in Irish myth. Her dual nature was the ability to shape -shift between beautiful young girl and hideous hag. The common tale has the hag guarding a water hole. When wanders approach her to quench their thirst, she demands a kiss in exchange. Most are repulsed by her looks but one finally kiss and embraces her.The hag becomes a beautiful young woman.