Totem group – Picts – Planets - Fairy hound [Fib]
Type of Spiritual Experience
Tuiren with Bran and Sceólan from 'The Birth of Bran' in 'Irish Fairy Tales', illustration by Arthur Rackham (1867-1939).
A description of the experience
In search of the Picts – Elizabeth Sutherland
Once upon a time there was a king called Cruithne, son of Cing the Champion, who reigned for a hundred years. He had seven sons who were called Fib, Fidach, Floclaid (or Fotla), Fortrenn, Cat (or Caitt), Ce and Circenn.
These seven brothers divided Alba into seven portions of land each called after himself.
- Fib ruled for twenty-four years over Fife and Kinross. Professor Watson suggests the name may be personal and the meaning obscure. In the Book of Deer the people of Fife are called the cu-sidhe - the fairy hounds.
- Fidach ruled for forty years over Moray, and Ross. The name translates as ‘woodsman'.
- Foltlaig or Folla ruled for thirty years over Atholl and Gowrie. Fotla was a goddess of Ireland and a name for that country. Thus Atholl means 'new, Ireland'
- Fortria (Fortrenn) ruled for seventy years over Strathearn and Menteith. The name is thought to be the gaelicized form of Verturiones. Its meaning is obscure but may be connected to the River Forth. It might mean 'people of the slow winding river'.
- Cat (Caitl) ruled for twelve years over Caithness and Sutherland. The name means 'cat people'.
- Ce ruled for fifteen years over part of Aberdeenshire including Bennachie. Ce may survive in the name of Keith in Banffshire. An ancient Irish legend tells of certain Frigriu who eloped to Ireland with the daughter of a man from lona. Frigriu is called the 'artificer of the Pictish plain of Ce' [a skilled craftsman or inventor.].
- Cirech or Circenn ruled for sixty years over Angus and the Mearns. The name may mean 'crest-headed'. A battle was fought on the Plain of Circinn against the Scots. W.F. Skene mentions a certain Crus, son of Cirech, who was a chief warrrior of the Picts.
A little like the Jewish story of the rise of the Children of Israel, this was perhaps the Pictish way of accounting for their past. The story of Cruithne appears with variations in three of the texts of the Pictish King List, and the seven provinces are listed in a survey called De Situ Albanie attached to List One.