The Song of Tah-kee-os-tee

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I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with reliquaries. I remember once as a child going on a day trip to Church site that not only had a grotto but also had an entire collection of little glass bubbles each a perfect little reliquary. As far as I remember there was a piece of a female saints cloak, a toe bone of another saint and a splinter of wood from the cross where Jesus was crucified. Oh such magic to the child with the pagan heart who was brought up catholic! The sheer mystery – I could almost hear the story of how the cloak came to be here, the toe bone and the many clips of hair!

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The little church on the site, the All Saints Reliquary Chapel contains 735 relics of many saints, seemingly the largest collection of relics outside Rome.

 

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Roadside Shrine with Catholic Saints on a Druidic Sacred Oak (source)

Usually my first place to visit would be the river, beach combing along the banks of the Clyde, but i’m no longer in Scotland so i’ll begin on the banks of the French Broad River. She is old but she is fast. Her swirling currents pull you back in time to a time before roads and logging. She is the oldest river in the world, far older than the mountains she has carved her path through. To the The Cherokees she is Tah-kee-os-tee or “racing waters,” Poe-li-co, Agiqua, and Zillicoah.

I wonder what stories she will offer, what insights she will bring? 

And so I am gathering bones and shells, stories and pieces of half heard conversations while sewing on remnants of dreams that left you feeling drenched in the deep mystery of things…

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Let us see what magic we can weave….

Our day with the Antlered One

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Our intentions for the day wrapped around an antler

 We gathered in sacred circle and shared stories and encounters of antlered beings, carefully considered our intentions and wrapped them around an antler. A story of deer priestesses took us back to a time when women gathered to honor Her – and as those ancient women, the ones who followed the reindeer via ancient Scottish pathways, the deer trods, the leylines – we in turn followed behind them and slipped between the worlds. The drum lead us on a journey with flying reindeer, maps to her terrain, dancing the deer trods – personal healing and healing for community.

The we sat again in circle with wool and yarn and translated some of our visions and messages into sacred art. Sacred art that mirrors the wonder and mystery – that while it was wonderful to read so many stories we ourselves need to find our own path. We ourselves need to journey and ask questions, receive wisdom, we need to sit in circle, to share our insights and see themes and common threads – that create a new weave, a new cloth – a new way.

‘Their physical journey can be seen as a symbol for the spiritual migration of human beings searching for the meaning o life in the everyday world. Our spiritual journeys, too, take us through bogs of consciousness. We too must pass through raging rivers of grief, tread carefully over areas of icy despair, cross craggy ravines that reflect our terror of the unknown, and face feared enemies that threaten to devour us, like hungry wolf packs.’ L Schierse Leonard

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 ‘The reindeer’s antlers are considered by some to cradle the third eye, that special, inherent form of intuitive knowledge’.  L Schierse Leonard

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‘Our own reflection framed within the peaceful eyes of the reindeer can remind us of our intimate, primal connection with and responsibility to all of nature. The reindeer’s ability to survive the starkest winters and find their way through dangerous wilderness to create new life may help us reclaim a guiding symbol for our existence, one that can help us rediscover and redeem our own enduring instincts’ . L Schierse Leonard

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‘Antlers shape suggest spiritual antennae reaching to the sky, pointing to the spirit world, receiving messages and becoming the instinctive wisdom of death and rebirth’. L Schierse Leonard

We explored what it means to us today to connect to that most ancient, primal energy – that it is just as empowering and rejuvenating to women today, as it  flows through time – not in a linear fashion but through circles and synchronicity to engage with us through flowing spirit.

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Click on the above image for a small introduction to Elen Sentiers book – Following the Deer Trods

 

 

* All quotes come from Leonard, Schierse, L. 1995. Creation’s Heartbeat. Following the Reindeer Spirit. Bantam, USA.

She Who Wears Antlers

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We have one place left for this rather special workshop this sunday – why is it special? Because she’s my favorite subject!

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Deer Priestess art

All art materials are provided as well as a copy of my article ‘Ancient Mothers of Loch Lomond’ from the current issue of Sage Woman magazine.

full details and booking 2

The Realm of the Antlered One

Screen shot 2015-04-09 at 8.38.38 AMIntroduction to the Deer Goddess 04/19 10.30-5.30

The Deer Goddess is an ancient figure, one who personifies the great mother in many cultures. Come join us on Sunday 19th April for an introduction to this primal figure.

You will receive a workshop resource pack emailed to you before the workshop with readings, articles and a copy of my article ‘Ancient Mother of Loch Lomond’ (featuring the Deer Goddess and the Cailleach) published in Sage Woman. Your invited to bring a story or image to share that calls to you.

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You’ll receive a deer charm or antler charm to incorporate into your art piece

In sacred circle we will share stories and thoughts from the reading – is the Deer Goddess actually a goddess? We’ll discuss what mysteries she offers and look at other deer figures throughout different cultures – from the tattoos of the preserved body of a woman from Altai Mountains to Elen of the ways and to the goddess Artemis.

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Shamanic journey

Then a guided meditation will set the scene leading into a shamanic journey which will take you between the worlds accompanied by live drumming. There will be time after the journey to record your impressions through art and journalling. Then we will share our journeys.

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Sacred art

In the afternoon we will create a wall hanging, inspired by our journey, allowing the essence of our connection to flow through into our artwork.

No experience needed in shamanic journeying or needle felting – all art materials will be provided.

Celtic Soul School members receive a discount

 

full details and booking 2

 

New dolls….

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New dolls who have been waiting in the wool!

Priestess of Artemis – in researching the Deer Goddess I naturally have been looking at Artemis and often exploration of goddesses often come through exploring them in wool. I’ve got out my knife and am whittling away making her a bow and some arrows.

I’m not quite sure who the second goddess in the photo is – I had a strong sense of the desert, at the edge of water…

The third is the blue aced hag of winter, the Cailleach – but she is far more than just winter, she is the power of renewal….

Honoring the Ancient Mother (Doll Making Circle 1)

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We gathered in sacred circle to honor the Great Mother. To the sound of the drum we were transported to another time,  – just under the skin of our own reality. There we danced in circle around a fire on the shore of the Loch. When She arrived we joined in her chant, not knowing the words but our souls knew her song. She invited us on a journey…..

In the afternoon we translated all that inspiration choosing colors and form and made dolls inspired by her image.

The next doll making circle we honor Celtic Goddesses – there is just one place left on this circle.

full details and booking