Calling all Amazons against the Kurgen President!

final-imageThe hardest thing I did yesterday was to get out of bed. I could feel my shock in the election result in my body. It weighed me down, I couldn’t move fast. When I got out to the garden  was surprised that the world seemed the same – the tree’s were in the same places and the sky hadn’t cracked open.  I moved very slowly yesterday, glad for the little things – washing dishes and cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and sweeping the porch, little things brought me back to life.

While on awaking I had the fragment of a dream ‘we are born for these times’ rang in my head to which I loudly replied no, I’m small, I’m tired and I’m overwhelmed. By lunchtime I really was tired and ready to back to bed.

I slowly stirred from my shock gratingly annoyed at messages of we must meet everything with love and reassurances that somehow this is part of the big plan that things will get worse before they get better.

Today was easier to get out of bed, I don’t feel so numb and my shock is lifting into a well placed anger. As I made coffee I noticed lots of threads of spider silk coming off the big dead tree in the garden on onto the mountain laurel bush (who is flowering), other strands are roped out onto the fence post, onto the grass and I enjoyed the notion the we are all connected. It’s the great wheel of life that our foremothers honored, the great web of time, space and everything in-between.

The election news was like an alarm bell going off, as if warning us of another Kurgen attack. Those initial attacks started 6,000 years ago, we live in a Kurgen society and now have a Kurgen as president! Today my shock has turned to a well tuned anger and I have to admit I’m a little prickled to those saying we must turn to it all with love or that it has to get worse before it gets better – erm, 6,000 years of patriarchy is pretty freaking bad! The centuries and centuries of genocides on women, the witch burnings – exactly how much more can we take?

I’m not going to tell you words above loving stronger, or that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as right now I can’t see it. What I do know is that it is the dark of the year. I come from a circle culture and our temples that were burnt to the ground, all the women burnt as witches, all the women who have gone through the unspeakable we all come together in HER temples when we sit in circle. And behind our circle is another circle – one made up of the grandmothers, the old ones, our foremothers. We have the web, we have the tools of shamanic journeying, of dancing between the worlds and asking those ancient ones for their wisdom. We have circle, we have the wheel. And right now we have darkness – darkness where all our energies are rooted in the dark place, a dark lace that birthed the universe, it’s births our creativity, it births our reality if we let it and not come from a pace of yesterdays emotions.

Our culture has endured thousands of years of persecution, thousands of years of misogyny, oppression, massacre, abuse, injustice, torture, murder, rape……

And while we may feel small alone we are of a circle culture, and when we come together her temples are rebuilt, we travel between worlds and return with visions and guidance, we inspire each other with our stories and root it into our lives through creativity and then weave it into our lives in the fight that seems ever present.

Those thousands of years have turned us into amazons, warriors and we each fight this battle in our own way. I am resonate to keep doing what I do and come together in circle around the wheel and nourish our roots with our great culture of femaleness, of togetherness, of ancestor, of healing and in fighting!

While I had to write these words (even for myself) I had to question adding on events i’m offering, but that’s what I do in the world – we each healing and together we raise our amazon swords!

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Click on the image above for full details & booking

On saturday 26th November you might wish to join our circle as we work with the great crone, the Cailleach. We will hear her stories, travel between the worlds with our own personal intentions. We will make Cailleach dolls – dolls being powerful tools and we will share our stories and strengthen our roots.

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And in May 2017 we will gather in circle on the lands of the Ancestral Mothers of Scotland. We will do deep shamanic work with ritual and ceremony, visit her sites work with our fears and anger, our inspiration and commit to the work we do in this worlds.

Through the Eye of the Cailleach – Workshop

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*3 places left * (as of 11/7)

By the end of November the pumpkins have started to rot, the costumes discarded and the decorations back in their box. The majority of ancestral souls have returned to where they dwell. The world is quiet, dark and it is time to answer the souls calling and journey into the cave. As nature draws her energy down to the roots it is natural for us too to turn inwards as it is here in the dark that we can best tend to our soul life.

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The Cailleach is sometimes described as having a great third eye in the middle of her forehead. Through this eye she can see through all time and space with a primal intuition. She see’s all that causes havoc in our world. We will draw on her wisdom and activate our own third eyes so we can see afresh into our own lives and see the cause and effects that we might otherwise be blind to.

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Forest offering to the Cailleach

In this workshop we will share stories of the Cailleach (provided) and discuss our feelings around them. We will also watch a short film about the great hag and get a sense of her great age. We will have a guided meditation which takes us to the priestesses of the Cailleach, the ones who know the ways of this divine crone.

We will then take those inspirations and weave them into our dolls. Our dolls will be made through a needle felting process, suitable for complete beginners. We will decorate our dolls with Scottish tweed as well as pockets and little jars which can be used in ritual and with intention – we will also discuss working with dolls.

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Mini Cailleach Retreat

screenshot-2016-10-25-at-10-20-51-amThrough the Eye of the Cailleach

                               Friday 25th November 7-9.30 pm – Saturday 27th November 10.30 – 6.30pm 2016.                                              Woodfin (5 mins from Downtown Asheville, NC).

By the 25th November the pumpkins have started to rot, the costumes discarded and the decorations back in their box. The majority of ancestral souls have returned to where they dwell. The world is quiet, dark and it is time to answer the souls calling and journey into the cave. As nature draws her energy down to the roots it is natural for us too to turn inwards as it is here in the dark that we can best tend to our soul life. This retreat gathers in the foothills of the Appalachians in sacred  circle as the overhead moon wanes from crone into the dark moon.

The Cailleach is sometimes described as having a great third eye in the middle of her forehead. Through this eye she can see through all time and space, her great insight her primal  intuition. She see’s all that causes havoc in our world. We will draw on her wisdom and activate our own third eyes so we can see afresh into our own lives and see the cause and effects that we might otherwise be blind to.

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Will you allow yourself some slowing down this winter. Come, come join us in the cave. Drop your baggage by the entrance. You are welcomed here, wrapped up in a bear skin, given a seat by the fire and a mug of steaming herbal tea.

We gather on the Friday evening in circle as we share stories about the Cailleach and our feelings around the dark. We will add personal items to our Ancestor altar for our time together.

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Cailleach doll

We gather again on Saturday morning in circle. A  guided meditation will introduce us to  the priestesses of the Cailleach and live drumming will invite you on a shamanic journey travelling with our own personal intentions. We will have a period of silence for journey reflection, art, collage or writing.

In the afternoon we will create our Cailleach doll (see the above image for example) she will be made through a needle felt process which is easy to learn and suitable for complete beginners. We will also add special features such as bags and pockets which can hold sacred items and intentions.



Free sign up gift –  podcast on ‘Working With the Grandmothers’ 

 

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The Cailleach Course – Last call to sign up!

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The online Cailleach course, now in it’s second year launches this coming wednesday!

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The depths, the research, the heart, the soul, the honoring of Cailleach is formidable and powerful!   It feels you heaved a large boulder from this Great Goddess, She stood stretch her old bones and turned to grin at you for remembering and uncovering her wisdom. I thank you for remembering!  Your medicine is a gift to this world, this world that so needs to remember Cailleach!  In deepest gratitude!  Reda R

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The Cailleach – art doll

It’s not too late to sign up for the course – priced at just $38

Five sessions:

Explore her great age,

Her sacred sites,

Her changing story,

Explore the roots of her folklore and

Examine her role for our time.

Also

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Guided meditations

Story telling

Community Facebook Group

Links and resources

Creating a Cailleach Altar

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An Invitation to the Temple of the Ancestral Mother’s

temple-of-the-ancestral-mothersThe Temple of the Ancestral Mother’s 

Fall is definitely creeping through the foothills of the Appalachians and finally the temperature is beginning to cool. All summer I’ve yearned for cooler temperatures as there has been so many days where there is very little difference between the day and the night temperatures.

Today I feel unsettled, restless. I had this vision that I just want to retreat to the temple of the Ancestral Mother’s. To enter the temple in the half light of dawn and open the door and windows to the new day. I yearn to lie down in front of her altar, look up to see images of the ancient mothers and her symbols as I purify myself in the aroma of dried herbs grown from the garden. To turn on some music which expands this moment and stretches me back through the ages to my foremothers and to the future foremothers.

I’ll light some candles and offer prayers into the day. Remind myself to create from a place of mystery rather than yesterdays or last week’s emotions! Then i’ll make some coffee and head upstairs to the studio which shares the same roof as the temple as of course it’s sacred work!


Since the times when our temples to Her were razed to the ground, our beliefs poured into ‘fairy tales’ for safe keeping, our work done in the shadows as a reign of terror was raged on womankind, one which is sadly raging after thousands of years!  I see the old temples held by each women – one might hold the light of the candles, another remembers the ancient songs. Some women recreate the banners and the old script, others create altars while some have the vision of the rituals and deep ceremony. When we come together in circle we rebuild the temples, we might have to travel for our temples are nomadic and the faces in our circles may change but between us we light the candles, sing the songs and still honor Her.

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Altoid tin traveling altar

Her Temple on Scottish Soil

For now my temple and my tribe of women are nomadic. The call is out for women to gather and build that nomadic temple on Scottish soil. Some will bring the light of the candles, others bring her songs in their blood and each of us bring an honoring that is knitted into our bones. Together we will create her temple on Scottish soil on a land steeped in her rich mythology!

Please share this link with any kindred women who you know hold the memory in her honor!

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Doll Making on the Ancient Mother’s of Scotland Retreat

AM collageThe Ancient Mothers/Ancestral Mother dolls – Deer Goddess, Clutha, cailleach, Brighid. 

I hated dolls as a child. I found them eerie and to be truthful I didn’t know what to do with them. Fast forward a good few decades across an ocean to another continent – how did I end up a doll maker? I remember a distant aunt once giving me a doll – I didn’t know what to do with it. I did the only thing I could think of I cut off her hair and as I waited for it to grow back she received a set of full body tattoos. I loved playing with toy animals and their stable, I even had an invisible dog but I just didn’t understand dolls.

When I first arrived in Asheville (NC) seven years ago I went to volunteer with a local group called Our Voice a non profit supporting survivors of sexual abuse. While I practically couldn’t be a volunteer I ended up running a series of workshops. Now here’s a bit of syncronicity – many years ago before I could even point to NC on a map I met a woman via a photography site. It was several years before we met in person and guess where she lives – Western North Carolina. I signed her up for a doll making workshop then when she wasn’t able to run the class I learned doll making from her to run the class myself. I headed up to her town on the Tennessee border in the sweltering summer and there we created magic with wool.

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Breejah – My first doll

Breejah (pictured above) is my first doll and when she emerged from the wool she announced her name was Brighid. Hmmm – the Brighid I asked? Yes she replied with her dark skin and dreadlocks. I was expecting Brighid to have pale porcelain Irish hue and the flaming red hair. Breejah and I have travelled a lot and she has guided me to many places and shown and taught me many things.

Doll making is my exploration with different deities, they almost call out from the wool to be made. My relationship is in the making, in the co-creating. I’m curious about this place we interact with, is it the ultimate source? (however you wish to name it?). Dolls are powerful tools and I see our ancient foremothers as doll makers with figures like the woman of Willendorf. I love to think of the intentions and rituals as the ancient made their dolls.

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My Cailleach doll by the Loch of the Big Women on the Isle of Eigg

On the Ancient Mother’s of Scotland retreat we will be making a doll. I hope to get some local wool we can use. Our dolls will be born of our own intentions, gratitudes and prayers. They might be adorned with special shells, hold small little glass vials with sand or holy water. They might have the wild hair o the Cailleach, antlers of the Deer Goddess, hold vials of sacred water or ashes of our sacred fire. Dolls are sacred vessels, they can be our focus for our relationship with the ancient mothers. They are altars for offerings and gratitudes for requests and intentions.

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Click on the doll image above to read my essay Radical Doll Making From Willendorf to Today: The Relevance of an Ancient Tradition 

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Click on the image of the book above to learn more about the anthology my essay is published in as well as reviews and ordering information. 

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Click on the above image to view the retreat itinerary

A Costume for the Cailleach

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‘At Samhuinn, the veil between the worlds draws thin and the spirits gather close to bear witness as the courts of Summer and Winter battle for control of the seasons. In her wild ecstasy of grief and sorrow, the Cailleach ushers the last breath os Summer’s opulent decadence into the beyond to make way for the icy storms of Winter’s dark reign’.                        Beltane Fire Society 

 cailleach-postersBeltane Fire Society’s posters

The Beltane Fire Societies events – Beltane & Sumhuinn in Edinburgh are not to be missed! The creativity, the dancing, the drumming – the ritual! Those were wild nights. These days my relationship with the crone has changed and shapeshifter as I too have. My reflection on the wheel is more of a women’s psychology – the wheel of my foremothers. There is room for all views of the wheel for we are not all from the same village.

This year the Beltane Fire Society’s Cailleach extends an invitation to send a fabric square which will be stitched together to make her costume which will be worn in their great ritual on Samhuinn night in Edinburgh.

Click here for the original post and mailing address (to Edinburgh, Scotland) 

I was stitching little keening dolls when I read this news. Intention woven into the fabric with each repetitive action – as i my hands were spinning new weaves which went out into the great web that connects all things. I so love this idea of a communally created gown and so if you miss the Scottish deadline I am more than happy to take strips of fabric (measuring 20cm x 10cm or 8 inches x 4 inches) which will be stitched together and worn at a Cailleach ritual in november – in the belly of the deep. The garment will be a shroud of sorts for the Cailleach – for she ushers in death in the winter months as without death there is no rebirth. if you’d like to send a intention or request with your fabric – you can roll it up in a scroll and it will be burnt on our dark need fire. Deadline for fabric – 20th October.

Contact me here for my address. 

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