Dates: Thursdays 10/15, 10/22, 10/29, 11/05, 11/12
The Cailleach is an ancient pre-celtic figure, a divine hag, a creatrix. She is so old she has no known genealogy or traditions associated with her. She comes from a time before time. This course sets out to explore who is the Cailleach, what does she represent? Are their clues we can read into hidden in folklore and what is her relationship to the Goddess Brighid? The course delves into these questions over five sessions and offers films and audio stories as well as guided meditations to help you engage with her on many levels – both in this world and the next.
Session one: The Great age of the Cailleach 10/15
The first session opens with an exploration of the meaning behind her name and examining the Cailleach in relation to other figures in global primal myth. We explore the secret to her great age through listening to some cailleach myths and a short film and then consider the meaning behind the themes in the myth and what that tells us about how she is viewed in our world today.
Session two: Pilgrimage 10/22
Session two takes us on a pilgrimage to three sites in Ireland and three in Scotland. We begin our journey at the Beare Peninsula where we explore the story of the hag Rock, then The Hag’s Head at the Cliffs of Moher and the Hag’s Chair at Loughcrew. Then we then travel to Scotland to explore the Corryvrecken Whirlpool, Tigh na Cailleach (The Cailleach Shrine) and the magical mountain of Schiehallion. At each site we explore the myths and stories of these places and a guided meditation offers your own personal pilgrimage to what site most resonated with you.
There will be the invitation to create your own Cailleach shrine – a mix of collage from maybe one or two of the sites that most interest you, which can be added to as you explore more aspects of her in the coming sessions. You will receive ideas and prompts and an invitation to share your creation.
Session three: Evolution and embellishment 10/29
Session three begins by looking at the popular view of the Cailleach today and her relationship with the goddess Brighid. We delve into exploring that relationship and answering why did the Cailleach story change. This session covers the ‘Celtic Twilight’ a time when the Victorians were enamored by all things Celtic, and within literature many myths got rewritten and another layer onto her story. We question how these rewritings has changed the perception of the Cailleach and listen to the story of Bride and Beira and ponder its deeper meaning.
Session four: Down to the Roots 11/05
Session four looks for clues that might help us reclaim aspects of the Cailleach. We examine the role of renewal in relation to the Great Mother of Old Europe and how such an integral aspect became vilified. We look at Old Europe culture in relation to women’s mysteries and in particular female shamanism as the root of this ancient spirituality and what is offers modern women today. A guided meditation takes us back to a goddess honoring culture and lives filled with ritual and ceremony and gratitude.
Session five: Her role for our time 11/12
We explore the role of the Bean Feasa, the wise woman and the role she has played over countless generations and in particular, times of personal crisis. In opening that up to the bigger picture today and a world in crisis – what then can the wise woman offer?
Renewal is at the heart of the Cailleach story and we explore how we can work with this concept in our daily lives. We tie in all the threads of the previous sessions into this initial weave and a shamanic journey offers you the opportunity to seek answers to your own personal questions.
How the course works
Participants are emailed a link and password and access the weeks session via my website. Guided meditations and shamanic journeys will be made available via you tube files.
There will be prompts in the session, invitations to explore your own thoughts on certain aspects through journalling or mulling things over as you go or a walk in the woods.
Guided meditations will invite you between the world to the realm of the Cailleach – with a suggestion of gathering your art materials and journal to record impressions and journey.
A private Facebook group offers participants a place to share aspects around prompted ideas – mainly sharing what aspects of the sessions material you engaged with the most and also a place to share our experiences on the guided meditations and journeys.
Each week there will be additional bonus material, optional links to films, reading or websites if you wish to explore an aspect in further detail.
I you wish to pay by check please use the contact page to get in touch