Reindeer Dreaming, Mist and Sea Inspired Prayer Beads

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Misty Island Prayer Beads

These prayer beads are inspired by the wonderful blankets of mist that often lay heavy on the earth and can leave you feeling as if you are a little between worlds. I enjoy those days watching the mist lift and then return which allows you to feel hidden, wrapped in a misty cloak where the everyday landscape appears completely different. The beads feature hematite stone which while we may feel between the worlds a little with mist’s inspiration the metallic stone keeps us completely grounded and shielded by her protection.

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Reindeer Dreaming Prayer Beads

These mystic aura quartz beads are an inspiration of the northern lights dancing in a sky of the waning moon. They shine down on a long gone Scottish landscape where reindeer once roamed. The grey hematite stone keeps us securely grounded as we dream and journey with those long gone foremothers who led their people in following the great herds. I wonder do the reindeer of the reintroduced herd which roams the Cairngorm mountains ever meet their ancient ancestors or find their hooves taking ancient old trackways.


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Scottish Island Prayer beads

Bloodstone is found a few places around the world and the small Scottish island of Rum is one of them. It was a prized stone to the earliest visitors who used the stone to fashion into axe heads and other tools. This green/blue form of bloodstone symbolizes the wonderful sea green hues of the waters off Scottish beaches. Some of these islands hold place names related to a mythic race (or not so mythic) race of ‘Big women’ said to inhabit Eigg (the island beach I’m standing on as I took the photo of the Isle of Rum in the photos featured) has a Gaelic name of Eilean nam Ban Mora – translating as Isle of the Big Women. This prayer bead set holds the magic and mystery of these women, their Scottish heritage as well as the spirit of the deer (which are numerous on the Isle of Rum) as well as the last frayed tatters of stories of an ancient Scottish Deer Goddess.

 

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Thundersnow Prayer Beads

 

“When winter comes to a woman’s soul, she withdraws into her inner self, her deepest spaces. She is creating a new universe within herself, examining and breaking old patterns, destroying what should not be revived, feeding in secret what needs to thrive. Look out of your own winter eyes. You too can see the future. ”  Patricia Monaghan

I vividly remember one snowy morning when I was 14 or 15. My brother, sister and I were beginning the 15-minute walk to school. It was snowy and overcast and at around 8 am on a Scottish snowy morning there wouldn’t have been much light. There hadn’t been much traffic that morning for I remember the road was snowy and you couldn’t quite decern where the pavement ended and the road began. While I don’t remember hearing andy thunder I will always remember the lightning. The lightning struck the lamppost, for there was a huge spark and an explosion and what I remember most was the explosion was in pink and each of us kids fell onto our backs. It was pretty impressive. I can still remember the light of the explosion and the sensation of falling. When I tell that story no one seems to believe me and someone always replies saying you don’t get lightning when it snows but now there is a term for it – THUNDERSNOW!!! And so when it snows I often think back to that morning of the pink-snow-lightning-explosion!

I was particularly reminded of it as I was making these pink adventurine prayer beads. I don’t often go into the description of the stones letting people be drawn to the stones themselves as if I am just a mediator creating the prayer bead sets.

Pink sunset on a snowy landscape

This time of the Winter Solstice offers us an invitation to slow down, quieten our minds a lesson that the trees, plants and hibernating creatures offer.Snow blankets everything and inspires our sense of adventure and fun and offers us a view of looking at the world with new eyes. The spirit of pink adventurine can inspire us in seeing new pathways in our own life especially when we seem stuck in the same old rut. We shovel snow in this weather creating a path where we want, uncovering old paths yet making new ones as we head off bundled up and stomp through fields of snow. We are remaking our own paths. Pink adventurine can aid us in making these new pathways by strengthening our circulation and allowing us creativity in order to plan and imagine those new pathways we might wish to create. I think of adventurine offering her medicine to help us dream at this time of the year. The old symbolism of the Winter Sosltice as embodied by the sun illuminating the chamber of Newgrange offering rebirth. What rebirth would we offer ourselves if we covered up old the old pathways and could begin them again?

 

The pink hue of thundersnow

Enjoy the snow if you have some, here in the foothills of the Appalachians we are enjoying a very expected 10 inches of snow!!! Go explore this wintery landscape where everything has been wiped clean. The snow muffles all the worldly noise and allows our head to clear and come to stillness.

 

Click on the prayer bead image above for more details on this rather special set of prayer beads or get in touch to discuss your very own custom order set.

 

 

 

 

A Gift From the Cailleach

As we approach Winter Solstice there are many wonderful tales to tell. Tales that have been shared around fires for thousands of years.I have been working a lot creating prayer beads and this is a rather special limited edition set inspired by the Cailleach. They were made on the day of the full moon and now in the time of the waning moon as we approach the Winter Solstice the white moonstone holds that magic of the stillness and quiet this time of year can offer if we step away from the maddening crowds and take our inspiration from the landscape whose tres and plants have returned deep down to their roots.

There is only one set left of these limited edition beads and they come as a Winter Solstice Bundle with a set of Cailleach cards and a small bottle o water from Allt Caillich, the stream of the Cailleach which runs by Tigh na Bodach, the shrine of the Cailleach which is said could be thousands of years old.

The guided meditation (see below) tells a little of what the Cailleach is up to these days.

 


If you’d like to take a journey with the Cailleach you can now take the Cailleach course as a go at your own pace course – you’ll have access to the materials for the next couple of years so ample time to revisit. Click on the image to read more and to register.

Agnes Davis – Navajo Artist. Supporting Women

Navajo artist Agnes Davis and her beading & weaving art – All images are copyright and belong to Agnes. Do not reproduce without the artist’s permission

 

Agnes Davis is a Navajo artist from Chinle, Arizona. She creates very fine woven textiles out of wool. This is skill that Navajo women have perfected over the generations and are they world renowned for their art. Recently Agnes has had to have hand surgery and does not have the strength to string her loom. Her sister taught her to bead and she does that just as beautifully as she weaves. She uses very tiny beads and gives great attention to detail. This is now her preferred form of art until she is fully healed. Her art is her only income.


Antlered Deer – Click on the image to view in online shop

Agnes was kind enough to make some antlered deer earrings by request for the Sisterhood of the Antlers women!! There will be more deer designs coming soon

Bear Dancing – Click the image to view in the online shop

 

Beaded Butterly earrings  – Click the image to view in the online shop


Beaded bear earrings – click on the image to view in the shop

 


Image sources (Arizona University & http://www.navajo-churrosheep.com)


Navajo Churro Sheep

Anyone who knows me knows I like sheep. I’m particularly fond of the primitive sheep breeds like the Scottish Soay sheep who are the most primitive form of domestic sheep. The Navajo Churro sheep are descended from the Churra, an ancient Iberian breed from the Zamora province in Spain. Agnes is a weaver and you can purchase some of her designs below – new woven work will be added to the Etsy online shop soon.

 

Navajo Woven Rug by Agnes – Click on the image to view on Etsy

 

Navajo Woven Rug by Agnes – CLick on the image to view on Etsy

 

Deer Dancer Rattle

As an artist, I’ve been supported by women on my journey and I’d like to support Agnes to buy beads or whatever she needs by offering this beautiful deer rattle. This rattle is listed in my Etsy shop. It can only be shipped within the US. This rattle came to me and as it’s a beautiful handmade native American item I’d prefer that the proceeds went back to a native American.

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Beaded bag – click on the image to view in the online shop – more beaded bags in shop

Lyn who runs the Etsy shop as a place to sell the Navajo women’s work she purchases supports other native women such as Reneisha Curley. who makes these beaded bags.

Goddess Brighid Prayer Beads – Fire, Snake and Brighid’s Mantle

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Goddess Brighid Prayer Beads with Carnelian 

The Goddess Brighid is a fire Goddess. When she was born it was reported that flames were leaping from the roof of her house. The uniqueness of Brighid’s fire is that is a fire of compassion rather than a flame that burns. The main carnelian stone of this prayer bead set represents Brighid’s fire for the stone holds a medicine of inspiring creativity and motivation. Another aspect of Brighid is transformation which we can see symbolized in the blacksmith’s anvil – taking raw materials and magically transforming them into practical tools which are also works of art. This prayer beads set with a combination of Brighid’s transformation aspect and the stones medicine of motivation offer a powerful tool to bring to whatever focus or situation in life that needs motivation, creativity, and transformation.

 

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Goddess Brighid Prayer Beads with Serpentine

The name serpentine comes from the Latin ‘serpentis’ meaning snake-like. before the modern Cathedral dedicated to Brighid in Kildrare, Ireland was the pagan site of Cill-Dara (church of the Oak). This earlier shrine devoted to the Goddess Brighid was the home of the perpetual flame – a fire which was attended by devotees of Brighid. It is written that the fire temple housed sacred snakes – a symbol of renewal. These snakes must have been specially brought into the temple as snakes died out in Ireland after the ice age.
Snakes are able to shed their skin, it may seem like they are dead but in shedding they renew themselves. The medicine of serpentine is a deep retrieval of wisdom – which we can gain as it is within us having passed down through the generations. We might recognize the scenario of when we are told something new, which completely resonates with us and it’s as if we already knew that information. These prayer beads offer the inspiration of Brighid and her connection to the snake in its magical process of renewal and the medicine of the stone itself in offering these accessing of ancient wisdom as well as being an inspiration in accessing deep meditation.

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Brighid Prayer Beads with Bloodstone

Brighid is known for her mantle which had magical qualities. It is a healing cloak that offers great comfort when it’s wrapped around you. This blue/green form of African Bloodstone offers the same qualities of all bloodstone, which are all a form of Jasper, which helps us in nourishing our roots allowing us to feel more comfortable in our own body.
This set of prayer beads offer working with the magic of Brighid’s mantle wrapped around us and the stone medicine of drawing courage from that protection and the confidence to face whatever it is we need to face in our lives while we remain grounded. The sea/green color also reminds me of the color of the sea off white sandy beaches in Scotland and Ireland.

A very cold may, Dog’s Bay, Roundstone, Country Galway with blue/green sea in the background

 

Celtic Soul Prayer Beads Symbolism

You can read more o the actual symbolism of the pattern of the Celtic Soul Prayer Beads here

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Ancestral Mothers of Scotland Retreat 2018

Maybe you’ve heard the calling from deep in your soul or maybe as a longing to return to a place you’ve never been? Our ten-day retreat with a circle of like-minded women offers you the opportunity to sink your roots down deep on an Island whose lands hold the spirit of the Ancestral Mothers.

We’ll gather to hear stories of Amazons and Pagan Queens, Celtic warriors and the Ancestral Mothers and also have the opportunity to tell our own story.  With time to submerge yourself in nature and opportunities to offer gestures in ritual and ceremony at the Well of the Holy Women, by the shores of the loch as well as in private with just the ocean, stars as a witness under long lingering twilights.

Work Trade

We have a work trade position for a woman who would like to run our retreat kitchen – click here to view details 


The Story of Celtic Soul Prayer Beads


I’ve always felt the steady rhythm of beads moving through your fingers comforting.  They introduce a regularity, a heartbeat which calms my racing mind. From Catholic Rosary beads as a child or in later years rounds of mala beads provided this route yet neither fitted as they weren’t of my tradition. While I am only vaguely familiar with traditional Celtic prayer beads – the Paidirinean, I was drawn to create Celtic Soul Craft Prayer Beads.

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The new sets in the shop!

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My Tradition

Celtic Soul beads are born from my tradition which involves a deep communication with the land and a relationship with the ancestral energies of that place. My culture is a circle culture which stretches back through generations of wise women, of women who knew the thresholds of life and death and carried the stream of their ancestor’s voices. Ancestors who were weavers, drummers and singers – women versed in herbalism, stone medicine and doll making, women whose language was ritual and ceremony, women who danced between the worlds.

How to Work with the Prayer beads Set

I particularly enjoy using the beads as a morning meditation with no thought, just letting my fingers move slowly around the circle. In times when I need them, I find it comforting to hold them and simply breath into the circle, slow deep breaths which help me find my feet again and root me back into life. You can work with them through the phases of the moon and the holydays of the year. I will provide some suggestions on how to work with the beads although I am sure you will find your own way.

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Symbolism of the Beads

There is an order to each set of beads – this begins with the pendant, which sets an inspiration for the connection which is followed by 3 beads called the ‘step beads’ – envisage them as preparing to enter into sacredness, such as the last three steps before entering a temple.  The next beads (which is often the biggest bead in the set) is the mystery bead – which is an inspiration to consider the great mystery, call it source or creation. In the temple, you may dance, sing or kneel – all before this mystery. The circle of beads forms a circle, the wheel of life and the wheel of the year. There are 8 sections representing each of the holydays and the shifts between each holyday are represented by the threshold beads.

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The Deer

When I first started making prayer beads I was using different pendants for each set and as I sorted through my box of pendants I came across an antler with a drilled hole – just as I was turning the antler over in my hand I felt the need to go outside to the garden. As I stood on the porch I looked down the garden to the little teeny stream that flows and I couldn’t see anything in particular – then it was if a couple of branches were moving, but there weren’t any trees in that spot then all of a sudden I saw a herd of deer! How strange that they were in full sight all the time and yet I didn’t see them! There have been raccoon and possum visitors, bears, chickens, a rabbit, a host of wild birds (the garden is their land too) but I’ve never seen deer. There were two adult females, an adolescent, and two smaller deer. I was so excited to see them and a definite indication for antlered prayer beads! 

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Sisterhood of the Antlers

While some may honor Elen of the Ways (and antlered wearing diety from the UK), I have come to know an ancient old antlered one. She comes from a time before words like ‘Goddess’. She is female wearing antlers which speaks to a far older antler wearing herd – the reindeer who lived in Britain when it was connected to mainland Britain. For more of this story and weaving the great antlered one into our lives check out the link below to join our free online community – Sisterhood of the Antlers.

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Breathing Into the Circle

Each person is invited to find their own meaning. My main use of these beads is to pick them up and begin the pilgrimage with my fingers around the circle. As I begin to think about the circle I’m traveling I imagine breathing into that circle. A circle which holds all the mystery of life. I breathe out what I’m holding and want to release and then breathe in from the circle – it’s one of the few things that quiets my mind and lets me connect to the vastness of life with its thousands of connections. I find this is a wonderful morning meditation to root you into the day.

Other ways of Using the Prayer Beads:

You may simply wish to use the chant using three words which offer the essence of the particular holy day or to represent a situation

  • You may simply wish to use the beads with your own chant/prayer (protection, intention, gratitude)
  • Use them while walking, in ritual or in quiet time at your altar
  • Work with them in creating your intentions at new moon
  • Concentrate on the symbolism of the particular holyday of the wheel

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What People Have Been Saying About Celtic Soul Beads:

‘My beads have become constant companions as I go through the day‘, A. Harrison

‘Powerful and beautiful soul practice tools. Working these beads through my hands I can feel the strength, love and intention in their creation and I’m so grateful that they have come to me. Thank you for your incredible work in the world and on this rosary’. L Blinn

I received the prayer beads today, and they are beautiful – thank you again for crafting something so powerful and full of medicine and magic. Jane V.

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