Amazons and Ancestors

Amazonite & Howlite Antler prayer Beads – click to view in the shop

This prayer beads set is a combination of amazonite and howlite beads. Its inspiration lies in working with two worlds. The idea came to me while I was on my annual retreat on an Island off the West Coast of Scotland – and island whose myths include one of Amazon warriors – Scottish Amazon warriors!
The inspiration lies in the power of these women, the symbol of them in today’s world fighting for what is right, for community and place which is represented by the amazonite. On the other hand, these women were rooted in their faith, their belief in the ancestral Goddesses of Scotland whom they saw the earth herself embody. These beads hold the power for us to stand in our own truth while we face all that is wrong with the world today and provide us with a vivid connection to our ancestors, the forewomen who went before us and all the generations of women whose shoulders we stand on through the essence of howlite.
Click on the image to read more about Celtic Soul Prayer beads

Howlite

Howlite is a stone that looks like ancient bleached bones. In fact, it can help absorb calcium and strengthen teeth and bones, yet its bone-like appearance can connect us to the bones of our previous lives. While many people will tell you tales of previous lives at King Arthur’s court or their life as Egyptian royalty,  howlite helps us to remembers past lives and maybe it will tell you of your previous life of fox, owl or even a great elk. This set feature a wonderfully gnarly antler tip from a wildcrafted naturally shed White-tailed deer antler, maybe you might remember a previous life as deer? Surely all our previous lives weren’t human and for those lives that were human who is to say that they were lived out on planet Earth!

click to view in the shop

Howlite also offers us qualities of soothing our emotions whether that be anger or stress. It calms an overactive mind and howlite prayer beads are particularly useful in meditating with before sleep to help calm your mind if it often races with worries which keep you awake. It is a stone beneficial in recalling information – wither it’s the past lives we mentioned earlier but if you’re like me and have trouble remembering your dreams, howlite can help recall that wisdom that came to us when sleeping.

Click to view in the shop

Amazonite

Amazonite is a stone o the peacemaker and the truthteller. Firstly it helps us communicate our true thoughts and feelings and then secondly it helps us with compassion in an ability to see the others point of view. We can work with it by keeping it under our pillow – it helps make everything more conscious and with it being a stone of truth we can trust it’s visions and dreams and the intuitions that bubble up while we are working with it.
Amazonite is particularly powerful in manifesting our dreams and desires. Try holding it as you consciously affirm what it is you wish to create and the power of the stone helps our ability to bring this into being.

 

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A Celebration of Doll Making

Breejah –  The First Doll I Ever Made

It’s been a while since this doll maker made a doll. Although I’m always thinking of creations which want to be made, to be given form. My dolls hold the wisdom and insight of folklore, of the way of the Wise Women – and extend an invitation to view the world through their eyes.

This Samhain I’ll be launching a wheel of the year course which through the cycle of the year explores each of the eight festivals in relation to the folklore of the Bean Feasa (Wise Woman). Each festival is represented by an Ancestral Mother of Scotland and a doll who represents her – there will be creative projects which stir the imagination and guided meditations to journey with the wise woman.

This post celebrates doll making and an inspiration to me to celebrate these wonderful creations!

Crow Morris

Amazon

The Old Dark One

She Who Holds the Wheel

Vasilisa and the doll her mother gave her

 

The Great Eye of the Cailleach

Mari Lwyd

She Who Runs With the Herds

The Selkie

 

Sign up below for our mailing list and so you’ll hear more about our upcoming Wheel of the Year course as well as our upcoming celebrations when we launch our new website!

Click on the Etsy logo to see the dolls in the shop

Snakestones, Hagstones and a Witch Burning

 

Holey stones are part of a long magical curative tradition in the UK. Different regions of the UK used the stones for different uses, throughout the country holey stones are known as hagstones, witch stones, snake stones, Druids stones and mare stones to name a few. These stones were used to curing eye issues curing diseases in cattle, protecting horses from night-hags and preventing nightmares and to help children through teething (which in the 1700-1800’s in Glasgow, Scotland was the cause of a considerable infant mortality).

Impression of Agnes Sampson, the Witch of Keith

Snakestone Beads

Snakestone beads are generally thought of a being a glassy disc with a hole in the center and said to have been created by the spit or foam from the mouths of snakes. There is a legend from Cornwall which tells of a tradition that snakes would gather at midsummers eve and as they joined their heads together and hisses they created a bubble till it formed around the head of one of the snakes and it would travel over its body until it came off at the tail.

Agnes Simpson –  the Wise Wife of Keith

Snakestone beads were also natural stones with holes in them, were sometimes used to ease the pain of childbirth in Scotland. In the trial of Agnes Sampson, as part of the North Berwick witch trials, another woman on trial –  Eufame Macalyane, is said to have called on the services of Agnes. Eufame had called on Sampson for the relief of her labour pains, the cure involving the use of enchanted powders as well as the ‘baird stane’ (a bored stone, ie a stone with a hole in it). Agnes was eventually convicted not just for having the snakestone but the bigger sentence charged with treason (of allegedly trying to kill Kings James VI and his new wife on their voyage from Denmark by conjuring up a violent storm). Her use of the snakestone inferred her use of using magic as the stone wasn’t attributed with any known actual curative properties – the use of the stone was then used as additional evidence that Sampson was indeed a witch and was burnt at the stake in Edinburgh 1591.

Antler hagstone – click to view in shop

To me, a stone with a hole in it connects us to these wise women and to their beliefs which they tapped into in doing their work, whether helping with childbirth, find something treasured that was lost or to make sense of a particular situation and to bring balance back. People sought out the help of wise women in times of crises in their lives and while the world has gone through many crises we are currently in a monumental planetary wide crisis. There are many women from different traditions who call themselves wise women, or are called wise women by others. Each woman brings about balance in her own way through her skills within her tradition. I work in a pre-Celtic Bean Feasa tradition – while the word is from Gaelic I recognize my recent ancestors and all the generations of women before them. Countless generations of women who brought their healing skills, their helping and organizing skills, their skills as nurturer and therapist, of herbalist and skills of artist and storyteller weaving the magic of imagination.

My hag stones are decorated with an embellished cord, a symbol of the roots, the bones and the blood which link us to the women who came before us – down through countless generations of women healers. The cord is a symbol of the tap root that weaves through us to past generations and all those women. It is emblellished with talismans which some women would have held sacred in that special relationship they had with an animal, plant or Goddess.

Whatever she was doing, weaving together some magic, tracking down a lost calf for someone, a lost mind for someone else or giving out instructions on a ritual on how to appease the Good Folk the Bean Feasa (wise woman) had her own way of working.

Brighid hagstone – click to view in shop

The cord of this stone holds Brighid’s wheel (or cross) and a snake bone. The red yard represents Brighid’s flame, the fire priestesses kept alive or generations. the piece is an invitation to work with the hag stone and Brighid.

Ancestral Mother hagstone – click to view in shop

The threads attached to these stones invite you to follow them, like roots they branch out past your hand, past your mother, your grandmother, further and further to women whose names you don’t know, women whose lives you don’t know. Yet within that lineage sings a language, a magic, a creativity. This is the red thread, the beating in the heart, the wise voice that comes from nowhere, the stream of synchronicity.

 

The Witches and Deer Hag Stones

The Deer Stone

The deer stone was found tied onto an ancient antler. The antler was carried by a line of ancient priestesses who honored the great antlered one, which some call Elen of the Ways. Who knows why the antler was buried but the stone has told me that it is ready to be worn again, to be used by one who also honors the great antlered one. It offers and insight and guidance to work and learn with Elen.

Click on the image to view in the online shop

The Witches Stone

This is a curious little stone, said to be owned and worn by a local witch. It was found in a nest tucked away in the middle of a hedgerow. How did it get there? Hedgerows of Britain are often very ancient, some hundreds of years old. They are a wonderful metaphor of the boundary between the worlds, one one side the cultivated everyday while they offer a continuation of the wild with all the plants, birds and little creatures which play out their lives within the hedgerow. This stone offers a powerful ally in journeying between the worlds and an invitation to work with the ancient energies of the land.

 Click on the image to view in the online shop

Celtic Soul Prayer Beads

Both stones are offered as the focal point for a set of Celtic Soul Prayer beads where you have the unique opportunity to select the gemstones used. The prayer bead set will be created in ceremony just for you. Click on any image to view in the shop

Through the Eye of the Reindeer

 

Image from the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre

Through The Eye of a Reindeer

What an invitation into the wild, to see the world through the eyes of a reindeer. To see through their eyes is the story about a rather special hag stone. It’s is a rather magical stone, which told me it’s intriguing tale.

Reindeer eye hag stone

The great eye of the stone was formed many thousands of years ago, yet this tale is set in its relatively recent history – a mere yesterday of 14,000 years ago.  It was worn around the neck of a wise woman. She practiced the ways of being with the reindeer. She was the one who ran with the herd and saw the luminous trails of their ancient migratory paths sparkle and shimmer in the land where there was no path to the discernible eye.

She wore this stone around her neck and when in trance, swaying to the heartbeat of the drum she would look through the stone and find the herd. Then she would shape shift, feeling her hooves touch the earth run and stretching her legs she would run, run with the herd. She would interpret their movements into answers she needed for her people. How to cure this, what plant for that, what solution to this – this is how she gained her answers. As the female reindeer led her herd this wise woman led her people.

She Who Runs With the Herds

Here lies an ancient invitation here to work with this stone and to view the world through it’s eye under a dark and a full moon – what stories and insights she might whisper…..

Celtic Soul Prayer Beads

Click on the Etsy heart below to view the stone in my shop – it forms the focal point for a set of Celtic Soul Prayer beads and you get to select the gemstones. The prayer bead set will be created in ceremony just for you.

 

 

 

Stay tuned for Scottish travel stories as next week we’re off to visit the Cairngorm reindeer herd!

 

Morrighan, Selkie and Moon Hag Stones – Create your own prayer bead set!

A Rare and unique chance to co-create your own Celtic Soul Prayer Beads. Choose your hag stone, select the beads you’d like for your prayer bead set as well as the eight threshold beads. These limited edition run of prayer beads will be created in ceremony with prayers and chants recited as your beads are assembled.

Choose from the following stones (click on the image to view in the online shop) :

click on the photo to view in the online shop

Morrighan Raven Stone

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Half Moon Stone

click on the photo to view in the online shop

White Selkie Stone

click on the photo to view in the online shop

Seal Stone #2

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Through the Eye of the Cailleach Stone

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Crystal Selkie Stone

click on the photo to view in the online shop

Seal Stone #1