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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St Patricks Day Fundraiser – 3/17 in West Asheville

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Take the Highroad to West Asheville

& join us for a St Patricks Night gathering!

at ASHH (Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism), 2 Westwood Pl, West Asheville28806. 7 till 10pm.

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Music from Beth & Jim Magill (of the Swannanoa Gathering)

As well as music we’ll have storytelling a sing-a-long to ‘The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond’ and hear the ancient story of the high road and the low road

The evening is a fundraiser for my pilgrimage and research trip home to explore

‘The Ancient Mothers of Loch Lomond’ 

Celtic Music

storytelling

singing

silent auction

beerBeer from Highland Brewing

(free beer with $10 entry)

click here for the facebook event page

 

 

The Ancient Mothers of Loch Lomond

 

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As the crow flies, I grew up about five miles from Loch Lomond. That meant wet dogs in the summer swimming who swam out way further than they thought tempted by ducks. It meant jumping into the Loch whose waters were cold on hot days while getting increasingly panicked that you could never see the bottom and a lingering feeling that something ancient and primordial was watching from the depths. It meant scaling mountains that took you into a whole other realm, one far, far above the human world. It meant sinking into stories of long ago as you sat on a rock your fingers tracing the forgotten script gouged out by glaciers. It also meant a hand-fasting ceremony on those very shores.

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Wither rambling round the hills or on the Loch Shore I was always aware of a presence. As is someone was watching from behind a tree, or peeping out from the thick mists that sometime draw a heavy veil obscuring the sky creating a day that feels your between the worlds. It is a place with many sacred sites, which to look at them might appear very ordinary, but to stand in them opens up a whole other world.

 

These northern latitudes are gripped tightly in darkness in the winter months and in the summer blessed with dramatic thresholds which weave the day together and then release it ever so slowly back over to night again. Summer is so full of energy that she barely needs to sleep providing days where it is still light at ten pm. It’s in those long shadows of twilight that the magic happens, that our ancestors birthed the stories of the land.

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Ancient Mothers of Loch Lomond is a gathering of the old ones of this place. A place to explore the Cailleach, the Deer Goddess, Clutha and Brighid. Within this space I aim to explore the stories and the sacred places, examine how those stories changes over time, what the folklore tells us and ultimately answerer the question of the relevance of these old ones to us today.

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Clutha

It’s said that distance gives us perspective.  It took me to leave Scotland and land in the Appalachians for me to begin asking these questions. Little did I know that I had transplanted myself into a land full of deep longing for Celtic roots. Living amongst a people who actively celebrate their Celtic heritage,  who not only hear the song of longing in their blood but sing that song in all manner of creative ways.

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The Cailleach. The Blue Faced Hag

This work has fed many workshops in Asheville, NC holding space for women to travel between the world to the sound of the drum – a heritage passed down from our ancient foremothers. To do these things together in  sacred space and share the insights and experiences of these ancient guardians helps us to recover them and weave them into our lives.

The next phase in this work is a fundraiser, to take place in march 2016 to raise some funds to take me back home. Not just for a whistle stop tour but a sinking in, a deep listening to the land a conversation. For a rambling around hills, visiting sacred places, exploring folklore and scaling mountain tops for overnight vigils.

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The beginning sketches of the map

As I begin work on gathering some musicians, finding a location the next step is in creating a map. A soul map of sorts, a weaving of those sacred places.

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Want to read more? Click on the links

The Dance of Clutha. Goddess of the Clyde. 

Sage Woman article pdf (An article on the Cailleach and Deer Goddess). Appeared in Sage Woman Magazine Issue No. 87, 2015)

 

 

 

Calling in the Grandmothers – A day retreat in Asheville, NC

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05/17 (Saturday) 10.30 – 5.30 pm Location: North Asheville. Price: $65

‘The grandmothers, the ancient ones have never left us. Their  ancient knowledge is written in our DNA, it races through our blood and is cemented into the very marrow of our bones. Their wisdom comes alive through inspiration and imagination – in the awe of a sunset, of the ever changing canvas of the sky or through gazes where we become lost amid the great expanse of stars’. 

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In this day workshop we will call in the grandmothers in sacred space. We call them in to reconnect, knowing that we have never been unattached from them. We call them in as we birth an earth centered culture. We call them in for their strength and inspiration in these threshold times. We will call them in through song and chant. We call them in to co-create with the divine, for renewal, inspiration, gratitude and love.

Shamanic journeying                                                                                                                                                                 We will journey between the worlds, with guided meditation and live drumming, traveling to the cave of the ancestors to ask for their wisdom. We will share stories of our own grandmothers and those encounters and impressions we have of the ancient ones, our collective grandmothers.

We’ll spend some time in silence, drawing and journalling.

Shamanic art                                                                                                                                                                                 In the afternoon we will make our grandmother dolls, sculptures out of wool and sticks and natural materials, each item we use representing offerings, gratitudes and heart felt intentions. Our intention will be in co-creating with the divine, our dolls our focus in what it takes to shift consciousness and inspire us in our work to birth a new culture, a culture of compassion, of togetherness, one rooted in the bones of the grandmothers.

* A light lunch will be provided and you are more than welcome to bring a small dish to share

* While all materials are provided you are encouraged to bring any small personal peices to incorporate in your doll

Booking                                                                                                                                                                                Bookings can be made via paypal using the email themoonandtheoaktree (at) gmail.com

Please email me if you have any questions using the email judelally (at) gmail.com

* The middle grandmother photo is by Manuel Libres Librodo jr. Click on this sentence to visit his website. 

The Ghetto Goodwill

I’ve become a little obsessed with making bags or to be more truthful  it’s the ritual that goes into buying the fabric. There’s no fabric store involved (too expensive) no regular charity shop  – it’s round the back of the Goodwill to the  ‘Ghetto Goodwill’ as we fondly refer to it.

handmade leather knot-work buttons hacked from a tweed jacket

This is the stuff that Goodwill can’t sell in their shops. There’s no nice displaces, or color matching sections – just large open trays on wheels that you rummage through. Clothes aren’t even sold by the piece, it’s by weight. Ah the joys of finding size 30 velvet trousers or cashmere sweaters (with just a dusting of holes). The thing is you never know what your going to find and it brings on that rummage frenzy – delving jut a bit deeper into those trays.

On certain days the place is busy and people are elbow to elbow – looking like rats rummaging through fresh trash. But if you can’t afford regular clothes prices, or fabric prices it’s a treasure trove!

My treasure is transported back to the barn where the slaughter begins – labels are snipped, arms are chopped off, buttons hacked. Recycling,  up-cycling , re-purposing or reusing whatever the concept is it’s basically rearranging  to create a most definite one off – as there isn’t too many size 30 ‘coffee with a dash of  cream’ colored velvet trousers out there!

* And like any good enterprising craft blog (which this one aims to be) bags featured are for sale in my shop!