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.


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.


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.


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


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. 


Click on the above image to view the retreat itinerary


Last 3 days of Shop Sale

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Last three days of the summer sale in my online shop

If you ever wanted a Celtic Soul Craft doll now’s your chance to get a unique piece of handcrafted art at half price!


red tent

Red Tent Sister doll – click image to view in shop



Witch – click image to view in shop


mother maiden

Mother, Maiden, Crone – click on image to view in the shop



White Horse – click on image to view in shop


celtic woman

Celtic Woman – click on image to view in shop


sale bunting

The Night Mare of the Winter Solstice

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Image use by permission of Mari Lwyd Larcher

I love the roots of some ancient british traditions which stretch back to a time before time.

Click here to visit  Witches & Pagans and read the tale of the Mari Lwyd 

A curious tradition of Old Bone Face!

mari solstice!

Wishing you all a inspired and magical Winter Solstice!

from all at Celtic Soul Craft

(ie me & Old Bone Face, several curious antlered creatures & a cackling old hag!).

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Image use in permission of Mari Lwyd Larcher

The Keeper of Water

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This doll is a Sidhe doll, an expression of the energy of the land. Merionydd is a guardian of water (the meaning behind the symbol painted on her face). She sings the ancient songs, calling in the rainclouds from the Atlantic, drawing them down onto the land filling up tributaries and streams that flow into the loch. Water is the lifeblood of the people.

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