Breejah’s Daughters. Imbolc Retreat

Friday 2nd February 7pm – 9.30pm. Saturday 3rd February 10.30 – 5.30pm. East Asheville, NC

I’m sure this is no surprise that the days after Winter Solstice and before Imbolc are sometimes the darkest days of the year. With the solstice, we celebrated the rebirth of the sun and yet as the days grow longer we seem to be plunged into a deeper darkness.

This Imbolc we journey on three paths in exploring the great Goddess Brighid: the path of Bear, Goddess and Mary of the Gael. Wither you have a relationship with Brighid or you’d like to learn more throughout this retreat we will explore three specific aspects of Brighid. With bear, we travel back to the paleolithic and explore the cave of the Grandmothers, with Brighid as Goddess we explore her fire aspect, her qualities as midwife, keening, her qualities of transformation as well as Imbolc traditions of laying out of the Brat (fabric) and the Brideog doll. In Mary of the Gael, we explore a pagan figure overlapped with a Celtic Christianity and explore Brighid as fostermother to Christ and look into how people wove these traditions into their daily life through prayers and charms.


With time for reflection and time to wander in the grounds this retreat weaves in some Imbolc traditions as well as learning about these different facets of Brighid. On booking, you’ll receive a pre-workshop email pack which includes links to a Brighid documentary and articles including published articles by Jude.

Imbolc flyer.jpg

Weekend Itinerary

Friday Evening – Path of the Bear

We will explore the path of the bear, looking at the related folklore and take a guided journey to the Cave of the Grandmothers. We will perform our first Imbolc tradition in laying out our Brat Bhride (cloth for Brighid to bless) in our candlelight vigil.

Saturday – Honoring Brighid the Goddess

We will gather in the morning in circle to welcome Brighid back to the world. Collecting our cloth with its precious dew we will also learn a song in Gaelic to welcome her as well as making Brighid’s crosses (wheels) on which to write our blessings and personal notes.

Brideog Doll


Saturday Afternoon – Exploring Mary of the Gael

We will decorate a premade Brideog doll – you may wish to use some of your brat fabric to fashion a cloak for your doll. All materials will be provided to decorate your doll – from hair, wool for the dress as well as a small Brighid’s Wheel and embellishments. You are encouraged to bring your own embellishments that have personal meaning for you.

In our ending circle, we will welcome Brighid into the world using our doll and share ways to weave Brighid into our lives.

Retreat Highlights: 

Small intimate circle of Brighid women

Guided journey to the Cave of the Grandmothers

Brat Bhride ritual

Welcoming Brighid Ceremony

Creating a Brideog doll & protection brooch

Ceremony to welcome Brighid with your Brideog doll

Plus free online course on Brighid’s Protection

Pre-retreat reading pack


Your Facilitator

Jude gained her MSc masters degree in Human Ecology at the University of Strathclyde (Glasgow, Scotland)  in partnership with the Center for Human Ecology, with her thesis entitled ‘Fire in the Head, Heart and Hand. A Study of the Goddess Brighid as Goddess Archetype and her Relevance to Cultural Activists in Contemporary Scotland’.


 

Retreat Highlights: 

Small intimate circle of Brighid women

Guided journey to the Cave of the Grandmothers

Brat Bhride ritual

Welcoming Brighid Ceremony

Creating a Brideog doll & protection brooch

Ceremony to welcome Brighid with your Brideog doll

Plus free online course on Brighid’s Protection

Pre-retreat reading pack

 

Click here for full details, early booking discount and retreat accommodation 

Advertisements

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-main-brighter

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.

cailleach-by-loch

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.

main-edit

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

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-11-36-46-am

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. 

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-04-27-pm

Click on the above image to view the retreat itinerary