An Introduction to the Cailleach – an invitation

 

The great Hag extends a boney hand – an invitation to take a journey with the oldest figure of pre-Celtic myth.

In this course we will explore:

  • Her Great Age
  • Pilgrimage to 3 Irish and 4 Scottish of her sacred sites
  • Examine why her story has changed over time
  • Explore her folklore looking for clues of her origins
  • Consider her role for our times


Through the Eye of the Cailleach

With art, altar building (step by step each week), guided meditations and community to explore your insights, thoughts and inspiration….

Click below for more information & registration. Pre-registration is open with the first session starting 10/27. 

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The Three Sisters

Go get yourself a cup of tea and let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time there were three sisters. These three sisters are actually ancient Standing Stones marking a wild Scottish landscape. Placed in their upright positions to mark a location where ancient people’s felt the strong pull of the earth’s energy. The people and those that came after them gathered here to give thanks and maybe a few sacrifice to appease their gods. These stones and the countless generations that followed those ancient people are the spirit of Scotland.

Yet the stones tell their own story in their incarnation of three sisters. They were the most ancient of women to walk this earth, huge giants of woman – maybe there was three, or one or three in one or even triple faced it’s never very clear. But for the sake of this story we’ll say one. In tales this ancient women jumped from mountain top to mountain top carrying great stones in the pockets of her  apron. But one day something stopped her, just as she was about to leap a great chasm, some little curious thing down below caught her eye. It was dark and winter, the time of her reign, when she struck down ever living thing and let death reign in order to make  new room for life in the spring.

Maybe it was a little bird she saw, or heard some laughter but whatever it was it enraged her and she took a huge boulder from her apron and threw it done the mountainside. That huge boulder bigger than a house bounced down the mountainside shattering and splinting causing a rock slide. But the biggest piece it bounced off another massive rock, splitting into three final pieces they stuck solid into the ground like a thrown dagger into a door.

Maybe it was signs of spring she was trying to strike down? But those three stones uprooted taking the form pf three sisters laughing and dancing under the full moon. The most ancient old woman with rocks in her apron pockets turned her face to the light in the east, gave up her winter reign of death and was reborn as the goddess of spring.

This concept of rebirth was the underlying theme of a series of workshops I recently finished (with a womens group for those affected by sexual violence). It focused on intention and painting a fabric picture of where we wish to be in life – through acknowledged those qualities we wish to develop and those which we may want to leave behind that see us repeating cycles of unwanted behavior. Each participant created amazing fabric wall hangings , incorporating signs and impressions of their own journey while mine (like so may craft projects) was lovingly created stitch by stitch in my head – so much so I feel I’v created an entire series and so I don’t bother and move onto the next project.

My ‘Sacred space’ was to be the three sisters – standing stones on a dark Scottish landscape, full moon above with twinkling stars. I would create a pocket in the backdrop of the hanging which offerings could be made – to the season, to the moon, to yourself– to whomever you wished.


And then disaster – I created tweed stones, good Scottish link but they didn’t look right, they unraveled at the edges but I loved making the French knot lichen. Next I tried plain felt – nope, didn’t seem thick enough. Then I needle felted the felt stones – looked better but they didn’t fit the landscape.  Then I did the unspeakable and ripped the ancient needle felted stones from their Scottish resting place and turned then into brooches! Ta – da ….. Workshop concept still woven in and some more lessons to be worked out and an art show donation!