Sunday 26th June 10.30 – 5.30. Woodfin (5 mins from downtown Asheville)
Since the very first time our ears fully felt the screech of an owl and our eyes caught the sight of her white underbelly slip down into the dark forest owls have made deep and lasting impressions on us. The above image of an owl is the outline of a Great Horned Owl tranced by an ancient finger into the then soft surface of a Chauvet cave wall in France which is dated to around 32-35,000 BCE.
In this workshop we will explore the origins of how Owl became associated with death and regeneration. The Neolithic peoples of Old Europe left their dead out in sky burials where the great raptors would clean the flesh from the bones. In the South of Europe, such as Çatalhöyük, temple rooms were dedicated to their most common raptor the vulture. These temples were decorated with great vultures swooping down on headless torsos, I imagine those priestesses engaged in temple rituals wearing fantastic Vulture masks for their ceremonies.
In the north of Europe owl is the bird of prey that was carved into bones and great stone monuments. Were there similar rituals around these sites with Owl Priestesses in attendance?
Knowth and Newgrange in Ireland have some wonderful carved Owl symbolism. The top right image from the collage shows the Owl Guardian stone from Knowth and the below kerbstone from Newgrange shows various owl imagery in beaks, eyes. The Goddess is evoked here through the owl imagery as well as snake symbols. The Goddess was there in birth, throughout life, fertility and also death, decay and regeneration. We will continue this exploration through some pre workshop reading and our conversation during the day.
Newgrange – Kerbstone 52 – with double snake coils and multiple beaks.
Dancing With Owl
We will begin our day by sharing stories – what owl means to us personally and sharing our owl encounters and insights. We will set our intention for the day with simple ritual. From the pre reading we will each share a selected story from the various goddesses associated with owls such as Lilith, Arianrhod and Blodeuwedd.
We will make some basic owl masks as we dig a little deeper in exploring owl magic considering the image below, the keeper of ancestral memory as we prepare for our ritual trance dance with owl.
Chesca Potter The Seer from the Greenwood tarot
After lunch we will share our impressions and experiences from our trance dance and begin to sketch the elements we will create in our needle felted wall hanging – our creative exploration of our relationship with owl. We will also ponder the role of the Owl Priestesses and what elements of that we can use to support our own work and experiences.
Finally we will come together again in circle sharing our art and explaining the themes it contains as we listen in silence to each others stories.
You will receive some workshop reading material and some suggestions to get you ready for the workshop which will be emailed one week before the workshop date.
There are only six places for this workshop.
Workshop price is $85. All art materials for opening ritual, mask making and needle felted wall hanging are provided.