Course Title: An Introduction to the Cailleach
Format: Start anytime and self-paced
Guides/Instructors: Jude Lally
Registration: register online
Length: 5 weeks – complete at your own pace!
The Cailleach is an ancient pre-celtic figure, a divine hag, a creatrix. She is so old she has no known genealogy or traditions associated with her. This course sets out to explore who is the Cailleach through five sessions and offers films, audio stories and guided meditations to help you engage with her in this world and the next.
What a perfect winter Goddess and course!
Session one. Her Great Age. An exploration into the meaning behind her name and examining the Cailleach in relation to other figures in global primal myth.
Session two. Pilgrimage. We will explore three sacred sites in Ireland relating to the cailleach and four sites in Scotland.
Session Three. Her Changing Story. We explore the Cailleach’s relationship with the Goddess Brighid and the reasons behind why her story has changed over the ages – morphing into relatively recent stories which describe her as a cruel old hag .
Session Four. Down to the Roots. We explore the roots of a couple of examples of Cailleach lore tracing them back to Old Europe and examine what this means in terms of her core story as well as her origins.
Session Five. Her role for our time. We explore the role of the Bean Feasa, the wise woman and the role she has played over countless generations and in particular, times of personal crisis. In opening that up to the bigger picture today and a world in crisis – what then can the wise woman offer?
The course will also weave in guided meditations with prompts for journalling and considering specific themes as well as an invitation to share any art you create. We will create a small Altoid tin altar throughout the course. At each session you will have suggestions of specific items to gather (in relation to that week’s theme). There will be a showing of a small film about the Cailleach as well as audio storytelling and lots of opportunities for you to share your own insights, thoughts and inspirations.
What women are saying about this course (now in the 3rd year)
The depths, the research, the heart, the soul, the honoring of Cailleach is formidable and powerful! It feels you heaved a large boulder from this Great Goddess, She stood stretch her old bones and turned to grin at you for remembering and uncovering her wisdom. I thank you for remembering! Your medicine is a gift to this world, this world that so needs to remember Cailleach! In deepest gratitude! Reda R
From the beginning, I felt a real connection to the Cailleach. She is forever a part of me, I know this now. My mother was born in Dublin and my father in Belfast. They immigrated to the US, and left the myths and stories behind. I’ve found a connection to my ancestral line through this course. I love how you are able to retain the feeling of fireside storytelling in this digital format. Wherever I was at the time, I was transported. Mary du Plessis
Thank you, Jude, for offering the wealth of resources which you wove together and made meaningful with your enlightening commentary. The guided meditations helped transform the information into personal experience. The sessions were well structured to build on the previous one. The importance of the Cailleach in the present was brought home to me , the Cailleach’s power of renewal is so vital to us today. I am inspired to create a Cailleach doll and altar to keep reminding me of the need for that power now. An amazing depth of scholarship not easily found elsewhere, as well as a meaningful source of inspiration. The Cailleach helps us understand the lasting influence of the divine feminine from ancient times and the need to remember and honor her today. Dottie McCaleb