Daughters of the Faerie Tree
the bright knowledge
This course calls to the women who are in love with nature, beauty, ancestral wisdom, folk medicine, faerie magic, knowledge, poetry, philosophy and the cauldron of the mystery. It provides a rare opportunity to cultivate relationship with an intimate group of kindred spirits, a sisterhood founded on trust, maturity, kindness, honesty and of course, humor. This is sacred community and it is composed of women who are individuals first, personally responsible, grounded and clear.
We are the elders of the future. We are on the path of the bard, opening to the mysterious world concealed within nature and ourselves, and seeking truth and guidance from the ancients in order to become knowledgeable and wise within a tradition that transcends ourselves.
This program consists of 4 quarterly gatherings on my land in Vermont along with 12 monthly modules that will include a group Zoom meeting one Saturday per month from 7 to 9 pm.
(Eastern Standard Time)
We will work with the local spirits of the land, our ancestral lineage and the Celtic goddesses and gods, Brighid, the goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft, the Morrigan, the goddess of birth and death, the Cailleach, the crone of winter, and Cerridwen, the poet’s muse and the cauldron’s mistress. We will also engage Cernnunos, a nature and fertility god, Lugh, the god of lightning, Ogma, the god of speech and language, and the Dagda, chief of the Tuatha de Danaan.
The old gods and goddesses, though forgotten by most, have much to teach us. They represent the world of nature. We will conduct quarterly rituals together to honor both the feminine and the masculine deities who will preside over our lessons. A study of their influences along with personal ritual practices will confer familiarity and connection.
The faerie faith is indigenous to the people of Ireland and Scotland. We will explore the rich lore and customs of the Gaelic people through history who acknowledged and often engaged these beings. Connection will be established through various portals to cultivate relationship.
The trees will be our guardians and guides and our opening ceremony will be an honoring of the glorious old trees that grace the land. Trees were sacred to the Celts, who were forest people. We will explore the unique qualities and divinatory associations of the trees used in the ancient Celtic system of Ogham.
The seer’s art of divination will be explored through various mediums, including the living intelligence of our own bodies. We will delve into the rich language of symbol and metaphor and develop the ability to read the signs day or night.
Dreams as well will be explored, as they are messengers from the depths of the psyche/soul. We will create our own divination medium as a group, providing a beautiful and useful tool that will hold the creative frequency of each sister, enhancing and charging our individual magical practice.
Dowsing, or water witching, is an ancient art of obtaining information from the earth to find hidden water or metals or decide the most harmonious location for a structure or natural element like a garden. We will work with both pendulums and dowsing rods, sensitizing ourselves to the earthly rhythms that work in concert with the electro-magnetics of our own body.
Artist: Brian Froud
Artist: John William Waterhouse
The ancient portal of the Labyrinth will be explored during each of our gatherings. Labyrinths are energetic gateways that awaken the vital forces and facilitate non-ordinary states of perception. The labyrinth at Faerie Tree Cottage was located through dowsing to determine the most harmonious location, aligned with the spirits of the land. It is a 7-circuit labyrinth, the oldest pattern found in the world. It echoes the human brain and its center, a metaphor for the pilgrimage into the deepest center of the self where the inner flame is found. The journey back outward contains the gifts of what was revealed.
The celestial influences will be covered, which will include classical astrological knowledge of the 7 traditional planets, the 12 zodiac signs, the houses, the moon phases, planetary hours and the mansions of the moon.
We will learn the natural cycles of expansion and contraction and study the elements and their effects. A monthly exploration of the influences of each zodiac sign on the botanical world will give us a deeper understanding of the profound interplay of the above and below.
A basic overview of the ancient study of alchemy will be covered and we will become well acquainted with the metaphor of the cauldron.
Traditional foods will be explored in depth, which will include broths, locally produced meats, poultry and produce, ferments, cultured dairy, soaked grains, seeds and nuts, and leavened sourdough bread. Proper food preparation is an ancient art and these foods have delivered nourishment, health, vitality, fertility and resistance to disease for millenia. We will explore the GAPS diet, which is a potent protocol based on traditional foods for healing the gut and re-establishing a healthy microbiome.
Herbs will play an essential role as we gain a foundational understanding of specific healing infusions and tinctures. We will study the folk wisdom of herbal medicine women like Maria Treben and Hanna Kroeger, which will provide a wealth of applicable knowledge as we move forward on the path.
With the study of the Trivium we turn toward Aristotelian Logic and Classical Rhetoric to learn the first three subjects of the 7 Liberal Arts and Sciences. These three subjects, Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric, form a symbiotic system for establishing clarity of thought, which will enrich our lives and our ability to learn and function in the greater world.
The Logical Fallacies are a list of flaws in reasoning. They are used extensively in advertising and politics as a way to trick the public. A proper rational argument consists of cogent point, counterpoint. What we see playing out in our media is a cesspit of fallacious arguments using fallacies like ad hominem, straw man, appeal to ignorance, false dilemma, etc. etc. When one learns the logical fallacies they can no longer be fooled. This is profoundly empowering and we will master this over the course of our year together.
The Maxims of Law are established principles that are always consonant with logic and reason. They represent a foundation of honorable dictums to live by and they are the foundation of law, as judgments must be based on principles of truth and reason, (at least in an honest court). We will explore and discuss the maxims to familiarize ourselves with principles that are as relevant today as they were ten thousand years ago.
This area of our study will serve to enhance the way we conduct our lives and our affairs and will empower our ability to counter manipulation and bullying.
Celtic wisdom is a guiding force in our cauldron’s brew and we would be remiss to exclude the Brehon Laws of the Celts. This is the ancient indigenous law system of Ireland correctly called Senchus Mor or Gael Law and is best understood as the “laws of the land tiller.” Made by the people themselves to protect the people, these laws differed from English law and Church Canon Law, which are specifically designed to protect their own imperial system from loss of revenue or status. As the Druid priests and priestesses were learned in law, we shall explore this subject as a way to further our appreciation of our ancestral roots and deepen our own ethical framework.