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A Keening Ritual. An Imbolc Retreat. Sunday 3rd February 2019. Location Asheville, NC - TBC

We carry so much grief for all the horrors which are unfolding in the world today. Clarissa Pinkola Estes reminds us:

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people......
— Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times *

Imbolc is a time of welcoming Brighid back into the world. In northern latitudes Imbolc feels like the dead of winter and was often a time of worry for our ancestors who faced the very real reality of food resources running out. In modern times we also face worries around this time - as the climate gets more chaotic winter storms can knock out food distribution as well as access to pharmacies and who doesn’t worry about how much their heating bill is going to cost? We live in uncertain times and hold a lot of grief for what is going on in the world.

Brighid was very much a wise woman - a woman of healing, a woman who was passionate about justice - a woman who is sacred to midwifes who brought new souls into the world and midwifing their return back to the otherworld at death. It is written that Brighid brought keening into the world with the death of her son Ruadan.

Honoring Brighid, Goddess of Threhsolds

From her birth on the threshold of the house Brighid is often described as being a Goddess of thresholds. We stand today with one foot in the crumbling world of patriarchy and another in a world which is already unfolding. Brighid is the perfect guide to birth this new world.

On the day of the workshop we will listen to some clips of traditional keening songs and see how this lament has been carried on by modern Irish singers. We will discuss the need for such a practice in our modern death-phobic culture which will bring back an ancient female tradition inviting us to

 Needle Felted Witch Dolls

Needle Felted Witch Dolls

I attended the Keening Woman workshop last year and it changed my life. I was grieving for the loss of a special soul as well as a dramatic change in my way of life. This workshop helped me through this liminal phase. I drove 7 hours to attend. The shared stories of the other women and the time for personal reflection were balanced by Jude’s guidance.
— Sally Ireland 2017

Doll Making

We will make a small Brideog doll which was traditionally carried around the village and used as a way to welcome Brighid back into the world. In making our doll we will celebrate Brighid’s return with a traditional ceremony and song.

Co-Creating Our Keening Ritual

We will approach our Keening ritual  by preparing with some voice and body work - loosening us up and dismantling the barriers around this type of expression that our culture has build up. We will share our grief around our personal sorrows in what is happening in the world, holding space for what needs to be said. We will co-create our Keening ritual collectively putting together a gesture of ritual, incorporating elements which we feel are fitting and important. 

This workshop is a unique opportunity to:

  • Welcome Brighid back into the world

  • Learn about her ancient female tradition of Keening

  • Create a Brideog needlefelted doll

  • Find your voice through bodywork and toning

  • Co-create the keening ritual & ceremony

  • Spend the day in an inspiring circle of women

Is this stirs your soul then reserve your place now!

This workshop is limited to 6 women

Early booking discount – The cost for this workshop and all materials is $125 with an early booking discount of $98 if you book before the 10th January.




  • Full text of ‘Letter To A Young Activist During Troubled Times’ by Clarissa Pinkola Estes can be accessed here