The following are workshops I offer, keep watching this space for dates and locations. Currently, there are no public workshops scheduled. If you are interested in discussing a private workshop or want to suggest more public venues, in New England, you can contact me.
I will not teach NeoNazis. Bigotry is not welcome here. Unfortunately, werewolves have been an interest of Nazis that has become more popular with the Neos again, but you won’t learn it from me.
Workshops are open to all genders, although I may teach women-only workshops if asked these must be trans-inclusive. The material indicates that the liminal space of the fénnidi gave a place for the genderqueer that Irish society did not and, therefore, transphobia and transmisogyny are not welcome at my workshops.
Warriors Betwixt and Between: A look at the place of the Warriors in early Ireland and Gaelic Reconstructionism today
This is a basic introduction for either those interested or those who just wish to understand what this path is about. This can be geared towards existing groups who might wish to incorporate this path, for youth or “lifers,” alongside their current work.
There is a great deal of confusion about the role of the warrior in early Ireland and related cultures, as well as what a warrior role might look like in Gaelic Polytheistic Paganism today. Often there is a conflation with later Medieval tales of knights and/or macho “barbarians” of later Romantic fiction. This often leads to a great deal of confusion as to what role warriors play in modern Gaelic Reconstructionist Paganism, as well as lack of understanding of the role in the past
We’ll be discussing evidence for the Outlaw Warrior on the boundaries of early Irish Culture. The concept of warrior cults as both an activity between childhood and adulthood and how some become “chronic” Outlaws. We will look at Finn Mac Cumhail and his Fíanna, as well as other literature, law tracts and comparative cultural evidence. We will explore how this path included magic, Sight, ecstatic shape-shifting, poetry an d intersected with druidry, as well as the more commonly acknowledged aspects of fighting, fitness and survival. We’ll discuss the variance of nature and culture, Pagan cult and, in later times, Christian standards, as well as the gender issues that are evident in the material. And werewolves. What this evidence can mean for a modern path will be a focus of our discussion.
Shadow of the Hooded Crow: The Outlaw Warrior Poet
A workshop for those interested in and have some basic knowledge of fénnidecht,* the Outlaw warrior path of the Fianna with a specific interest in it as a cult of the Morrígan, Badb and Macha. Exploring the tales and looking at related Indo-European war bands, we will look into what it means to be Outside, liminal, today. We’ll explore the physical as well as psychological and spiritual aspects of the path, the connection of the warrior with nature, canines and the Otherworld. There will be discussion on the concepts of ecstatic practices involved, such as shape-shifting, as well as what initiation might entail; however, this workshop will not include ecstatic states and initiation is never part of a workshop. Likewise fitness and fight training will be discussed, but not practiced due to safety issues.** The focus will on the War Goddesses Badb, Macha and the Morrígan, but we can discuss relationships with other Deities on this path as well as the students feel a need. If possible this will be held outside. A general understanding of Gaelic cultures and reconstructionist methodology would be highly recommended.
Yes, I am going to do that thing where I recommend anyone wanting to take or host such workshops might want to read my work on these subjects, including “Musings on the Irish War Goddesses” (originally published in By Blood, Bone and Blade:: a Tribute to the Morrígan, Nicole Bonivusto, ed, Asheville, NC: Bibliotheca Alexandrina, 2014) and the warrior path articles from Air n-Aithesc.
* attendees may wish to take Warriors Betwixt and Between first, this may be offered as a two-part workshop with it.
** in some cases fitness appointments can be scheduled for interested attendees, with appropriate medical and safety requisites. I am an AFAA certified personal trainer
Going into Wolf-shape: Advanced Exploration of The Outlaw Warrior Mystic
This is an advanced workshop on the active mystical aspects of the path, focused on the concept of fáelad, “going wolf-shape.” Along with further exploring this aspect of the path from both research and experience, we’ll also discuss canine behavior and how knowledge of it is essential to this activity. Seeking full fugue state and possession is unlikely, but light trance will be sought.*** Physical preparedness will also be a key issue. Again, we would start by making offerings to Deity and Spirit, so bring food items for this. This would be only open to previous participants of the Hooded Crow workshop.
*** Please note that this is the only workshop I give with any sort of trance work. Shadow of the Hooded Crow is a requirement before taking this one and there will be an application and screening process
While we might touch upon fitness in other workshops, this is one focused on the subject. It is, however, not an exercise class. We will look at the small amount of evidence for what the early Gaels might have done for training and also some early roots of fitness training as we know it today from other, mostly Roman, sources. Primarily we will explore fitness basics for building one’s own personal program of strength, cardio and flexibility training, giving a background for participants to build the right programs for their own needs and abilities. This background can be of equal help to those who are already exercising regularly and those who are just beginning and allows for modification for different abilities. All participants will need to sign a waiver indicating that they take responsibility for their own health and safety in taking on exercise.
****in some cases individual fitness evaluation appointments can be scheduled for those who wish them, with appropriate medical and safety requisites. I am an AFAA certified personal trainer
Horse, Hound and Horned Beast: Animals in Gaelic Lives, Beyond the Symbolism
There is a great deal of interest in “what the symbolism of horses, dogs or other animals meant to the Celt.” What is often ignored or misunderstood is the very mundane roots of such symbolism, created by regular interaction with both domestic and wild animals that many of us do not have today or which is different today. We’ll look at what these animals actually meant to the early Irish and related cultures, in day to day life, and how that relates to spiritual connections. We’ll also look at how we today can look beyond the symbolism in order to have relationships with animals that are more meaningful and may relate to our spirituality.