The Goddess Way: Ancient Stories for Modern Hearts

Judith Shaw both paints and writes about the Goddess, great symbol of life, death and the natural world. For the past few years she has focused on the Celtic Goddesses, whose stories are explored here in The Goddess Way.

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The Cailleach, Dark Winter Goddess

The Cailleach (KAL-y-ach), which literally translates as the Veiled One,is an ancient Goddess whose origins are unknown. When the Celts arrived in Ireland and Scotland around 2000 years ago, she was there. Over time her name came to mean old wifeor old woman. And yet she was thought to never grow old; to be an all powerful, ageless, Goddess of Transformation. She had various names; Calleach Bheur to the Scots, Cailleach Beare to the coastal Irish, Cally Berry in northern Ireland, Cailleach ny Groamch on the Isle of Man, and Black Annis to the Bretons.

Divinatory Meaning
Embrace the quiet darkness and the oneness of being. Release the old and allow space for new light to emerge. 

Her Story

In one of her stories, Cailleach, as an old hag, seeks love from the hero. If he accepts her, she then transforms into a beautiful young woman, symbolizing the transformation occurring in the depths of winter when the seeds lie dormant in the earth. Yet alive within this dormancy is the promise of rebirth in the spring. She is the guardian of the life force, finding and nourishing the seeds, commanding the power of life and death. She rules the eternal wheel of reincarnation. The Cailleach personifies death and the transformative power of darkness, leading us through death to rebirth.  At midwinter on February 2, she transforms into her other half, Brigid, Goddess of Spring and Summer.

The Cailleach, a Dark Goddess of nature, is clearly one with the land. Sometimes depicted with one eye, she sees beyond duality peering into the Oneness of all Being. She is the embodiment of winter, clothing the land with the whiteness of snow. The sacred stones are her special places. She leaps from mountaintop to mountaintop, dropping rocks to create sacred hills. She carries a slachdam, the Druidic rod, or a hammer with which she wields power over the seasons and the weather, unleashing powerful and cleansing storms.

Cailleach's talismans are sacred stones, the slachdam or druidic rod, sacred hills, ravens, crows, the waning moon, and falling leaves.

As the Veiled One, in the quiet, dark of winter, she rules the hidden worlds, reigning over our dreams and inner realities. Accept Cailleach into your heart and feel the unity from which our world of duality springs. With her help, you can find your way safely through times of transformation into a newer and deeper place of harmony and unity.

Update - Celtic Goddess Oracle Deck

Judith's deck of Celtic Goddess Oracle Cards with guidebook will be ready for shipment by the first week of December. There are still a few left in the first run.  You can pre-order on Judith's website.









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Judith Shaw, a New Orleans native and graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has always been interested in myth, culture and mysticism. Her work, inspired by the goddess, nature and sacred geometry, combines whimsy and the esoteric - whimsical tree paintings which often look like women dancing are intertwined with esoteric symbols such as those found in sacred geometry. After graduation, while living in Greece, the Goddess first appeared in her artwork. The Divine Feminine, in all of Her manifestations in this world, continues to inspire Judith.    Judith has also lived in Mexico and visited France, Italy, Turkey, China, Guatemala, and Jamaica. She now lives in Albuquerque where she divides her time between painting, writing, yoga, gardening, bee keeping, and hanging out with friends and family.  She is putting the final touches on a deck of Celtic Goddess cards which will be published soon.  


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