Woman Spirit ireland and Max Dashu Mary Condren study day imageReclaiming suppressed HERstories:
Exploring Irish Indigenous Wisdom in a Global Context.

Join us for a study day excavating and examining indigenous spiritual symbols, ceremonies and stories of old Ireland drawing on the encyclopaedic knowledge of Max Dashu and  the large image collection of the Suppressed Histories Archives, in dialogue with writer, Mary Condren, author of The Serpent and The Goddess.

DATE:  Sunday 18th November 2018
TIME:  10am – 6pm

Early Bird €45 (until 12th Nov). Full fee: €55
Concessions: Early Bird €20 (until 12th Nov). Full fee: €25

VENUE:  Sophia Wisdom Conference Centre, 25 Cork Street, Dublin 8. On street parking available free on Sundays.

Tea/coffee available at the Centre. Bring a packed lunch, or use any of the local eateries.

This event aims to do the following

  • To excavate and examine indigenous spiritual symbols, ceremonies and stories of Old Ireland
  • To recuperate the worldwide cultural memories of the great creatrix, The Cosmic Weaver, and to challenge the dominant narratives that now prevail — World Warriors
  • To contribute to symbolic paradigms focussed on inclusiveness and mercy, (symbolised by the cloak of the Cailleach and Brigit) that transcend the divisions and practices of sacrifice (symbolised by blood stained altars).

Some topics for the day

Weavers: Weaving was the first form of writing throughout the world, and in Ireland, embroiderers had a higher honour price than queens. Weaving is also a concept of creation/ creatrix/ and relates to the web of life; spinning, fate and time; metaphors of textile, text, sutra/thread, tissue/flesh.

Cloak: The creation cloak of the Cailleach and Brigit and its relationship to the Virgin of Mercy with the protective mantle, from France to the Russian Pokrov (“she who covers”), and the Vierges Ouvrantes.

Healing and Birthing belts: The Irish crios in birthing and healing rites; its role in oathswearing; the Moylough Shrine, and rites of “measuring”

Cairns: Cailleach of the Cairns; womb symbolism of the megalithic sanctuaries; images from Loughcrew, Irish vulva petroglyphs; possible meanings of basins within megalithic chambers at the Bru and other sites, and the significance of spiral iconography.

Further information on Resource Persons

Max Dashu:

Mary Condren:


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Reclaiming the Spirit of Samhain – Dreamtime of the Old Irish Year

Woman Spirit Ireland Poster Draft V3

The Greening Woman (artist – Jane Brideson)

A Woman Spirit Ireland Study Day – Saturday October 20th 2018

Click HERE to register and pay for the day

One can, by performing the four pilgrimages, at the a priorist times, put oneself into harmony and empathy with the life of nature as personified in the life-cycle of the goddess. At a period of history in which we face an acute ecological crisis, it is a first step to recovering a lost link to the earth and the mysterious, life-giving cycle of the seasons.”  Seán Ó Duinn  

Aim of event: To reclaim the Spirit of Halloween from the clutches of commercialism, as well as from other destructive forces which can run riot at this time of year, and to offer resources to parents, teachers, community activists, artists, dramatists, poets reflecting on the ancient spirit of Samhain as a major turning point of the Old Irish Year.

Proposed Programme: Our programme will include Stories of the Grandmothers (Wise Women of Old Ireland — living and dead); reflecting on Images and Symbols of the Cailleach and recuperating her from the negative images portrayed in commercial venues; exploring the multiple symbolism and artefacts associated with Samhain; ritual, poetry and dance reflecting on the darkness of the year, and preparing to enter into Dreamtime or hibernation (in whatever form it takes) for the period between Samhain and Imbolc.

Resource Persons
Emer Cloherty: Emer is an Elder of Old Irish native spirituality, who was brought up in the tradition and trained since childhood in the art of remembering. Emer can offer invaluable information and perspectives on our almost forgotten rituals, and practices and for Samhain she will offer rich resources to those envisioning Irish Spirituality anew.

Mary Condren: Director Woman Spirit Ireland, author of “The Serpent and the Goddess, Women, Religion and Power in Celtic Ireland, and currently researching the ancient roots of Brigit and her connection to the Cailleach of Old Ireland (and beyond). 

Venue: October 20th 2018 at the Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre, Greenhills Road, Dublin 24

Registration: Fee  €40   Concessions €20

To ensure that we have enough resource materials, advance booking strongly encouraged.  Please use our “Donate Button” on our Website, Facebook, Eventbrite, or Email list pages. 

OR: Send cheques to our registered address: Woman Spirit Ireland, 30A Parkhill Rise, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24DH33g

Time:  14:00 – 20:00

Please wear warm comfortable, washable clothing, and shoes for dancing, and bring something to share (sweet or savoury — estimate for six) for our pot-luck supper, your own utensils, and a bottle of something nice, if you wish.   Tea/coffee will be available

Further Information:

For those coming by pubic transport: The 27 bus stops at the Cuckoo’s Nest on Greenhills Road, and the KFRC is across the road, surrounded by trees, with plenty of parking facilities.   
For directions to Kilnamanagh from Luas Kingswood click here.

For daily updates on Facebook, click here.  

twitter @womanspiritire1

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Reclaiming the Spirit of Samhain – Dreamtime of the Old Irish Year

October 20th 2018

Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre, Greenhills Road 

photo John

Hag of Beara, photo John Eagle

Woman Spirit Ireland is currently putting the final touches to our planning for a Study Day on Samhain, to be held October 20th 2018 at the Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre, Greenhills Road, Dublin.


Aim of event: To reclaim the Spirit of Samhain from the clutches of commercialism, as well as from other destructive forces which can run riot at this time of year, and to offer resources to parents, teachers, community activists, artists, dramatists, poets reflecting on the ancient spirit of Samhain as a major turning point of the Old Irish Year.

Proposed Programme: Our programme will include Stories of the Grandmothers (Wise Women of Old Ireland — living and dead); reflecting on Images and Symbols of the Cailleach and recuperating her from the negative images portrayed in commercial venues; exploring the multiple symbolism and artefacts associated with Samhain; ritual, poetry and dancereflecting on the darkness of the year, and preparing to enter into Dreamtime or hibernation (in whatever form it takes) for the period between Samhain and Imbolc.

Timing: We aim to start in the afternoon with various forms of input. We will then break for a pot-luck supper, and then enter into our final ritual space.  Provisional timetable: 14:00 to 20:00

Further details available in next two weeks.

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PngTree.eabf96c084873f7716e5d24dadd2f569VENUE CHANGE

Tonight’s lecture will be in the Robert Emmett Theatre, Arts Building, TCD.

Please enter by the Nassau Street entrance.

See you there for 7.30.

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PngTree.eabf96c084873f7716e5d24dadd2f569The recent papal visit to Ireland drew serious attention to the dark side of the Catholic Church: discrimination against women and LGBTI persons, and various forms of abuse carried out by clergy and members of religious institutions.

Mary Hunt WATER Mary-Cuba-headshot1-450x527For over forty years, Dr. Mary Hunt has been at the coalface of worldwide struggles on the part of women to reclaim Christian and other religious traditions from the grip of patriarchal control and clerical misogynies that strangle women’s voices, discriminate against LGBTI people, and enable abuse and its concealment.. Drawing on her extensive experience, in this evening event, Mary Hunt will present an overview of the history, challenges, and current directions in the fields of feminist theology, ethics, and ritual, and point to fruitful directions that might take us forward in Ireland.

Full Mary Hunt Biographical Details : See

Dr Christine Morris TCDChair 

Christine Morris is Head of the School of Histories and Humanities and Andrew A. David Associate Professor in Greek Archaeology and History in the Department of Classics, Trinity College Dublin. URL:


Jacob Erickson (2)Jacob Erickson,  Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics in the Loyola Institute, School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin.


catherine lawless Dr, C for gender & wms studesCatherine Lawless: Assistant Professor
and Director of the Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies at Trinity College Dublin: URL:


Gina-MENZIES We are Church IrelandGina Menzies: Lecturer in Bioethics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and a regular contributor in the media on theological matters: URL.


Noirin ni Riain I Times (2)Noirin Ni Riain: Theologian, author, musician, singer: URL:


This event is co-sponsored by Woman Spirit Ireland and The Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies, Trinity College Dublin. 

Date: September 10th,  19:30 — 21:30 

Venue: Mac Neill Theatre, Arts Building, Nassau Street, Trinity College Dublin 2. 

Registration:  €10:00: Concessions: Students, SW recipients €5:00. Advance registration advised. 

For tickets to this event, click through HERE Eventbrite or through our Facebook page or, alternatively, register online for this event, please use our Paypal ‘donate’ button on the sidebar of this page. This will not issue a ticket but we will note your registration. 

To register through mail, please send your cheque or PO to our registered address:

Womanspiritireland, 30A Parkhill Rise, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24DH33.  (Please include your email if you require confirmation) 

(images courtesy of WATER, T.C.D., WeAreChurchIreland and Irish Times)

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Festival of Brigit, some photos

60610B9E-2FD8-4AD5-A1CD-8A562CCFC71BKilnamanagh, 3rd February 2018 with Mary Condren and Team and Nóirín Ní Ríain.

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“Ligigí isteach Bríd!” – “Sé do bheatha!”


Tables of the Four Directions


Weaving crosses and Brídeógs

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Chair at the hearth.


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Festival of Brigit, Provisional Programme

Spirit of Brigit in the Earth, Air, Fire, Water –

Provisional Programme

https_cdn.evbuc.comimages398142472416793665971originalFull details of our Festival of Brigit Dublin:  Spirit of Brigit in the Earth, Air, Fire, Water, are listed in our previous post.  Please scroll down.

Saturday, 3rd February 2018


Final registrations: Please register in advance, so that we know who is coming and we have plenty of supplies for all.


Introduction to the themes of the festival and Woman Spirit Ireland, with Nellie Curtin.


Gathering together with Nóirín Ní Riain (who will weave us through the programme with song. Remembering our loved ones, present and departed.  Songs, poems and stories about Brigit — goddess and saint with Ruth Marshall, folklorist and poet.


Dividing into groups centring on the themes or of earth, air, fire and water.  Making Brigit’s crosses, and Brídógs (little Brigits).

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Lunch: Please bring your own.

Tea/ coffee available.


Group regathers, and children are invited to an adjoining space for a special programme featuring storytelling, arts and crafts, butter making; drawing images of the world they would like to see when they grow up, and making promises to do things that might make that happen.


In the adult group, Mary Condren, director of Woman Spirit Ireland will present on the topic:  What can the traditions of Brigit  — her stories, rituals and artefacts — teach us about the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.  Followed by discussion from the floor.


Break up into smaller facilitated groups for continued discussion of these themes and inviting participants to bring forward their own memories of Brigit and her festival and other stories, poems songs related to environmental themes.


Working toward our final time together where we will recreate some elements of the traditional rituals of Imbolc or Lá Feile Bhríde, and bring them into contemporary times.  Our final gathering will include meditation, songs, poems, dances, and (for those who wish), partaking of bread, milk and honey (foods associated with Brigit); going through the Crios (Brigit’s belt) making silent commitments to preserving the earth for future generations.


Beginning to make our way home.

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Festival of Brigit Dublin: Spirit of Brigit in the Earth, Air, Fire, Water.

Saturday February 3rd – 11:00 a.m.  –  6:00 p.m.

Kilnamanagh Recreation Centre, Treepark Rd, Kilnamanagh, Dublin 24


In the Irish calendar, February marks the beginning of Spring, the festival of Imbolc or Lá Féile Bhríde. This year our festival is inspired by the Weaver’s version of Brigit’s cross. Weavers are those who nurture and spin the fragile threads of community. The points of the cross represent the four elements corresponding to the four directions: Earth/North; Air/East; Fire/South; Water/West. Throughout our festival we will be focussing on those themes, discerning how community weavers can best protect those crucial supports to all life on earth by preventing waste and encouraging sustainability in all our daily practices.
This year we are inviting children of schoolgoing age to come (in the company of responsible adults), along with women and men — homemakers, craftworkers, students, healers, storytellers, community activists, poets, therapists, musicians, artists, writers, theologians, folklorists, and dancers. We will draw on Brigit’s wise traditions, using sound, music, movement, and ritual, to spin new stories, images, and poems, and imagine a different future for all earth’s children.

 Resource Persons 

Nóirín_Ní_RiainNóirín Ní Riain, musician, singer, theologian, author:

m-condrenMary Condren, director of Woman Spirit Ireland and author of The Serpent and the Goddess: Women, Religion and Power in Celtic Ireland.;

Ruth MarshallRuth Marshall, storyteller, craftswoman, folklorist;

Nellie Curtin: Psychotherapist and member of LSA.

What to bring:

Comfortable loose warm clothing (washable for children) indoor shoes for comfort and dancing
Green rushes to make crosses (if you can fnd them—keep them damp)
Pieces of cloth to make Brídógs (little Brigit), Instruments to make rhythm/music
Meals: Please bring a packed lunch and your own utensils. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Admission €20 | Concession €15 | Kids Free Admission
To register, click on the Donate button, top right of this web page and type in “Registration.”

To get tickets, visit WomanSpiritIreland on Facebook, 

Or, for further information, write to:

Jointly sponsored by Woman Spirt Ireland and  Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre.

Directions To Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre:

(Kilnamanagh is near Walkinstown, Templeogue, and Greenhills, and Tallaght Town Square).

M50: Coming from North or South, take the Ballymount/ Cookstown exit (junction 10). Follow the signs to the Belgard Road, or Cookstown. You will drive about half a mile. The new LUAS lines will be on your right. Take a left at the top (at the dual carriageway) and take the next left. Follow the Mayberry Road until after you pass Dunnes Stores. Take a left at Dunnes Stores. Drive about another half a mile until you come to the Kilnamanagh Family Recreation Centre on your right.

Coming from Templeogue/Tallaght Bypass: Turn right at the Square, Tallaght, and drive about half a mile until you come to sign for Kilnamanagh. Turn right for Kilnamanagh, and turn left after you pass Dunnes Stores. Drive another half a mile until you come to the KFRC on the right.

From Greenhills Road Walkinstown, driving or by bus: If coming by bus, get off at the Cuckoo’s Nest public house (now derelict). KFRC is across the road.

If you are driving, you will not be able to drive into the centre from the Greenhills Road as there is no access road. Take the first right turn after the Cuckoo’s Nest (second traffic lights) and take the turn before Dunnes Stores. KFRC will be about half a mile down the road on your right.

LUAS: Take the Red Line and get off at the Kingswood stop. Go through gap in wall and turn left into Kilnamanagh. Walk about half a mile, down the hill, to KFRC on your left.


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Recuperation of a Matri-centred Approach to Ecology and Divinity

Brigit from FBThe final session of Mother Earth and the Megamachine will take place on Monday, December 11th at the Mercy International Centre, 64a Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2. 

In this session, Mary Condren, Th.D will pull together some of the themes of the series, and relate them to her current work on Brigit/Imbolc, and the recuperation of a matri-centred approach to ecology and divinity. 
Brigid1The session will be especially helpful to those planning to offer celebrations of the Festival of Brigit next Spring. Mary will share information about the symbols of Brigit/Imbolc, as well as music, poetry and rituals that have been used in Woman Spirit Ireland festivals in Ireland and abroad over many years.  

Please wear comfortable clothing (and bring a yoga mat if you happen to have one). 

This final session will start at 7:00 pm.

Please register in advance if possible, using the “Donate” button below. :

Registration:  €20:00

Concessions: available to those whose sole income is Social Welfare: €10:00


Facebook Page:

If you value the work of Woman Spirit Ireland and would like to offer your support, or register for one of our events, please use the “Donate” button below. Many thanks.

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Bean Feasa – her herbs, landscape and community

Niamh Ní Lochlainn will be presenting the eighth talk in the series Mother Earth and the Megamachine next Monday, 4th December 2017.  Bean Feasa cristian-newman-63291.jpg
She will be drawing on material from her M.Phil thesis in Irish Folklore on the Bean Feasa. The following aspects of the Bean Feasa will be discussed:
SDC10025the title of the Bean Feasa; her connection with the Fairy Realm and the acquisition of her powers, particularly in relation to her knowledge and use of herbs; the gathering of herbs in relation to the cosmos; a number of herbs will be discussed and their use in the hands of the Bean Feasa; the Bean Feasa’s deep connection with the landscape and her crucial role in the community.
SDC10316.JPGNiamh Ní Lochlainn is a folklorist and a primary school teacher living near St. Gobnait’s Well in Baile Bhúirne, Co. Cork. She grew up in Dublin as a fluent Irish speaker and also lived in the West Kerry Gaeltacht for some time, and more recently in Conamara.

The full registration cost per evening is €20:00 and €10:00 for concessions (full time students and those whose sole income is Social Welfare).

To register online, please go to the Donate Pay Pal button on the top right of this web page, and type in registration.  Please do not forget to include your email address, and contact phone number.

Venue: Mercy International Centre, 64, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2

Timing: Arrival for tea/coffee, and integrative/meditative sessions is optional. However, we will request that those who can only arrive for 7:30 wait outside the main room until the input sessionbegins, so as not to disturb the meditative or integrative work.

Times:  6:30-7:00. Tea and coffee will be available to facilitate those coming from various commitments, who can also bring their own supper. Donations welcome to cover the additional cost.

7:00 —7:30  A half hour meditative, or reflective period will be offered to those who wish to partake.

7:30 —9:00  Input and group discussion on the topic of the evening.SDC10363

Image 1.:  Unsplash – cristian-newman

Images 2-5:  Niamh Ní Lochlainn



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