Welcome to the Cailleach’s Herbarium

Exploring “cunning ways” – folklore, folk crafts and folk herbalism from a Scottish/Celtic perspective. Our writing draws inspiration comes from knowledge hidden in old stories, old manuscripts, folklore and tales. Alexander Carmichael, F. Marian McNeill, Emma Wilby and others providing an academic backbone.

The Cailleach’s herbarium seeks to reconstruct and deconstruct. To explore and recreate the folk stories and herbal formula that come to us by the crooked path of  Gaelic, Celtic and old Scottish folk tales. We are seeking the herbs once gathered and understood by Airmed Provided by the grace of the Cailleach. Burnt by Nicneven in her charnel house. Used by our ancestors, the Spae folk of Scotland, to help, heal, hinder and curse. To rekindle the passion in Gaelic Cunning Crafts, sadly ideas rarely discussed in a modern day context.

What might these approaches mean to the modern day contemporary person? We hope to inspire ideas. To provide a different point of view. Moving away from the information suggested in the works of Nu-age thinking and Neo-paganism. A different voice to those you might normally read and hear.

The land beneath us supports and nourishes us. It has its own traditions and personality (if you will indulge me). Being native or from a certain place means you are blessed with certain constitutional gifts. These  are gifts passed down from your ancestors. They are derived from the place you were born. A folklore and mythology interweaving with your own spirit, that sings to your ancestral past.

Gaelic, Celtic, Doric and Old Scottish culture has a beauty all its own. Through exploration and research, we aim to pay homage to the old traditions. The traditions of the Spaewives, Fiosaiche, Ban-fhiosaiche, Bean Feasa and Fear Feasa. The herbalists and folk practitioners who have gone before us. To rekindle the poetry of the Scottish and Celtic landscape. To re-engage with her fast abandoned crafts.

A lot of western thinking is based on ideas from far away countries. We seek the glamour in the other. In our own small way, we want to redress the balance, correct the swing. To get people excited about what things are available in their own community. Keeping in the bioregionalism of Scotland. Ideas from exotic countries are not the only routes to understanding how to live in this life. We have our own mysteries. Our own indigenous religion. Our own folklore.

How do we make the pendulum swing? By providing information, recipes, discussions and ideas around hand crafted items and herbal formulas steeped in the folk knowledge of Scotland of old rousing awake the sleeping giants and knocking awake the Ghuille Dhu.

We hope that you will join us in the conversation.  Through comments here or through our Facebook page. Perhaps by simply sharing with your friends what you read. Help us to build a community around these ideas and let others hear the song of Scotland once more. To read more about us follow the Cuckoos call …