About us

‘O see ye not yon narrow road,
  So thick beset wi’ thorns and briers?
That is the Path of Righteousness,
  Though after it but few inquires.
‘And see ye not yon braid, braid road,   
  That lies across the lily leven?
That is the Path of Wickedness,
  Though some call it the Road to Heaven.
‘And see ye not yon bonny road
  That winds about the fernie brae?   
That is the Road to fair Elfland,
  Where thou and I this night maun gae.
‘But, Thomas, ye sall haud your tongue,
  Whatever ye may hear or see;
For speak ye word in Elfyn-land,
  Ye’ll ne’er win back to your ain countrie.’

 

Thank you for stepping into the world of the Cailleachs Herbarium. Before you journey the mysterious and crooked path exploring Scottish folklore, herbalism and magic form the point of view of a Scottish native, perhaps dragging some soap boxes to stand on with me along the way, it might be wise to ponder who the writer of these words is for a while.

When someone goes public with information, discussing beliefs and experiences people assume all sorts of things about them.  It is important to disclose some things. To help prevent bias and to perhaps, allow some perspective to settle on the diorama being presented.

It’s a peculiarly western phenomenon that as soon as things appear in writing  or in research they tend to gather a veil of authority. In light of this strange occurrence, I wish to supply the discriminating reader with right information to help them question this authority.

Nothing I say is presented by me as Truth but perhaps truth. At times, my truth will be very different from yours. Some things that I could write more about I have left as questions in the hope to engage you the reader in thinking further.  The Truths and truths of the old ways are a lived experience, each of us understanding these in different ways, some sacred, some practically and perhaps some even profane. Through your eyes, the printed voice of these words shares my sum of experience, thoughts, research, ethics, observations and opinions. Hopefully along the way punctuated by what wisdom I have been able to gather. But everyone has a share of wisdom to pass around.

As your mind wanders through the landscape of ideas, research and stories presented to you please don’t allow your mind to slip into a passive state of observing and repeating. In light of your experience, question my assumptions and laugh at my conclusions. I accept and relish the opportunity to change my mind and reach different ideas. We are all seekers. I am aware that my mind holds constructs of thinking and attachments to things that it has deftly disguised as a certainty. Through community, we can help each other see past these pits in the road and move safely onwards with our journey.

I feel passionate about the old ways and folk tales of Scotland and other ideas I write about. If my idiosyncrasies suddenly present me as a street corner preacher please allow me this social mistake. Please try not to find fault with my passion. Please though take a note of what you do not agree with and get back to me about my fault in judgement by contacting us. That way we can be co-seekers and co-members toward a community and a way of life which still has a lot to still discover about itself.