Monday 3 June 2013

Joined Up Writing

Ruth Marshall is a poet, storyteller, author, life coach, workshop facilitator and an accredited facilitator of The Transformation Game. She offers ‘Re-Write Your Life’ workshops in Co Clare. Drawing on her wide range of experience she holds a magical space for people to creatively explore their own biography, and discover ways to make positive change in their lives. Formerly editor of Network Ireland holistic magazine, Ruth is the author of ‘Celebrating Irish Festivals’, and her new book ‘Clare Folk Tales’ is due out in July 2013. She teaches creative writing to teenagers in ALFA and facilitates the Ageing with Confidence programme for groups of older people in Co Clare. She loves to knit and plays ukulele. Here is our interview with Ruth:

Describe the workshop you will be facilitating on Saturday afternoon at the Wise Woman Weekend...
We will be asking ourselves "How can we live in a way that nurtures ourselves, our communities and the earth?" Using some of the tools from The Transformation Game, we will identify changes we may need to make in how we think, feel and act in the world. When we're clear on that, we will make the invisible visible by each creating (draw and write) an ‘illuminated manuscript’ that will stand as our personal manifesto for thinking, feeling and acting in harmony and alignment - something we can put up on the wall to remind us of the choices we are making and why.

What is your main area of interest /expertise?
Creativity and personal transformation. I love to see people grow into more of who they are, and I try to facilitate this through writing, story, and self-reflection.

How did you find out about the Wise Woman Weekend?
That is a long story! I'd been aware of the Wise Woman Weekend since it started, and have been actively involved with Wise Woman for the past 4 years. 

What qualities do you bring to the Wise Woman Weekend?
A bit of creativity, self-exploration, inspiration and  hopefully some fun!

Ruth has been working on a new book, Clare Folk Tales, which is due out from the History Press in July 2013. (The first, and largest, chapter is about wise women and wild women.) She is willing and able to come to your part of the world, wherever that may be, and tell stories from the book. So if you'd like to organise an afternoon or evening of storytelling, please let her know. She awaits your invitation!

Bookings are still being taken for Wise Woman Weekend, so book your place as time is of the essence! It's this weekend, June 7th to 9th, in Co. Tipperary.

Friday 31 May 2013

Indian Head Massage at Wise Woman Weekend

The time is drawing close for our annual gathering of women, the Wise Woman Weekend. We continue with our series of interviews of the facilitators of this years event. Tina Rock will host the 'Introduction to Indian Head Massage & Essential Oil Use' workshop on Saturday.

What is your main area of interest /expertise?  
Aromatherapy Holistic Massage using Essential Oils/ Indian Head Massage / Reflexology

How did you find out about the Wise Woman Weekend?
Through a Wise Woman, who advised Volunteering allowing an insight at a Wonderful Event.

If you have been to the Wise Woman Weekend already, what do you like most about the event? 
The gathering of Wise Women to create an environment of Love, Honesty, Creativity, and Educational insight to the individual to reach out,  Embrace and Nurture the Woman within. A place to unlock fears to let go of inner uncertainties , to unleash strength and power to fulfill your dreams and ambitions.

What are your hopes for the future of the Wise Woman Weekend?
Reaching out to others enhancing growth in numbers attending, renewable Funding to Implement events each year that will allow a few Women who cannot sustain costs , to avail of this Wonderful Journey with Wise Woman.

What qualities do you bring to the Wise Woman Weekend?
Honesty , Integrity , Happiness, Musicality.

Do you have a few words or a gem of wisdom you would like to share with other Women?
Honesty within oneself to grow and become the Woman you were born to be.

What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Women today?
Striving to be the best at Life , Juggling Family life , Home making ,Work commitments, therefore forgetting we are Human beings that are not Perfect.

Describe yourself...
As a young “Teenage Wife & Mother”, my life was taken up with the normal day to day running a home and a Mum to 3 Children.  However I come from a background of Natural Spiritual Women who had an affinity with the Power of Healing with Touch & Nurturing skills, such as Head closing (as it was termed) which my Grandmother had a reputation for, “The Cure”, as a child she would often massage my feet legs & head, as I suffered from poor circulation, giving warmth and stimuli to the blood, leaving me as I remember feeling loved and cared for.  As my children grew and left the nest, I had to find my worth in other sources, A programme was being developed in the Community with The Chrysalis Women's Center, it was there that I embarked on a Personal Journey that was to change my perception of Life through Holistic Healing and its concepts.  Twelve women from the area of Deprivation and non Educational Qualification were offered this course to train as Holistic Therapists spanning almost 5 years on a part time basis. Today I facilitate courses with local Community Groups to instill Holistic Healing

Describe your workshop..
Information extracts outlining a sequence of Indian Head Massage, thus allowing participants to not only enjoy the workshop, with Knowledge & Skills, they can also introduce at home to use as a tool in their daily or weekly routine, for Stress relief and nurturing within Family Life.  As the Power of Touch is an earliest memory within our selves as a Healing, Nurturing and Loving experience that comes naturally within our DNA structure, through life and its difficulties we have forgotten how to utilize these natural skills.  This workshop will enhance the skills we have at our fingertips and Healing Hands.

To book your place visit :

Wednesday 15 May 2013

Our New Wise Woman Weekend Venue

Wise Woman Weekend 2013 is taking place in the new-to -us venue of Gurteen College, Co. Tipperary on June 7th, 8th and 9th , just three weeks away. The move was inspired to allow for a more ‘held’ weekend in which all of the workshops and meals would take place in a single venue. The Wise Woman team and past participants alike felt that the energy of the weekend would build up and hold more coherently if we were all together all weekend, without the influences of the outside world.
The sums showed us that the overall cost of the weekend would be reduced for participants if we could make it all-inclusive – no need to arrange and pay separately for your own meals and B&B. We have managed to keep the total cost of the weekend to €185 inclusive of accommodation and meals, which is excellent value for money for what you will experience in this special weekend.
A wish list was compiled and we went in search of a venue with beautiful outdoor spaces, trees and nature, accommodation, food and suitable workshop rooms. Little did we know that along with all of these we would also tick the ‘swimming pool’ box too! Gurteen College promises to be a special venue for Wise Woman Weekend 2013 as we nurture our connections with ourselves, each other and the sacred feminine.
Places are available for Wise Woman Weekend 2013, but time is of the essence, as the event is fast approaching!
To book a place visit our website

Friday 10 May 2013

Dancing in to Wellness in the Modern Age

There is always a fantastic response to the dancing workshop at Wise Woman Weekend. This June, Geraldine O' Brien will facilitate a workshop in in the spirit of the Laban principle of ‘dance for all’.
Geraldine is passionate about storytelling in drama and dance.  She works as a drama facilitator in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, where she runs the PlayActing School of Speech & Drama for children and teenagers.  She acts and directs with the local adult drama group: Insight Theatre, and holds workshops in drama and playmaking for community groups.  She examines for the Irish Board of Speech and Drama and adjudicates at festivals and feiseanna.  More recently she qualified as a Laban Community Dance and Movement facilitator which has added a wonderful new dimension to her work.  It has taken her to Kildare libraries to do workshops on Relaxing, Moving and Dancing, and from dancing through the chakras to choir movement camps on evolution and the famine!  Currently she is studying for an M.A. in Theatre and plotting to bring dance-drama to as many people as possible!
Geraldine has answered our questions as follows:

What is your main area of interest /expertise? Drama and Laban Community Dance Facilitator

How did you find out about the Wise Woman Weekend? Serendipity; a friend and I were looking to catch-up over a weekend away together, ”a weekend with a difference” and  I came up with the Wise Woman Weekend thanks to Google!  That was May 2010.

If you have been to the Wise Woman Weekend already, what do you like most about the event? I love the diversity of the workshops and all their avenues for creativity, the energy of the participants and the openness and warmth of all involved.

What are your hopes for the future of the Wise Woman Weekend?  Part of me wants to see the weekend grow so that more women can feel the beauty, power and harmony of the wise woman experience; and part of me wants to keep it as it is and maintain the intimacy and community atmosphere that can diminish as participant numbers grow. 

What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Women today?
Women today face all sorts of challenges in their lives.  The story is the thing; every Woman has one and we can learn about ourselves and about life in the life experiences we bear witness to around us.  In current times of recession, I think that the Wise Woman weekend has a more important role in society, to draw on the experience of the woman who have lived before us and endured, and to connect with these women too and draw on their wisdom.
Contact Geraldine on
To book your place at Wise Woman Weekend go to

Thursday 18 April 2013

How Does your Garden Grow?

Today we speak with Susie Minto, who’s 38 year career has been centered on words, spoken and written. Since 2003, she has been sharing her passion for traditional stories through performances, and in storytelling, storymaking, life story and intergenerational workshops to help people tap into their creativity. Born in Scotland, her working life began in print journalism.  She moved to Ireland in 2004. Susie is also trained in Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Education, as a facilitator in peace building using story work (NUI Galway), and as an accredited facilitator for creative writing using the Amherst Writers and Artists method. She runs creative writing groups in Fermanagh, Cavan and Leitrim and has recently completed a lengthy story gathering process for the Orange Lodge of Ireland in the border counties of the Republic.
The inspiration for this workshop literally came "out of the blue" whilst on a long car journey! It unfolded with such clarity she had to record the details into her phone before they were lost! She is eagerly looking forward to seeing the workshop come to life at the Wise Woman Weekend.

What is your main area of interest /expertise? All kinds of involvement with words, spoken and written; working with children and adults and especially intergenerationally.

How did you find out about the Wise Woman Weekend? Judith Hoad, 2007.

If you have been to the Wise Woman Weekend already, what do you like most about the event? The strong bonding, great fun and its place in creating friendships as well as informal networking, ie getting to know people in new areas of interest.

What are your hopes for the future of the Wise Woman Weekend? That it will grow and strengthen its appeal to women not only from Ireland but far beyond its shores.

What qualities do you bring to the Wise Woman Weekend? Sincerity, friendship, inspiration, warmth, encouragement, my exotic Scottishness!

Do you have a few words or a gem of wisdom you would like to share with other Women? If you truly nourish the inner you, the outer you will flourish and soar.

This year Susie's workshop is a multi-sensory exploration of how we nourish (or neglect) ourselves, family, friends. Participants will work mainly on their own to consider their inner and outer wellbeing and complete the workshop by literally planting a small sacred garden in a take home container, to have a continuing reminder into the summer of the commitments they made to nurture their connections.

Places are available for Wise Woman Weekend 2013 which takes place June 7th-9th in Co. Tipperary. 

Friday 29 March 2013

Herbal Soul Art with Sherrie Scott

An Interview with Sherrie Scott , Herbalist and Energy Therapist, Sherrie Creates Ceremonies, Rites of passage, and workshops that blend meditation, art and healing together. This year she will facilitate 'Herbal Soul Art' at the Wise Woman Weekend. Her group work is about inspiring each person’s Creative personal power & facilitating the group to give form to their unique creative energy together. Since 1999 Sherrie’s work has grown into a Tapestry of Celebration, Weaving , Creativity & Energetics, Laughter Yoga & Creative Writing. Felting, Costume, & Ceremony, Painting Story & Song, Movement & Groovement, Herbs & Scents, Rubs & Scrubs, all created anew with each new group. Sherrie has trained with Sli an Chroi , The Four Winds, An Craobh Airgid, Indigenous Shamans in Peru , Brighid’s Healing Herbal School, Judith Hoad, Sean Colins, Health crisis counselling, Reiki Ani Dolma, Louise Hay & Marie Perret, Art Synthesis since 2000.
What is your main area of interest /expertise? Herbs, healing ,creative expression . Art & Healing
How did you find out about the Wise Woman Weekend? In 2005 my friend nominated me as she was unable to do the workshop she was booked in for. I’ve been involved since
If you have been to the Wise Woman Weekend already, what do you like most about the event? The variety of talented individuals coming together and sharing their beauty.
What are your hopes for the future of the Wise Woman Weekend? Sharing learning enjoying
What qualities do you bring to the Wise Woman Weekend? Fun laughter grounding creativity
Do you have a few words or a gem of wisdom you would like to share with other Women?
A weekend to treasure and connect with like minded women.        Relax * learn* share * revitalise
What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Women today? Isolation
Describe your workshop, Herbal Soul Art:
Every day we live amongst plants, trees, herbs and flowers. Do we ever really listen to them? This workshop brings that colourful connection closer through a journey with the plants, Clay and Herbal Art.We will be weaving together our self nurturing messages and trust connections. This is an adventure of finding your own self nurture pathways. When we feel good about ourselves, then we can nourish our relationships with others. So if you are looking for something that’s naturally empowering, surprising and joyful, that connects the heart and mind, body and soul this is the workshop for you.

Thursday 21 March 2013

Journey to Gaia; an Interview with Jackie Juno

Jackie Juno, celebrant, performance poet, artist, singer and comedian, has been leading women's groups for nearly 30 years. She will facilitate 'Journey to Gaia' at this year's Wise Woman Weekend. Her interests lie particularly in Goddess-centred cultures, prehistorical sacred sites, simple meaningful everyday rituals and joyful supportive shared creativity with women. She has travelled widely for much of her life. She lives with her guitarist husband and young daughter on Dartmoor, which is a constant source of inspiration to her. Her ease in communication, confidence and grounded humour make her a popular workshop facilitator. She is enthusiastic and dynamic, sensitive and warm, allowing women to experience the fragility, depth, and wildness of their true natures. Here she answers a few questions posed by the Wise Woman Team...
What is your main area of interest /expertise?   Simple rituals, creativity, journeying and facilitating sharing.
If this is your first time attending the Wise Woman Weekend, what is its appeal to you?   One of my favourite things is to spend time creating and sharing with other women in a focussed supportive environment. Also, I have always had a wonderful time when visiting Ireland!
What are your hopes for the future of the Wise Woman Weekend?   Meeting like-minded women, perhaps collaborating with them in creative projects; furthering my experience and broadening my knowledge. Having fun! Forging friendships and professional relationships.
What qualities do you bring to the Wise Woman Weekend?  Humour, experience, curiosity, excitement and very dark chocolate.
Do you have a few words or a gem of wisdom you would like to share with other Women?  We can help to change the world for our children and theirs, and beyond... by joining together and helping create a more loving, caring sustainable future.
What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Women today?  Environmental disaster (that affects everyone of course); violence against women seen as the norm; desperate inequality in many countries around the world; poverty and lack of education, which affects women and children more than men, statistically-speaking.
Describe the workshop you will be giving at this year's event:    A safe supportive environment will be established by the communal building of an altar, with each woman bringing some special object which represents her connection to the earth. We will use relaxation and visualisation to prepare for an inner journey to meet the goddess archetype Gaia. We will spend some time writing afterwards, and sharing our experiences.
Learn more about Jackie:
Learn more about Wise Woman Weekend 2013:

Thursday 14 March 2013

Interview with Katherine Howard.

In the first of this year's interviews with the women involved with Wise Woman Weekend 2013, we speak with Katherine Howard who will facilitate the Psychodrama workshop:

Women and Power: The Authentic Self in Relationship

Kath is a mother to 3 daughters and grandmother to a beautiful grandson. She works as a Psychodramatist in her counselling/psychotherapy practice in Sydney, Australia and has been a Consultant Occupational Therapist for 30 years, and a group facilitator for the same amount of time. Kath lives in the bush in the wonderful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney with her partner, Geoff, and 2 cats. She is a frequent visitor to Ireland- especially to her ancestral home in County Clare- and has a strong soul connection with the Atlantic coast and the Burren. Kath has a commitment to supporting the life of the goddesses that are in every woman. She acts as a co-celebrant  at the ritual 8 Sabbats of the Wheel of the Year in the Moon Court in the Blue Mountains. At the time of the Wise Woman Weekend, Australia will be getting close to Winter Solstice (Yule)- at the same time as Ireland is coming in to Summer Solstice. Kath loves getting to do both at the same time! Kath is passionate about this Gaian earth (she is a “tree friend”) and believes that women ARE the earth and should be celebrated in a special way. She primarily uses psychodrama to do this.

What is your main area of interest /expertise? Psychodrama and women’s life journey issues.

How did you find out about the Wise Woman Weekend? I can’t quite recall, was several years ago. I was looking for women’s creative events in Ireland to attend when I visit.

What do you think are the greatest challenges facing Women today? Standing in and acting from our authentic feminine power, knowing that the power of the feminine is very different from masculine power, but just as strong. We don’t have to fight to hold our power. We simply have to hold to and act from our truth.

Describe your upcoming workshop at Wise Woman Weekend 2013.
‘Psyche' relates to the spirit or mind, while ‘drama' relates to the stories acted out in life every day. By combining mind and action, psychodrama gets to the reality beneath the surface. In this session, we will work cooperatively to do personal psychodramas led by the Facilitator (Director). The Director will ask someone to get up and act out some of their personal or communal concerns. Others in the group will join in, acting the extra roles in the person's drama. The session develops spontaneously as other people in the group take the lead role in their own drama or support roles in other people's dramas.  The dramas will focus on the theme of nurturing the authentic self in relationships and community. Barriers and problems will also be enacted, with new ways of being evolving in the drama. No drama or acting experience is required. Just bring your authentic self!

Kath's Website

Wise Woman Weekend Website:


Saturday 12 January 2013

Correct Contact Details for Wise Woman Weekend 2013

The correct contact for Wise Woman Weekend 2013 is, email  A wonderful article about the event has been published in Network magazine, but due to a technical glitch, incorrect contact details were included.

Thursday 15 November 2012

The Hag at the Well

This short piece explores the divine feminine as she manifests in the sacred landscape of the northwest of Ireland, in the element of water and in the spiritual lives of three wise women.

Órfhlaith Ni Chonaill, Mary Kate Hagan and Judith Hoad were kind enough to share their insights on the triple aspect of the goddess, Sheela-na-Gig as an archetype for our time and their own relationship with the divine in feminine form.

Dee Armstrong of Kila allowed the use of her amazing track ‘The Kissing Gate’ as the soundtrack.

The making of this film has been an immensely rewarding experience and has somehow helped me to realise and bring full-circle the divine grace that entered my own life and helped precipitate my ongoing journey towards wholeness.

xx Niamh

Saturday 1 September 2012

FACILITATING at the WISE WOMAN WEEKEND 7th – 9th June 2013

If you run a workshop that might be of interest to attendees at the Wise Woman Weekend, or if you have a skill or knowledge that you think you can shape into a workshop, why not apply?

We are looking for engaging, inspiring, creative and well-designed workshops in areas of spirituality, dance, singing, arts, crafts, inner work, ecology, growing things or whatever else you might come up with!

In exchange for running a 3-hour workshop we offer you a free place at the weekend, including the opportunity to attend 2 other workshops of your choice.

This year the weekend is all happening in one venue – at Gurteen College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary. This means that shared accommodation and meals are included, and we will also reimburse you for workshop materials and petrol for your journey.

 We ask facilitators to try to be free to attend the opening and closing ceremonies, and to be part of the event as a whole.

All the completed facilitator applications will be considered at our meeting in November, when the core group of the Wise Women Weekend will be meeting to structure next year’s event. We’ll be choosing 12 workshops that combine to create a balanced and varied choice for the women attending.

We look forward to hearing from you and reading your proposals!
Fill out my online form.

Monday 25 June 2012



27th July - 29th July 2012

A weekend of inspiration, encouragement, guidance and liberation for writers and would-be-writers at every stage in their journey to self-expression.


Órfhlaith Ní Chonaill, Ted & Annie Deppe & Joe Kearney

“Genius is hidden everywhere; it is in every person, waiting to be evoked, enabled, supported, celebrated. It is in you.” Pat Schneider

  • Time for you and your writing
  • Discover the genius within you
  • Write with inspirational facilitators
  • Safe, supportive environment
  • Find your unique writing voice
  • Share and celebrate your writing with others
  • Write in any genre, poetry, fiction, memoir
  • Beautiful seaside location
  • Affordable
  • Feedback on your writing
  • Small workshops in a private house
  • Lovely garden with patio, pond and labyrinth
  • Forum on online publishing
  • Overcome writers’ blocks
  • Use your own voice with confidence

Strandhill Summerfest is a weekend of writing and celebration for writers of all ages: beginners, advanced or established. It offers a gentle, supportive environment where it is safe to create new work. Again, we bring together our team of four inspirational facilitators whose aim is to nurture new writing.
Órfhlaith Ní Chonaill’s workshops use the AWA method devised by Pat Schneider. These are multi-genre workshops which evoke and enable writing and encourage writers to find and use their own voices with confidence. Ted & Annie Deppe share their expertise as poets and teachers, their love of their craft and their joyful appreciation of all poetry. Joe Kearney is a writer and broadcaster whose voice is familiar to Lyric FM and RTE Radio One listeners. Joe offers an insider view of writing for radio.

The Summerfest will be held in the home of Órfhlaith Ní Chonaill in Strandhill, Co. Sligo.

Facilitator Profiles:

Joe Kearney is a writer and broadcaster whose work is featured on RTE Radio One, Lyric FM and CBC Radio One in Canada. He is a multi-award winning independent documentary maker. In 2008 his radio documentary No Cure for Mickey Finn was a prizewinner in the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and was shortlisted for Prix Europa. His documentary Bullfight at Inchicore was RTE’s entry and a finalist in the 2010 Prix Europa in Berlin.
His work has been included in the Quiet Quarter, Original Writing and Sunday Miscellany anthologies. His short fiction has been published in Last Orders, Callan 800,The Fountain, and Ireland’s Eye. Many of these stories have been inspired at the Summerfest, one in particular, Say it With Flowers was short-listed for the Francis MacManus Award. He is also a contributor to An Irishman’s Diary in the Irish Times. Joe has a PhD in Creative Writing from UCD.

Annie Deppe is the author of Wren Cantata (Summer Palace, 2009) and Sitting in the Sky (Summer Palace, 2003). Her work has been anthologized in the Forward Book of Poetry 2004 (England). She has received grants from the Irish Arts Council and the Northern Ireland Arts Council and was selected by Poetry Ireland for theirIntroductions reading series. Her work has appeared in Poetry Ireland, Sou’wester,The Stinging Fly, The Shop, The Recorder, and elsewhere.

Ted Deppe is the author of Children of the Air (Alice James, 1990), The Wanderer King (Alice James, 1996), Cape Clear: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2002), andOrpheus on the Red Line (Tupelo Press, U.S. 2009). His work has been recognized by a Pushcart Prize and two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. He directs Stonecoast in Ireland, a program that makes it possible for Master’s degree students in the U.S. to study in Ireland. Annie and Ted Deppe currently lives in Galway city.

Órfhlaith Ní Chonaill’s novel, The Man With No Skin (Dialogue Publishing Inc. 2005) won first prize in fiction in the Colorado Independent Book Publisher’s (CIPA) Awards and was a finalist in the Independent Book Publisher’s (IPPY) Awards in the US. Her short story, Kikuyu Grass, was shortlisted for a Hennessy Award and her stories, poems and interviews have been published in Force 10 and other publications. She has an M. Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin and is an affiliated workshop leader of Amherst Writers & Artists, USA and Amherst Writers Ireland.


Friday 27th July 2012
6.00pm—7.00pm: Registration
7.00pm—9.00pm: Workshops

Saturday 28th July 2012
9.30am—1.30pm: Workshops
2.00pm—3.00pm: Lunch
3.00pm—4.00pm: Forum on Online Publishing with guest speaker Henry Hallan, author of Venus and the Sea People.
4.30pm—6.30pm: One-to-one mentoring — get feedback on your writing.
7.00pm: Dinner
8.30pm: Social Evening with open mic session for participating writers

Sunday 29th July 2012
9.30am—1.30pm: Workshops

Cost: €125 includes snacks, light lunch on Saturday and Dinner on Saturday evening.

Venue: Órfhlaith’s House
‘Aherlow’, Strandhill, Co. Sligo.
(between Kelly’s Pub and Strandhill Church)

Accommodation: Excellent, local accommodation, reasonably priced. B&B list available.

Writers’ Ink is an
Contact:, visit
or call 0872799108.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Reclaiming the Chalice of Grace, Passion and Power at the Wise Woman Weekend

Amantha Murphy at Wise Woman Weekend

Amantha Murphy will facilitate a workshop at the Wise Woman Weekend in Dromahair Co. Leitrim, May 25th -27th 2012.

“We are at a pivotal time in our story, as a people and as women,” Amantha says. “This is our opportunity to create anew what, and how, we want the world to continue and grow. What stories will our daughters and nieces tell of us? How do we want to be remembered? We will look to take on our mantle of Grace, Passion and Power through movement, song and silence, to be in our Power as women, Sisters to each other, to hold space and to live in our truth and authenticity. We are the Ones and theTime is NOW.”

Amantha’s main area of interest is in all things Ancestral - Celtic - Goddess and “womyn” focused - living in the now in passion, power, grace, beauty and creativity.  She first got involved with the Wise Woman Weekend when she was asked to give a shamanic workshop.  “What I love about the Wise Woman Weekend is women empowering each other and remembering the essence of sisterhood.  I hope that it will grow and continue to evolve. That, also, it would be based in a different Province each year.”

When asked what one gem of wisdom she would share with other women, Amantha said: “Remember you ARE all you are meant to be, you just need to live in the fullness of your wondrous and unique nature..”

According to Amantha, the greatest difficulty facing women today is “non-appreciation of our grace and ability to multitask and hold what is necessary to bring growth. We are a personification of the great Feminine, in whatever form you see/feel Her to be. As women, we have been programmed not to make noise, not to 'rock the boat', not to be seen as equals in the world. We are awaking from the great enforced sleep and taking our power fully again. As women, as sisters, as mothers, wives and daughters we need to be aware of the gifts we leave to our future generations of women. We were free and equal in every manner and we need our young ones to remember this again. Rites of Passage bring this back into our awareness - they allow us to honour our paths, obstacles and joys.”

“I have to say that I admire all the women who stand to be counted as ones who hold the flame and the chalice for other women to rekindle theirs. Each woman I have met, offering their gifts, at the Wise Woman Weekend is, for me, a great gift and I feel honoured to be a part of their weave in this.

Amantha is a Seabhean and shamanic healer.  For more details visit her website:  or to read her profile on the Wise Woman Website click here.

Saturday 12 May 2012

Energy Healing at Wise Woman Weekend: Interview with Amber Elderfield

Amber Elderfield at Wise Woman Weekend

Amber Elderfield and Róisín Ní Chéileachair will co-host an Introduction to Energy Healing workshop at the Wise Woman Weekend, May 25th – 27th 2012.

“This a workshop for anyone who has ever wondered about energy healing: What is it? How does it work? Can anyone do it? Does it exist at all? Well the good news is that it does exist, and with a little practice anyone can do it. This introductory 'hands on' workshop is aimed at those who would like to know more about energy healing and have direct personal experience of sensing and working with energy.  Participants will learn techniques for charging and clearing their own field; they will take part in a series of simple exercises exploring how to sense energy in different ways, and then learn how to do a basic whole body healing on themselves. This playful, interesting and thought provoking workshop will be held in a safe, sensitive and compassionate way by two experienced energy healing practitioners. Come explore!

“I have three great passions in my life, healing, world dance and nature, and I’m blessed to be able to work in them all.

“I have been involved with the Wise Woman Weekend since the very beginning when I was first invited by Pauline to give a dance workshop.  I love spending time with so many amazing and inspiring women.  The weekend is so nourishing and uplifting. Amantha Murphy’s workshop is always a special one at the weekend for me. I make sure that I don’t miss her workshops and have got so much out of them. I hope that the event will continue to grow, develop and flourish.”

When asked what one gem of wisdom she would share with other women, Amber replied: “Don’t miss the Wise Woman Weekend!”

The greatest difficulty she sees facing women today is: “Stepping into our power and really valuing ourselves, really honouring our unique knowledge, wisdom and gifts, and the positive impact that these have on our planet.”

Amber originally trained and worked for a number of years as a medical research scientist, both at university and as a post-doctoral research fellow running a research group at a major hospital, but she became increasingly disillusioned. Feeling that there was more to life and health than molecules, she eventually escaped. She spent a few years travelling the world exploring diverse careers as a fruit picker, conservationist, removal woman, artists’ model, organic gardener, historical costume maker and Egyptian Dancer, during which time she came across several healers, each of whom showed her something her scientific mind couldn’t explain. Eventually, very curious, but totally sceptical, she felt the only way to find out was to experience it first hand - and sign up for a 4 year course! Amber has spent the last 9 years exploring energy healing, is a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Europe, and runs a healing practice in Galway. She still indulges her other great passions: living and working closely with nature in a yurt in the countryside, and performing and teaching Egyptian Dance and Zaar healing trance dance in Galway City and throughout the country.

Life-Coaching through Story at the Wise Woman Weekend: Interview with Ruth Marshall

Ruth Marshal enthralls audience at Wise Woman Weekend

Ruth Marshall, storyteller and life coach, will facilitate a self development workshop entitled: Coming Down to Earth at the Wise WomanWeekend in Dromahair May 25th -27th 2012.

“This year my workshop at the Wise Woman Weekend is an exploration of an ancient story 'The Hymn of the Pearl' that tells of the soul's journey to earth. In the workshop we will look what gifts we brought with us into this life on earth; we'll notice the habits, foods, practices that encourage us to forget what we came here for; and we will hopefully discover what helps us to overcome these so that we can wake up again to who we are and strengthen our sense of purpose; and finally we can reclaim our 'robe of glory'.

“Overall, I'd have to say that my main area of interest and expertise is "creativity and personal transformation". Over the past 20 years my work has been about helping people - mostly women - empower themselves, find their creative voice and express themselves. This has been through creative writing groups, personal development groups, The Transformation Game, reiki and other energy healing, storytelling, Life Coaching and as editor of Network Ireland holistic magazine. This has of course been in parallel to my own growth: my own transformation through creativity - which is an on-going process, always a journey, never getting 'there'! For me this has largely been expressed through writing. Another strand in my colourful rope is my interest in the power of the voice and the spoken word. We have the power to heal and bless. As a poet and storyteller, I am conscious that I use my voice as an agent of healing. I believe we all can use our voices, how we speak, the words we choose, more consciously in our everyday conversation too. What a difference that would make! Imagine, speaking with kindness, compassion, not just to lovers, family, but also to those we do not care for much, or even to ourselves in our self-talk. And of course there is knitting.... my constant metaphor for a joined-up life, my mindful meditation, my way of connecting to the great web, of connecting heart and hands through the creation of those heart-shapes stitches - and the satisfaction of knowing that what I have made keeps someone warm... I'd hope that applies to my writing too - that my heart-words carry warmth to the reader/listener.

“Back in the 1980s I helped organise the first Women's Health Fair in the north of Scotland. What we did back was very similar to what the Wise Woman Weekend is about: a choice of empowering workshops for body, mind, spirit, and room for dialogue with other women about the issues relevant to the day. When Wise Woman Weekend started, Pauline (the founder) contacted me as editor of Network Ireland holistic magazine, wanting help to publicise the event. I found myself nostalgic for the 1980s and I offered free advertising for WWW. As each year passed, I wanted to attend the weekend, but it usually clashed with my work commitments. Pauline continued to invite me to give a workshop at the event, and eventually, 3 years ago, I managed to do this, with my "Knit the World Better" workshop (which initially I was going to call "knit your own Sheelagh-na-gig"). Last year I gave a workshop on building trust. This year, in response to the theme of 'growing deeper', my workshop is called "Coming Down to Earth".
“I love the  forethought, energy and commitment that goes into making the Wise Woman Weekend it happen. The way the vision group works together to create an event that nourishes women - and all voluntarily - that it is a gift, given in love. I love how, at the weekend, each woman present contributes to its success - whether as a volunteer, facilitator, participant, it doesn't matter.  We all benefit from coming together to share our wisdom.

“Now that Wise Woman Ireland has become a charitable organisation, I would hope that it goes from strength to strength; that it continue to thrive even in these times of belt-tightening. I also look forward to the great ship Wise Woman coming loose from its moorings in Sligo/Leitrim and setting sail. I think that the Wise Woman Weekend has had wonderful early years care in Dromahair, and is now ready to travel around the country, visiting each of the provinces, drawing on the strengths of women in each area, involving more women around the country”.

When asked what other workshops at the Wise Woman Weekend appealed to her, Ruth replied: “I'd like to go to Niamh's shamanic rattle-making workshop. I remember swapping a set of my home-made knitting needles for Niamh's instructions on how to weave raw fleece on a peg loom. I could see that we shared a passion for natural materials and craft. So to keep my hand in, I'd want to join her workshop on Saturday morning.
”I would join Meroveee's workshop on rooting our intentions, but it takes place at the same time as my workshop. The last time I joined her workshop, I went home with a painting that looked like a Monet - didn't know I had it in me! And similarly to Niamh's, I think this workshop involves using our hands to create something magical. And I'm also curious about Claire's Biodanza workshop. I'd like to experience a taste of this.”

”I spend too much time in my head, too much time online and I'd like to be capable of being more present in my body. I think we all need that essential balance of head, heart, hands. I think there is a danger these days of  getting lost in the virtual world, putting screens of one kind or another between us. I'm not a technophobe. I use the technology - but I think sometimes its too easy for people to get drawn out of themselves into an electronic fantasy and mistake it for something real. So my gem of wisdom might be: Be here now. Breathe. Practice presence. Use your hands: make clothes, grow food, do it yourself. Sing more, learn to laugh at yourself. Grow deeper. Come down to earth.”

Friday 11 May 2012

Writing the Book of the Ancestors at Wise Woman Weekend: Interview with Monica Corish

Monica Corish Creative Writing at Wise Woman Weekend

Monica Corish will facilitate a Creative Writing Workshop at the Wise Woman Weekend in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim on the weekend of May 25th - 27th 2012.

“My idea for the Writing the Book of the Ancestors workshop is to offer writing prompts to evoke the stories of our ancestors, both our most immediate ancestors, and our aboriginal, first ancestors. I am aware that for some people the stories of their immediate family have been lost for a variety of reasons – but we can always imagine. Every family story is, in truth, a mixture of imagination and memory. At the workshop we will then combine our writing with images, and bind these together into handmade books. If participants wish to, they can bring along family photographs, and I will have a photocopier available so that they can integrate these images into their books without destroying precious originals. But, as in my own Book of the Ancestors, it is not necessary to use actual photographs of family members – sometimes it is more interesting to "tell all the truth, but tell it slant", to quote Emily Dickinson.

“My own writing draws inspiration from many sources, including my family history. Some of my poems and stories are based on my own memories of childhood (some good, some not so good); others are based on stories told to me by older members of my family; still others are inspired by snippets of information gathered by my sister Breda, in the course of her research into the family tree.

“The idea for my workshop at this year's Wise Woman Weekend, Writing the Book of the Ancestors, grew out of a commission which Breda gave me, to create images representing my four grandparents, and the four roots of our shared family tree.  This idea grew wings and took flight – I spent days searching for ways to represent each of my grandparents – I didn't want to use actual photographs of them, but rather images that represented them in some indirect but more accurate way. And I went on to write a short poem to accompany each of the four images that I had created. You can see the results of my efforts here.

“I imagine that the "books" that come out of the workshop will, for some women, be an endpoint; for others, the workshop will be the starting point of a longer journey into the book of their ancestors.

“My gem of wisdom for women is to Follow your bliss. Do the thing that you love most in all the world. If you're too busy or too pressured to do it all the time, do it just a little bit of time. And if you don't know what it is you love most in all the world, spend time doing whatever it is that makes you smile from deep down inside yourself."

Monica feels that the greatest challenge facing women today is worrying about money and the future, for themselves and for their children, and holding on to faith in the possibility of joy and a more joy full world.

“I am an artist and a writer, of poetry and short stories – my first collection of poetry, Slow Mysteries, will be published by Doghouse Books in June of this year. I also facilitate writing workshops (I am trained as an AWA Writing Group Leader) – and Goddess/creativity workshops for women ( I have trained as a facilitator with Jole Bortoli of Art to Heart)."

For more details of Monica’s art, writing and workshops log on to:

To attend the Wise Woman Weekend, contact