top of page
  • Writer's picturewildbonealchemy

Yule-The Winter Solstice and Beyond with An Cailleach

Invoking The Cailleach, the Witch of Winter is wearing a crown of sticks and thistle, and an amulet made from foraged deer antler, quartz and black tourmaline

I know this woman…she is as ancient as time and held within her silence is the knowledge of countless ages and generations; of countless lives and deaths – she is the keeper of ancestral memories. I know this woman…Cailleach, Grandmother of stone, of mountain, cliff and cave, and rocky, windswept crag; she is my bedrock of strength and endurance. Ancient Bone Mother, she is the frame upon which our lives take shape. Rugged and timeless, her wildness inspires journeys into the remote and lonely places of our souls, for it is here that we find her, her face bright in the moonless night, her profound winter stillness our sacred song of dark wisdom. She is the starry heavens and the depths of space, the place where life returns after death, the place where all potential dwells. Spinner and weaver, she works the threads of life into complex patterns of beauty and wonder; she sings over our bones and remakes us anew; keen as beak and talon, beautiful as the arching sky that carries her feathered spirit, she is the Ancient Crone of all knowing and in the depths of winter she calls to us.

-A Meditation for Yule-The Winter Solstice and the cold dark beyond

Primordial Priestess, Goddess of Winter, the Doula of Death- The Cailleach's time is said to begin on the eve of Samhain, and extends through Yule- the Winter Solstice, when she ushers in the dark half of the year. She will then give way for Brigid at Imbolc and the coming abundance of Spring.

The Cailleach is also a Creator Deity, said to have formed landscapes by dropping stones from her apron as she jumped from peak to peak.

A woman sits on the Hag's Throne at Loughcrew in Ireland

Sitting on the Hag's Throne at Loughcrew- Slieve na Caillaigh- the Hill of the Witch, in Ireland; I had a vision in the style of an old black and white film, that even began with the crackling countdown of 3, 2, 1. We were warned that the magick of the Cailleach, was powerful- tangible energy rising up from the stone. A wish might be granted- most likely with the risk of a seemingly unexpected cost, or transference. As the sound of the drumming and the warnings of caution faded, I slipped into the realm of the in-between and a spiraling Comfrey plant began to bloom and unfurl. As she is the ultimate healer, protector, and magickal herb of transformation and abundance, I let any doubt fall away and whispered to An Cailleach, the veiled one...

Photos 1, 3: Fin

A few images of part of our Yule Ritual- invoking, embodying, honoring The Cailleach.

The amulet in the center specifically, is a Prayer to the Crone Goddess. The Blackthorn tips represent old magick, aid in confronting and exploring darkness, and for protection. The Quartz crystal is for clarity and discernment-the harsh truths and shining light in the dark.

Check out the Winter Solstice Ritual Worship video on Instagram or TikTok!

Director: Naomi Wilson

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page