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The heART of Ritual METAMORPHOSIS COCOONS are ceremoniously birthed medicine bundles for personal ritual. Through this ritual tool, we actively participate in seeding, manifesting and cultivating our own metamorphosis and growth.

Created with wild native herbs from the high Alps, sea treasures from the South Coast of Ireland and crystals hand gathered both on the mountains and along the shore, these life size Swan eggs are beautiful medicine bundles are for those consciously embodying their role as co-creators.

The METAMORPHOSIS COCOON actively plants prayer intentions for the journey ahead and is in essence, an entire ceremony unto itself that ritually releases the old and births the new. To understand the full meaning and context of these potent ritual tools, please see the extensive information I've included further down this listing.

The METAMORPHOSIS COCOON is one of the ritual offerings available this year in the lead into Winter Solstice. Of note to fellow facilitators: these medicine bundles are wonderfully transformative tools to include in groupwork, especially with womb circles, ancestral work, and grief rituals.

The medicine bundle in each METAMORPHOSIS COCOON includes native ceremonial herbs of Mugwort (insight, dreamwork, journeying, illuminating the dark, the Moon, Cailleach), Yarrow (healing our inner wounded healer), Heather (love, harmony, emotional wellBEing, vision, balance of left/right brain hemispheres), and Rose (grace, non egoic self love/obedience to Self) have been added as well as hand ground crystal powders of selenite (lunar illumination, night vision, manifestation), hematite (grounding, manifesting, releasing), and clear quartz (amplification and overall seed programming). Tiny sea shells are also included for their reference to the water element (emotional wellBEing) and their healing spirals. These insights are some of the intentions behind these elements being included, you will discover your own meaning as you journey together. Also included is a selection of gifts I have received from others for my own prayer intentions over the years; ashes blessed by Amma, herbs gathered and blessed by Mongolian tribal shamans, and ceremonial incense blended and blessed by Tibetan monks.

Each medicine bundle is wrapped up in a needle felted naturally dyed wool cocoon. The wool is raw sheep wool that was gathered from the brambles along the hedgerows in South West Ireland, hand cleaned, washed and botanically dyed. This shade of midnight blue represents the clear night sky in winter, and features needle felted details of the Cygnus Constellation (the Swan) and a beautiful sprig of Mugwort. The night sky was eco dyed with wild berries and rusty iron, the Mugwort colours were created with wild herbs, flowers, mushrooms, and lichens. The Cygnus constellation is referenced on this cocoon, which has been made as close as possible to the actual size of a swan egg. Cygnus relates with transitions, and like Samhain, marks the end of one era and the beginning of a new one.

I have been birthing medicine bundle cocoons for some years now and work with Swan medicine during the womb events and ancestral gatherings that I facilitate. This year is the first year that I was drawn to include the constellation Cygnus on these cocoons and I feel this was not just as a literal nod to the constellation itself (and its energy) but also the sacred sites in Ireland which were built to represent them. While I was making the first one, I kept seeing the Triskele (the Irish triple spiral) and given the historical and astro archaeological connections with Newgrange, while writing this paragraph I have realized that the most well documented Triskele’s in the world happen to be engraved on the kerb stones at Newgrange. These were exactly what I had seen while bringing the cocoons through and I found this to be an interesting synchronicity. The sky connection (masculine aspect) is represented by the constellation itself, the white swan, and the black swan (the feminine earth principal) is represented here by the shape of the physical cocoon, and each cocoon is the actual size of a swan egg. Heaven and Earth, harmony of the whole.

Cygnus can be seen on the low NW horizon here in the Northern Hemisphere during this time of year (the time representing Samhain on the MOONWHEEL and Celtic Wheel of the Year), and Cygnus played a pivotal role for the ancients between Samhain and Winter Solstice. Note that the NW of the Celtic medicine wheel relates with the water and earth elements, again referencing womb and ancestral healing.

Another name for the Milky Way is ‘The Swan Road’ and this links into the constellation of Cygnus which plays a part in many indigenous myths across the world. In many cases this was the road that the dead took into the next life. It was believed in many cultures that swans themselves carried the soul into the Otherworld. This gives it another Samhain connection and refers to the ancestral connection and traditions throughout November and up to the Winter Solstice. Samhain is the bridge between the end of the old Celtic year, and the birthing of the new.

The METAMORPHOSIS COCOONS include this nod to Cygnus and Samhain in their capacity as symbolic heralds of the end of the old, and the birthing of the new - the shedding of the old patterns, conditions, and events, and the birth of the new you. The Winter Solstice marks the turning of the wheel, the return of the light. On this day the inner chambers of Newgrange are illuminated by the sun. Symbolically and energetically this gifts us the warmth needed for the prayer seeds we set with these cocoons to germinate and grow from this point forward.

As with everything I do, there are alot of finer details. To read more about the energetic and symbolic significance of Cygnus, Newgrange, Swan Myths and why Cygnus its a wonderful portal for metamorphosis and growth, please see below. More detailed information on the Cygnus Constellation (within the Irish context) and why this is a transformative portal bridging heaven and earth can be found further down this page.

Each METAMORPHOSIS COCOON measures approx 13cms in length and 9cms in diameter. This listing is for one METAMORPHOSIS COCOON and just eight are birthed each winter.

Metamorphosis Cocoon (Ritual Medicine Bundle)

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  • In Irish star lore, the Cygnus constellation is considered a portal to the cosmic energies of the rites of creation. This constellation is known as the great 'Swan in the Heavens' and lies above the Great Rift in the Milky Way. One of the key stars, Deneb, was once the Pole Star at the time of the creation of Newgrange, one of the most famous sacred sites in Ireland. Newgrange is astronomically aligned with Cygnus and the structure of this sacred site also appears to mimic this constellation, providing a beautiful heaven and earth connection. Additionally, whooper swans winter at Newgrange in large numbers and there are numerous myths and stories about Newgrange relating with swans.

    The Cygnus constellation is associated with several myths worldwide. The most well known one is of the Spartan Queen Leda who gave birth to two sets of twins after being seduced by the god Zeus who had transformed himself into a swan. The Chinese associate the constellation with the myth of the “magpie bridge,” Que Qiao. In the story, lovers Niu Lang and Zhi Nu are separated by the Goddess of Heaven because Zhi Nu is a fairy, and is therefore not allowed to be with a mortal man. When the Goddess learns that the two are secretly married, she takes Zhi Nu with her and creates a river in the sky to keep the lovers separated. The river is represented by the Milky Way itself in the legend. Zhi Nu’s husband Niu Lang takes their two children to Heaven so that they can all be together, but the Goddess does not relent and keeps the lovers separated. Once a year, the myth goes, all the magpies in the world assemble to help the lovers be together by forming an enormous bridge over the wide river. The constellation Cygnus represents the magpie bridge in this story.

    Whether it is the strength of the wind and its wild, turbulent currents or the emerging stars and constellations experienced in full clarity, high places connect to something more than the land they are built upon. Perhaps these were places the ancestral dead were left for excarnation, where the bodies were exposed to animals, birds and the elements, before ritual burial. Certainly, we know the ancient Irish used caves for this purpose where bodies would be left to decay and be stripped of flesh by animals. However, sky burial is not something many people consider here in Ireland and yet we have some tantalising evidence and symbology that perhaps this may have been a sacred practice undertaken by the healers and priests of pre-Celtic Ireland.

    As well as these cairns which can be found on the highest peaks all over Ireland, many still unexcavated, we have other places long associated with the swan when it comes to the rituals of the dead. What many people are not aware of is that in the oldest Northern European mythology the swan is interchangeable with the vulture and other birds of prey. These birds are linked strongly to sky burials and perform the shamanistic-type role of transferring the dead from the land to the sky, itself an ancient sacred and magical concept. We know that there is also an ancient association with the swan at the Boyne Valley, especially at Newgrange. In fact the interior of most Irish megalithic structures resembles the shape of a swan (or vulture) and appears to be built to represent the Cygnus constellation. Today, of course, we have little evidence of vultures in Ireland but we once had a sky of many birds of prey including vultures. The so called ‘Griffon Vulture’ or Gyps Vulvus only became extinct in Ireland and the United Kingdom in the 1600’s.

    Another name for the Milky Way is ‘The Swan Road’ and this links into the constellation of Cygnus which plays a part in many myths across the world. In many cases this was also the road that the dead took into the next life. It was believed in many cultures that swans themselves carried the soul into the Otherworld. Maybe these cairns were built in order to facilitate both an easier passage to the Otherworld for the dead, as well as to allow the priestess or priest figure to more easily bridge the veil between the ancestral realm and our own world. From such heights the scales of time seem to elongate and distort. Eternity seems to extend downwards and upon these places. As the first breath of dusk descends and the stars and constellations appear it can seem that by merely looking skyward one might step onto the swan road.

    One of the most striking swan myths associated with Newgrange is the story of the romance of Oengus (also sometimes spelt Aonghus) and Caer. Oengus was a mythical chieftain of the Tuatha Dé Danann, who were the principal race of the otherworld – the gods – in ancient Irish mythology. He resided at Brú na Bóinne – the tumulus of Newgrange – and was often referred to as ‘Aonghus an Bhroga’. His father was the Dagda, the ‘good god’, a principal deity of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and his mother was Bóinn, or Bóann, the goddess of the River Boyne, which gets its name from her.

    The story tells how Oengus fell madly in love with a maiden who visited him while he slept. She visited him in his dreams for a year, and all this time he could not touch her because she would disappear. His mother Bóinn searched Ireland for the maiden, but was unable to find her after a year of searching. Oengus enlisted the help of his father, the Dagda, who in turn sought out Bodb, who was the Tuatha Dé Danann king of Munster. Bodb revealed that the maiden was Caer Iobharmhéith, and brought Oengus to meet her at Loch Béal Dragan (The Lake of the Dragon's Mouth) in Tipperary. Bodb explained how Caer was from Sídh Uamhain, an "otherworld residence" in Connacht.

    Caer’s father revealed to the Dagda that his daughter went in the form of a bird and a girl on alternate years. At the following Samhain (November) she would be a bird at Loch Béal Dragan, and the Dagda instructed Aonghus to go there and call her to him. He did so, and found her in the shape of a beautiful white swan, in the company of thrice fifty others. She went to him, and he too became a swan, and they embraced each other and flew three times around the lake. They then flew together to Brugh na Bóinne and put the dwellers of that place to sleep with their beautiful singing. Caer remained with Oengus in the Brugh after that.

    The gods themselves were a mythical race, who according to myth lived on earth, “some say in the north, others in the “southern isles of the world”.” But the earliest account tells us that the Tuatha de Danann, gods of the Gaels, “came from the sky.”

    The chamber of Newgrange is cruciform. The swan constellation that we know today as Cygnus is also cross-shaped. The cross shape of the constellation does not form two perfectly straight intersecting lines. The “east-west line” of the formation is crooked because the central star, Sadr (Gamma g Cygni) was off line. The longer “north-south line”, running from Deneb at the nor