Pagan Portals - The Cailleach

Pagan Portals - The Cailleach

An introduction to the mysteries, myths and magic of the ancient goddess of the landscape.


The Cailleach - goddess of the ancestors, wisdom that comes with age, the weather, time, shape-shifting and winter.
Within the pages of this book Rachel Patterson gives the reader an introduction to the mysteries, myths, legends and magic of the ancient hag goddess The Cailleach, drawing upon ancient legends, stories told and her own experiences.


I absolutely love this book. A really fascinating read. Guiding us through the mythology and author's thoughts on this goddess. We travel with her through Scotland, Isle of Man, Ireland and England, as well as her reach around the world. The connection betwenn Callileach and Brighid is looked at. At the end there is guidance for those who wish to work with her. This book is well written and gives idea, but it does not come across as my way is the only way. It simple encourages you to find your own path with this goddess. ~ Samantha, Amazon

I wasn't looking for this book but I was hooked as soon as I started reading it. The Cailleach is a very interesting woman, whom I'm sure I will work with soon ~ Betina Jackson, Amazon

I loved reading all the different tales in this magic little book. I feel that i know Cailleach much more now. Ideas on how to work with Cailleach are really interesting. ~ Kris, Amazon

Excellent book ~ Amazon Customer, Amazon

Beautifully written. Informative. Interesting. Funny. I have read several of Rachel's books and I've got to say, that lady has got lots of talent. Her funny liitle comments made me smile. She says exactly what I am thinking. ~ Customer, Amazon

There are so few books soley dedicated to the Cailleach, that anyone seeking the Ancient One, would be wise to purchase this one by the brilliant Rachel Paterson of Kitchen Witch fame. A powerful and valuable resource book for all who seek the elusive crone of winter. If you have any questions or any doubts about the authenticity or origins of the Cailleach - here is proof and answers combined. An excellent guide for anyone studying folklore, and we see plainly show how the Cailleach is deeply ingrained in our cultural myths. I was impressed with the depth of understanding and interpretation that Patterson clearly demonstrates through her own personal journey with the Ancient One, which blazes throughout this wonderful resource. The cover illustration is by Patterson's daughter, Emma a budding and very talented young artist to be watched! Highly Recommended ~ Vate Pathfollower, Amazon

This small book focuses on the British goddess who started as a creation goddess but morphed into a blue faced hag of winter. She was the goddess of midwives and of evil, sharing a connection with Brigid. Patterson relates the many tales of her from all over the British Isles, and also shows connections to places further away- even to Spain and possibly to the Hindu goddess Kali. Many of the stories are similar; a lot of natural features in the British landscape are attributed to the Cailleach carrying stones in her apron and the apron strings breaking, dumping the rocks in the landscape. Those show how widespread the worship of the Cailleach was. In the final chapter the author shares her experiences with the Cailleach, and a ritual to honor her. It’s a nice little book for both pagans and students of lore. ~ Laurie Brown, Bookworm Is My Totem

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, as its totally different from Rachel's other books. But from the first page I was hooked and had trouble putting it down. It is jam packed with myths and legends of the Cailleach, from the Uk and throughout the world, but it's nothing like the dry academic studies which I always struggle with. It's wrote in Rachel's engaging friendly way of writing which is much more appealing and user friendly. Included at the end is a list of correspondences, a ritual and meditation which give you some ideas on working with the Cailleach. I found this book fascinating and would recommend it to anyone interested in finding out more about this often misunderstood goddess. ~ Kindle Customer, Amazon

Five Stars: Packed full of information, written in Rachel's friendly down to earth style. ~ Heather Dewhurst, Amazon

5 Stars: Omg this book introduced me to the Cailleach. I love it and read it all in one night. ~ Sarah Chamberlain, Amazon

For me, a novice in these matters and only briefly familiar with names, concepts and ideas, this was a great read! Well-written, clearly a labor of love, it made me curious about this universe and has started me on more research already. I can see myself buying not only this one but also more books by the author and on the subject. Thank you for the opportunity to read, it will be highly recommended to friends and family for sure! ~ Phillipa Song, NetGalley/Amazon

When I discovered that The Cailleach had chosen me to be Her Priestess earlier this year I set out to discover as much as I could about her. One book that was recommended to me was The Cailleach by Rachel Patterson. From the excerpt and the recommendations, I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. The problem was that it hadn’t been released yet. the cailleach Buy today on Amazon So, I kept my eyes open and when it became available for pre-order I made sure to get my order in. Finally, at the beginning of August it was released and I had a copy in hand. For all the build up, I have not been disappointed. Rachel Patterson has found stories about The Cailleach from around the British Isles. Beyond this, Rachel has also taken a look at stories from other parts of Europe which have either a similarity in name or in legend that could possibly be a hint that The Cailleach had an importance across the continent and not just in the Isles. I had already found many of these stories in my own research. The benefit here is that I have all of those stories plus others in one handy place. It is divided into easily navigated chapters, focusing first on the stories from Scotland and Ireland, then venturing into the rest of the British Isles. There is a chapter that specifically looks at the connection between Brigid and the Cailleach, and another that looks at possible connections between the Cailleach in the British Isles and other figures with similar names or stories in other parts of the world. Rachel finishes off with a chapter giving possible correspondences for the Cailleach and she provides ceremonies and meditations that one could use or adapt to speak directly to the Cailleach. These are her own personal experiences, and she is very clear in letting the reader know this. One of my real pet peeves are the authors who claim person experience as fact, or who pull their information out of thin air and neglect to say this. This book is not only well written and well-researched, Rachel has provided a reference list of folk stories, essays, documents and manuscripts that the reader can refer to for further studies. All in all, a very good book and I am very happy to have it on my shelf. I know that I will be referring to it often as I discover for myself what being a priestess of The Cailleach means for me. ~ NanLT,

I have been waiting for a book about The Cailleach. Thank you, Rachel Patterson, for contributing such an insightful, well-researched book to the Celtic Pagan community. ~ Zoe Freeman, Amazon

Pagan Portals :The Cailleach by Rachel Patterson introduces us to a very important character in both the craft and folk mythology. The Cailleach represents wisdom gained over time. When you think of the old woman of the village who knew how to use the herbs to create a remedy then you have one part of who The Cailleach is. She also inhabits the folk tales tricking the unwary and revealing the false. Rachel explores various myths because each region had a tendency to view The Cailleach differently. Those who are inspired by Her, learn from Her. This is also a chapter devoted to working magic with The Cailleach. The book is written in a very readable style complete with folk tales, poems, even a recipe or two. If you're into Goddess worship or just want to know more about the Cailleach, then this is your book. ~ Rayne Noire,

Now I know we all are aiming for better in our daily lives, which is why it's important to trust you (the inner you) and take the time to develop spiritually. We are designed to be of great use by our divine creator and to live a life of peace and happiness. Buy, read, and pass it down to the next person in the family who has great interest, some people may not have a clue that they are spiritual, but you the elder passing it on will see clarity and know when the time is right to pass on these books of wisdom. I rated 5 stars because it's clear to understand and learn ~ Samara Tamara Pollard, NetGalley

For such a little book Rachel Patterson's new Pagan Portals offering ¨The Cailleach¨ provides a satisfying blend of scholarship, folklore, humor, and personal experience. As a newish member of the pagan community I am hungry for information about the gods and goddesses of my ancestors. The Cailleach, with her attributes of winter and rocks and transformation, so infuses the wintry world I have always called home that I was drawn to learning more of her. I found that I thoroughly enjoyed the tone and the structure of this book as it laid out the information in a format that is similar to ways in which I prefer to learn and share learning. I found the information, for an introductory book, to be enough but not too much. Others may be looking for more information on the Craft, or on pathworking than is presented here but this provides an excellent introduction before delving into meatier fare. Patterson researches the folklore of Britain to find the Cailleach and follows her tendrils through story even to the Iberian peninsula, Scandinavia, and Romania among other places. She highlights the similarities of the goddesses described in these tales and pulls the themes together to provide a fully formed image, frequently humorous, that enabled me to approach what I had feared was to be a frightening goddess. I came away actually wanting to know more of her and to discover the places where she has left her footprints in my life. The folk tales provide the grounding for the rest of the book. What follows them is a very straightforward and practical disquisition on the symbols and correspondences that refer to and call on the Cailleach, ways to connect with and honor her, and most of interest to me, the lessons that can be learned from her if you choose to follow. I found those lessons to be powerful for my own personal development: the cycle of life, the release of fear, transformation, hidden things, the importance of ancestral knowledge, guidance, and forgiveness. Patterson warns though that the Cailleach has a deserved reputation for kicking butt and that to enter into a relationship with her means that you will be held to an accounting; no lolly gagging on the spiritual superhighway because she will make you move and do the work. She is not above scaring you into desired behaviors as it is said that she frightens wild animals into hibernating so that they will survive the winter. She seems a very complex goddess but one worth knowing. ~ L Vance, Amazon

With the Summer Solstice behind us, winter is coming... ...and one of the most famous goddesses of winter is The Cailleach from Gaelic mythology. Her name means "hag" in Scottish, but she appears in tales from Ireland, the Isle of Man and some parts of England as well as from the northern lands. Also, according to a new book called Pagan Portals - The Cailleach by Rachel Patterson, she is far more than just a winter crone. In fact, Rachel says in her introduction: "She has many myths and legends all passed down verbally and most of them have the same theme, that of renewal, each generation adding or changing bits of the story to suit the times...turning her from a goddess of creation, wisdom, harmony and rebirth into a dark and evil hag. She does seem to have been given the ‘Hollywood’ treatment making her out to be the ‘bad guy’ and trapping her in the confines of winter. But she is so much more…" Primarily she is a goddess of the landscape, according to Rachel, and is associated with many mountains, caves, rivers and landmarks. Much of the work Rachel has done in researching her book is in collating tales and folklore from around the British Isles that might have a connection with The Cailleach. I thought this was fascinating reading and has given me a real urge to visit some of these ancient sites to photograph and blog about them. Some are even relatively close to me in southern England - so The Cailleach certainly doesn't only have Scottish associations. Publisher Moon Books says on its website: "The Cailleach - goddess of the ancestors, wisdom that comes with age, the weather, time, shape-shifting and winter. Within the pages of this book Rachel Patterson gives the reader an introduction to the mysteries, myths, legends and magic of the ancient hag goddess The Cailleach, drawing upon ancient legends, stories told and her own experiences." There are also chapters on practical ways of working magic with the Cailleach, the lessons she teaches and a ritual to honour her. Rachel says that the book offers an introduction to this ancient goddess. I would say it goes a beyond being just an introduction. The small books has a wealth of information packed into it. The photo at the top shows The Carlin's or Hag's Stone at the Commoncraigs, by Roger Griffith, shared from Wikimedia in the public domain. The stone is associated with The Cailleach. Rachel's previous books include Arc of the Goddess, Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch and Pagan Portals - Moon Magic. ~ Lucya, Badwitch

[This book] ends with key lessons Patterson takes from the Cailleach, along with a list of suggested offerings and ways to commune with the goddess through ritual and meditation. ~ Publishers Weekly,

Pagan Portals - The Cailleach is one of those rare books that perfectly balances folklore and modern interpretations to create a vision of the ancient Crone Goddess which is both grounded and visionary. The author's wit and engaging writing style make the re-tellings of old stories fun, while her honest presentation of information invites the reader to think and draw their own conclusions. A must read for anyone interested in the Cailleach. ~ Morgan Daimler, author of Pagan Portals - The Morrigan, Pagan Portals - Brigid, and Fairycraft

Rachel Patterson
Rachel Patterson Rachel is a witch, and has been for a very long time. Not the green skinned warty kind obviously... the real sort, but she is also a working...
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