31 episodes

In each KnotWork Storytelling episode, we'll explore a different story from mythology, folklore, or history, particularly from Ireland and the Celtic World. Then, my guest and I dive deep into why these ideas and characters still resonate today.

Your host is Marisa Goudy, author of The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic. She is a Word Witch, a Story Healer, a Writing Coach, and a has an MA in Irish literature from University College Dublin.

Join us as we wander through these ancient storylines as we set out on a quest to learn from the past, better understand the present, and craft a sustainable future.

Every episode reminds us that ancient stories are medicine for our ancient maladies.

KnotWork Storytelling Marisa Goudy

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

In each KnotWork Storytelling episode, we'll explore a different story from mythology, folklore, or history, particularly from Ireland and the Celtic World. Then, my guest and I dive deep into why these ideas and characters still resonate today.

Your host is Marisa Goudy, author of The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic. She is a Word Witch, a Story Healer, a Writing Coach, and a has an MA in Irish literature from University College Dublin.

Join us as we wander through these ancient storylines as we set out on a quest to learn from the past, better understand the present, and craft a sustainable future.

Every episode reminds us that ancient stories are medicine for our ancient maladies.

    Three Goddesses Walk Into a Bar | S.2 Ep.15

    Three Goddesses Walk Into a Bar | S.2 Ep.15

    Our Story
    Marisa reads an excerpt from her 2020 book, https://www.marisagoudy.com/sovereignty-knot (The Sovereignty Knot), in which she imagines three Irish goddesses, Brigid, the Morrígan, and the Cailleach all walk into a bar and have a chat about what women really want.
    After the story, Marisa explores:
    Marisa reads an excerpt from her 2020 book, The Sovereignty Knot, in which she imagines three Irish goddesses, Brigid, the Morrígan, and the Cailleach all walk into a bar and have a chat about what women really want.
    After the story, Marisa explores:
    She closes this season of KnotWork Storytelling as she opened it: with a solo episode and her own story that is inspired by Irish lore, but is entirely her own invention.
    The origins of the Celtic Sovereignty Goddess and the meaning of Sovereignty in Irish and Celtic culture. It’s not about toxic individualism or nationalism!
    The tendency we have to “orphan” our creative work and move on to the next project too quickly
    The question “what do women want” is drawn from the Dame Ragnell story from Arthurian legend. You’ll find a retelling of the story in The Sovereignty Knot.
    Why, in these difficult times, we need mythology and goddesses like these more than ever.

    Get a free copy of The Sovereignty Knot Get a free ebook edition of The Sovereignty Knot: A Woman’s Way to Freedom, Power, Love, and Magic between November 2 - 6, 2022. https://amzn.to/3ft0LCm (Visit Amazon to get the Kindle edition.)
    To get a signed paperback edition, including a personalized Sovereignty Note with a one card tarot reading that offers insight into your relationship with the Princess, Queen, and Wise Woman archetypes you’ll meet in the book, visit Marisa’s website: http://www.marisagoudy.com/sovereignty-knot (www.marisagoudy.com/sovereignty-knot)
    Our Music
    Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Work with MarisaMarisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) packages.
    She also offers https://www.marisagoudy.com/story-weaver-book-coaching (Story Weaver Book Coaching )for memoirists, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs at the beginning of their writing journey.
    Find more of Marisa's writing and get a copy of her book, The Sovereignty Knot https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/www.marisagoudy.com (www.marisagoudy.com)
    Follow the show on https://www.instagram.com/knotworkpodcast/ (Instagram), https://www.facebook.com/knotworkstorytelling (Facebook), and https://www.facebook.com/groups/4429930243750952 (join our vibrant listeners' community).

    • 27 min
    Fierce Tenderness: Stories of the Cailleach told by Kate Chadbourne | S2 Ep14

    Fierce Tenderness: Stories of the Cailleach told by Kate Chadbourne | S2 Ep14

    Our Story
    The Cailleach is the longest living supernatural woman in the Celtic tradition. This goddess is a world builder who consorted with kings and is still associated with the landscape today. Our guest, Kate Chadbourne, brings us a story from County Mayo about a man who chose to test himself by setting out on a walk with the Cailleach. She weaves the threads of many other Cailleach stories throughout our conversation.
    Our Guest
    Kate Chadbourne is a singer, harper, and storyteller. She's an award-winning songwriter and poet, a scholar and teacher of Irish language and folklore with a PhD from Harvard who performs at venues throughout New England.
    Her latest book is “A November Visit,” a gathering of “Novemberish” stories, poems, and seasonal delights, including Irish folklore, a taste of etymology, recipes, and riddles.
    Kate is the founder of The Bardic Academy, a school for writers, musicians, singers, and young scholars. This year she opened The Celtic Wisdom School which offers online courses that weave together Irish folklore, creativity, and enchantment. If you’d like to learn about Fáilte the Irish Art of Welcome, Kate has a gift for you. Please visit her at http://katechadbourne.com/ (katechadbourne.com) to join the Fáilte Revolution!
    Our Conversation
    Samhain is the time for stories of the Cailleach, which “touch the essentials,” and speak to our relationship to the earth, to food, to the elements, to health, longevity, and what you really need in life.
    We have knowledge of the Cailleach from folk tradition, and also from the 9th century poem, “https://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/beare.html (The Lament of the Hag of Beare).” Recorded by Christian monks, in the poem, the old woman laments “you people only care about money, in my day, it was people we cared about.”
    An essential resource: Gearóid Ó Crualaoich’s https://bookshop.org/a/832/9781859184127 (The Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wise-Woman Healer )
    The story of https://www.jstor.org/stable/20522313 (Donnchadh Mór )Mac Mánais and the Cailleach in which they engage in a contest to flail the fields (thresh for grain).
    “You can never trust a woman who relies on a man for all her butter” - a line featured Marisa’s retelling of Mongfind’s story (https://knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/irish-goddess-queen-witch-ep-2 (Ireland's Forgotten Goddess Queen Witch S1 Ep 2))
    The paradoxes of the Cailleach: she is the old woman, and yet she’s the essence of joyful busyness and creation. And, the Cailleach as a solitary figure who is also so dedicated to community.
    Comhar is the Irish word for shared work or mutual assistance. It’s reminiscent of the Quechuan term for reciprocity, ayni. A proverb: Arsa Cailleach Ghaoth Dobhair le Cailleach Mhaigh Eo, “An té a bheas go maith duit, bí go maith dó.” (Said the Cailleach of Gweedore to the Cailleach of Mayo: The person who is good to you, you be good to him.)
    Kate’s vision of the The Cailleach’s Conspiracy and how it echoes the story told in S2 Ep 9, Life and Death At the Farm Atop the Hill
    The shapeshifting nature of the Cailleach.
    Kate’s story of meeting a real life cailleach in Bantry when she was 20
    The story of the serving girl, the hard hearted woman, and the woman of the roads
    “To be a great singer is to be a servant of the song.”

    Our Music
    Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Work with MarisaMarisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) packages.
    She also offers https://www.marisagoudy.com/story-weaver-book-coaching (Story Weaver Book Coaching )for memoirists,...

    • 55 min
    Mysteries and Holy Wells By Elizabeth Stack | S.2 Ep.13

    Mysteries and Holy Wells By Elizabeth Stack | S.2 Ep.13

    Our Story
    This trio of stories about holy wells, faith, and illness traces the evolution–or perhaps the devolution–of folk belief and the power ascribed to sacred waters and places. Our guest Elizabeth Stack begins with two stories from Tipperary: a teenaged boy cured at St. Patrick’s Well in Clonmel and a weeping statue of Mother Mary in Templemore during the Irish War of Independence. Elizabeth closes with a story of her grandmother’s family, when a young child died of a mysterious illness in Limerick in 1920.
    Our Guest
    Elizabeth Stack is the Executive Director of the Irish American Heritage Museum in Albany, NY. Previously, she taught Irish and Irish American History and was an Associate Director of the Institute of Irish Studies at Fordham. She completed her PhD at Fordham, writing about Irish and German immigrants in New York at the turn of the twentieth century. She has a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Relations in the 20th Century from University College Dublin. A native of Listowel, in Co. Kerry, Elizabeth sees a clear connection between her own experience as an immigrant - she moved to the US in 2009 - and with the important mission of the museum to preserve and share Irish heritage and culture.
    Find the Museum at http://www.irish-us.org (www.irish-us.org) on https://www.facebook.com/IrishAmericaMus (Facebook) and on https://twitter.com/IrishAmericaMus (Twitte)r.
    Subscribe to their https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-PPDoD7UXoHbNJfzBjlSkA (YouTube channel)
    Our Conversation
    During the centuries of Penal Laws, Irish Catholicism was a strange blend of paganism and what could be remembered from the Latin church. The Devotional Revolution of the mid-nineteenth century crystalized the version of Irish Catholicism we’ve known in recent history. This was further with Ireland’s first president, Éamon de Valera and his insular vision of Ireland.
    The way pilgrims flocked to Templemore in the midst of a war when the town was full of IRA and Black and Tan forces. Michael Collins’s role in the investigation of the Marian apparitions.
    The 1920s, when Elizabeth’s grandmother was a child, was a time of restriction when dances at the crossroads were banned and women feared being sent to the Magdalene Laundries. Her stories of growing up contained “a kind of darkness.” She despised and denied Frank McCourt’s description of Limerick in Angela’s Ashes, but perhaps because it was too close to home.
    Now, Ireland is more progressive than Irish America. In Ireland, where mass attendance is down and there are few priests, and same sex marriage was accepted by a national vote, you’ll find a more welcoming, less structured version of the church. It’s a conscious return to the original Celtic Christianity.
    Ireland didn’t have a witch burning phenomenon because herbal medicine and other forms of “women’s healing” were commonplace rather than strange and suspect.
    The clash and blend of the matriarchal society and patriarchal government and church. In the tradition of the warrior goddesses who trained Cú Chullain, Scathach and Aoife, women were deeply involved in the 1916 rebellion, but they were excluded from public life in the Irish Republic.
    The evolution of the Irish American Heritage Museum and its mission of creating empathy for all people enduring hunger, exclusion, and exile. It is not intended to be a shrine to a misremembered past.

    Our Music
    Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Work with MarisaMarisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) packages.
    She also...

    • 52 min
    Ethne and the Cauldron of Hospitality | S.2 Ep.12

    Ethne and the Cauldron of Hospitality | S.2 Ep.12

    Our Story
    Before Ethne became a queen of Tara and married Cormac mac Airt, she was a foster child to Buchet, a man known for his tremendous hospitality. In this story, Marisa Goudy imagines Ethne’s perspective on this 12th century Irish tale.
    Our Guest
    Elizabeth Shaw is an author, consultant, speaker, and facilitator who brings her core philosophies of practical optimism and radical hospitality to everything she does. Whether she's planning a custom Cirque du Soleil show, working as an hospitality consultant for organizations like Toyota and State Farm, a strategic partner for entrepreneurs and thought leaders, or inspiring audiences around the world with her book The Optimist Manifesto, Elizabeth brings a thread of collaboration, service, and whimsy to all she does. Equal parts head in the cloud and feet on the ground, Elizabeth is an optimistic strategist who puts people and purpose at the center of all of her work.
    Find Elizabeth on her website, on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/inspiringoptimism/ (@inspringoptimism), and https://www.facebook.com/shaw.elizabethc (Facebook.)
    Our Conversation
    Hospitality is an Irish tradition that dates back to the Brehon laws and https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2022/0314/1286239-ireland-hospitality-welcome-strangers-medieval-brehon-laws (still echoes in the culture today.)
    Elizabeth brings her lived definition of hospitality to the conversation: it’s about being seen, being welcomed, and being cared for. Hospitality is about more than feasts, merriment, and the perfect house. It’s also about offering care and a safe space.
    The gender roles associated with hospitality and being the “perfect hostess” Hospitality creates community and depends on community, not on an individual who needs to do it all.
    Marisa wrote this story in the first person, a first for one of her KnotWork stories. Ethne represents the movement from the Princess to Queen archetype described in The Sovereignty Knot. Her foster father, the great host, holds the Wise Woman energy.
    There is a sexual assault at the center of the original story. Rape is a common element in mythology, and Marisa and Elizabeth spoke at length about how to stay true to the source material, and yet tell a story about hospitality that made Ethne a heroine. They didn’t want to erase the trauma to tell a “nice” story, but there was a desire to present Ethne as a sovereign being, rather than a victim.
    The importance of reciprocity. What it’s like to give too much and what it’s like to feel like you’re not good at offering hospitality.
    The Irish word for welcome is fáilte
    This tale appears in the c. 1160 CE manuscript, The Book of Leinster, and is commonly called http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/buchet.html (The Melody of the House of Buchet.)

    Our Music
    Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Work with MarisaMarisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) packages.
    She also offers https://www.marisagoudy.com/story-weaver-book-coaching (Story Weaver Book Coaching )for memoirists, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs at the beginning of their writing journey.
    Find more of Marisa's writing and get a copy of her book, The Sovereignty Knot https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/www.marisagoudy.com (www.marisagoudy.com)
    Follow the show on https://www.instagram.com/knotworkpodcast/ (Instagram), https://www.facebook.com/knotworkstorytelling (Facebook), and https://www.facebook.com/groups/4429930243750952 (join our vibrant listeners' community).

    • 58 min
    Walking in the Footsteps of a Legend, A Personal Story by Christian Bolden | S.2 Ep.11

    Walking in the Footsteps of a Legend, A Personal Story by Christian Bolden | S.2 Ep.11

    Our Story
    In a departure from our usual format, our guest Christian Bolden tells a personal story of visiting Ireland for the first time as a graduate student. He describes his experience as an African American in Dublin in 2016, a moment when three events captured attention: the US presidential election, the killing of Alton Sterling, and the death of Muhammad Ali.
    Christian’s story echoes that of Frederick Douglass, the Black abolitionist, who traveled to Ireland on an extensive speaking tour when he was a young man in 1845. Douglass found kinship with Daniel O’Connell, “The Liberator” who devoted his life to the repeal of the Penal Laws that inhibited the rights of Irish Catholics for centuries.
    Our Guest
    Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, Christian Bolden now resides in Washington D.C. due to the catastrophic events of Hurricane Katrina.
    Christian is an inaugural board member of the African-American Irish Diaspora Network (AAIDN) with a mission dedicated to fostering relationships between African Americans and Ireland through shared heritage and culture. You’ll hear a lot more about the organization during our conversation.
    The AAIDN is just one aspect of Christian’s community-building work. He has also been part of the Steel Sharpens Steel Summit a panel discussion committed to the enlightenment and enrichment of the Urban African-American Male Teen. He organized the "Re-New Orleans" event which commemorated the 5-Year Hurricane Katrina Anniversary and raised funding and awareness for the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Relief effort.
    A former Professional Staff Member in the U.S. House of Representatives, Bolden is now Principal at The Bolden Group which offers IT, Program/Project Management, and DEI services.
    Our Conversation
    The way we find kinship with historical and mythical figures.
    Frederick Douglass visited Ireland with a hope that there would be a sympathy for the abolitionist cause because there were echoes in the persecution of Catholics in Ireland.
    It’s incorrect and deeply problematic to equate the experience of the Irish immigrants with African people who were brought to America as slaves, and yet there’s something to learn when we see that there are similarities in aspects of the history.
    The power of curiosity in cross-cultural conversations.
    How Christian became a AAIDN, whose mission is to connect Ireland and African American communities. 38% of African Americans have Irish ancestry.
    One of their main projects includes the creation of the https://www.aaidnet.org/frederickdouglassway (Frederick Douglass Way) in Dublin, Cork, and Belfast with professor Christine Kinealy.
    Diversity is about as more than demographic - it’s about diversity in experience and in ideas
    2020 discovery by archaeologists and geneticists:https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/early-irish-people-were-dark-skinned-with-blue-eyes-documentary-1.4541124 ( the Irish of 10,000 years ago had black skin and blue eyes).
    More stories about Black people in northern Europe across history: Bonnie Greer’s podcasthttps://amzn.to/3dZsCtg ( In Search of Black History)
    Connections across centuries and millennia
    For the record, the oldest pub in Dublin is the Brazen Head!

    Learn more about the AAIDN https://www.aaidnet.org/board (www.aaidnet.org/) and find them on https://www.instagram.com/aaidnet/ (Instagram @aaidnet )
    Find Christian on https://www.instagram.com/chrisvschristian%20/?hl=en (Instagram @chrisvschristian,) https://www.facebook.com/ChristianBolden84/ (Facebook), and https://twitter.com/ChristianBolden (Twitter)
    Our Music
    Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Work with...

    • 33 min
    The Fenland Lanterns: An Autumn Story from East Anglia by Robyn Watt | S 2 Ep 10

    The Fenland Lanterns: An Autumn Story from East Anglia by Robyn Watt | S 2 Ep 10

    Our Story
    This is a story of a cheerful, fearless farmhand named Fred who lived in the Fens, the marshy, bogs of East Anglia. He was at home in himself and on the land, and that attracted the jealousy of the other young men on the farm. This story, inspired by a tale called "The Syleham Lamps," collected in https://amzn.to/3RQ34xs (Kirsty Hartsiotis’s Suffolk Folk Tales), features the mysterious will-o'-the-wisps, the mysterious marsh lights that appear over the bogs of the Fens in eastern England.
    Our Guest
    Robyn Watt is an animist teacher and practitioner in the traditions of the British Isles. She offers programs for somatic nature connection, and soul and ancestor-tending in the field of the animist healing arts.
    After moving to Canada from the UK, Robyn navigated the experience of grieving for her homeland by reclaiming the ancient animist cosmologies of her ancestry. Through this, she came into the work of guiding others who also long to reconnect to their ancestral wisdom traditions from far away.
    Find Robyn at sacredearthgrove.com, in her online community oursacredcircles.com and on Instagram @sacred.earth.grove
    Our Conversation
    Robyn begins with an invocation of the ancestors and the land as she tells a story inspired by the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk, where she grew up and where her family has lived for centuries.
    What it means to live in North America and feel the call back to ancestral homelands. Robyn describes it as a wounding but also considers the gift of reconnection that follows the pain of disconnection.
    Animism upholds the sentience and aliveness of the world. It is rooted in the ancient understanding that the world can and wants to communicate with us is something that many modern people know in their bones, even before they know the word. Animism is a powerful way to cope with environmental crisis and climate anxiety.
    The perennial struggle of nature versus civilization, as embodied by Fred and his struggle with the other stable boys
    Disney brought the will o’ the wisps to popular consciousness in the movie Brave. As imperfect as Disney is, there’s magic in the way modern retellings give us access to the ancient in a vital way
    The Fens were also home to Queen Boudicca’s Iceni tribe
    Resources and sources of inspiration: artist and author Katie Holton’s work with the Ardee Bog in County Louth; Francis Pryor’s book https://amzn.to/3ra8Kqb (The Fens: Discovering England's Ancient Depths); Philip Pullman’s novel https://amzn.to/3Syz74Y (The Secret Commonwealth.)
    The scientific explanation for the marshlights or “ignis fatuus”: they are created by the oxidation of gasses produced by organic decay that cause photon emissions. But also… it’s magic!

    Our Music
    Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves." https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Work with MarisaMarisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) packages.
    She also offers https://www.marisagoudy.com/story-weaver-book-coaching (Story Weaver Book Coaching )for memoirists, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs at the beginning of their writing journey.
    Find more of Marisa's writing and get a copy of her book, The Sovereignty Knot https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/www.marisagoudy.com (www.marisagoudy.com)
    Follow the show on https://www.instagram.com/knotworkpodcast/ (Instagram), https://www.facebook.com/knotworkstorytelling (Facebook), and https://www.facebook.com/groups/4429930243750952 (join our vibrant listeners' community).

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

PuertoGeekan ,

Amazing storytelling!

Marisa is such a gifted storyteller! She takes old and ancient myths and brings them to life in a way that shows how timeless these tales really are and what we might still learn from them about ourselves and our world. If you’re interested in in the magic that a good story can bring to your life and want to be transported through time and space and back again… you’ll want to listen to Knotwork Storytelling! Highly recommended.

mahplay bb ,

I love the stories!

When I walk, I love being carried away with these stories. These stories take me away from every day life in a way that’s real and necessary. The Celtic world is a wonderful place to visit!

Mom of a fussy sleeper ,

Ear Candy & Soul Candy in One!

So well executed -- I felt lighter and stronger after listening to the Brigit episode. And I just about spat out my coffee with glee when She & Saint Patrick were equated to Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe!! 😆 That's when I knew I'd found my people. 🤗 Thank you for sharing!

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