19 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 • 11 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.

    Landscape, Lovers, and Mycelial Consciousness: The Story of Tristan and Isolde | S. 2 Ep. 3

    Landscape, Lovers, and Mycelial Consciousness: The Story of Tristan and Isolde | S. 2 Ep. 3

    Our Story
    Probably the precursor to the King Arthur tales, the story of Tristan and Isolde includes star-crossed lovers, castles and the wilds, as well as questions of loyalty, duty, and truth. The versions we can access today are set in a fractionated England in the time after Roman rule. Ireland, still unconquered just across the sea, is key to the plot as well as the spirit of the saga.
    Our guest Sophie Strand is working on an epic novel about Tristan and Isolde. She ushers us through the relationships, betrayals, passions, and tragedies that are part of this long, episodic, non-linear story that refuses to conform to a textual, climactic narrative.
    Our Guest
    Sophie Strand is a writer based in the Hudson Valley who focuses on the intersection of spirituality, storytelling, and ecology. Her first book of essays The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine will be published by Inner Traditions in Fall 2022 and is available for pre-order. Her eco-feminist historical fiction reimagining of the gospels The Madonna Secret will also be published by Inner Traditions in Spring 2023.
    You can subscribe for my newsletter at sophiestrand.substack.com. Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cosmogyny/ (@cosmogyny) and at www.sophiestrand.com.
    Our Conversation
    Sophie speaks mythologically, calling on stories and characters as diverse as David and Saul, Joseph and the sons of Jacob, Demeter and Persephone and more.
    This novel about Tristan and Isolde, set in Cornwall, perhaps as far back as the Bronze Age, is still a long way off from publication.
    Sophie’s original inspiration: the Ridley Scott film version of the Tristan and Isolde story at age 12. (A remarkable parallel to 12 year-old Marisa falling in love with Ireland thanks to the Tom Cruise movie, Far and Away!)
    Joseph Campbell thought of Tristan as epitome of the hero, but Sophie sees Tristan’s constant attempts to escape the Hero's Journey The trauma inherent in the hero’s journey and Sophie’s quest to diversify it, rather than eradicate it completely. Her work resonates with Marisa’s Heroine’s Knot and the desire to honor the life that happens even when we do not cross the threshold of typical adventure.
    The continuum between potion and poison and how dosage determines what is medicinal and what is deadly.
    The “mycelial intelligence of the internet” and how Sophie and Marisa found each other through an Irish organization called https://www.instagram.com/thetrailblazery/ (The Trailblazery), though they live only about 7 miles apart in the Hudson Valley.
    Metaphorical and mythic resonance with fungi which confuse our concept of species and relationship in compelling, necessary ways. Book recommendation: https://bookshop.org/a/832/9780525510321 (Merlin Sheldrake’s Entangled Life.)
    How does our understanding of individuality, gender, and romantic love change when we see ourselves as https://cisindus.org/2021/02/10/holobionts-a-new-theory-that-shatters-the-myth-of-biological-individual/ (holobiont)?
    There’s an unfathomable biodiversity of knowledge, of ecosystems, and in our own guts. Sophie explores this idea further in the forthcoming https://bookshop.org/a/832/9781644115961 (The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine).

    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)
    Join Us in the Heroine's KnotThe Heroines' Knot is an online community for creative creatures on the quest for self-expression and collective renewal. https://my.captivate.fm/www.marisagoudy.com/heroines-knot (Learn more and join us.)
    1:1 Coaching Opportunities
    Marisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines

    • 47 min
    Maeve, the Celtic Magdalen, Finally Comes to Call​​ | S. 2 Ep. 2

    Maeve, the Celtic Magdalen, Finally Comes to Call​​ | S. 2 Ep. 2

    Our Story
    You must meet Maeve, the Celtic Magdalen, the heroine of the four novels in Elizabeth Cunningham’s The Maeve Chronicles. From her beginnings on the Celtic Island of Women Tír Na mBán, to “Druid School” on the Isle of Mona, and then on to Rome, the Galilee, southern France, and then back to Britain when Queen Boudicca of the Iceni was battling for her tribe and her sovereignty, Maeve has see it all. Her sensibilities are both ancient and modern, and make her one of fiction’s most powerful, enduring characters.
    Elizabeth reads excerpts from Magdalen Rising, in which Maeve meets the Cailleach and gets her first sex-ed lesson from her warrior witch mothers and from Red Robed Priestess, the final novel in the series.
    Our Guest
    Elizabeth Cunningham is a novelist, poet, musician, and counselor based in New York’s Hudson Valley. She is the author and illustrator of The Book of Madge, a graphic novel, and the source of her best known work, The Maeve Chronicles. Her earlier novels include The Wild Mother, The Return of the Goddess, and How to Spin Gold. Her debut mystery novel Murder at the Rummage Sale and its sequel All the Perils of this Night (which can also be read as a stand-alone thriller), and most of her previous novels, will be reprinted by Monkfish Book Publishing in 2023 and 2024.
    Visit Elizabeth’s website: https://elizabethcunninghamwrites.com/ (https://elizabethcunninghamwrites.com/)
    https://bookshop.org/lists/fiction-from-ireland-and-the-celtic-world (Buy The Maeve Chronicles.)
    Our Conversation
    When I picked up the first “Maeve book” over a decade ago, I felt an instant jolt of recognition. I felt the same when I met Maeve’s creator, Elizabeth Cunningham at a writing workshop a few years later. Since then, Elizabeth has become a mentor and guide to me, helping me birth my own book (and all of my creative endeavors!)
    In our chat, we explore:
    * “Sovereignty, Maeve, belonging to yourself. Your own terms. Sovereignty is your birthright and your inheritance.”
    * “A story is true as long as it’s well told”: the power of contemporary fiction to shape the imaginal realm.
    * How Maeve’s story fits other beliefs about Mary Magdalene as disciple or as keeper of the divine blood line.
    * Maeve’s origin story and how she was born of the need for a “human goddess”
    * The romanticization of Celtic culture and Elizabeth’s reservations about writing about the Celts once she learned of their brutality and penchant for head hunting
    * Representations of different kinds of sovereignty in women: as lover, healer, mother, disciple, brothel owner
    * Sex work, prostitution, and priestesshood
    * Maeve’s first experience as a healer: a companion’s botched abortion
    * What it’s like to create a character who walks with you for more than 30 years: Elizabeth calls Maeve her Best Imaginary Friend Forever

    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)
    Join Us in the Heroine's KnotThe Heroines' Knot is an online community for creative creatures on the quest for self-expression and collective renewal. https://my.captivate.fm/www.marisagoudy.com/heroines-knot (Learn more and join us.)
    1:1 Coaching Opportunities
    Marisa 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...

    • 49 min
    Tansy Field At Midnight: A 2,000 Year Old Abortion Story | S. 2 Ep. 1

    Tansy Field At Midnight: A 2,000 Year Old Abortion Story | S. 2 Ep. 1

    OUR STORY
    Your KnotWork Storytelling host, Marisa Goudy, reads a brief excerpt from her novel-in-progress, Above In the Bog. You meet two women of first century Ireland, Móna and Síle, who are out collecting tansy on a dark moon summer night. Their mission: gather the herbs to help a woman in their village abort an unwanted child.
    OUR EXPLORATION
    Marisa wrote this section of the book sometime last year, but it is all the more timely as the US Supreme Court overturns Roe Vs. Wade and the right to abortion is in peril across much of the country. Marisa explores:
    The original inspiration for this scene: Manchán Magan’s Thirty-Two Words for Field: Lost Words of the Irish Landscape
    The 2018 referendum in Ireland that repealed the eighth amendment and gave pregnant people the right to abortion in Ireland
    The 12th century Saint Hildegard of Bingen whose extensive writings describe how herbs can be used to induce abortion (and heal many other maladies)
    Modern herbal practices, which are similar to the practices from 1000 years ago
    Her own story, including the safe use of Mifepristone from a local Planned Parenthood
    Lughnasadh and the riddle of the selfless, sacrificial mother archetype: August 1 is the ancient Irish festival founded by the Celtic Sun God Lugh, in honor of his foster mother Tailtiu. She died after exhausting herself clearing the plane of Ireland.

    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)
    Join Us in the Heroine's KnotThe Heroines' Knot is an online community for creative creatures on the quest for self-expression and collective renewal. Learn more and join us.
    1:1 Coaching Opportunities
    Marisa 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 jhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/4429930243750952 (oin our vibrant listeners' community).

    • 24 min
    The Heroine At the Crossroads: The Story Is the Knot | Ep 15

    The Heroine At the Crossroads: The Story Is the Knot | Ep 15

    Our Story
    “Lord Thomas and Fair Eleanor” appear in a ballad from the 17th century that has been passed across Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada, and the US for centuries. Marisa Goudy’s retelling of the tale is inspired by a version collected in the 1930s Irish Schools Collection of Folklore, found at https://www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5008982/4973680 (Duchas.ie.) It’s the tale of a love triangle with a bloody end. It’s the tale of a heroine caught at the crossroads.
    Our Exploration
    This final episode of season 1 of KnotWork Storytelling is a solo exploration of Fair Elen’s story. Marisa explores the history of the ballad and describes her own journey to finding the song: a failed attempt at finding a source for stories of Elen of the Ways, a figure purported to be a Celtic goddess of the crossroads.
    Marisa also examines the multiple layers of meaning associated with “sovereignty” and how her relationship with her 2020 book, The Sovereignty Knot, is a prime example of how any author or artist’s relationship with their creation changes over time.
    An Invitation to Meet the Heroine Within You
    In May 2022, Marisa is offering a free online workshop, The Heroine At the Crossroads:
    Meet the Heroine Within You and Discover a New Discernment Tool that Will Help You Meet Any Challenging Situation.
    For details and to find a workshop date and time that works for your time zone, visit http://www.marisagoudy.com/crossroads (www.marisagoudy.com/crossroads)
    During our hour together, you’ll learn about the qualities that define a heroine and meet the archetypes of Sovereignty. They help you understand that there are countless ways to be a heroine and that there are always new ways to look at and approach the tangles of life.
    You’ll walk away with this new tool that will help you look at the energy you bring to every decision and will help you choose how to respond to whatever comes your way.
    Our MusicMusic 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. Find out about their music and shows at: https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Discover, Heal and Write Your Own Stories: Work with MarisaBook a https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) session: a unique blend of energy medicine, intuitive guidance, and the language of archetypes and mythology to help you work through the tangles of life so you can weave a new story.
    Explore Marisa's work and get a copy of 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 jhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/4429930243750952 (oin our vibrant listeners' community).
    Join the free Heroine at the Crossroads class in May: http://www.marisagoudy.com/crossroads (www.marisagoudy.com/crossroads)
    RuuPEhH9wOXwbWyweCrH

    • 23 min
    The Otherworld Is Always Close at Hand with Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue | Ep 14

    The Otherworld Is Always Close at Hand with Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue | Ep 14

    Our StoryOur guest Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue tells the story of his legendary ancestor, Donal O'Donoghue. O’Donoghue Mór was a great warrior, a generous chieftain, a man who kept the Old Ways. He conspired with the Otherworld and became an initiate of the deepest mysteries and the forbidden knowledge. As a result of showing his powers to his wife, O’Donoghue Mór was pulled back to the Otherworld. But, the stories say that he and his royal host rise every seven years on Bealtaine (May 1) and, when a member of the O’Donoghue family comes to their chieftain in times of great need, he will always offer his aid.
    Our GuestSeán Pádraig O’Donoghue is a poet, herbalist, writer, and teacher, and an initiated Priest in two traditions. He lives in the mountains of Western Maine.
    The Otherworld Well Hedge School offers weekly classes that weave together magic, herbalism, folklore, ecology, and history. His second book, Courting the Wild Queen, will be available from Ritona Press.
    Visit Seán’s website and on https://www.facebook.com/greenmansean (Facebook )
    Our ConversationSeán and Marisa connect over their love of Irish mythology, culture, and history. They are also both children of Massachusetts whose ancestors are several generations removed from Ireland. In the course of their conversation, they explore:
    Bealtaine, the Celtic festival of fertility celebrated on May 1 and its significance on the Celtic Wheel of the Year
    A vision Seán had at Pulnabrone, the passage tomb in the Burren in Co. Clare. Archaeologists know this was a burial ground; Seán saw that this was a place where people came to speak to the dead at Samhain, but also a portal that called people together at Bealtaine so they could call those same spirits into the land of the living. There is but one gate, and we move back and forth through it. When we understand the nature of the gate, the ancestors and beloved dead are never far from us.
    A “chemical cypher” in the blossom of the whitethorn or hawthorn that echoes the cycles of fertility and decay present in the the human body.
    Marisa shares a story of the hawthorn bush that guards the cave at Rathcroghan in County Roscommon, Oweynagat.
    The power of being in both worlds, honoring the past as well as the realities and struggles of the contemporary world. The worlds keep reflecting one each other and asking us to see our reflections on both sides.
    Seán explores what it means to be an American living according to wisdom of the Irish ancestors with words from Thoreau: “Nevertheless, our wild apple is wild only like myself, perchance, who belong not to the aboriginal race here, but have strayed into the woods from the cultivated stock.”
    It is important to honor the place and tradition of the ancestors, but to disown the heritage because of the “accident of the time and place of birth” would also dishonor the tradition.
    The links between wildness and sovereignty, an understanding that draws distinction between being an autocrat or someone obsessed with individualism

    Our MusicMusic 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. Find out about their music and shows at: https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/billyandbeth.com (billyandbeth.com)
    Discover, Heal and Write Your Own Stories: Work with MarisaBook a https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) session: a unique blend of energy medicine, intuitive guidance, and the language of archetypes and mythology to help you work through the tangles of life so you can weave a new story.
    Explore Marisa's work and get a copy of The Sovereignty Knot: https://www.knotworkstorytelling.com/episode/www.marisagoudy.com (www.marisagoudy.com)
    Follow the show on https://www.instagram.com/knotworkpodcast/...

    • 45 min
    How to Heal a Poet’s Heart, or The Invention of the Irish Harp, with Maureen Buscareno | Ep 13

    How to Heal a Poet’s Heart, or The Invention of the Irish Harp, with Maureen Buscareno | Ep 13

    Our StoryCana Cludhmor was a banfhile, an Irish woman poet of great renown. We know her story from only a few lines in Imtheacht na Tromdháimhe or https://www.google.com/books/edition/Imtheacht_Na_Tromdhaimhe_Or_The_Proceedi/KdWHNgAACAAJ?hl=en (The Proceedings of the Great Bardic Institution,) found in the fourteenth century Book of Lismore. Only mentioned briefly in the manuscript, we know that Cana Cludmor walks away from a dissatisfying marriage, and finds herself at a beach where the wind is playing in the sinews of a whale skeleton. She falls asleep to this otherworldly music, and when her husband discovers her and hears the lovely sound, he is inspired to construct the first harp. This retelling by Marisa Goudy stays true to the original, but imagines the characters’ motivation (and adds the bit about the poet’s curse, the bloodied hands, and the healing at the end).
    Our GuestMaureen Buscareno is a harper, a music educator, a podcaster, and the founder of https://www.moonoverthetrees.com/ (Moon Over the Trees Music and Theater Productions.) Maureen received her master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from Ireland’s University of Limerick. Passionate about bringing music to schools and to the community, Maureen received her master’s in music education from Columbia University. You can hear more from Maureen on her podcasts: https://www.moonoverthetrees.com/podcast (HarpSong), https://www.moonoverthetrees.com/beat-your-heart-out (Beat Your Heart Out), and https://www.moonoverthetrees.com/theatre-aesthetics (Theatre Aesthetics).
    Our ConversationMarisa and Maureen connect as two American women with Irish heritage who both received master’s degrees in Ireland at about the the same time (though it took a https://hudsonvalleywomeninbusiness.com/ (Hudson Valley Women In Business) gathering in 2021 to get them together!). In their discussion, they explore:
    The work of world-renowned composer and multi-instrumentalist Mícheal Ó Súilleabhain has been a profound influence on Maureen. He was her thesis advisor at UCL and reveled in the campus’s location on the River Shannon, likening students and faculty to ancient Druids becoming one with the land, landscape, sounds and sights of nature.
    https://apoemforireland.rte.ie/shortlist/fill-aris/ (“Fill Arís,” a poem by Seán Ó Ríordán) that invites us back to the Irish language (even if it was a language spoken by distant ancestors)
    Marisa is dedicated to honoring the source of the story, which appears in an 1860 publication from the Ossianic Society. Modern versions of the story have turned the Cana Cludhmor, the banfhile (woman poet), into a “Celtic goddess of inspiration” and credited her with being the inventor of the harp. This https://lairbhan.blogspot.com/2021/09/cana-cludhmor-inventing-irish-goddess.html (article by Morgan Daimler )traces the potential causes for the modern revisions of the story.
    The Celtic music revival in 1960s
    Three kinds of traditional Irish music: celebration, lullabies, laments
    The sean-nós tradition, unaccompanied Irish language singing
    For further information about the Irish harp and its centuries of tradition, seek out http://www.annheymann.com/biography.htm (Anne Heymann) and https://hurrellharp.com/ (Nancy Hurrell)
    The Trailblazery, which offers the online https://www.thetrailblazery.com/scoilscairte (Scoil Scairte) Irish language and culture program

    Our MusicMusic at the start of the show is by the wonderful 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. Find out about their music and shows at: billyandbeth.com
    Discover, Heal and Write Your Own Stories: Work with MarisaBook a https://www.marisagoudy.com/healing-for-heroines (Healing for Heroines) session: a unique blend of energy medicine, intuitive guidance, and the language of archetypes and mythology to help you...

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 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!

Top Podcasts In Arts

NPR
The Moth
Roman Mars
Snap Judgment and PRX
Milk Street Radio
Rusty Quill

You Might Also Like

For The Wild
Michael Meade
How to Survive the End of the World
Aviva Romm MD
Derek Beres, Matthew Remski, Julian Walker