Stars, Stones, and Shadows: A Heroine's Tale
Let's take a journey together...
Into the Circle Theatre’s inaugural show Stars, Stones, and Shadows: A Heroine’s Tale will premiere to national capital audiences, from June 15-25, 2023, at the Ottawa Fringe Festival.
Inspired by Irish mythology and the work of Maureen Murdock (The Heroine’s Journey: Women’s Quest for Wholeness), Stars, Stones, and Shadows: A Heroine’s Tale will enchant audiences’ hearts and souls as they dance between realms during this theatrical gathering.
Set within The Burren caves, and ending at Hag's Head (Cliffs of Moher), journey with Saoirse as she navigates the currents of life, death, and rebirth, as a she re-members and reconnects with the wisdom of her body, the power of her voice, and the magic of her spirit.
For just as the spirit, the land, and the goddesses of Éire (Ireland) illuminate our heroine’s path of remembrance, healing, and reclamation; this journey together may just inspire your own.
I’ve always been a soul that has felt deeply connected to the animal, plant, and spiritual realm. Today, as I immerse myself within ancient Irish culture (the wise, mystical, and matriarchal ways of being - in particular), I’ve begun to understand my intuitive gifts and my perspective on the world with more clarity and reverence.
Stars, Stones, and Shadows: A Heroine’s Tale is a weaving of my own embodied wisdom, Irish mythology, sprinkled with a spark of inspiration from the work of Maureen Murdock, with the desire to amplify the deep re-membering and reclamation of divine feminine wisdom and ways of being; which is vital during our current times.
Divine feminine wisdom being: the life force energy that (when in balance) encourages us to be: intuitive, creative, open, emotionally attuned, expressive, relational, intimate, nurturing, allowing, accommodating, etc.
The beauty of mythology, and the art of storytelling (or in the Irish tradition of seanchaí), is that it can be poetry and prophecy in motion. Stars, Stones, and Shadows: A Heroine’s Tale blends time, space, and realms. Where the past meets the present; and the physical, spiritual, celestial twirl together. In this tale, some of Éire’s most prolific goddesses offer insights into the human experience and the wisdom that rests within our bodies and spirits.
Thank you for choosing to share your time with us at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Your support truly means the world.
(A thousand thanks)
Short Wisdom Share from Erica’s Personal Learnings on our Celtic Goddess Guides
Macha - In Irish mythology, Macha is an incredibly complex being. In one tale, she’s said to have placed a nine-year curse on the men of Ulster to experience labour pains during the heat of battle. In some, the birth of her twins is traced to the naming of the land Emain Machan. In others, she’s said to be a divine counterpart of the triple goddess of war. All of these stories have resonance with the Macha you will meet in our story. However, when I asked what her message or offering was for this story, I received: Macha the Mighty Mother. Within Saoirse’s journey, she is a guide to trusting the wisdom of her physical body - and how that connects to her spirit.
The Morrigan - In Irish mythology, The Morrigan is also an incredibly complex being. In some tales, she’s known for her magical shape shifting abilities - sometimes in the form of a crow, a cow, a she-wolf, an eel, a beautiful maiden, or a crone. In others, she’s known as a prophetess of death - appearing as a washerwoman by a river. She, too, can be associated with the triple goddess of war. Known to bring change, destruction, and initiations of death and rebirth, we see all of these aspects of the Morrigan in our story. However, when I asked what her message or offering was for this story, I received: Let it crumble; to make space for the new. Within Saoirse’s journey, the Morrigan is a guide to trusting the wisdom of her rage. By giving herself permission to feel all the pain and anger that resides within her rage, Saoirse creates space to to begin to process and heal.
Brigid - In Irish mythology, Brigid is often known as the goddess of the arts (poetry, seers, and women of wisdom) and metal smithing; both linking her to the term imbas forosnai (inspiration that illuminates). Brigid is also deeply connected to mothers, midwives, and childbirth. She is said to have been the first keener of Ireland after her son, Ruadhán, dies in battle. When I asked what her message or offering was for this story, I received: To grieve and be birthed anew. Within Saoirse’s journey, Brigid offers Saoirse the invitation to allow her grief to flow - rather than denying or holding on to it. Through her grief, Saoirse is offered the invitation to re-member the magic of her soul that has always lied within her.
The Cailleach Béare - In Irish mythology, the Cailleach Béare is said to be as old as the land of Éire - some tales say that Ireland was created by stones falling out of her apron. Known as the crone, or hag, she is often associated with water, storms, winter, and Samhain. She is a magical, wise woman, larger than life primordial being with shapeshifting abilities as well - including a she-wolf and a beautiful maiden. The Cailleach is a goddess that I deeply resonate with. Within Saoirse’s journey, the Cailleach’s calling was to walk Saoirse through the emotional terrain and initiations of her divine re-membering and reclaiming. The Cailleach was my first connection to the Wise Woman, and matriarchal lineage, within an Irish context - so it felt fitting that this great, great, great grandmother would walk alongside her granddaughter during this magical, mystical and pivotal stage in her journey.
Sacred Storyteller, Writer, Producer,
Women's Spiritual & Embodiment Counsellor
Into the Circle Theatre's - Creative Visionary
As a spiritual counsellor, ordained minister (through the Sacred Stream Foundation; in Berkeley, California), and sacred storyteller, Erica's heart and soul centred work is grounded in creating sacred spaces where souls feel seen and heard. She believes in the embodied healing power of the human body and spirit; and that there is powerful medicine in storytelling.
Erica's eclectic background in the performing arts has taken her all over the world, including: Ottawa (Ottawa Storytellers, 9th Hour Theatre), Toronto (Theatre @ York; Bachelor of Arts, Specialized Honours in Theatre), Italy (ACLE) and New York (American Academy of Dramatic Arts).
Shauna is a theatre artist based in the greater Ottawa area. She has worked in multiple disciplines, including stage management, direction, costume design and performance. Shauna has worked all over the city, with 9th hour, ITR, Rural Root and been involved in 3 different Fringe shows. She is passionate about supporting theatre and storytelling in a variety of ways, the magic of theatre is a special experience and deserves respectful and safe spaces. Whenever not working on a theatre project, Shauna is an Operations Manager with an BATL Axe Throwing, and is working towards her Intimacy Director certification.
Míle Buíochas (A Thousand Thanks)
Thank YOU beautiful audience member for supporting the arts and a woman with a vision and dream in her heart.
Thank you Ottawa Fringe Festival Team for your support throughout this journey.
Thank you to the volunteers who help facilitate the smooth sailing of this festival.
Thank you to my friends who held space, answered questions, and offered insights.
Thank you to Devyn Sharpe for creating a beautiful show imagine that captured the spirit of show.
Thank you to Mary McLaughlin for gifting permission to share your song Caoineadh na dTri Muire.
Thank you to Jen Murphy, Sarah Richardson, and Tara Wild for reminding me of the sacred sisterhood that comes with the re-membering of the ancient Irish Wise Woman ways of being.
Thank you to my family for journeying withe me throughout the years.
Thank you to my beloved partner who's patience, compassion, and sturdy presence continues to be a grace-filled place to rest.
Additional Links & Credits
Devyn Sharpe - Show Image/Artist
Mary McLaughlin - song Caoineadh na dTri Muire
Maureen Murdock - author
Book: The Heroine's Journey: Woman's Quest for Wholeness