Moon Medicine

Moon Medicine is a monthly gathering by the Trailblazery for women who seek inspiration, encouragement and connection. Moon Medicine was initiated in 2018 in light of Repeal and the rising momentum of women worldwide stepping up, speaking out, and reclaiming their power. As part of the Feminist Supermarket at Ormston House, the Trailblazery presents a virtual Moon Medicine curated with artist and vocalist, Ceara Conway.

On the evening of Wednesday 2 June, Gather ’round me, women / Druidigí thart, a mhná will be led by Kathy Scott, Creative Director of the Trailblazery, Ceara Conway, and guest luminaries, Angela Bourke (writer, historian), and Marian Dunlea (Jungian analyst, somatics practitioner). This live experience will explore the role of women and the use of song in ritualising experiences of loss.

The Irish wake held another ancient ritual at its centre known as caoineadh or keening – the funeral lament. The word “keening” originates from the Gaelic caoineadh meaning “crying”. This was a traditional vocal artform performed to mourn the dead. The keening woman, or bean caoineadh, paid respects to the deceased, and expressed grief on behalf of the bereaved family. It was a skilled ritual at the meeting point between life and death, and received due recognition, including payment.

Angela Bourke describes the lament or caoineadh as “a highly articulate tradition of women’s poetry.” The intention for this event is to explore the cultural practices of Irish women as lament poets, and their specific role in facilitating community grief. Keening is part of our indigenous cultural inheritance – a ritual that was practiced in the heart of our communities. Following the loss experienced by many during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to explore how we might come together as communities to grieve in this moment of collective sorrow and uncertainty.

Ticket options

Tickets are €25 and available from the Trailblazery here.

If you are not in a position to purchase a ticket at this time and would like to attend, please email by 30 May for a complimentary ticket.

Advance booking is recommended as spaces will be limited.

About Angela Bourke

Angela Bourke has studied caoineadh extensively, publishing many essays in Irish and English about the women who practiced it, and the poetry they made. Her books include the award-winning The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story (1999); Maeve Brennan: Homesick at the New Yorker (2004), and Voices Underfoot: Memory, Forgetting, and Oral Verbal Art (2016). She is a former visiting professor and fellow at US, UK and Japanese universities, and full professor emerita at the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore, where she taught for many years.

About Ceara Conway

Ceara Conway is an Irish contemporary visual artist and vocalist. She creates innovative experiential performance works that utilise traditional and contemporary songs, music and visual art to explore social issues such as the ecological crisis, migration and feminist concerns. You can visit her website here:

About Marian Dunlea

Marian Dunlea M.Sc., IAAP, ICP, is a Jungian analyst and somatics practitioner who has been leading workshops internationally for the past 30 years integrating body and soul. She is head of the BodySoul Europe training programme, part of the Marion Woodman Foundation. You can visit her website here:

About Kathy Scott

Kathy is a cultural activist and creative entrepreneur dedicated to creating provocative experiences that animate the spirit of our times. Her greatest mission in this life is to nudge humanity forward by inspiring people to rise and lift each other up along the way. She is dedicated to creating work that orients around our shared heart-centred qualities of courage, compassion and care.

About the Trailblazery

The Trailblazery designs and produces live events, learning experiences and collaborative cross-disciplinary projects that tackle wicked problem-solving. In the last ten years, we have hosted over 1500 trailblazers at live and virtual events, reaching over 350,000 people. We have received national and global media attention, with a media reach of 3 million people in Ireland to date. We have further impacted another 2.5 million people around the world, increasing awareness of the story and spirit of Ireland, Irish culture and the importance of being both Irish and global citizens today. You can visit their website here:


Moon Medicine: Gather ’round me, women / Druidigí thart, a mhná will take place via Zoom on 2 June 2021, 7-9pm. Advanced booking is recommended as spaces will be limited. This event is part of the Feminist Supermarket, and kindly supported by the Arts Council of Ireland. Image: Duach (2021) by Ceara Conway, courtesy of the artist.
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