Thank you for being interested in finding out about the Cailleach’s Herbarium world. Before you journey the mysterious and crooked path through the landscape of Scottish folklore, herbalism and folk practices (perhaps dragging some soap boxes to stand on with me along the way) it might be wise to ponder who the writer of these words is.
When someone goes public with information, discussing beliefs and experiences people assume all sorts of things about them. It is important to disclose some things. To help prevent bias and to allow some perspective to settle on the diorama being presented. You can read more about my explicit biases in the FAQ section.
My name is Scott Richardson-Read and I sling the words on these pages. I am the co-creator and researcher behind the Tales of the Taibhsear project, part of the Taibhsear collective that brought to life Edinburghs ongoing annual folk culture, tradition and magic celebration and lecture series – Dreaming Bread and Skyrie Stanes, Skekllers and Skekling and Winters Last and also network coordinator for The Woven Land Network.
I am a writer, advocate and agitator and folk magic practitioner and a queer man. I am a four times graduate and hold Masters degrees in psychology, Social work and Research. I have dedicated my career, some would call it a vocation, formed from the early years of working in the margins of life to supporting those who are outsiders in their communities – marginalised maybe by illness, disability, mental health issues, sexuality or a culture they find themselves unwelcome in.
I am very passionate about Scottish culture, history and politics and have spoken a lot about the appropriation of our culture within the pagan and witchcraft communities and within academia along with human roughest in parliament and others arenas such as channel four television.
Nothing I say is presented by me as Truth but perhaps truth. At times, my truth will be very different from yours. Some things I could write more about I have left as questions in the hope to engage you the reader in thinking further. The Truths and truths are a lived experience, each of us understanding these in different ways. Through your eyes, the printed voice of these words shares my sum of experience, thoughts, research, ethics, observations and opinions. Hopefully along the way punctuated by what wisdom I have been able to gather. But everyone has a share of wisdom to pass around. If you’d like to know more about me and my approach I suggest you check out my FAQ’s section.
As your mind wanders through the landscape of ideas, research and stories presented to you please don’t allow your mind to slip into a passive state of observing and repeating. In light of your experience, question my assumptions and laugh at my conclusions. I accept and relish the opportunity to change my mind and reach different ideas.
We are all seekers.
I am aware that my mind holds constructs of thinking and attachments to things it has deftly disguised as a certainty.
Through community, we can help each other see past these pits in the road and move safely onwards with our journey.