Book Review: The Cailleach

When I discovered that The Cailleach had chosen me to be Her Priestess earlier this year I set out to discover as much as I could about her. One book that was recommended to me was The Cailleach by Rachel Patterson. From the excerpt and the recommendations, I knew that this was a book I wanted to read. The problem was that it hadn’t been released yet.

So, I kept my eyes open and when it became available for pre-order I made sure to get my order in. Finally, at the beginning of August it was released and I had a copy in hand.

For all the build up, I have not been disappointed. Rachel Patterson has found stories about The Cailleach from around the British Isles. Beyond this, Rachel has also taken a look at stories from other parts of Europe which have either a similarity in name or in legend that could possibly be a hint that The Cailleach had an importance across the continent and not just in the Isles.

I had already found many of these stories in my own research. The benefit here is that I have all of those stories plus others in one handy place. It is divided into easily navigated chapters, focusing first on the stories from Scotland and Ireland, then venturing into the rest of the British Isles.

There is a chapter that specifically looks at the connection between Brigid and the Cailleach, and another that looks at possible connections between the Cailleach in the British Isles and other figures with similar names or stories in other parts of the world.

Rachel finishes off with a chapter giving possible correspondences for the Cailleach and she provides ceremonies and meditations that one could use or adapt to speak directly to the Cailleach. These are her own personal experiences, and she is very clear in letting the reader know this.

One of my real pet peeves are the authors who claim person experience as fact, or who pull their information out of thin air and neglect to say this. This book is not only well written and well-researched, Rachel has provided a reference list of folk stories, essays, documents and manuscripts that the reader can refer to for further studies.

All in all, a very good book and I am very happy to have it on my shelf. I know that I will be referring to it often as I discover for myself what being a priestess of The Cailleach means for me.

age of the cailleach

About the author:

Rachel Patterson is High Priestess of the Kitchen Witch Coven and an Elder at the online Kitchen Witch School of Natural Witchcraft. She combines old religion witchcraft, kitchen witchery, hedge witchery, and folk magic into her craft.


  • Pagan Portals – Kitchen Witchcraft
  • Grimoire of a Kitchen Witch
  • Pagan Portals – Hoodoo Folk Magic
  • Pagan Portals – Moon Magic
  • A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Plants and Herbs
  • A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Foods
  • Pagan Portals – Meditation
  • The Art of Ritual
  • Arc of the Goddess (co-written with Tracey Roberts)

You can find Rachel online at:

Other websites:

Image drawn by Emma Patterson, daughter of Rachel Patterson

To buy this book in the UK go to

To buy this book in the USA go to







3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Cailleach

  1. Pingback: Day 3: 30 Days of Deity Devotion | Writings of a Pagan Witch

  2. Pingback: Day 10: 30 Days of Deity Devotion | Writings of a Pagan Witch

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