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Patricia Creighton & Paul Newton | The Twelve Celtic Winds

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World: Celtic New Age: Shamanic Moods: Type: Instrumental
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The Twelve Celtic Winds

by Patricia Creighton & Paul Newton

A fascinating flute and didgeridoo improvised recording based upon a twelve-part form depicting characteristics of the twelve directional winds from the ancient Gaelic world.
Genre: World: Celtic
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Twelve Celtic Winds Live Performance
24:20 album only
2. The Twelve Celtic Winds Live Public Dance
17:34 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The patterns of the winds were observed by the Gaelic people, and they noticed that, if they'd sit at dawn and look at the sky, the inner eye would tell them the colour and the direction of the wind that was coming, and that wind would determine the character or nature of that day.

Patricia Creighton, one of Canada’s finest flute virtuosos and also Principal Flutist of Symphony Nova Scotia came together with didgeridoo player extraordinaire Paul Newton to create this absolutely magical improvisation.

The concept for this collaborative dance-music healing form was dreamt up by shaman/healer/dancer and world traveler Nancy Sherwood based upon the scholastic research of Jean Wright-Popescul’s “The Twelve Winds of the Ancient Gaelic World”.

This particular live-to-disc performance took place outside in a field at the edge of the ocean at the first International Shamanic Convergence held at Oceanstone near Indian Harbour in Nova Scotia, Canada in September, 2009.

Those who danced to the stunning improvisation in the first cycle of this performance were participants of the Convergence who had attended a workshop given by Nancy Sherwood a few days before the actual performance, where they learnt about the various characteristics and colours of each of the twelve directional winds.

The second half of this disc is a shorter version of the cycle where audience members were invited to join the performers in whatever way - by dancing, singing, drumming, witnessing - however it came to them to be a part of the Twelve Winds.

We invite you to experience the whole cycle of the winds as they sweep around and bring change. Within the Celtic culture, the care of the soul is essential to existence. This performance is intended for healing and integration of the soul.

Characteristics and colours of the winds extracted by Patricia Creighton from Jean Wright Popescul’s book are listed below.

EAST - CORCUR (kor-kur) - PURPLE
Gentle, smiling fresh fair wind, good weather, calming, soothing splendor, victorious, uncorrupted, arouses waves; wind of spring season, wind of hope, sublime truth, restores the spirit; on the other hand, watchful, mindful, brings dis-ease, influences new beginnings; a return to hope. However, it is necessary to be watchful and not underestimate the full primal nature of this wind.

Wild, variable, short-lived, a light underwind, difficult to control, good natured, pleasant, blind luck, gentle at times, contradictory, wind of thanksgiving and gratitude, brings good harvest, success, gain, profit, aggrandizement, on the other hand, both dirty, bad, pleasing and gentle.

SSE - DEARG (jarg) - RED
Wild, impetuous, severe weather conditions, highly dangerous, difficult to harness, emotional extremes, vehement, fierce, violent, angry, intense, a blasting wind; supernatural, red-hot, madness, most abandoned of all the winds, notorious, bitter, threatens crops, complicates disease.

Glistening, radiant wind, wondrous, brightness, illuminating, mystical, high tides, summer, dexterous, prosperous, gently persuading, shedding light on secrets and truths; a controlled prime wind; dreams, illusions, music, the arts, shimmery, on the right directionally, lucky.

Brave, wild and undisciplined, wind of passage, change, carrying creative and destructive energy, fierceness and yet beauty, stories, tales, knowledge, blows higher than other winds, blue/grey, steely blue, lots of rain, lustrous, silvery, young, fearless, frisky, wind of adventure, heroic tales, melancholy, mournful, laments, plaintive, wind of promise, luxuriant crops.

WSW - UAINE (ua-niu) - GREEN
Strong, bustling, wallowing, cloak of secrecy, wild, fierce, unpredictable, lividness, secret, clandestine, furtive, underwind, ghastly green-grey, livid green, wan, dangerous wind of passage, destructive, persuading confrontation, sickness, sea wind of the foreign foe, meager crops. Wind of the Cailleach (keluch) - the veiled one - female; makes the hair on
the back of one's head stand up.

A wise wind; easily controlled, knowledge, science, earthly justice, pale, wan, sallow, magnifying cause and effect; weather-beaten, rear wind; remote, fate, wind of result, bloodshed, death of a king, natural order, judgment, justice, wind of final course, wind of the pale lamenting rider.

A high cold underwind of great energy, precarious, passage and change, discord, strife, assaults, conflict, medicine, science, healers, fall from grace, dangerous, a driving wind, oppression, pessimism, depression, distraught, doubt, suspicious, potential for risk to body, mind, spirit; wild, high, aerial wind of change, hard to control, functions between two worlds, governs destiny and fate.

Quarrelsome, grumbling, strength, vindication, glimmering quality, steady, buzzing, humming sound, underwind but not light or free; cleansing wind, takes away dis-ease; dusky, dark, swarthy, forgiveness, absolution, wind of ratification, counsel, shimmering, grayish brown, environment for positive change; stern, solemn.

Frightening, stormy, wrathful, fierce, enraged snarling, dangerous, austere, heavy wind, not wild, easily controlled; great, mournful, moaning, sad, severe, woeful, destructive; distress; sinister quality, on the left; remote, negative magic, conflict; stormy, sovereign, finely-tuned integrity; mighty; demands strong moral fortitude; drought, plague, heavy distress, death of the sinful, blind abyss.

NNE - TEMHEIL (tevil) - DARK
A necessary cleansing dark wind; envelopes and surrounds; echoes and reverberates; heavy underwind; can be controlled; somber tones, gloomy, glimmery, shady light; dim; wind of reflection.

Speckled, complex, a constantly changing underwind in a perpetual state of flux; on one hand, beautiful, on the other, spiteful; resenting; animosity; variegated, a wind which brings groups together and with that, confrontation; aggression. Musical ability, art, skill, nobility, wisdom and excellence in the end, affecting
instinct and survival.


This music, recorded at Oceanstone close to Indian Harbour along Nova Scotia's coast, is one result of a vision that was inspired by the book,”Twelve Winds of the Ancient Gaelic World”, which literally fell off of a Halifax library bookshelf into my hands. I scanned the contents and read Jean Wright-Popescul’s poem in her introduction. She says of the winds, ”When they blew off my hat and asked me to dance, I reached to the sky in a wonderful trance". Those words became an invitation for me to embody this Gaelic interpretation of the winds in a dance. The characters of the winds that I studied from Jean’s work blended into to my own experience from decades of dancing to the elements of weather on this continent and in Britain and Ireland.

I felt that there was such potiential in this ancient divination process for connecting us to the ancestors and their way of knowing the natural world and was very excited by the idea of drawing musicians and dancers together to share in the colors, sounds, and feeling of The Twelve Winds.

Finding Jean was an adventure. She and her husband, Peter, eventually came to visit. We discussed her passionate work surrounding the Celtic culture, drawn from scholarly sources and her life in Cape Breton, steeped in precious gifts and memories from over the seas.

I believe that the Celtic people were awake to the moment and were people of passion, not afraid to draw attention to themselves by expressing beauty in their world. They took care of the needs of the soul with poetry, music, and dance. Illness and stress were addressed through cultural practices that calmed the mind, soothed the troubled spirit, or roused energy for love and battle. They listened to tales that stressed cooperation with forces in the natural world. We think of these energies as larger than life, and outside us, but the Celts perceived the necessity of embodying and acknowledging them in order to embrace life fully. People were trained to divine, heal and remind the tribe that humans are not alone in the universe. In wanting to be part of that legacy, I wished to take my vision, inspired and informed by the past, to contemporary people.

In 2004 we performed 'The Twelve Winds' in Judique, Cape Breton with Paul Newton. Patricia Creighton joined us at the Mahone Bay Centre for performances on the South Shore.

In 2008, I made a call for those interested in revisiting 'The Twelve Winds' and many dancers responded; we did site specific work in the studio and in nature. Imagine sailing to an island so that our harp could sing in the wind!
Keyboardist, John Overton joined us along with Patricia Creighton at a presentation on the heartbreakingly beautiful property , "Tir Na Nog" in East Chester, Nova Scotia.

This year we had the opportunity to workshop 'The Twelve Winds' with dancers from other parts of Canada and Britain during “Returning to our Roots,” a four-day event at Oceanstone in Nova Scotia. On the fourth day, we offered up our workshopped version of 'The Twelve Winds'. After the first cyle of the twelve winds was over, those in attendance were invited to join us in the dance. You can hear their joyful voices during the second track of this CD.

It was a delight to have Patricia and Paul accompany us again with their exceptionally dynamic improvisation “translating” the winds for us.

J.L. Isley High School in Halifax graciously gave Jean Wright-Popescule permission to attend the performance. It was an opportunity for Jean to receive some of the recognition she deserves for her dedication and contribution to the Gaelic culture and its expression of “beauty, wisdom and truth.”

Patricia Creighton master-minded this exciting album. Slow down and sit back...or get up and dance! Enjoy the weaving of the characteristics of the Twelve Celtic Winds of the ancient Gaelic world.



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