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Ethne and the Cauldron of Hospitality | S.2 Ep.12
Episode 1212th October 2022 • KnotWork Storytelling • Marisa Goudy
00:00:00 00:58:44

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Our Story

Before Ethne became a queen of Tara and married Cormac mac Airt, she was a foster child to Buchet, a man known for his tremendous hospitality. In this story, Marisa Goudy imagines Ethne’s perspective on this 12th century Irish tale.

Our Guest

Elizabeth Shaw is an author, consultant, speaker, and facilitator who brings her core philosophies of practical optimism and radical hospitality to everything she does. Whether she's planning a custom Cirque du Soleil show, working as an hospitality consultant for organizations like Toyota and State Farm, a strategic partner for entrepreneurs and thought leaders, or inspiring audiences around the world with her book The Optimist Manifesto, Elizabeth brings a thread of collaboration, service, and whimsy to all she does. Equal parts head in the cloud and feet on the ground, Elizabeth is an optimistic strategist who puts people and purpose at the center of all of her work.

Find Elizabeth on her website, on Instagram @inspringoptimism, and Facebook.

Our Conversation

  • Hospitality is an Irish tradition that dates back to the Brehon laws and still echoes in the culture today.
  • Elizabeth brings her lived definition of hospitality to the conversation: it’s about being seen, being welcomed, and being cared for.  Hospitality is about more than feasts, merriment, and the perfect house. It’s also about offering care and a safe space.
  • The gender roles associated with hospitality and being the “perfect hostess” Hospitality creates community and depends on community, not on an individual who needs to do it all. 
  • Marisa wrote this story in the first person, a first for one of her KnotWork stories. Ethne represents the movement from the Princess to Queen archetype described in The Sovereignty Knot. Her foster father, the great host, holds the Wise Woman energy.
  • There is a sexual assault at the center of the original story. Rape is a common element in mythology, and Marisa and Elizabeth spoke at length about how to stay true to the source material, and yet tell a story about hospitality that made Ethne a heroine. They didn’t want to erase the trauma to tell a “nice” story, but there was a desire to present Ethne as a sovereign being, rather than a victim. 
  • The importance of reciprocity. What it’s like to give too much and what it’s like to feel like you’re not good at offering hospitality. 
  • The Irish word for welcome is fáilte
  • This tale appears in the c. 1160 CE manuscript, The Book of Leinster, and is commonly called The Melody of the House of Buchet.

Our Music

Music at the start of the show is by Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called "The College Groves."

Work with Marisa

Marisa offers 1:1 coaching for Personal and Professional growth with her Healing for Heroines packages.

She also offers Story Weaver Book Coaching for memoirists, thought leaders, and creative entrepreneurs at the beginning of their writing journey.

Find more of Marisa's writing and get a copy of her book, The Sovereignty Knot

Follow the show on InstagramFacebook, and join our vibrant listeners' community.



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