My Story/M’Sgeul

Ciamar a tha sibh?

Is mise Aodhàn. Tha mi nam neach-ealain agus is toil leam a bhith a’ cuideachadh.

‘S feàrr leàm a’ Ghàidhlig “ooo-ghen” ach tha Gàeilge “Ay-den” Glè Mhath cuideachd.

Dancing Men’s Traditional SLC 2022

I’m Aodhàn (Pronounced Ooo-hen in Scottish Gàidhlig and Ay-den in Irish and English) I am an artist and I want to help you. I prefer my Scottish name “Ooo-hen” but the Irish version Aiden is good too. Use whatever is easiest for you. I have been learning Gàidhlig since 2018 and I still have a long way to go. I am of mixed ancestry and I was raised participating in my Native American culture but I typically do this work from the teachings of my Celtic culture. I am Cherokee and as enrolled tribal member of the United Cherokee Aniyunwiya Nation (State recognized) I was raised in my Native American Community here in Idaho by primarily Lakota families. My mother lived here and my father in Oklahoma. I began to learn about my Celtic heritage in my early 20’s. I was born female, I am Tar-ghnèitheach or Crossed-Souled, Two-Spirit and I have transitioned to Male. Although I live a masculine life I rely on my lessons from my years as Erica, a woman, to be the man I am today, often shifting to balance both of these energies within me.

Traditional Attire of the Gael

This balance helps me perform my community duties as I can do the work of both Men and Women. I have been officiating marriages since 2013 and ceremonial work since I was 12, my art started around age 9. Helping others is my passion. I have become very passionate about End of Life care because Death has surrounded me so much of my life. I was curious and wanted to learn more about death, the process of End-of-Life and what I could do to ensure that people around me have a good passing. I’ve learned what my cultures do besides a funeral home and black clothes and how to share that knowledge to better help those seeking End-Of-Life care and Life Coaching.

Treasure Valley Highland Games 2019
Combining cultures 2016

I learned very quickly that Death is portrayed as black and white, when it can be a sunrise and sunset bursting with color of a life lived and a rite of passage. I continued my studies and completed my Doctorate in Ancient Theology in 2021. I studied the art of Earth Pigment painting, and how paint is used ceremonially. I often found myself making gifts for those who had died and those at seeking End-Of-Life care. Time and time again the caskets and urns of those I knew and loved contained art pieces and last requests of things I could create for them to bring them comfort. It was truly an honor to work for them, and there are days I find solace in knowing that I was able to ease their passing.

My Cherokee Ancestors Approx. 1909

Time went on and again and again I was asked to give last rites to my friend’s beloved pets. Preparing them for their final journeys. Instead of Cardboard caskets their funerals became lavender lined Earthen burials with beautifully Pigment painted markings of color on their bodies. Incense burning, beautiful songs being sung all the while dust particles settled around their fur. There was a comfort in the beauty of returning them to Earth gently but intentionally. Death Doula work has called to me since I was a child, and now I am here, with you. Or perhaps you’re here for another reason. Perhaps it is time to redirect your energy and start anew. Perhaps it is time to renew an old vow, to another, to yourself. Perhaps you want to organize how things would be should you have an accident, or want to make sure your loved ones are taken care of. I can help with that too. Perhaps your seeking to have your students learn something new about another culture, or perhaps it is I seeking to learn from you.

My Crawford Scottish Ancestors Approx. 1890-1896

“Níl cara ag cumha ach cuimhne……”

A friend mourns only a memory.

Irish Proverb.