Facilitator - Rachel Gwilym

Bean Nighe [ben nɪjɦə] is a fairy who is found across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. On the Isle of Tiree, where I live, she is often seen, by those who have eyes to see her, washing garments in the burn.

If she lays eyes on you, your imminent death is certain. If, however, you grab her unawares, she will grant you three wishes.

There is wisdom in this story — our death is certain and we can let it come upon us unexpectedly or we can catch hold of the fairy of death and receive her blessing.

The story of the Bean Nighe has helped me to think about loss and death safely and creatively.

She is the inspiration behind the Bean Nighe Circle - an online community for people grappling with death and the vicissitudes of being mortal, and discovering for themselves the gifts facing death brings.

I discovered, as a naive 18 year old student embarking on a nursing career at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, that death can come to anyone, of any age, at any time.

I realised too that the religious framework I had been given as a child, did not help me understand or prepare for the inevitability of my own death, nor did the medical establishment, bent, as it is, on preserving life at all costs.

Fear plays its role in both religion and medicine - fear of judgement and fear of failure to stay alive.

It takes courage to lay aside these fears and look unwaveringly at death - whether that’s preparing for our own, or processing the grief that follows the death of another.

If you are looking for a community where the courage to deal with death is nurtured, the Bean Nighe Circle could be for you.

Here we support each other to do our grief work and get our end of life plans underway.

There are practical resources and education to give you the skills to do everything you need, and stories and meditation to sustain you.

Rachel Gwilym

Scarinish, Isle of Tiree Argyll, Scotland, UK

Let's Talk

Schedule a free, no-obligation, half hour 'are we right for each other' call.

Complete the form below, giving me a few dates and times you're available to speak to and brief details of how I can help you.

I'll respond within 24 hours during normal working hours Monday - Friday.

Look forward to connecting

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Services I offer

  • Grief Recovery Method (1-1 and in groups)
  • Professional Storyteller
  • Funeral Celebrant
  • Death Cafe
  • Red Tent
  • Emotional Freedom Technique
  • Buttercups and Clover Boutique where lovely things can be bought including shrouds

About me

Would be wise woman, story weaver and community builder.


More about me

For the cost of a weekly coffee and pastry, join the Bean Nighe Community.

You’ll be welcomed with a gift that includes the books, Before I Go: The Essential Guide to Creating a Good End of Life Plan by Jane Duncan Rogers and The Grief Recovery Handbook by John James and Russell Friedman, a leather-bound journal and a box of candles.

Membership will give you access to:

  • Live sessions: Start the Week Well on Mondays, Yoga Nidra on Wednesdays, monthly Q & A
  • Resource Library
  • Supportive community of like-minded people
  • Discounts on Grief Recovery and Before I Go courses.

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