Autumn (Fall) Equinox
2013 - Review & 'way forward' - Tara
2012 - Colin's Journey, Chrysalis Phase - Dowth
2011 – Winding Down, End of the Journey - Mornington Beach
2010 – Endings & Rememberings - Dowth
2009 – Thanks to Mother - Tara
2008 – Harvest Thanksgiving - Tara
2007 – Dream Bag into winter – Tara
7 September 2013 - Review and Way Forward
Autumn Equinox 2013 eight people gathered to review the organisation and operation of Tara Celebrations. During that meeting the eight agreed that one individual would be Designer for one of the 8 festival gatherings, starting Samhain 2013. Each is responsible for calling where and when it is held and the content of the event. Information is shared about this via email and this website.
Marta has kindly shared these photos and words about their autumn celebration in Switzerland
We felt like combining the harvest along with the happiness of a colourful autumn - hence the *fun* items on the table (fluffies...), and also there's an altar for the Goddess and the God hidden in there. One spots it when looking closly at the items that symbolize them.
Our celebrations consisted of a gathering, a coming together and celebrating what we have, also a thinking back on what we've achieved and what yet has to be worked on.
And also the creating of a prosperity / abundance pouch for each of us.
|thanks to Bernadette for these evocative photos of Autumn in Ireland|
22 September 2012 - Colin's Journey the Chrysalis Phase - Dowth
Many thanks to Bernadette and Anne for the following photographs.
Colin's Journey - Chrysalis Phase
At our meal, prior to the planning meditation, we were delighted to have a delicious chocolate cake, made in the shape of Colin the Caterpillar. And this inspired us to think about how, just as the caterpillar has eaten through the abundance and lush plants of summer and now creates a cocoon to live in, until it is time to transform into a butterfly, so in our lives this is the season when we close the door to the outer world and prepare to go inwards. As we move from autumn towards Samhain and winter, we are going into the chrysalis phase of our lives.
But we cannot take everything into the chrysalis with us. Autumn is a time for stock taking, reviewing and checking the store cupboards. What is left over? What have we not used during the year? What is 'past its sell by date' that we can get rid of to make space for the fresh harvest goodies that will see us through the coming winter scarcity? It is time to release the old and return it to earth, adding to the compost heap if we have one. The store cupboards must be cleansed in preparation for re-stocking. Just as we tidy the store cupboards so we clear our own lives.
When we compared our meditations for the gathering we found that moving over the land in procession, symbolically from the dark to the light, to our festive joyous inner light, was a dominant theme. We are aware that we are now moving from a time of equal light and dark into the winter season of shorter day light hours. But when we are in this dark space, we actually go within ourselves, and there we find our own light.
Shining elderberries remind us of the autumn harvest.
Walking between a male and female we were brushed with rosemary, mint, montbretia for cleansing and remembering.
Welcoming all energies with the interweaving voices of male and female we acknowledge the centre, then the directions, starting at the east and ending in the north, prepared to go into the night and dark. Is that Colin in the clouds?
We make a 'dark' journey by walking in silent procession across a field of nettles to two standing stones led by a charismatic figure with beautiful carved staff.
We bless the stones with water from the Tara Holy Well, which has many names including St. Patrick's Well, Well of the Dark Eye, Well of the White Cow, Well of the Numbering of the Clans. The land is also blessed with water, spilt out in the outline of an eternity symbol. We pass between the stones, signaling the move from outer darkness to our own bright light.
We then process, connecting to our colourful inner light, down the field to St. Bernards Well. In the trees is an elephant - reminding us that this is Elephant Appreciation Day.
In a procession of light, towards the south, we walk through a field of thistles.
A bowl of secret messages wrapped in autumn leaves paper to help identify what to release & what to retain for our time in the winter chrysalis. The word chrysalis has its origin in the Greek chrysos meaning gold. Thus we continue the gold theme of this whole year.
Our personal chrysalis - symbolised by standing in a hula hoop delineating our own space, and wrapping up in colourful scarves.
We sang to acknowledge the elements of earth, air, fire and water and circle danced.
Cerys enjoyed jumping through the hoop.
Sharing our inspirations with Open Heart contributions, one participant read St. Patrick's Breastplate.
We finished with tea, biscuits and flapjack. There was a relaxed contentment in the air, with buzzards circling overhead.
The name Dowth derives from the Irish Dubhadh, which means 'darkness'. Once all our plans were agreed we thought to find out what the name Colin means and were surprised to discover this also has a meaning of 'dark', from the Old Norse name Koli. We now understood why Colin had joined us for the meal and to inspire the gathering.
If you cannot make it to Dowth in person, you might like to light a candle on the 22nd and join with us 'in spirit'.
Clearing the Email list - Every year Tara Celebrations has its own clearing of the stock cupboard by closing and deleting the e-mail list. If you like what we do and how we do it, and would like to keep in touch, all you have to do is reply to this email – no need to add a message. This is your commitment to the group that you have an active interest in a living energetic process. You can also click here.
All blessings from the Equinox team of Anne, Tom, Bernie, Bernadette, John and Nora.
24 September 2011 - Winding Down, The End of the Journey
Gurbh maith agat for each and every one of you who have signed up for our e-mail notifications over the course of the year, those who tune in at a distance- literally from all over the world, those that travel to the celebrations and those that find it inspirational and fun. We have received much warm feedback and have had people plan their foreign holidays around the celebrations, so that we know we must be doing something right.
Autumnal Equinox Blessings to all -
Its Lughnasadh Equinox and a time for natural endings and as such it is our last Celebration of the year before our re-emergence at Samhain at the start of the next Celtic cycle.
Mornington Beach, Co. Louth
What’s Happening in Nature
Autumnal Equinox, Sun in Libra, Moon in Leo with Chiron rising, Day and Night of equal length, but from this point onward Night shall have the upper hand. The nights will get longer than the days. The temperature will get colder and the plants will start to die back, but give a grand finale of the autumnal colours. Harvest predominates the agricultural year and we can settle into the leaner, harsher times of winter living off the harvest of the Autumn. Of course those in the Southern Hemisphere have summer to look forward to.
Deletion of E-mail list
By the time you read this we will have closed and deleted the e-mail list. If you like what we did and how we did it you can always put in the effort to sign up again, this is your commitment to the group that you have an active interest in a living energetic process. All you have to do is send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org be included on the 2011-2012 list. (Simple!)
Autumn Equinox is a time for recall, reflection, remembering . A time when we pause to consider in the light of mature recollection how we have invested our time and energy in; family, projects, relationships, social activities, education and improvements. It is a time to harvest that which has been productive for us and a time to remove the chaff from the kernel truth of our experiences. It gives us time to reconsider where we are investing energy and where we are going, especially since we are heading into lean and challenging times. Everything that is false will be challenged to pass away . It is a time for testing what we are made from, gathering the great delights of our soul and being grateful for all that we have experienced over the last 12 months. So our celebration this year will focus on Release and Gratefulness.
Overview of the Celebration
We will meet on Mornington beach, where the River Boyne ends her great journey, at 6pm, close to the turning of the tide. (But why not join us for a picnic at 5pm prior to the celebration).
Gratefulness and Remembering:
There we will bring the fruits of the harvest to the centre of our circle acknowledging the time of season of the year within as well as without. We will remember our Journey through the Year as a group, marking on the sand each Tara Celebration as a picture or symbol that we are acknowledging and release to the universe.
Then conscious that we are individuals as well as a group we will each draw our own individual human sized spirals and within them we shall mark each unresolved situation within us. We do this by drawing a tightening spiral to signify that we are turning off energy to this unproductive issue. We will then gather water from the River Boyne and symbolically wash away some of the mini spirals leaving the rising tide and the Grace of the God(ess) to totally transform and erase all our unresolved energies.
Open Heart – Everyone then gets a chance to share something of themselves perhaps in word, song, or artistic expression - ideas that have inspired them during the year.
Celebration: We will then come together as a group to celebrate with food and fun our endings to better enable us to celebrate the cycles of our lives.
Le Grá agus Solas - With Love and Light
The Tara Celebrations Team - www.TaraCelebrations.org
Buíochas - Thank you - to everyone who came, participated and helped out- Anne in the taking of pictures, John and Eileen in the food preperation and All who sat through a night of brainstorming to hammer out what was a beautiful spirit filled celebration.
- 24th Sept, Mornington Beach, Co. Louth. 5pm Picnic on the beach,
6pm Tara Celebrations: “ Winding Down – The End of the Journey”,
- 28th Sept, “Saltwater Scribblers Talk” Illustrated lecture on Journey through the Celtic year, Drogheda
- 29th Sept, “Quantum Leaps” Life Changing programme, Headfort Arms Hotel Kells 7.30pm
- 1stOct “Be the Change” Dalgan Park 9.30am Tel 087 6760157 / email@example.com, www.bethechange.org.uk
- 6th November - Tara Celebrations - Samhain ....details to be announced
- 11 Nov - 11:11 on Tara .....details to be announced
- 3-4 December – Holistic Pulsing Pulsing Weekend , An Tobar, €200 Learn how to gently rocked at rhythms close to the foetal heartbeat (120-160 beats per minute). The technique involves using both large and small movements as well as stretching and kneading. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owwD9j7pF0k
- On going - Monday meditations
- As of now - email list closed .Click here or send an e-mail to go onto the 2011-2012 list
Driving from the south pass through Bettystown and into Mornington with golf course and sea on right. At the first sharp left bend take the right hand road towards the beach. Pass under the height bar into the car parking area. If you get to the Texaco / Centra on the right you have gone too far.
Driving from the north, as you enter the housing area at Mornington you will see the Tower on your left. Continue past the Texaco / Centra and where the road takes a sharp right you continue straight on, under the height bar and into the parking area.
Car parking area [circled] - this has large and deep potholes so drive with caution. After the height bar, there is a large black domed construction surrounded by railings and with metal ladder, and one storey buildings, on the right side of the road. You can park amongst the sand dunes in this area. But hide any valuables out of sight. (map attached)
21 September 2010 - Endings & Rememberings
Many thanks to Anne, Bernadette and Sean for the photos.....
Walking past Dowth monument we arrived in the natural amphitheatre of St. Bernard's Well
Grasshopper was kind enough to share his corner of the field with us.
End of the year
In the modern world we usually assume that the day begins with dawn and ends with dusk. However for the Celts we know that they believed that night preveded the dayand they started the timing of their days at night. Similarly they believe that the year was born out of the darkness of winter so Samhain was their New Year. That makes Autumn (Lughnasadh) Equinox the end of the celebratory year. A carry over from that tradition is still with us everytime we celebrate things like Christmas Eve, Halloween or Hallowed Eve, Mid Summer Eve or St. John's Eve.
- We have come full circle through the wheel of the year and this time last year we were on the Hill of Tara and constructed a wheel of the year mandala, remembering the previous year's activities. Brigid met with the Cailleach on equal terms and John gave us a colourful leaf blessing
- Samhain was celebrated at Dowth with some prickly gorse bushes! We remembered the web of life of which we are all part, our ancestors, our inner dead selves represented by grotesque masks, and new beginnings, by burning the masks, releasing that which no longer serves
- Winter (Samhain) Solstice was so intensely cold we had to postpone the intended celebration on Tara and do it two weeks later on a smaller scale. But we did celebrated and had a bon fire with magical blue flames thanks to some modern Druid alchemy
- Imbolc saw us return to Fourknocks, one of the most magical places on the planet, where we considered liminal space and participants were challend with riddles before entering into the cairn. We drummed, danced and listened intently. The Cailleach stripped off and transformed into the virgin Brigit, bringing with her the promise of fertility and growth.
- Imbolc Equinox celebration took place at Ardmulchan where we expereienced th polarity of malign and beneficent energies and chosse to rebalance ourselves in the positive. Under the trees we listened to the River Boyne, built a mandala of branches, did a dance of balance, listened to a story of Lent in the 1930s, meditated on balance and blew bubbles thanking our past and welcoming the future.
- Bealtaine was an amazing journey over the Hill of Tara through the four quarters led by candle bearers with the golden apple of the sun and the silver apple of the moon. We knocked on the fairy mounds to encourage the spring energies to awaken, gifted water to our mother earth and stood surrounded by the riotous gorse and had a powerful “clash of the ash” to let us know summer was on the way.
- Bealtaine Summer Solstice was a peach of a day. We entered the sacred space of St. John’s well through summer herbs and a gong. Celebrating summer we created a flower and herb mandala set into the petals of a St. John’s Cross, meditated in the peace of our surroundings, danced a circle dance based on the opening of a sun flower, and finished with ice cream!
- For Lughnasadh we celebrated pattern, pilgrimage and pleasure by drawing a giant triscle on the beach at Port and used it like a labyrinth. Keeping in the spirit of the three we picked out some of the wisdom of the Irish triads.
Some of the folded up banners that were untied for the end of the ritual, Brigit puts on her dark winter cloak and begins her transition to the Cailleach.
The scales (Sun now in Libra) reminds us of the balance of night and day, Anne had a bottle of Florida water in there and Conquers were threaded for a match in which the ultimate prize was the golden conquer.
There's also a flowery head band, some crystals, nuts, seasonal fruits and water collected from St. Kierans well near Carnaross.
The broad theme of this celebration is endings and re-memberings. When we choose one course of action over another we end the possibilities of the other.
When we harvest the food from our gardens we end the growth and ripening and end the time we spent caring for the crops wellbeing. We also take time to re-member or to re-collect scattered memories from our past so that we may “live and journey here”. This is why in this celebration we will be calling in the direction or energy of “Time” .
After calling in or re-membering the directions we will construct a radial pattern with coloured cloth to represent each of the eight celebrations, gathering in the energy of that celebration. A meditation and poem should assist in this. Berni will prepare a dark winter cloak for the Bridóg who will end being the fertile woman persona and will start to embody more of the Cailleach persona. Then we will do a simple anti-clockwise circle dance and push the energy deep under ground in complete reversal to what we did for the summer solstice. This time of the year also presents us with obstacles so we will represent that by playing a conquer tournament and then invite people to harvest their own minds to share memories of the past. If you cannot be there in person we can of course read out, on your behalf, anything you wish to send via e-mail saying why it is important to you.
Let the games begin....... and the prize is...... a golden conker
This year the symbol that arose spontaneously and essentially instantly
was based on the idea of the number 8 ,with the upper worlds being mirrored
on earth, and on the 8 spokes of the (pre) Celtic year. Combining these
concepts (on the 8th Sept) brought out this symbol based on simple shapes
The sun, the closing of the sun flower, the rotary blades of a combine harvester, the balance at this time of year between the day and night, sun rising and setting directly opposite each other on the horizon line, Brigit with plats in her hair opposite the Cailleach also in plats, yin and yang, 8 celebrations of the year, cycle of the moon, At least 12 sickles, The eyes open , The eyes closed, amongst other things.
Doing the circle dance of the year to Pachelbel's Canon in D
touching the earth with love and the ritual center
Unfurling the spokes of the 8 fold year to become flags
Many thanks to Davide and Stefania for sharing this verse at the celebration:
Oh Grano Maturo Oh, Ripe Grain
Nella terra di primavera sei stato protetto, oh grano, In the land of Spring you have been protected, oh grain,
nel sole d'estate sei diventato maturo, of grano, in the summer sun you became mature, oh grain,
tra cielo e terra sospeso per una vita, grano maturo, between heaven and earth for a life, ripe grain,
oggi noi ti raccognliamo per l'ultima volta. today we will gather you for the last time.
Brighit, madre della primavera tuo figlio trovera il suo cammino, Brighit, mother of spring your son will find his way,
Lugh, padre dell'estate il tuo seme trovera il suo cammino, Lugh, father of the summer, your seed will find its way,
tra cielo e terra sospeso per una vita, grano maturo, between heaven and earth for a life, ripe grain,
oggi noi ti raccogliamo per l'ultima volta. today we will gather you for the last time.
Accompagnaci nell'inverno, tramutati in cibo, Guide us in the winter, turned into food,
letto e tetto per le nostre case, bed and roof for our houses,
portaci le gioie che porta un bambino in casa, bring the joys of carrying a baby in the house,
cresci con noi diventa uomo, oh grano. grow with us, becomes a man, oh grain.
The entrance gates onto Dowth. In our ceremony we remembered to 'knock at the door', as you would when visiting friends or neighbours,
before entering the space where we were to hold the gathering. In spiritual terms you might say that we were connecting to the guardians and spirits of the place asking for permis
sion to enter.
A short ode to endings…
The summer ends; the fall begins
Not all my chores are done.
I’ve tried and tried
My best besides to start the season done.
But alas, alack, summer’s now past
The autumn begins a new.
The leaves will fall
The rake will come out
And jumping the piles will begin
by Edaine one of our distance celebrators
20 September 2009 - Thanks to Mother
Thank you for being with us on the Journey throughout the year. I hope it has been a year full of growth and learning as it has been for us at Tara Celebrations. Within the past 13 moons we have visited Mullameen forest and built diva temples, Fourknocks to intone the primordial sound, Tara saw us decorate the church with help from the girl guides, and the beach to inscribe a magical labyrinth. We also did ceremony for the gathering of the ancestors, fulfilled ancient prophecy by melting the ice in the heart of man, we even burnt a bundle of money!
We have also seen the departure of beloved Mary, Des and Yamann from the design group. (Best of luck guys). Without their input we would not have gotten into the amount of devilment that we have done over the last 5 years!
As I write this last TaraCelebrations bulletin for the end of the (pre-Celtic) year the autumnal sun is beating down (at long last). We are planning a ceremony on Tara based around "Thanks to the mother", a ceremony designed to honour the bounty that we have been provided with by our mother earth. Its autumn equinox, a time when the days and nights move into balance and marks the end of the harvest season. From now on we will be depending on the reserves we have been nurturing and dropping that which no longer serves. This is enacted in nature by the apple who must say farewell to the security of the tree, the apple then falls and decays in order to release the vital seed. If we similarly do not die to that which no longer serves we too may become stagnated. Deleting E-Mail list - On an energy level to release the past year I will be deleting the contact list to make room for a healthy new beginning. We did this last year and it seems to have been a great success. So if you wish to be kept informed of our activity on the hill and surrounds you must send me an e-mail to be put onto the new list.
Below the leafy center of our autumn mandalla, each stick representing a spoke in the 8 fold year.
We placed each stick remembering the previous productive year.
We will meet at the main car park gate on Sunday 20th September at 3.00pm. Then we will walk to the woodland (western side of the hill).
Collect coloured leaves, create the sacred space, Walk in balance with Brigid and her opposite the Caileach. Drumming for the mother,
leaf blessing. Open Heart contributions (songs, poems, dance, stories). Farewell to the year.
The Churn (The seasonal food celebration after the toil of harvest)
Below: From John's Leaf Blessing
I suppose we were inspired to create this symbol of the equinox during our planning meeting.
It can be read at many different levels and represents:
The Sickle of Autumnal harvest cutting the corn
Waxing, waning new and full moons ( We are holding the ceremony on a new moon)
Healing hands and the creative/healing space inside
Look deeply and you will also see 2 hands holding a heart
It's also 2 hands beating a drum
2 hands holding the sun, moon, earth, the atom, a flower blossom
2 intersecting Vesica Pices door way to the sacred
The open eye
Below: We had a "Churn" after the ceremony eating what nature and Tom and Anne provided us. This Lady Bird was joining in too.
Below the magnificant setting of our Autumn Equinox ceremony 2009
Some feedback from Anne:
Held on 20 09 2009 !!! 2+9+2+2 = 22 Master number
[master builder number: operates for the good of others, brings spirit into matter, creates for higher good, sensitive to subtle vibrations, highly intuitive, turns dreams into reality, successful outcomes, ]
Here we go again At a time of balance it made us think about it 'cause we had to balance ourselves on the slope!
8th Ceremony 8 sideways is like a scale and balance. - equinox
Loved the setting - 8 trees from the Ogham list stood around us. Elder, Pine, Oak, Hawthorn, Gorse, Blackberry, Wildrose, Ash. ---- * and the horsechestnut makes the Celtic sacred number 9
The Mandala looked great. 8 sections - and the sickles for balance - looked almost like a see-saw. (or sickle and ploughshare)
The Swallows swooping over head like sickles. (isn't it late for them?)
A butterfly kept flying in and out of the circle over the afternoon- tranformation and change
We all turned over a new(old) leaf!! :-)
The smudge reminded me of the autumn fires. the smoke rising in the air.
I love the way the chestnut tree has the conkers, the new buds and the old leaves
Equal day and equal night,
the wheel turns 'round.
The dark half of the year calls,
The harvest's safe and sound.
Long nights by the fire,
Inside warm cosy walls.
Outside in the cold dark air
The dark Cailleach calls.
Below: one of the magical pine trees clearing the ley lines near our ceremony
Celebrating the finale of the celtic year before its rebirth at Samhain
Sacred native corn rich in colour grown from seeds used in out Tara Ceremonies. 100% organic and as native to Ireland as the humble spud!
Equinox is the end of the Celtic year when day and night are experienced in equal measure, a time to take a deep breath before diving into the darkness of winter. It is a time for considering the polarities in life such as; light and dark, poverty and abundance, living and dying, lofty ideals and grounding reality. Even the trees, who all summer moved sap up into the leaves, change, and start to pump it down into their roots. This date is a cardinal marker for the year and was considered sacred as far back as 5000 years ago when our Neolithic ancestors constructed solar aligned monuments (Cairn T Loughcrew) to mark the precise moment in time when the earth was in balance. The Greeks also had an understanding of the yearly cycles. They left us the legacy of Libra (the scales/balance), the constellation the sun moves into at this time of the year.
It is also a time of year when we are conscious of the travails of harvest and the work that people do to bring foods, goods and services to fruition. They are developing the resources we need to survive during the lean of winter.
September 2009 and a few days sun in which the late flowers and fruits glow and the insects share nectar
- then a misty Michaelmas day & spiders webs appear
Below: Gráinneog or Hedgehog in Nobber
and yet we know....
the weather is noticeably getting colder and although not severe it is a firm reminder to prepare, that winter is on its way.
2008 - Harvest Thanksgiving
Our ritualised meditation/ceremony on the Hill in 2008 honoured these principals through, meditation, reflection, and symbolic gestures.
The underlying energy is one of balance; retreating within and building resources,planning ahead and thanks for what has been, actively harvesting in the outer world whilst slowing down to dream a new world on the inner. We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day which will bring bright memories in the dark of winter
and sunset at the well brought a surprise when the photo was scanned
We gifted two gorse bushes to the hedge around the well
Spring Equinox 2010 - the southerly plant has died but the northerly one thrives & 18 Jan 2011 & 24 April 2011
Spring Equinox 2013 - the plant has reached the top of the fencing
2007 - Dream Bag into winter
We met at the gate entrance onto the Hill, and centred, grounded and protected symbolically and intentionally before acknowledging the season and its attributes. We then walked across the hill and created a centre, shared smudge and light, and called in the cardinal direction;s energies. We created dream bags actively harvesting from the outer world in order that we could dream on the inner world. The energetic vibration of the day was 5, the throat chakra. We spoke our truth, demonstrating the power of intention and sending healing intentions to self, others and the planet. We faced the cold reality of winter.
Page last updated: 5th Oct 2013