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All welcome to - Winter Solstice 2018

Goodbye Darkness, Hello Light

This year's Winter Solstice Celebration will take place at

Dowth, Co. Meath, on Friday 21st December at 6 pm (18.00 hrs).

Appropriately, Dowth gets its name from the Irish for darkness “Dubad” and the site is aligned to the setting sun at this time of year.

The theme of this year's event is “Goodbye Darkness, Hello Light”.

The centre piece of our celebration will be a Spiral made from stones and lit by candles.

We will call in the directions/open the space from the mound above the Spiral before making our way down to it when there will be a brief meditation about going within/Darkness/Light.

At the centre of the Spiral will be a fire. This will be off the ground and in no way interfere with the archaeological integrity of the site. We would do nothing to damage the site for current or future generations and will take only photographs and leave only footprints.

Participants will walk silently into the Spiral where they will burn that which they wish to let go of (which will be written on the piece of paper they throw into the fire).

This symbolises ourselves going inward at this time of year and to highlight this, a mantra by Arunga Heiden will be used:

Im gehen der Spirale bringe ich mich nach innen und spuhr mit allen sinnes das centrum meines seins.

“In the spiral, I bring myself inwards and with all my senses I feel the centre of my being.”

Afterwards, there will be what we call “Open Heart” – where anyone is welcome to bring something to the ceremony that inspires/motivates/moves them, such as a poem, article, song, piece of music or other art.

We will finish up as usual with some food and drink to celebrate and ground ourselves – warm mulled wine/fruit juice WILL be available!!

We would ask folk to bring a small candle and jar if possible because although we will provide some candles – the more the merrier.

As usual everyone is welcome to our non-denominational celebration – men, women and children. All we ask is that you show up and enjoy yourselves as we join with our fellow beings to welcome the Light and the Sun back into our lives.

Dowth is a couple of miles off the Slane – Drogheda road which can be reached via the M1 or N2.

The site is situated in a field away from the road so please wear suitable clothes and footwear. Sunset is 4.08pm and, as it will be dark, please bring a torch.

Looking forward to seeing you all for what promises to be a beautiful and profound event.

Dowth, Co. Meath, Ireland

Dowth mound stands in a large field, sharing the space with grazing sheep. On the northern bank of the river Boyne, it is signposted from the Slane to Drogheda road. Drive directly to the site and park on the roadside. There are no facilities, such as toilets and gift shop, at the site, but there is a comprehensive information board. Entrance is through a metal squeeze gateway.

The large mound is about the same size as Newgrange and Knowth, raised between approximately 3200 and 2000 BC, making it the third presently visible on this ridge. In July 2018, another passage tomb in the grounds of nearby Dowth Hall was excavated, revealing significant examples of Neolithic rock art similar to those at Dowth and the other Brú na Bóinne sites.

There are two chambers, referred to as Dowth North and Dowth South, and a souterrain (constructed around the 10th or 11th century).

There is usually no public access to the chambers of the mound.

Dowth (Dubthach or dark house) is the place of death, the setting winter solstice sun shining into the chamber of Dowth South every year. It is a masterpiece that complements the dawn sunrise in Newgrange eight hours previously.