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4 February 2017 - St Brigid's Well, Faughart (Old Graveyard) - Brigid's Mantle
Our theme is St. Brigid's Mantle and a topic that has emerged is the celebration and symbolism of 3 Brigids (Fire of the Hearth, Forge and Inspiration)
Brigid, the 'Fire of the Hearth', was the goddess of fertility, family, childbirth and healing. Connections to white.
Brigid, the '"Fire of the Forge', was like the Greek goddess Athena, a patroness of the crafts (especially weaving, embroidery, and metalsmithing), and a goddess who was concerned with justice and law and order. Connections to red – attribute : smith's hammer
Brigid, the 'Fire of Inspiration', was the muse of poetry, song history and the protector of all cultural learning. Connections to green-blue – attribute : staff
Before the event you may like to tune in, each in our own way, to the Spirit of the Place and 'knock on the door', checking in with guides and guardians there. There is no need to share anything private of course but this is something we would do as a planning group if we were all sitting in the same room together.
As always everyone is invited to take up different roles spontaneously. Just to put some focus in place, the basics are: Smudge and light - Directions and elements - activities - open heart contributions - closure - food and drink. If you feel particularly called to do one of these please speak up at the start.
9 souls joined our ancestors in the graveyard on Faughart Hill, County Louth, Ireland, for the celebration of Imbolc. For centuries pilgrims have been visiting the Holy Well in the graveyard believed to be St Brigid's birthplace.
A wonderful celebration was held where we called in the directions as usual, symbolically stepped through Brigid's doorway with the intention of birthing our dreams for the coming year, heard about a wonderful Tibetan prophecy and learned how we can - perhaps MUST - fulfil the role of Shambhala Warriors and save this wonderful planet on which we all currently live.
Jean taught us a wonderful fire and water dance which resulted in a very powerful experience as we danced on the Hill of Brigid's birthplace surrounded by the graves of our ancestors, with the ocean in the distance to the East and the setting sun to the West.
We all agreed in discussion that there was a feeling of shifting energies both locally and worldwide and that we must answer the call to become Shambhala Warriors.
Tibetan Legend of the Shambhala Warriors and their Prophesy as passed on by Joanna Macy. This recalls the Great Turning as read out at the 11.11.11 event we held on Hill of Tara. Go to http://taracelebrations.org/other-activities/111111-full-report/ for that information.
The Shambhala warriors know that the dangers that threaten life on Earth do not come from evil deities or extraterrestrial powers. They arise from our own choices and relationships. So, now, the Shambhala warriors must go into training.
During the open heart various people read poems and articles which were enjoyed and appreciated by all.
When Things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh.
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far:
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.
31st January 2017 and in an Irish household Brigid's crosses are made by the family, including one that has just that little bit extra - a standing up version.
and from Marta and friends in Switzerland
Marta has drawn a rune for Imbolc 2017. It is Jera:
harvest / results of earlier efforts are realized (represents the 12 months of the year),
fruitful season / achievement of a goal (peace, happiness).
Jera can break through stagnancy (break through to the new spring?), life cycle, cyclical pattern of the universe, natural development.
Jera follows in the order of the runes Isa and Isa is "ice", so Jera's spring follows Isa's winter-- the frozen stagnancy is broken by the turn of the wheel and things are moving again.
Marta comments, I also relate Jera to Frey and Freyja who we worked with last year on Ostara / Spring Equinox at Fourknocks. Continuing that 'sandwich' of Fourknocks, Susan was drawn there again at Winter Solstice.
Brigit patron of Fire in the Hearth (candles), the brave and bold leader of Spring (Snowdrops), Fertility (polished egg), mysticism(Crystals), Christian and preChristian ( cross in next picture) and Healing (Bhrat Bríde).
Brigit is wearing her Bhrat on a cold and windy St. Brigits night on the coast of Galway. Some of you might think she looks a lot like Mary Magdalen......... mmmm..... Have you ever seen both in the same room at the same time?
Well of the Saints by John Millington Synge
This is a three-act play written by Irish playwright J.M.Synge and first performed on 4th February 1905 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.
Set amongst a lonely mountainous district in the east of Ireland the play focusses on two blind beggars.
They are miraculously cured but so dislike what they see of the world that they prefer to return to blindness.
Quote: There's the sound of one of them twittering yellow birds do be coming in the spring-time from beyond the sea, and there'll be a fine warmth now in the sun, and a sweetness in the air, the way it'll be a grand thing to be sitting here quiet and easy smelling the things growing up, and budding from the earth.
Thanks to Ros for drawing attention to these.
Sunday 31 January 2016 - Hill of Tara - Rise & Shine
Above: Mound of the hostages, Hill of Tara
We will meet at the entrance to the hill of Tara at 7.55am and walk up to the Mound of the Hostages, open the circle, sprinkle all there with water from Brigid's well at Faughart, acknowledge the day, the returning light, the new growth, acknowledge Brigid in her form as Mother - she gave birth to the sun at the solstice, and in her form as maid, with new growth evident, and crone, the wise woman.
This is also the feast of the poets, so if anyone has any poem to share, now is the time. Hopefully it will be clear enough to see the sun as it goes in through the passage way, this cairn is aligned to sunrise around the day of Imbolg.
Above: The Mound of the Hostages passage tomb oriented towards Imbolg sun rise and the flower du jour, pluiriní sneachta, snow drops
We will then have a toast and offer the contents to ourselves and the land, then use some more of the water to do similar, and if everyone brings a small bottle, they can bring some of the water home.
There will also be some seeds for yellow flowers which people can plant and use that water to nourish the first seedlings when they come up.
We will then go over to the two fairy trees that (at least up to yesterday - 17 Jan) were bare of any offerings, petitions, on their branches, and we will tie our yellow ribbons with our intentions to the branches and if all agree, sprinkle the water on the land surrounding them.
Please come suitably dressed for an early morning walk on the grassland of the hill. Also bring any poems that inspire you that you would like to share.
A table is booked in Maguires teashop at 9.30am for those wanting a hot drink and/or breakfast after the event.
Over 20 of us were treated to a fresh spring day with biting wind, cold and mist. No sign of any sun. Susan said that on a morning like this the Cailleach would not be gathering any fire wood and prophesied that on this account the Cailleach was expecting a fine summer........we shall see.
After calling in the directions and acknowledging our distant celebrators we called in Eileen in spirit to join us. Bernie read out a poem “Do not stand at my grave and weep...” and then Susan opened a bottle of Baileys to toast Eileen, her friendship and creative input into Tara Celebrations over the last number of years.
In keeping with the season we had wheat and dairy (in the form of bread cheese sticks and Baileys, Eileens favourite tipple , as it turned out.
Sunday is traditionally the first day of the week, ruled by the sun, (yellow), and the magical aspects of this day include protection, healing, spirituality and strength. And of course Brigid is the patron saint of healers, she is the goddess of poetry - Bernadette read out a poem - and also the goddess of smith craft, if you can make it with your hands, Brigid rules it. EIleen again!
We took some bulbs for planting and a brightly coloured Brigits cross made from pipe cleaners.
We reassembled at the fairy trees to tie a ribbon for a fruitful 2016 wandering in and out through the trees which formed a sacred portal.
Next we walked to the well which was in flood and had some reflective time helped by Jean's thought provoking cards designed by Fr Jim Cogley.
And finally we retired to a warm and tasty breakfast in Maguires where we delighted to welcome celebrator/visitors from the Netherlands, Austria, Spain, Galway, Navan and even Dublin.
Pluiriní Sneachta or snow drops at the well.
Time of the year for Rainbows and healing crystals too
1st February 2016 -Meditation & Healing Circle
The Imbolc weekend was rounded off with the regular first Monday of the month Open Heart Meditation & Healing Circle at Bective Mill. This focussed on Brigid in her role as smith, worker with fire. A meditation on meeting Brigid at a forge in the forest and telling her what we'd like to create this year with her help and requesting that she aid in keeping the inspiration alight in the coming weeks. A magical, mystical, calming night was had by all.
The information is drawn from years of Tara Celebrations reports and information. Each TC ceremony is run in awareness of the dominating energies of the current cycle, leading to an accumulated wealth of experience. We observe the festivals and attune our lives to seasonal changes. We cannot avoid the fundamental reality that we are effected by the place at which we live on earth.
With each issue we journey through the wheel of the year,
Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn,
Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh,
informed within the two Solstices and Equinoxes.
We shall, by discovering time qualities, enjoy what adds flavour and spice to our lives, expressed as physical phenomena, mental attitudes, emotions we undergo and spiritual intentions. For example, we find that Samhain is a good time for introspection and planting the seeds of new projects, allowing them to germinate over the winter months. Beltaine, on the other hand, is a time to embark on projects requiring courage and energy.
Imbolc 2017 - Brigid's Mantle - Brigid's Well, Faughart Old Graveyard 2016 - Rise and Shine - Hill of Tara 2015 - Planting the Seeds of our Dreams...
Page last updated: 6th Jul 2017