For this year's Summer Solstice, we are meeting at the gate onto the Hill of Tara on Wednesday 21st June at 7.30pm... and then we 'll pretty much go with the flow and see what happens!
Our theme is: "Let the sun shine in" - An "Open Heart" celebration - a spontaneous sharing. You may feel prompted to bring song, verse, dance, short story, symbolic item, flowers or food. Or, often it is just to stand or sit in silence which may be as profound and meaningful as any organised formal ceremony. As always this is a free event and all are welcome.
Other events on Hill of Tara 21 June - Yamann will lead a small ceremony at the well at 11.30am on Wednesday 21st. - Coscan and musical guests will be in action on Wednesday 21st June at 7.00pm in the church (Visitor Centre). - With good weather there will be many many people on The Hill today including a Drum and Gong ceremony 8pm
|Thanks to Pat for these photos of the Botanic Gardens, Wicklow|
On the day:
No pictures were taken at our get together. It was very busy on the Hill of Tara... crowds out enjoying the sunshine. Some met at the gate and headed westward, looking for a quieter, calmer place. To cut a long story short, they followed a rabbit, and that took them to a lovely little clearing! They connected with the Summer Sun energy and brought it into their hearts to hold and sustain them through the year. A Heart-warming exercise. Finally they all sang Let The Sun Shine In!
|Thanks to John A and Pam for these pictures of the evening crowd on Tara|
|Thanks to Marta, Dana and Daniela for images of their solstice at Mnajdra temple, Malta|
Impressions on the day from Nora ; Summer solstice 2017 burst forth with a vibrant gusto not heard in recent years. Sound waves reverberated over the land - music, voices – shouts echoing through the valleys, over the beaches, through the woodlands. People were out, in nature, celebrating the high season with zest and zeal. Fom a red sunrise exhilarated by the low drone of ancient instruments at Grange Stone Circle, Loch Gur, to the sunset skirl of bagpipes at Uisneach and gongs and drums on the Hill of Tara the day passed in an energetic cacophony of sound. Across the lands humans were prompted to make noise. In the Peak District, England, the recent days of overwhelming hot and humid weather gave way to a storm, rain pelting down, rattling the flags, battering the plants, drumming up its own symphonic concert.
What was it all about? Why were we drawn to make so much noise, to see the dominant colour red, to wear red, sometimes balanced by blue, or combined into purple. It seems to be the season that's in it. Even the sunset conspired in the sensational red theme of the day.
And when the sounds died away into the night? A stillness came upon the land. We could now contemplate the coming winter, listen to the natural world and what messages it had.
This red hollyhock brought forth a beautiful summer flower (thanks to Tom for the photo). The name and colour reminds me of the perennial legend of the Holly and Oak Kings. At summer solstice the Holly king takes the reins, usurping the Oak, and rules up to mid-winter. He is often depicted wearing red (up-dated as Santa Claus). These two ancient archetypes recall the duality, interdependent, balanced aspects of winter and summer. The take-over of one to another is often referred to as a battle, and what are battles if not noisy affairs, stormy and highly energised, intense and a little disorientated, followed by a calm. At Summer Solstice this year it seems to me, we did not seek to do what our ancestors did, we went deeper, seeking what they sought, enacting a 21st century version of a centuries old wisdom.
(PS some would have it that the King's change-over happens at the Equinoxes... well, that enigma is part of the riddle and mystery of life... whatever suits your current theory is just fine!)
|and more red flowers - thanks to Pat||Went into the garden to create a centre and found nature had already done it|
Mid-summer day - St John's Day - 24th June - Marta, Dana and Daniela visited the Tarxien Temple in Malta
themes of Summer Solstice continue....
And from Malta to Navan.
Beside the labyrinth some wild bees decided to build a nest by harvesting huge quantities of earth and moss. The nest pulsates like a heart and the runway from such nests has a tendancy to point north so the bees can sense the weather (so I'm told)
The little hill below is made by the bees
And the Bees are partial to the marsh orchids flowering for the 21st
Solstice lasts for about 5 days...
and over that period Sunrise in Dublin area 04.57 sunset 21.57 (9.57pm).
Actual Solstice moment is 20 June at 23.34
Full Moon is 20 June 12.02 (Dublin time)
(On the June solstice, the sun reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards it, at about 23.4 degrees.)
Create with love your journey through life and gratitude to mother earth...
Sunday 19 June 3 to 5pm Bective Mill B & B (outside beside the river Boyne)
Sunday 19 June sunset on Hill of Tara
Monday 20 June 8 to 10pm Bective Mill B & B special Meditation & Healing Circle (inside).
Message from our Master of Ceremonies - Bernadette.
It's that time of year again, Summer Solstice, and this year it will be done in 3s...
19 June – start 3pm - The first event will take place in Bective Mill just beside the abbey... and the theme is:
Create with love your journey through life and gratitude to mother earth...
and again a minute silence for peace in our world. For all those who wish to tune in like last year please do.. we had connections in UK, Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Egypt and many more...
This year we will be creating a Mandala on the ground, beside the river Boyne, on a leyline to the Hill of Tara.
Now the Mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds. The Mandala appears to us in all aspects of life, the Earth, the Sun, The Moon, and obviously the circles of life encompassing friends, family, and communites. Mandalas are used for meditation purposes allowing the individual meditating to become more one with the Universe.
So on that day we will be creating our own Mandala with an intention of your own inner thought but we will be creating it together as a group on the leyline connection to Tara. There will be a base for the Mandala in which I was guided to put down for people to work around with their intention and I will speak about this on the day.
So I ask you to let the flow of the energy of the place and Mandala come from deep within oneself as we do this in a meditation state.
What I need to ask you to bring with you on the day is something flat that you can sit / lie on, such as a coloured cloth. Also, for your part of the group Mandala, a flower, sea shells, ribbon, something will call to you, and a colour. Set with your own intention on the day.
It has been said that when creating a Mandala there has been a feeling of lightness, intuitive thoughts may arise. Relax and let the thought come into you - the aim is to let it float with you just like the river along side.
I will explain the meaning of the colours of your choice you bring with you on the day.
So enough said, come along and see and experience for yourself
Also if it rains we have permission to go into the Mill and do the Mandala there.
Bring food to share and soft drinlks on the day as we will have a picnic in the area where there is lovely seating.
We will also be having a Open Heart where you are welcome to sing, say a poem, read a quote or just be. All these events, in my experience, go with the flow on the day.
Later on, if you wish to, go to the Hill of Tara to sit in silence to watch the sunset ,,, sing, dance, drum, or just be ,,,
So the Mandala and viewing the sunset from the Hill of Tara are the two things on the Sunday.
The 3rd is in the same place following on the Monday evening at 8pm. Our weekly meditation and healing circle held by another Bernadette in our Meditation space at the Mill. End time 10pm.
So looking forward to seeing you all on the day and following evening for those who can make it, and all those who again join in from the UK and all over The World to tune in for One Minute Silence for peace, wherever you are over the time of the solstice.
Greetings to those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating Winter Solstice, and wherever you are have a fun, wonderful Solstice time.
Bernadette's experience of the day:
On the day people said that they found doing the mandala very peaceful and full of love. Creating something so beautiful and having to let it go was an experience. A different type of letting go. That was also my experience and felt faith and trust in doing so. Also the peace in the mind when working on it and most of all the open heart tied in with it... all about trust and letting go and being thankful.
On the Monday evening at the meddy the bond was still there. Myself and Bernadette shared - she did meditation and I did the healing circle, and the funny thing was we nearly dressed the same, red shoes and cardie.
and from someone who attended the gathering:
'we contacted Bernadette some months ago as we would be holidaying in Ireland at Solstice and wished to join in with a group to celebrate Solstice. We certainly were not disappointed. Bernadette made us very welcome. Great thought had gone into the celebration...
Bernadette had set up a mandala... which allowed us to meditate on our thoughts. It brought everyone together and focused on the beauty of Mother Earth, and the stillness of the earth as we approached the changeover. As part of the mandala we also held a healing circle and we gained and gave healing to each other and Mother Earth. A wonderful experience carried out with honour and respect by everyone involved. Altogether a great experience and we hope to meet again at another time.'
Dana, Marta and Daniela at the Mnajdra temple on Malta
The light T on the stone behind us is what shows up at the Summer Solstice there. The temple would have had a roof and would have been dark, then the light would have entered - just like at Newgrange (ok, kind of), but it formed a T, or an upside down L, gradually, and then slowly would drift back down onto the ground and out again.
Thanks to Mary and John A for the photos.
All were welcome to join in Celebrating the Turning of the Year. As usual, a free and open gathering.
The event was planned around sunflowers and the learning in nature from these.
Invitation: A few people shall be saying pieces and if anyone wants to add to this that would be good - just bring it along on the day. We shall be opening and closing sacred space. If anyone wants to bring food and / or appropriate drinks to share that would be very welcome. We look forward to a lovely social get together in the warmth of the summer sunshine.
Drumming the sun to bed on the longest day - after a happy sunny afternoon a cold end to the day - perhaps appropriate as we move into the autumn and winter seasons.
Thanks to Martin for this one.
Holloways - land and water
Thanks to Ros for this series of pictures
Canal through Ballsbridge, Dublin
holloway Hexham & Coventina's Corbridge
|Tyne at Corbridge|
A Ballsbridge (Dublin) rose at night
Summer mandala and flowers in England
4 ferns (symbol of New Zealand who are at Winter Solstice), yellow flowers of St. John's wort (Mary's sunflower), twirling petunias at the four corners, 6 blue pansies and pink geraniums for yin/yang balance, central rambling rose, nasturtium for their colourful spice, lavender and rosemary, laid on bark from the woodland. In some parts of the world there are legends that fern seeds (spores) will provide invisibility on solstice eve, or that they will aid in seeing the invisible sidhe.
Thanks to Bernadette and Pat for the photographs
Greetings and Blessings to all those in the Southern Hemisphere, keeping the planet in balance, and celebrating the Winter Solstice.
June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:51 am in Dublin
We shall be celebrating the sunset with drumming, with the beat of the heart. As the sun sets, dropping down below the western horizon, we shall also celebrate the new season to come. This beat of the drum from the beat of the heart gives thanks to mother earth - a gentle drumming saying good night and thanks for the day and for the bountifullness and wonderful times we share together with the sun and earth.
Meet at the gate at 6.30pm. We will then walk to the place in quiet space. It is said to be one of the chakra areas on the Hill. Looking westwards, you can see all the land, the Plain of Meath, Loughcrew, Kells and other distant hills. The get together is a big openheart event with song, storytelling and healing chant. Bring a picnic with something to share - also bring blankets to sit on, or fold up chair, and umbrellas in case it rains. There is cover close by if we get rain.
All are welcome. And if you want to come and just sit on the Hill that is fine. Some of us are extroverts and like to express our energies, and those of the get together, outwardly. Sometimes they are the quiet ones as well. The one thing that has been made very clear at Tara Celebrations over the years is that if you feel to sing, dance, etc. it is from the heart and has nothing to do with performance or pleasing others. And if you want to sit quietly and watch, please feel comfortable with that.
Other events: 12 noon - midday - Yamann - Ceremony of the Fire element at the Well. 19.00 (7pm) a wonderful evening of entertainment at the Visitor Centre with Andrew Ore ( musician, songwriter, pianist, guitarist and singer), harpist Jennifer Leahy and ending the evening we have the perennial Coscan.
A big thank you to the lady who baked this yummy sun bread for the soltice. It was beautiful... can we have some more ,,,,, bless you
|sun sets in the north west...|
|Bubbles were part of the fun....|
Music and storytelling....
about the mother and the fairies,
about the father who was the Tara postman,
Thanks to Maria for these words: The piece I put together for the wonderful open-heart ceremony - Thankfulness on Solstice
Tonight we rejoice at the wane of the overarching power of the irreverberate darkness, the echoless night, the undergrounded, closed door secrecy of Winter, hibernation, sleepiness and lack of growth. We welcome the warm, cleansing sun, the light that leaves nothing undisclosed, the energy that sustains life, bringing an abundance of fruit now and the promise of more to come as we journey to our next big festival; Lúnasa. Let us enjoy the longer hours of day over the next few months, the great outdoors where we can gather in a spirit of fun & community.
An Samhraidh abú, go mbéarfaimid bua!
As the sun set in the north west, we were looking towards Grianan of Aileach in Donegal.
source of photographs - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-27948192
Often when sharing get togethers on Tara we unexpectedly travel in the surrounding landscape. This happened to a participant who was diverted by way of Slane and the Fourknocks area, before eventually arriving at the Hill.
After smudging one of us felt called to travel to Newgrange and connect with the energies of Tara from that monument, also to 'as above, so below'... this is what had been happening in a field near the monument.
This is the completed 'High Man' art work, shown in a great photo by Noel Meehan of CopterView Ireland taken yesterday evening (Summer Solstice). Richard Moore, Derek McCluskey, and me and my five kids are all standing in the "sun" to give you a sense of scale of the picture. Feel free to like and share!
Midsummer's Day 24th June 2014 - St. Johns Well, Warrenstown, Tara
The well, dedicated to St John, is celebrated at Midsummer. The sounds of birdsong and flowing water inspire a sense of contentment and peace.
Two of us spent an hour or so sat, listening to the birds, and remembering a lady who always supported Tara Celebrations whether in person or at a distance in her American homeland, and who loved this place.
Betty Jo 'BJ' Harper
1 March 1939 - 1 May 2014.
BJ aka Starlady, had a great interest in Egypt and this coin reminded us of the connections.
Many of the statues usually placed at the well had been removed but this lovely couple, with their flowers, were leaning against the strong trunk of the Monterey Cypress tree.
Tara Celebrations for Summer Solstice get together 2013 will be wherever you are.
During the planning for this get together a particular landscape came into everyone's mind - but although many of the different elements of this vision are in Fourknocks, Dowth, Teltown, Hill of Ward, Danestown Fort, Tara, and many others, we realised it was none of these - the place remained elusive. The texts, emails and sharing between the four planners, trying to make sense of it all, eventually led us to sitting in Tara car park, watching a gleaming white moon high above us, the changing light of sunset and swallows, crows and fieldfares last feed of the day. And the phrase that arose was -The place you can't get to, and the inspiring information - 'go to a higher place'.
And so, Tara Celebrations for Summer Solstice get together 2013 will be wherever you are. We will not get together in one place as a group, but at 12 noon (or whenever is convenient to you) on Friday 21 June, we will link together in common intention to pull down the light and acknowledge the full strength and power of the mid-day sun. And you might like to reflect on your own personal Place You Can't Get To.
If you are willing to share, anonymously, any particular place that comes to you, that we can post on the website, we would love to hear from you. This will help bond the unity within the diversity that is the essence of Tara Celebrations.
Later - It is disappointing that we are not having a get together in the earth's physical realms this Solstice but we do seem to have struck a note (or even chord) with how others are feeling at the moment.
Some emailed comments about this event:
- When reading the first paragraph 'none of these' I had an idea that the place would be a metaphysical one reflecting ALL the physical counterparts here on earth. The place we can't get to (physically) is the place where all that exists 'here' is present 'there' in its most splendid 'blueprint'. Traveling there is being at all places at once - the realm of light and light particles. It feels like the realm of light or blueprint energy that lies beyond (or actually: before) the physical representation. When we visit and light up the realm of light and blueprint energy), we strengthen its physical counterpart's original idea/function/purpose here on earth too! My word, think about the implications of this. The things we can do are mind-blowing. So each of us can think of his/her favorite place or landscape and re-activate the source idea of it.
- Those two phrases (place you can't get to and go to a higher place) have come at an auspicious time for me. So know that you have all assisted at least one person on this planet!
- We all have a where, don't we.
- how lovely!
- in tears at the purity of your intent... thank you ... for the energy your group creates. with you in spirit as always.
- What a beautiful picture, ..., the place you can't get to, that elusive place which we can touch momentarily, a smell, a breeze, a memory from another time...
- we'll be in Glastonbury, probably at Chalice Well Gardens!
12 noon on 21st - blessings to those that have generously shared their experiences :
- Tuning in, the earth seemed to be in a plasma / oily green blue coating. It felt good.
- What I got as I connected with the sun, as it peeped out from behind a cloud, was the feeling of reaching up and tipping a cauldron of molten gold down on myself. A strange feeling. It was as if I had to be burned to a crisp before rebirth. It was also like that cauldron could have been honey. You could see it either way depending on what was needed.
- Looking out, looking up, at the sky, grey clouds. I know the sun is there, it is behind the clouds, all fluffy grey sky, but glimpses of brightness shining through the cracks. The place we can't get to but it is there. Saw something like a big cloak or covering, but behind it is the light. I am de light!!!
- for me honey came to mind as well - we did a meditation / connecting to the Sun / filling your aura with Sunlight etc. and the Colour that came through full force for me was a rich honey colour. It was like an extensive bathing in the Sun's light and energies and a heating up within which was almost too strong - but only almost. I was quite surprised by the honey-colour when I got it in the meditation because it literally had the structure of honey, not just the colour itself.
- In Glastonbury I found myself sitting here on the Tor and the other half of me travelling along the old land bridge from here to Ireland and arriving at Ladys Island near Rosslare then up to Tara via the Hills. It felt like a path I had travelled in another body at another time in the physical. Then straight down into the Lake under Tara. Feel the connections between here and there are very strong at present.
Solstice in Ireland - After a week long spiritual retreat delving into the mysteries of the sacred feminine in the west of Ireland, my two soul-sisters, Jen from Texas, and Susan from Yorkshire, and I (Jody from New York), continued our pilgrimage in county Meath (for the three days of solstice) with some incredible experiences, visions and ceremonies at Brú na Bóinne, Loughcrew and Four Knocks. We manifested the triple goddess and were protected by the goddess in a little bubble of privacy, even at Newgrange. Very few tourists when we were there, and at times none, as when the guard gave us some private time behind the rope at the kerbstone for a ceremony, and then even he disappeared to give us our sacred space. Dowth was amazing, no one there at all (we walked from Newgrange to Dowth), and I fell asleep in front of the seven suns kerbstone and went deep into the ancient earth in a dream that told us what to do for solstice at Loughcrew. At Sliabh na Cailleach, or the Mountains of the Witch (Loughcrew), we were visited by the goddess in her three forms deep with the cairns. Again at Loughcrew, totally private time within Cairn T where we were initiated by the Goddess in the ceremony I had envisioned at Dowth. It was a very healing and transformation time for the three of us and we feel it also helped to heal the division between the feminine and masculine within our world. Afterwards, we sat in the hag’s chair (I prefer to think of it as the wise woman’s chair!) and made our wishes. On the day after solstice we had a further adventure at Four Knocks where we had a quiet, meditative time to integrate our amazing experiences. Our blessings and gratitude to Ireland, her people, the spirits of the land and especially the goddess in all her forms for making this such a profound solstice journey.
Dowth 'seven suns' stone
Water played a large role in this Summer Solstice. We found ourselves driving along the route of the RIver Boyne or tuning into events from other wells in the local landscape.
As usual there was a Water Ceremony at 11.45am Friday 21 June at the Holy Well, Hill of Tara.
Yamann Brady welcomed everyone to join him in celebrating the gift of water at the well.
The sun shone and there was a wonderful group gathered, old friends, other locals and many visitors from around the world.
The perfume from the lillies, placed there on Friday morning still lingered Monday night - 'the scent was gorgeous'.
Thanks to Susan for this photograph of the well.
Solstice Flowers in St Patrick's Church 2013 - Thanks to Mary Owens for the beautiful displays
Visitor Centre, Hill of Tara. Everyone enjoyed the flowers, bringing the seasonal energies of the natural world into the divine and secular space of St Patrick's Church. The church stands on the site of the oldest, yet invisible to our eyes, monument on the Hill, and the hub from which Tara's energies flow. Our delight at nature's beauty in seeing the flowers thus flows out into the landscape.
Trad and Contemporary folk was provided by Jennifer Leahy on the harp, the Crilly Sisters and Naimh White singing, Martin, a piper, and the inimitable Coscan
And on the 22 / 23 June is a Supermoon -
Full and close to the earth
A beautiful angel graced the Hill
Summer flowers in the garden
Below: This summer solstice flower heart mandala was discovered outside a supermarket on a street in San Angelo, Ischia, Italy......just a random act of beauty.
At our planning meditation for this summer solstice our attention was drawn to fire – the golden sun is at its greatest strength and longest time in the sky - and water – the rain keeps falling and the rivers flowing. This endless change is a constant in our lives. To this experience we humans contribute our intentions, hopes and plans, then release them, in trust, to the Universe. We are reminded, as the sun journeys across the sky, that place and time are the markers of this journey through life.
When settling where we would hold the gathering Tara was present, but we were all aware there was 'somewhere else'. What unfolded was the impression of a golden triangle, of three places, An Tobar, Tara and the Ramparts walk in Navan. And there was a three rhythm to the dates we were to visit these places, monday then 2 days, thursday then 2 days, sunday. At the first we shall journey the path of the labyrinth, contemplating our intentions now, then place them in a golden box. At the second we shall invigorate the box, connecting to the high energies of the summer solstice, drawing on the symbolism of infinity. And, at the third we shall cross the bridge to release our petitions, pausing on our return to gift thanks and gratitude to the waters of the river and the heat of the sun for their constancy and support in our lives. We shall each take a portion of the box home to spread the healing energies out into the landscape and into the future.
Many thanks to Bernadette, Anne, Susan and Nora for the following photos.
Monday 18 June 2012 – An Tobar – The Labyrinth of our Lives
We started with a Healing Circle for ourselves, friends and family and then wider issues. We drew attention to the world that surrounds us, and our place at the centre. Walking into the labyrinth, we contemplated our own wishes and plans, then wrote down and grounded these intentions, placing them into a golden triangular pyramid. We left them in trust to the universe by walking out of labyrinth.
Thursday 21 June 2012 – Hill of Tara - The Energies of Eternity
Together we placed the golden pyramid of intentions at the centre of an etheric eternity symbol.
we walked around the inner ditch of Teach Cormac, hidden to the world,
crossed over the centre of the eternity walk between Teach Cormac and Forradh,
then circled the outside of the Forradh, visible to all and seeing to the far horizons, east to Skryne,
and westwards over the Plain of Meath.
Amergin & The Lady at Tara
Throughout the week we were reminded that, although in the extreme of the longest hours of daylight, our path of balance is still maintained, in male and female, above and below, fire and water, that which is hidden and that which is revealed.
Sunday 24 June 2012 - Ramparts, Navan - Trust in the Universe
On the ridge path between the fast flowing river and sluggish canal we found a wonderful gnarled tree, its trunk alive with different animals - like a totem pole in the woods. Symbolically uniting above & below, each wrote their personal wish on a star and later watched as it floated down river.
Recognising the unknown and unseen within our personal intentions, we dipped into the depths of a bag, taking a pinch of oats and wheat which we then released to the earth. Anne reminded us of the quote from Rumi -"Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world." True of Navan - an Uaimh - often translated as 'the cave'. When we released the grains the smell of baking filled the air from the nearby Spicer's bakery - a happy coincidence!
Raindrops glinted like crystals on the golden pyramid. We burnt the written intentions and released the ashes to the river, combining the vital elements of fire and water. The pyramid was cut up and people took a piece home to energise their future intentions.
At the bridge we gave gratitude and thanks for the week by gifting golden flowers to the river. We walked back to our day-to-day lives, leaving mid-day at mid-summer. Ruxton Lock, Athlumney, completed 220 years ago in 1792
Greeting to all those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating Winter Solstice and thanks to Wendy for this picture of the Waratah, Blue Mountains, N.S.W., Australia
All are welcome to join in, in person, at one, two or all three parts of this Golden Triangle week. If you cannot be there in person you might like to connect 'in spirit' and using your imagination and intention place your own wishes, hopes and plans into the golden box.
Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, blessings from the summer solstice team, Bernadette, Bernie, John and Nora and all at Tara Celebrations.
Other events you might be interested in:
21st June – Coscan and friends present a musical evening in the Church on Tara.
24th June – last meditation at the Holy Well, Tara, at 8pm - '8 Sundays' Meditation 2012 - from Wesak to Mid-Summer Day. Click here for pictures of this event
Summer Solstice is the 5 day period during which the earth pauses as it starts to reverse its 6 month downward nod (exposing us to the sun) with its upward nod (pointing us away from the sun). This year our ceremony is based on creating a mandala on crossing ley lines, using it as a focus for silent meditation and cultivating peace .
We meditated to gain insight into the nature of the solstice ceremony and the ideas of sacrifice, altars, protection, prayers for peace, heads, chaos, ancient history, John the Baptist, formulaic, White and Red were some of the key themes that came to the fore. Some of you reading may see nothing but a collection of unrelated words but others will see (more than) a few key words whose symbolism may send shivers running up your spine.
The day we picked is St. John’s eve Thursday 23rd June at 7.30pm (GMT +1).
We have decided to create a ritual based on cultivating peace and have located the ceremony on a site of an ancient ruined altar under which are crossing energy leys. We will create a white rose petal mandala to focus a silent meditation to cultivate peace within. Through the amplification energy of the ley lines in the centre of the cross shaped mandala and the energy of the solstice sun, we put the intention for peace into the energy of the next cycle of the year.
We will symbolically bring down the heavenly sun onto the earth and bridge the realms.
As the Mandala is created of all natural materials we will leave it for nature to disperse.
Everyone will get to bring home a candle lit from a candle kindled directly by the sun itself.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.” Buddha
In a time when economic chaos could be solved by a “good ol war” we want to add to the energy of peace.
So we encourage you all this year to pause for peace. Light a candle. Tune in . Breath. Send loving, peaceful vibes to yourself and the earth.
May peace and Peace and PEACE be everywhere.
We would love to see you here but if you can’t come join us in spirit.
If your coming please bring a cushion or deck chair to sit comfortably in meditation for about 45 minutes.
Please also bring a pinch of earth from where you live as we can add this to our earth bowl which is a tradition with roots of 5000 years.
Síocháin agus grá ye all
High Summer magic as the golden orange setting sun connects to the orange sun flower
in the centre of St. John's Cross - as above, so below, bridging the realms.
It is amazing what Martin will do with some old newspapers and a bag of flour - create a template and outline St. John's cross
Hundreds of white rose petals fill the outline - all placed with the intentions of peace
Summer Solstice Music in the Church Tara
Your eyes do not decieve you. The donkey is wearing red socks! Magical Paul, Bill and Laura.
Paul Kelly blending flawlessly into the background.
Shane and Kira Taaffe played the Harp
All God's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wires,
And some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they
Recalling the musical Johnstons family from Slane - a popular group in the 1960's
Coscán making music
Dancing in the aisles....under an orb
Close up of the orb....the stained glass window behind depicts the descent of the holy spirit
St. Yamann (organiser) introducing Coscán
Flower display in the Church - thanks to Amanda McCabe for these beautiful arrangements
Decorating St.Patricks well Tara with flowers on Summer Solstice evening.
A Summer Solstice flower mandala with seasonal herbs and flowers. The Elements of Earth (Rock) in the north, Fire (Candle) in the south, Air (Feathers) in the East and Water (dish of water) in the West. Centre is represented by the Gold sun disk which connects the flower petals. The mandala sits on the coloured paper petals of a flower, made with sacred geometery which, if removed, magically makes a St. Johns cross......how appropriate for this Well (St. Johns and for the feast of St. John June 24th)
Detail of East with bright yellow rising sun colour and element Air, represented by the swan feathers.
The Mandala, beautiful as it was, was destroyed to release the beauty and creative force to the environment. The Flower petals close forming a complete circle of wholeness.
Flower petals were released into the stream to flow into the valley
Flotilla of flower petals making their way under the ancient bridge
One of the many statues at the well surrounded by orbs of bubbles. Thanks to Bernadette for some of the wonderful photos. Thanks to all who came and sang and danced and enjoyed themselves.
Dia daoibh, and Bright Summer Blessings to one and all! And a happy WInter Solstice to everyone in the Southern Hemisphere.
Tara Celebrations Summer Solstice gathering will be a the lovely setting of this red well, dedicated to St. John and Mid-Summer. Our theme, Listening to the Summer Soul, is partly inspired by the sounds of the water and birdsong amongst the trees here. Our activities are planned to include connecting to the elements, so full and abundant this year, and creating a flowery mandala (please bring flowers if you can). We will also gently dance with the earth. There will be time for personal meditation. Please bring along any poetry, prose, song or other heartfelt expressions of the season to share. If you cannot attend we shall be pleased to read out anything if you email it to us. There will be seasonal food and drink to end the celebrations.
Spout of St. John's well June 2010 - Delicious cold water
Dolores sent the following poem which was in keeping with the meditation theme of the day:
The Summer Day by Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume I)
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down,
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Summer Solstice evening on Tara
|Fhéileacáin preparing for their number at the Tara Solstice celebration|
mastering the tricky beast
that is the Harp of Tara
|Coscán raising the roof - find their Tara Jig at http://www.coscan.net/ or http://coscan.blip.tv/|
Summer Solstice Sunrise
- many thanks to Anne for this photo - one of the early birds....
Crowds watching the last rays of summer solstice sun
The ceremony will be an open group gathering of spontaneous sharing of whatever arises for those present at the time. If you feel inspired to bring verse, song, dance, short meditation please do or just come to enjoy being on the Hill of Tara. With all the hill has been through over the past 10 years sure she would welcome one and all even if it is only to stand in silence.....which may may be more profound and meaningful than all the ceremony in the world. There are no photographs of all the wonderful people who gathered at this ceremony, as it simply did not feel right to photograph this event
Flowers, foliage, fruit and veg are combined in St. Patricks church for a beautiful display of the abundance of the earth at this time of the year.
The local Tara Brigin Guides have been busy with pens and paints and their colourful banners of this sunny season are also be displayed.
Bird's eye view of the church
Detail of some of the flowers
Some of the flowers with a beautiful backdrop
Artistic or mad?
Anne brought some beautiful Lillies
No your eyes do not deceive you, that is a spider on the back wall.....
Girl guide artistic flair brightening the church for visitors
St. Patrick's well of Tara was decorated too - with a beautiful solstice flower arrangement
The Tadpoles born in Spring now with back legs and arm buds
Shane Taffe, an extra ordinary talented harper plays for the packed church
Coscán ending the evening with a blend of emotive spiritual pieces from all over the world had people dancing in the isles
Sunrise 4.57am. Groups of local friends and visitors gathered at Teach Cormac. At sunset
Sean Gilmartin talked in the Visitor Centre on the Myths & Mystery of Tara relating to geomancy and astronomy..... Coscan and Shane Taffe played at the Visitor Centre.
A poem from Liz in Derbyshire
We are having a mixture of weather up in Derbyshire, very hot, then rain to follow, the gardens look lovely everywhere, havn't heard the cookoo round here now for the last two years, we've missed him, but the sparrows are back in my garden again, nice to see them. We have been lucky really with the bird life in my garden, we have lots of visitors even the shy wood pigeons who have paired up and have been around a long time,we sit and watch them with their young, its nice to see all the different feathered friends around, even the cat doesn't seem to mind them, think he is getting bit lazy nowerdays!
Old Fashioned Flowers
It's the old fashioned honeysuckle
The common hedgerow kind
That has the sweetest smell
And leaves a memory behind.
It's the old fashioned sweet peas
Like baby butterflies
That fill the room with fragrance
And entrance our waking eyes.
Thanks to Anne for this lovely evocation of summer....
The sun rose gloriously golden this morning sending the misty clouds scurrying below the horizon. The sky was reflected in the still estuary waters which was occasionally broken by shoals of early insect hunting fish. The heron stood silently watching, waiting for an unsuspecting fish to come close. Nearby the little egret searched for his breakfast in the shallower water. Out on the island the swans and ducks sunned them selves in the warming sun, stretching wings as they did their morning yoga. An attentive mother duck rounds up her offspring as she heads towards the reeds, wary of a possible pike attack. The swallows swoop and dive hoovering up insects on the wing. Near the elderberry laden hedgerow the thrush hammers his fresh caught snail on his stone anvil in anticipation of the juicy morsel inside. Above her a daring snail clings to the flower-head eating a late breakfast oblivious to the danger below. The robin sits in the willow serenading all who can hear him. And I was there with the camera. Heaven on earth. I headed along the sea-lapped, lichen bedecked wall with its clinging mallows, past the small birch trees, the tall ash towards the sea marsh. Met a fellow soul food seeker on the way and heard that the kingfisher is back on the river. Maybe this summer I'll be lucky enough to take his picture. Further along the seawall another heron waited for breakfast to arrive. A single hare stood listening in the cornfield and sped away at the sound of the shutter click as i took his picture. A cloud of pigeons scattered to the four directions at the sound of a gunshot. The pheasant called from the meadow but the grasses are too tall for me to spot him. The skylark sings his praise from high above me and then drops from the sky to his nest. i wondered what else is hiding in the field, watching me from their hiding place. i headed back to the car, back towards the noisy, busy world and, as a plover whirls around the reeds, I give thanks for these precious moments that are my soulfood and think, At moments like this, it's so good to be alive.
Copyright © 2009 Anne Newman
At Summer Solstice the sun pauses on its yearly route through the heavens giving us the shortest night and longest day. This is a turning point, a time for celebration and abundance. Like the sun we also pause for thought to reflect on abundance and the impact of its shadow in our world. Last year we created a symbolic Mandala of the Heart with flowers to connect with our spiritual selves. Starting the night before (June 20th) we observed the moon rise, which is in the same position as the winter solstice sunrise this year. This picture is looking out over the Gabhra Valley.
Then we lit a candle for Adge who loved this place with all his heart.
Sunrise behind the Church, Lia Fáil in foreground.
Some of the Crowd gathered to drum up the sun.
Part of our Tara Celebration this year was to decorate the church with donated flowers.
Some of the detail on our Tara Summer Solstice Floral display
And some more beautiful flowers in our Tara Summer Solstice Display
Now beautiful as the church was we had to conduct our blessing of water ceremony in the spills of rain. Its always a bad sign when even the cattle are taking shelter!!!
Our ceremony at 3.00pm was themed "Abundance and Shadow". Here we considered how we have a shadow side. Often when chasing after our spiritual truths we focus on the light which can blind us to our own imperfections. We considered what impacts our shadow has on our world at this time. The summer doesn't last forever and it is the first hint to see what we are creating in our winter reserves. We created a healing heart mandala of flower pettals.
After the creation of the mandala came its ritual destruction.
The destruction of the mandala releases the healing intent it was infused with in our ceremony.
Mandala petals were spread skyward...
Some of the petals were poured into the stream to bring the healing into the valley... Here some of the petals are seen in the water. Note the HEART shape white petal...
Focus for the evening switched to the church where the crowd was delighted by the music of Coscán supported by the Shane and Ciara Taffe on harps.
...and the line up - Coscán: David Nevin, John Shankey, Harry Long and Gerry Doggett
Coscán: David Nevin, John Shankey, Harry Long and (Gerry Doggett )
Finally Tara and the weather relent and reward the evening visitors with a bright white sun set on the shortest night of the year
Many come just to enjoy the views, to stroll or have a picnic. Others join with friends to celebrate the longest day of the year in their own way. Some prefer to be private, whilst others share the special experience that is the Hill of Tara, making new friends along the way. The following gives an idea of the wide-range of folk you may come across and join in with.It all starts at Sunset on Solstice Eve, 20th June, when the sun sets at about 9.50pm. The optimists go up to stand around the Lia Fail at this time, looking westwards towards the legendary underworld lands of Mag Mell and Tir na nOg hoping for the beautiful colours of sundown.At Sunrise on the 21st we return to greet the new day.Drumming the sun around the Hill - 4am following the ceremonial entrance onto Tara at the Banqueting Hall up to the Lia Fail to watch sunrise. Then every 4 hours during the day.7.30am Water ceremony at Holy Well. At 3pm the group, who meet at the eight festival times of the year, join with those who are out celebrating the day.The church will be decorated with flowers around the outside and maybe inside.Weather permitting someone will outline a Labryrinth in flour, near the Banqueting Hall.In the evening there will be music by Coscan and friends in the church.
Whatever you decide to do,
and however you spend the day,
we wish everyone a wonderful
! Happy Solstice !
At Teach Cormac, Tara, we entered through a temporary door. We laid out cloth in the shape of a harp, using different colours, each carrying a positive symbolism.
The Fairy Treasures were recounted in the story of the arrival of the Tuath de Dannann - the sword in the east, the fire cauldron in the south, the spear in the west and the stone in the north. We recounted the story of Boand and the story of the Salmon of Knowledge.
Finally we dismantled and destroyed the harp mandala, releasing all to the Universe.
Seeds shared at Imbolc on Tara flower across the 'Big Pond' at Summer Solstice 2007
The coming of Lugh: Annette Yamann, AnneMarie, Martin, Adge
A damp and misty start to the summer solstice
Gathering on Solstice Eve at the Banqueting Hall
Mandala of the Harp
Page last updated: 26th Sep 2017