Who we are
Within diversity there is unity and within unity there is diversity
Based in Ireland, with connections all over the world, we are open, inclusive and non-denominational, drawing on all philosophies and traditions.
An eclectic mix of like minded thinkers from various backgrounds.
Different people feel called to tune in and plan each celebration and have included Anne B, Anne N, Bernie, Bernadette, Dana, Des, Eileen, Jean, John, John A, Marta, Martin, Mary, Mary O, Nora, Pat, Susan, Theresa, Tom, Yamann and many others, who join with us in body or in spirit.
People from all over the world are on our email list and tune in with each celebration.
When people are not able to join with us in person many create their own personal or group celebrations within the same energy as our gathering.
If you would like to join in at a distance, however great or small, please contact us to go onto the email list.
The web site is maintained by Martin in Ireland, Nora in England and Michael in Canada (Clickopen.ca) with the help and input of many many others.
We welcome any queries, insights or input.
We may be contacted through email@TaraCelebrations.org
We follow the ancient celebrations of the yearly cycle by marking important dates with community ceremony.
Many of those involved with the 'Tara Celebrations' events also attend 'Monday Meditation & Healing Circle'. The two are interconnected but not interdependent.
Review and Way Forward meetings
Up to Autumn Equinox 2013 we planned from one meeting to the next.
At the end of 2013 there was a feeling that we needed to set a complete cycle in motion. A get together was held to organise gatherings for the coming year.
The Review and Way Forward meetings have been held at Autumn Equinox or Samhain each subsequent year.
Because it makes our souls sing.
It makes us feel connected to the rhythm of life.
It feels like it has to be done.
It is important.
It is fun.
It is about meeting up with people who you can get on with, and who you can share with, and you feel comfortable with,
and they don't have to bring anything or be a certain person.
All are welcome. Some of us are extroverts and like to express our energies, and those of the get together, outwardly. 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. Everyone has their own unique gift to bring to any gathering. Even just their presence is enough to bless the occasion. There is always a reason for everyone to be there, whether active or passive.
What are we celebrating?
With each ceremony held, with each candle lit, with each positive image about Tara raising the awareness level of people, each poem, thought, prayer offered in sincerity has been heart felt by the spirit of Tara.
It is certain that whatever else happened at ancient sites in Ireland they were and are still used for traditional customs and rituals at particular times of the year.
There are many different cycles and calendars and these have been handed down since pre-history, changing as the needs of the individual and community changed. In our rituals and ceremonies we do not seek to do what they did, we seek what they sought.
The cycle we use marks the four seasons of Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh with the four cardinal days of winter and summer solstice, spring and autumn equinox. The seasons are an expression of what is happening on the land and also in our own lives.
The New Year starts on the night of November 8th, (now 31st October) - Samhain. This is the entry into the darkest days of the year and a time of death, for from death comes new life and rebirth. Many of our ancestors started their day as darkness came at dusk and night, not dawn as we do these days. The Cycle of the Year as the earth moves around the sun, from Samhain back to Samhain.
Themes & Sites from 2007 to present
Autumn Equinox is the last meeting of Tara Celebrations annual cycle - Samhain the conceiving of each New Cycle
Prior to 2007 there were gatherings but we only have private records of those
2016 - Good Spirits - Yew Cloister, Gormanston
2015 - Clearing a Path for the Wisdom of the Ancestors - Loughcrew
2014 - Samhain - Rath Lugh
2013 - Beannachtai na Samhaina diobh - Dowth
2012 - Headstones - Old Mellifont Abbey, Louth
2011 - Embracing the Torquoise Self – Fourknocks
2010 - Journey towards the Sovereign Self - Tara
2009 - Samhain at Dowth - Dowth
2008 - Spontaneous New Beginning - Tara
2007 - Samhain is the Death of the Old - Tara
2016 - You Light up my Life - Fourknocks
2015 - Without Darkness there can be no Light - Newgrange
2014 - Walking the White Winter Path of Wonder - Seomra Tara
2013 - Rebirth of the Sun God from the Goddess - Hill of Tara Healing Centre
2012 - Welcoming Light - Ardbraccan
2011 - Quietly Observant – Dowth, Newgrange, Curley Hole
2010 - Snowflakes – Own homes / Newgrange
2009 - Rebirth of Light and Hope – Own homes / Newgrange
2008 - Yule Celebrations – Tara
2007 - Ceremony of Light – Tara
2017 - St. Brigid's Mantle - Brigid's Well, Faughart
2016 - Rise and Shine - Tara
2015 - Planting the Seeds of Our Dreams with Danu - Bective
2014 - Welcoming Spring & Returning Light - Tara
2013 - Healing Renewal Protection - Tara & Kildare
2012 - Triplicity: Comedy, Community and Creativity - Ravensdale Forest, Louth
2011 - Moving out of the Shadow into the Light - Tower of Lloyd Kells
2010 - Uncertainty - Fourknocks
2009 - Brigid - Fourknocks
2008 - Stirring the Fire - Tara
2007 - Brigid's Cross - Tara
2017 - Balance, Equality & Tolerance - Clogherhead
2016 - Spring Equinox - Fourknocks
2015 - Goodbye Darkness my old Friend, until we meet again - Dowth and Bective
2013 - Everyone is doing a Brand New Dance now - Tara
2012 - Nothing is as it Seems - Tara
2011 - Gates of Revelation - Tara
2010 - Reformation & Rebirth - Ardmulchan
2009 - In Balance with Nature - Mullaghmeen Forest
2008 - Balance - Tara
2007 - Vernal Equinox - Tara
2016 - Nurturing Abundance - St. Ciaran's Well
2015 - May Day - Fourknocks
2013 - Where there's a Well there's a Way - St. Johns Well
2012 - The Summer Phase - Bective Abbey &
8 Sundays at the Well - Tara
2011 - Wild Wooing in the Woods - Tara
2010 - Inspired by Symbol & Poetry - Tara
2009 - Money to Burn - Tara
2008 - Arrival of Uisneach fire - Tara
2007 - Tara
2016 - Create with love your journey through life and gratitude to Mother Earth - Bective & Tara
2015 - The Wisdom of the Sunflower - Tara
2013 - The Place you can't get to - wherever you are
2012 - Journey of the Golden Triangle – An Tobar, Tara, Navan
2011 - Cultivating Peace - Tara
2010 - Listening to the Soul of Summer – St. John's Well, Warrenstown
2009 - Spontaneous - Tara
2008 - Abundance and Shadow - Tara
2007 - The Harp & Fairy Treasures - Tara
2005 - Tara Festival
2016 - A Liminal Transition - Burren, Clare
2015 - A Time of Celebration - Teltown
2013 - Tar isteach agus lig do scith - Come on in and Rest Yourself - Fourknocks
2012 - Gratitude to Earth & Spirit - St. Gobnait's Well, Cork
2012 - Uisce beatha, Water of Life - Ciaran's Well, Meath
2011 - Beannachtai Lughnasadh - Teltown
2010 - Pattern, Pilgrimage & Pleasure Triskele - Port Beach
2009 - Pattern, Pilgrimage & Pleasure Labyrinth - Port Beach
2008 - Healing Conflict - Tara
2007 - Name your Talent - Tara
2016 - Underlying Balance of Harvest Thanksgiving - Tara
2015 - Sun, Moon and Me - Seomra Tara
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 - Autumn Equinox - Tara - no report
Tara Celebration's venues
Over the years we have held get togethers on the Hill of Tara and many other places in Ireland and further afield.
Symbols are often created and invoked during gatherings
Winter Solstice 2011
Spring Equinox 2008
Summer Solstice 2011
Autumn Equinox 2008
The symbols of 2012 and their explanations
When we reviewed at the end of 2012 we realised that there had been a common theme of exploring the concept of 'soul' through the year. We become so 'in the now' with organising each celebration it was only with hindsight and taking the broad view that we realised this had happened.
Imbolc - Triplicity: Comedy, Community and Creativity
Three purposes for the return of souls to this world: to collect into the soul the properties of all being, to acquire knowledge of all things, to acquire the power to overcome chaos
Spring Equinox - Nothing is as it Seems
The apple appears as a solid red ball. Yet bite into the apple and you reveal a hidden interior, soft, fleshy and juicy. As you continue to eat, at the heart of the apple, you discover small hard objects, the seeds. Visually the seed is solid and pebble like. If we hit a pebble it shatters into many fragments, revealing that it is totally composed of stone. However on opening the seed we discover a soft and very different interior. The real truth of our soul, like the seed, is often in shadow, hidden inside a toughened shell.
The Summer Phase
Abundant flowers promise good harvests of fruits, berries and nuts later in the year. The abundance of our soul promises a similar nurturing harvest.
Summer solstice - The Journey of the Golden Triangle
Our individual and group soul's journey is symbolised as a golden triangular box. We journey the path of the labyrinth, contemplating our intentions now. We invigorate the box / soul, connecting to high energies of the summer solstice, drawing on the symbolism of infinity. We cross a bridge to release our petitions, pausing on our return to gift thanks and gratitude to the waters of life and the heat of the sun for their constancy and support in our lives. We each take a portion of the box / group soul home to spread the healing energies out into the landscape and future.
The waters of life
Our earthly life is a bright reflection of the hidden depths of the well of our eternal soul. We gift our thanks to our well, our soul, for our earthly harvest.
Autumn equinox - Colin's Journey the Chrysalis Phase
We recall again the triple symbolism of the year. In this symbol of movement we circle from the dark to the light, to our festive joyous inner light. 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.
Samhain – Head Stones
In travelling down the tunnel back to our original soul we are supported by ancestral gifts (wisdom) which we take into the future. On each stone, on our own soul, are the marks of ancestral presence. the stone sits in the mandala web of life, it touches the ground. The symbolic stone connects to the gifts of our ancestors (DNA etc) and the gifts that the land of Ireland shares with us.
Winter solstice -
Our two dimensional triple symbol of imbolc has transformed into a 3D symbol. We have found our own inner light, our strength and resilience, and share this, symbolised by a lighthouse. The lighthouse guides the traveller to a safe harbour. We send out a welcome.
In 2014 we remembered the year with linking verse
Thanks to Martin, Tom, Susan, Bernadette, John A, Bernadette Mac, Nora and Anne for a wonderful time
Samain at Dowth, our first of the year,
and we hang onto nothing,
not comforts, not fear.
And as we make space,
releasing we bring.
The Cailleach gifts seeds,
a promise of spring.
Honouring our ancestors,
with a blessing and prayer,
we set a bowl fire,
and jump over with care.
At Winter Solstice the sun returns.
In the stove the Yule Log burns.
Decorations upon a tree.
Gifts we share, its Christmassy.
Snowballs fly through the air,
goodbye to winter's cold dark stare.
Brigid's cloak and rainbow story
and in the room a sunray glory.
Imbolc crosses woven with care,
Anenome corms for all to share.
At the woodland shore of Lake Ramor,
we write intentions for the summer,
releasing them to drift downstream,
hoping for fulfilment of each dream.
Equinox sleet, rain and sun
confirm the spring has now begun.
Here come the lads! All off to town
walking the streets, all joy, no frown.
Bealtaine fun and a memory stone
Men dealing with fire is best left unknown.
We laughed and sung and danced around
blessing Dublin's holy ground.
Then down to Bewleys
where we had a cuppa.
Then home on the train,
late for supper.
Summer Solstice on Tara Hill
watching the sunset,
goodnight, sleep still.
and a bready bun
baked in the swirl
of the passing sun.
Fairy and father stories told
as the western sky transforms to gold.
Thunder rolls amidst clouds and rain
Indoors for Lughnasadh once again.
Oatmeal triquetra guided our walks,
then once indoors
we chose coloured stalks
to represent each lifetime skill
All brought together at Tara's hill.
And now at Fourknocks we gather around
thanking each other,
and blessing the ground.
With stones in hand
impromptu Rock Band
sounds out the year
with harmonious cheer.
This cycle is ending,
clear up chaff and grain,
prepare for winter,
turn the wheel to Samhain.
Page last updated: 10th Mar 2017