Samhain at Tara

Confirming that the Hill of Tara is a beacon, the hub and fulcrum for Tara Celebrations, in 2017 we joined in a Chain Reaction of Samhain energies, with the intention of carrying that foundation into the next cycle by coming back to base, starting the year by lighting a central lantern, taking our own lights and spreading out into the community through time and space.

When looking at the photos afterwards we saw a red mist on some of them - in hindsight we did of course call in the local Gods and Goddesses and Medb Lethderg (`red-side`) is land goddess of Sovereignty at Tara..

The High King of Ireland, according to medieval tradition, gained his power by marrying the sovereignty goddess, and Tara is acknowledged as the sometime residence of the High King of Ireland - Ard Ri - reflecting it's importance as a spiritual and political centre.

Lists of names, the oldest compilations, such as the 11th-century Lebor Gabála Érenn, provide some legendary characters and others known to be historic figures.

Stories are woven about them, their exploits, their Druids, their interreaction with St. Patrick etc.

Part of the ritual of Kingship at Tara was the king taking a cloak that would magically fit him.

In 2010 we honoured our own sovereignty, our divine essence, by placing a cloak of sovereignty on our shoulders and recognising the bigger version of self.

Becoming a sovereign self affords us an opportunity to try a new way of life, to emulate traits we find desirable in someone inspirational, become someone new, become the next grander version of ourself...

... and it need not be a gravitas task... we made sure to bring our sense of humour!

Pictured is the Cloak of sovereignty with added bling for the New Year.

According to the 16th/17th century priest and historian Geoffrey Keating in his ‘Foras Feasa ar Éirinn’, the feis (festival of arts and culture) of Tara was held for a week every third Samhain - though other sources say every year - when the nobles and the highest ranking judges (ollamhs) of Ireland met to feast and to renew and set new laws. It may also have been that at this feis the ancient ritual of inaugurating the High kings of Tara was held.

Hopefully the sun rises and shines into the short passageway of the Mound of the Hostages, Tara, at Samhain and Imbolc...

However, sometimes the sun hides behind heavy grey clouds...

on a very wet Saturday 3rd November at 7am, we met at the entrance gate of the Hill of Tara.

read more here - 2018 - Déjà vu Anyone? - Hill of Tara

Bernadette Mac and Amy in 2019

Honouring our ancestors on Samhain at the fairy tree on the Hill of Tara, Sunday the 3rd of November.

As myself and Amy walked to the fairy tree to drum for healing for ourselves, loved ones near and far and these who are no longer with us but are always there in spirit, a beautiful mist came over the land, surrounding us in a blanket.

Read more of their drumming ceremony and impressions of the day here - 2019 - Celebrate Samhain

Time dissolves, souls gather, in unity mysterious ancestors draw near.

Blessed or beloved, reviled or forgotten, generations amass, no harm, no fear.

Ancient memories stir in our hearts, distant dreams we've sought, held dear,

Slither silently within darkening shadows, whispering quietly to those who hear.

Plucked by wise invisible hands, echoing, vibrating chords appear.

Weaving through the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead

Seeking creation's love, eternal, we reach out to the strangeness of a deathly bier.

Time dissolves, souls gather, celebrating sacred Samhain of the wheel of the year

Venue: Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, Ireland

Shops and toilet block. Maguire's cafe and shop.

Read more on the monuments and a general map here

Parking and general info updated 2024

Tara - Temair in Gaeilge - is a unique heritage site maintained by the State OPW department. OPW Heritage Ireland website

Open to the public 24/7, with a visitor centre in the decommissioned church open in the summer. There is a cafe with gift shop (Maguires), a small book shop and art gallery, and toilets. Parking is free in part but please use the €2 area opposite the shop as it can get very congested on the roadside.

Busy and noisy with tourists, there are places where one can be alone, in the western woodlands, and furthest ends of the grassland ridge. Magnificent distant views over the central plain of Ireland, with Loughcrew in the northwest, Dublin in the east and the white stone fronted Newgrange often sunlit and visible in the north east.

Many are drawn to experience the changing energies at sunrise and sunset, the sky wide and expansive above your head. At night the moon hangs low over the Mound of the Hostages, the Milky Way aligns with the Banqueting Hall and The Plough circles overhead.

Navan Historical Society page on Tara - included is an excellent explanation of the word Bóthar - a type of road. Go to the link to discover the King's question after the response:

The King asked his lawyers one day on Tara why the Bóthar was measured as the length of one cow and the breadth of a second cow, and the lawyers answered; " A cow using a bóthar must have enough room to turn around and look at her calf trotting at her heels "

Link here to Samhain at Tara and Tara at Christmas

Faery Tree - read Bernadette Mac's blog for up-to-date info on the state of the Faery Tree - Hill of Tara

Arriving on the bus or driving up from the Gabhra valley The Hill appears as a ridge, just another roll in the landscape, apparently insignificant in the rise and fall of the surrounding countryside.

Yet, if you hear a call, a desire, a gut feeling, you will follow in the footsteps of our ancestors, climb the gentle hill and discover what you came for. Whatever we hold within ourselves Tara will enlarge, enhance, embolden and clarify. Tara has a child-like quality, no agenda, and will weaken or strengthen you. It will greet you with open arms or push you away for no apparent reason. But it is probable that you will leave knowing that you have had 'an experience', accepted or rejected.

The energies are often seen as yellow and maybe it is no coincidence that part of the area is known as Castleboy (boy = bui = yellow). Yellow, the colour of the 3rd chakra, the solar plexus, your 'will-power'.

A prayer for Tara

Gurbh míle maith agat Tara agus céad mile Buíochas duit.

May the rain fall softly on your fields and the sun shine warmly on your stones. May you always have a friend at your back. May you have wise and articulate council to carry your voice. May you have a community that love, support and value you. May you go forward with a sense of hope and enthusiasm. May your essence live here as long as you wish. May the aurora light your starry filled night skies. May you always be alluringly beautiful. May all peoples find succour from your rounded breasts. May you continue to nourish the world and may the world be nourished by you.

Tara go deo.