2019 - Celebration - Bective
This year the moon set at 11.06 am on Sunday, which might have been quite appropriate that the moon and sun were in the sky together in the morning, then the moon disappeared as we celebrated going into the dark time of the year. And, it was Mid-Summer Eve on 23rd of course.
At the planning meeting at Samhain there was no identified host for this festival. Pat invited ideas and suggestions via the internet and intentions for the get-together were for a shared lunch, chats and meditation. Everyone was invited to turn up and go with the flow.
Pat would do a meditation...
'I'm bringing a drum so strap yourselves in'.
Pat shares his thoughts on the day:
Summer Solstice Celebration 2019 - Bective Mill, Meath, Ireland
We gathered this year to celebrate Summer Solstice at one of our favourite haunts of late, Bective Mill.
|The venue has become our “Plan B” option if there is any doubt as to where we should hold our Celebrations. |
(Following a fire in the Mill building in August 2019 we now hold regular Monday Meditations in Trim).
After the usual chit-chat and banter we quietened down and were led on a wonderful Shamanic Journey complete with drumming.
(Let there be no mention of the fact that said drum was adorned by the crest of the County of Dublin and is seen in one of our photographs being proudly held by a MEATH woman!)
However, all is fair in Love and Meditation, so there was no animosity among the group – we ARE all friends after all!
|An interesting, insightful and enjoyable “Open Heart” session followed as well as a healing circle during which healing was bestowed on all present as well as absent friends and the whole of our wonderful planet. |
We talked of the wonderful properties of the Sun – how our whole solar system revolves around it and about it’s life-giving and healing energy.
We then adjourned to the bit that I suspect we’d all secretly been longing for – the Celebratory Feast. People had brought amazing food from sandwiches to fruit platters to cakes… chocolates, more fruit, organic apple juice and more.
We talked and laughed and shared in a beautiful feast to celebrate the longest day of sunlight in the year – Summer Solstice - as our ancestors have been doing for Millennia.
Their presence was certainly felt and we toasted them and our descendants too – as we are THEIR ancestors.
Eventually it was time to reluctantly part and we headed home, each bringing with them the memories and the energy of a joyous, fun-filled, (& stomach-filled!) Solstice Celebration.
Bective - B and B now closed
We held Monday meditations in the Mill building until a fire destroyed the inside rooms in 2019. The Bed and Breakfast building was untouched and operated for a few more years as an enjoyable place to rest up beside the River Boyne, dependent on current government restrictions due to Covid-19.
Lughnasadh Reunion on 17th August 2020 was a happy return, with the Monday meditation re-starting on 24th August, albeit outdoors in the BBQ area and limited numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When stricter rules came in these were abandoned, starting again on Monday 5th July 2021.
|Bective meditation Sept 2021.|
This time we were at the Mill in a marquee.
Finally, meditations moved back to their original venue at An Tobar. However Covid restrictions meant that was not viable and we reverted to online connection.
There are records of a Mill being in the area since the heyday of the Abbey, but the history is a bit clouded in mystery. Bective Abbey, sited on a gentle rise above the River Boyne, was established by the Cistercians in 1147. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary it's walls are mainly intact, with beautiful cloisters and other rooms to explore. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed extensive monastic gardens and further buildings probably used by the monks and lay brothers.
The Cistercians owned many granges (farms) and were commercially successful in managing the landscape. Based in France they searched for noble patrons and prime farmland. At Bective they found rich lush pastureland and Murchadh O Melaghlin, King of Meath, and at his invitation they moved into the area and took over the local farms, then employing the owners in the service of the monastery. Austere and requiring strict conformance to the Rules of St. Benedict, their observance included manual work and agricultural labour in the fields of the Abbey. In 1536 Bective was dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII and the community dispersed to live with the locals.
Despite having been restrained in the energy of this powerful management by Christian monks many find a peaceful atmosphere and calmness in the semi- ruined buildings.
There is a small car park and information boards at the Abbey site.
Hidden Treasure - as related in Duchas.ie Schools Project
People say there is gold buried in Bective Abbey. A man named Downes from Cannistown, Navan, who went to America dreamt of gold being buried in an old ruin. He returned home to dig for it and brought three other men along with him. He was digging in Bective Abbey. He never returned and was never heard of again after the first night he went there. People say there is a Bishop buried in a gold coffin in Bective Abbey. This was never dug for.
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Friday 21st June - Hill of Tara - Soaking up the Solstice Sun
Anne Newman shares her experience of 21st June on Tara.
It was a Summer Solstice morning and I headed to The Well of the White Cow at the Hill of Tara for Y & C's ceremony.
13 people, and 2 dogs gathered there and we were joined by bees, butterflies and birds flying around the surrounding hawthorn hedge. Crows and pigeons added their song to the doings. The cows loudly lowed in the field surrounding the well as they circled the hedge.
When we opened sacred space they settled. It was so peaceful there listening to ithe trickling of the water as it flowed towards the road.
A rook perched in one of the tall ash trees and watched the proceedings, calling occasionally and then flew off with a final loud approving caw as we finished up.
While we sat in the warm sun afterward, eating fruit, strawberries, grapes, pears, a robin sang from the hawthorn tree and a chaffinch added his chiff chaffs as we chatted, catching up with friends, making new ones, patting dogs and soaking up the solstice sun.
It was great to feel the warmth and lie on the grass by the ash tree watching the clouds shape shifting in the blue sky.
A blessed time in the warm solstice sun by the sacred well.
Thanks to Anne for drawing attention to the piece from 1997 about the Druid's celebrations on Tara from the RTE Archives - read more here...
and this piece about the Saint John's Eve traditions in Co. Clare - read more here...
John AF was also on The Hill during the evening and shares these photos, so evocative of Tara and the times...
.... it felt like a pure privelige to experience the Hill of Tara's calming relaxing energies on Summer Solstice last. No better place in the world on the day.
This delightful little bee journeyed from flower to flower... a solitary bee enjoying the mid-summer sun. Nora.
Opening lines from:
For Calling the Spirit Back from Wandering the Earth in Its Human Feet
found in Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings by Joy Harjo (In June 2019, she was named the United States Poet Laureate, being the first Native American to be appointed)
Put down that bag of potato chips, that white bread, that bottle of pop.
Turn off that cellphone, computer, and remote control.
Open the door, then close it behind you.
Take a breath offered by friendly winds. They travel the earth gathering essences of plants to clean.
Give it back with gratitude.
Thanks to Sid for heads up on this beautiful verse.