Tara at Christmas
At Winter Solstice many gather at the turning of the year to share in the 'return' of the sun.
|some years snow covers the ground||some years a beautiful Solstice sunrise|
It doesn't snow every year and often snow fallen in the morning is gone by lunchtime. But some years the snow does arrive and the roads become slippery slopes of ice and mush.
This is the road and path to the Holy Well at Winter Solstice 2010.
Tara's Gaelic name Teamhair is often translated as 'A Place of Great Prospect'.
Just a low hill but high enough that from the summit it is said you can see 16 of Ireland’s 32 counties. Looking North East, on a clear day, you can pick out Newgrange's white facade glinting in the sun.
Here lies a large complex of monuments, many now flattened by the plough and not visible on the ground, in a wider landscape of many more. None present today are obviously aligned to the Winter Solstice but, it is an ideal place to watch the Solstice sunrise and many gather here at the turning of the year to share in the 'return' of the sun.
|Gathering to watch the sunrise||A night view of Arthur's Wain stars over Navan|
On 21 December 2017 a ceremony themed on Phoenix from the cauldron - invoking the energy of rebirth was held at Tara.
|A wet, dark and dank, toe numbing night on Tara.
Some years the moon and stars shine bright, and it is a merry celebration....
but in 2017 the weather was gloomy and melancholy.
In 2018 Bernadette spent part of Christmas Day on Hill of Tara...
|at the Holy Well ||at the Mound of the Hostage |
|in the churchyard ||and with the tree outside Maguires|
Hill of Tara, Co. Meath, Ireland
Shops and toilet block. Maguire's cafe and shop.
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 "
Faery Tree - read Bernadette Mac's blog for up-to-date info on the state of the Faery Tree - Hill of Tara
Info updated 22 October 2020
Tara - Temair in Gaeilge - is a unique heritage site maintained by the State OPW department. 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 but can get very congested in small car parks or 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.
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'.