2020 - Alignment on Hope - Tara

Martin's original explanation, plans and running order are posted here...

Winter Solstice 2020

The sun is at its low point and has trouble rising each morning limping low across the sky. Yet hope springs eternal and asks for nothing.

Two video visits to the Hill of Tara preparing for the Winter Solstice

Martin visits the twin dry wells of Adlaic and Diadlaic in a big field
Bernadette Mac shares a visit to the Banqueting Hall and releases her arrow
Thanks to John for this photo of the sunrise 20th December 2020 near his home.

The gateway resonates with the celebration on Tara on the 21st.

John A shares his Tara experience

On 20th December he enjoyed a sunny afternoon on the Hill.

Susan's photo journal of her day on the Hill

I went to the well first, 

took a pic, 

it was flooded and the gate was closed.
The feather is for east,water west,
candle south,and crystal north.

There were 13 present on the Hill.

Lots of sheep on the way out.

I love that the little nest is saying he is hanging on no matter what!
This last pic of the well was when I went back and I found the gate was now open.

Martin shares his experience on the Hill.

The day before solstice I was doing some Christmas shopping when I saw a large rechargeable bluetooth speaker which I thought would make an excellent addition to music on the hill, so for €8 I couldn't go wrong. Turned out to be a star buy!

The day was shrouded in shifting fog. At times a tantalising view of the mounds on the hill top and other times not much more than the ridges of the Banqueting Hall with sheep and people moving in and out like phantoms. It was a great atmospheric theatre to be in but it also made meeting the group more challenging.

I had arrived early and waited inside the gate on the hill but as the start time approached there was no one to be seen. I wondered would I be on my own and despaired a little. And then I thought "what am I aligned on?", the fact that no one is here or the opportunity to do ceremony on my own in this sacred site. We had done this before for a Lughnasadh celebration, putting in a lot of preparation and no one showed up, so Nora and I did it anyway.

I set up in the Banqueting Hall and was ready to “start” when I got a Whatsapp message to say “we are at the gate”. From my point of view I felt relief, here come the cavalry! I'm sure from the other side of the hill thoughts may have been “He's late!”. In any event we did manage to meet.

I asked for volunteers to call in the directions and everyone who stepped forward did a superb job at representing the elements / directions. Our smudger had his work cut out trying to light a pine cone for some fragrant incense but against the odds he heroically managed to make the circle.

Our watery west was represented very capably by a welcome visitor, Pilar, from Mexico. She not only managed the pronunciation of the Irish words but had to blend waters from Adlaic and Diadlaic wells, as she said herself she was going with the flow.

The main part of the ceremony, walking through the doorway, was mindfully done, and Jaume walked through on behalf of the distance celebrators.

In a small change to the running order I added in a healing circle where a large loop of string was held by each participant right palm up, left palm down. 3 rounds, self, friends & family, wider worldly concerns to allow the energy naturally spiral out. Personally speaking the energy seemed quite strong to be felt through the cold and damp . The string was then cut to release the healing energies and carefully gathered in case it finds a use in future ceremonies!

My thanks to everyone who sent Nora the pictures which add so much to the website and may inspire others to do something at some point.

My Solstice wish is that we all align effortlessly on our goals in life and in so doing collectively steer humanity to wholeness.

Namaste. Martin.

PS. The music used during the ceremony included: Purity of mind Lotus Sutra - Tina Turner - Beyond, Chevaliers De Sangreal (da Vinci Code), Theme from Harry’s Game – Clannad, My Weakness - Moby

Nora tuned in from Bakewell in Derbyshire

I had woken at 10.30am – drat – too late – wanted to watch the sunrise stream from Newgrange – had seen the shaft of light yesterday coming into the chamber but it turned out it was raining today anyway so all they had was a misty start to the 21st. After making some cranberry sauce for Christmas Day I sat with the door into the garden open …

I felt to link into Robin Hood's Stride and Harthill. The Stride is an outcrop of gritstone rocks. There are Bronze or Iron Age enclosures and hut circles in the area and the stone circle known as the 'Nine Stones' (though in fact only four are standing) which lies to the north-west. This is beside the ancient track known as the Portway that crosses the Peak District.

(update 24 December 2020 - Bernadette's arrow insights on Tara resonate with this link to Robin Hood. I have since learned there are many legends based on a 12th century visit by Robin Hood and Little John to Dublin, Little John's Shot was a hillock on Oxmantown Green, from which, according to a tale or tradition reported in the first edition of Holinshed's Chronicles (1577), Little John shot an arrow, standing on Father Mathew Bridge, then known as Dublin Bridge. Unfortunately this feat led to the authorities becoming aware of his presence, so he hastily left Ireland for Scotland. Source - The International Robin Hood Bibliography)

A bang as a neighbour's door closed and the son shouted 'Goodbye'... I looked at the clock on the computer.... exactly 12.00 noon. Symbolic. The water pipes knocked twice in their usual melodic way as someone turned on the flow. I could hear the sparrows chattering to each other in the hawthorn... other birds calling across the valley and the rain dripping onto the foxgloves and fuschias...

It was 12.15 and I decided to read Martin's Running Order and notes... then the emails pinged in... five sent yesterday (20th) all about the ceremony, had finally reached my inbox. Weird timing. Photos of Tara and messages about who could come and who had been called somewhere else.

Distracted I looked at the website information. There were 5 online in realtime. Then the pheasant call rang across the gardens, symbolic of confidence and perserverance. It strutted up the garden path and then flew off. Just as those on Tara would be walking up the Banqueting Hall. I felt like the web of alignments, a mesh of connections, linked us all together.

At 12.55 the crows rose up as one, crying to each other, the neighbour's door closed again and the blackbird sounded a warning as it flew from wall to wall. Everything went quiet. The earth was breathing, we were breathing. Breathing life in wild lands.

Update - Christmas Day listening to the Queen's Message - she used the word Hope five times and ended with:

Let the light of Christmas, the spirit of selflessness, love and, above all, hope guide us in the times ahead. It is in that spirit that I wish you a very Happy Christmas.