I moved to Ireland at autumn equinox in 2001. Autumn Equinox is inextricably wedded to migration as I remember the fourteen hour journey - three trains, a ferry and a car ride -that was the emigrant trail for me and our Household Goddess Sophie, our beloved and ancient tortoiseshell cat. At dusk on September 21st Tony's brother drove down the last road to our rental property. I was arriving sight unseen, since Tony had brought the dogs over the previous week. The sphinx like profile of the Playbank hove into view and I was completely enchanted. That mountain has never let me go.
Giants are part of mythology, right? Here I stand before a 'genuine' giant's grave, looking across a dry river valley towards another wedge tomb. The finger post would like to say that this one belongs to a giantess and the other a giant. The shaman in me says 'Humph!" to the finger post. One of the group I am tour leading says that since this point is higher than the other wedge tomb it is obvious that the higher status male would be buried here. The feminist in me who is familiar with goddess lore wants to say 'Humph!" to him, too.
Blessings of biodiverse Bealtaine! This is my favourite season in Ireland and with my lane bursting with scores of wild plants, the cuckoo calling and the swifts shooting in and out of my neighbour's barn you really can sense the fertility of the earth. All is well and the wheel turns on and on.
This past weekend I was leading a Dublin radio presenter around this sacred landscape for a program on New Perspectives in Ireland: Themes, Dreams, Myths and Ecology. John is a self-proclaimed pessimist about the planet even as he keeps planting trees for Peace Forest Ireland.
Until I moved to this magical place first settled by the mythic Tuatha dé Danaan I, too, was a fairy agnostic. But when the land energy is so potent and palpable my disbelief was easily suspended. So yeah, I believe and have also come to know. Unlike the Doubting Disciple of the Christian gospel I don't need to have seen to believe. It's enough to feel. But once you do get the vibe the communication in my personal experience gets more direct.
Ireland has recently conducted national DNA research that asks the question of what actually makes the Irish...well, Irish? As a country conditioned by emigration the Celtic tiger of the 1990's and early Noughties brought an influx of new blood into the population. Cue some national soul searching.
If you read the earliest Irish texts, such as the Book of Invasions, Ireland has always been rather 'multi-cultural' although that was probably not the fashionable interpretation in earlier times. This DNA survey has noted that along with the Irish being well connected with the Scots and other British populations, there is a strong marker for Spanish, specifically, Basque, lineage.
Welcome to my world one that is quite literally magical. In this blog I’ll share how a relict goddess, the legends of her devotees and the earth that is their homeplace have nurtured my spiritual path.
In 2001 after a protracted leave taking from England, my Irish born partner and I were led to Ireland guided by Yeats’ synchronicities, goddess guidance and the ridiculous spinning of a pendulum over a map in County Cavan, a place neither of us remotely entertained as our new Irish residence.