After finishing my meditation with love and gratitude, I slowly picked my path back down and headed for the cliffs. Wow, I'll let the pictures talk for themselves.
I love heights, so I found a safe place to lie down and stick my head over the edge! Raw footage below from my little camera accompanied by wind and wave noises. I was transfixed watching the waves spiraling over the rocks below....enjoying that moment, that edge that makes me feel extra alive!
My plan was to do some outdoor work in the fine weather, the colours just kept distracting me! So I put down the shovel and exchanged it for my camera!
Thursday March 17th - Spring Equinox Ceremony 12pm at Temple Crom
Saturday 19th March Mindfulness in Nature Afternoon 2pm-5pm At Temple Crom
Wednesday March 23rd Full Moon Ceremony 8pm at Temple Crom and at Tara
Any questions or if you'd like to book your place simply send me an email using this link here
An open day at the Temple is a time for just having a look and maybe asking a few questions, it's a chance to chill out with us for a couple of hours.
After the Power House, we move on to the Fort, this is a large enclosure which during the Summer months hosts our Medieval Camp, we'll tell you all about it on the day!
On to the Native forest, approx 9,000 Native trees were planted in Jan 2014. Here you'll see lots of young trees with maybe some quartz egg rocks at their base, this where the local school have visited and each child picked a stone and placed it at a tree, they come back every year to check on it's growth.
We finish the tour in the Round House. This is our Temple, built by volunteer labour and materials. It seats about thirty and currently has one little wren nesting in the last years swallows nest.
In the Round House we'll give you a brief introduction to Celtic Spirituality and how we live our every day lives Spiritually focused. We'll also tell you a bit about the different ceremonies that we facilitate both in the Temple and all around the country.
Hopefully you'll have enjoyed the talk, the walk in Nature, the relaxed space that we hold and you never know you might just visit us again. See you soon......
Open Days: Sat 7th May, Sat 9th July and Sat 1st Oct. These days are free and open to all, membership is not required. Open at 3pm, guided tour at 3.30pm--- all welcome (no pets please.....this is in respect for the animals already living here)
Email us to book your place.
We need your help.
The 'no chemical' method means we simply hold the top of the tree and fold weeds away from the young trees by the careful use of the boot, giving breathing space for the young tree spirit to grow. It's quite a relaxing and enjoyable process, you develop a rhythm working your way through the young forest spiraling around the trees as you help to give them the space they need to grow. If you can't join us but still want to help us with this project you can use the donate button at the end of this blog to help in a different and much need way. Your donations will buy stakes for trees, protective gloves for volunteers and other items that make the job safer and easier for all (including the trees :)
However, if you prefer to stay over night and then lend a hand on the tree farm we will give you a bed, b/fast, lunch and dinner and a contribution of E10 per person per day is appreciated. No one will be asked to do any work that they are not able for or uncomfortable with - you are expected to enjoy working at the Temple! More FAQ on volunteering with us here
When people come to stay with us, they generally fall in to two categories of reactions. The first, and of course my favourite is when they are completely amazed at our lifestyle and become inspired to take on their own projects at home. The other, not so favourite reaction is one of complete and utter astonishment that we don't fit some pre-imagined picture or set of expectations usually along the lines of where's the castle or why don't you do this or that. These reactions are sometimes a little difficult to manage, and sometimes you just have to call it....you're projecting your idea of Druid on to us, this is who we are....take it or leave it.......
Anyway........within these two main reactions both generally agree that our home is very peaceful with an air of tranquility and deep calm. We work hard at making sure that this peace is always with us, and of course we as the humans in the equation don't always get it right, thankfully it's not just us, there's the rocks that the house is made from dotted with sparkling quartz, the living water circulating in our underfloor heating system, the hemp supplied by friends on the walls allowing the house to breath and the sheep's wool in the attic, our woolly hat in winter. We don't have many electrical appliances whizzing or buzzing constantly and at night time the silence grows much deeper. I've found that some people relax into this space immediately whilst others who live in cities, take awhile to tune in.
We have a deep respect for Nature, this means that we are conscious of our connection to Nature. At every moment with every breath we are interacting and connecting with Nature. If you look at a dictionary definition of Nature, you'll find something along the lines of "the physical world and everything in it (such as plants, animals, mountains, oceans, stars, etc.) that is not made by people" Fair enough, but the definition and mindset doesn't really allow for the full concept... that people are part of Nature, we are not above Nature, below Nature, in control of Nature or separate from Nature. Even when we're inside an apartment block on the 17th floor of a sprawling city- we are still with Nature, this is who we are. It's the over analyzing, categorizing, specializing and all the other iizings that encourage us to believe that we are separate from Nature, that it is something we must care for.....it is, but come at it from the view point that we are Nature, how does that change your understanding?
We can communicate with other parts of Nature quite easily. We share the same space, we share nutrients, water, minerals, we depend on each other and we communicate on such basic levels that it's way too simple for our categorized, segmented brains and egos to allow! I have often found plants by smell alone. Hidden in the long grass or thorny hedge the most delicate of flowers can call out to pollinators, and what a joy it is to locate these plants through their aromatic touch. If you're just saying hello, you don't need to know it's latin name and all it's properties, all you have to do is appreciate it and know that it has just spoken to you in it's language! When I forage for berries in the hedges my intuition tells me only to pick berries in the height or space from my knees to my shoulders.....to leave berries for the birds and smaller creatures. Most people who spend a lot of time outdoors with plants and trees have little rituals or understandings particular to them and their immediate environment, when Ard Druí Red John and his family visit the fairy tree on Tara, they respectfully check in from a distance to feel if the tree is open for a visit.....respect.
Culture, can be defined as shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and understanding that are learned by socialization. It can be seen as the growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group.
Apparently the the word "culture" derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin "colere," which means to tend to the earth and grow.
We also see the word used in a scientific sense to describe groups of bacteria and fungi, we know of beneficial cultures of bacteria and fungi everywhere; in the soil promoting growth, in fermented foods like cheese, krauts, kimchi, and all manner of condiments.
I have a great belief that even though we lost our Forest Culture in the 1600's the bacteria and fungi necessary for forest growth is still here in the soil. I also feel that our sense of separation from Nature comes from a decrease in beneficial culture in our diets and immediate environment.
I approach a solution to this this from a few different angles. I try my best not to intentionally destroy beneficial bacteria....cleaning products in our home are all natural. We have a reed bed system for our waste water so I can visibly see how I'm doing....strong growth of reeds, iris', willows in the reed beds means I'm not killing the good stuff.......bleach kills good bacteria...so no bleach. Similar when I'm outside, no weedkillers, no poisons, same with my own body....no poisons....refined white sugar, dextrose and similar manufactured products are the equivalent of bleach in my mind, sure they do a great job, in that they taste great but oh wow the consequences..
I plant and care for lots of trees and plants, I'm playing a conscious part in the growth of the native culture of our local ecosystem.
I make and eat lots of culture i.e.fermented food products from veg grown locally. And my favourite way of restoring culture is to make herbal mead elixirs.....(local honey, local flowers, local yeast) a recipe for delightful culture.
I came across this blog when looking for ideas for meads; I make my meads in quite a similar way to this blog post: http://www.gallowaywildfoods.com/?page_id=1862
So, you are Nature, where ever you are, Nature is with you. You can feel more connected by becoming aware of your personal connections.....what products do you use, can you change any? Supporting the growth of one potted plant in your home changes your immediate ecosystem- you can practice conscious connection with this plant. Make fermented food- sourdough bread, sauerkraut, mead.....start looking around you. Even in the cities there are nooks and crannies of wonderful and vibrant culture.
Most importantly, have fun.....if you approach this from a guilt perspective, you've already changed your inner culture and guilt is not the approach you want to take........fun, love, exploration, adventure,gratitude and Love, did I say that one already.....Love, love yourself, love your world.....that's all you have to do. If you can't love yourself and consequently the world around you then decide to go on a fun filled adventure of change!
At the start of the longest night of the year the setting Sun aligns up with a four stone row as it sits into a 'saddle' or dip in the holy mountain as seen from the ancient complex at Annagh-Kildangan in Co Mayo. The complex of monuments at Annagh Kildangan is now only just above the waterline but in its day it was a Druí monastery on the north side of Croagh Crom / the Reek and it was dry because it was high above the high tide. The complex was serviced by sea lanes and shore tracks, has a 4 standing stone alignment, a stone circle and is enclosed by a raised bank - its on the Clew Bay trail for tourists, never been excavated and access is easy.
Pics from our Full Moon Ceremony
I went for a lovely walk in our young forest today. Here are some pics...........
Niamh and Con are founding members of Celtic Druid Temple and walk the path of Celtic Druids in Roscommon, Eire.