The Druids Isle: The Mystical Adventures of Saint Patrick
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We certainly found that to be true. Claire has a unique gift. There is a particular melancholic poignancy in hearing these sweet traditional Irish songs when one is an emigrant. Our Magical Mystery Day in Sligo turned out to be a precious gem of experience that I think will remain with us for many years to come — a place we can return to in our minds, to replenish ourselves when our soul needs filling up.
From her resting place on top the metre high Knockarea Mountain, Queen Maeve looks down upon a plethora of stone circles and remains of thirty passage cairns, many of which have a dolmen at their centre. Together these stone structures form an oval shape.
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Like many of the ancient sites of Ireland, Carrowmore is located high up in the landscape, with an astounding degree panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and several mountain ranges. Inside the main cairn that dominates the site, there is a massive stone dolmen or tomb. Our local guide Austin had an encyclopedic knowledge of both the history and the mythology of the Carrowmore and the surrounding area. Our private ceremony on that shimmering, sunny day took place across the road from the main cairn, at one of the many beautiful stone circles.
There, we created an altar with our crystals, on the large moss-covered stone that stood at the centre of the circle. After anointing ourselves with sacred oils and Holy Well water, under the bluest of blue skies, we sang out our prayers to Mother Earth and Father Sky. Joining hands inside the ancient stone ring,we called on our Druidic ancestors to help us access the wisdom and knowledge they had bequeathed us, still stored within these great and powerful stones. With that, our time in Co Sligo had come to a close, and we boarded the bus for our the next stage of our tour in Co Meath.
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Gather oh energy of life Touched by the earth Celebrated by the crystals Annointed by the Fairies Blessed by the bite of an apple A path into the sky A wonder of the Universe May the energy clear the world to an ever lasting love. Scott Calev. When one embarks on any spiritual trip, one can expect the unexpected!
Such an unfoldment was about to take place for our Mystical Ireland Sojourners! As we travelled on the bus to Navan I invited our one Irish participant, Patrick from Tipperary, to sit with me, as I wanted to thank him properly for the generous help he had extended to me over the previous days. His reluctance to do so was due to the fact that part of this information would substantially affect our planned group activities. The second piece of information he shared turned out to be related to a very complex personal weaving that had been unfolding for me for over the past four years — something Patrick could not possibly have known about.
Patrick: Son of Ireland
That shocked me, and really made me sit up and take notice! Uisneach was already well and truly on my radar as a place I wanted to visit, but as our itinerary was already packed with activity, Stephanie and I had to dismiss the idea of visiting there on this trip. After discussing the matter that night, Stephanie and I agreed that all the signs pointed to this visit being important. The only possible way to fit it in however, would be to totally abandon our scheduled plans for the following day.
We decided to sleep on it and if it still felt right in the morning we would put the matter to a group vote. He learnt that they were actually officially closed that day, but the caretaker of the site said he would come in open the place up especially for us. This meant that we would have the place entirely to ourselves! With the instinct that Spirit seemed to be orchestrating things on our behalf, we put the decision it to a group vote.
The Hill of Uisneach is the mythological and sacred centre of Ireland. Hills in no less than twenty counties are visible from its summit. Over centuries, Uisneach was seen as the gate to the mythical fifth province of Ireland, Mide, which held the four other provinces together. As such, it has played a part in almost every significant Irish event be it political, cultural, religious, or mythological down through the ages. In fact, this enigmatic Hill is acknowledged as one of the most sacred and historic sanctuaries in the world.
Justin, one of the custodians of this incredible site, was our guide for the day. The photograph below of him being showered with Rainbow Rays would appear to add credence to that! As did his comments about the relationship of the Irish people to the Faerie kingdom. Justin related how he himself continues to be amazed at the vast number of stone circles, holy wells, faerie forts, and ancient monuments that remain in Ireland in their original and pristine state. Irish people still have deep in their genes, a real respect and acknowledgement of the Faerie kingdom.
From early childhood, we have been inculcated with the belief that certain places are Faerie places, that certain trees are Faerie trees, and that you would do well to leave those places alone. One thing etched on my own memory from childhood is that you never cut down a lone tree in a field. Such a tree is a Faerie tree and disturbing it would result in the Faeries putting thorns in your bed! Justin was a superlative guide. He held us enthrall with his vast knowledge of the facts, myths and legends of the extensive Royal site of Uisneach, all of which were delivered with great warmth, intelligence and a bubbling sense of humour.
Seeing his love for the place deepened our own sense of excitement and awe at having been led there so specifically on that day.
The Uisneach landscape is punctuated by huge and extraordinary sculptures depicting some of the mythological characters associated with the Royal site. The place was also alive with Faerie energy, evidenced by the many knarled and knotted trees typical of those found in a Faerie Forts and glens….
When we gathered high up on the platform of the Royal enclosure, Justin shared with us stories of the High Kings and High Queens who had assembled there in times past to celebrate the Festival of Beltaine, when the fires would have burned bright upon the Hill, a beacon for all in the surrounding counties to see. Clear vestiges of the tree-lined ceremonial Royal road are still visible, and it was easy to envisage the magnificent spectacle of the High Kings and High Queens of Tara and other Provinces of Ireland, processing up that road with pomp and ceremony, surrounded by their Chieftains and Royal retinues, before ascending to the platform we now stood on.
The highlight of our visit to Uisneach,was yet to unfold. En route to the Catstone, Justin told us that we were actually not completely alone at Uisneach that day. He had also granted entry to a Native Canadian Indian healer accompanied by four other people. Before leaving Ireland, she would return again to give thanks and replenish. As soon as Stephanie and I heard this, we knew there was no accident that our two groups had ended up at Uisneach that day, which fell within the 3-day window of the September Equinox.
We felt that without a doubt, Spirit had orchestrated this event, using Patrick as the messenger to get us here. Our silent communion and private ceremony unfolded with ease and grace. Some people later, quite independently of each other, said that they had heard the Catstone sing.
There was an insistant prompting however, for me to get up and quietly ask Elaine if she and her companions would be happy for me to bring the transmission through. We literally met half way! I suggested that perhaps we could let Spirit work through us together…which is what we did.
This seamless, unplanned joining of our two groups energies strongly suggests to me, that our assembled presence at Uisneach that day had a deep and global significance. We took our leave of each other as gently and undramatically as we had come together.
Our next day in Co Meath was just as awe-inspiring as our day at Uisneach. Our expert guide for this much-anticipated day was renowned author Anthony Murphy. Anthony is an expert on Bru Na Boinne, which is one of the largest and most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. Our plan was to visit the three ancient temples of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, which some people believe are remnants of the ancient Atlantian civilization. The monuments at Newgrange are more than years old, years older than Stonehenge, ad years older than the Pyramids in Egypt.
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Each of these temples was carefully built to align with the sun. At dawn on the morning of the Winter Solstice the main chamber at Newgrange is illuminated by a beam of sunlight for 17 minutes. Newgrange is in fact, thought to be the oldest surviving deliberately aligned structure in the world. They came to the following conclusion They were an advanced culture, with a keen understanding of the Cosmic principle that nothing exists in isolation — everything is connected.
The Semiotics of Saint Patrick
We also believe they placed their gods and heroes among the stars, and many of their stories may contain the hidden language of astronomy. We could not have had a person more informed or sensitive to the mythical landscape we were about to visit, than Anthony. We arrived at Newgrange bright and early at 8. By Divine intervention yet again! The monument looked absolutely stunning beneath the early morning sky and there was a feeling of great anticipation and excitement in the air. During our sharing circle the night before, we had set our intention for the ceremonial aspect of the day quite specifically.
This was to unfold on both an individual and group level, and before we descended from the bus, we anointed ourselves with sacred oil in preparation for what lay ahead. The most famous of these stones is the one marking the entrance to the Newgrange chamber itself, on which the triple spiral,unique to this site, can be seen. Entering the narrow passageway that leads to the inner chamber is like entering the birth canal to the womb of the Great Mother. Once inside, the highly decorated chamber is breath-taking.
Switching off all the internal lights, our Newgrange guide performed a re-enactment of the Winter Solstice sunrise, which brought into sharp focus the incredible mathematical and architectural precision of our ancient ancestors.