Saturday 24 March 2018 - Fourknocks - Sunny Side Up
Meet at Fourknocks at midday on Saturday 24th March. (Those who wish can meet at the Seamus Ennis centre, The Naul, at 11.00am for a cuppa beforehand).
All welcome as we come together in community to celebrate the turn of the season.
To bring -
Wear something brightly coloured, a scarf or something.
One or two hard boiled eggs.
If you have eggs of any type – marble, clay etc, and you’d like to put them in the circle while we do our ceremony, please bring them along.
We’ll do open heart – if anyone has anything to share, now is the time – a poem, a thought, a song, an oster egg…or bunny.
Brighter days are on the way!
Saturday named after Saturn, god of karma and time. It’s time for agriculture and creativity, fortune and hope.
The moon is in it's first quarter on Saturday, with full moon on 31st March - time to take action and plant what you want.
Plans are made for changing of course, subject to situation and conditions on the day.
We will enter through the portal to the centre of Fourknocks, open our circle, lighting the candles for each quarter as we call in the elements, starting appropriately to the East – direction of the rising sun, of dawn and rebirth and increasing light.
We are coming out of the days of darkness and into increasing day light, we will acknowledge the darkness, and let go of that which no longer serves us – taking a pinch of salt and putting it in the cauldron and as we do so, symbolically let go of any negative thoughts or habits. Contents of cauldron will be buried with the intention of releasing the negativity- if anyone wants to take the contents to do that, they can. (Being careful of where as salt can damage plants etc)
With our (hard boiled) eggs we will hold them and reflect on what we want to bring in and welcome into our lives, and whatever symbols come to mind, draw them on the egg/eggs. If it’s raining or too cold or we just feel like staying inside, we will put the eggs into the basket (the only time it’s good to put all your eggs into one basket!) and pick one (or two) out – you may not get the egg you put in, but whatever you get will be the ppropriate one for you – trust it is so. Hold on to the egg/s and when you get home, plant them in the garden to release the energy over the next while.
We will also talk about Easter/Ostrara, the eggs, the hare, the light returning.
We’ll close the circle and thank the energies and the energies of Fourknocks and go out through the portal to greet the light and stretch into the sunlight...
... and roll the eggs down from the top if weather permits,
Close circle, chitchat, and maybe back to Seamus Ennis to complete the circle and have another cuppa.
If you are unable to attend in person you might like to boil an egg, put symbols on it that carry your intentions and bury it, joining in with the energy of the get-together, or simply light a candle.
Everyone's experience is different, the northerners moving into summer, the southerners moving into winter, but wherever you are, have a wonderful turn of the season.
Thanks to Anne for this verse
© Anne Newman
Things are moving,
Two steps forward,
The Music for the spiral dance.
Buds near bursting
Earth is warming
Days are lengthening
Hares are doing their Mad March prance.
Smiles all around as
Light is growing
and Nature is Stirring
a deep-felt knowing
that Summer days advance.
19 March 2017 - Clogherhead - Balance, Equality & Tolerance
Message from the Host
Tara Celebration's Spring Equinox celebration will be held at Clogherhead, Co. Louth at 2.00pm on Sunday 19th March. Meet in the public car park near the harbour (Port Oriel) - (on the north side of the bay) - at 1.30pm.
The themes of the day will be Balance, Equality and Tolerance.
As usual we will begin our celebration by opening a circle and calling in the directions and elements but on the day, as well as meditating/reflecting on the above themes, we will dwell awhile on those initial acts . What does it symbolise? Why are we doing it? The fact that elements were an ancient symbol of balance will be discussed as well as psychologist Carl Jung's use of elements to describe 4 basic human psychological states and how they need to be balanced in order for us to lead more harmonious lives.
All are welcome to join us as we Celebrate this time as our ancestors did before us. Bring eggs, flowers, seeds and anything else that symbolises Spring Equinox for you.
We will have an "open heart" section as usual where anybody can contribute anything they feel appropriate to the occasion. Remember we will be outside, on grass, by the sea, near a cliff in Spring, in Ireland...so dress appropriately! Bring the kids too but note we will be near some rocky terrain by the sea.
Don't forget to bring something to eat, drink and share as we always finish our celebration with a feast (or coffee and cake at least).
If you cannot join us physically you can of course "tune in" Spiritually. (Let us know where you are in the world and we'll remember you during our ceremony - including the Southern Hemisphere which is celebrating Autumn Equinox at this time).
"Equinox" means "equal night" in Latin and this time of year is when there is equal light and dark in our days. So the "Balance" theme is obviously a reference to that.
However, we will also be looking at personal balance in our lives; time, work, family, leisure etc.
In researching this special time of year we discovered that celebrations have been ongoing through all ages by all peoples of all beliefs and none. Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists (& PRE-Christians, Muslims, Jews & Buddhists), Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Mayans, Native Americans, Celts, pre-Celts, Wiccans, Pagans and more ALL celebrate/celebrated the Spring Equinox.
All are acknowledging at this time the return of Light, Fertility and Hope to our lives. Men and women, animals and plants, even the Earth itself seems to rejoice in this wondrous time of renewal and rejuvenation. Equality through the ages, beliefs and species all right there.
Speaking of the Earth, we have a reminder in Clogherhead of how Nature creates REAL borders which last for millions of years - unlike the lines that we as humans insist on drawing on maps.
Clogherhead marks the site of a collision of two continental plates millions of years ago - the evidence of which can still be seen today. These events took hundreds of millions of years and this knowledge could act as a catalyst for us to embrace and spread tolerance in the world today - here and now.
Proposed running plan - note this can change on the day
The reason I asked to host Spring Equinox 2017 is that I hosted the Autumn Equinox 2016 – when we bid farewell to the light – so now we can welcome the light back into our lives. We also remember at this time those who are “tuning in” energetically from other parts of Ireland, all over the world and from other realms.
Clogherhead marks the site of a collision of two continental plates millions of years ago - the evidence of which can still be seen today. (Note layout of rocks beside us!).
There is a feeling of transition about today: Dark-Light, Death-Rebirth, Land-Sea, Continent-Continent, Outside the circle-Inside the circle. (More about that later).
Themes of Day: 3 Themes; Balance, Equality and Tolerance. (“B E T” appropriate in Cheltenham week!)
Opening Circle/Calling Directions & Elements:
We begin as usual by opening the circle and calling in the Directions/Elements
Spirit of the Earth, Guardian of the North, You ground us and feed our connection to the earth. Be with us now to be witness and guardian to this celebration. (Thank you for your presence at our celebration).
Spirit of the Wind, Guardian of the East, You fuel our imagination and give us creativity. Be with me now to be witness and guardian to this celebration. (Thank you for your presence at our celebration).
Spirit of Fire, Guardian of the South, Your power leaves me in awe, I am comforted by your flame. Be with us now to be witness and guardian to this celebration. (Thank you for your presence at our celebration).
Spirit of Water, Guardian of the West, you are our pathway to the Goddess, you bring us peace. Be with us now to be witness and guardian to this ritual. (Thank you for your presence at our celebration).
All: Spirit of energy that surrounds us. Be with us now to be witness and guardian to this ritual. (Thank you for your presence at our celebration).
Let us pause awhile and reflect on why we do this...
The circle: There are symbolic resonances to opening a circle. It can mark the space between the worlds – our mundane, run-of-the-mill world is left outside the circle while the spiritual, higher consciousness world is inside. The circle can also be seen as a bubble...we are surrounded by energy that protects us during our celebration. Another thing opening a circle does is it focuses the attention and raises consciousness.
The Elements: We can pay equal attention to the four elements that we have invoked to help us today – as the Ancients also did. To them, the elements were a symbol of balance. The psychologist Carl Jung used the 4 elements to describe 4 basic psychological states:
Sensation-Earth, Feeling-Water, Thinking-Air, Intuition-Fire
He felt that we need to balance all of these qualities to lead more harmonious lives. So meditating within the circle – with the 4 elements – can hopefully produce insights on personal changes leading to balance in all aspects of our lives; Spiritual, Emotional, Mental and Physical; Work, Family, Friends and Ourselves. (Short meditation follows)...
Reflect on what we’ve just done: Did anything come up? What “seeds” can we sow NOW in our lives that we can reap the benefits of in autumn?
Open Heart: We now invite anyone present to contribute to the proceedings as they see fit. (Possibly with a poem, song, some thoughts, activity etc.)
Close the circle: (Ref “Opening Circle” above). Thanks to all for coming. Share food and drink and enjoy!
This beautiful crystal was a gift handed from a Shamanic healer to a relative of the current holder.
She felt strongly to take it to the ceremony and passed it around the circle at open heart.
It is a powerful stone and she knows it is with her for a good reason.
Our Host's comments:
We met in Clogherhead on a wonderful dry - and mostly sunny - Sunday afternoon. What followed was what one of those present described as "simple yet powerful" as we completed everything as planned in the preview.
The circle was formed - our "bubble of energy" enclosing us in a special space which both separated us from the outside world and allowed us to indulge in our special celebration where we shared a lot together as well as time spent in individual, personal reflection.
Within the circle we had symbols of the four elements: Air, Water, Earth and Fire. The Crystal represented the energy/ higher consciousness which among other things, connected us with those not present but tuning in. The Crystal Tree of Life was made at a workshop given by our friend Eileen (RIP) and represented those that have passed on/higher realms.
During the open heart section poems, crystals and lavender were shared - particular thanks to the person who recited a poem of gratitude which was passed down orally from generations within their family.
After the ceremony finished, there was a distinct reluctance by some of us to leave, we lingered in that beautiful spot for a while before adjourning to the local Chinese restaurant where we laughed our way through a delicious meal.
All in all, a wonderful day where we sowed some personal seeds - hopefully to be reaped at the next Autumn Equinox at the Holy Well, Hill of Tara in September.
Thanks to all who turned up on the day and also to those who were there in Spirit - your presence was certainly felt.
Daffodils in full radiant glory - Castleknock, Dublin
Below: First Spring Gentians of the Season at Lough Avalla in the Burren 11 days after equinox
Below some hearts tongue fern unfurling for Spring
A splash of colour from the dog violets
20 March 2016 - Fourknocks - Spring Equinox
All are welcome to meet at the Seamus Ennis Centre in the The Naul for lunch. It is not possible to reserve a table beforehand so allow plenty of time to order food and eat, have a chat and then to travel the couple of miles to Fourknocks.
Please bring eggs... normal, unpainted eggs, can be raw or cooked, everyone can bring as many as they like (ok, maybe not 50 per person...)
- we'll bless / empower them, so basically one can bring more than one and specify the other(s) for a relative, friend, etc.
If anyone has flowers to share that would be lovely.
And to inspire the day here is a quotation that we can all become familiar with:
“I am the seed of spirit
I am the seed of life
I am the seed of creation
I am the seed of hope
I am the seed of trust
I am the seed of courage
I am the seed of change
I am the seed of understanding
I am the seed of respect
I am the seed of joy
I am the seed of love
Love over all
so mote it be"
Above the colourful center for the Spring Equinox ritual
Spring equinox / Ostara is pastel colours... light greens, blues, rosey, yellow, on the cheerful side. If you want to come all in pastel, the Masters of Ceremonies say 'be my guest', or flowery fabrics of course. One colourful visible item of clothes would be great and, of course, all should be warm and suitable for being outdoors.
Greetings to those in the Southern Hemisphere heading into winter. If you are unable to join in 'in person' light a candle and join in 'in spirit'. If you have any pictures to share of the flowers where you are this Equinox and are willing for them to be included on the website we would love to receive them.
We welcome Freya and Freyr to our ceremony and ask for their energies. Both Freya and Freyr have boars they ride on, and rosequartz fits well for love and all kinds of loving energies (the rune sigil on the stone stands for the same theme).
Bells used to clear space for the ceremony.
Thanks to Susan for this experience of the day
On a lovely Sunday some of us gathered at the Seamus Ennis Centre where we had a bite to eat, then made our way to the welcoming Fourknocks cairn. Dana and Marta, Sarah and John had been up earlier to open and prepare the space for us, we were blessed and cleansed before going in through the portal by Dana and Marta, we entered into another welcoming place, apart from our every day but connected to the other realms. More people gathered to join us and of course we had the usual visitors from other planes, including a bat!
The space was lit with candles and the four corners were represented in each hollow of Fourknocks and there was a lovely altar in the centre. We opened the circle calling in each element and the wiccans among us calling in the energies of Freya and Freyr to be with us as well. We put our eggs by the edge of the cloth on the ground, eggs being a symbol of fertility and also a symbol of what we want to bring to ourselves. Eggs of all sorts were there, cooked, porcelain, stone, plus chocolate ones but we didn't see them til after! Yum.
We then made a sigil (writing our our own phrase of something we want to manifest in our life, or a positive phrase, condensing the sentence down to a few letters and then making a symbol and drawing that on the egg, which we could eat at our leisure. Eggs (raw) can be used to draw negativity from a room, and then buried. Also ground shells can be used instead of salt to draw or mark out a circle, specially good if you are outside and don't want to harm the earth. We then made a witch's bottle, putting into a small bottle herbs - roses for love, chamomile for peace, lavender for calm etc, with our intentions too and finally drawing a rune on the outside and tied up with a lovely ribbon. This is a bottle that can be put where you see it, some bottles can be used for protection, these ones are usually buried, sometimes outside the front door for protection.
We each gave thanks to the visitors from Switzerland for doing so much and being so gracious and willing to share their knowledge with us. We then closed the circle and had a cup of tea outside. A wonderful day inside and wonderful sunshine greeted us outside. The whole process took about two hours, and was a great day. I think Fourknocks was glad to see some ceremony and light and uplifting things being done inside.
Below: Imbolc meets Equinox, Blanchardstown daffodils, the flower expressing the energy of the day and a candle in the Fourknocks
I wandered lonely as a cloud...
Pat says from Dublin 15 - On a dull, windy, rainy day I came upon this roundabout which cheered me up immensely...well done to the county council concerned!
21 March 2015 - Goodbye Darkness my old friend, until we meet again…
Thanks to Susan, Pat, Martin, Nora and Nancy for the photos.
At Dowth we will acknowledge the dark and its gifts, then make our way to Bective Abbey, higher ground, where we will acknowledge the increasing light.
We will thank and acknowledge the land that we are on, its constant support, always supporting us with new buds, new life, new hope.
Dowth, (Dubbadh, Place of Darkness) - gateway to the darkness (darkness of eclipse).
Stone of the 7 Suns &
Gorse in flower on the mound
Dowth is the place of darkness, and we will acknowledge and thank the winter for its lessons.
Now coming out of the cold, we have had our time of introversion, so what do we want to plant and bring to fruition for the next stage of the year.
Signs of spring – even the name says it all. We spring to life...
Looking down from the height of Dowth
and south east towards the Boyne estuary
|The get together was held in the morning in the collapsed mound that is Dowth and it felt that it needed appreciating and acknowledging, so we welcomed the energies and thanked the earth and gifted a crystal, letting go of what we don't need, writing down and burning that which no longer serves. Then making our way along the Boyne to the higher ground of Bective Abbey, completely different energy altogether... bringing the energy of the group to the light,, bees, gorse, yellow colours, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and a nice cuppa and chat back at Bective Mill B n B|
Anything we want to get rid of will be written down on black paper and burnt at Dowth.
What do we want to manifest? At Bective we put these intentions either as a symbol or writing onto golden yellow paper, then into the manifesting box.
We take some time to walk quietly and thank the land at both Dowth & Bective, with the option of gifting a small crystal to the land, or it can be taken away for your own garden, always holding the energy of the circle.
We return to the circle and then travel mindfully to Bective Abbey, Into the light, the higher ground while keeping the energy of the group together.
En route are new lambs, Slane Hill, River Boyne and Donaghmore.
We reform our circle to acknowledge the step now to the light. Again we thank the land for its abundance.
On the 21st threads from the 20th were drawn together:
1.. New Moon - moonrise 6.25am
2.. Partial Solar Eclipse - begins at 08.24am and ends at 10.37 with maximum at 09.29
3.. Spring Equinox - 22.45 UTC
Eclipse photos from Dalgan Park, Meath
filters bring colour to eclipse photos from Cork
|Clonakilty stone circle, monastic site and the new moon in Co Cork|
'Nancy looking for a shamrock'
This is the Canadian spring of 2015... the most snow falling in a short time in about 50 years.
The information is drawn from years of Tara Celebrations reports and information.
Each TC ceremony is run in awareness of the dominating energies of the current cycle, leading to an accumulated wealth of experience. We observe the festivals and attune our lives to seasonal changes. We cannot avoid the fundamental reality that we are effected by the place at which we live on earth.
We shall, by discovering time qualities, enjoy what adds flavour and spice to our lives, expressed as physical phenomena, mental attitudes, emotions we undergo and spiritual intentions. For example, we find that Samhain is a good time for introspection and planting the seeds of new projects, allowing them to germinate over the winter months. Beltaine, on the other hand, is a time to embark on projects requiring courage and energy.
Spring (Vernal) Equinox 2017 - Balance, Equality & Tolerance - Clogherhead 2016 - Spring Equinox - Fourknocks 2015 - Goodbye Darkness my old...
Page last updated: 21st Mar 2018