2019 - Community - Bective
Saturday 2nd February starting at 10.30am - Bective Mill. A description of the day from Pat....
We gathered in the morning at Bective Mill where our host, Jean, had prepared the space for a wonderful celebration which included meditation, healing, singing and dancing, meaningful arts and craft activities, feasting, laughing and more.
As seen in the photographs, Jean had a doorway made which referred to Brigid who was said to have been born in the thresh-hold of her family home – symbolising how she was of this world as well as the Divine realm.
Each person passed through this doorway to be welcomed by other members of the group and the cloak which adorned the frame was unfurled and held by all as some beautuful music inspired by Brigid was played.
The cloak had of course been left out overnight as is tradition at this time. Legend has it that Brigid passes over the land on the eve of her feast day and any cloths - “Brat” - left out will be imbued with healing properties for the coming year.
This YouTube link is of a piece of music played at the meeting: Prayer of the Mothers
Jean then led us in some dancing before we settled down for a wonderful meditation.
After some healing and much-needed grounding, we adjourned to the “craft tables” where we proceeded to make Brigid's crosses and decorate sticks in whatever way took our fancy.
This wasn’t just a craft exercise however as we held our intentions for the coming year as we worked – thus the sticks represent the seeds of ideas that we hope to harvest before the end of the year.
As usual the chat and banter was super and we all learned from each other – especially our visitor and new friend from New Orleans, Camille!
There was a great sense of Spring, Renewal and Feminine Energy throughout the day and as Brigid blessed us with fine weather, some of us went to the Hill of Tara afterwards.
We paid particular attention to the Mound of the Hostages as it's entrance is aligned to the rising sun at this time of the year.
Having worked up a nice hunger by then a few went for dinner in a local eatery to finish off the day's proceedings.
A wonderful time was had by all and thanks to Jean for all her hard work.
As well as our crafty handiwork, we each brought home positive intentions for the coming year and a sense of community which Jean had worked so hard to foster.
Until the next Celebration, Slan agus Beannacht.
We held Monday meditations in the Mill building until a fire destroyed the inside rooms in 2019. The Bed and Breakfast building was untouched and is still operating as an enjoyable place to rest up beside the River Boyne.
Lughnasadh Reunion on 17th August 2020 was a happy return, with the Monday meditation re-starting on 24th August, albeit outdoors and limited numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There are records of a Mill being in the area since the heyday of the Abbey, but the history is a bit clouded in mystery. Bective Abbey, sited on a gentle rise above the River Boyne, was established by the Cistercians in 1147. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary it's walls are mainly intact, with beautiful cloisters and other rooms to explore. Recent archaeological excavations have revealed extensive monastic gardens and further buildings probably used by the monks and lay brothers.
The Cistercians owned many granges (farms) and were commercially successful in managing the landscape. Based in France they searched for noble patrons and prime farmland. At Bective they found rich lush pastureland and Murchadh O Melaghlin, King of Meath, and at his invitation they moved into the area and took over the local farms, then employing the owners in the service of the monastery. Austere and requiring strict conformance to the Rules of St. Benedict, their observance included manual work and agricultural labour in the fields of the Abbey. In 1536 Bective was dissolved on the orders of Henry VIII and the community dispersed to live with the locals.
Despite having been restrained in the energy of this powerful management by Christian monks many find a peaceful atmosphere and calmness in the semi- ruined buildings.
There is a small car park and information boards at the Abbey site.
Hidden Treasure - as related in Duchas.ie Schools Project
People say there is gold buried in Bective Abbey. A man named Downes from Cannistown, Navan, who went to America dreamt of gold being buried in an old ruin. He returned home to dig for it and brought three other men along with him. He was digging in Bective Abbey. He never returned and was never heard of again after the first night he went there. People say there is a Bishop buried in a gold coffin in Bective Abbey. This was never dug for.
For other contributions on the celebrations and connections made at Imbolc click on these links:
The following are in the Other Notable Dates and Festivals section which is contributed by Anne.