Bull Stones : the approach of Domhnach Chrom Dubh (Lughnasadh, Lughna Dubh)

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We are approaching the Lughnasadh season, and bulls are on my mind.  We have several large standing stones on our ridge--the thick, curved variety. One of my neighbors recently mentioned a bit of local folklore about these stones. In this townland of east Cork, those large stones are known as ‘bull stones’. Our neighbor said that when she was a girl she thought this was because they tied the bull to them….On the Dingle Peninsula a great assembly was held on Domhnach Chrom Dubh in the village … [Read more...]

Communication 101 (for witches and others): toward Place speaking

What the Irish do when a glowing orb is seen in the sky.

I had planned to write about cycles, after attending the recent International Conference on the Ulster Cycle in Belfast (notes are going up on my blog) they were on my mind; however, the on-set of summer weather here in Ireland has me outside not wanting to focus on anything, so my thoughts, such as they are, have shifted toward communication and pre-modern cycles of storytelling.I will preface this sun-fueled ramble by admitting my scant contact with the “pagan” community, or other wit … [Read more...]

When the Sun Stands Still: Summer Solstice in Ireland

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The light, gold, like the deep raw honey of summer, washes the front garden.  The sun rests just over the eastern ridge, risen less than 30 minutes, but the first light, the uncanny gold--like a crown--wakes me.  This mysterious morning light rouses me every time, every year.  By half five I am called out of my warm bed to crawl, on all fours, to the low cottage window and peer sleepily out at the waking world.In truth, it may be the dawn chorus that stirs me from my slumber with its song.  M … [Read more...]

Point to Ponder: is it all just anthropomorphizing?

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The post below was written a year ago.  I am recycling it for two reasons.  Firstly, the topic engages the recent 'fictional paganism' discussion by way of exploring a story's immediacy and connection to the lived world (and offers a glimpse into my own journey of pagan theology).  Secondly, and most importantly, I injured my finger yesterday, so am forced to type one handed--which is not fun!Reading my previous thoughts on a subject is challenging.  I am often embarrassed at my in … [Read more...]

An Animist’s Take on Fiction: to view or not to view

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Sermons from the Mound published a summary article last week titled, "Notes toward a Pagan Theology of Fiction" and referenced some of my own tangential thinking on ‘spirit’ communication, and how the mental images derived from fiction impact this.  Re-reading my cogitation offered an opportunity to consider whether my thinking had changed.  I found it had not.  In fact,  if anything, it had deepened.  My move three years ago to Ireland, a land I mythicized for years, dramatically shifted my spir … [Read more...]

Pagan Ireland: the Banshee {video}

A short clip from Glenafooka: a documentary about Irish folklore and mythology. Enjoy! … [Read more...]

Dandelion Syrup: a recipe for sunshine in a glass

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And over that potato-field A lazy veil of woven sun, Dandelions growing on headlands, showing Their unloved hearts to everyone. -from Spraying the Potatoes by Patrick Kavanagh; 1940Our gardens are full of Bearnán Bríde - the sunny dandelion.  I like to leave them growing because the bees and birds love them, so.  I also enjoy making yummy things with their flowers, leaves, and roots.  Today I gathered a few bright heads to make Dandelion Syrup!Here in Ireland, as elsewhere, dand … [Read more...]


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