Mí na Bealtaine! the Merry Month of May

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Bealtaine heralds the Light half of the Irish year--and am I ever grateful for its arrival!  In ancient times, the custom was to count from the dark half: days began with sundown, and the year with winter.  This dance of dark and light was woven into the tapestry of culture.  We see it personified by Donn, watery god of the dead, and Fionn, a symbol of light as guardian of the living.  We see it in the two opposing bulls of the Táin, the Donn Cuailgne and the Finnbheannach; and in Don Fírinne and … [Read more...]

Of Frogs and Flowers – an excerpt from Annie Dillard

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Spring has arrived in Cork, Ireland, at last!  Mild temperatures, sun, and the stunning display of flower and bud have kept me outdoors for the past several days.  I've idled away many hours swinging on the hammock, staring out toward the Knockmealdown Mountains--their shape like a woman sleeping. Or, perhaps she gazes back, her head resting on her arm, as she listens to the birds: one foot dangling, toes wrapping themselves in cool grass. I've also meandered down the lane bagging stray rubbish, … [Read more...]

I’m an Animist: and what that means

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I rarely speak publicly about my spiritual practice.  This is mainly due to the intimate nature of relationship. You see, my worldview is animistic, and for me, this means I view the universe as a community of living persons, of which humans are a part.  I perceive everything within the universe, including the Universe herself, as possessing unique worldview, culture, and language (method of communication), e.g., the Ash tree near my front door is a living person, who possesses a worldview, c … [Read more...]

Boots Across Ireland: Liosnabroc ringfort {video}

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Liosnabroc (Fort of the Badger - anglicized as Lisnabrock) is a ringfort located in the townland of Templebodan, east Cork.  The ring is found labeled on the 1890 Ordnance Survey map.  Like the majority of ringforts in Ireland, Liosnabroc opens to the NE -- offering a lovely view of the Knockmealdown and Galtee mountain ranges.  I am privileged to live next door to this active and beautiful Lios.Ringforts were constructed mainly from the Iron Age into the early Medieval period (800 BCE  to ~1 … [Read more...]

A Little Meander on Culture: or, what one does when the Wi-Fi dies

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On the About The Authors page of this blog, I mention 'sensuous scholarship' as my approach to academic study.   I like to get my hands dirty and engage my entire body when exploring a topic, hence when I wanted to better understand Irish culture and mythology, I moved to Ireland.  Now that I'm here, I get out and visit the places associated with the festivals and events mentioned in the mythology and folklore.  I speak to Irish people living in those areas, and, more importantly, I take the tim … [Read more...]

The Awakening Spring: of light, embodiment, and soliphilia

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Yesterday was the vernal equinox.   Here in Ireland, we have a solar alignment that occurs in cairn T on Slieve na Caillaigh during this astronomical event.  It’s a phenomenal sight!But that’s not what I want to talk about.The spring equinox heralds the Light half of the year.  We aren’t fully there yet (as it doesn’t officially begin until Bealtaine) but oh...we are tantalizingly close.  Close enough, in fact, for spirits to rise and frivolity to ensue.  Just look at St. Patrick’s Da … [Read more...]

Enchantment: coming back to our Selves

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... I looked at her And felt her watching; I became a strange being ... D.H. Lawrence, upon seeing a doeLast week I discussed my need for more enchantment, which led to a conversation about  disenchantment, and its alienating influence on society.   This week I conclude by talking about  the internal impact of objectification, and how I (re)enchanted my life.There is a Void at our core.  So threatening is this hollowness that it presses us to a-Voidance.  We search out "secondary sat … [Read more...]


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