Land Spirits: When Things Go Bump

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I am leaving my little house, and the lane with the standing stone and ring fort.  I won’t be taking autumnal walks under the hazel thicket, or lounging in the arms of the blackthorn grove during winter’s darkest hours.  Instead, I will stroll under the tall heads of pecan and elm because I am returning to the sauntering arms of a Texas sunbeam.  This week I packed my first suitcase and the physicality of the act brought the reality home.  As I retreated to the cozy stone sitting room, to process … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]


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