Urban Witchcraft: The Power of Rot

Decomposition : creative commons

In Ireland,  the chthonic energy of decay is experienced as Crom Dubh, the dark, bent one who takes the grain under the ground.  He was a sacrificial god heavily associated with Lughnasadh.  In fact, while many Irish people may never have heard of the ‘festival of Lughnasadh’ (apart from the movie), they have certainly heard of Crom Dubh’s Day: Dé Domhnaigh Crum-Dubh.  This is a day of pilgrimage to the high places: a custom maintained with the yearly climb of Croagh Patrick.  More anciently, Cro … [Read more...]

St. John’s Holy Well: east Cork [photos]

and we're off...

Down my lane is a Well.  It's an Old Well, long venerated and hallowed; a place of quiet contemplation and healing.  This Well, now dedicated to St. John, is an eye Well; it's known for its eye cures.  The rounds are held in August, they say to commemorate the beheading of St. John, but we know it was a Lughnasadh Well, don't we.  Think about it:Turas (Patron or Rounds) traditionally done at the end of August (remember, that is the date for Old Lughnasadh - before the calendar cha … [Read more...]

Night Sounds: An Sionnach In East Cork

Monday night, shortly after midnight, I was pulled from my bed by the strangest sound. I had been reading when I heard it, and at first I thought it was a cow, or maybe the sheep dog down the lane. But when it came again I didn’t recognize it, so I crawled over to the window-seat and leaned out of the upstairs window, hoping to hear more clearly. The valley below was shrouded in a thin mist, which was illumined under a cloudy sky. It was deathly still, with not a whisper of wind. Then the call c … [Read more...]

The material, the sacred and the erotic: a contemplation for Lammas

My 2007 homemade Lammas loaf: 100% rye, 100% sourdough

In this week's ponderings provoked by Seeking the Mystery, I'm looking at my sense of place through the lens of the sacredness of materiality, bodies and sexuality.Today is the final day of the feast of Lugh, also known as Lammas or Loaf mass. We bake bread as a sacred act. We eat that bread as a spiritual act and an act of community. We are literally connected to the earth: we chew and ingest and digest the grain; we absorb its nutrients. Without other beings in place with us, we would not … [Read more...]

Happy calendrical Lughnasadh

Enjoy "Lughnasadh Dance" by Gwydion Pendderwen! … [Read more...]

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

photo 1

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...]


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