Walking With The Áos Sídhe
The fire kindled on a cold, autumn’s evening. Young and old gathered around to keep both warm and in the company of loved ones. Electricity was a figment of the imagination, and travel was limited to foot, horseback, and boat. But, around the warmth of the hearth, tales of ancient lore took man, woman and child, on great adventures, where the teachings of the land spoke through the poetic words of the skilled storyteller.
In ancient Ireland, most had, what we consider now, to be the luxury of being educated by the mother, and by this I mean, Mother Earth. The land spoke as it was gently tread upon and honoured. The winds whispered the best kept secrets of those who now lived in the heavens. The sun shone down optimism, hope and encouraged planted seeds to bear provisions for the colder months ahead. The rain, gently cleansed the soil, and swept the land and folk, fair and clean during heavier falls.
Material objects were few and far between. But stories, wisdom hidden within mythology and folklore, were in plentiful supply. Economy and business did not need to be taught, for those who understood the land, the changing seasons and how to prosper within the variety that the earth offered, were not left wanting.
Literacy is a modern concept in terms of Irish history, and most of what we know from our ancestors and the ancient ways of our people, is interpreted from oral tradition, symbolism of stone structures, archeological remains and stone carvings. The journey of understanding why Ireland had one of the most advanced legal systems and social structures in ancient times, even by today’s standards, is a long one, but by all means, a valuable one.
Now, in the ever changing world, with battles ongoing between health and technology, politics and climate change, profit and peace, it has become increasingly valuable, to take time to reflect back upon ancient times, upon the social structure which allowed our people to prosper and live in a just world.
Now, as we reconsider our approach to the value we place on human life and community structures, both as individuals, local communities and on a global level, it is useful to reflect upon decisions taken by our ancestral leaders, understanding not just how they lead, but why they chose to lead in that way.
In order for one to understand where they are going, they must understand where they have come from.
Thankfully, in Ireland, due to our rich oral tradition, the respect and honouring of the Áos Sídhe, the people of the mounds, the keepers of the ancient wisdom and medicine, which was once held in the minds and hearts of the ancient druids and brehons, but is now kept within the remains of our ancient ceremonial sites, has resulted in the perseverance of the essence of our connection to the enlightened past of this land and it’s people.
Although there are ample amounts of literature which are now available, which offer an insight, to an extent, of our rich cultural past; in order to fully connect with the authenticity of our ancestral wisdom and teachings, we must walk the land – consciously walk the land in their presence.
Walking the ancient ceremonial sites, and sitting in the energies of those sites, allows us to deepen our connection and observe the symbolism they holds. It allows us to imagine the life and values once led and held within ancient communities.
Each time we connect to and visit these sites, we are gifted a seed, a seed of conscious understanding, which, depending on our willingness to grow, can expand and lead us to encounter further sites and knowledge, which helps us to begin to piece the puzzle of our past together, and build a healthy outlook for our own present-day lives.
When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Our land holds no greater or more honourable teachers, than the Áos Sídhe.
We have begun our journey to some of Ireland’s ancient ceremonial sites, to deepen our connection to the ancient teachings of this land, which is in a constant state of expansion. If you would like to join, you can find the upcoming locations and dates on our events page here.
“Deep peace of the running waves to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
May the road rise to meet you;
May the wind be always at your back;
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
May the rain fall softly on your fields.
Until we meet again,
May Nature hold you in the hollow of her hand.”
Irish Druidic Blessing
The fire kindled on a cold, autumn’s evening. Young and old gathered around to keep both warm and in the company of loved ones. Electricity was a figment of the imagination…around the warmth of the hearth, tales of ancient lore took man, woman and child, on great adventures, where the teachings of the land spoke through the poetic words of the skilled storyteller.
Some of us have been granted a beautiful gift, which we can use to help others. That is the gift of our voice, our presence and our freedom to stand for what we believe to be right. A gift to bring change and co-create a world of harmony and peace. A world that spreads love, not hate; joy, not anger. In this present climate, we are reminded to use our gifts.