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Tag: shamanism

Walking with the Áos Sídhe

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

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…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.

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Creating Peace and Harmony in a Dystopian World

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.

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Bealtaine – A Celebration Of Our Heritage and Understanding The Sacred Symbolism Used By Our Ancestors

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Bealtaine – A Celebration Of Our Heritage and Understanding The Sacred Symbolism Used By Our Ancestors

Bealtaine marks the beginning of summer, the welcoming of the sun and also the reawakening of Eiriú, of mother earth. The combination of the celebration of the sun, the fire and the earth simultaneously tells us a lot about the understanding our ancestors, and the ancient druids held in respect to the seasons, abundance and fertility of the land.

Bealtaine marks the point between Imbolc and the Summer Solstice on the Celtic and Ancient Irish calendar. It is one of the most significant traditional celebrations of our ancestors, treated with a similar height of reverence as is given to Samhain. Astronomically, it falls on 5th May this year, with May Eve on 4th. 

Bealtaine is a fascinating traditional festival for many reasons. Like Samhain, the veils between the worlds are said to be thinner than usual, allowing for the Fae Folk to easily mix among humans, and pass freely between the worlds. For this reason, rituals to ensure protection of the home and land were traditionally done between the eve of Bealtaine and the day itself. Examples of rituals include:

  • Leaving an offering of food or milk at the entrance to the home for the Fae
  • Branches of Rowan (for livestock) or Hawthorn (for homes) were left at the doorways for protection and luck
  • Yellow flowers, particularly primroses, would be placed on the doorstep and entrances to home to ward off evil spirits 

May Eve is given over completely to the fairies. It is said that humans should remain indoors, particularly after dark, as to encounter the Fae on this day would make it difficult, if not impossible, to return to the human world. At night they are said to play music so sweet, that it would lure humans into the fairy realms with it’s hypnotic sounds. 

All fires would be extinguished on the night of Bealtaine Eve and would only be lit again once the sacred Bealtaine fire at Uisneach had been lit. On May Day itself, it is said to be bad luck for fire, water or milk to leave the house, as it is said to reduce the homes abundance and profits for the year ahead. 

Symbolism within the Irish Spiritual Tradition of Bealtaine:

Bealtaine marks the beginning of summer, the welcoming of the sun and also the reawakening of Eiriú, of mother earth. The combination of the celebration of the sun, the fire and the earth simultaneously tells us a lot about the understanding our ancestors and the ancient druids had in respect to the seasons, abundance and fertility of the land. 

The fire, is symbolic of the sun, and a homage to the ancient Sun God. In the Irish mythology of the Tuath de Danann, Lugh is generally represented as the Sun God, and Dian Cecht as the God of Healing, however there is Celtic reference to a God, Belenus, who is said to be both. 

Personally, my own opinion would be that, in the case of Bealtaine, the fire was used as a symbol for the Divine Masculine, which is generally symbolised by the Sun. It represented the fertilisation of the earth, the integration of light and warmth, and signified the prosperous months ahead for the land. The land represented the economy of most of the people throughout ancient times. The ancient druids ordered that the land fall into darkness on the eve of Bealtaine, thus by lighting the fire, they were inviting in and integrating the divine masculine back into the land. In ancient traditions, one must not be controlled by the authority of the sun or the fire, the Divine Masculine, but rather, one must learn to manage this energy, integrating authority and direction when required for the higher good. By ordering the extinguishing of all fires across the land, the ancient druids were doing just that.

Bealtaine also celebrates the reawakening of Eiriú, who rests under the Ail na Mireann, located at Uisneach. It is a time of fruition, a time when we begin to see the crops rise above ground, trees bear fruit and the land is filled with life, bringing a sense of abundance and security that communities will be well provided for in the colder months to come. 

The lighting of the fires at Uisneach, are to mark the moment of reawakening of Eiriú. Two fires are lit, representing the two eyes of the Mother Earth opening, and also marks the coming together, in sacred union, of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine. Traditionally livestock would be passed through the two fires for luck and protection, and great celebrations followed the lighting of the fires. The fire then continued to spread outwards, extending out to all of the communities and kingdoms of Ireland, until the land was filled with light, warmth, joy and great celebration. 

Bealtaine also marks the strengthening of power of the Oak King, the representation of the light half of the year, as he prepares to step into his full power on the Summer Solstice. There is a constant battle between the Holly King, who represents the darker half of the year, and the Oak King, throughout the year, symbolic of the transitions of the seasons throughout the calendar year. It pays homage to the importance and sacredness of the trees in ancient times, and is reminiscent of the druid practices that were once held in high regard by the Nobel classes of Ireland. 

These trees do hold sacred medicine for those who continue to use them medicinally or energetically. The holly is said to offer protect and aid to ward off evil spirits, and the oak is said to encourage strength, sovereignty and justice. Understandable why these two trees were elected to represent their corresponding times of year.  

What relevance can Bealtaine hold for us in our everyday lives?

There has been a rise in enthusiasm to revive the tradition of Bealtaine itself in Ireland. People are beginning to regain a sense of who the Irish are and a sense of pride in our own cultural heritage. Therefore, in some ways, as opposed to being a modernised tradition, it is one of the few that has been preserved in large part in it’s ancient form. Huge crowds gather each year at Uisneach, where the Bealtaine fires are lit and traditional celebrations and processions are honoured. 

However, as with all of the festivals and traditions, Bealtaine holds characteristics and qualities which reflect the inner processes of humans and the relationship they have with the changing season and preparation for the summer cycle. 

The reawakening of Eiriú, the representation of the Divine Feminine, encourages us to connect with the nurturing aspects of ourselves. We are prompted to identify our desires and goals for the coming year, and give birth to these ideas, nurturing them and taking an active part in their growth. We are encouraged to take a moment to assess our own strengths and attributes, and integrate a greater sense of self-value, as confidence and self-belief go hand in hand with success and growth. 

The coming together of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine energies during Bealtaine symbolises direction and authority within the nurturing and growth period. It encourages us to use the energy of this six week cycle, to give our projects and goals direction, and to take a leadership roles in our own success story. 

On a community and environmental level, the nice weather and the lush green fields, offer ample opportunities to venture out into nature and reconnect with ourselves on a more natural and biological level. As Bealtaine celebrates the wonder and beauty of the earth, and how it provides for us, we are reminded to take time out of our busy schedules to honour the earth in our own way – whether it be simply sitting in gratitude under the warm sun or tending to young trees and flowers.

As you can see, Bealtaine is a complex celebration, complete with many layers of symbolism and spiritual understanding. It allows us some insight into the great importance this time of year had for our ancestors and the importance they placed on honouring the earth. After all, their survival during the following winter depended on the fruit of their labours and the fertility of land during this time, both in terms of food provisions and natural medicine. 

The next great celebration after Bealtaine is the Summer Solstice, when light is at it’s full power, followed by the harvest celebration of Lughnasadh, when the community can finally be assured of their bounty for the winter months ahead. 

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The Dawning Of A New Era

The Dawning Of A New Era

Whispers travelled through the winds, from distant lands, forewarning a great upheaval and coming of a malevolent spirit. A spirit which would spread its energy invisibly among the unaware, bring those infected into a state of illness, and those who can do nothing but look onwards, helplessly, into a state of fear...

A spirit, which rose from a bed of unconscious human actions, and grew with a sense of irresponsibility, among those who preferred comfort to survival. A spirit whose energy could not spread alone, which depended on the low vibrational transference from one being to another. A spirit, which, although brings death, destruction and demise on the surface, has not come to bring suffering, but to bring an end to the old way, and initiate us into the new.


For this spirit, cannot be destroyed with hate, only with love. Love for one another. This war we are fighting cannot be won by dividing and conquering, but by uniting and rising together as one global community. This pandemic cannot be eradicated by industry, force or selfish greed, but by protecting life itself, community and the essence of our very existence on earth.

We are witnessing a time when humanity is waking up to the realization that we are to be led, not by materialism, economy or greed, but by healing, compassion and community. We are not led by politicians, bankers and stockholders, but by healers, doctors, nurses and those who dedicate their lives to protecting the sacredness of life.

We are waking up to the stark reality that everything non-essential must be put on hold. For most people, this brings the harsh realization that their lives have been spent focusing on all that is “non-essential”, leaving little space for what’s important.


If we were all truly living, truly alive and living authentically in harmony with what being human really is, this pandemic would not be bringing about a great change of focus. But instead, it has brought the world to it’s knees. It has brought despair for those who face a year without upgrading their car, a cruise holiday, or an extension on their home.

But it has brought hope to those who dream of a better place for future generations to live. It brings an encouraging nudge towards community, family and living a more simple and self-sufficient life. It brings hope to those who have strove to preserve the beauty of nature and natural wonders of the world, that now people are awakening to the realization that our earth is our true, one provider, and must be protected, as such, at all costs.


We are experiencing a crucial moment in the history of humanity. A repeat of the mythological war between Atlantis and Lemuria, a strive to find balance in a world of rapid technological and engineering advancements. A fight between modern conveniences and survival of human life as we know it. We know from the fall of Atlantis, that ultimately, natural forces are stronger than technological advancement. We know that greedy civilizations may fall, but the earth will recover and grow stronger. We know that we are not greater than life itself.


With all this information, knowledge and awareness which exists within us on varying levels of consciousness, let us take this time to contemplate our future. Not as individuals, but as collective beings, striving towards a better world to live in.

A world for those of us who will live to see the break of dawn, after this moment of darkness has passed, in homage to those we have lost in the process. And for those who will sit around the fire, in years to come, telling tales of their ancestors, and how they faced their own mortality on a global level, and how they used this moment to preserve human communal existence and rebuild a better world, for future generations to come.

Samhain – The Thinning of the Veil Teaches Us To Reflect On Our Own Personal Boundaries

Samhain is upon us, the Celtic New Year, and a time when the veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest; a time of year filled with tradition, folklore tales and deep insight into the beliefs and rituals of our ancestors. 

In Ireland, it begins with Oíche Shamhna, or Hallowe’en as it is better known by. Our ancestors believed that on this night, the deceased crossed over into our world and walk among us. They began to dress disguised as the dead, in the hope that they would not be recognised as humans by the spirits of the otherworld. A great bonfire would be lit for the whole community, and from that central fire, the fires in each home would then be lit. 

The month of Samhain, which begins on 1st November, marks the beginning of the Celtic New Year. This indicates that the time is upon us to return inwards, a time of rest, reflection and setting intentions and goals for the year ahead. As the life force of the trees and plants return to source, back to the womb of mother earth, so too do we retreat inwards, resting and gathering strength for when the days begin to lengthen once again. 

The thinning of the veil brings to our attention the importance of healthy boundaries in our lives. If you have healing to do around boundaries in your own life, you may find yourself challenged at this time. You may be faced with situations of aggression, or feel as though you are being pushed past your own limits in your work or home life. You may be receiving signs to address this issue in the form of messages, symbols, or unusual events. Although this may all feel overwhelming at the moment, trust that what is being brought to the surface, is done so in order for you to heal and grow. 

Embrace this challenge by taking time to reflect on the boundaries currently in your life. Are you being too lenient in some situations? Does your work-life balance require reassessment? Are there people in your life that bring you a sense of heaviness and disharmony? Setting healthy boundaries is not an easy task, however it is an essential one. Sometimes we allow fear to get in the way, fear of the consequences of standing up for yourself at work or in relationships. However, the greatest consequences come with not setting boundaries at all, creating a toxic internal environment which can lead to anxiety, stress and further illness down the road. 

Our ancestors celebrated the time of Samhain as one of the most important events of the year. There was, however, a bitter-sweet element, similar to what we experience when addressing our own issues around boundaries. On one hand, great fires were lit and important activities were undertaken. On the other hand, many feared the dead that walked among them, hiding their appearance with ghoulish disguises. They treasured the thoughts of sharing the earth once more with loved ones, but also performed rituals to ward of evil spirits. Similarly, working on the theme of boundaries in our own lives can bring emotions of happiness and freedom, but also a great fear of what backlash may come from it.

"The fire represents a force of darkness and light, an element with the ability to grow and expand rapidly, creating heat and life force, and also an element of great destruction, with the combustive ability to destroy anything in it’s path. "

The fire is a wonderful element to work with when establishing, or reestablishing boundaries. It allows us to bring light and warmth to any situation or difficulty we may be facing, and destroy that which we no longer need in our life, transmuting it instead to light energy. It gives us the power to shine a great light from within us, in times of darkness, expanding outwards into the community when required. 

Once you have established your boundaries, the next step is to sustain them. This begins with retreating inwards, strengthening the idea of these boundaries within yourself. Setting intentions and growing the energy of these boundaries from a place of compassion for yourself and for all involved. Once you have sustained the concept of these boundaries within yourself, like a sprouting seed, expand upwards and outwards, expanding this concept into your life and into the areas required. With the inner strength and conviction to sustain them in your life, you will notice a huge difference in your energy levels and emotional state at the end of each day. 

In this way, paying attention to the traditions and teachings of our ancestors can bring great healing and growth into our own lives. Although the rituals and ways of celebrating Samhain may have changed greatly over the course of thousands of years, the central idea remains as relevant today as it was in the very beginning. So this year, as we embrace the festival of Samhain, as the veil thins and our ancestors pass among us, take time to listen, to appreciate and be guided by the wisdom of your lineage and loved ones who have passed over. 

Remember, just as you are as one with the earth, so too are you as one with the teachings of your lineage, with your ancestors who walked before you, and with all those who will follow your footsteps and will walk this path after you have crossed over. The only thing that separates modern day human lessons and experiences and those in the ancient past, is the illusion of time.

Oíche Shamna Shona Daoibh agus Beannachtaí

The Sacred Journey of Healing Oneself is not all Love and Light

The phrase “Love and Light” is used across the modalities of holistic healing, nonchalantly used in various situations, such as signing off, sending vibes to those who wrong us, the list goes on. 

It is used as a generic answer to the more challenging questions. How can we overcome times of darkness? Love and Light. How can we raise our vibration? Love and Light. How can we chase entities out of our energetic fields? Love and Light. 

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Although there are many times when sending love and light vibration to a situation is the correct course of action, particularly if it towards someone who has done you wrong as they struggle with their own karmic lessons and struggles in life. However, I feel it is sometimes used to as a barrier to true healing. As a shield against the necessary lessons we must learn. As a protection against the “darkness” that we are so afraid of admitting is within each and every one of us. 

Like the concept of the yin and yang, within all of us there is an aspect of darkness in our light, and an aspect of light in our darkness. What we perhaps fail to understand and acknowledge, is that darkness, although it is by definition an absence of light, does not, by definition, mean bad. 

In fact, darkness, is an absolute necessity to our own personal development and growth, on a physical, mental and soul level. On a physical level, we need the dark part of the day to encourage our bodies to rest. We begin our life in the womb, and there is certainly no LED lighting or sunshine in there. We SHINE and BLOOM in the sun, but we GROW in the darkness. 

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On a mental level, we benefit from times of darkness to make us aware of what is not serving our highest good at this present time in life. Periods of darkness encourage us to retreat, and spend time reflecting inwards, slowing building the courage to make essential changes in our life. 

On a soul level, travelling to the areas of darkness within us, allows us to gain perspective on the karmic lessons we are facing. To piece our soul back together after past trauma, to take ownership of our actions, behaviours and emotions that are not supporting our highest good or our soul path. 

When I first stepped upon the shamanic path, I felt that I was here as a light being to ward of the forces of darkness, my soul and vibration driving through the darkness like a light saber. I fought the darkness. Sometimes I won. Sometimes I made the lesson much more difficult to learn. I envisaged the path as “us” against “them”. I misunderstood the whole point of the game. 

Because that is what it really comes down to. A game, a great divine lesson plan, a dance between the light and the dark, the highs and lows. The objective is not to defeat one dance partner and tango alone. The objective is to learn from both aspects, and to maintain a beautiful and harmonious balance, a gentle melodic flow between the two. 

Dancing with the darkness taught me so much about myself and the way the world works. The way nature works. The storms and the rain, bring darkness, but they are necessary to maintain life. They cleanse and purify and nurture, even though they can be harsh. Sometimes we need to address the darkness within us and ask; “Does this serve me to maintain balance in my life?” Or “Is this showing me an aspect of myself that I need to heal and let go?” 

The sacred journey of healing oneself is not all love and light. It is a world full of beautiful melodies, harmonies and undertones, of all that is, all that was and all that will be. Our human adventure allows us to play around with the lines of melodies to create a perfect harmonious song, the symphony of our own soul. 

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