Showing posts from January, 2007

What will you do over Imbolc?

The time of Imbolc In the Ancient Calendar Samhain may be a celebration and closure of the past year and a fresh start for the year ahead. After 3 months of keeping the hearth stoked and the winter flame alive we now wake up to what is called Imbolc a time of midwifery, a bith of new things with a helping hand. Its when the first lambs are born and skipping and when the snowdrops first open, well they do in Ireland as there always seems to be a brief temperature boost now. In ancient Ireland this was the time of most human births too. Way back in times before central heating, lighting, food imports for winter and freezer food storage winter births and caring for infant children through winter was dangerous. The lively fire festival of Beltaine in May used to be regarded as the sexual passion and conceiving time to time births to be at this time. Brighid was regarded as nurse who arrived to care and protect during the last three months of pregnancy through the harshest months of the yea

Who is Brigid?

The Brigid Shrine Brighid, Brigid, Bridget, Bride etc all names evolved from her ancient name of Breo-saighead literally translated as "fire with a point", Flame. No wonder that in winter a fireplace in Ireland is often known as Brigid's Hearth, "an Alter of the Flame" Not so long ago every home in Ireland had some shrine to St. Patrick and St. Brigid, Brigid above and around the fire and Patrick at or near the door. A Brigid shrine would not be complete without a cross wove from rushes to honour the legend that Brigid's first cross was one she woved from rushes that covered the floor of her home. Celtic Christians record that the Brigid who became St. Brigid, was born around 451 at Faughart, near Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland. She is said to have lived until February 1st 525, the year she passed from this world from Kildare, Ireland. Her passing was peaceful and of natural causes and her body was carried to Downpatrick where her remains still share those

Our New Tour Vacations

New Tour Vacations from Celtic Ways I now have two new tour itineraries for 2007 that have evolved from requests by tour organizers. I feel honoured and thrilled that people have taken quite a bit of time to explain to me what they would like to see and do in Ireland in relation to services that can see we provide. Both tours are week long vacation but anyone can request to join in for part of the tour, even for just a day or part of a day. Day tours will no longer be advertised because our vacation offers are proving to be popular before I even get them onto my web site. "Veil Between Two Worlds" A tour that follows much of my book to be published this year. This is a vacation in Ireland that is more than a touring visit but includes a journey through ancient Celtic traditions. This vacation tour is available for most weeks of the year. Previous travellers that joined us shared their experiences and explained how our tours and retreats restored, revitalized and rekindled ne


Fire Walking into Hogmanay While the western world was shaking hands, maybe hugging, and clinking their spirited glasses I was spending Hogmanay in Scotland crossing the embers of a lighted fire. This firewalking New Year's Eve ceremony, to bring in the Roman calendar new year, has been hosted at Lendrick Lodge, near Callander, for several years and is well attended by local enthusiasts as well as resident visitors from afar. My father often talked of firewalking because his work took him to many countries where firewalking rituals are an important part of their spiritual culture. He was a frequent firewalker himself with his most enthusiastic stories being of firewalks in northern Iran. Some believe this area was the biblical Garden Of Eden. Apparently, my grandfather also hosted firewalks as part of his holistic health practice in the village of St. Ippolyts, Hertfordshire during the 1920s on. I was told he inherited this from his own father after some time in India. Considering