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Showing posts from October, 2007

Ceremony For Samhain

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For those among us who try to keep ancient traditions alive there will be no reminding that the days of Samhain are upon us. For some, there will be a feeling or faith that once more the veil between the living and the otherworld is drawing to it's thinnest.Tradition tells us that this is the time when our "ancestors" are contacted and their wisdom and protection are sought. In ancient times every member of the tribe of families who had passed on during the past year would be remembered.I do believe this is the best time to pay tribute to those in our families and close friendships that have passed on during the past year and extend this to the people we have shred with who have passed on, and then to those who walked this earth before we came here yet are connected to us.A Ceremony?It seems that every year, lately, my approach to Samhain changes, especially in the way I approach its spirituality through physical rituals.We now have our popular and established Two Worlds…

When is Samhain 2007?

I must admit that what I do at this time varies from year to year but I would like to share what I have done combined with what I would like to do this year and through Samhain during years to follow.
First it has to be decided when your Samhain time is going to be. The oldest calculation for Samhain was to take the midpoint between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice and conclude that the dusk and dawn of the day where this midpoint falls is the day of Samhain. Very few people honour the true Samhain time now, or Solar Samhain as some call it. This year, 2007, it is on November 7th which is quite late so I doubt that many will hold off until then though I know I will, hence why I am a bit late posting articles about Samhain this year.
What Happened to Bonfire (bone fire) Night?
England has traditionally held on to November 5th as “Guy Fawkes” day, but its tradition is much more ancient than that. I often wonder if Guy’s name is a myth, short for Guisers, the masked players of Scotland who’…

New "Between Two Worlds Tours" 2008

Our “Around Bhride’s Garden” tour is very popular with strong advance bookings for 2008.
This is an all Ireland tour custom built for group requests. Accommodation is generally 4 star hotels and transport is comfortable luxury coach. We still visit several ancient sites not touched by most other tours and provide workshops in ancient traditions. The main benefit is being able to visit several parts of Ireland in one tour.
However, largely due to the falling US dollar, I have also had requests for “budget” Irish tours but without cutting the spirit of places we visit and not lowering to hostel level accommodation.
Here is what we can now offer with our new “Between Two World” tours.
There are four choices.
All are limited to groups of 8 travellers.
Transport is mid size minibus allowing us to visit remote sites on narrow roads
None of these tours include air fares and travel insurance in the pricing
1)  Brighid of Breifne Experience
6 nights Lough Gara Lodge, Co. Sligo, plus breakfast
1 night D…

EU Taking Legal Action On Handling Of Tara Hill?

I have heard that the European Commission is expected to begin legal action against the Irish Government today over its planning and handling of building the M3 motorway near the Hill of Tara.
This legal move is not expected to halt the construction of the road, but it will force the Irish Government to defend its position at Europe's highest court.
What this legal move will probably reveal is that the “National Monuments Act” in the Irish Republic does not offer enough protection for important archaeological sites.

I feel that it is still worth supporting Tara Watch to maintain the heat of the campaign and attention to protection of heritage sites that more and more people are regarding as “sacred” sites.
From response to the tours I offer and from people who write to me it gives me a feeling that there is a swing of faith happening similar to when early people of Ireland and western Europe were inspired by the stories of Christ and the scriptures and integrated these into their fait…

A Taste of Archaeology

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Here’s an event I wish I could get to. What I feel is wonderful about it is the way that it will show some folks in the USA how deep their own heritage is too.
On October the 20th, 2007, between 10am and 4pm, Historic Brattonsville will host the Archaeological Society of South Carolina's 20th Annual Fall Field Day,
A Taste of Archaeology”.

Archaeologists from around the state will they discuss, demonstrate and share how Carolinians have been eating for the last 12,000 years!  They will interpret archaeological data to present how Carolinians gathered, prepared, cooked and served food from the low country to the Piedmont.
Visitors will have the opportunity to observe cooking with hot rocks. The early cooks drove holes through disk-shaped stones, heated them in hot coals, then placed in pots of liquid to bring the pot to an instant boil, an ancient crockpot that was even more efficient.
Not only is this a day for learning and taking part in ancient methods of cooking. Visitors will be…

Facebook, MySpace, BeBo, etc., do you use them?

Recently, many folks have been asking me for my MySpace address
This has started to become more common than requests for my Web Site URL or email address. More often I hear of the buzz term “Web 2.0” as if the old world wide web, as we knew it, is on the way out.
Until now I have been happy to ride along with my web site and blog posts each time I have something to talk about, but recent events, activities and discoveries have made me think very seriously about these social sites.
I have to thank my daughter Ivy for encouraging me to this new outlet. I say “new” as its new to me. I know many of you reading this will have been signed up with Facebook, MySpace etc. for some time and are making good use of them.
For some time Ivy has loved posting photo snaps and notes on various sites around the web but I noticed she had become quite serious about her Facebook membership and page. A couple of times she sent me the “please join me at Facebook” messages so I responded and signed up, but I di…

Killinaskully, like the Save Tara campaign? - review

As I write I am watching the first episode in the latest Killinaskully series, with Pat Shortt, about to become world famous with his lead role in the movie Garage, just released. Is this a spoof on the Save Tara campaign?
In this episode, Saturday evening 8:30 pm, October 7th, the locals are campaigning for the re-routing of a proposed by-pass around Killinaskully due to the discovery of an ancient hidden sacred site of the "Order Of The Stoat".
Quote of the program so far....
"Politicians are like nappies (diapers) and should be changed often for the same reasons".
The priest tries to arrange a local protest, only to find their enthusiasm wanes quickly after recalling how long "the troubles" lasted.
Meanwhile local politician and "in charge of everything" Willie Power goes missing and gossip runs around the village to speculate what he is doing.
Meanwhile, Willie Power happens to have inherited an exclusive membership to the secret "Order Of Th…

Harps For Tara, the entire movie

I am hooking up my YouTube video clips from the “Harps For Tara” event, September 22nd, 2008, in Dublin.

Here’s the movie so far

Lost In Translation

I love humour and laughing and probably tend to seek out things to laugh at. One of my favourite sources of humour are signs.
There is one side of me that humbles forgiveness with this as many of the signs I find humour with are written by nationals of other countries who are being courteous through attempting to provide information in English. Hopefully, people of other languages will find some humour in some of my attempts at their languages.  However, many English people create interesting English signs too.
Take this one from a Cornish guest house
“Will any guest wishing to take a bath please make arrangements to have one with Mrs Harvey”.
and visitors to Ireland love our “traffic calming” signs meaning approaching a speed restriction area and “Slow” signs that are shortly followed by “Slower” signs.
When I was in Crete once, in a hotel room 5 levels up, the hotel guide in the room said “from your hotel window you can see our beautiful exotic gardens that you might like to drop into so…

Getting Turned On To YouTube

With my Celtic Ways work there is an obvious list of priorities.
Top priority is that when I am tour the tour takes 100% attention.
When I am not touring compiling and keeping on top of itineraries and their changes is quite a considerable task. A 10 day tour can take up to and over 50 hours of back office planning, arranging and changing when compiling of reports, email exchanges and phone calls are added together.
Next on the list is broadcasting news, developments, changes and places I have taken time to explore that may be important for future tours. Broadcasting to date has been by blog and email newsletters. I should add web site updates to this, but somehow this is something I get to do quite rarely.
After this is participation on “social network” sites which I truly wish I had much more time for. Its a wonderful medium to find folks who share your niche interests and, in my situation, find folks who are naturally matched to and would experience wonderful benefits and joy from the …

Harpers For Tara event, some music videos

I hope you’ll enjoy these clips from the music sets performed by the harpers that turned up to perform together for the “Harpers For Tara” event outside the Dail, Ireland’s government buildings, on Saturday September 22nd 2008

Please take note of the web addresses at the end of each clip because this event had a double intent, one being to bring about awareness of Ireland’s most important Heritage that is demonstrated to be under threat with the building of the M3 motorway and the other being a demonstration to remind that the symbol of Ireland’s heritage and legacy is “the harp”.

Through these clips I feel the spirit of the harps 
are crying out to protect and preserve Tara
so we may return the harp, our hearts and our pride there forever.


This clip is “Brian Boru’s March”, played during the first set of tunes performed by harpers. Here the tune is performed by 20 harpers who had turned up so far. I think this tune is wonderfully performed considering most of the harpers had never perfo…

Donegal Men, The First High Kings Of Ireland?

At the Beltany Circle conference at Raphoe, Co. Donegal, this coming weekend, October 5th, 6th and 7th, Dr Brian Lacey, an archaeologist and head of the “Discovery Programme”, will present his case for suggesting why Donegal Men were the first high kings of Ireland.
The Discovery Programme, of Ireland, is an archaeological research institution dedicated to investigating Ireland's past from earliest times and presenting the results to as wide an audience as possible.
Dr Lacey explains, "From 500 to 1,000 AD the Kings of Tara are said to have belonged to the Ui Neill Dynasty".
"However there is strong evidence to suggest that the first two or perhaps three kings of Ireland actually came from Donegal, from the Cenel Conaill. The traditional belief that the northern branch of the Ui Neill Dynasty ruled from Tara was merely a propagandistic construction of the eighth century".
The writings of monastic scribes, based on the aural tradition of bards, indicates a string…

Harpers For Tara: Paddy Moloney (video)

I video recorded the entire Harpers for Tara event outside The Dail, Dublin with the idea of putting as much as I can online

I’m still quite a novice with the YouTube medium with its challenge of getting the best video and sound within narrow specs, especially its maximum 10 minutes length.

At last, the first video clip is online via You Tube.

Here is a clip of Paddy Moloney, of the Chieftains, his arrival at the event, his speech of protest against the M3 project, and a lively spontaneous tune.

I like the sound but would like to improve the video visuals. Any ideas? See how it plays for you. This clip is a treasure.