Folk Drama from The "Hearth Of Harps"

Once there were two dreams

My wonderful singer and harpist partner, Claire Roche, carried a dream of restoring an old Irish cottage so that it may live again and not be ignored and forgotten. Her dream was not to revive the hardships but to celebrate the overcoming of them.

Near where I live in Co. Sligo we viewed the perfect property for this job and it is well on its way to having its new skin and new life. The stones have stayed as they were and the seeped lime now replaced. The thatch that had become replaced with a tin roof is returning to thatch. The flagstone floor that had been concreted over is returning to flagstone floor.

In addition, our modern technology applied to an awareness of conservation is included with sustainable wood power, solar power, windmill to follow along with rainwater collection. Plumbing is in place for greywater recycling too.

There will be a pond as part of the land’s natural waterflow and a garden labyrinth aligned with Imbolc and Samhain sunrises and Beltaine and Lughnasa sunsets. This leads to the intent of “Hearth Of Harps”,Tintean Clairseach, a centre of restored cottage, studio, theater and labyrinth to celebrate nature and spirit with harps, song, music, ceremony and folk drama.

Folk Drama Speaks Of Life

A ceremony, ritual or performance of folk drama as a mummers play or something earlier, is of passion, action, and happiness. It is a ritual of reflection that converts to optimism and hope. It is a ceremony of passing curses into healing. It is the drama that connects us though our flow of unmeasurable interchange.

Folk drama can never be a stiff ritual for a single purpose though its basic flow is passing from the old to the new, dark to light, birth from passing, and shedding old skin to new. It can also be the snake between Adam and Eve. It can travels us through wheels within wheels.

Folk drama comes into presence as an art and like any art its presence is there to mirror the present and not be a solution or compendium of recording scientific foundations.

These ritual plays present entertainment, sport, tournament, music and dance. It promotes charity from the abundant and support for the underdog. It is a harmless, happy interaction. No spells are cast to turn anyone into frogs. However, passionate involvement can transport us towards the edge of daring and danger and then comfort us with peaceful and united resolve.

Each of these ceremonies, rituals, plays and drama features the climax of the Doctor, the Physician, The Healer, The Herbalist, The Alchemist who resurrects and heals the play’s victims, eases the conscience of the victors, brings peace to the psyches of the audience around and renewal of our connection to the spirit nature that surrounds us.  

Not only do we surround such a drama and ritual but our ancestors do too.

Rise Up And Fight Again!

Fighting is an action that we think of us violence but is really the spirit of renewal. This can be a new shiny sword image focused for forward thrust, or imagery of a re-kindled fire ready to heal, nourish, warm, care and feed. Its all down to levels of male and female spirits within that are stirred, restored and regenerated.

Separation by tribal divisions should be released after each “folk drama”. Divisions of race, creed, beliefs, and politics should be embraced with a vision of how these can flow together and bonded without dilution of individual differences rather than separation. We can only learn and create new wisdom from differences as well as past failures.

Folk drama allows death to be conquered by life and demonstrate that rebirth is about social healing and integration as this is what revitalizes all people.

Folk drama is for Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa and Samhain though around the world it appears through winters, the dark times of our years. Folk drama is called upon then, this leanest time of year to call, through ritual, the fertility and survival of people, their crops, their animals and the spirit of nature.

The ritual of Folk Drama can expose us to the anxieties of failing hopes from the year past yet replace us with new faith, happiness and hope for the year ahead. The remind us we do not need to be alone as with social exchange we heal each other and inspire abundance.

Renew Yourself At The “Hearth Of Harps”

Most of the vacations we serve in Ireland are a shared ritual of folk drama. Instead of the possibly expected solemn journey of deep ritual, attempts at magic, and dictated faith you find this to all be good “craic”, laughter, entertainment, and the sort of glow we often reflect on after having a good time, good meal and being with people we love.

It does not take booze, stimulants, gambling etc. to create the kind of craic we have.  There may be a moment of harmless fear as we shed connections to where we have come from, such as work and family, as we enter into the healing spirit of vacation.

After your vacation it is likely you will return to your work and family with renewed focus, renewed confidence and lots of lots of renewed love to carry you through to your next vacation. 

Looking forward to sharing the “Hearth Of Harps” (Tintean Cláirseach) and other experiences, traditions and sites of Ireland through our “Celtic Ways Tours & Vacations” . 



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