Showing posts from April, 2009

How Will You Celebrate Bealtaine?

At Celtic Ways, now Celtic Bard School, we are celebrating on Sunday May 3 rd . There are various interpretations on both name and date for this time. The name has various spellings and pronunciations so I believe its bad manners to try and correct how another person calls this time. Spellings can include Beltane, Bealtine, Baltaine, just to name a few variations, but these all seem to refer to the ancient European Celtic or Gaul God Belenos, a God of the Sun symbolised by horse, fiery wheels and chariot. Through tradition Belenos was also known as the “shining one”, the bringer of heat, healing and even passion. Belenos is also related to a British slang word, well used in Ireland,  which has an intriguing relationship to mating, an important ritual of this time, but I will explain this later. In fact you may even quietly use that slang word after reading all of this :-) . If you are a reader of Asterix comics you’ll already know what I am referring to here. Overall, this causes me to

Something To Look Forward To

It is becoming quite common for people who have booked tours and retreats with us to write and share their economic “downturn” problems with us, and this includes suggesting postponing their visit to Ireland or even cancelling it.   These people have lost fortunes within their investments and some have lost their jobs, though, fortunately, most of the job losers have saved some kind of “nest egg” during their more affluent times. My first response is “well what else have you got to look forward to?” I believe we must always try, try so hard not be become victim of being deprived of some carrot of joy ahead of us to give us colour, joy and purpose for the present. This year, I am finding more and more ways to cut down the cost of a visit to Ireland. First, I am fortunate to be living in a part of Ireland that is lesser known, yet stunningly beautiful and so, so full of mythology, legend and the elements of inspiring celtic stories. It is also one of the lowest cost places for a vacation

Discovering your Deravid within

Most of our tour and retreat inquiries express an interest in the mythology and traditions of the goddesses and the druids  These folks are surprised to learn that origin of the druid tradition came from the middle east where in ancient times a regional or clan king was appointed by his, usually his and not her, abilities as a visionary which was shared through poetry, as song, and music performed on a harp. Though I cannot find reference to it on the internet, any more, I was once told by a Ancient Phoenician scholar from Lebanon that there was once an ancient word that described these leaders as “deravids”. The “vid” part of this word is quite obvious as being part of the word video and visual we use today so within the “deravid” word it makes sense that it could mean visionary. These ancient languages were not like our latin and teutonic based languages of today that are constructed out of an order of logic and mathematics, but we languages of vision where even a single word could t

Robin Williamson : Moytura on Moytura

Celtic Ways and Two Worlds Theatre are proud to present Robin Williamson   -  Moytura on Moytura … through an evening show and a unique day's workshop. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience much more than a Robin Williamson concert but to actually share and experience the world of Robin Williamson from which he creates from. Robin Williamson is a legend bard, poet, songwriter, storyteller harp player, guitarist, fiddler, whistle player and much more. Millions have been moved by Robin's words and music for over 40 years and Robin Williamson is still touching peoples hearts. We are so privileged to have Robin as our guest for 1 day workshop,   Moytura on Moytura on Thursday May 28th 1 evening concert on Wednesday May 27th Here are the details. Moytura Workshop Two Worlds Theatre, Carrowcrory, Ballinafad, Co. Sligo, Ireland, Thursday May 28th Here’s the Google Map Link View Larger Map Meet there 10:00 am, earlier arrivers get some brekkie, commence with walk on M

2009 USA Tour : Conclusion

Reflection Our USA tour through March was a wonderful success due to the incredible gift of devotion, service and hospitality of the hosts and we are back here in Ireland with glowing gratitude and a deep love for the USA people we met and shared with. Despite its severe challenges and systems in place that attempt to breed and spread fear and stress among its people the USA is a stunningly beautiful country with millions of people eager to be good stewards of it and sustain it as a great country. Claire and I do like the USA’s president Obama as we feel he fits into the spirit of community America which we shared in all over the USA. There’s possibly not much Obama can do on a national policies level and is bound to put his foot in deeply in the wrong places due to the quagmire there but he reminds me a lot of Britain’s Prince Charles. On the surface Charles can seem like a complete idiot and I think that will happen to Obama sometimes too, but behind the scenes Charles has been an ex

2009 USA Tour : April 1st, Back Home In Ireland

Flight Not the usual Aer Lingus plane with the multi channels of personal entertainment but still a pleasant flight. I enjoyed my tofu, rice and veg meal followed by an amazing movie, “Australia” which will surely be in my all time top 20 favourites for certain. This was Nicole Kidman at her very best and the photography right through was unique and surreal. Long movie but seemed to be a smooth transition of 4 or 5 separate movies. Very tight script too and never faltered or got boring for a moment. Quite a feel good movie, quite spiritual too. One surprise is that Aer Lingus had changed us from an evening flight to afternoon flight and this earlier flight landed for an hour in Shannon before flying onto Dublin, a little tiresome. However, it was also a half empty flight so plenty of room to stretch out and sleep on the seats. Dublin Though the flight from Shannon to Dublin was viewless due to cloud, Dublin was quite sunny and warm. Getting through customs, picking up baggage and getti

2009 USA Tour : March 31st, Bye Bye USA friends until next year

G’Morning Chicago Woke up this morning in Chicago, the blue skies drifting from my head Warmer day but raining and windy, the traditional condition, we are told, of Chicago. I did not explore, like I intended, but caught up on emails and blogging. Claire continued to lay in. We were booked on a flight departing in the evening but Aer Lingus moved us to an afternoon departure flight. After some breakfast it was clearly time to make our move to O’Hare airport. Chicago O’Hare Airport I had always had good experiences at O’Hare airport but this visit to O’Hare seemed to be very thin in amenities. Checking in and and passage through security was fast. We were warned that past security services were thin so we had two lovely wrap sandwiches before entering. Yes, on the other side of security was very minimal, but also very quiet. We were disappointed to find that Aer Lingus moving us from the evening flight to afternoon flight will mean a stop at Shannon on the way, which is not a fun thing

2009 USA Tour : March 30th, 21 Days, 25 States, 7600 Miles Later

Off To Chicago Surprisingly, today took more working out than any day of our tour, and it demonstrated the incredible convenience and time saving that being online and using satellites can be. We had to have our RV returned by 1:00 pm and harp returned by 3:00 pm and find somewhere to stay tonight. RV was to be dumped near Crystal Lakes well north of Chicago and harp left at Joliet well south of Chicago, about 7 miles apart. We left Smokey Hollow WI around 6:30 am and first job was to rent a car to replace the RV. We found a Hertz depot just 10 miles away from the RV depot and was delighted to be able to book this at short notice online. Also many thanks to the Sat-Nav GPS that trustly led us to awkward destinations through today. After quickly picking up the Hertz rented van and unloading our luggage from RV into it, We made it to Crystal Lake just in time at 1:00 pm where return back was served well, quite fast and efficient. Next we hastily drove south to Joliet and asked the harp c