It’s taken a long time, quite a few very late nights… by that I really mean early mornings 😂, a few a lot of glasses of wine, much foul language sweet blessings, blood, sweat and tears, but finally,… Read More
Originally posted on aliisaacstoryteller:
UISNEACH Ancient Ceremonial Site of the Bealtaine Fires I had very few expectations of The Hill of Uisneach (Cnoc Uisneach in Irish) when I went there for the first time, but as with Shee Mor,…
The ancient Irish divided their year into four seasons punctuated by the festivals of Imbolc, Beltaine, Lughnasa and Samhain, according to the equinoxes and solstices. Samhain lies between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice. It was believed that at Samhain, the veil between the mortal world and the Otherworld was very thin, and that the spirits of the ancestors could cross over and walk amongst the living again.
There’s something hypnotic and beguiling about watching golden flames leap, fanning your face with melting warmth, whilst the hiss and pop as they consume their fuel, fills your ears, and clouds of fragrant wood-smoke drift around you… the experience of fire is quite a feast for the senses. A fire can be soothing and relaxing, or mesmerising and exciting, or uncontrollable and frightening.
Our ancestors were well aware of the effects of fire. Mastering this element had changed their lives, yet was fraught with danger. Homes were temporary affairs, constructed of degradable substances such as wood and thatch, and thus highly flammable. Even the landscape could be destroyed by the application of fire, or it could be revitalised.
I‘ve never really liked Halloween. I never understood why people got excited about dressing up, or visiting the homes of strangers and demanding ‘Trick or Treat’. I never enjoyed the gaudy decorations, or the references to vampires, witches,… Read More
The Hill of Uisneach stands 183 metres tall, and is located between the villages of Ballymore and Loughanavally in County Westmeath, not far from Mullingar. Twenty counties can be seen from the summit on a clear day. Historically and mythologically, it was regarded as the centre point, or ‘naval’ of Ireland, symbolised by the presence of a great stone called the Ail na Mirean, or Stone of Divisions.