• Tag Archives Ireland
  • Beltane 2011

    Beltane (May 1)                                                        Waning Bee Hiving Moon

    A bit about how I got interested in the auld religion, the ancient Celtic faery faith and from it, the Great Wheel.

    23 years ago I left the Presbyterian ministry and wandered off into a life I could never have anticipated.  The writing turn I took then led me to investigate my Celtic past, the heritage of my Welsh and Irish ancestors.  I learned about Richard Ellis, son of a Welsh captain in William of Orange’s army who was stationed in Dublin.  After his father’s death, his mother paid Richard’s fare to America, to Virginia, where he was to become heir to a relative’s land, a common practice at the turn of the century since children died so often.  This was 1707.

    Also a common practice at the turn of the century was a ship captain’s larceny, stealing Richard’s fare and selling him into indentured servitude in Massachusetts.   Richard went on to found the town of Asheville, Massachusetts and become a captain in the American Revolution.

    My own other Celtic ancestors, the Correls, were famine Irish, part of the boat loads forced out of Ireland by the failed potato crop, or an Gorta Mór it is known in Gaelic, the great hunger. (Incidentally, this was due to planting potatoes as a mono-culture, much like we plant corn, soybeans and wheat today.)  They came to this country in the mid 19th century.

    I did not go into the history of Wales at the turn of the 18th century, nor did I investigate the an gorta mor and its aftermath.  Instead, I went further back, into ancient Ireland and Wales; in fact I looked at all the Celtic lands, Isle of Mann, Scotland, Brittany and Galicia as well.  What fascinated me then, and still does now, was the auld religion, the Faery Faith, as represented in The Fairy Faith by W. Y. Evans-Wentz, more famous as the translator of the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

    Not long after leaving the Presbyterian ministry I packed my bags for a week + at St. Denioll’s, a residential library in Hawarden, Wales.  While there I wandered northern Wales, visiting holy wells, castles and Welsh villages.  There was also an extensive collection of Celtic material at St. Denioll’s. Continue reading  Post ID 10215

  • On Not Celebrating St. Patrick

    Imbolc                                        Waxing Awakening Moon

    St. Patrick’s Day.  I’ve always felt that the Irish celebrating St. Patrick’s day is much like the Dodgers celebrating a Yankee World Series win or maybe more like Native Americans celebrating the coming of Christianity to the New World.

    Why?  The snakes St. Patrick drove out of Ireland represented the takeover of the ancient Celtic faith by the invading dogma of Roman Catholicism.  Not only did the R.C.s finish off the auld faith, but they did in a native Celtic version of Christianity that had a close relationship to Mother Earth and who offered to the church, Pelagius, a theologian who believed we were born good.  Augustine, yes, that Augustine, set out to crush Pelagianism and he succeeded.  In fact, Augustine was so successful that Pelagius rarely comes in church history at all.

    What I know of Celtic Christian spirituality would salute this poem by e.e. cummings that Scott Simpson quoted at our last Woolly meeting:

    O sweet spontaneous

    O sweet spontaneous
    earth how often have
    fingers of
    prurient philosophers pinched
    ,has the naughty thumb
    of science prodded
    beauty     how
    oftn have religions taken
    thee upon their scraggy knees
    squeezing and
    buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
    to the incomparable
    couch of death thy
    thou answerest
    them only with

  • Dig In!

    79  bar steady 29.88  3mph NNW  dew-point 56  sunrise  6:07 sunset 8:28  Lughnasa

    First Quarter of the Corn Moon  moonrise 1432  moonset 2259

    More empathy for the sandhogs and ditch diggers from the old sod who threw the new sod.  The pit is down as far as I need to take it.  Kate and I have to decide now how we want to trick it out.  Stone?  Metal?  What kind of seating?  Cooking? When she gets back, we’ll figure it out.  She’s the detail person, the finished carpenter to my laborer. 

    The notion of standing stones in the yard still draws me, makes me want to find the right ones, ones that look like the standing stones in England, Ireland and Brittany.  I haven’t put a full court press into it, but I will here at some point. 

    This afternoon after the nap I’m going to sterilize the hydroponics and set little cubes of various kinds growing in the nursery.  I plan to have salad material growing, probably all but tomatoes.  They will await another iteration of the hydroponics. 

    An African object written up, then back to the novels.