Monday, 19 December 2016

The Many Coloured Land.

Yesterday, as daylight dwindled, I was sitting by the stove re-reading AE’s book
‘The Candle of Vision’ when my mind returned to the start of this year. 

I began 2016 here with a post dedicated to George William Russell, AE. 
His writing continued to inspire me through the bleak days of winter and later led me to seek out the Many Coloured Land, places of vision and creative power within myself and the landscape of Ireland.   

To read - Æ, artist & mystic - 
“And the old enchantment lingers in the honey-heart of earth.” LINK HERE

This January was icy but as daylight slowly grew I made preparations to honour Brigid on the Eve of her festival.

The cross was woven and set above the door. 

The brát was placed on the windowsill to catch her blessing as she emerged from nearby 
Croghan Hill, to walk the land. 

To read - "Brighid returns from the Otherworld" LINK HERE

The long desired greening had began by the time I travelled to Kildare, home of her eternal flame. 

Her fire pit held evidence of ritual 

and at Brigid’s Well I felt the rising of the year.

To read - "The promised Spring arrives" LINK HERE

In hindsight I now understand that water has flowed throughout my year. 
Visits to rivers, lakes, bogs and sacred wells have inspired me and strengthened my connection to the spirits of the land. 

I see now that it really began on the shores of Lough Gur, sacred to the goddess Áine. 

To read - LOUGH GUR - “a personality loved, but also feared.”

Then on morning walks to my local river I spied white blossom on dark limbs.

The blackthorn blazed like pale spirits across the country.

To read "Blackthorn, dark sister of the May" LINK HERE

Pale primroses peeped from beneath hedges and gold glinted in the fields.

Bealtaine came nearer. I welcomed summer on May Eve in the old way by decorating a May bush 

and lighting a bonfire at twilight. 

To read - "The May bush ribbons dance as the Fairy Host pass by" LINK HERE

As the land brought forth her flowers and the sun stretched the evenings
I felt a strong pull towards water, the west and Irelands’ many sacred wells. 

To read - "Sacred water and three thousand Holy Wells" LINK HERE

To read - "By Stone, Whitethorn and Well" LINK HERE

One well in particular, Rathin Well in Co. Clare, was to connect me to a deep sorrow still felt
by many communities.

To read - "In silent need they searched for Holy ground" LINK HERE

The year turned towards harvest but water still drew me to loughs 

To read - "Lughnasa, loughs and a last salute to Summer." LINK HERE

and the dark bog spirits of the Midlands.

To read - "Dark Spirits of the Bog" LINK HERE

There were places where the Otherworld felt close

To read - "The Burren: Land of the Fertile Rock" LINK HERE

and a morning when I stepped into The Silence.

To read - "Otherworld Shenanigans: The Silence" LINK HERE

Throughout this years’ adventures The Cailleach, the Old Woman, has been close by.

She has threaded her way through images.

To read - "The Cailleach - Hag of the Mill & Mother of the Herd" LINK HERE

And words. 

To read - "A Samhain Story - The Lament of the Old Woman" LINK HERE

As I prepare to celebrate the birth of a new year she whispers in my ear -

“ There is more, much more yet to come. You have merely glimpsed the Many Coloured Land.” 

Outside The Cailleach traces frost upon the leaves but I know she has already planted 
the seeds of next years’ adventures.

Many thanks to you all for reading, following and commenting on this blog. 

May your New Year be filled with good food, good health & good company!