Category Archives: irish gods course

Celebrate the Festival of Lughnasadh

Michael Conneely

Michael ConneelyThe Festival of Lughnasadh

The Festival of Lughnasadh is the festival of Harvest, celebrated around 1st August. Share in the preparation of all the Festivals of the ancient Irish with the Druid Forest School worldwide courses: www.druidforestschool.com/courses

Take stock: What talents have you harvested so far this year???

Honour your harvest. Honour those who support you: your Tribe. Honour the Land that supports you: your home and the sacred earth.

The Festival of Lughnasadh is the celebration of the harvest of our individual and our joint Tribal efforts in the year, so far.

The Festival of Lughnasadh is also overshadowed by the approach of winter. The Tribe has to prepare for winter as it celebrates the Harvest. The powers of Darkness must be defeated. You need your Harvest to weather any hard times in the future.

The main theme of the Festival of Llughnasadh was feast celebrating the successful reaping of benefits from the Land by the Tribe, the communal enjoyment of first fruits was the high point of the day’s ritual.

Lughnasadh combines key cosmic sacred themes of the Land and the Tribe. And for the ancient Irish, it was the transition from the culture of the Land (The Formorians) to the spirit of the Tribe (The Tuatha de Danaan), that underlies the Book of Invasions, and this was the difference between the two sides at the Second Battle of Moytura (Maigh Tuireadh), fought near our Healing Centre in the West of Ireland, in the Irish Iron Age.

At Llughnasadh, we hear the call of the new god, Llugh, that was the catalyst for the members and the gods of the Tuatha de Danaan, to value the manifestation of the special and individual skills of each of them, and thus be able to use individual and very special crafts and skills to defeat the more cloddish, vicious and less civilised lower-consciousness Formorians.

We each incarnate to burn negative karmas, and also to develop and manifest our own special unique special skills. Llugh is the catalyst for this. He thus calls us to bring in the harvest of our talents at Lughnasadh.

And so at Lughnasadh, a key theme of any celebration is recounting the call of Llugh for each member of the Tuatha to name and bring in his own special talents, as at the Second Battle of Moytura that the Tuatha fought against the dark Formorians above Loch Arrow, near here.

The issue is also our personal sovereignty. For the Tuatha de Danaan, their victory at the Second Battle of Moytura was yearly sealed by the annual mating of the War Goddess the Morrigan and the Good God, The Dagda, both standing astride the River Unshin where it flows from the Loch, to wend its way to its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean near Carrowmoor. Thus the sovereignty of the Tribe and its Land was sealed.

The issue is also about reverencing and relying upon the Goddess of the Land, she who provides, she who now rules as Queen of the Harvest.

And the Festival of Lughnasadh also calls us to value skills of communication, creative thought and breakthrough, just as Llugh used eloquent oratory to call each member of the Tuatha de Danaan to value themselves and their individual special skills. And thus the Celts linked Llugh to Mercury, but of course, there is also a lightning, revolutionary, fore-front creative Uranian dimension to him too!

And it is these words that inspire the people, win the Goddess for the Tuatha are the people of the Goddess Danu and the actions the words inspire that defeat the cruel blinding heat of the Sun, that defeat Balor: Balor of the evil Eye.

So, have a look at my Druid Forest School Courses and get in touch: www.druidforestschool.com

I look forward to hearing from you,
Michael

The post Celebrate the Festival of Lughnasadh appeared first on StarWheel Astrology Blog.

Read more enlightened vedic or western astrology reports here

Sacred Space and Ritual Form

Michael Conneely

We are coming up to the Festival of Imbolc, and I have been sending out suggestions about preparing for the Festival as part of my worldwide Druid Forest School. And so the issue of ‘how do you create sacred space?’ arose in my mind.

I myself feel happiest with genuine and authentic attunement to the place where workings are to be held. I feel this is a beautiful and healing way to prepare to celebrate a festival of do a vision journey etc.

What are the energies of the rocks?

What are the energies in the trees?

What are the energies in individual trees?

What are the alignments to the Sun to sacred energy places in the neighbourhood?

What are the energies from sea or river?

What are the energy flows in that particular place?

Have beings implanted special spiritual energies there to assist our evolution and spiritual growth? (and indeed, have dark or hostile energies been left in the land)?

And, having done the attunement to place, then I would feel happy to do the great healing and empowering workings and unforgettable vision paths of the particular Festival or other event.

I personally feel I have left behind use of the cast circle to create sacred space for ritual. This is because I do feel it is dualistic, and it is imposed on the sacred land itself. I feel it carries dualisitc energies of ‘good inside’ the circle and ‘bad outside the circle’, and so this carries all the risks of scapegoating, of dualistic conscious, of ‘banishment mentality’ and even power-stealing. The practice of the casting of the circle actually came down to the neopagan working in the modern west through kabala – and kabala drew on the sacred spatial practice of the ancient Jews at the time of Exodus.

The point is that the ancient Jews were wandering in the wilderness. They were disconnected from the land. And so, the sacredness was wherever they parked the Ark of the Covenant on any particular day in their banishment wandering of Exodus; it had nothing to do with the inherent sacred energies of the place.

Indeed, the Exodus Jews left a legacy of graded sense of sacredness. The holiest was inside the Holy of Holies, where the ark of the Covenant was lodged for the day. This was so holy an area that only the High Priest could enter. And indeed, in the case of the Temple in Jerusalem, the High Priest alone could enter the Holy of Holies, and he only on one day per year.

But I feel instead, it is important not to impose a sense of sacred space onto the land: it is more beautiful, healing and empowering to open yourself to the sacredness of the land where the ritual is taking place.

My background in writing this, is that I completed a five year field study based at Bristol University: a social anthropology or ‘ethnography’ of spiritual forms new to the modern west. The method of Ethnography was created by Bronislaw Malinowski during the First World War, and its method involves living in in the communities or institutions one studies, and – most importantly – giving the people studied their own voice.

So, relevant to the issue of sacred spatial practice, whilst completing this five-year ethnography, I studied in Glastonbury a Wiccan Coven, a Druid grove within the Fellowship of Isis, as well as a shamanic group, several Buddhist centers of different types and a Hindu Ashram, plus a Utopian Community: a Bender Site (tread lightly on the Earth). And it was here that I did this study of sacred spatial practice. And now that I live and work in Ireland, I am glad to share the understanding I came to through my Druid Forest School worldwide courses.

So, do have a look at the courses of the Druid Forest School and enroll: There are wonderful worldwide course for the festivals, for the Goddesses and Gods of the ancient Irish, spiritual energy practices, you name it.

These are very caring courses. When you have completed a piece of work, you email me how you got on. I then reply to you and we hold discussion.
Maggie and I also run a Healing Centre in the West of Ireland with linked airbnb, so you can come to this sacred land in person as well. See:
http://maggiepashley.com/
http://www.foxfordairbnb.com/

The Festivals Course is divided into two modules: the first is The Fire Festivals and the second is Solstices and Equinoxes.
To Enrol, go to: http://www.druidforestschool.com/cour…

The post Sacred Space and Ritual Form appeared first on StarWheel Astrology Blog.

Read more enlightened vedic or western astrology reports here