"from Falias was brought the stone of fal which was located in Tara.
It use to cry out beneath every king that would take Ireland"
[excerpt from the Irish text societies translation of the Cath Maige Tuired.
Edited by E.A. Gray]
The winter solstice is the
time of the shortest day and longest night. It is the time of victory
for the dark as it is the longest night. But it is a short victory, for
after this night the light returns. Up until this point the suns journey
through the day has been reducing bit by bit, and now it reaches its lowest
ebb. Although we acknowledged the "Sluaidh na Geimhraidh" at
the festival of Samhain, and embraced the dark months ahead, we still
cannot but recognise the effect prolonged darkness has on our psyches.
GODDESS/GOD AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE: Eithne, Boann, Rhiannon.
All goddess at this time of year, are the dark mothers, not the fertile
mother goddess of the summertime, but the hag like mothers, who go like
bears into hibernation, deep beneath the ground and hills of the Irish
landscape. There they give birth to young Maponnas like gods of light.
The goddess in all the myths share the same motif as having lost their
children, and are in the grieving process. As a result of their grief,
the land appears to suffer, with all growth and life halted.
Lugh, Aoengus Og, Pryderi
the god at the winter solstice has two forms. The first is the one encountered
already, the son/sun god, the newly born child of samos light, which holds
within his birth the hope of the return of light later on in the year.
The second god at this time, is the Holly King. He is the de horned aspect
of Cernunnos. We encounter Cernunnos at the other end of the year, at
the summer solstice, as the Oak King. These two gods reflect the two ogham
prevailing at both solstice points of the year, Tinne/winter solstice/holly
king, and Duir/summer solstice/oak king.
The theme of the god of light being born at this time is universal, not
just within the pan-Celtic mythologies, but in most countries of the northern
hemisphere. Here in Ireland we have the tale of the birth of Lugh, Lugh
being one of the primary sun gods in the Celtic pantheon. We also have
the birth of Aoengus Og, born of the Dagda and Boann, two of the primary
deities in Ireland. They resided in Bru na Boinne, so it is no surprise
that Boann gives birth to Aoengus here on the Winter Solstice.
In the Welsh tradition, he is Mabon ab Modron ["great son of the
great mother"]. In another tale he is Pryderi, son of Rhiannon. The
welsh version of Lugh is Lleu, who is born of the virgin -mother Arianrhod.
All of these are sun gods, and their births all occur now, at the time
of the Winter Solstice. They emerge out of the darkness of the womb of
the earth mother, at the darkest point in the giamos half of the year,
but as they do, they bring the smallest spark of the future samos light
and energy with them. They are small and not fully formed yet, but within
them we glimpse their future growth, which we will have to wait till the
return of the samos half of the year to experience fully.
Throughout the year on the
certificate course, we are going to be working with the four gifts which
were brought to the land of Ireland by the tuatha de dannann. Together
they represent the soul of the land. These gifts are emblematic of the
four elements, earth, air, fire and water. I believe a store of lost knowledge
can be retrieved by working with these gifts, and in particular, the four
elemental shamans, Morfessa, Esras, Semias and Uiscias are powerful teachers.
On this workshop, we will be studying and journeying to the "Lia
Fal", the stone of destiny, where we will journey to the city of
Falias to meet Morfessa. This gift is situated in the north, and is the
element of earth, so much can be learned about this element through working
with this gift.
We will be conducting a spiral ritual, in the land surrounding "Bru
We will also be journeying to the Tinne [holly] ogham. On each of the
eight festivals, we will be undertaking the study and journey to, an ogham
which resonates with the energy of that particular festival or time of
WINTER SOLSTICE,"LIA FAL"
THEME: INTROSPECTION/ SOWING THE SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE LIGHT /THE THEME
OF THE CHILD OF LIGHT / THE THEME OF THE EXILED MOTHER
CORE SHAMANIC PRACTICE:
** FINDING A DAILY RITUAL TO
HELP THROUGH THE GIAMOS DARK.
** JOURNEY TO ANCESTORS
OTHER WORK WE WILL BE COVERING
ON THIS FESTIVAL:
*** MYTH THAT RESONATES WITH THIS TIME OF YEAR
***RITUAL AT SPIRAL & FIRE RITUAL
We will be gathering together
at "Bruideann na re Lan" for the day long workshop.
All of the festivals are held the weekend closest to their calendrical
date. Exact dates will be given closer to the festival.
COST: 80 euro. Quality vegetarian lunch included.
11.00 a.m, -------------- 7.oo p.m