The Festivals of the Ancient Irish with Druid Forest School in Ireland and Worldwide

Festivals of the Ancient Irish

These Festivals are immensely powerful gateways into the natural rhythms of Earth, Sea and Sky and also connection to our ideal self.

We are celebrating the Spring Equinox in Foxford, County Mayo, in the far west of Ireland this Saturday March 24th and you will be welcome. Contact Michael Conneely or Maggie Pashley through our Druid Forest School or Foxford airbnb websites.

You can also prepare for, celebrate and build on all the Festivals through my Druid Forest school Worldwide course: www.druidforestschool.com

If we celebrate these ancient festivals authentically and creatively in the way that is right for us each as an individual, these festivals contribute to our lives with power and healing – and fulfillment of who we were born to be!

​Our ancestors felt great significance in the turning of the seasons, their link to the fertility of the land. They put stupendous effort into constructing monuments with exact astronomical alignments.

They felt it was of crucial importance to be one with the great cycles of energy of the stars, the Sun and the Moon.

And of course, here, around us in the West of Ireland, there were also important local alignments as well such as The Bohea Stone and Croagh Patrick Mountain.

Make your own personal, true, beautiful and honest – and authentic understanding of the festivals.
Study these Festivals of the Ancient Irish with Michael Conneely and The Druid Forest School.

Enable their true flame to grow in your heart and mind so you can express and speak your true and beautiful vision, your Heart Song and your truth.
Share connection to the great cycles of the Earth and the Heavens.
Do ritual, vision work and make deep connection to the Goddesses and the Gods of the ancient Irish.
I will be honoured to share this in-depth journey of healing and empowerment with you.
Together we work through the ritual year.

We make a journey of connection to Earth, the Sea and the Sky, and to the sacred weapons of the tuatha de Danaan and to the Goddess and Gods of the ancient Irish
And, as with all my courses, I share with you your personal western and Vedic Astrology: natal and predictive. This offers us much food for thought and guidance. A very special bonus.

Deepen your connection with the spiritual heritage of the ancient Irish.
Connect to their festivals.
Create community around this task.
Each of us flowers as a human being, with his or her own special divine spark, in the celebration of this practice.

As a separate possibility, we offer sacred tours to the many sacred sites all with an hour of our Healing Centre with linked airbnb. These places of deep and great sacred Earth Energies include: Carrowmoor, Carrowkeel, Rathcroghan, the site of the Second Battle of Moytura and Croagh Patrick mountain: see: www.foxfordairbnb.com

There are also courses to make visionary contact with the great Gods and Goddesses of the Tuatha de Danaan. See www.druidforestschool.com.

I look forward to hearing from you and to working with you,
Michael

Worldwide Nakshatra Course and Krittika Nakshatra

Krittika Nakshatra is the 3rd of the 27 Nakshatras, the wonderful and powerfully declarative Lunar Signs of Vedic Astrology.

Learn all about Krittika and its warrior challenges, plus all of the Nakshatras, in my dedicated Nakshatras course:
www.nakshatrasadvancedcourse.com
In Part 1, you learn each of the Nakshatras in turn, focusing on your chart and mine so as to keep the discussion caring genuine and authentic. Where neither of us have a planet in any given Nakshatra, you bring in family friends or celebrity charts.
And in Part 2 of my Nakshatras Course, you learn the powerful techniques of astrological analysis using Nakshatras and Nakshatra Techniques.

Have a look at this video about Krittika:

The Ruler of Krittika Nakshatra is the Sun who can be angry and fight. Krittikas are possessed of intense awareness and the ability to undergo purification. They have a lot of energy and pride. Krittika spans 26°40′ Vedic Aries – 10° Vedic Taurus and its symbol is a knife.Its deities are: Agni, the god of fire and Karttikeya, the general of the heavenly army. Its Keywords are: heroic, sharp, protecting, full of initiatives. Its translation is: ‘the one who cuts’. Essentially, this is a malefic Nakshatra. This is  jailor energy and is not easy at all.

Favorably, Krittikas are motivated achievers who acquire many things; bright with strong appetites, goal oriented people who like to get the bot­tom line and go for what they want. This is the survivor; dignified and taking a pride in what they do. They will honor their commitments; be a good leader and straightforward.

But unfavourably, Krittikas are piercing, criticizing and fault-finding. Intimidating, with cutting blunt manners, though they can put on the social graced. They are not open to advice; hard to please; impatient and respond too strongly to challenges. They set goals or expectations too high; and definitely burn out their health by constant and unrelent­ing activity.

In the sky, Krittika is positioned in the form of a group of stars called “The Pleiades“, or the “weeping sis­ters” as they are some­times called.  The warrior may bring destruction and sad­ness. Howe­ver, he may also be the protector of the good and the des­troyer of evil.  The warrior knows what he wants and he is prepared to give his life in order to protect what is good.

To learn about Krittika and any of the Nakshatras, and they powerful techniques of Nakshatra analysis, have a look at my Nakshatras course:
www.nakshatrasadvancedcourse.com

I look forward to working with you,
Michael

Learn more about Ashwini Nakshatra #1
Learn more about Bharani Nakshatra #2

Moytura Battle Ireland’s Iliad

Please bear with the occasional wind noise during the group’s working in late January at the battlefield of the Second Battle of Moytura.

The earth energies and the vision of the ancient Irish Gods makes the whole event so powerful, beautiful and special.

Such a lot was channelled. Members felt they had such a lot to share.

The group was left with such a sense of the truth that The Book of Invasions is Ireland’s equal to the Greek’s Iliad.

It is Ireland’s equal to the Indian Vedas.

It is the Equal of The Matter of Britain that brought to us the great King Arthur, and the druid magician who made his greatness possible: Merlin.

Like these three others, it brings down to us through time, a Golden Age, when Gods walked the earth through their Avatars and emanations.

The Book of Invasion was written by medieval monks, but it preserved epic history that came down from the iron Age of a time when Gods walked the earth.

The medieval monks could not really encompass the greatness of the Beings, nor the divine power of the materials they were writing about, but they could not diabolise the Tuatha de Danaan too much for fear of upsetting the Irish nobles who, let’s face it, were paying the monastic scriptoria for the great tale, and demanded enough truth to the Epic which hitherto had come down through oral transmission of Druids and Bards.

And so, we have to see past the monks horrible caricaturising of the great Good God, the Dagda.

Just as we have to see past all the modern caricaturising of the great ethical War Goddess of the ancient Irish that goes on: The great Morrigan.

You can work on making genuine authentic personal vision connection to these great Gods and Goddesses of the ancient Irish through the courses of my Druid Forest School:  www.druidforestschool.com/courses

Find your own true and life-giving connection with the true nature of The Morrigan, the Ethical Defender of our Sovereignty, and also of The Dagda, the giving, sexual, warrior, regenerative Good God.

And it is their relationship that perpetuated the sacred people of the Tuatha de Danaan. It was their mating at Samhain, and every Samhain, that assured the Tuatha de Danaan victory. It is this relationship of sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine that is the true nature of these two great beings, and their true gift to modern people.

Now is the time to see and benefit from their dignity, their beauty and their gift to us.

They are the God and Goddess of the Sacred Land, and they renew it and give it power at their annual mating astride the River Unshin which flows from Loch Arrow to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean next to Carrowmore (which itslef includes a huge Samhain alignment of the central tomb: Listogil).

Meeting and developing visionary connection with the Gods and goddess of the Tuatha de Danaan is more and more possible.

They, themselves,  retreated to the mounds and barrows after the coming of the Milesians, perceiving that humanity could only caricaturise and devalue them.

But now following W B Yeats and Lady Gregory and the Celtic revival, the time is right for their message and their beauty and specialness to be heard and seen again.

We also meet Manannan, the eerie God of the sea and its tides and mists, Ogma, the warrior who invented writing, Llugh: Lord of the Harvest of our talents.

Once again Corra will be restored to her sacred mountain from where she was thrown in 432 to be consigned to the Loch below the mountain.

The Four treasures of the Tuatha de Danaan fully radiate their power and beauty again. once more we walk the Ogham pathways and sense the Celtic Otherworlds.

We meet once more Boann, Oengus Og.  Many are meeting and learning to understand the Irish hero Fionn mac Cumhall, leader of the warrior band: the Fianna.

We can feel the sacred energies placed in the ground and the rocks at Carrowmore, Carrowkeel, Ben Bulben, the dragon energies in the mountain now called Croagh Patrick, and so many more sacred places of Ireland.

There’s the purity and force of Brigid’s Imbolc fire. And we grow in understanding Danu, the Mother of them all. There’s the Healers: Dian Cecht, Miach and Airmed. We seek to meet and learn: who was great Ernmas? And what is the nature of the triple Goddess?

See the main video about the battlefield:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-coaAJOnqk

Lough Arrow and the battlefield is only 35 miles from the Healing Centre and airbnb that Maggie Pashley and I run in Foxford in beautiful County Mayo in the stupendously beautiful far West of Ireland, where we offer holidays, holidays with healings, retreats and Sacred Ireland Tours.
See: www.foxfordairbnb.com/

See the detail of my wonderful courses: www.druidforestschool.com/courses

Buy products securely from my online shop at shop.starwheelastrology.com

I look forward to working with you
Michael

Prepare for Spring Equinox Festival

Prepare for Spring Equinox Festival

This is one of the eight great Festivals of the year. Here is a list with typical dates:

There are the four Celtic Fire Festivals of:
Samhain              Nov 1st (October 31st)
Imbolc                  Feb 1st / 2nd
Beltain                 May 1st
Lughnasadh        Aug 1st

And there are the four Cross-Quarter solar Festivals of:
Winter Solstice                 Dec 21st
Spring Equinox                 Mar 21st
Summer Solstice              Jun 21st
Autumn Equinox              Sep 21st

The Spring Equinox, or Vernal Equinox, known in the Welsh Druid Tradition as Alban Eilir, occurs when the Sun enters the tropical zodiac sign of Aries on or around March 21st.  It marks the time where the day’s length for the first time equals the length of the night. And from this time on, the days will get longer than the nights, until the day of the Summer Solstice, the longest day, around June 21st.

The key energy of the Spring Equinox is therefore the power and standing of the Sun, and the defeat, banishing and diminishment of Winter and darkness.

And in celebrating the growing power of the Sun, we celebrate the growing solar power in ourself, the ending of the more inward time of winter in our lives, and the appearance of new life on the earth: green leaves bursting everywhere, lambs and flowers, ploughing and planting in full swing. And in human culture: contests and games.

But in celebrating this we also honour the principle of divine cycles, and of the underlying important of Balance.

In terms of the ancient Irish, little has survived of the celebration of the Spring Equinox Festival because it got overlayed by the Catholic Easter, sand three Celtic Saints’ Days: Saint Patrick, Saint David and Saint Piran.

But as a pointer to the ancient recognition of this point in the yearly Sun-cycle,  many Irish ancient monuments of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages are aligned to  the Solstices, and one at least to the Spring Equinox: Lough Crew Cairns, near Oldcastle, County Meath, which are two hours east from Foxford or an hour west from Dublin. Lough Crew was built about 3,200 BC, has alignment to the solstices as well, but on either equinox, the Sun rises in the same place and illumines down a passage on to the carvings on the passage back stone

So the Spring Equinox celebration needs to include the following factors. Start to plan from say the end of February which you will do and when. Plan how and when you will take these steps. Some might be appropriate to work with as the Festival approaches. All will be pulled together on the day of your Festival Celebration Ritual. Keep a record. Go through your planning with me. Share with me afterwards how the celebration ritual went: what it achieved, what steps need to be taken to implement and consolidate the ‘new You’ start to choose and develop your focuses for the celebration, to support your healing, transformation and empowerment:

The Sun: Celebration of the Sun, his nature and the fact of his rise in powered and brightness, inspiration and life-giving. We can visualise and share in his rise from the new-born Sun of the Winter Solstice, to the child of Promise, to, now: the young King:  Arthur or Fionn: The Mabon in Welsh druid path.

The Earth: Make contact with and celebrate the consequences for the earth and life on earth of the new power of the Sun. we visualise the growing abundant giving of the Earth under the light of the Sun, from the barrenness of Winter, to the first snowdrops of Imbolc to now the first flowers, buds and catkins; The lambs, the calves; the new births. The life-giving Goddess. Sovereignty.

Plan your ritual place:
Choose the place: in nature preferably.
Sense the energies of the place you choose: The Irish Celts saw a soul in everything, Interlapping Otherwords. Spirts of place. Great Energies placed in the Earth by the Earth Shapers.
How will you deck the altar or the site? What physical arrangement will need to be put in place?
Develop in a shared way a little timetable of parts you might want to include n the ritual. But no scripted speeches, and allow for authenticity of personal expression and breakthrough. Allow for the unexpected. If your celebration is in a group, some members might want to take responsibility for preparation for a certain facet of the celebration.

Festival Preparations:
Plan the preparations and the parts of the ritual itself: visualising, energy work, food and drink. Start to prepare from end of February onwards. As always, before and during the ritual, it is good, healing and empowering to greet the risen Sun, to shire the fact that you too will rise, and to honour the four quarters and what each gives to your body and your life, and to honour Land, Sea and Sky.

Focuses for your Preparation and for the Festival Celebration:

Your Body: Vision and Energy work: Check out your own body energies and decide if changes are needed:
Lie down and visualise yourself under the rise of the strengthening Sun. scan your body energies. Note impressions you receive of illness, disease, weakness and strength. Do you need healing? Do you need changes in lifestyle in the light of what you see?
Soak up the rays and warmth of the Sun using your visionary eye. Allow the needed movement of the Sun energies through your body. Direct your body energies to this end.

Your Life: Create a space to take stock on your life: to meditate or vision-journey on the personal questions related to this rise in the Sun, namely:
Where have I been putting my energies, and do I need to re-focus because of the rise of the light and the longer days and warmer weather?
Do I need to move from a more inward to a more outward period of my life?
Do I need to increase my power and the expression of my vitality and talents?
Do new directions, values and attitude need to arise now in my life. Do I need to create new planning and strategy?
And are there things I should let die?
Do vision journey with this intention. See what arises to your mind.

Your Solar Self: See how you were before the ritual, and how you are after it. Visualise your intention of who you will become. Make a transition to health and healing. Leave sense of woundedness behind as the Sun rises to his glory. Afterwards it can be a good idea to draw before and after and share the drawings with loved ones, Group members, etc.

Fight between light and darkness: your celebration could include recognition of the fight between light and darkness, maybe even the fight between the Winter King and the Summer King. Maybe a game or contest between human contestants representing the two sides, with Light destined to win: this time! Light crosses the goal-line this day! With the light now arising triumphant, and all the new life now emerging on the earth: food, flowers, and the altar can be decked accordingly.

So these are the factors. On my course, you can make your plans with me before the Festival ritual, you can share the results, and I cross-refer to your western and Vedic Astrology: the destinies and psychological drives in your natal astrology, and the energies of the current time in your predictive astrology.

You can enroll on my Festivals course at: www.druidforestschool.com/courses

You can enrol on the Fire Festivals Course, The Cross Quarter Festivals Course, or both courses.

And see the details of our west of Ireland Healing Centre and air bnb: /www.foxfordairbnb.com

We look forward to working with you

Llugh and the Harvest of your skills

Please bear with the occasional wind noise during the group’s working in late January at the battlefield of the Second Battle of Moytura. The earth energies and the vision of the ancient Irish Gods makes the whole event so powerful, beautiful and special.

The group was left with such a sense of power and beauty by the place, and also working to meet the Call of Llugh: to be and express the spark you incarnated to be. To let no one suppress your special skills and beauties.

See the main video about the battlefield:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-coaAJOnqk

Lough Arrow and the battlefield is only 35 miles from the Healing Centre and airbnb that Maggie Pashley and I run in Foxford in beautiful County Mayo in the stupendously beautiful far West of Ireland, where we offer holidays, holidays with healings, retreats and Sacred Ireland Tours.
See: www.foxfordairbnb.com

See the detail of my wonderful courses: www.druidforestschool.com/courses

I look forward to working with you so please take a look at my Earth Spirituality Shop, where you can shop securely and safely online
Michael

The Battle of Moytura and Return of the Ancient Irish Gods

At the Iron Age Irish Second Battle of Moytura, the Tuatha de Danaan, the People of Skill, the people of the Goddess Danu, overthrew the Forces of Darkness: the brutish Formorians. A group with the Druid Forest School Courses to meet the Gods and Goddesses of the Ancient Irish set out to find the site of the great battle. Enroll on the Course.

This January, the group of us climbed to the exalted mountain top where the second Moytura battle was fought, high above Loch Arrow.

The earth energies are stupendous. The rocks austere and black. You look across the loch to the late stone age tombs of Carrowkeel. You look the other way to the sacred earth energies of Carrowmoor, Knocknarea, Ben Bulben and the Atlantic Ocean. See: www.foxfordairbnb.com

Such powerful and healing earth energies are in the rocks of the sacred places round here.

The site of the Battle is only 35 miles from the Healing Centre and airbnb that Maggie Pashley and I run in Foxford in beautiful County Mayo in the stupendously beautiful far West of Ireland, where we offer holidays, holidays with healings, retreats and Sacred Ireland Tours.
See this video:

The Book of Invasions was written down in the Middle Ages and records the oral Druid Teaching that had been passed on from the Iron Age. The Book records how the Tuatha de Danaan were pushed out of Ireland where they had their home in the Iron Age.  Although a people of commanding gifts, talents and skills, the Tuatha de Danaan were oppressed by the piratical, dark and earthy Formorians who lived on this land and its seas from even more ancient times. And so, the Tuatha could stand the oppression no longer and they departed and they spent years sailing the seas learning great skills and magical arts.

The Book of Invasions records how they then decided to return and reclaim their homeland.

(more…)

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