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31st Jan 2009

Tara Belfast Update 30

Subject: Tara Belfast Update 30 - and details of Imbolc/ Brigid's day celebrations tommorw
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009

TBU 30

greetings for Imbolg ( Imbolc , St Brigid's day )


IMBOLC  ( tommorow  Ist Feb)
just in - there will be a ceremony at the henge at Lismullin
this one is very special - and perhaps unrepeatable -
though perhaps not ....
- if anyone can get there - Please DO

We have been given permission by the owner to hold ceremony on the 
privately owned portion of Lismullin henge at 3 pm sunday.
access could be through the farm access section of the road take or 
we have tacit approval to go through an adjoining farmer's land.
meet at Tara car park at 2.30 sharp.
ceremony needs to be over by 4 to allow for journey back to the Hill 
for event at 4.30
hope to see some of you there

main public one 


Tara Imbolc Celebration for all.
Assemble in the Tara Car Park 4.30pm Sunday 1st Feb


Photo by Sean Gilmartin

Invitation To Tara.

Imbolc, at the beginning of February was one of the festivals of our old Pagan calendar later adapted to become St Brigid's Day. This ancient festival was celebrated as a festival of hope, when the sheep and goat herds started to produce milk for their coming young. It was thus a festival of life, lactation and hope and it was celebrated at Tara as far back as history goes, as it was all across our once green land.

This year you are invited to Tara to walk around the hill, dieseil- sunwards, with flames or candles at dusk. This will be done in a celebration of this old festival and it may help keep the destruction of the Tara complex in national view, something now sadly being forgotten.

Also with such darkness and pain approaching us in the form of a deep, man made and in many cases fatal recession perhaps the walk might convince any watchers to finally throw off their indifference and join us, because when our politicians stabbed into the heart of the ancient fields of Tara we lost not just our luck but now it seems our way.

Such a walk around the hill might also bring attention and clarity to what that cabal of politicians, speculators and bankers have done to us, our land and our future. While we pleaded for restraint and sustainability, they rejected it as nonsense. The results are now there to see, everywhere.

So come to Tara on Sunday 1st of February, assemble at four thirty in the car park. Bring lanterns or torches. Thank you.

Tara Campaigners.

Copy this leaflet, post it on, spread it around if you can.

Related Link:http://www.tarapixie.net



and at Dundalk - most of the festival is over but there is a ceremony on Sunday

HI Friends
Just reminding you about the wonderful events that are being held in this festival  in Dundalk  Faughart  Ravensdale and Carlingford Co Louth from Wed  Jan 28th till Sunday  Feb 1st
 I hope you will join u sin some of these celebrations 
 Directions for each venue are posted under the event description on www.doloreswhelan.ie  Please share this information  with others  who might be interested
There are  special accommodations  deals available in  Dundalk and Carlingford
see details on  attached programme or  log on to www.failteireland.ie 
Blessings Dolores Whelan



Anois teacht an Erraigh,

beidh an lá dul chun síneadh,

is tar éis la Féile Bríde

ardóidh mé mo sheol.

Now that the spring has come,

the days will grow longer,

and after (Saint) Brighid's feast day

I will hoist my sail.


By Ellen Evert Hopman


much more from Ellen about Brighid's day -  scroll down ...





the Vigil camp and the protest are ongoing - the people down there are wonderful , they are having a rough time , they are not one bit giving up but support wanted  and it is never all gloom ......
latest News is at


map and details of how to support are at

also at www,tarapixie.net



" Poll on the Irish Times site
half way down, right hand side

Do you think the Hill of Tara should be designated a Unesco world heritage site?

The usual mix of comments from the "intelligent" philistines but then
don't we breed them well in this country as well as abroad. " Dr M Ni B

...but an interesting variety of opinions - worth reading
 ..................as well as voting of course




Last Updated: Friday, January 30, 2009, 18:43

Tara proposed as Unesco world heritage site

The historic landscape of Tara. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The historic landscape of Tara.
Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Related »

External »

The Irish Times takes no responsibility for the content
or availability of other websites


The Hill of Tara is among a number of sites which have been nominated for inclusion on the country's list of possible United Nation world heritage sites.

Campaigners against the route of the M3 motorway in Co Meath have joined with heritage groups in submitting proposals to an advisory group set up by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley, to review the list of Irish sites.

The existing tentative nomination list for world heritage sites dates back to 1992 and includes Killarney National Park, the Burren and Clonmacnoise.

Deadlines for submissions for inclusion on the revised list close today.

Vincent Salafia of TaraWatch said: "We have nominated Tara to be a World Heritage Site, but only on
condition that the M3 motorway is re-routed first."

"It would be a breach of the World Heritage Convention for Unesco to approve Tara, with the M3 going through the site," he said. 

Tarawatch and the Campaign to Save Tara have said the Hill of Tara complex qualifies for World Heritage status as a natural and cultural landscape of outstanding universal value, due to its unique cultural significance, and the extent of the surviving remains.

Campaigners believe that if they can have the site designated as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) site, then changes would have to be made to the route of the controversial motorway, which runs close to the Hill.

“We’d love it if the whole area was chosen to be a world heritage site but because of the destruction that has been caused by the work on the M3, there is a worry that it might be refused," said Dr Muireann Ni Bhrolchain of the Campaign to Save Tara group.

Minister Gormley has previously said he supported the plan to have the Hill of Tara considered as a world heritage site as a means of preventing future development in the vicinity of the site.

There are currently three Unesco world heritage sites on the island of Ireland. These include The Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim which was inscribed in 1986 and Brú na Bóinne in Co Meath which include the neolithic monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth and which was granted recognition in 1993. Skellig Michael in CO Kerry was inscribed in 1996.

The World Heritage List currently has 878 properties: 679 of which are cultural, 174 natural and 25 mixed in 145 States Parties. Among the sites are the Alhambra in Spain, Timbuktu in Mali, the Red Square in Russia and the Taj Mahal in India and the Acropolis in Greece.






this next one is a solo project , much of this is based on the work of Sean Keir Moriarty
online at

and the film by Mairead Sullivan " Tara: Voices from Our Past ~ a recent discovery "

which is on YouTube HERE

 it is a solo project because it is way outside normal/rational
and I dont want to embarass people or make the campaign look flakey ..as IF !!!!
but  ... some pictures are now on pages indexed from

have a look
: )
the pictures are amazing even if you think it cant make any sense -

NGC 6050/IC 1179 (Arp 272) is a remarkable collision between two spiral galaxies, NGC 6050 and IC 1179, and is part of the Hercules Galaxy Cluster, located in the constellation of Hercules. The galaxy cluster is part of the Great Wall of clusters and superclusters, the largest known structure in the Universe. The two spiral galaxies are linked by their swirling arms. Arp 272 is located some 450 million light-years away from Earth and is the number 272 in Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies.

Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and K. Noll (STScI)

Spiral Design from Newgrange


- a work in progress of corse - but at http://www.beyondpluto.net/RockArt/Index.html





anyway - ....................................................Happy Imbolg !!!  



anyway - no more updates for a while - news and discussion on the yahoo groups and on Indymedia.ie as usual  
and the usual - if you are on this list by mistake - just say - and Ill take you off the list else please pass it on to anyone who might be interested

or send in any material connected - -  to Tara - the Sacred Earth -  sustainable development - er  - etc
Tara Support in Belfast
and the campaign goes on - - -

- more info re / what is going on at Tara from the usual sources
  and http://www.indymedia.ie  and search for " Tara " or " Rath Lugh "

contacts for Vigil
- Vigil phone 086-1758557
Rath Lugh camp phone: 086 1537 146
Denise  at 003530879904501
another number: 086-3600478

to ring from North or UK
or anywhere else ( ? ) - replace first zero with 00353

me .... anitagreg@gmail.com

Please sign the Petition and pass it on.


        Anois teacht an Erraigh,

        beidh an lá dul chun síneadh,

        is tar éis la Féile Bríde

        ardóidh mé mo sheol.

        Now that the spring has come,

        the days will grow longer,

        and after (Saint) Brighid's feast day

        I will hoist my sail.


        By Ellen Evert Hopman

        (La Fheile Bride, Ireland, Gwyl Mair Dechraur Gwanwyn, Wales,
        Laa'l Breeshey, Isle of Mann, Goel Kantolyon, Brittany)

        Moch maduinn Bhride, thig an nimhir as an toll;
        Cha bhoin mise ris an nimhir, Cha bhoin an nimhir rium.

        Early on Bride's morn, the serpent will come from the hollow;
        I will not molest the serpent, nor will the serpent molest me.


        Saint Brighid is one of the best known and most venerated of
        Celtic saints. She has been given many titles; The Lady of the
        Isles, Bride of the Mantle, Gentle Shepherdess, Guardian of the
        Cattle, Protector of the Newborn, Nursemaid to the Sick, Midwife of
        Mary and Mary of the Gael. Saint Brighid was said to have been
        reared on the milk of a white cow with red ears, the typical
        colorations of a Celtic otherworld beast. She was said to possess
        a girdle that could heal all disease.

        But long before Brighid the saint there was another Brighid, one
        whose identity and feast day (February 2) were gradually subsumed
        by the later historical figure, a Goddess who was known as
        Brighid in Ireland, Bride in Scotland and Brigantia in Britain.
        Daughter of the Daghda, She was a Triple Goddess, said to always
        appear as three sisters, each named Brighid. Her spheres of
        influence were poetry, smithcraft and healing. She was the
        Patroness of the Druids and Bards. The Brigantes, a British Celtic
        tribe, honored Brigantia as "The High One" and "Mother of the
        Gods". She was the most prominent pan-Celtic female deity.

        Brighid was especially associated with healing wells and springs,
        and with sacred fire. As Brigantia she was especially concerned
        with the flocks and herds and with the produce of the earth. These
        spheres were later taken up by Saint Brighid of Kildare, patroness
        of numerous holy wells, whose fire temple was tended by nine
        maidens until the Pope declared it heretical and shut it down. (The
        perpetual fire of Brighid has recently been re-lit by nuns in
        Ireland and women across the globe are once again tending fires in
        Her name).

        Brighid's sacred bird was the Oystercatcher, "giolla Bride"
        (Irish, Brighid's servant) and "Brideun" (Scots Gaelic, Brighid's
        bird) which was said to guide people who were under her protection.
        Her mother was Boann, Cow Goddess of the White Moon and Goddess of
        the Boyne river in Ireland, making cows her sacred animals. She was
        also associated with the white mare, the serpent, and red eared,
        white bodied hounds who guide travellers to the Otherworld.

        Imbolc is Brighid's own festival, one of the four great Celtic
        Fire Festivals along with Samhain (summers end), Beltaine (Fires of
        Bel, summers beginning) and Lughnasad (the first fruits festival
        inaugurated by the God Lugh in honor of his foster mother at her
        funeral games). It marks the midpoint of the dark half of the year.
        It also marks the beginning of the lactation of the ewes, an all-
        important milk festival of the ancients. The name of the festival
        may derive from m(b)lig, "milk" or the Old Celtic Ouimelko, "ewes
        milk" .

        Along with the streams of new milk Imbolc marks the time when
        other steams of life are re-kindled in the land - forest animals
        begin their mating rituals and serpents begin to stir in their
        lairs. Farmers test the soil to see if it is thawed enough for the
        first plowings and snowdrops spring up in the spots where Brighid's
        feet have trod.

        At this time the Hag of Winter, the Cailleach, who has ruled
        since Samhain visits the Well of Youth. At dawn on the day of the
        festival she drinks from the Well of Youth and her face is
        transformed from haggard old age to the serene and youthful face of
        Brighid. For this reason Brighid is sometimes called The Maiden of
        the Rising Sun.

        The Cailleach carries a Druid Wand of great power, a white rod or
        slachdan made of birch, willow, bramble or broom. With its magic
        powers She controls the elements and the weather. Brighid carries
        a white rod too but where the Cailleach's rod brings storms and
        harsh weather, Brighid's brings warm winds and new life.

        It was said that where Brighid walked over the waters or touched
        them with her finger the ice melted. And that the land turned green
        where she spread her mantle upon it, or when she breathed upon the
        hills. Families would leave a mantle or a cloth outdoors on the eve
        of the festival to be blessed by the sun and by Brighid on Imbolc
        morn. The mantle was later used to cover the sick and the cloth
        would be cut into strips to be tied onto a sick person or animal
        throughout the remaining year.


        Imbolc celebrates the re-kindling of the fires in the earth which
        give life and movement to plants and animals. Seeds burst open, sap
        rises and animals begin their mating rites. The fire in the sun
        begins to wax noticeably. Imbolc marks the time when it is no
        longer necessary to carry a candle to do the early morning chores.
        Candles are left burning on windowsills all night to mark the
        seasonal passage.

        Brighid's blessings are invoked on the forge and on the tools of
        the smith, and also on agricultural implements and the plow, the
        product of the smith's transformative art. Smith craft is potent
        magic, the ability to fashion metallic ore into bronze or iron. It
        is directly under the sanction of Brighid.

        To this day in Ireland there are numerous holy wells dedicated to
        Brighid. The ancient Celts marked the beginning of each
        agricultural cycle by purifying themselves with water. The feet,
        hands and head were ritually washed and who better to bless the
        waters than Brighid Herself? Fire and water were seen as the
        building blocks of creation, the basic foundations for all
        transformative magic. By invoking a Fire Goddess into the waters
        the stage was set for growth and change.


        Equal armed solar crosses (a design that long predates
        Christianity) were plaited from rushes to bring luck to the home.
        In the Western Isles of Scotland the women dressed a doll, named
        her Brighid, and placed her in a reed basket. On Imbolc Eve, at
        sunset, they circled the house three times sunwise, carrying the
        basket and moved from house to house carrying Brighid's crosses and
        lit candles to every home in the village.

        In parts of Ireland the eldest daughter of the house gathered
        rushes and brought them home where she was formally welcomed by the
        family as a representative of Brighid. The girl would then move
        through the house blessing the home, the food and drink within it,
        and especially the hearth.

        A solar cross shaped bread was placed on top of the rushes to be
        eaten later or crumbs from the cross shaped bread were strewn on
        the rushes. The whole family participated in the making of Crosoga,
        equal armed crosses that were hung in the home and placed in
        windows. Rushes might be left by the fire overnight, covered by a
        white cloth, as a "Bride's Bed". The Goddess was invited to sleep
        there overnight, thus empowering the rushes with Her healing

        Any left over rushes were used for healing work throughout the
        year. They could be tied to the horns of cattle as protection or
        fastened to the handle of the churn to prevent hexing of the milk.
        They could also be tied around an ailing limb or placed around the
        neck of one who was ill.

        A Crios Bride, a hoop of staw with four solar crosses tied to it,
        was carried from home to home. Men would step through it and women
        would lower it over their heads and step through it three times to
        mark a ritual "rebirth".

        In some areas a Brideog, a straw doll wearing childs clothing,
        would be carried from house to house by young girls who sang and
        recited prayers at every door where they were given small gifts in
        exchange. Often the girls would meet at the last house for a party
        with music and dancing.

        Sometimes a single woman was chosen to carry a solar cross from
        door to door. She was understood to be the representative of
        Brighid, bringing blessings to each household. In Munster and
        Connacht the procession was composed entirely of men, dressed in
        white skirts and with conical straw masks over their heads.


        The festival of Imbolc marks the true origins of Groundhog Day.
        In Scottish tradition a snake was said to emerge from its mound,
        its motions and behavior determining the remaining days of frost.
        If the snake became active a thaw was immanent. If it returned to
        its nest a month more of winter was to be expected.

        The serpent was an ancient symbol of the powers of the earth and
        of the spirit that motivates the forces of growth, decay and
        transformation. As the serpent shed its skin it illustrates the
        eternal powers of renewal inherent in the land. Snakes were also a
        symbol of healing. Pictish stone carvings often depict sacred

        In Ireland it was the hedgehog who made an Imbolc appearance and
        in the modern United States it is the ground hog who carries on the


        To celebrate the lactation of the ewes, butter was a traditional
        addition to any Imbolc dish. Cake, bread, butter or porridge would
        be placed in the window and left as an offering for Brighid's white
        cow, with whom She travels. The next morning these foods blessed by
        Brighid were eaten by the household or shared with the needy. Straw
        or fresh rushes would be left on the doorstep overnight as well, in
        hopes that the Goddess would stop there and bless the home. Butter
        left out on Imbolc night would be saved to make healing salves and
        ointments later in the season.


        Chop and shred a white cabbage and cook until tender. Steam eight
        medium potatoes and pass through a food mill or boil until soft and
        mash in a hot pan. Chop a bunch of scallions and simmer lightly in
        1 1/2 cups milk for five minutes. Beat the scallions into the
        mashed potatoes until smooth and fluffy. Fold in the cabbage. Add
        salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a large lump of butter melting
        on top and a glass of cold milk. (This dish is also traditional at

        Dandelion Salad

        Dandelions, with their yellow solar flowers and their milky white
        sap are sacred to Brighid. Dandelions first bloom at the time of
        Brighid's festival and their greens make a healthful early spring
        dish. The roots are medicine for the liver and the flowers are used
        to make a yellow wine.

        Soak the new greens and freshly grated roots for twenty minutes
        in cold water with 2 tbsp vinegar added to remove possible
        parasites. Rinse thoroughly and toss lightly with lemon juice,
        olive oil and sea salt. Try adding slivered onions, grated carrot,
        baby lettuce, violet leaves and flowers or spinach. Top with grated
        garlic or nutmeg, or grated lemon peel for variety.
        Add dandelion greens to soups or boil the greens like spinach.

        Blackberry Wine and Jelly

        The blackberry is another herb sacred to Brighid. Its leaves are
        used to poultice wounds and burns and its roots are made into a tea
        to cure diarrhea. Crawling under a blackberry bush was once
        regarded as a potent charm against rheumatism, boils and
        blackheads. The whole plant was valued as a charm against disease.
        Blackberry pies, jams, jellies and wines can be added to the feast
        in Brighid's honor.

        Bonnach Bride

        In Scotland a bonnach Bride or bannock of Bride was made at
        Imbolc, a bonnach Bealltain at Beltaine, a bonnach Lunastain at
        Lughnasad and a bonnach Samthain at Samhain. In each case a large
        cake was baked for the family and smaller cakes for each family
        member. The family walked out into the fields to eat the cakes,
        throwing a piece over each shoulder and offering it to dangerous
        spirits who might harm the fields and flocks such as wolf, fox,
        eagle, hawk, martin and raven. The cakes and breads used in this
        way featured hidden fruits and nuts.

        Barm Brack

        Cream 1 tsp yeast with 1 tsp sugar and allow to froth up in 1 1/2
        cups warm (not hot) milk. In a separate bowl sieve 2 cups flour, 2
        tsp powdered sugar and 1 tsp allspice. Cut in 3 tbsp butter. Make
        a well in the center and pour in the yeast and milk mixture and one
        beaten egg. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes. Work in
        a pinch of salt and 2 cups of mixed fruits (currants, raisins,
        candied peels, etc.). Knead well.
        Place in a warm bowl, cover and allow to rise for about an hour
        or until doubled in size.
        Knead lightly and place in a greased 7 inch cake pan. Allow to
        rise 1/2 hour more. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Upon
        removal from the oven glaze with a syrup made with 2 tsp sugar
        dissolved in 3 tsp boiling water.

        Porter Cake

        Melt 1 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar in 1 cup Porter (a type
        of dark ale) in a saucepan. Add 6 cups of mixed fruit (currants,
        raisins, slivered almonds, about half as much mixed candied peel)
        and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to go cold and add 4 cups sieved
        flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp grated lemon zest, and 1 tsp
        allspice. Beat 3 medium eggs and fold in with a wooden spoon.
        Pour into a greased 9 inch cake pan and bake in a pre heated oven
        at 325 degrees for about 1 3/4 hours. Test with a skewer until the
        skewer comes out clean. Allow cake to cool in the tin.

        In Brittany the ubiquitous crepe is the traditional festival


        On the eve of every quarter feast (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltaine,
        Lughnasad) the fairies are said to move from one Fairy Hill to
        another. Those with "the sight" should be able to easily observe
        them. A witch can be detected on the first Monday of each quarter
        because the smoke from her chimney will blow AGAINST the wind.

        All of this and much more can be found in my newest tree book;

        A Druid's Herbal of Sacred Tree Medicine!