Posted by: mdmusingsie | May 1, 2016

Happy Bealtaine

I finally own a car and after two weeks of driving to work and back plus a couple grocery store runs, I took my first official road trip.

Where I’m living at the moment is convenient for getting to work, especially for those three years I’ve been working and haven’t had a car, but not always great for other things. I don’t expect to reside in this area permanently, but one significant advantage it does have at the moment, is I’m only 30 minutes from one of the most sacred places in Ireland – Tara Hill.

So up the M3 I headed.  Now the M3 is a very controversial roadway.  It goes through the Tara valley and covers over some ancient artifacts and burial grounds. This is not the first time the Irish government has thumbed their noses at important archaeological sites, and sadly, probably not the last either.  Back in 1978 there were protests over the construction of Civic Buildings in Wood Quay.  The people protest but the government didn’t listen. It may sound very topical, but I suspect governing bodies hundreds or thousands of years ago did what they liked as well, regardless of that the people wanted.

I did have moments of guilt driving on the motorway, but since my car didn’t have Sat Nav (the cost to add it to the car was about 3 times the price of buying a stand-alone system, which is on my to-do list), I took the easiest route.  I did gladly pay my tolls, considering them a form a penance for progress.

Back in 2010, many felt the M3 lent a negative energy to Tara Hill, but on Beataine Eve in 2016, the energy was strong.  Although there was a brief mention of the motorway, Rob Hayes, who was our primary guide for the evening, said the energy is what each person makes of it.  Essentially – if you’re carrying negative energy over a dispute or other traumatic event, Tara may amplify and mirror it back at you.  I can say I felt no negative energy in the group last night.

Our pilgrimage began at Tara Open Studio, founded by artist Courtney Davis, and on to Tara Well where we had a chance to leave an offering of oats and milk and pick up a tiny vial of the holy water.  Then it was onto the sacred site itself.

We walked from the Great Hall to the Rath of the Synods, over to the current location of the Lia Fáil, and over hill and yon to Nemnach Well where Debbie Boyle informed us that the name meant “shinning” and was linked to the Tuatha de Dannan.  On our way back we stopped at the fairy tree, a lovely hawthorn where another offering was left.  Our group, which started off with about 30-35 people had swelled to at least 60 by the time we formed a circle around the sacred tree.  It was refreshing to see a number of young children in the group – the youth of today need to be the guardians of the future.  Our last stop was at Rath Grainne, before heading back to Tara Open Studio for a well deserved cup of tea.

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I’ve been plagued with an Achilles tendon issue the last few months, so I was wary that I would be able to do much walking around Tara, but to my amazement, I was able to complete the entire circuit!  Certainly more walking than I’ve done in months.  That goes to show the power such a sacred site can hold.

If only my luck had held on a bit longer.  The sun had already set by the time we reached Rath Grainne.  Due to the large group we were a little behind schedule. Therefore, the pathway back was in semi-darkness, and so, unable to see the uneven ground clearly, I stepped awkwardly in one place and re-aggravated my injury.

Had I not wanted to return on the first of May for the Celtic Events Program, (unofficial Bealtaine, as it’s really based on the phase of the moon, but this was a bank holiday weekend and well, much easier to get attendees than during the week) I probably would have suffered through the pain and stayed longer. Instead, I headed home, sadly missing the bonfires and the tradition of walking between them to cleanse oneself of energies that no longer serve us.  I also missed the fire dancer.  (If it was meant to be I would not have twisted my foot.)  Maybe next year.

I left it to the deities as to whether I would be able to walk or not today, and whilst I still have a bit of a limp, I was able to make my way back to Tara. No dancing around a May pole – that’s a different tradition, but there were assorted talks and workshops on topics such as Mandalas, Celtic history and legend about Beataine, a Women’s circle, drumming, and many other subjects that included assorted guided meditations. I left feeling cleansed, grounded, and centered – ready to take on the next set of challenges life has to throw at me – and it certainly enjoys sending quite a few my way.

Happy Bealtaine or May Day, wherever you may be.



  1. Great story, Dawn. Congrats on the car purchase and all the places it will take you! Hoping your injury heals. Happy May 1.

  2. Nice…that gives you some extra roaming range…Of course I’m curious about the car…

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