Posted by: mdmusingsie | September 18, 2016

Dancing (and Storytelling) at Lughnasa

I spent Lughnasa up on the Hill to Tara learning about how the Sun God Lugh held a festival around that time of year to honor his foster mother Tailtiu who died clearing the plains of Ireland of trees to allow for agriculture.  We meditated to connect with the energy of Tara and Lugh (which brought a local herd of curious cows to gaze into the marquee tent where we sat), took a shamanic journey, learned how to make flower essences with Áine Máire Ní Mhurchú, was guided by Treasa Kerrigan around the hill, said a wish while circling the Lia Fáil, placed offerings and tied bits of cloth to the fairy tree, connected with the Síle na Gig in the churchyard, and trudged through some windy and occasionally rainy Irish summer weather.

Despite the intermittent showers, we even managed to light a fire and have a bit of a dance before the rain sent us scurrying back inside.  It didn’t dampen our spirits, however, as Deirdre Wadding, a shaman and Wexford County Councilwoman, enchanted us with stories and poetry.  She really has a gift for storytelling which is still alive and well in Ireland, though in significantly reduced numbers.  It was once one of the main forms of entertainment in the country and a storyteller would wander from village to village telling tales in return for a meal and a bed for the night.


Deirdre Wadding (speaking), Treasa Kerrigan (background in white), Aine Marie Ni Mhurchu (background with drum)

I hope storytelling is a tradition that never gets lost.  A gifted storyteller has a way of pulling you right inside the story along with them and keeps you hanging on each word.  That’s not something you can get from a Twitter feed or a Facebook post.  It’s real people connecting in a genuine way instead of through an artificial screen.

We ended the celebration with drumming and dancing but that feeling of being connected to people and the land lingered long afterward.


  1. so true…there’s an app to help capture stories (I assume mainly personal ones, instead of societal) under storycorps… something magic in the spoken word

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