Today (23rd September 2022) is the Autumn Equinox in Ireland! We at Pagan Life Rites Ireland wish you a blessed (almost) end of the summer as we start to prepare for the time of the Great Sleep!
The word equinox is a Latin word meaning ‘equal night’. On the day of an equinox, the Earth is tilting neither toward nor away from the sun, and therefore receives almost an equal amount of daylight and darkness.
Traditionally, the Autumn Equinox marks the end of the harvest season, where we take stock of what we have grown, gathered and ‘harvested’. We can give thanks for what we have received and we can also start to get ready to ‘slow down’, go within and start the process of hibernation, either figuratively or literally (some of us are channelling our inner bears!).
This can be a VERY difficult thing to do in these modern times of artificial heating, artificial lighting, non-stop work, social media and go go go. But even if we can start to try to spend a bit more time outdoors marking the way the Earth is honouring the turning of the wheel as the year matures and the seasons slowly but irrivocably develop and mature.
We can watch the trees paint the forests, woods and hedges with a beautiful canvas of yellows, reds, oranges and browns and then gently start to release that which no longer serves, allowing it to wither, die and rot, sinking back into the earth to eventually feed and sustain the new life that will emerge in the Spring!
And of course take note of the preparations our animal and winged friends are making to gather, store and make ready for the cold winter days ahead.
This can be a great time to consider and invite balance into your life. However, the idea of balance may need to be redefined as we move from the light to the darker half of the year; indeed, what kept you balanced in the heat of summer may not at all in the cold bite of winter! Balance is a constantly shifting ‘equilibrium’, and our daily routines and rituals often need to also shift as we move and transition into a new season of the year or of our lives.
It is a time to conserve our physical energy outdoors but not to walk in the shadows, sleep and dream deeply, sit with our friends and neighbours around the fire, talk with our beloved Elders and sow the seeds of emotion, intellect and community.
It is too cold to hunt outdoors or tend to the farm (other than absolute necessity) but it is warm by the fire where there is space and light for all to do the essential repairs of body, mind, heart and soul; mend clothes and tools, carve wood and work metal, weave baskets and fabrics and spin wonders with magic and words!
We wish you balance in all you do and enough warmth, community and sustenance to see you through the dark and cold!
Balance is for wimps (Paul Brady)
Balance is death, Balance is decay,
Balance the dull thump of a weary grey day
Balance is watching – the films you’ve seen before
Balance is the droopey eyed somnolescent snore
Tedium with low clouds and misty drizzling rain
Too dull for sunlight too numb for pain
Balance is the bored stare at the same line on the page
Balance is the refuge of creeping old age
Balance is for dotards too dead to give a toss
Well stuff your balance darling – give me chaos
Give me mayhem give me passion tie me to the sheet
Come and ride me sideways while tickling at my feet
Blow me away my love, bounce my head up off the rocks
Turn me upside down and shag me wearing socks
Scare me dare me – come on make me fly
Thrill me – kill me – tease me till I cry
The only balance I want and only if you’re able
Is one leg on the kitchen sink and the other on the table
Bite me scratch me satisfy your lust
Show my soul the sunlight before it turns to dust.
Stretch me out, tie me up and leave me hanging limp
I’ll still raise a smile my love, and balance is for wimps.
‘The Sleeping’ (Anna Ní Cút)
The summer nearly over, the winter almost begun
God and Goddess in balance and harmony as One
Light and the darkness, equal together make whole
The Wheel ever turning, life on a seasonal roll
We give great thanks for the light and the bounty She blessed
The Earth nurtures and sustains but now goes to Her rest
Ahead is a time to prepare, go deep and be still
The long dark, the shadows, the cold will have their fill
But for now we still dance and rejoice from the heart
Knowing that each time, and each turn plays it’s part
The summer sun will await, and the Earth will remain strong
So let us go peacefully to Sleeping with gratitude, prayers and song
*And of course, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere then we wish you a blessed Spring Equinox as you celebrate the return of the light!!*
Just a quick round up this month of some Irish Pagan events that are happening either in Ireland, or online with an interest to/the involvement of Irish Pagans.
NOTICE: Dublin Pub Moothttps://www.facebook.com/pg/DublinPubMoot.No1/
Barbara says… “We’re still up in the air for a Dublin Pub Moot location, and there is no moot in January… we will be up and running again in Feb in a brand new location, yet to be announced.”
6th January (ONGOING, Register Any Time): Learn the Lore – 21 Day Challenge. This free 21 day challenge run by the Irish Pagan School will help you to get an easy start with proper Irish source lore and community discussion. Join at – https://irishpaganschool.com/p/lore-21
10th January: Monthly Pagan Moot in Cork City – an informal event, providing the opportunity to socialise with other people who are interested in Earth based spirituality, Irish folklore, magic and the occult. We are open to people of all gender, sexual orientation and background. If you are 16 or younger, please bring an adult to accompany you. Hosted by the Well of Wisdom Temple (€2 suggested donation), more info at – https://www.facebook.com/events/2244312408947484/
12th January: FLAMEKEEPING/ BRIGIDMAS/ IMBOLG 2019 – Clann Dord Fiann are working each evening from the 12th of January to the 31st with a 20 day devotional work with and to Brigid. As part of the extension of our work to have a public face, we invite others to join this activity if they wish. It is solitary and requires no other involvement (free), more info at – https://www.facebook.com/events/326719824839035/
13th January: The Dagda’s Tools Online Class, with Jon O’Sullivan.
Live Online Class (Sunday 13th Jan) – Learn about the Good God’s tech, and what it means to us. Enroll Now at the Irish Pagan School (€27) – https://irishpaganschool.com/p/dagda-tools
19th January: Anti-Semintism in Paganism Online Class and Discussion Panel. There are many Jewish people who are also pagans, polytheists, and magical practitioners, and others who come from an ethnically Jewish background. Jewish practices, mysticism, and magic have deeply influenced parts of the pagan and occultic communities. Despite participation in and many contributions to the broader pagan and occult discourse, the Jewish community continues to be oppressed and misunderstood. Join us for a conversation about Jews and Judaism, past and present (suggested donation on a sliding scale, non-profit event) – More info at https://www.facebook.com/events/562311290897895/
19th January: The Dead Zoo Tour – (Dublin) Meet Museum Educator, Geraldine Breen, and discover the science and stories behind the collections on display during this free public highlights tour of the Museum of Natural History. More info at – https://www.museum.ie/Visit-Us/Events?id=3955
20th January: Treasures of the National Museum – (Dublin) Take a tour of the iconic treasures in the National Museum, including the ‘Tara’ Brooch and the Ardagh Chalice. More info at – https://www.museum.ie/Visit-Us/Events?id=3974
26th of January: PLR Imbolc Ritual Cork – hosted by Well of Wisdom Temple. Everyone who is genuinely interested is welcome, regardless of background, ethnicity, gender identifiation or sexual orientation. People under 16 are welcome, provided they are accompanied by an adult and they can stay quiet during the meditation. No previous experience with Paganism is required. (€5 suggested donation), more info at – https://www.facebook.com/events/531000037407843/
26th January: Revisiting Brighid & Imbolc – A Year With The Gods Online Conference. Hosted by Land Sea Sky Travel. This is an all-day online conference, held from the States but featuring many Irish presenters, with five presentations and a Bardic closing. The day starts and ends with devotional prayers and offerings to Deity, and also includes giveaways, a chat room, and interactive breaks where you can get to know others in our community. You will also receive a recording of all five presentations and Bardic time after the conference. More info at – https://www.facebook.com/events/282324285765984/
26th January: Recovery Awareness in Spiritual Community Online Class. In this class we will examine substance use and recovery in magical, spiritual, and pagan spaces. We will begin with an overview of what addiction is, discussing causes, triggers, related trauma, myths and biases, and the relationship between substance use and mental health. We will examine the role of leadership in the community and the responsibility to provide safe spaces and we will also focus on tools for providing support to addicts in community spaces (suggested donation on a sliding scale) – More info at – http://transformationreiki.com/events-1/
27th January: Make a St. Brigid’s Cross – (Mayo) Join the members of the Education team to learn more about the history, customs and traditions around St. Brigid’s Day and make your very own St. Brigid’s Cross. More info at – https://www.museum.ie/Visit-Us/Events?id=3925
27th January: 10 Steps to Irish Paganism Online Class, with Lora O’Brien. Live Online Class on Sunday 27th January – a simple, step by step class; covering the main topics you need to get started. Enroll Now
at the Irish Pagan School (€17) – https://irishpaganschool.com/p/10steps/
30th January: Waterford Pagan Pub Moot – Last Wednesday of every month, a social gathering for those interested in earth-based spirituality, or who identify as Pagan. Discussion and networking in safe space, and a bit o’ craic. No cost to join us, but throwing a few quid in the community fund is welcome. More info at – https://www.facebook.com/groups/waterfordmoot/
6th February: The Wexford Moot continues in 2019 on the first Wednesday of every month in Murphy’s Barn Wexford (free)… See Pagan Moot Wexford FB page for information on Moots and events – https://www.facebook.com/PaganMoot-Wexford-200226263368501/
21st February: Cork Moot – An Spailpín Fánach, Cork City. NB One week later than usual to avoid Valentine’s Day :