University of Birmingham experts have discovered what they believe to be the world’s oldest ‘calendar’, created by hunter-gatherer societies and dating back to around 8,000 BC.
University of Birmingham experts have discovered what they believe to be the world’s oldest ‘calendar’, created by hunter-gatherer societies and dating back to around 8,000 BC.
While Stonehenge and Avebury is the best known stone circles in the the UK their are lesser-known stone circle sites scattered around Ireland’s countryside, many of which are located on private and public land and all worth checking out.
I am fascinated by stone circles and the largest stone ring in Ireland is not far from Lough Gur “The Grange Stone Circle” in County Limerick consisting of 113 standing stones. The site is also 4100 years old.
The site is also quite unique, the stone circle is aligned with the rising sun at the Summer Solstice so on that morning the sun shines down directly in the center of the circle. The largest stone is “Rannach Croim Duibh” it stands at 2 1/2 meters high and weighs over 50 tones, the stone is similar to those found at Avebury England.
I am always reminded of how incredible the feat of engineering to build these old stone circles.
This is very easy to access being right next to the road and parking is no problem.
Traditional Irish Music is such a central part of Irish culture.
Musician and historian Simon O Dwyer has a detailed knowledge of the subject prehistoric music of Ireland. The Loughnashade Trumpet C. 100BC, “An Trumpa Créda” made of bronze with the bell covered in La Tène an ancient instrument was found in County Armagh. A exact replica was reconstructed by John Creed of Glasgow in 1998 for Simon. By reconstructing this ancient instrument he was able to claim back the music we have lost to the past.
Please check out Simons website and have a listen to the sounds of these ancient instruments. It gives me goose bumps every time I listen to the sound. To order a CD or to listen to individual tracks and learn more visit the website. http://www.prehistoricmusic.com/
Hywel Dda was born towards the end of the ninth century and ruled over most of Wales. His greatest achievement was the creation of the Welsh legal system. The “Laws of Hywel Dda” remained a cornerstone of Welsh government and culture for several centuries and were a unifying force in an often bitterly divided land. This legal system became known for its wisdom and justice and was in force in Wales until the Act of Union with England in 1536.
One of the remarkable features of these Welsh laws is their recognition of the legal status of women and children. Elsewhere in Europe women were regarded merely as the property of their men folk, a status that persisted for centuries.
In ancient Roman society divisions were stratified into nobility, the ordinary citizens and slaves but not with natural law as such. The laws in Wales were partly derived from ancient Brehon law – the justice system in Ireland where the focus was on the human being, freedom and equality and restitution for crimes rather than violent punishment. These were remarkably liberal for their time. There are many commonalities between the laws of Hywel Dda and Brehon law.
The laws of nature were usurped by Papal Bulls by the Roman Catholic Empire and her minions. It has progressed to today where we live in a master-slave society. The law today is used to diminish your natural rights. Educating yourself on natural law is your best defense against civil matters.
“The sale of the ‘Boston manuscript’ of the Laws of Hywel Dda for £541,250 at Sotheby’s last month caused a stir in the usually sedate world of medieval Welsh history. It was bought by the National Library of Wales with a grant of £467,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Why did we buy it?” Read Article here
A pilgrimage to a number of sacred sites in Ireland can summon a feeling of respect and a veneration for the ancient ancestors. The descendants of these people speak of “An Nadur” (A Blueprint to restore vitality in humans) and how to attain wisdom teachings concealed in nature to induce creativity .I have been awestruck by the beauty preserved in the sacred architecture of Ireland. A duet happens between the monuments and the landscape
The Green Isle is known through out the world for its Neolithic monuments, standing stones, stone circles, dolmens and cairns scattered around the whole countryside. The ancient ancestors obviously dressed and mapped out a master plan in stone and designed and built their monuments carefully to safeguard and encode valuable knowledge to communicate to future civilizations.
Whenever a opportunity takes place to speak to the elders in the Connemara region about the oral wisdom teachings of old, I always witness an intuitive sensitive connection to An Nadur amongst the people. How dose one access this awareness and stimulate perceptions from a lost forgotten knowledge for everyday practice?I propose our current civilization must embark on eliminating fear, suffering, conformity and actively begin to direct energy towards a heart based mind-set, to where love and non-violence co exist. It is essential to expand beyond your personal beliefs and begin questioning everything, given that our current chronology of history is very fragmented and contrary to the doctrine of misinformation.
Thanks to leading fringe thinkers and researchers with verifiable unorthodox claims we are finally on the verge of substantiating and interpreting the ancient sites and introducing new research. We currently know the ancients were not all barbarians, ignorant, primitive and uncultured and they reached a crescendo of sophistication in many disciplines from advanced mathematics to archeoastronomy. They were able to map, transfer and fine tune there monuments to the celestial bodies. It is evident astronomical information from the distant past is converging onto the 20th century to revive a forgotten knowledge to explain celestial events.
We must continue to debate and discuss why the movement of the heavenly bodies stellar, lunar and solar cycles over extended periods of time were pivotal among ancient beliefs. It is becoming apparent the ancients expressed their divinity through architecture, patterns of geometry, measure and precise proportions, shape and size, art, mythology, allegorical tales and subversive symbolism to preserve and conceal historical cosmological data of processional mechanisms in the sky above. The ancients demonstrated the aptitude to link sky and ground , macrocosm to microcosm, a cosmic map to stimulate and assist individual’s relationship with the laws of the heavenly bodies for the human experience.
In Ireland for example you can witness this subtle vital cosmic order between the landscape and the monuments. At Knowth we have beautiful carved prehistoric art on rock, part of Boyne valley complex and surrounded by smaller satellite monuments geometric in nature. We have carefully marked celestial observatories at New grange and Loughcrew aligned with solar events, equinoxes and solstices. A visit to An Cheathru Chaol (Carrowkeel) in Sligo on the west coast of Ireland will take you onto a sacred mountain where time seems to stand still. You will see incredible stone structures with light boxes on the outside to capture the summer solstice and the light of the setting moon at the winter solstice. You will see stunning cor-belled ceilings with cruciform chambers inside the cairns.
A sense of peace enters a person while walking to these mountains in Sligo. There are many less known sites scattered all around the isle and are all worth examining to see superior technology and building methods. Certain sites are ancient maps of the heavens, remnants of an ancient worldwide neolithic survey oriented to the stars and the cosmos. It is obvious the ancients demonstrated and expressed a reverence for An Nadur because of the superb examples of Neolithic monumental architecture at different locations in Ireland.
It is time to embrace a new chronology of history , ancient primitive civilizations understood the heavenly mechanisms that preside over the earth . A major paradigm cycle is approaching and we have many interpretations and predictions imposed on humanity around this conjunction. Perhaps the conjunction is opportunity to heal separateness amongst ourselves, to open our hearts collectively and attempt to expand our consciousness beyond our current paradigm to recognize the beauty woven among humans and the celestial bodies.
The ancients possessed awareness of a weakness centered in humans to succumb to fear and control. They where able to forecast the rise and fall of future civilizations from cosmic origins. If humans began to sway away from nature “An Nadur” the ancestors provided instructions to revive a divine order to restore balance.If considering a visit to a sacred site, I suggest now would be a good time to do a pilgrimage. While traveling to Ireland, a mixture of experiencing the sacred sites and walking among the landscape is very healing and beneficial for the heart and the mind. You will begin to appreciate why the ancestor’s material needs were modest and free from social stresses and a rhythmic cycle way of life was governed by celestial bodies. We must inspire collectively and agree to reconnect to or primordial infinite selves for proper leadership and innovation.
“One of the few certainties in life is Death”
In Greek mythology, Charon is the ferryman who carries the souls of the newly deceased across the river to a place of healing for cleansing and purging the sins of humans. The river divided the world of the living from the world of the dead, suggesting that there might be life after death, and that people require proper preparations for death. A coin for the passage was sometimes placed in or on the mouth of a dead person as payment to Charon.
While growing up in Connemara Ireland, it was the local tradition when someone died, a wake was held in the house of the deceased where everyone gathered to mourn and celebrate. The customs of the wake served the living during the grief process. The body was usually washed, a bed prepared and rosary beads were put in between the fingers of the deceased. Candles were lit near the body where it was not to be left unattended for the entire wake. The family remained with their loved one until the burial. The community would then come to the house and pay their respects and comfort the family. Usually people would say “sorry for your troubles”. I sometimes remember people and the warmth was so sincere that it warmed my heart.
During my childhood I accompanied my father and mother to numerous wakes. When I had family pass away myself, we had wakes at the family home in Connemara .There was always tea, food, and drink offered to all who attended the wake. Since Ireland is such a catholic country, prayers and readings would be incorporated during the wake and the rosary was recited at midnight at the house. Reflecting back to these wakes, I do not think that they were just Catholic in origin because the house would be filled with family and neighbors taking comfort from one anther’s presence.
The undertaker usually looked after all the practical aspects during the traumatic time. I remember talking to our local undertaker in my area who was a real character. I remember a story that my grandfather told us about him as they were great friends. He said that he came down to the house one day to show my grandfather a new hearse he had just bought. He was very proud of it. My grandfather, being the wit he was, said “are you here to broker a deal for when I die so you can pay for this monstrous vehicle”? They laughed about it but here was a real ferryman.
An Irish wake was unfamiliar to my wife who had never seen the ritual in the house before. The thought of viewing and sleeping in the same house with a dead body can be uncomfortable if you have never experienced this before. The first time I took my wife to a wake was for my Aunt – my mom’s sister. As we drove to the wake, my wife asked many questions including where is the body? Is she in a coffin? Do people really sit up all night with the body in the house? Her final word to me was ” I’m not going into the room with the body!”. As we entered the home, another aunt of mine gathered my wife by the arm and led her to sit down and you guessed it – into the room where the body was laid out on the bed. My wife was amazed at how my aunt’s grandchildren came in and out of the room, sitting there eating their biscuits and chatting away. The wake can be a social event that unites the needs of the dead and the living. In Pagan Ireland this was well understood and wakes are what remain of this ritual for preparing the dead for the afterlife.
I decided I wanted to write this essay because in the last year here in Canada I have experienced death on this side of the Atlantic .A funeral director co-ordinates the entire thing for the family and it is a bit sterile for my liking. When my father- in-law passed away last year, my brother-in-law and I played music to celebrate his love for music. It was not dour and I felt it was healing for the family as we sang and laughed. During the internment a good friend of mine played the Irish uillean pipes. He played a lovely air called “Taimse Im’ Chodladh” which translates to I am asleep. It is a beautiful and haunting air to lament the person’ passing.
Recently I attended a wake for a friend’s family member. My other friend again played the same tune on the pipes and this time I said a few words about wakes and what they entail. We gathered the people outside to remember the deceased person and the idea was to bring forth a memory while the music was being played. It was quite a beautiful ceremony. After we left the wake, I said to my musician friend “we are modern day ferrymen from Greek mythology helping to transport souls from this life to the afterlife.
I have no religious affiliation to any church but I am not an atheist. I do believe in a force that animates all living things so what happens when we die. My research into ancient history has confirmed our ancestors knew a lot more about the afterlife than what we give them credit for. The ancients have always said that life is eternal. We should not wait for death to arrive to embark on making an attempt to resolve any issues with our loved ones. A wake in some way, is a reminder for the living to spend more time with the people we love. Life is very much about living and gathering experiences because the perceptions gained during these experiences is vital. To the ancients these experiences were keys or magical doorways for when the soul navigates through the afterlife. We are asked “did we learn the lesson or did we have a disdain for people or did we imbue softness to all living things?”.
We appear to overlook messages throughout our waking life which can include every moments between children and their grandparents; time spent with friends and family when we laugh or cry together. These moments are so important for when we arrive at the ferryman’s dock because he will ask us how we lived our lives and if we noticed those moments. No one really knows what happens to the soul after one dies. Civilizations have pursued this question throughout our collective memory. It is inevitable and we can not cheat death. All the great teachings talk about a juncture when all are judged on every act we take part here on earth and did we contribute towards its conservation . We will all meet our fate with the ferryman.
What does it mean to be active in your community? I live in a small town not far from Toronto and there is a 90 year old gentleman named John who lives two houses down the street from me.
When my wife and I first moved into our house, John and another elderly chap came to our driveway and introduced themselves and welcomed us onto the street. They were very friendly and curious about the new neighbors and we reassured them that we were ok. A few years ago one of the gentlemen passed away, but John and I have become good friends through the years.
John was a farmer before he moved into town. Every spring John plants a garden beside his house and sometimes he has help from his neighbors to rototiller the garden. He is out in the garden for hours planting carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and beans. He tells me he loves being out in the garden and every day he writes in his diary about all his activities.
When the crops are being harvested, John walks down to my house to put a few vegetables in my mailbox. My wife and I are tickled and honored that he does this. John is a great reminder on how to cultivate and nurture warmth with one other and to be generous and kind.
John was not well this year but he is feeling much better. I make a special effort at least once week to sit down with him and talk. Elderly people do get lonely. Here in the west we put our elderly in nursing homes out of the way into cold environments, away from family and neighbors. The healing benefits of being surrounded by caring people are being eradicated by an industrial world whose aim is to keep everyone separate.
This reminded me of another story. When I was growing up in Ireland, I used to chat with another elderly man on my way to school before catching the bus. Pateen was in his 80’s and I remember him in the field cutting hay with a scythe on early summer mornings. The gentleman was as strong as an ox. It was said in the village that when Pateen was a young man and was on a bicycle, he had to brace the crossbar with a broom so it would not bend. He was “heavy boned” which is a local expression from Connemara .
I was frequently sick with tonsillitis while attending school. One time I was home for three weeks because I was so sick and I think my inner child sometimes found school to be detrimental to my well- being. I would have taken more time off school but the headmaster would come to the house to see where I was!
Pateen’s house was a few hundred meters from our house on the same “bohreen”( which means road in Irish). One day, the old man came down to the house walking with his cane and he stopped at the front of the shed and spoke briefly with my grandfather who was working there. These two people grew up together and knew each other very well. My grandfather said, “ah thanks for coming down to visit me” and Pateen said, “actually I am here to see Paraic”. It must have been funny for my grandfather to hear this because he was assuming that Pateen was there to visit with him. Anyhow my mum came into the sitting room, and said “you have a visitor Paraic”. I walked out and was amused to see who it was. Pateen was sitting at the kitchen table, talking to my grandmother. He then told me that he was worried and concerned about me because he had not seen me in the mornings when I would walk to catch the bus. I said “I am feeling much better now and will be going to school next week.”
I remember this story as clear as though it happened yesterday. It warms my heart when I write about it. It is a great reminder to take time out and not be scared to talk to each other. I knew his wife as well and they were beautiful people. They are both in their graves now but looking back, I think he appreciated me talking to him and taking the time to stop and always share a story or two.
In a world of fear, separation and oppression, the cultural paradigm does not encourage people to connect with each other. During times of despair and darkness we only have each other to nurture and comfort.
It is time to make a special effort and take an interest in our neighbors and express our kindness and love for each other. Do not be afraid to speak to your neighbors. Be yourself and take five minutes – whatever time you have. It has an extraordinary effect on people. Perception teaches me that the mystery of life is at your fingertips through acts of love for one another. It is so simple and it is beautiful.
Generally speaking all over the world, Internet social network sites are the initial choice for people to make immediate contact with one another. The intimacy and social contact between people and the natural environment is becoming outdated. In Ireland, though, a social network was created from people making a special effort to visit and bond and to be more attentive to the moment.
Inside the granite stone houses of Connemara on the west coast of Ireland, people got together to share “scealta” stories next to “An tealach” (hearth in English). Older hearths had a variety of purposes: they heated the home and tea while food was usually prepared by the proprietor for the group visiting. Local peat (moin in Irish) from the bogs was burning for a natural heat. Clear smoke from the chimney would have been witnessed from a distance; it is incense to burn away a person’s worries as one local calls it today.
A feeling of camaraderie was fashioned from the company and awareness of one another. It was a opportunity to reflect on the day, and each others labours. The focal point of the conversation was for people to have a chance to release the energy of the day, a ritual to heal “An Chroi” (the heart in Irish). In this day and age we go to bed, tired with a heavy heart sometimes because we must prepare for the next day. In the days of old it was necessary to relax, share stories, laugh by candlelight and begin the day peacefully for the morning sunrise. People banded at houses to achieve a shared vision, a natural respect for each other and the environment. Laughter was the technology chosen to soften the tension in a person.
While technology today has become a obsession with the twentieth century lifestyle we have forgotten the technology of old to unite us collectively. We should not neglect the traditions of old while moving forward in today’s current advanced world. There is something currently absent. In the minds of people, intimacy, love of nature, the art of investigating each moment are not congruent in individuals. The antidote to heal despair is to recognize the cosmic order in the natural landscape.
The order of Nature is the building block to heal the separation within our minds. An Nadur can nourish and purify the whole body. We have forgotten this important prescription from the days of old.
We must incorporate nature within every aspect of our daily lives through sustainable products, business practices and daily labour. Conducting business from this level assures long lasting relationships, healthier civilizations and a sense of purpose within a community without harming the planet and one another. We must attempt to etch this formula into the psychic and inner landscape of all humans.
Our ancestors constructed incredible architecture using complicated mathematical formulas and sophisticated geometry from observing the cosmos. Superior engineering was attained. It is obvious the left and right hemisphere of the brain were working jointly to co-create beauty and softness into these ancient monuments. Ancient sites in Ireland and all over the ancient world still preserve this knowledge in stone.
Since I began my research into ancient history I have discovered a mind very unlike ours. People were encouraged to step out of their day to day reality to commune with nature and each other.
We must begin to accept An Nadur as one solution to restoring the celestial technology in the mind of humanity. Nature can be your teacher directly if individuals are deficient in these perceptions.
Advanced technology can be rendered to preserve the earth. A new vision for humanity is harnessing the beauty and stillness concealed within An Nadur and safeguarding the purity in humans and nature.
The legacy and story of the clans and tribes of the past was to cultivate awareness and beauty from the natural landscape to balance the inner landscape.