Beltine 2010 report.
This year has been a special year for the return of the Pagan ways across Ireland. All over the country fires were lit again to celebrate Beltine on Saturday 1st of May. This is the people reclaiming their indigenous culture and heritage from centuries of oppression by a foreign religion.

We had our own celebration here at Ireland�s Druidschool with a weekend workshop. For us the actual correct day for celebrating Beltine was on the Friday as the Sun lined up with the position of bright star of Aldebran in Taurus that our ancestors used to reckon the cross quarters with. We had our twin fires on the Sunday at noon to honour the ancient tradition. We walked in a figure of eight around these two fires and then each of us took one burning stick from each of the two fires and added them to the central fire inside the Torc. This was a symbolic sexual act as the two fires represented the testes and the pathway the penis and the Torc represented the womb and the central fire was the egg. The bringing of the heat / burning sticks (desire) into the womb (Torc) to the middle fire (egg) was a fertilisation and engendering of a new Celtic Spirit for the summer of 2010. We used well-seasoned wood and fed the egg fire with ancient bog oak pieces creating a unique pungent incense / smoke. The egg fire blazed away and swirled its aromatic smoke all over the inside of the Torc and us as we sat in contemplation of the possibilities for the summer. We then carried out our ritual ceremony and bathed in the Light. There are no pictures of this celebration because it was a sacred act and private and any cameraperson would have to be �outside� or separate to what we were doing.

We attended a twin fire on the Saturday night at 9pm on the slopes of Rathkineely that was organised by Mike Croghan at Carrowreagh as this is where he lives. There were six of us at this twin fire including an 82-year-old man. Mike took the two images below of me as I relaxed soaking in the visions from the big fire. The location was chosen because of the recent discovery of a very important monument hidden inside a known monument on top of Rathkineely. More info on this will be shared when Mike goes public about it. These twin fires were held in support of the Festival of the Fires held at Uisneach.
One of our Grove attended the Festival Fire at Uisneach and she has told us it was a great gathering. The overall event has added an extra venue for public Paganism that is child friendly and in the spirit of celebration of an ancient festival. Our respect goes to the organisers. There was some public debate by begrudgers about the cost of attending the music at this event but it was just silly and being used as a platform to judge. The E30 fee was for attending the music, which was by well-chosen bands each of which could charge E30 themselves. There was no fee to attend the actual festival fire, which contributed to its sacredness. No drinking and low cost camping and car parking clearly demonstrated the intention of the organisers as respectful.

There is always something to pick on or judge as bad / wrong at such event as ours or the Uisneach fire and its supporting fires around the country but that is just the way of an oppressed people. Instead of joining in and enjoying the spirit of freedom some choose to think and say negative things. They are stuck in a rut or darkness or separated from the Light and whether they realise it or not they are obeying the dictates of the lost religion. But there is always a place for them by the fire if they choose to be in the Light�.

I suggest that everyone can join in if they choose to, in their own special way, making their special own fires and jokes with friends and to just be outside by a fire at the start of summer as the sun goes down. It is all about the intention of the celebration; it has little to do with details by comparison because it is about freedom from oppression, the end of winter, the getting ready for the freshness of summer and expressing the love of life. Despite or maybe because of the fascist regime of our government and the sex crimes of the catholick clergy Ireland has changed in the last few years and it is a change for the good, our hope is that such change may continue as a public expression of our connectedness to the ancestral ways. The Gods must be pleased.

Con Connor
6 May 2010
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