Aontacht Magazine Interview Con Connor 2011
Aontacht Magazine Interview for Druidic Dawn with Renard as interviewer.

Answers by Con Connor.

When did you first become interested in Druidry? Was there an event, or set of circumstances that first led you to this path?
A
I reckon I first felt the stirrings of spirit when I was about 7 years old. I can remember hearing my higher self, as if a wise older version of me was giving guidance to the young me. I was looking out my bedroom window to a low flat hill that I now know to be Tallaght hill. It has a complex of ancient monuments that are part of the oldest landscape temple calendar in Ireland. I have re-discovered many lost monuments on that hill and these have been added to the list of National Monuments Records. I have lived on 4 sides of that hill and it has taught me much, when I was able to listen... I never thought of it as Druidry at the time - I just saw it as waking up to and connecting to my Spirit.

When was the Druidschool in Ireland created and what was its original mission? Has that mission changed much over time and if so, how?
A
As an idea it began for me in 1993, but I called it HAG (Heritage Awareness Group). I now have, with my partner Niamh, secured a small farm in the west of Ireland where we host ceremonies, healing and counselling and our many training courses. My original mission was about helping others to re-connect to their ancestral awareness and I like to think that I�m still doing that.

How many Druid teachers are active and what subjects are available at the school to study?
A
I like to think that every one and every experience can be our teacher if we but have the wit to listen... I�m the main teacher, but Niamh, Red John and Clive also play important roles. We have specialists in Bushcraft, Native Woodlands and Natural Healing who also do workshops for and with us. The range of subjects is wide but they all combine to empower students in awareness of the self and our connection to Nature and to the Gods. We call this process �Spiritual Alchemy�, the high magic of self-transformation when you nurture the spark of soul within you to be a shining Light.

Can you expand on the activities of the Dark Moon Grove? Is the grove interlinked to the Druidschool or are their activities separate?
A
An Doire Geallach Doracha is the name of our grove. In English this means the �dark shining oak circle� or simply put - the dark moon grove. There is a stage in the cycle of the Moon when no waxing or waning crescent is visible and this is when the Sun and Moon and the Earth are in alignment with the Moon in the middle and when this is exact we get an dark moon eclipse with the Moon between the Sun and the Earth. The other type of eclipse is a full moon eclipse which has the Earth in the middle. The start of the Celtic New Year is when this Dark Moon alignment is nearest to 10* of Scorpio as this connects to the star Antares, one of the four bright stars that make an equal arm cross within the belt of stars that make up the Zodiac. That means there is an alignment from Antares, Sun, Moon to the east of Ireland near Dublin, where this Sunrises over an extinct volcano before it connects to Cairn �L� at Sliabh na Callighe with its passage and chamber and its unique man sized quartz free standing stone inside. A fantastic alignment to start the Celtic New Year, sacred to the Goddess Tlachtga.
We meet as a grove and hold public ceremony to honour the Full Moon, the Gods and to call a healing circle and to ask for continued connection to our teachers, guides and ancestors. But only grove members can join us for our gathering / ceremony on the Dark Moon. Our grove is separate to the school. Many friends have stood with our grove at the full moon without being members of the school. Since the Spring Equinox 2003 I have facilitated at over 100 full moon ceremonies on Tara where we have been honoured to have had many experienced Lightworkers and many seekers join us. Red John now facilitates the ceremony on Tara for the full moon and Niamh and I host a full moon ceremony here in our purpose built ceremonial enclosure - the Torc.

What does being an Arch Druid in Ireland mean to you?
A
Ard Drui in our language is slightly different to Arch Druid... If you understand that the word Druid was never used in the past in Ireland to describe the group that included those who held higher awareness, the intelligentsia, the astrologers, the healers, the alchemists, the law keepers, the engineers etc... in a sense you have to abandon the word Druid. Instead we had the words - Drui, Draoi, Draoithe and so on and this is usually interpreted (by catholick scribes) as wizard, magician, spell caster and as anyone who displeased or did not obey the dictates of the church. For me today in Ireland being an Ard Drui means that I seek the ways of understanding that our ancestors used, their ways of comprehending and connecting to Nature, the methods that support harmonic balance in people and with the land and in so doing that I can present as teacher, healer and guide to those who want to walk a Celtic Path to the Light. It also means that I as an Ard Drui try to look after the Dark Moon Grove as a sort of parent / guardian and in that it may be very similar to the responsibility of an Arch Druid with his or her grove. But maybe the most important responsibility of an Ard Drui in Ireland today is to recover the indigenous knowledge traditions of this beautiful country and to share them to seekers.

Why did you decide to join the World Druid Order?
A
The World Druid Order asked me to join as an Ard Drui. I read their �Charter of the World Druid Order� at http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/2605237 and �Universal Primordial Tradition� at http://www.druidschool.com/site/1030100/page/2605239 and knew that they are holding a true connection to the primordial tradition and that their intentions are for the highest good for all, so I felt honoured to have been asked and accepted their request with pleasure.

How has attendance changed, if any, in the last few years at the Druidschool and the events you put on? Do you see any increase in the movement away from other religions and coming to the earth based ways?
A
Yes, Ireland�s Druidschool has quite a presence on the internet and it brings many people to study with us from all over the world - Australia, Alaska, Brazil, England, France etc as well as from Ireland. This reflects the reality that we are not just an online presence but actually have a university with a campus and accommodation in a quiet remote farm west of the Shannon. We have just expanded our range of courses and as various projects get completed we will offer more courses and increase accommodation from 4 beds to 8 beds. We share the Celtic Path with our students, this is our understanding of the indigenous tradition of this land from the Stone Age right up to the present. We respect Wica, Masonry and other forms of Cabbala (having many friends who practice and walk these paths) and we find that some people on these paths are seeking a �Celtic� spiritual understanding instead of variations on a foreign magical discipline. Ours is a practical hands on approach, not just philosophical conjecture - that is to say we chop wood, carry water, plant trees, grow fruit and veg, clean holy wells, host medieval camps, clean sacred sites, protest on the ground against wanton temple destruction and corruption etc - we get our hands dirty... When people are in a religion its because it serves a need they have. We do not promote a religion, we share techniques and guidance for seekers to find their own connection to source and then self transform through choices into the best expression of their higher self. Sometimes this disappoints people because they are seeking a Celtic religion - but thats not what we teach or do.

Can you explain the concept of the Three Cauldrons - Warming, Vocation and Knowledge?
A
Yes I can and do, but please understand that this is part of the oral teaching that makes learning with us special. To write it down would limit it to the written word but to speak and share it in the best way at an appointed time and in a sacred space is what gives the listener great value. Simply put - see the Cauldron of Warming as the belly area, Vocation as the chest and Knowledge as the head - but that does not tell you much, does it? Each of us has our own 3 cauldrons so any single description or use of excessive complicated vocabulary would be counter-productive.

Can you give more details about students partaking in the Three Celtic Dream Journeys - Imramma, Eachtra and Imbass and how they are connected to the magic of the Three Realms?
A
�As above, so below� is a well known phrase in modern magical practice, but maybe for us the new phrase could be �as within, so without�... The Aislings (guided dreaming / vision questing) of Imramma, Eachtra and Imbass are connected to the 3 Realms without and to the 3 Cauldrons within. The �Three Celtic Dreams� can be seen as shamanic journeys to gather personal understanding and experience of non-ordinary reality - this is when you get your own personal message at three levels. This often done in the Torc, our purpose built ceremonial enclosure, or sometimes its in the Hemp Hall in the main building. Each journey allows many experiences but the focus is to collect an Oghan symbol (ancient Irish type of Runic scripting), each symbol from each journey is interpreted in relation to it�s realm / cauldron. This is the unique 3 part message for each seeker, later on this may be carved on a staff to remind one of the experience but I (being a leather craftworker) will carve / emboss the 3 Ogham symbols onto a vege tan leather key fob as a permanent reminder.

Can you tell us about divining the subtle energy currents with brass rods and how this relates to the design and layout of the ancient temples of Ireland?
A
The subtle energy of mother Earth can be found by many types of diving techniques. I start students on this part of their studies with brass �L� shaped rods and then move up to pendulums. Advanced students learn how to interact with subtle energy currents using just their awareness. The ancient temples are located over nodes of this apparently hidden energy. Churches, up to the 1800�s were often built on top of ancient temples to utilise this fact. Each student of this skill first needs to learn diverted thinking and then to progress on to not thinking at all - to divine is to seek the Source and we need to get our thinking minds out of the way to do this. Just like we have viens of blood carrying life force through our bodies and trees have sap doing the same job, mother Earth has underground streams of water carryng life force through her body too. Our ancestors knew this and built temples over nodes (crossing points of two or more streams) to enhance the potential so we could benefit and this is why we have the idea of sacred space.

Tara was the royal city and ancient capital of Ireland and served as the residence of supreme kings from ancient times. Your work to understand and protect Tara from development has inspired many around the world. Can you tell us about that struggle and specifically the role of the fundamentalist sect, Opus Dei and their activities in the sacred site of Lismullin?
A
Thank you for your kind words. Tara is special, very special. We are blessed in Ireland even with 1,500 monuments being destroyed every year we still have hundreds of thousands of ancient temples and fortifications left. On my website under the Tara na Ri and Fascism tabs I tell many stories and share many images of what has happened recently at Tara. The media, politicians and judiciary are guilty of a most serious crime against our glorious heritage and culture. Opus Dei means the �work of god� but I do not believe it is the work of any god to destroy the indigenous beautiful tradition of the native first peoples of this land - it is the work of men, greedy men who seek to control and limit our freedom of spiritual expression subverting Article 44.2 of our constitution. Opus Dei has built a E10m (cost in 2000ce) complex in a sacred site called Lismullin in the very heart of Tara. This is a huge story and I hope some day to work with a film producer and crew to expose what really happened so the repair work can begin. The forced troll road now encloses in a culvert, the stream that was the life blood of Tara, today this stream is called Gabhra. This is a bad catholick joke as this translates to Goat which is their Devil.
In the past this stream may have been called after Edain Eachraidhe aka Etain of the White Mare - the Goddess symbol of the Iron Age in Ireland, Rhiannon in Wales, Epona in France. The previous age had the White Cow as Goddess - Boann aka the Boyne and Tara�s little river joins the Boyne exactly where they placed the un-needed troll road bridge. Opus Dei protected the graves of the Black Friars (1200ce) from the line of the forced troll road and in so doing caused the forced troll road to move east cutting into Rath Lugh and causing the discovery of the wood henge. Incredible though it may seem - this discovery of a huge post circle with its high status female burial with attendant horse and dog did not stop the frenzy of destruction because there was no political, judicial or media will to protect it. If they had protected it - this would have long term effects on the invisibility of Opus Dei at Tara because their building complex is about 250 yards from the wood henge. Such is the power of the fascist regime and its church in Ireland.
It is probable that a Queen or High Druidess at Tara from the time of the wood henge was buried there due to her importance and connection to place. She, her horse and dog are currently in plastic bags in a storage unit in Drogheda (15 miles away). Opus Dei say nothing at all about all of this as they quietly continue to promote their extreme fundamentalist one god order. Theirs is the only part of the catholick church in Ireland to have new priests in training. Their cover is as a cooking school with dormitories but they have 2 underground halls and an upstairs church laid out in true Masonic style, while the ground floor windows all have steel bars to protect the activities within. But they foolishly believe that they will stay invisible and survive. There are 4 other churches in the Pagan City of Tara named after Patrick and Columba and they are all roofless, abandoned and in ruins. This happened because the regime that supported them faded and cut their money supply - Opus Dei�s money supply comes from the stud farm owners who do not pay tax, the corrupt politicos, the fascist judges and the owner of the written media monopoly. But, crazy as it may seem we have to thank Opus Dei because what they have done has caused a generation to become aware of the Goddess and inspired many to stand up and say NO.

You have stated that an increasing number of people are becoming no longer dependent on intermediaries and are increasingly making a direct connection to nature. Do you see this happening as part of a global spiritual transitioning?
A
I hope so. People who need religions can find them easily - various new religions come with many comforts. But for many seekers no religion can fulfill their needs. Spirituality is very different when its out in Nature as opposed to inside a church with their lies, rules, tithes, punishments and so on. As an Astrologer for 35 years I see group incarnational patterns empowering more and more people with the potential to wake up to their devine nature. The greatest example of this has to be the flower power generation - putting flowers into the rifles of the army ... no way... but they did and it changed everything. There are so many movements worldwide seeking truth and honesty, so many people opting to be ecological environmentalists, so many books, teachers etc that have similar hopes and dreams that we are clearly past the beginning and currently moving to the stage when the reins of power shift to a new grouping giving bright hope for us all. I always smile when I recall the famous phrase - �you dont need to follow anybody, you�re all individuals� but it really only works when the individuals are awake. There is a critical mass equation that suggest a percentage of a population holding a similar consciousness causes a shift in the entire group. We are there, almost.

You are now 53 years old. How has the aging process changed you as a spiritual person?
A
Ha, I�ve become more cynical, but I�ve learned to let things (such as anger, expectations of people, etc) go, I like to think I can see the bigger picture more clearly, I reckon I am very aware of some of my past lives as reasons for what I do now. I love my life and Niamh, my beautiful woman. Every morning I give thanks to the Gods for a new day and every day I try to be more complete that I was the day before.

Can you tell us your thoughts on cleansing and energizing a sacred site or the charkas or the Aura and the methods you use to remove blocks and facilitate renewed healthy energy flows?
A
It�s all about the blockages and finding what�s needed to move those blockages, it�s about finding the natural harmonic again. You start off by recognizing what�s causing the problem, disharmonics etc. then you take a good hard look a the effect. In between cause and effect is the energy field of place or person where this is manifest and then you work with the strong points with an intention of clearing and restoring balance. Various technical supports are used throughout but they all have a common factor in that they all facilitate the moving of energy. A simple example, a woman who can not express herself i.e. her power - she may have a compromised throat area, part of the treatment for this would be the wearing of a blue scarf and beginning to sing quietly and practicing head exercises to strengthen neck muscles. Each person will have his or her thing to let go of and new thing to bring in and I do my best to help interpret this and work with the person or sacred site to clear blockages and to let the light flow again. We are Light beings and we glow at sacred sites when those sacred sites are working.

There are those who want to restore the ancient oak groves and other natural sacred sites. Do you believe that these powerful locations hold the memory and power of the old times and ways and they can be accessed by true seekers today?
A
All powerful locations hold memory - perhaps thats why they are power full. A message I often share about the Druid�s Path - it does not go anywhere but you have to walk it all the time. Its the experience of the Pilgrimage that often gives the lesson and the location is sometimes not up to the same standard as in the dream... Restoring the great forsets and our connection to them is of great importance to survival of humanity. They are the great terra formers generating a place in the multiverse where we can sustain our selves. Trees have their branches in the sky, their trunk is solid as the land and their roots lift and hold the water table - we live under the protection of the trees. Children should be involved in tree planting as much as possible. Even without land, everyone can find tree seed and plant it anywhere and everywhere - a type of eco gorilla planter strategy.

You have been an astrologer for more than 30 years. Can you explain how people can utilize astrology to realize their incarnational potential? How is it that we can work with challenges and consciously work to transmute/transform them into gifts?
A
Imagine a tarot reading as a conceptual poster for your very own movie, now think of your movie trailer showing the main events, leading lady / man etc - this is your astrological transits looking a various chapters. The plot is the classic of the prince / princess who has lost connection to the title and just lives happily. One day... a desire to wake up and reclaim divinity becomes an all encompassing need. The lucky ones connect with a kind Astrologer who may be able to explain the plot of the movie to the newly awakened... One of the ideas that the Astrologer might share is about the person standing on a beach with his back to the huge incoming wave. The wave will pick up the person and bring him where ever the waves wishes, dumping the tossed person in the most unpleasant situations... But the lucky one who listened to the clever Astrologer has a surf board of attitude and is there waiting for the wave with a mad glint in the eyes, willing to surf life and go with the flow and when he�s ready - climb down and take it easy for a while... Its all about choices, informed choices are best and it is always good advice to find out about whats going on so you can have a better chance of making the best choice for you. You can re-write the next part of your movie script any time - best to do this before the wave hits....

Each card of the Tarot portrays a different aspect of the Universe. How can the Tarot be utilized to understand the complex forces at play at any moment and guide us to a higher awareness of ourselves, our work and our place in the Universe.
A
See answer above.

As a Diviner, you have worked with energy lines and underground streams at different locations. Can you give a sense of that feeling of communion and what is required to alter those streams to transform the unbalanced energies into harmonious balance.
A
Everyone can have their own totally unique personal �feeling of communion� with the energies of the invisible worlds. I reckon that the quality and level of your hydration with living water may be a serious determining factor, this, along with the ability of �not thinking� or at the very least the practice of �diverted thinking� facilitates progressively stronger connection. Familiarity with and access to sacred sites can boost your Lightbody by harmonic resonance - this is the place where you feel best, you�ll know. A place that feels bad is bad and not every sacred site is in harmonic sympathy with human needs for balanced lifeforce. Part of the training we offer is �Lightworker as Temple Builder� and on these 4 weekend workshops we give theory and practice to students to empower them to erect new sacred sites that work with and enhance the invisible life force energy. Turn the Lights on, now turn them up a bit and may the force be with you....

In your work as a healer, you use physical and spiritual approaches to clear internal blockages in the etheric bodies of men and women. Can you tell us some about the nature of those blockages, how they are attached to the person and what is required for them to be unattached?
A
So many stories to tell to answer that question fully! Firstly listen carefully and make no judgements. Take multiple viewpoints of the problem, see the whole person and find the cause and see the potential effect of the balancing. Get the person to see the cause and to want the effect of changing things. I may use many techniques here, including but not limited to - body language, personal hygiene / demeanor, eye contact / speaking clarity analysis etc, but I will often use Tarot and or Astrology to help determine the negative cycle (cause) and ways to escape it to proper balance (a new effect). Every client is totally different so this is rewarding work and experience. I have in the past refused to continue to work with certain individuals who would not change but wanted stress relief instead - I tell them why I�m saying NO and then they make another choice - �stay stuck or escape and go live free on an island� are the options. I can only help when the person is ready to grow.

What are your future plans, both personally and professionally for the Druidschool?
A
We have a small farm in the west of Ireland near the source of the River Suck. The buildings are over 200 years old. The property was derelict for nearly 20 years when we put our deposit down. My plans are to do as much construction as I can with the resources and volunteer and student support we get each year for up to 5 more years. There are so many parts to list that this becomes a job in its self so I focus on short, medium and long term plans all at the same time. We already provide a range of services to Pagans such as facilitators for handfastings and baby namings a service that we would like to develop is facilitating passing over ceremonies, we have dedicated a one acre field �The Urn Field� for this use. We are almost finished re-roofing the 200 year old cow barn that will be our Teampaill na Tri Coire (Temple to The Three Cauldrons). We intend that ours becomes a place where more and more people from all over the world come to learn about our Celtic Spirituality.

Of all the books you have read, can you recommend five to our readers?
A
The Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish Mythology (Paperback). Mike Baillie and Patrick McCafferty
The Serpent and the Goddess, a study on women, religion and power in Celtic Ireland, by Mary Condren
Books by and about Bill Mollison, Victor Schauberger, Wilheim Reich: masters of the 3 realms.

Do you have a website, blog etc for those who want to know more about you and the work of the Druidschool and the Dark Moon Grove?
A
The main online presence is our druidschool.com website of over 550 pages and 500+ graphics with our free moonthly newsletter. This is supported by our Irelands Druidschool Facebook page and our Roscommon Sword Facebook page which show photos of my medieval leather footwear etc.

Do you have any closing comments that you would like to leave with our readers?
A
Watch all the Monthy Python and Terry Pratchett movies that you can get, watch them many times. Sell your tv. Drink the best water you can get, eat fresh organic produce and help to plant trees. Even if you only have a one room flat with one window that takes the Sunshine - grow a herb box. Shine brightly and always remember that the last laugh is on you

Thank you for your obviously applied study and quality questions.

Gr�, Solas agus Gaire (Love, Light and Laughter)
Con
http://www.druidschool.com
Autumn Equinox 2011
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