Dark Moon Grove

The Dark Moon Grove evolved out of ceremonial activities by a druid and apprentices from druidschool.com during the years 2002 and 3. Following the re-discovery of the ancient landscape geomantic calendar in the temple layout on the hills in the basins of the river Boyne and Liffey by Con Connor, a gathering of members was called to honour the start of the Celtic New Year 2002. The sacred site was Tlachtga, the dates were Solar (Sun 3rd) and Lunar (Mon 4th) November / Samhain and the times were sunset. On that Friday, Con was involved with filming in North Cork at Castle Pook with Bev and Del at their "School of Witchcraft and Wizardry". Because of this he was unable to hold ceremony on Friday night for the natives who had organically begun lighting fires in barrels on the sacred site of Tlachtga on Catholic Samhain / Halloween. Adge, 'the fluid druid' was able to help at the Friday fire and he held ceremony and honoured the Gods, the Directions and the Elements of his Wiccan way at the gathering of locals for their catholic Halloween.

On Sunday, 3rd Nov 02, the Sun moved into 10* of Scorpio. This created the solar "Cairn L alignment" - an alignment that goes from Cairn L's (Hill of the Witches) internal quartz standing stone past Lambay Volcano through the Sun to 10* in Scorpio. This is Solar Samhain and druidschool was to honour this event at Tlachtga, the temple of death and rebirth of our ancestors. On Sunday, a gathering of druidschool members came to Tlachtga with Con to see the Druids Well and the sacred four ring ceremonial enclosure itself. We were blessed get a history lesson on the monuments and wells of the area by a mature woman who has lived on the Hill of Tlachtga all her life. She and her friends have many stories, some of them about ghostly happenings�

At sunset, our now bigger group made a hand holding circle inside the temple over a little fire and settled our minds as we prepared for ceremony. Con then read "Focal Nua 2002" (New Words 2002) an invocation ceremony in Irish. In the ceremony, the ancestors Tlachtga, Muach, Cumma and Doirb (from before the time of St. Patrick) were called to stand to and to make this land safe again. A copy of the ceremony was given to our hostess who passed it on to the Athboy Heritage Group. For Monday 4th November, twenty members of druidschool were invited to Ritual Ceremony for Lunar Samhain. But, only one woman and three men turned up - representing Tlachtga and her three sons, Muach, Cumma and Doirb. Our group size and gender composition complemented the Goddess Tlachtga and her three sons and this was not un-noticed. It was special.

The weather lightened up as we entered the temple with the softening of the wind and the clouds lifted and we could see a long distance all of a sudden. Con read "Focal Nua 2002" (New Words 2002) an invocation ceremony in Irish. In the ceremony, the ancestors Tlachtga, Muach, Cumma and Doirb were again called to stand to and to make this land safe once more. This night-time invocation calls the ancestor spirits to this their Samhain Temple on Lunar Samhain. This is the temple and day of Death and Rebirth. The feeling was that our humble efforts were accepted and a contract agreed.In early spring 03, a gathering of Cons leading students was called. They were invited to a meeting in our mountain location and the Druid Path / Apprenticeship and Ritual Ceremony were discussed until about 10pm on the first night. In the morning, this entire group began the construction of a standing stone circle with 22 local rocks and boulders over the crossing point of two underground streams. This stone circle had been divined and marked out in advance of this gathering by a couple of groups of trainees. Manually, using skid rails, a lever and a fulcrum and help from Archimedes we moved the biggest stone across from the south to its standing position on the north of the circle where it was to seal the energy. It was a big stone to move by hand and it felt like we had moved it a long distance. About half of the final 22 rocks were placed on this occasion. This is the stone circle on the left hand side of this page. This group (of 7 out of 19 invited) were aware of the agenda to formalise the advanced group. From this gathering of 7, many students were attracted to / interested in apprenticeships to the Druid Path which means supporting outdoor ceremonies for the Solar Eightfold Year and the Lunar Cycle. A simple form of apprenticeship was agreed. Two were initiated shortly afterwards and two others were initiated later in 2003. Each apprentice was given individual tuition in procedure and meaning in ceremony. As Irish is our native tongue; we use it in ceremony and full tuition is given to all and this is now available to all through our Homestudy Course. This group was preparing to hold ceremony as per the Druids Calendar at the correct temples on the correct days each time looking in the right direction and calling on the appropriate ancestors thus marking and honouring the Eightfold Year of the Tuatha De Dannan at their temples with Ritual Ceremony. This has not been done for a long time. The magical intention is to re-activate the energy grid at the temples. The first of eight yearly solar ceremonies we held was held on the Spring Equinox 03 at the sacred site at Summerhill. One Lady from the group of 7 attended in moral support (of her teacher and the two apprentices) without the basic "initiation".

On an open hilltop marked by a triangulation point we held a ceremony that felt like a wind of subtle energy flowing through and around the body as it earthed. Our work was true. The feeling was fantastic. From that stage on we honour the Eightfold Year of the Tuatha De Dannan by Ritual Ceremony at the correct time looking in the correct direction at their designated temple. This magical group did not have a name at this point, just a self-trained druid and some beginners hoping to protect and enjoy our spiritual heritage. Another Lady was initiated into our group as we headed into the end of the Celtic Year. We held outdoor Solar Ceremony at Beltine, Summer Solstice, Lughnasa and Autumn Equinox and got ready for Samhain.

Samhain has two ceremonies. "Cairn L alignment" - an alignment that goes from Cairn L's (Hill of the Witches) internal quartz standing stone past Lambay Volcano through the Sun to 10* in the Star Sign of Scorpio. And the same "Cairn L Alignment" happens for the Moon in its invisible aspect. This is commonly refered to as the new moon, but as there is no actual visible moon - we call this the Dark Moon. A report on Lunar Samhain 03 can be found in the Library under the tab CEREMONY. It was great. Three Sacred Fires on three Sacred Sites, men, women and children. Many of us had scary faces painted with horns and spirals etc. This was great progress from 2002, and when seen in the Light of Other Ceremonies during the year this was the best experience of "we're making it happen" yet. The group of druidschool members had progressed and held the space securely for Solar Ceremonies and Fire Festivals for the Dark Moon of Samhain.

Con had given a two-hour talk on the Druids Calendar to a group of 40 people that included many Druids at the de-consecrated church at Tara. Regular monthly Sweat Lodges were being held and the group, while small, was strong. We have a semi mature, maybe 180 year old, grove of oak trees beside a tributary to the young river Liffey at our mountain location. Con had brought groups of small children to the grove and its stream and built dams, collected seed and so on over 2002 and 2003. One apprentice had visited and spent few hours in the grove on the night before a sweat lodge following a chat about Ceremony at the Grove. His single intention was to find out if it was in his highest interests to attend ritual at the oak grove on the dark moon. He found this to be so.

Since the Triple Fires on the Triple Sacred Sites at the dark of the moon on Lunar Samhain 03, we have held Ritual Ceremony for the Solar Eightfold year and also at the Full Moon and at the Dark Moon. The Full Moon ceremony is a "Ritual of Protection" held at Tara and full information on "next full moon date" is available under the Library under Ceremony. Ceremony for the 'the Dark of the Moon' is held every month by the Dark Moon Grove in our Oak Circle on the upper Liffey in the Wicklow Mountains. In Irish this is - "Doire Geallach Doracha" more information on this to apprentices and invited guests only only. This is the story of how the Dark Moon Grove earned its name.
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