2018 -Blessings on Bealtaine - Derravaragh

2017 - Bealtaine - Tara

2016 - Nurturing Abundance - Ciaran's Well, nr Kells

2015 - May Day - Fourknocks

2014 - Peace, Light and Love - Dublin

2013 - Where there's a Well there's a Way - St. John's Well, Warrenstown

2012 – The Summer Phase - Bective Abbey     &    '8 Sundays at the Well' - Tara

2011 – Wild Wooing in the Woods - Tara

2010 – Inspired by Symbol & Poetry - Tara

2009 – Money to Burn - Tara

2008 Arrival of Uisneach fire - Tara

2007 Bealtaine - Tara


5 May 2018 - Derravaragh, Westmeath - Blessings on Bealtaine

Lake Derravaragh (meet in car park past caravan park) at 1pm.   Bealtaine 5 May 2018 is at 13.13 - halfway between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice.

Bealtaine is a time of clearing the dark and of welcoming the warm sunshine of the season, into our lives. A time to celebrate the growing season, our creativity and blessings.

We will open the circle by calling in the directions.


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We will "beat the bounds", a Celtic custom of walking the area around our land boundary to mend fences and relationships.

We will imagine our own boundaries as we walk the land to clear and strengthen them.

Using a small piece of a Yew tree dipped in the fresh waters of lough Derravaragh we will bless the land.

Yew is associated with our ancestors and so will we call on them to aid our intentions.


Creative activity time: When we are all seated on the picnic blankets we will each make a flower wreath from Ivy, flowers and ribbon to wear or to hang within our homes over a door or window for protection during the coming year. We will use mainly yellow and green. Yellow to acknowledge the warmth and light of the sun. Green to symbolize plant life and our spirit self. We will bless the wreaths with the yew and water.


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Picnic: It is time to celebrate our gathering together, the growing season and our own creativity. We will have a feast to eat of whatever we have brought to share with each other, including song, dance and stories. We will bless the feast with the Yew and water.


Closure: We will close off the directions with thanks and gratitude for all the blessings we have received this day.

What to bring: flowers, food/drink to share and your dancing shoes!


and after soul food, always feed the physical...


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And what actually happened on the day as recounted by the Host, Bernadette -


The ceremony at Lough Derravagh started with a gentle breeze under a clear blue sky, it was 25 degrees and beautiful.


We had a peaceful secluded spot, surrounded by Beech, Holly and Oak trees, their newly sprouted leaves shining beautifully in the sunshine.


There was a sense of fun and mirth within the gathered group as the ceremony began. After we called in the directions and welcomed the spirit folk I cleansed all present with a piece of Yew tree that I had collected from the graveyard where my paternal family are resting and water from the Lough. We cleared our own boundaries and any relationships that we felt needed a little extra help by walking and meditating among the trees and plants.


derravaragh landscape
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We followed this by sitting on the picnic blanket and making a wreath. We used Ivy, berries, flowers and ribbon.


We took some photos of ourselves and our art work. This brought about lots of laughter, silliness and stories from our childhoods. This flowed into an open heart where one of the group generously sang a song they had composed themselves, "Circle of Sun". A song about nature,the seasons and the beauty of life.


We finished with a picnic of home made delicacies made lovingly by the talented Pat.


After closing the circle and giving thanks for a wonderful ceremony, we went to Weirs pub in Multyfarnham for some much needed nourishment and more chat and fun.


The chorus of "Circle of Sun"

For around it turns the wheel of the year,

Spring flowers fall, when the summer is near,

Circle of life, beauty-rebirth comes clear,

Join the light, when the blossoms appear.


You will find the full version of the song at Visions and Dreams - click here


Bealtaine blessings, Bernadette


in a circle (above and below) capturing the essence of the day

looking at the ground

lying on the ground


some joined in at a distance - it was sunny at Snowdon in North Wales as well



30 April 2017 - Hill of Tara - Bealtaine

On the day we had a small crowd of 6 which was a nice group, it was wet and windy, but we managed.  There is no photographic record this time.

Pre-meet message from the Host:

We will make  our way down the hill and over to the left.

Open up the circle as usual.

Talk about spring and what it means for us as beings as in growth, strength and our mystical side incorporating the story of King Lir and his love of his children.

I will follow with a visualization of childrens games,songs and generally having fun. 

I ask everyone bring along a symbol to remind them of a happy time as a child.

Open heart (fun/child like theme) -   Close circle 

Picnic - Please bring food/drink to share, something to sit on and dress warmly.  Remember you will be walking over possibly wet grass so sensible shoes are a must.

Wishing everyone a wonderful afternoon, wherever you are, and greetings to those in the Southern Hemisphere going into Winter.
Below:  May Day flowers from the Scottish Borders
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Bernadette shares this photo  taken in Sherwood Forest, England, at Beltane
Beltane in Sherwood Forest England
For Bealtaine eve, Martin visited The Glen in Sligo, a lush green rift in the rocks below Knocknarea, a secret valley about 10m wide and 20m tall.
The Glen SligoFerns in the glen sligo
A fossil greets you as you enter the glen.
memory of stones, fossils
On Knock na Rea in Sligo is Queen Mave's grave with awesome views of land and sea, Truly a goddess landscape personified.
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8 May 2016  -  St Ciaran's Well, Castlekeeran, Nr. Kells - Nurturing Abundance

Thanks to Pat, Martin and Bernadette for the photos


Old records suggest that the ancient Irish calendar divided the year into two, the dark and light, 1st May being the first day of summer (light), 1st November the first of winter (dark). Thus at Bealtaine we say our final farewell to the lingering cold nights, and watch the plants flower, promising good crops as all life flourishes in the warmth of longer light filled days.


But we can not stand idle, waiting for the harvest at Lughnasadh. There is much we can do to activate and aid the successful growth of those seeds we planted earlier in the year. Good gardening and farming practice of watering, feeding and protecting will bring forth an abundant harvest, enough to fill the stores for the coming challenges of next winter.



And this applies just as much to human life as it does to plants. Working with the energies of the cardinal directions, the elements and the season, at this gathering we feed and care for our growth and wisdom, nurturing ourselves for our own abundant harvest. We shall energise our intentions with water from 3 healing wells: Round 1. St Brigid's, Faughart. Round 2. St John's, Warrenstown. Round 3. Holy Well, Hill of Tara.   These waters have been infused with Bach Rose essence under the New Moon (6 May): Bach information says that this Rose essence combination holds the vibrational frequency of unconditional love and will take you deep within your own heart chakra to connect with the infinite source of love held within. Allow it to help you expand the spark of Divine Unconditional Love within your heart chakra and connect you more fully with the radiance of your true self.  We shall finish by combining all with water from Ciaran's well, which is celebrated at Lughnasadh, that all intentions obtain a wonderful harvest.   Open Heart – share picnic food & drink.


Nora's experience of the day

As Master of Ceremonies there were items to be collected before the day, most importantly and central to the gathering being the 3 well waters.  A friend and I went to Faughart and collected that first, then to Hill of Tara, but when we arrived at the third, St John's Well, Warrenstown, the gates were shut (very unusual) and we felt it would be intrusive to enter.  Thus overnight I anguished over what was to be done - knowing it would all be ok, but still concerned that the main plan was now in need of change.  In hindsight consideration that the theme was abundance should have told me all was OK.  At the event one person brought 3 (that number again!) year old water from St Brigids Well at Uisneach, and visitors brought water from Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis, and a spring under a brewery in town.  We had an abundance of water....

There had been snow falls in Ireland and the UK the previous weekend, and snow was still clinging to the hills of Snowdonia in North Wales.  Thus it seemed appropriate that after gathering beside the Stoneyford River we crossed the bridge, releasing the last of those lingering winter energies that we did not want to carry into the summer, using the remnants of sticks that had been used at last Autumn Equinox to make sun symbol God's Eyes.


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8may2016 - bridge 8may2016 - winter sticks and scallop shells


8may2016 - rattle

An abundance of sound from rattle and bell was shared around the group and and we also had an abundance of sunshine as we centred on our unique selves within a garland that had been blessed by Amma, the hugging saint.  A symbolic Bhrat Bride was then placed in the centre.

8may2016 - bell

8may2016 - amma garland

8may2016 - amma garland and Brigids cloth

Each poured water in their scallop shell and carefully walked a mini pilgrimage, using the energy to nurture the abundance in their lives.

 scallop shell pilgrim

8may2016 - blue guitar


Blue skies above us, blue 'love' words hanging in the tree, the blue of the guitar that accompanied our pilgrimage, the blue hues of a dandelion....  

and the blue theme continued when Bernadette shared the story of the blue basket (made by Eileen) filled with an abundance of food.


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8may2016 - blue dandelion

8may2016 - blue basket

What a special place this is.  Magical moments occured throughout, including the lone bee that flew round the circle when the poem linking to the Pollen Path legends was read.

On the hillside stands the altar

8may2016 - top of the hill

View down to the well from altar

8may2016 - looking down at well

sun in the well gift to the waters


Thanks to Marta and Dana for sharing photos of their Bealtaine get together

There's the altar with Herne and Freya and Gaia and the Maltese Goddess...       There's cake ...  

There's the cauldron that carried wishes and letting go-s away...

Also blended water from 3 wells: one Swiss, one from Malta,

and the Chalice Well of Glastonbury and added rose petals and rose oil,

divided among themselves, so they can use it as a blessing water.

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1 May 2015 - May Day Celebration

Thanks to Marta, Susan, Martin and Nora for these photos.

We welcome the elements of Fire,Water, Earth and Air.

South - Fire

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West - Water

12 west-water

North - Earth

10 north-eartha

East - Air

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 Bealtaine is strongly connected to the dialogue between the Goddess to the God and back again, a woman and a man,

the male and female principles within each one of us, and we shall share in that.

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Spontaneity seems to be a keynote of the day so, as always, there will be the unexpected, no doubt!

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Mind your head - the entrance has a low lintel stone!

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13 on top

Teatime and everyone enjoys the sun and views to the north -

Newgrange behind hill on the left and you can just make out the Irish sea on the right

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The Symbol for the day - drawn by Marta

UPDATE Beltane 2015 Fourknocks - Copy

Sheela na Gig of Tara.
We brought the flowers that had been on the altar in Fourknocks to Her - it seemed to be right and the right place to put and leave them.
We had used water from St John's well for the Water-themed part of the ceremony.

So it was a connection brought to Fourknocks and then back to Tara again. We came with water and we left that and brought flowers.

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Some had enjoyed lunch at the Seamus Ennis Cafe in The Naul beforehand.

 Nativity of Our Lady Roman Catholic Church, The Naul, Fingal

Harry Clarke stained glass windows

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Tuning into the Mary theme in the Scottish Borders - May Day snow on the hills above St Mary's Loch and Megget Reservoir

Megget Reservoir May Day

 and Bealtaine energised sunset at the Labyrinth St. Finbarre's Cathedral, Cork

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3 May 2014 -  Peace, Light and Love

Thanks to Pat, Susan and Bernadette for these photos.

"Even in the worst situations you can process your world with the energy of appreciation and beauty, and create an opportunity to transcend your circumstances".  Wayne W. Dyer

7 met at the M3 Parkway Train station Dunboyne at 1.15pm sharp


  The train journey into Dublin and onto the beautiful gardens at Merrion Square was symbolic with our own personal life journey to realise these qualities within ourselves.


Also en route were St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street where we observed a Falon Gong celebration.  We looked for a quiet area in Merrion Square. Joined by another person, now there was 8.


Merrion Square was deemed by the Catholic Church in Ireland to be a somewhat sacred  site and they purchased it around 1930 to construct a large Cathedral there but they were unable to do so and had to give ownership of it to the State in the 1970's.





All singing,

all dancing,

get together






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 We found our spot.   'Men Dealing with Fire' is often a feature in Tara Celebrations and our three lit the copper bowl.  All opened the circle, put the fire in the middle and we each said our piece - we read blessings, poems and sang.

Mary had a lovely envelope each with sunflower seeds to plant - representing hope, and a pearl (how precious we are), and various pieces of glitter.

We were each given a stone which had come from the Atlantic, every time we felt gratitude, we were to rub the stone.

Then we walked around the square, and met a lady had been looking for us. So she joined in, but someone else had left by then, so we were eight in total the whole time.  Interestingy the numerology for the name Dublin is also 8.

Then down to Bewleys where we had a cuppa.


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Those present, and those sharing at a distance, describe the event as:


'a really powerful experience',

'we had a great day in Dublin',

'aware of a great connection to my inner self',

'a great day full of fun and magic',

'noticed how the season's energies had many similarities and many differences from last year',

'something different',

'we laughed, sang , danced and joked around, taking in the beauty around us which a lot of people take for granted'.

 'a lovely day'.

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Peace light love … grá éadrom síochána

tulips tulipsa


birds dub
Chestnut 'candle' flowers light up Bealtaine
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 James Joyce & Oscar Wilde memorials in St Stephens Green & Merrion Square


“Love loves to love love.” James Joyce

"to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance"  Oscar Wilde


sun and lia fail



We were all where we were meant to be -  Aileen messaged later in the day -


Don't know whether to think that the fates conspired against me today or to consider it destiny calling to me.
Have been thinking of the Hill all week but decided this morning to go to Bealtaine gathering.
What happened?
I ended up at the Hill.
The moral of the story - always read directions carefully.
Had a nice afternoon anyway - at the Hill of Tara.
marta card


Dana created this lovely card and with Marta's input they both send messages from Switzerland -


"may the fires of Beltane burn brightly for whatever you want to do, to begin, to achieve, may they burn along your path and help you run forwards"

(the *help you run* was actually a bit more on the pushy side, as in they'll run after you until you get a move on)


Celebrating in England - simulacra wolf in the clouds. flying on westerly winds,

and a sculputured may pole dance at Ovington, Co. Durham

wolf in the sky maypole sculpture


5 May 2013 - Where there's a Well there's a Way

11am at St John's Well, Warrenstown, Meath - entrance is through white gates - car parking is at the well

Thanks to Anne Newman, Nora Judge and Martin Dier for the following pictures

st johns well entrance st johns well



well water 
well and monterey cypress


The transition from winter to spring has been extended this year, with stops and starts of cold and warm weather and plants holding back their bud burst. Yet the swallows have returned from Africa, crows are nesting and life is on the move again. With these uncertain days, when the wind blows strongly, the rain lashes horizontal and the stars hide behind dark clouds, there is a feeling for more empowerment of human beings. As we realise our choices we require the strength to stand up for ourselves, discover we do not need intermediaries, and can make our own decisions. We are inspired by Mary and Brigid, by Patrick and Lugh, by the ancestral and archetypal wisdom sharers, but where we wish to place our attention and intentions is personal. We are not to be overwhelmed by the flood of events and media information, but to go with the flow of our interests and being.

Masculine, feminine,
Balance all around,
Left side, right side,
Choices now Abound.

Upstairs or downstairs?
Outside or in?
Above or Below?
Choices now begin.


"all roads lead to Rome"

you hear people say.

"All roads lead you HOME"

so make your choice today.




'Gateway' twin flames of Bealtaine,

black and white feathers of balance,

hoop with swan feather of dreaming,

bleeding heart flowers,

cleaver and dandelion - cleansing,

lavender for sweetness,

rosemary - remembering

 gateway1 gateway

left pole - dark night. dolphin for playfulness

right pole day light  music note


Our ceremomy this Bealtaine offers the chance to identify where there is a choice in our life and then to physically walk that choice. At St John's Well there are two sets of steps. We shall identify which flight of steps to take. The option and decision shall be our own. When we reach the top however, we shall realise that both options, although they appeared different, actually take us to higher ground, they both take us on to the next level of experience.


On the higher ground one of us shall light a central candle of empowerment, and we shall then acknowledge our own power, and light our own candle from it. This signifies that we are part of a community and also separate beings, strong as individuals but also supported by the strength of the group. We shall take this candle and knowledge with us when we leave and can light it whenever we need to recall we are truly gifted and enabled individuals.

st johns central thistle

st johns well flowers gift

A thistle at the centre of our circle expressed the symbolic web of life.

Colours of the day - gold and yellow.  Tulips and kerria were gifted to the well.


Having considered our personal needs we shall look to the extensive worlds of nature that nourish our minds, bodies and souls. At St. John's Well are several beautiful specimen trees and we shall confirmed our gratitude to them with gifts of water from the well. To awaken this energy we sing 'Frere Jacques' in a 4 round.




left - cool , clear, water from the well

Food and feasting are always part of assembly and so we shall share in a Teddy Bear's picnic. As we would prefer you did not bring along live bears, tigers or snakes we suggest that we celebrate the animal world with our favourite soft toy friends, those that share our cars, homes, and even beds. Many adults still have their childhood friends, or have special travelling companions. Live pet dogs and children are of course very welcome. 

We were delighted to be joined by amongst others a flying angel, one of the monkey army hoping to take over the world, Richard, Clumpy, a donkey, an owl, reindeer, and large bee.  Which goes to prove we are all children at heart.

teddy bears richard
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Camel in window on way home, reminder of John the Baptist in the desert.


Herbs at the Well

cellandine chickweed
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celandine, chickweed, nettles, dandelion, ivy with fresh shoots

pheasants called and goldcrests flitted amongst the branches 

ivy fresh


Steps have many stories to tell
Holy Well, Hill of Tara

Bakewell Garden, England - thanks to Nicky

 20808 day after rodding  Bakewell garden steps


A very bright and sunny Bealtaine to all from the planning team – Anne, Bernie, Nora, Susan, Tom.


Wesak Full Moon in Taurus

25 April 2013

Frolic in the bluebells

Thanks to Aileen for photo

Halifax Nova Scotia - pollen time

Thanks to Kate for photo

wesak buddha

bluebells in the air

springtime in Halifax


30 April - May Day Eve - Edinburgh Bealtaine Celebration - Thanks to Joan for this photo

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 Sunday 5 May 2013 is Easter in the Coptic Church - Bernie in Egypt shared that they boiled an egg, painted it all colours making wishes then ate it, with music and dance after.

egypt eggs


11 May 2012 - The Summer Phase - Bective

At Samhain 2011 we set the provisional dates for the 2011/2012 ceremonies. Now in 2012, during the meditation planning meeting for Bealtaine, we realised that we needed to change the date. We are in the energy of the time and it brings the wonderful experience of being flexible and spontaneous that we find when planning these celebrations. Below are details of the event.


Tara Goddess

created by Marta

Bealtaine goddess

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Carving of St. Malachy from the cloistered walk in Bective Abbey

bective saint malachy

At Bealtaine we continue on our dance around the wheel of the year and along the pathway of the soul, heading towards summer solstice. We are opposite Samhain, six months away. Bealtaine is most often celebrated on 1 May when we cross the threshold into summer. Yet the term can also refer to the season between Imbolc and Lughnasadh, starting on May Eve, 30 April. We have left a dark wintry underground and are now travelling into the full light. New energy invigorates our journey. Fresh green herbs and grass for animal feed is flourishing. Abundant flowers promise good harvests of fruits, berries and nuts later in the year. Everyone is watching the weather – how high are the crow's nesting? The higher in the tree the better the summer. Traditionally cattle were protected by passing them through the magical twin fires of Bealtaine. We collect the May morning dew, either putting down a cloth which will take up the healing energies or by scooping up the moisture in a bowl. It can be used through the coming year whenever healing or blessing is needed. We decorate the May bush with flowers, especially yellow ones, and are reminded of the song 'Here we come gathering nuts in May...' the 'nuts' probably replacing the original word 'knots' ie. loops of flowers.


This Bealtaine ceremony will welcome the summer phase of the year and the summer phase of our lives.


flower labyrinth

Introduction and history of  Bective

Open Directions

Dressing the May Bush

Taize Chant 'Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est' - 'Where charity and love are, God is there'

A story / verse

Thanks for the summer's arrival

Dance and ground our intentions of love and hope for the coming summer for ourselves then expanding the energy for the wider community

Abundance blessing - May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door, and happiness be with you now, and bless you evermore. Walking into summer's abundance and taking a bag of symbols to energise the abundance in our lives.

Open heart contributions

Close directions


Taize chant - The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in Taizé, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy, France. It is composed of about one hundred brothers, from Protestant and Catholic traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world. The monastic order has a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation.


If you cannot attend in person you might like to tune in by lighting a candle or sitting with a flower.

The Tara Celebrations Bealtaine Planning Team, Martin, Bernie, Theresa, Bernadette, Nora


5 was a dominant theme in this gathering - 5 at the planning meeting, 5 on the evening (not all same people), etc etc.  Our May Bush was somewhat unconventional, looking more like a small tree, and determined not to stand upright, although it had for 2 days beforehand.  So we laid it on the ground, and the flowers touched the earth.    We started in the Cloisters but realised our presence was disturbing the crows giving their chicks their last evening feed, so moved outside to the Church ruins.  From our place in the nave  we could see the River Boyne, tumbling over a weir, and watched the sun as it set in the west.  A beautiful evening.  Many thanks to Bernadette for these photographs.


014a 022a may bush before decorating
 bective long shadows may bush and amergin chat
bective glows at sunset abundance bag
Abundance of Bealtaine

In winter's sparseness,

bare, the bones

of lack and basic needs


Brown and black

the lonely tones

of trunk and branches

in the wood.


Yet, comes the

turning of the year,

Spring bows to summer's brighter days.

And this invigorates,

brings us cheer,

After winter's lean dark ways.



Bold green bud burst

paints the tree,

fills in gaps

between the sprigs,

Leaves unsealed,

here hums the bee,

and summer's breezes

dance merry jigs.

With this turning,

life revives,

Difficult times pass away,

Learn from the tree

that yet survives

Arduous winter's

bleak decay.


Forget the loneliness,

watch leaves unfurled,

Enlightened hours

of colour excite.

Fullness and plenty,

love your world,

Abundance blesses

our souls tonight.



 Cloistered walk at Bective Abbey Trim, Co. Meath - Thanks to Martin for the following photos

Cistercian Abbey founded in 1147, originally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and named Beatitude Dei, meaning the ‘blessedness of God’.

In 1582 the Julian Calendar was replaced by the Gregorian, bringing changes in dates.  11th May is now known as Old Beltane.

Bective Abbey, signposted off the R162 Navan and Trim road, L4010.

bective cloister


bective abbey

Below: pine trees were often planted on ley lines to purify the energies of the ley. Is this one such tree at Bective? 

bective pine tree ley line 

'8 Sundays at the Well' 2012 - Wesak to Mid-Summer Day

Wesak is the celebration of Buddha's birth & enlightenment and Mid-Summer the feast of St. John's Day

Holy Well, Hill of Tara - 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation finding peace & calm .  8pm for approx ½ hr

symbol floating in well 6 May 2012

13 may well sunset 20 May 2012

6th May -  listening to lambs on the hill,  birds dusk chat before going to sleep and swallows having their last feed,  pheasant calling and crows settling in for the night. Perfect evening at the well.

13th May - sounds of howling wind through the hedge and trees, showers, grey clouds, and yet within the turbulence we were in a still place of calm and peace. 20th May - Memories of the evening include midges, the slow steady slide of a slug across the paving and a beautiful red setting sun.

27 may well

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well may 2012

27th May - still and balmy, a subtle whitethorn scent filled the air. Determined, a worm tracked where the slug had journeyed last week.  Cows came down to drink at the trough and we scratched at the midge bites wishing the swallows would swoop lower and scoop some up on their feeding forays. 3 June - afternoon downpours guaranteed midges were out. They bounced above our heads and there were a few bites.  In the calm and stillness we listened to new tweets and trills from the blackbirds, a lone gull flew overhead singing a strange song, and the ash tree is now in full leaf.

10th June - pillow clouds curtained blue sky above us, a blessing of a sunny day after a week of rain.  The grass, buttercups and daisies are abundant and the lady's mantle will be blooming next week.  The tight green buds stand tall and strong.  The well looks as if it flooded during all the rains, but is at a normal level now, watercress filling the stream bed as it flows down the hill.

ash tree 17-6-12

new moon 24 june

 17th June - whispy clouds spread feathers against a soft blue sky with circling planes going into Dublin Airport close enough to almost see the passengers looking out of the windows. What a clear view they had of the Hill tonight. The birds were quiet but the well was singing an unusual song. With no visible movement of the water it was as if someone was turning a tap on and off, like a waterfall, filling a bowl of water. We would hear the flow then a sudden stop.
24th June - Midsummer day is warm with endless blue skies.  No flies to bother us, the crows return to their night resting places and a distant pheasant calls.  All is at peace, all calm, just a ripple of a breeze through the ash leaves.  Our 8 sundays at the well are complete.  We leave with the new moon low in the sky,  announcing  a new phase.


 30 April  2011 - Wild Wooing in the Woods - Tara

tara dancing trees ceremony bealtaine EdwardRobertHughes-MidSummerEve-B

  The ritual has been based, in part, on the image above by Edward Robert Hughes, "Mid summers eve" and with your  help we hope to decorate one of the woodland trees on Tara with paper  decorations, seasonal flowers, painted eggs and lanterns. So we are asking you to participate by bringing any or all of these and to take them home again the same evening (we will leave nothing but footprints).

 royal fairy tree wedding tara 2

Above the participants gather under the Arms of 'Frances' to celebrate the weaving of masculine and femanine aspects of self

A chairde, Beannachtaí Bealtaine. We move into the  summer part of the year, flowers are blooming and trees are in bud  burst. Traditionally it has been a celebration of fertility and fun with  many traditions celebrating through the use of Easter eggs, May poles and May bushes. The masculine Patrician energy has combined with the  feminine Brigidine Energy to produce the leanbh na Griann – child of the  sun, the rebirth of the self and all the promise, joy and hope that goes  with it.

This year we have decided to do an inspirational light hearted fairy ritual, celebrating the marriage of our archetypal masculine and feminine aspects. The narrative will be expressed through the symbology of the trees. Within you; What energy or situation no longer serves? What creative forces need to be channelled?  What beauty needs to be recognised and brought to centre stage? What needs to be celebrated?



Every nation had their own version tales of lovers and kings - King Arthur Guinivere and Lancelot, King Mark, Tristan & Isolde. Here in Ireland we have Fionn, Diarmuid agus Grainne, Curoi, Blathanid agus Cú Chulainn. All these tales have a common mythic element to them, the old king , the young maid and the virile young lover. The young lovers after much trouble eventually end up together. A symbolic story of the old year/growth making way for the new strong growth.


fairy tree wedding tara

Above: Although we put up hundreds of decorations they became invisible in the dark, only the lights are evident, but there is a lot more.....


Today I tell you the story of Edward Sean (great king), Frances Bush (free) and Richard Wood (powerful Leader). Edward was a great wise ruler of all the forest and he took Frances as his young bride. Edward, who’s name means 'Wealth protector”, was older than anyone could remember. A few years ago, a new sickness came over the forest and poor Edward succumbed to this illness and wasted away and died. His bride Frances, who was much younger that him was left a young widow and as is the tradition, spent the year in mourning for her dead husband. She threw away her finery in the autumn and spent the winter in silence looking at the skeleton of her dead husband. She is comforted by the new life growing around his dead frame as the herbs take hold around his feet. Spring arrived and as the sap rose, her heart lifted and she donned her new leaf and started to come out of mourning. She is sad to be alone and can see no suitor on the horizon. She longs to be loved and to feel a young lover's arms around her as Edward was much older than her. But she feels a new joy at being alive and has put on her green dress and beautiful blossoms. Frances is like the land, fertile and waiting for the warmth of the sun to encourage growth.


Richard is a young prince who has watched Fanny from a distance over the years as he has grown into a tall strong warrior tree. He has fallen in love with her and his heart yearns for her. He decides to woo her and make her notice him. He first decides what gifts he has that he can offer her. Richard then decides to show Fanny what a great protector he can be by doing a warrior stomping dance. Fanny hears Richard and watches as he ‘struts his stuff’. She is stirred and decides to add ‘jewellery’ and ‘do herself up’ in response. England is known for it Maypole and dances. Believe it or not we had the custom here in Ireland in some places. But in general, the Irish had the custom of dressing the May bush Dos Bhealtaine with flowers, ribbons and eggshells.

fairy wedding2

Above: some of the lighting


Now we have reached the point where Dick and Fanny come together and dance, circling each other and they come together united in love and passion. The Marriage of the strong oak tree Ruler and the beautiful white horse chestnut tree. “Men and Women were made to COMPLETE each other , not to compete with each other. “

We now have the wedding speeches and raise a toast to the bride and groom and leave them alone in the dark.

Copyright Anne.


royal fairy wedding tara

Above: the celebrators at the end of the royal wedding on Tara

fairy tree royal wedding tara opening

Above: One of the womb like openings on the tree

Running Order

We will meet at the gate for 8.15 and move to the place of ceremony  where individuals will be cleansed with healing herbs. We orientate  ourselves in the world by calling in the directions. We will then start our narrative and scatter wild flower seeds with a wooing dance of the  male tree offering up its gifts. Then the female tree responds by  adorning herself with lanterns and coloured flags. After taking time to  admire our handy work there will be a simple but profound interweaving  dance, followed by an opportunity to share a song, poem, thought or memory. We disengage from the creation of the sacred beautiful space and return to the outer world and to the wedding feast of the trees. We will raise a toast to the bride and groom and leave them alone in the dark taking all our decorations home with us.

Please Bring: A good torch (it gets dark after sunset), a paper lantern,  string, a Bealtaine decoration to hang from the tree and take home afterwards, an open heart contribution/party piece (if you like)

 Thanks to Maurizio who sent the following 4 pictures of the evening on Tara.





Tara Trees Bealtaine1

Approach to the fairy tree wedding feast

tara tree ceremony bealtaine 2

Above:The fairy tree groom and bride in the background

Thank you to all who came and celebrated with us in this fun celebration , those traveling far - you know who you are, thank you. We all created an atmosphere of earth centered community. And thank you to our distance celebrators, seed was scattered for your highest good and stomped into the ground with a good dance. 

Below are some photos of the decorated May tree at home






bealtaine garland

Below: Burren Spring Gentian, a sure sign that Bealtaine has arrived



1st May 2010 - Inspired by Symbol & Poetry - Tara

Look outside and you will notice the bud burst, the vibrant spring colours, the nesting birds. This is Spring, this is Bealtaine.  The underlying energy may be considered effervescent, expansive and life giving. The sleeping hibernating animals are waking up and significantly this year the weather is improving, making up for all the cold and ice we had over Christmas. 

The beautiful "weeds" are what Bernie recently caught on a photographic expedition. Brilliant Bealtaine ....

oh do I see 1.618? the mysteries of the Golden Proportion - sun and moon and magic!!!

heart722 bealtaine symbol heart721


The Sun in the Horns of Taurus
And for those with a keen eye somewhere “on the hilly lands” and “among long dappled grass” was inscribed the symbolic representation of this sacred mystery

at the centre is a lady's smock plant - also known as the cuckoo flower

bealtaine symbol tara ladysmock1


This year on The Hill of Tara a happy group celebrated Bealtaine as never before.  Locals were joined by folk from the States and Netherlands...   we also heard from Holland, North Carolina, England, Scotland and Australia saying they were tuning in....  We picked 4 places over the hill and processed to each part with people joined by candle bearers trailing garlands of coloured ribbon and flowers. One candle bearer had a representation of the Silver apple of the Moon, the other candle bearer a representation of the Golden apple of the Sun. This symbolism arose from W.B. Yeats famous poem

The Song of Wandering Aengus

the last stanza of which reads:

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

golden apple of sun silver apple of moon 

1st connection - entering at the Gate we acknowledged the energies of the East, passed between the twin fires of our torches and were blessed with rosemary.

mary des 

We then proceeded up the Ceremonial Entrance, known as the Banqueting Hall.


2nd connection - we acknowledged the energies of the south at Mound of Dall (Blind), which pairs with the Mound of Dorcha (Darkness) ...  someone driving to the ceremony said that there was a big dark cloud over Tara!!  We knocked on the Mound with elder and rosemary to encourage the nature spirits to wake up and come again into the land of the living.  We blessed and thanked the land using a form of flower petal divination as a means of communication with the fairy realm.


Following a time of Dall (Blindness) we prayed to wake up and see the world....strangely the inscriptions on the lia fail which are usually invisible became visible!

lia fail inscription

3rd connection - At the fairy tree we acknowledged the west, honoured and thanked the fairy realm with beautiful flowers and with chanting the sound of creation Om, including the tree as a participant of our circle.  We stood listening to the music of the raindrops through the trees and the birdsong in the woodland.

fairy tree bealtaine 1 fairy tree bealtaine 2
fairy tree bealtaine 3 fairy tree rag
flower petals2 flower pettals
fairy offerings

apple blossom

  4th connection - at Cloenferta - the Sloping Trenches - we acknowledged the energies of the north.  We had started out in light rain and it finally cleared with a touch of blue sky showing through.  The gorse formed the Horns of Taurus as we stood in a circle around the mound.  The glorious scent of coconut from the vibrant golden flowers filled our breath as nature, humans and all beings came together in the form of the symbol.

We held the space to birth the “Leanbh na Griann”, child of the sun or golden child. We linked to our inward golden child then shared that energy with the land by throwing white and yellow petals onto the mound, blessing all beings for the highest good.  The Leanbh na Griann is a healthy product of the combining of the balanced forces of the female Brigit and Male Patrick at Imbolc and was regarded as a special child. Anyone who has combined their yin yang natures can also celebrate in this birth within themselves. To symbolise this we combined the Brigids well waters from Uisneach, Cullion and Kilcock, using this for ourselves and gifting some to the land.  We also shared seeds gifting  these to show our thanks and blessings to the land that nurtures and sustains us.

We did not formally close the ceremony leaving it open to pour its magic enliving energy continuously into the country which badly needs it at the moment.

third eye mound

Shondell Kelley has kindly agreed to share the words of the songs she sang in the Open Heart part of the ceremony.  She says that both of these sound well when sung as a round. She didn't write these songs, She just carried them to us, having picked them up during her journey from various people who couldn't tell her who originally wrote them.



Happiness moves in a circular motion

We are like a little boat on the sea

We’re all a part of everything anyway

You can be as happy as you let yourself be


Lakota style song. During the intonation of the third verse one is meant to feel/visualize ones’ message/intent/prayer. Our voices are how the Ancestors recognize us.


"All My Relations"

All life is sacred, the Mountains and the Seas

All life is sacred, the Mountains and the Seas

All, all my Relations

All, all my Relations


All life is sacred, the Animals and the Trees

All life is sacred, the Animals and the Trees

All, all my Relations

All, all my Relations


Hey-ya, Hey-ya Heeeey- ya

Hey-ya, Hey, ya Hey!

Hey-ya, Hey-ya Heeeey- ya

Hey-ya, Hey, ya Hey!


All, all my Relations

All, all my Relations


gorse sloping trenches loughcrew from tara bealtaine
gorse tara 2 sloping trenches


gorse tara

May Day dew, the application gives eternal youth! or so they say.

may day dew

gorse tara 3

2009 - Money to Burn - Carcasonne & Tara

bealtaine center 

Bealtaine vibrancy in full effect in front of our goddess centered centre, sheltered by the chestnut.

 bealtaine center2

 Above: Our Bealtaine gathering under the beautiful chestnut on the Hill of Tara

bealtaine gorse

Above: The coconut sweet smelling Gorse/Whinz caught in a beam of sunlight at our Bealtaine gathering

 bealtaine leaves

 Above: The flower strewn woodland on Tara

money to burn

 Above: Yes! I have money to burn !

money burning

 Above: And Yes thats real money burning!....releasing the fossalised sunlight!

Bealtaine is a celebration of  the sun and Abundance. Yet today much of our abundance is determined by money. By pieces of worthless paper. Paper that people covet and lust after and kill for and beg for and steal and work for and value themselves by the amount they have.....


The first part of this ceremony took place near Carcassonne where we jumped the Bealtaine fires in honour of the marriage of our yin/yang, male/female, rational/intuitive sides. It is the natural progression from Imbolc where we honour the strong male and female deitys of Patrick and Brigid, accepting those powerful aspects of self marrying them together to produce the Bealtaine "Leanbh na Griann" (child of the sun). ...hence our goddess figure. The purpose of this gathering was to heal our relationship with money. So we lit a fire and blessed it with our beings. We could have donated all the money burnt to charity and made a difference to someones life, instead we burnt it..... did we feel guilty.... I did. But this is another powerful negative feeling associated with paper, how does it hold such power over me? I feel guilty for having it, unworthy to recieve it, inadequate to charge for my services. The Irish economy is in severe need of healing or perhaps it is me that needs to change my relationship with this paper. As a group we did a round of EFT to dissipate the negative feelings associated with a specific incident and brought in some healthy affirmative self talk to do with wealth and abundance. We then walked and jumped the bealtaine fire for ourselves, for our loved ones and for world issues including the state of money, the black madonnas with their hidden wisdom, for joy and vibrancy. And having money to burn is a symbol to the subconscious that we are abundantly wealthy. I am! We are keeping the ash of this sacred fire as a talisman for the next year.


We had started by calling upon the animals, trees, plants, ancestors, family and friends, dreamers and all that we hold most holy to teach us and show us their ways and now we  remembered the abundance the earth shares with us.  We passed around a pot filled with herbs - lovage, fennel, mint, lavendar, lemon balm, chives, sage, bay leaves.  Savouring their aroma we were sensually aware of our own perfumed gardens where they were gathered earlier.  The powers of the earth were acknowledged as we poured milk and honey onto the land in gratitude and thanks for its fertility and blossoming potential. The evening finished off with a reading of the Poem below composed by Fr. Vincent which hit every note and brought a natural close to the evening which was then ended with fresh herbal tea and chocolate eggs!  Bealtaine Blessings


The Fir Cone fire in Carcasonne, France


bealtaine fire carc



It’s Bealtaine as we wait, expectant

that our friendly star may gift us with a glorious summer.

There’s something of a sun-worshiper in each of us !

Sun, source of fire, of light and life

Source of wonder and joy too

Ever faithful one, returning each day even unnoticed

Kissing every face, lifting every heart

As you enter gently and silently each morn.


Much is artificial that surrounds us;

our mobiles, cars and TVs

[they need your power]

We’d almost forgotten you are the driving force.

Beauty ever ancient ever new;

whose rising and setting stirs the human heart!

And there’s the hearth in every family, for strength and warmth –

that’s yours too

Wise ones told us that

the child who plays in the sun-

through the winter will run.


Tonight we see your children leaping on the hills

For every fire we light is your offspring

Images all of you their parent


We become thoughtful as we look into the flames…

becoming mindful of the Eternal Flame within us

as the joyful fire within us makes our life vibrant.

May the fire in our hearts give us courage to speak the truth

and its warmth break out in hospitality & welcome.


Two ancient fires lit up our schooldays

of Slane and Tara -- where Patrick outshone the King.

Our new Ireland needs a symphony of flames North & South.

Our West too can embrace the crescent from the East,

for difference respected is the dawning of peace.


Banish the devastating fires of war consuming the earth and  innocents

But nourish fire in our hearts and fire in our factories

so that we can be builders of peace:-

turning swords into ploughs and spears into reaping hooks.


Tonight we celebrate that we are all keepers of fires, fanning them into life

And with the tiger’s eyes not burning bright

extra time we now have

to patiently tend those forgotten fires …

and disperse the cold cloud of recession with new torches.


May we and the people of Ireland be ablaze with hope, with neighbourliness

and with a hundred thousand welcomes…


Many thanks to Vincent for sharing this.


 bealtaine fires

 Cattle were protected by passing them through the magical twin fires of Bealtaine

 May Day memories from BJ in the States

 As a child in elementary school we celebrated May Day on the 1st each year by making little baskets and giving them to neighbors, etc.  As a 6th grader we got to be part of a May Day Fest (today someone would probably ban it as non-Christian and harmful--what nonsense), but for that all of us girls' mothers made us gathered skirts and hair pieces --the boys wore long trousers and a white shirt) and the flag pole in the school yard became the May Pole and it was decorated with all types of pastel ribbons that matched our outfits. We wove in and out and covered the May Pole with a beautiful set of colored ribbons. 

When I was a senior in high school (1957) we were still having some form of a May Day celebration and about 16-20 of the senior girls were voted to be on the May Court by the faculty and we wore long gowns of pastel colors.  The Queen of the May was chosen by a popular vote from the entire top 3 grades.  I was not May Queen, but remember a beautiful coral colored chiffon full skirted, strapless gown that I wore and I felt like a queen..  Somewhere in my stuff is a photo of that day.  Schools don't do those things now--not educational enough--not directed to State Education Standards and sadly a lot of our pupils don't even know about these days of ancient Celtic celebration.  But, you can believe that my astronomy classes did with my passion for archeoastronomy.

 may 2009 013

From Liz in Derbyshire -

Connecting to the carpet of woodland bluebells in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England

Bluer than a sailor's eyes,

Bluer than the bluest skies

Spread your carpet, ring your bells

Round the trees and down the dells.

Call a meeting place for friends

In the woods where anger ends.

Tell two hearts for truelove's sake

To keep the loving vows they make.

Though trains may whistle, traffic roar

And aircraft in the heavens soar

Though houses rise and cities fall

The bluebell grows in spite of all.

2008 - Bealtaine Ritual Meditation - Tara

A light bearer carrying the light from the direction of Uisneach where the sacred fire was first kindled each member of the group holding the light, placing their intent and passing the flame, lighting of our Bealtaine fire, planting seeds and imbuing them with life force. Meditation on Mary as this is her month and on mothering the earth, purification by fire, creation of a magic elixir vitae, contributions from those gathered.


 Below a detail of a Bealtaine Posie with herbs and flowers of the season.

bealtaine posie2

bealtaine posie3

 Below: Our special elixer vitae healing potion/ healing vibration that we created and energised on the hill of Tara.

 bealtaine potion

Below: Our Bealtaine threshold

bealtaine gateway

Bealtaine is the time of year when nature suddenly seems to burst forth from the winter grip. Flowers, leaves and buds erupt and proclaim the vibrancy of life. The name itself refers to the ritual bright summer fires. At Bealtaine all fires were exinguished and a sacred fire was started on the Hill of Uisneach, which was then brought to Tara. All household fires were then kindled from this one flame. The underlying energies sponsor expansion, growth, fun, play, joy, bounty, invigoration and cultivation. The Patriarchal energy of Patrick and the Matriarchal energy of Brigid have combined to produce the blessed 'leanbh na grian' who is full of life, brightness and promise. What are you putting your energy into?


Cress seeds carried our intentions and sprouted quickly the following week


On Tara the crows are busy...

crow nests spring

but the cows are taking it easy - or maybe it is about to rain?

cow group

2007 - Bealtaine - Tara


We welcome the symbolic light bearer from the direction of Uisneach.  We walked to the Fairy Hill and played an ice-breaking came of jokes and forfeits.  We walked between two fires, once for Tara, once for personal intentions and once for the world.  Using tai chi we drew down the moon.  Finally we blessed and thanked the fairy tree gifting flowers amongst its branches.

Page last updated: 15th Jul 2018