Summer Solstice

2018 - Celebrate the Sun with a Song in your Heart - Co Cork

2017 - Let the Sun Shine In - Tara

016 - Create with Love your Journey through Life and gratitude to Mother Earth - Bective & Tara

2015 - Sunflowers - Tara

2014 - Bountiful & Gratitude - Tara

2013 - The Place You Can't Get To - own personal spaces

2012 – Journey of the Golden Triangle – An Tobar, Tara, Navan

2011 – Cultivating Peace - Tara

2010 – Listening to the Soul of Summer – St. John's Well

2009 – Spontaneous - Tara

2008 - Abundance and Shadow - Tara

2007 - The Harp & Fairy Treasures - Tara

2005 - Tara Festival


Summer Solstice 2018

One of the ceremonies on the Hill of Tara this Summer Solstice - thanks to JA for the photo.

(if you are not familiar with the stories connecting Tara to Egypt, Tea Tephi and the Ark of the Covenant, you will find lots of info by doing a Google search, then make up your own mind)

tara 2018


Summer Solstice 2018 - Ahakista, West Cork - Celebrate the Sun with a Song of your Heart

Sunday 17 June at 11am - (& sunrise for those who can)

This year's Summer Solstice celebration is in a beautiful location in West Cork.

Date: Sunday 17th June


Venue: Ahakista, West Cork Ireland.


Time: 11am (& sunrise for those who can). We will meet in the “Arundels by the Pier” car park at 10.30am.

There will be an initial ceremony at sunrise for those that can make it but the main event is at 11am.

All attending are asked to bring:
3 pink roses
All the crystals you can
A song and/or musical instrument
A towel (for drying feet after a walk in a river)
Wear white clothes if possible
As usual, some food and drink to share afterwards


Cork Summer Solstice

 After a mindful walk through the woods, we will come to a river where we will take off our shoes and cross to the other side.

We will make a heart from all the crystals and connect the deepest Earth (crystals) to Mother Sun.


All of the Elements will be involved in the ceremony and people are asked to bring something small and symbolic to burn in a cauldron.


We are asked to share some songs before the ceremony (perhaps online through Facebook etc.) so all can join in the singing and fulfill the Theme of the day: “Celebrate the Sun with a Song of your Heart”.

To drive to Ahakista, head for Cork City/Bantry (depending on where you’re coming from), go to “Durrus” and from here, take the L4704 to Ahakista (Signs for “Sheeps head walk”).


All are welcome, young and old, and it might be an idea for some who have far to travel to plan an overnight stay. It has been suggested by the host to check out accommodation AirnB etc. in the Sheeps Head area rather than Bantry which can be more costly in the summer season.

Do join us for this wonderful celebration to mark Midsummer time – you won’t regret it!




Photos from the event


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21 June 2017 - Let the Sun Shine in

For this year's Summer Solstice, we are meeting at the gate onto the Hill of Tara on Wednesday 21st June at 7.30pm... and then we 'll pretty much go with the flow and see what happens!
  Our theme is:  "Let the sun shine in"  -  An "Open Heart" celebration - a spontaneous sharing.  You may feel prompted to bring song, verse, dance, short story, symbolic item, flowers or food.  Or, often it is just to stand or sit in silence which may be as profound and meaningful as any organised formal ceremony.   As always this is a free event and all are welcome.

Other events on Hill of Tara 21 June - Yamann will lead a small ceremony at the well at 11.30am on Wednesday 21st.  -  Coscan and musical guests will be in action on Wednesday 21st June at 7.00pm in the church (Visitor Centre).  -  With good weather there will be many many people on The Hill today including a Drum and Gong ceremony 8pm


Thanks to Pat for these photos of the Botanic Gardens, Wicklow
IMAG2435 Untitled


On the day:

No pictures were taken at our get together.   It was very busy on the Hill of Tara...  crowds out enjoying the sunshine.  Some met at the gate and headed westward, looking for a quieter, calmer place.  To cut a long story short, they followed a rabbit, and that took them to a lovely little clearing!  They connected with the Summer Sun energy and brought it into their hearts to hold and sustain them through the year. A Heart-warming exercise.  Finally they all sang Let The Sun Shine In!

Thanks to John A and Pam for these pictures of the evening crowd on Tara
solstice tara a solstice tara


Thanks to Marta, Dana and Daniela for images of their solstice at Mnajdra temple, Malta
solstice at Mnajdra temple solstice experience


Impressions on the day from Nora ; Summer solstice 2017 burst forth with a vibrant gusto not heard in recent years. Sound waves reverberated over the land - music, voices – shouts echoing through the valleys, over the beaches, through the woodlands. People were out, in nature, celebrating the high season with zest and zeal. Fom a red sunrise exhilarated by the low drone of ancient instruments at Grange Stone Circle, Loch Gur, to the sunset skirl of bagpipes at Uisneach and gongs and drums on the Hill of Tara the day passed in an energetic cacophony of sound. Across the lands humans were prompted to make noise.  In the Peak District, England, the recent days of overwhelming hot and humid weather gave way to a storm, rain pelting down, rattling the flags, battering the plants, drumming up its own symphonic concert.


What was it all about? Why were we drawn to make so much noise, to see the dominant colour red, to wear red, sometimes balanced by blue, or combined into purple. It seems to be the season that's in it. Even the sunset conspired in the sensational red theme of the day.


And when the sounds died away into the night? A stillness came upon the land. We could now contemplate the coming winter, listen to the natural world and what messages it had.


This red hollyhock brought forth a beautiful summer flower (thanks to Tom for the photo). The name and colour reminds me of the perennial legend of the Holly and Oak Kings. At summer solstice the Holly king takes the reins, usurping the Oak, and rules up to mid-winter. He is often depicted wearing red (up-dated as Santa Claus). These two ancient archetypes recall the duality, interdependent, balanced aspects of winter and summer. The take-over of one to another is often referred to as a battle, and what are battles if not noisy affairs, stormy and highly energised, intense and a little disorientated, followed by a calm.  At Summer Solstice this year it seems to me, we did not seek to do what our ancestors did, we went deeper, seeking what they sought, enacting a 21st century version of a centuries old wisdom.


(PS some would have it that the King's change-over happens at the Equinoxes... well, that enigma is part of the riddle and mystery of life...  whatever suits your current theory is just fine!)


solstice 2017 hollyhock




 and more red flowers - thanks to Pat Went into the garden to create a centre and found nature had already done it

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solstice feather


Mid-summer day -  St John's Day - 24th June - Marta, Dana and Daniela visited the Tarxien Temple in Malta

themes of Summer Solstice continue....


tarxien temple malta


And from Malta to Navan.

Beside the labyrinth some wild bees decided to build a nest by harvesting huge quantities of earth and moss. The nest pulsates like a heart and the runway from such nests has a tendancy to point north so the bees can sense the weather (so I'm told)


ground nesting bee


The little hill below is made by the bees

ground nesting bee nest


And the Bees are partial to the marsh orchids flowering for the 21st

common marsh orchids


19 June 2016 - Create with love your journey through life and gratitude to Mother Earth


Solstice lasts for about 5 days...

and over that period Sunrise in Dublin area 04.57 sunset 21.57 (9.57pm).

Actual Solstice moment is 20 June at 23.34

Full Moon is 20 June 12.02 (Dublin time)

(On the June solstice, the sun reaches its northernmost point and the Earth’s North Pole tilts directly towards it, at about 23.4 degrees.)


Create with love your journey through life and gratitude to mother earth...

Sunday 19 June 3 to 5pm Bective Mill B & B (outside beside the river Boyne)

Sunday 19 June sunset on Hill of Tara

Monday 20 June 8 to 10pm Bective Mill B & B special Meditation & Healing Circle (inside).


Message from our Master of Ceremonies - Bernadette.


Hi all,


It's that time of year again, Summer Solstice, and this year it will be done in 3s...

19 June – start 3pm - The first event will take place in Bective Mill just beside the abbey... and the theme is:


Create with love your journey through life and gratitude to mother earth...


and again a minute silence for peace in our world.  For all those who wish to tune in like last year please do.. we had connections in UK, Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Egypt and many more...

This year we will be creating a Mandala on the ground, beside the river Boyne, on a leyline to the Hill of Tara.


Now the Mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds. The Mandala appears to us in all aspects of life, the Earth, the Sun, The Moon, and obviously the circles of life encompassing friends, family, and communites. Mandalas are used for meditation purposes allowing the individual meditating to become more one with the Universe.


So on that day we will be creating our own Mandala with an intention of your own inner thought but we will be creating it together as a group on the leyline connection to Tara. There will be a base for the Mandala in which I was guided to put down for people to work around with their intention and I will speak about this on the day.


So I ask you to let the flow of the energy of the place and Mandala come from deep within oneself as we do this in a meditation state.


What I need to ask you to bring with you on the day is something flat that you can sit / lie on, such as a coloured cloth. Also, for your part of the group Mandala, a flower, sea shells, ribbon, something will call to you, and a colour. Set with your own intention on the day.


It has been said that when creating a Mandala there has been a feeling of lightness, intuitive thoughts may arise. Relax and let the thought come into you - the aim is to let it float with you just like the river along side.


I will explain the meaning of the colours of your choice you bring with you on the day.


So enough said, come along and see and experience for yourself


Also if it rains we have permission to go into the Mill and do the Mandala there.


betive 1Bring food to share and soft drinlks on the day as we will have a picnic in the area where there is lovely seating.


We will also be having a Open Heart where you are welcome to sing, say a poem, read a quote or just be. All these events, in my experience, go with the flow on the day.


Later on, if you wish to, go to the Hill of Tara to sit in silence to watch the sunset ,,, sing, dance, drum, or just be ,,,


So the Mandala and viewing the sunset from the Hill of Tara are the two things on the Sunday.


The 3rd is in the same place following on the Monday evening at 8pm. Our weekly meditation and healing circle held by another Bernadette in our Meditation space at the Mill. End time 10pm.

So looking forward to seeing you all on the day and following evening for those who can make it, and all those who again join in from the UK and all over The World to tune in for One Minute Silence for peace, wherever you are over the time of the solstice.


Greetings to those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating Winter Solstice, and wherever you are have a fun, wonderful Solstice time.


Bernadette's experience of the day:


On the day people said that they found doing the mandala very peaceful and full of love. Creating something so beautiful and having to let it go was an experience. A different type of letting go. That was also my experience and felt faith and trust in doing so. Also the peace in the mind when working on it and most of all the open heart tied in with it... all about trust and letting go and being thankful.


On the Monday evening at the meddy the bond was still there. Myself and Bernadette shared - she did meditation and I did the healing circle, and the funny thing was we nearly dressed the same, red shoes and cardie.


and from someone who attended the gathering:


'we contacted Bernadette some months ago as we would be holidaying in Ireland at Solstice and wished to join in with a group to celebrate Solstice. We certainly were not disappointed. Bernadette made us very welcome. Great thought had gone into the celebration...


Bernadette had set up a mandala... which allowed us to meditate on our thoughts. It brought everyone together and focused on the beauty of Mother Earth, and the stillness of the earth as we approached the changeover. As part of the mandala we also held a healing circle and we gained and gave healing to each other and Mother Earth. A wonderful experience carried out with honour and respect by everyone involved. Altogether a great experience and we hope to meet again at another time.'


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Dana, Marta and Daniela at the Mnajdra temple on Malta


The light T on the stone behind us is what shows up at the Summer Solstice there. The temple would have had a roof and would have been dark, then the light would have entered - just like at Newgrange (ok, kind of), but it formed a T, or an upside down L, gradually, and then slowly would drift back down onto the ground and out again.


The same, but on a different stone, happens at the Winter Solstice in this temple. And it has 2 "happenings" for the equinoxes, too.
Mnajdra is high up near the sea - in the middle of nowhere, situated in a big area where you can just wander, explore, relax, meditate... Also the temple Hagar Qim is nearby (just a small walk, you visit both temples when you visit there via the visitors center) which also has a *light show* for the Summer Solstice (but only for that one)
It was a wonderful atmosphere and to me it felt like the temple itself was being charged - we were there for seeing it happen. We'd visited the day before and other energies were working then, also with *us*. The Solstice was for the temple itself. That at least was my experience.
The staff there were wonderful and always eager to tell us that there was plenty of coffee, tea, cake and bisquits.
Also, in case anyone would be interested - the summer solstice is something you book online, get your ticket and that's that. I don't know if there's something for the winter solstice and the equinoxes as well, but one lady of the staff talked about those and had attended them, so maybe...


Mum Me Daniela Mnajdra


Tuning in from England on 19th
Tuning in 2016 from Bakewell

21 June 2015 - Sunflowers

Thanks to Mary and John A  for the photos.

All were welcome to join in  Celebrating the Turning of the Year.  As usual, a free and open gathering.

The event was planned around sunflowers and the learning in nature from these.

Invitation: A few people shall be saying pieces and if anyone wants to add to this that would be good - just bring it along on the day.  We shall be opening and closing sacred space.  If anyone wants to bring food and / or appropriate drinks  to share that would be very welcome.  We look forward to a lovely social get together in the warmth of the summer sunshine.  

John pics 001a

sunflowers sunflowers 1 
 sunflowers 2
sunflowers 3
photo 1x sunflowers 4


Drumming the sun to bed on the longest day - after a happy sunny afternoon a cold end to the day - perhaps appropriate as we move into the autumn and winter seasons.

Thanks to Martin for this one.

sunset 21 june 2015

Holloways - land and water

Thanks to Ros for this series of pictures

Canal through Ballsbridge, Dublin

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River Liffey,

Dublin, Ireland

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holloway Hexham & Coventina's Corbridge

Northumberland, England

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 Tyne at Corbridge IMG 20140606 171756116 HDR
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A Ballsbridge (Dublin) rose at night

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Summer mandala and flowers in England

4 ferns (symbol of New Zealand who are at Winter Solstice), yellow flowers of  St. John's wort (Mary's sunflower),  twirling petunias at the four corners, 6 blue pansies and pink geraniums for yin/yang balance, central rambling rose, nasturtium for their colourful spice, lavender and rosemary, laid on bark from the woodland.  In some parts of the world there are legends that fern seeds (spores) will provide invisibility on solstice eve, or that they will aid in seeing the invisible sidhe.

bakewell mandala email


21 June 2014 - Bountiful & Gratitude

Thanks to Bernadette and Pat for the photographs


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Greetings and Blessings to all those in the Southern Hemisphere, keeping the planet in balance, and celebrating the Winter Solstice.

June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:51 am in Dublin 

We shall be celebrating the sunset with drumming, with the beat of the heart.   As the sun sets, dropping down below the western horizon,  we shall also celebrate the new season to come. This beat of the drum from the beat of the heart gives thanks to mother earth  - a gentle drumming saying good night and thanks for the day and for the bountifullness and wonderful times we share together with the sun and earth. 

Meet at the gate at 6.30pm.  We will then walk to the place in quiet space.  It is said to be one of the chakra areas on the Hill.  Looking westwards, you can see all the land, the Plain of Meath, Loughcrew, Kells and other distant hills.  The get together is a big openheart event with song, storytelling and healing chant.  Bring a picnic  with something to share - also bring blankets to sit on, or fold up chair, and umbrellas in case it rains.  There is cover close by if we get rain.

All are welcome.  And if you want to come and just sit on the Hill that is fine.  Some of us are extroverts and like to express our energies, and those of the get together, outwardly.  Sometimes they are the quiet ones as well.   The one thing that has been made very clear at Tara Celebrations over the years is that if you feel to sing, dance, etc. it is from the heart and has nothing to do with performance or pleasing others.  And if you want to sit quietly and watch, please feel comfortable with that.

Other events:    12 noon - midday - Yamann - Ceremony of the Fire element at the Well.    19.00 (7pm) a wonderful evening of entertainment at the Visitor Centre with Andrew Ore ( musician,  songwriter, pianist, guitarist and singer), harpist Jennifer Leahy and ending the evening we have the perennial Coscan.



A big thank you to the lady who baked this yummy sun bread for the soltice.  It was beautiful...  can we have some more ,,,,,  bless you

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solstice centre 2014 prayer ribbons 


sun sets in the north west...
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Bubbles were part of the fun....
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Music and storytelling....

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about the mother and the fairies,


about the father who was the Tara postman,


and songs......

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Thanks to Maria for these words:  The piece I put together for the wonderful open-heart ceremony -   Thankfulness on Solstice
Tonight we rejoice at the wane of the overarching power of the irreverberate darkness, the echoless night, the undergrounded, closed door secrecy of Winter, hibernation, sleepiness and lack of growth.  We welcome the warm, cleansing sun, the light that leaves nothing undisclosed, the energy that sustains life, bringing an abundance of fruit now and the promise of more to come as we journey to our next big festival; Lúnasa. 
Let us enjoy the longer hours of day over the next few months, the great outdoors where we can gather in a spirit of fun & community.

An Samhraidh abú, go mbéarfaimid bua!


As the sun set in the north west, we were looking towards Grianan of Aileach in Donegal.
A crowd had gathered there at sunrise, looking south east towards Tara....

source of photographs - http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-27948192

an grianan ailigh 11 an grianan ailigh


Often when sharing get togethers on Tara we unexpectedly travel in the surrounding landscape.  This happened to a participant who was diverted by way of Slane and the Fourknocks area, before eventually arriving at the Hill.

After smudging one of us felt called to travel to Newgrange and connect with the energies of Tara from that monument, also to 'as above, so below'...  this is what had been happening in a field near the monument. 

high man newgrange

This is the completed 'High Man' art work, shown in a great photo by Noel Meehan of CopterView Ireland taken yesterday evening (Summer Solstice). Richard Moore, Derek McCluskey, and me and my five kids are all standing in the "sun" to give you a sense of scale of the picture. Feel free to like and share!

Credit: https://www.facebook.com/copterviewireland

orion constellation


Midsummer's Day 24th June 2014 - St. Johns Well, Warrenstown, Tara

st johns well

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The well, dedicated to St John, is celebrated at Midsummer.  The sounds of birdsong  and flowing  water inspire a sense of contentment and peace. 

Two of us spent an hour or so sat, listening to the birds, and remembering a lady who always supported Tara Celebrations whether in person or at a distance in her American homeland, and who loved this place.

Betty Jo 'BJ' Harper

1 March 1939 - 1 May 2014.

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BJ aka Starlady, had a great interest in Egypt and this coin reminded us of the connections.

egyptian coin


Many of the statues usually placed at the well had been removed but this lovely couple, with their flowers, were leaning against the strong trunk of the Monterey Cypress tree.

male and female



21 June 2013 - The Place You Can't Get To

Tara Celebrations for Summer Solstice get together 2013 will be wherever you are. 

During the planning for this get together a particular landscape came into everyone's mind - but although many of the different elements of this vision are in Fourknocks, Dowth, Teltown, Hill of Ward, Danestown Fort, Tara, and many others, we realised it was none of these - the place remained elusive. The texts, emails and sharing between the four planners, trying to make sense of it all, eventually led us to sitting in Tara car park, watching a gleaming white moon high above us, the changing light of sunset and swallows, crows and fieldfares last feed of the day.  And the phrase that arose was -The place you can't get to, and the inspiring information - 'go to a higher place'.

tara - sunflowersAnd so, Tara Celebrations for Summer Solstice get together 2013 will be wherever you are.  We will not get together in one place as a group, but at 12 noon (or whenever is convenient to you) on Friday 21 June, we will link together in common intention to pull down the light and acknowledge the full strength and power of the mid-day sun.  And you might like to reflect on your own personal Place You Can't Get To.

If you are willing to share, anonymously, any particular place that comes to you, that we can post on the website, we would love to hear from you.  This will help bond the unity within the diversity that is the essence of Tara Celebrations.


Later -  It is disappointing that we are not having a get together in the earth's physical realms this Solstice but we do seem to have struck a note (or even chord) with how others are feeling at the moment.  


Some emailed comments about this event:

tara - well flowers 2013

12 noon on 21st - blessings to those that have generously shared their experiences :







Fourknocks pathway


Dowth 'seven suns' stone


Loughcrew chamber









Tara etc 025

Water played a large role in this Summer Solstice.  We found ourselves driving along the route of the RIver Boyne or tuning into events from other wells in the local landscape.

As usual there was a Water Ceremony at 11.45am Friday 21 June at the Holy Well, Hill of Tara.

Yamann Brady welcomed everyone to join him in celebrating the gift of water at the well.

The sun shone and there was a wonderful group gathered, old friends, other locals and many visitors from around the world.

The perfume from the lillies, placed there on Friday morning still lingered Monday night - 'the scent was gorgeous'.

Thanks to Susan for this photograph of the well.




Solstice Flowers in St Patrick's Church 2013 - Thanks to Mary Owens for the beautiful displays

tara start of day

Visitor Centre, Hill of Tara.  Everyone enjoyed the flowers, bringing the seasonal energies of the natural world into the divine and secular space of St Patrick's Church. The church stands on the site of the oldest, yet invisible to our eyes, monument on the Hill, and the hub from which Tara's energies flow. Our delight at nature's beauty in seeing the flowers thus flows out into the landscape.

tara - flowers 1 2013 tara flowers preparing
tara - flowers 3 2013 tara - flowers 4 2013
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tara flowers on piano

tara - flowers 2013

Trad and Contemporary folk was provided by Jennifer Leahy on the harp, the Crilly Sisters and Naimh White singing, Martin, a piper, and the inimitable Coscan

tara - Leahy harp tara - quilly sisters


And on the 22 / 23 June is a Supermoon -

Full and close to the earth



A beautiful angel graced the Hill

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 Summer flowers in the garden

belmont flowers 1a belmont flowers 6a belmont flowers 2a
belmont flowers 4a belmont flowers 3a belmont flowers a


Below: This summer solstice flower heart mandala was discovered outside a supermarket on a street in San Angelo, Ischia, Italy......just a random act of beauty.

heart mandala on street in san angelo




June 2012 - The Journey of the Golden Triangle

bowl and pyramid

At our planning meditation for this summer solstice our attention was drawn to fire – the golden sun is at its greatest strength and longest time in the sky - and water – the rain keeps falling and the rivers flowing. This endless change is a constant in our lives. To this experience we humans contribute our intentions, hopes and plans, then release them, in trust, to the Universe. We are reminded, as the sun journeys across the sky, that place and time are the markers of this journey through life.


golden triangles dark

When settling where we would hold the gathering Tara was present, but we were all aware there was 'somewhere else'. What unfolded was the impression of a golden triangle, of three places, An Tobar, Tara and the Ramparts walk in Navan. And there was a three rhythm to the dates we were to visit these places, monday then 2 days, thursday then 2 days, sunday. At the first we shall journey the path of the labyrinth, contemplating our intentions now, then place them in a golden box. At the second we shall invigorate the box, connecting to the high energies of the summer solstice, drawing on the symbolism of infinity. And, at the third we shall cross the bridge to release our petitions, pausing on our return to gift thanks and gratitude to the waters of the river and the heat of the sun for their constancy and support in our lives. We shall each take a portion of the box home to spread the healing energies out into the landscape and into the future.


Many thanks to Bernadette, Anne, Susan and Nora for the following photos.


Monday 18 June 2012 – An Tobar – The Labyrinth of our Lives

We started with a Healing Circle for ourselves, friends and family and then wider issues. We drew attention to the world that surrounds us, and our place at the centre. Walking into the labyrinth, we contemplated our own wishes and plans, then wrote down and grounded these intentions, placing them into a golden triangular pyramid. We left them in trust to the universe by walking out of labyrinth.

summer solstice centre 

an tobar labyrintha

an tobar labyrinth

flowers and golden triangle



Thursday 21 June 2012 – Hill of Tara - The Energies of Eternity

Together we placed the golden pyramid of intentions at the centre of an etheric eternity symbol.golden pyramid1

we walked around the inner ditch of Teach Cormac, hidden to the world,

eternity walk1

crossed over the centre of the eternity walk between Teach Cormac and Forradh,

cormac & snow

then circled the outside of the Forradh, visible to all and seeing to the far horizons, east to Skryne,

tara eastwards towards Skryne

and westwards over the Plain of Meath.

tara westwards over the plains of meath

Amergin & The Lady at Tara

Throughout the week we were reminded that, although in the extreme of the longest hours of daylight, our path of balance is still maintained, in male and female, above and below, fire and water, that which is hidden and that which is revealed.

amergin and mary on their hols1


Sunday 24 June 2012 - Ramparts, Navan - Trust in the Universe

On the ridge path between the fast flowing river and sluggish canal we found a wonderful gnarled tree, its trunk alive with different animals - like a totem pole in the woods.  Symbolically uniting above & below, each wrote  their personal wish on a star and later watched as it floated down river.

summer solstice navan1 Tara2012 021

 Recognising the unknown and unseen within our personal intentions, we dipped into the depths of a bag, taking a pinch of oats and wheat which we then released to the earth. Anne reminded us of the quote from Rumi -"Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world."  True of Navan - an Uaimh - often translated as 'the cave'.  When we released the grains the smell of baking filled the air from the nearby Spicer's bakery - a happy coincidence!


golden pyramid

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 Raindrops glinted like crystals on the golden pyramid.  We burnt the written intentions and released the ashes to the river, combining the vital elements of fire and water. The pyramid was cut up and people took a piece home to energise their future intentions.

summer solstice ramparts

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summer solstice navan

river boyne

Tara2012 019 boyne release

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bridge at ramparts

 At the bridge we gave gratitude and thanks for the week by gifting golden flowers to the river. We walked  back to our day-to-day lives, leaving mid-day at mid-summer. Ruxton Lock, Athlumney, completed 220 years ago in 1792 


Greeting to all those in the Southern Hemisphere celebrating Winter Solstice and thanks to Wendy for this picture of the Waratah, Blue Mountains, N.S.W., Australia


waratah from nsw australia 


All are welcome to join in, in person, at one, two or all three parts of this Golden Triangle week. If you cannot be there in person you might like to connect 'in spirit' and using your imagination and intention place your own wishes, hopes and plans into the golden box.


Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, blessings from the summer solstice team, Bernadette, Bernie, John and Nora and all at Tara Celebrations.


Other events you might be interested in:


21st June – Coscan and friends present a musical evening in the Church on Tara.


24th June – last meditation at the Holy Well, Tara, at 8pm - '8 Sundays' Meditation 2012 - from Wesak to Mid-Summer Day. Click here for pictures of this event

23 June 2011 - Cultivating Peace

Summer Solstice is the 5 day period during which the earth pauses as it starts to reverse its 6 month downward nod (exposing us to the sun) with its upward nod (pointing us away from the sun).  This year our ceremony is based on creating a mandala on crossing ley lines, using it as a focus for silent meditation and cultivating peace .


st johns cross

st johns eve tara sunset


We meditated to gain insight into the nature of the solstice ceremony and the ideas of sacrifice, altars, protection, prayers for peace, heads, chaos, ancient history, John the Baptist, formulaic, White and Red were some of the key themes that came to the fore. Some of you reading may see nothing but a collection of unrelated words but others will see  (more than) a few key words whose symbolism may send shivers running up your spine.


 The day we picked is St. John’s eve Thursday 23rd June at 7.30pm (GMT +1).

We have decided to create a ritual based on cultivating peace and have located the ceremony on a site of an ancient ruined altar under which are crossing energy leys. We will create a white rose petal mandala to focus a silent meditation to cultivate peace within. Through the amplification energy of the ley lines  in the centre of the cross shaped mandala and the energy of the solstice sun, we put the intention for peace  into the energy of the next cycle of the year.   

We will symbolically bring down the heavenly sun onto the earth and bridge the realms.

As the Mandala is created of all natural materials we will leave it for nature to disperse.

st johns eve ceremony sunflower


Everyone will get to bring home a candle lit from a candle kindled directly by the sun itself.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.” Buddha

st johns eve ritual 1


In a time when economic chaos could be solved by a “good ol war” we want to add to the energy of peace.

So we encourage you all this year to pause for peace. Light a candle. Tune in . Breath. Send loving, peaceful vibes to yourself and the earth.

May peace and Peace and PEACE be everywhere.

We would love to see you here but if you can’t come join us in spirit.

 earths eye view sunset st johns eve

If your coming please bring a cushion or deck chair to sit comfortably in meditation for about 45 minutes.

Please also bring a pinch of earth from where you live as we can add this to our earth bowl which is a tradition with roots of 5000 years.

Síocháin agus grá ye all

TaraCelebrations Team

st johns eve golden sunset

High Summer magic as the golden orange setting sun connects to the orange sun flower

in the centre of St. John's Cross - as above, so below, bridging the realms.

flour outline mandala

 It is amazing what Martin will do with some old newspapers and a bag of flour - create a template and outline St. John's cross

st johns eve ceremony sunflower 2

Hundreds of white rose petals fill the outline - all placed with the intentions of peace


st johns eve golden sunset tara 

 Summer Solstice Music in the Church Tara

 donkey zoom tara

Your eyes do not decieve you. The donkey is wearing red socks!  Magical Paul, Bill and Laura.

dancing donkey tara

Paul Kelly blending flawlessly into the background.

dancing donkey tara1


donky on tara weasring red socks

Shane and Kira Taaffe played the Harp

tara harp 

All God's creatures got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher,
Some sing out loud on the telephone wires,
And some just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they
got now.

Recalling the musical Johnstons family from Slane - a popular group in the 1960's

singing Tara

Coscán making music

coscan solstice tara

Dancing in the aisles....under an orb


Close up of the orb....the stained glass window behind depicts the descent of the holy spirit

orb close up

St. Yamann (organiser) introducing Coscán

st Yamann

Flower display in the Church - thanks to Amanda McCabe for these beautiful arrangements

flowers solstice tara 1tara solstice flowers 2

Decorating St.Patricks well Tara with flowers on Summer Solstice evening.

flowers well solstice tara 2


lillys well tara

 20 June 2010 - Listening to the Soul of Summer

summer solstice 2010 st johns well

A Summer Solstice flower mandala with seasonal herbs and flowers. The Elements of Earth (Rock) in the north, Fire (Candle) in the south, Air (Feathers) in the East and Water (dish of water) in the West. Centre is represented by the Gold sun disk which connects the flower petals. The mandala sits on the coloured paper petals of a flower, made with sacred geometery which, if removed, magically makes a St. Johns cross......how appropriate for this Well (St. Johns and for the feast of St. John June 24th) 

summer solstice flower mandala

We started by simply tuning in  our own way to the spirit of place. Then we were gonged/drummed and rubbed with aromatic, seasonal herbs (Lovage, Mint, Fennell etc most of which were to do with Flatulence.....I wonder was the universe trying to tell us something there).  Everyone set to work building a flower petal Mandala and sat back for a meditation on realising the miracle of the dance of creation in a leaf or stone and recognising that same quality in ones self. This was followed by a summer solstice Dance to Pachelbel's Canon, a nice slow movement where people slowly and deliberately raised hands to a stand still or solstice point... Keeping in the theme of flowers, it was as if we were one giant big sun flower.....rhythmically opening and closing. The Mandala was ritually destroyed to release the energy into the wider world and Dolores used chanting and spiral dancing to tune in to the expansive energies at this time of the year.  Tom and Anne surprised us all with ice cream and we relaxed to the sound of Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald "Summertime and the livin' is easy"


Detail of East with bright yellow rising sun colour and element Air, represented by the swan feathers. 


The Mandala, beautiful as it was, was destroyed to release the beauty and creative force to the environment. The Flower petals close forming a complete circle of wholeness. 

mandala destruction

Flower petals were released into the stream to flow into the valley 

mandala flowing away1

Flotilla of flower petals making their way under the ancient bridge


One of the many statues at the well surrounded by orbs of bubbles.  Thanks to Bernadette for some of the wonderful photos. Thanks to all who came and sang and danced and enjoyed themselves. 

 st johns wellstone head

Dia daoibh, and Bright Summer Blessings to one and all!  And a happy WInter Solstice to everyone in the Southern Hemisphere.

Tara Celebrations Summer Solstice gathering will be a the lovely setting of this red well, dedicated to St. John and Mid-Summer.  Our theme, Listening to the Summer Soul, is partly inspired by the sounds of the water and birdsong amongst the trees here.  Our activities are planned to include connecting to the elements, so full and abundant this year, and creating a flowery mandala (please bring flowers if you can). We will also gently dance with the earth.  There will be time for personal meditation.  Please bring along any poetry, prose, song or other heartfelt expressions of the season to share.  If you cannot attend we shall be pleased to read out anything if you email it to us.  There will be seasonal food and drink to end the celebrations.


 Spout of St. John's well June 2010 - Delicious cold water


st johns well spout

Dolores sent the following poem which was in keeping with the meditation theme of the day:


The Summer Day by Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Volume I)

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down,
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.


I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Summer Solstice evening on Tara


warm up

Fhéileacáin preparing for their number at the Tara Solstice celebration

shane taff



Shane Taaffe

mastering the tricky beast

that is the Harp of Tara



Coscán raising the roof  - find their Tara Jig at http://www.coscan.net/ or  http://coscan.blip.tv/


crowds 2

Summer Solstice Sunrise

- many thanks to Anne for this photo - one of the early birds....

Crowds watching the last rays of summer solstice sun

P1030147sunset solstice grass


 solstice crowd1


21 June 2009 - Spontaneous


The ceremony will be an open group gathering of spontaneous sharing of whatever arises for those present at the  time.    If you feel inspired to bring verse, song, dance, short meditation please do or just come to enjoy being on the Hill of Tara.  With all the hill has been through over the past 10 years sure she would welcome one and all even if it is only to stand in silence.....which may may be more profound and meaningful than all the  ceremony in the world.   There are no photographs of all the wonderful people who gathered at this ceremony,  as it simply did not feel right to photograph this event

pepper and foliage


Flowers, foliage, fruit and veg are combined in St. Patricks church for a beautiful display of the abundance of the earth at this time of the year.


The local Tara Brigin Guides have been busy with pens and paints and their colourful banners of this sunny season are also be displayed.

 tara banners1tara banners3tara banners2   

Bird's eye view of the church

tara church

  Detail of some of the flowers

tara church plack

 Some of the flowers with a beautiful backdrop

 tara church flowers1

  Artistic or mad?

tara leek pepper

Anne brought some beautiful Lillies

tara lillys

 No your eyes do not deceive you, that is a spider on the back wall.....

tara pineapples

Girl guide artistic flair brightening the church for visitors


St. Patrick's well of Tara was decorated too - with a beautiful solstice flower arrangement

tara well solstice  tara sun flower

The Tadpoles born in Spring now with back legs and arm buds 


 Shane Taffe, an extra ordinary talented harper plays for the packed church

Harpist Shane taff

Coscán ending the evening with a blend of emotive spiritual pieces from all over the world had people dancing in the isles

DSC 1264

 Sunrise 4.57am.  Groups of local friends and visitors gathered at Teach Cormac.  At sunset
Sean Gilmartin talked in the Visitor Centre on the Myths & Mystery of Tara relating to geomancy and astronomy.....   Coscan and Shane Taffe played at the Visitor Centre.

A poem from Liz in Derbyshire

We are having a mixture of weather up in Derbyshire, very hot, then rain to follow, the gardens look lovely everywhere, havn't heard the cookoo round here now for the last two years, we've missed him, but the sparrows are back in my garden again, nice to see them. We have been lucky really with the bird life in my garden, we have lots of visitors even the shy wood pigeons who have paired up and have been around a long time,we sit and watch them with their young, its nice to see all the different feathered friends around, even the cat doesn't seem to mind them, think he is getting bit lazy nowerdays!
 Old Fashioned Flowers

 It's the old fashioned honeysuckle
The common hedgerow kind
That has the sweetest smell
And leaves a memory behind.
It's the old fashioned sweet peas
Like baby butterflies
That fill the room with fragrance
And entrance our waking eyes.

june 2009 032

Thanks to Anne for this lovely evocation of summer....

The sun rose gloriously golden this morning sending the misty clouds scurrying below the horizon.  The sky was reflected in the still estuary waters which was occasionally broken by shoals of early insect hunting fish. The heron stood silently watching, waiting for an unsuspecting fish to come close. Nearby the little egret searched for his breakfast in the shallower water. Out on the island the swans and ducks sunned them selves in the warming sun, stretching wings as they did their morning yoga. An attentive mother duck rounds up her offspring as she heads towards the reeds, wary of a possible pike attack. The swallows swoop and dive hoovering up insects on the wing. Near the elderberry laden hedgerow the thrush hammers his fresh caught snail on his stone anvil in anticipation of the juicy morsel inside. Above her a daring snail clings to the flower-head eating a late breakfast oblivious to the danger below. The robin sits in the willow serenading all who can hear him. And I was there with the camera. Heaven on earth.  I headed along the sea-lapped, lichen bedecked wall with its clinging mallows, past the small birch trees, the tall ash towards the sea marsh. Met a fellow soul food seeker on the way and heard that the kingfisher is back on the river. Maybe this summer I'll be lucky enough to take his picture. Further along the seawall another heron waited for breakfast to arrive. A single hare stood listening in the cornfield and sped away at the sound of the shutter click as i took his picture. A cloud of pigeons scattered to the four directions at the sound of a gunshot. The pheasant called from the meadow but the grasses are too tall for me to spot him. The skylark sings his praise from high above me and then drops from the sky to his nest. i wondered what else is hiding in the field, watching me from their hiding place. i headed back to the car, back towards the noisy, busy world and, as a plover whirls around the reeds, I give thanks for these precious moments that are my soulfood and think, At moments like this, it's so good to be alive.

heron   snail

Copyright © 2009 Anne Newman

21 JUNE 2008 - Abundance and Shadow

summer solstice predawn sunrise 08


At Summer Solstice the sun pauses on its yearly route through the heavens giving us the shortest night and longest day. This is a turning point, a time for celebration and abundance. Like the sun we also pause for thought to reflect on abundance and the impact of its shadow in our world. Last year we created a symbolic Mandala of the Heart  with flowers to connect with our spiritual selves. Starting the night before (June 20th) we observed the moon rise, which is in the same position as the winter solstice sunrise this year. This picture is looking out over the Gabhra Valley.

summer solstice full moon rise 08 

Then we lit a candle for Adge who loved this place with all his heart.

 night candle adge

Sunrise behind the Church, Lia Fáil in foreground.

lia fail tara summer solstice sunrise

Some of the Crowd gathered to drum up the sun.

tara summer solstice dawn crowd

Part of our Tara Celebration this year was to decorate the church with donated flowers.

tara summer solstice flower church window

Some of the detail on our Tara Summer Solstice Floral display

 tara summer solstice flower detail1

And some more beautiful flowers in our Tara Summer Solstice Display

tara summer solstice foxglovetara summer solstice flower pedistal

Now beautiful as the church was we had to conduct our blessing of water ceremony in the spills of rain. Its always a bad sign when even the cattle are taking shelter!!!

summer solstice tara sheltering cow


Our ceremony at 3.00pm was themed "Abundance and Shadow". Here we considered how we have a shadow side. Often when chasing after our spiritual truths we focus on the light which can blind us to our own imperfections. We considered what impacts our shadow has on our world at this time. The summer doesn't last forever and it is the first hint to see what we are creating in our winter reserves. We created a healing heart mandala of flower pettals.

healing heart mandala summer solstice tara

After the creation of the mandala came its ritual destruction.

The destruction of the mandala releases the healing intent it was infused with in our ceremony.

Mandala petals were spread skyward... 

tara solstice mandala sky dispersal

Some of the petals were poured into the stream to bring the healing into the valley...   Here some of the petals are seen in the water. Note the HEART shape white petal...

tara solstice 08 heart flower

Focus for the evening switched to the church where the crowd was delighted by the music of Coscán supported by the Shane and Ciara Taffe on harps.

tara summer solstice harp playing 

...and the line up - Coscán:   David Nevin, John Shankey, Harry Long and Gerry Doggett

tara summer solstice coscan 2 tara summer solstice coscan1

Coscán: David Nevin, John Shankey, Harry Long and (Gerry Doggett )

 Finally Tara and the weather relent and reward the evening visitors with a  bright white sun set on the shortest night of the year

tara summer solstice sun set 08


Many come just to enjoy the views, to stroll or have a picnic. Others join with friends to celebrate the longest day of the year in their own way. Some prefer to be private, whilst others share the special experience that is the Hill of Tara, making new friends along the way. The following gives an idea of the wide-range of folk you may come across and join in with.It all starts at Sunset on Solstice Eve, 20th June, when the sun sets at about 9.50pm. The optimists go up to stand around the Lia Fail at this time, looking westwards towards the legendary underworld lands of Mag Mell and Tir na nOg hoping for the beautiful colours of sundown.At Sunrise on the 21st we return to greet the new day.Drumming the sun around the Hill - 4am following the ceremonial entrance onto Tara at the Banqueting Hall up to the Lia Fail to watch sunrise.  Then every 4 hours during the day.7.30am Water ceremony at Holy Well. At 3pm the group, who meet at the eight festival times of the year, join with those who are out celebrating the day.The church will be decorated with flowers around the outside and maybe inside.Weather permitting someone will outline a Labryrinth in flour, near the Banqueting Hall.In the evening there will be music by Coscan and friends in the church.

 Whatever you decide to do,

and however you spend the day,

we wish everyone a wonderful

!   Happy Solstice !


2007 - The Harp & Fairy Treasures

At Teach Cormac, Tara, we entered through a temporary door.  We laid out cloth in the shape of a harp, using different colours, each carrying a positive symbolism.

The Fairy Treasures were recounted in the story of the arrival of the Tuath de Dannann - the sword in the east, the fire cauldron in the south, the spear in the west and the stone in the north.  We recounted the story of Boand and the story of the Salmon of Knowledge.

Finally we dismantled and destroyed the harp mandala, releasing all to the Universe.

Seeds shared at Imbolc on Tara flower across the 'Big Pond' at Summer Solstice 2007

lisas sunflower

2005 - Tara Festival

summer solstice 2005

The coming of Lugh: Annette Yamann, AnneMarie, Martin, Adge

 tara solstice 0

A damp and misty start to the summer solstice


Gathering on Solstice Eve at the Banqueting Hall

summer solstice
 Mandala of the Harp

mandalatara05  mandala tara detail


Page last updated: 26th May 2019