Today is the 1st of February. To some that means Lá Fhéile Bríde or a Christianised ‘Saint Brigid’s day’ and to others it is Imbolc. To everyone in Ireland it is the first of Spring – not having succumb to Roman invasion, we kept our birth of spring with the birth of lambs and the […]More
author of wellness books and books about Irish culture.
Our oldest traditions carry with them respect and appreciation for trees. Ireland to its first human dwellers was a deeply forested place. And trees are still deeply significant to the mythology and culture expression of the Irish psyche. Our national sport is played with hunks of ash tree and the proficiency with a Hurley is how Cúchullain […]More
‘Sharp’ is word that Irish people use to mean clever – you know “the sharpest tool in the tool box” sort of thing – or “not the sharpest tool”, as the case may be. A sharp tool is a sharpened tool – honed, worked upon, cared for, appreciated. One of my favourite seanfhocail is ‘Aithnigh cú […]More
There is a great Irish saying ‘Bíonn dhá insint ar scéal agus dhá leagan déag ar amhrán – There are two versions to a story and twelve arrangements to a song’. As humans, we are the stories we tell ourselves – there is no getting away from it. It is hard wired into our brain […]More
Bealtaine is both the month of May (Mí Bhealtaine) and a very specific day – the 1st of May – the day of protection. ‘Bealtaine’ translates as the bright fire; a festival of light, when the fires of purification were lit. An agricultural festival marking the start of summer and a return to farmable weather. […]More
There was an old custom, particularly in county Cork and one or two other places around Ireland that May Eve (April 30th) was celebrated as “Nettlemas Night”; nettles may be gathered for making soup and the children would play stinging games with a wand of nettles – stinging their friends and passers-by. To that I […]More
In the Irish seanfhocail tradition you often find the best advice wrapped in wonderful imagery – it sinks the lesson in that bit deeper. One of my favourites is Ná bris do loirgín ar stól nach bhfuil i do shlí – Do not break your shin on a stool that is not in your way. […]More