customs and traditions

Irish Roots … and branch

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 […]

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Bealtaine and braces

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. […]

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A tale in the sting.

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 […]

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The seven invincible herbs

“There are seven herbs that nothing natural or supernatural can injure; they are vervain, John’s-wort, speedwell, eyebright, mallow, yarrow, and self-heal. But they must be pulled at noon on a bright day, near the full of the moon, to have full power.”  -ANCIENT LEGENDS, MYSTIC CHARMS, AND SUPERSTITIONS OF IRELAND WITH SKETCHES OF THE IRISH […]

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