Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

The Celtic year

The Green man of Spring returns to the woodlands.

In woodland places 1
Knockadrina woodlands, Knocktopher, County Kilkenny
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

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The Cult of the Green Man

Greenman :

Of all the pagan gods, the woodland spirit variously called the Green Man or Jack-in-the-Green is one that has lived on the longest in folklore.

The Green Man is seen mainly as a symbol of spring and the rebirth of the earth after winter.Carvings of Green Men can often be seen in churches, usually in the form of faces with branches and vines sprouting from nose and mouth.

HISTORY OF THE GREEN MAN

Magic in trees

The Magic of Trees

Stukeleys DruidIn Britain, the Druids worshipped such trees as the oak and the rowan and attributed great power to them. When people touch wood to ward off misfortune, this comes from the times when guardian spirits were supposed to live in trees. Touching the tree was a mark of respect to the spirit, as well as a plea for good fortune.

Woodland Gallery

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In woodland places 3

In woodland places 4

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The first flowers of Spring

The first signs of Spring 2014
Snow drops, the first flowers of spring
Nature photography : Nigel Borrington

Each January The first flowers of spring are the snow drops, I love to see these flowers, the winter is not yet over, yet they bring into your mind the spring that will soon be here.

Snow drops…..


Midwinters day and the pagan goddess of the winter

Midwinters day 2013
The stone circle at Castlerigg
Landscape photography: Nigel Borrington

Today is Mid winters day or the Winter Solstice.

History and cultural significance

The solstice itself may have been a special moment of the annual cycle of the year even during neolithic times. Astronomical events, which during ancient times controlled the mating of animals, sowing of crops and metering of winter reserves between harvests, show how various cultural mythologies and traditions have arisen. This is attested by physical remains in the layouts of late Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, such as Stonehenge in Britain and Newgrange in Ireland. The primary axes of both of these monuments seem to have been carefully aligned on a sight-line pointing to the winter solstice sunrise (Newgrange) and the winter solstice sunset (Stonehenge). Significant in respect of Stonehenge is the fact that the Great Trilithon was erected outwards from the centre of the monument, i.e., its smooth flat face was turned towards the midwinter Sun.

That sun on Midwinters day 2013
The Solstice Sun set.

The winter solstice may have been immensely important because communities were not certain of living through the winter, and had to be prepared during the previous nine months. Starvation was common during the first months of the winter, January to April (northern hemisphere) or July to October (southern hemisphere), also known as “the famine months”. In temperate climates, the midwinter festival was the last feast celebration, before deep winter began. Most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so it was almost the only time of year when a supply of fresh meat was available. The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking at this time. The concentration of the observances were not always on the day commencing at midnight or at dawn, but the beginning of the pre-Romanized day, which falls on the previous eve.

Since the event is seen as the reversal of the Sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, concepts of the birth or rebirth of sun gods have been common and, in cultures using winter solstice based cyclic calendars, the year as reborn has been celebrated with regard to life-death-rebirth deities or new beginnings such as Hogmanay’s redding, a New Year cleaning tradition. Also reversal is yet another usual theme as in Saturnalia’s slave and master reversals.

Midwinters day 2013 CAILLEACH BHEUR

CAILLEACH BHEUR : The Celtic Goddess of winter

CAILLEACH BHEUR : Scottish, Irish, Manx, Great Goddess in her Destroyer aspect; called “Veiled One”. Another name is Scota, from which Scotland comes. In parts of Britain she is the Goddess of Winter. She was an ancient Goddess of the pre-Celtic peoples of Ireland. She controlled the seasons and the weather; and was the goddess of earth and sky, moon and sun.


Ninemile house grave yard, Happy Halloween.

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Ninemile house Grave yard,
On the Kilkenny and Tipperary county borders.
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Happy Halloween! – welcome to Ninemile house grave yard, a place of rest OR is it ?

I few weeks back I visited this old Graveyard at Nine mile house, County Tipperary.

Halloween 7

This place just has to be one of the most atmospheric Grave yards in the local area. It is full of very old graves and the remains of an old chapel who’s insides have been used as the location of some graves dating from the 1800’s.

This is a place of rest however and a very peaceful location, But on Halloween night, well I just wonder ? ?

Halloween 6

For anyone who has been following my blog, they will know I love poetry, well last night I had a go at my own poem for Halloween!

A poem for Halloween

There is nothing in the dark…

Don’t run to the light, Run towards the night.
For ever fearing the Dark .

Don’t turn on a lights, Shining a torch into the blackness.

There is nothing in the Dark, No monsters to fear.

Nothing hiding in the blackness.

No possessions
No ghosts
No evil demons
No open graves
No devils to consume your soul
No vampires
No zombies
No omen of death
No!

Don’t look towards the stars, Fires of the heavens.
Hoping forever to be alive.

Don’t fear the blackness of the woods at night.

There is nothing in the dark,
nothing that is not just asleep in the day
and awake at night.

It is not the dark you should fear,
Fear the light.

In the dark there is rest,

A peace of your mind.

There is nothing in the dark but rest and a lack of light !

Halloween 1

Halloween 2

Halloween 3

Halloween 5


Knockroe

Knockroe pasage tomb 1
Nikon d7000, 35mm f1.8g lens
Knockroe passage tomb, county kilkenny
irish landscape photography

Knockrow passage tomb is located about 15km from Callan. county kilkenny and I have visited this tomb many time, The images in this post are from Monday this week, it was a warm and sunny October afternoon and a perfect day for walking around the area the tomb is located in.

Knockroe passage tomb, County Kilkenny was excavated in 1990. It has some 30 decorated stones and could be connected to Newgrange in the Boyne Valley, the front of the cairn flanking the eastern tomb was decorated with a frieze of quartz. Also, like Newgrange, the roof-box in the western tomb allows the rays of the sun to pass along the upward-sloping passage at the Winter Solstice (21st December), when it illuminates a tall red-sandstone portal.

Unlike Newgrange however these rays pass through the roofbox at sunset rather than sunrise. The other aspect of Knockroe that makes it worth investigating is that until its discovery, the prior most southern site of its kind was at Baltinglass Hill in County Wicklow. And the fact that there are two tombs on the one site also marks it out as uncommon.

Two of the images below show a track that at some point in the past was cut through the centre of the tomb, for a farm on the hill just above, thankfully it looks like any damage was not to the most important parts of the site. but no one knows for sure what was removed.

Knockroe passage tomb : Gallery

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Now that Autumn has begun (Two Autumn Poems)

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Autumn colours in the Landscape
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Autumn

By : Dorian Petersen Potter

Autumn comes singing in
Displaying her treasures’ galore.
So prettily dressed she grins
Spreading more beauty than before

She transforms the trees one by one,
She paints their leaves with new hues.
There’s a different kind of fun,
Now that Autumn has begun

Fires of autumn time 2
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There’s a magic in the air,
In the smells and all the colors.
Cool breeze plays with my hair,
While her beauty I just stare!

Autumn has come back at my door,
What a sight! It’s the season I adore

Fires of autumn time 3
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Amber Glow

By : Wesley Mincin

Red and yellow painted leaves
hang idly within the trees
They break and sail along the breeze
As fires of Autumn’s time

They dance and surf upon the ground
Overlap each other with ruffling sound
A setting I am glad I found
As fires of Autumn’s time

Fires of autumn time 4

Like fires of the Autumn season
they leap and dance without a reason
A factor of Autumns many seasons
As fires of Autumn’s time’

The grey clouds break, the sun appears
The dancing leaves appear to sere
These flames its kept for many years
As fires of Autumn’s time


Kilkenny landscape photography

In A September woodland 7
All images taken using a Nikon D700
In a Kilkenny woodland, September 2013, the start of the fall
Kilkenny Landscape and nature Photography, Nigel Borrington

In A September woodland, County Kilkenny

The local Kilkenny woodlands in September are full of colour, the Leafs are starting to turn yellow and fall, their yellow colours are just wonderful.

The start of the Autumn fall, Kilkenny woodland gallery

In A September woodland 1

In A September woodland 2

In A September woodland 3

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Autumnal Equinox – Sunday

Sunday evening 22nd Sept 2013
Autumnal Equinox sunset.
Irish landscape photography by Nigel Borrington

Sunday and today marks the autumnal equinox, the time when the day light and dark of the night are exactly equal.

Why is it called an Equinox?

On the equinox, night and day are nearly exactly the same length – 12 hours – all over the world. This is the reason it’s called an “equinox”, derived from Latin, meaning “equal night”/

The September equinox occurs the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator – from north to south.

This happens either on September 22, 23, or 24 every year. On any other day of the year, the Earth’s axis tilts a little away from or towards the Sun. But on the two equinoxes, the Earth’s axis tilts neither away from nor towards the Sun.

So a happy Equinox to everyone !


Castlerigg stone circle, Keswick in Cumbria, September Equinox

Castlerigg stone circle
Castlerigg stone circle, Keswick in Cumbria
Landscape photography, Nigel Borrington

September Equinox, 22nd of September

There are two equinoxes every year – in September and March – when the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. Seasons are opposite on either side of the equator, so the equinox in September is also known as the “autumnal (fall) equinox” in the northern hemisphere. However, in the southern hemisphere, it’s known as the “spring (vernal) equinox”.

The Earth’s postion during the September equinox (ill. not to scale).

September Equinox in Kilkenny, Ireland is on the
Sunday, 22 September 2013, 21:44 IST

Castlerigg stone circle

The stone circle at Castlerigg (alt. Keswick Carles, Carles, Carsles or Castle-rig) is situated near Keswick in Cumbria, North West England. One of around 1,300 stone circles in the British Isles and Brittany, it was constructed as a part of a megalithic tradition that lasted from 3,300 to 900 BCE, during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages.

Various archaeologists have commented positively on the beauty and romance of the Castlerigg ring and its natural environment. In his study of the stone circles of Cumbria, archaeologist John Waterhouse commented that the site was “one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain.”

Every year, thousands of tourists travel to the site, making it the most visited stone circle in Cumbria. This plateau forms the raised centre of a natural amphitheatre created by the surrounding fells and from within the circle it is possible to see some of the highest peaks in Cumbria: Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Grasmoor and Blencathra.


Boann, goddess of the River Boyne. A Gallery and Poem.

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A Story told by: Deanne Quarrie

Boann, Deanne Quarrie

Boann is the Irish goddess of the river Boyne. Her name means “She of the white cattle.” She was the wife of Nechtain and the beloved of the Dagda, the Good God. It is possible she could be a later naming of Danu Herself. Aenghus mac Og, her son, was the product of the affair between Boann and Dagda. In order to keep the pregnancy secret, the Dagda halted the sun for the term of the goddess’s pregnancy, and so Aenghus was born out of time.

Boann is a Goddess of fertility and the stars. She connects the Way of the White Cow to the White Mound of the Boyne. She gives her name to the preeminent brugh in all of Ireland, Brugh na Boinne. She is honored mid-winter at Imbolc.

Fresh water 2

Many ancient peoples had stories of floods in which water was both honored as a life bringer and as a destroyer. Water was seen as something that “escaped” from the realms of the gods.

In many of the stories it seemed to be a female who was involved when water, would through some disaster, come to the land, bringing growth and abundance though turbulence.

Probably the most famous version of this myth in Celtic tradition is the Irish story of the Well of Segais.

Growing around this well were nine hazel trees of wisdom, whose nuts fell into the water and gave it the quality of divine illumination, much sought-after by those seeking this wisdom.

Boann was the wife of Nechtan, keeper of the sacred Well of Segais, which was a source of knowledge. Only Nechtan and his cupbearers were permitted to approach the well. The goddess Boann desired to drink from the well herself, to increase her power.

Fresh water 1

She attempted to challenge the Well of Segais, by going around the well chanting, circling widdershins (counterclockwise, or against the sun direction) . She circled the well three times, as she chanted “amrun.” The well rose against her incantations. Three waves rose up from the well which then flowed forth in five streams and drowned her. Because she was of the Sidhe, she did not die. She lost an arm, a leg and an eye in her battle with the well.

The five streams of wisdom that flowed from this well represent our five senses: taste, smell, feeling, sight and hearing. In her contest with the Well of Segais, Boann experienced “shamanic death” of drowning. In so doing, she gained the Wisdom of Segais as it swept her away.

Manannan said of this….

Fresh water 3

“I am Manannan, son of Ler, king of the Land of Promise; and to see the Land of Promise was the reason I brought [thee] hither. . . . The fountain which thou sawest, with the five streams out of it, is the Fountain of Knowledge, and the streams are the five senses through which knowledge is obtained. And no one will have knowledge who drinketh not a draught out of the fountain itself and out of the streams.”

From this, we learn that we must experience through all of who we are, through all of the five senses which must be open. This is our gift from Boann.

Boann can be a great ally for poetic composition and many other forms of artistic expression. Invoking or singing Boann’s name while sitting next to a river or stream can be a very powerful and inspiring experience. Clear the mind, open the soul, and listen to the music of Boann playing from the waters. You will always go away a new person.

Vigil at the Well

A rock ledge. A dark pool.
Pale dawn and cold rain.
And a woman alone
holding three coins.

She circles the well
three times in the rain.
She offers the coins
to a great ancient tree
then bends to the pool.

A glimmer of silver.

Dawn striking the pool?

A fish in its depths?

The pool stills again.

The sky blazes red.

The woman gets up.

Nothing seems changed.

But the next day a wind
blows warm from the sea.

Boann suite de reels


Stone circle in the comeragh mountains

comeragh mountains stone circle 2
All images using a Sigma SD15, 15-30mm lens, iso 50
Comeragh mountains – stone circle
Irish landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Stone circles

Comeragh Mountains stone circle location

For myself I love being out on a summer evening walking in the hills, a lot of the Irish hill sides are defined as common land and even though farmed by the same families for many generations these areas are by law open land.

The Comeragh mountains in county waterford has many locations well worth finding but for myself the most interesting are the neolithic monuments and grave sites.

While out last evening I came across this stone circle resting in one of the many valleys in this area, it once would have been a monumental site with its some eight foot high standing stones used to mark the passing of the farming year.

Ireland has a wealth of prehistoric sites that few since the Christian period pay any attention to, for myself however this is where the true history of Ireland exists, People existed in small communities at a local level, however they had everything in common with and communicated with people throughout Europe.

They existed in nature, out in the wilds and they understood the world around them with their very survival in mind, they held personal skill that they learnt from each other.

This stone circle marks those skill’s very well as measuring the seasons was vital to them.

NB: I have circled the above map to locate the stone circle and give some idea as to its size.

Comeragh mountains stone circle – Gallery

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Mid-summers day 2013

Pagan beliefs Air
Fuji film x100
Sunrise over kilkenny

Midsummer’s day 2013

Midsummer’s Eve/Litha/Feill-Sheathain/Alban Hefin/Gwyn Canol Haf

The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year falling circa June 22 when the Sun enters Cancer (this year 20 June 2012 19:09 EDT). This is the time of celebrating the Earth’s bounty. The God is vibrant and at the peak of his power and the Goddess is fertile and pregnant. This reflects in our fertile gardens, brimming with life and and the fruits of our labor. The Sun is bright and strong. Animals in nature have established families they are showing off to the world. Midsummer is a celebration of the Earth and all she provides for us, also known as Litha after an ancient European fertility Goddess. This is also time sacred for the Fae and is one of the days one can see the them (keep a sprig of rue in your pocket so they don’t lead you away!!)…This is the time when the Oak King and Holly King battle for supremacy again, Holly King emerges triumphant this time around, they meet again at the Winter Solstice when the Oak King shall prevail.
Activities:

Midsummer is a good time to see the Fae folk; skip through your garden ensures fertility (not necessarily your own fertility) for the season; renew your vows/affirmations/bond with the God/Goddess; Stay up the entire night (old custom); harvest your herbs and other light garden work (weeding, etc.); have a bonfire (if you are oh, so lucky to have the place & clearance to do so!!); If you practice sex magic today is a powerful day to do so; ideas for family: spend a day at the beach, go birdwatching (be sure to bring a bird guide!), gather flowers and make Midsummer crowns or garlands for you hair and/or altar.

Incense: Wisteria, Rose, Mints
Decor: Suns, green plants, flowers, early garden bounty, herbs, bees, butterflies, birds, dragonflies,etc.
Herbs/Flowers: St. John’s Wort, Fennel, Vervain, Trefoil, Mugwort, Lavender, Rose, Fern, Daisy, Elder, Honeysuckle, Oak, Chamomile
Colors: Red, Yellow, Gold (represents the Sun God), various shades of green
Stones: Jade, Garnet, Lapis Lazuli=psychic awareness & fertility of mind & body (for more info on lapis visit http://www.earthbow.com/crystals/lapis.htm) ,diamonds

Knockroe, County Kilkenny

Knockroe passage tomb
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Each midsummers there is a meeting at knockroe passage grave, Co Kilkenny to mark the rising and setting of the mid summers sun.

Knockroe Markings


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We welcome in Mid summers day !


The Pagan Moon

St Marys and the moon

Esbats and Moon Phases
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The Esbats are the Wiccan Full Moon Celebrations.

There are 12 – 13 Full Moons yearly, or one every 28.1/4 days.
The Moon is symbolic of the Goddess, as well as a source of energy.
Each Moon has a traditional name.

Each Full Moon has a different meaning and magickal purpose. Because of this, it is a good idea to plan your Full Moon Rituals to work with the meaning and purpose of the Moon. The Full Moon is also a traditional time for divinations of all kinds, as the power of the Moon aids in such work.

January – Wolf Moon Plan a ritual of protection around your home and family.
February – Storm Moon Plan a ritual to ask the Old Ones for help in planning your future.
March – Chaste Moon Plan a ritual to help fulfill your wishes is appropriate.
April – Seed Moon Plan a ritual to physically plant your seeds of desire in Mother Earth.
May – Hare Moon Plan a ritual to reaffirm your goals.
June – Dyad (pair) Moon Plan a ritual to balance your spiritual and physical desires.
July – Mead Moon Plan a ritual to decide what you will do once your goals have been met.
August – Wyrt (green plant) Moon Plan a ritual to preserve what you already have.
September – Barley Moon Plan a ritual of Thanksgiving for all the Old Ones have given you.
October – Blood Moon Plan a ritual to remember those who have passed from this world, and be sure to make an offering to them.
November – Snow Moon Plan for a ritual to work on ridding yourself of negative thoughts and vibrations.
December – Oak Moon Plan for a ritual to help you remain steadfast in your convictions.

A Blue Moon is variable and occurs when the Moon with it’s 28 day cycle
appears twice within the same calendar month, due to that month’s 31 day duration.

New Moon – Sometimes the moon phases are broken down further, where the new moon represents enchantments and temptations. These properties are also present at any other times during a lunar phase when the moon is unseen or clouded over.

Waxing Moon – New beginnings, protection, positive magick for growth, magick to bring things to you.

Full Moon – Any magick can be done during the full moon because magickal energies have reached their peek. This is the ideal time to do any magick.

Waning Moon – Banishments, bindings, removing yourself from negative influences, negative magick ONLY to protect yourself.

Irish Moon Gods

Elatha
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In Irish mythology, Elatha or Elathan (modern spelling: Ealadha) was a prince of the Fomorians and the father of Bres by Eri of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The imagery surrounding him (he visits Ériu at night by sea on a silver boat) suggests he may once have been a moon god.

Elatha is quoted as being the “The beautiful Miltonic prince of darkness with golden hair”. He was the son of Dalbaech and a king of the Fomor, he was father of Bres by Eri, a woman of the Tuatha de Danann. He came to her over the sea in a vessel of silver, himself having the appearance of a young man with yellow hair, wearing clothes of gold and five gold torcs. He was one of the Fomor who took part in the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh.

During the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh, Elatha, son of Dalbaech, watched over Dagda’s magic harp, Uaithne, sometimes called Dur-da-Bla, the Oak of Two Blossoms, and sometimes Coir-cethar-chuin, the Four-Angled Music. He is said to have a sense of humor and a sense of nobility.

Though considered to be the Fomorian father of Eochu Bres, Elatha (Elada) was also the father of the Dagda, Ogma, a son named Delbaeth, and Elloth (the father of Manannan mac Lir) according to the Lebor Gabala Erinn. The mother of these “Tuatha De Danann” chiefs may have been Ethne, the mother of Lug, based on Ogma’s often cited matronymic “mac Ethliu.” Since Ethne was Fomorian, this means they are all Fomorians. This is rather confusing, but may betray the battle between the two groups as actually being about the new generation of gods displacing the older generation.

Elatha and Bres

She told him that his father was Elatha, one of the Kings of the Fomorians; that he had come to her one time over a level sea in a great vessel that seemed to be of silver; that he himself had the appearance of a young man with yellow hair, his clothes decked with gold and five rings of gold around his neck. She had refused the love of all the young men of her own people, had given him her love and cried when he had left her.

Before he left he had given her a ring from his own hand and had bade her give it only to the man whose finger it would fit. Eri brought out the ring and put it on the finger of Bres and it fit him well. She and Bres and some of their followers then set out of the land of the Fomorians. At long last they came to that faraway land. Elatha the local King saw the ring on Bres’s hand and asked him the whole story and said that Bres was his own son. Elatha then asked Bres what it was that drove him out of his own country and his own kingship. Bres answered truthfully: “Nothing drove me out but my own injustice and my own hardness; I took away their treasures from the people and their jewels and their food itself. And there were never taxes put on them before I was their King. And still I am come to look for fighting men that I may take Ireland by force”. Elatha listened and then bade him go to the chief King of the Fomorians, Balar of the Evil Eye.

Names

These are the names that Elatha has gone by and where that name stems from.

Elatha – Rolleston (author): Myths and Legends of Celtic Race
Elathan – Squire (author): Mythology of the Celtic People
Elathan – Lady Gregory (author): Gods and Fighting Men

Elathan represents an incorrect usage by Squire and Lady Gregory as Elathan is the genitive case of Elatha and means ‘of Elatha’.


Earth

Earth the birth of  life

Connected to the North,

Earth is considered the ultimate feminine element, Earth is fertile and stable, associated with the Goddess. The planet itself is a ball of life, and as the Wheel of the Year turns, we can watch all the aspects of life take place in the Earth: birth, life, death, and finally rebirth. The Earth is nurturing and stable, solid and firm, full of endurance and strength. In color correspondences, both green and brown connect to the Earth, for fairly obvious reasons! In Tarot readings, the Earth is related to the suit of Pentacles or Coins.

Earth the birth of new life

Mother goddess is a term used to refer to a goddess who represents motherhood, fertility, creation, or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.

Celtic Goddess

The Irish goddess Anu, sometimes known as Danu, has an impact as a mother goddess, judging from the Dá Chích Anann near Killarney, County Kerry. Irish literature names the last and most favored generation of deities as “the people of Danu” (Tuatha De Danann). The Welsh have a similar figure called Dôn who is often equated with Danu and identified as a mother goddess. Sources for this character date from the Christian period, however, so she is referred to simply as a “mother of heroes” in the Mabinogion. The character’s (assumed) origins as a goddess are obscured.

Celtic goddes

The Celts of Gaul worshipped a goddess known as Dea Matrona (“divine mother goddess”) who was associated with the Marne River. Similar figures known as the Matres (Latin for “mothers”) are found on altars in Celtic as well as Germanic areas of Europe.

The pagan earth

In many cultures, earth spirits are beings that are tied to the land and plant kingdom. Typically, these beings are associated with another realm, the forces of nature that inhabit a particular physical space, and landmarks like rocks and trees.

In Celtic mythology, the realm of the Fae is known to exist in a parallel space with the land of man. The Fae are part of the Tuatha de Danaan, and live underground. It’s important to watch out for them, because they’re known for their ability to trick mortals into joining them.

Gnomes feature prominently in European legend and lore. Although it’s believed that their name was coined by a Swiss alchemist named Paracelsus, these elemental beings have long been associated in one form or another with the ability to move underground.

Grange Crag Walk 5

Likewise, elves often appear in stories about the land. Jacob Grimm collected a number of stories about elves while compiling his book Teutonic Mythology, and says that elves appear in the Eddas as supernatural, magic-using beings. They appear in a number of old English and Norse legends.


Spring; The age of rebirth

Kilkenny Landscape

Fujifilm X100
Kilkenny Landscape photography
By, Nigel Borrington

“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?” ~Edward Giobbi


Midwinter: The Birth of the Sun

Midwinter: The Birth of the Sun

Midwinter marks the shortest day of the year, and marks the darkest, coldest part of winter, when the sun appears to be at its weakest. The decline of the sun is often accompanied by careful vigils and the lighting of fires and candles to encourage the return of the sun’s strength.

Christmas, of course, predates European Christianity. Curiously, however, it shares a similar origin to later festivals, as it was quite deliberately instituted to compete with pagan solar nativities celebrated in Rome during the earliest years of Christianity. The first versions of the Christian observance of the birth of Christ were offered as an alternative celebration to the boisterous ruckus of the Saturnalia. Many of the customs we associate with Christmas in fact originated with the Saturnalia celebrations, and European Christians often shunned the holiday as a pagan remnant. The Celtic (and Norse) pagan contributions to the holiday include mistletoe and even Christmas trees.


Samain, The Celtic new year.

The 1st of November, marks the start of the Celtic new year or Samain/Samhain.

The Celtic New year,

It was believed that this time of year marked a very spiritual time, the underworld became visible and the sides of the mounds were opened. A ritual was held on this night that marked rebirth of the gods and goddess, Ireland’s fires held a sacred flame and the years cycle was started a fresh.

The Celtic new year

Samain, The Celtic new year.

Kilkenny Photographer : Nigel Borrington


Images of Autumn – Glenpatrick Clonmel

Glen Patrick Clonmel, Autumn 2011

Glen Patrick, Clonmel, Autumn 2011, Nigel Borrington

21st of October and Autumn has taken a full grip of the Irish landscape, Winter is just around the corner.

These images are from Glenpatrick woods, just above Clonmel in Country Tipperary.

Glen Patrick Clonmel, Autumn 2011, Nigel Borrington

Glen Patrick, Clonmel, Autumn 2011, Nigel Borrington

Landscape photography of Ireland by Nigel Borrington


Autumn Equinox

The 23rd September Equinox Explained

Autumn_Equinox

Autumn Equinox : Nigel Borrington

The 2011 September equinox occurs at 09:04 (or 9:04am) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on September 23, 2011. It is also referred to as the autumnal or fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, as well as the spring or vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere (not to be confused with the March equinox). This is due to the seasonal contrasts between both hemispheres throughout the year.

What happens during the September equinox?

The sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward in the northern hemisphere during the September equinox. The location on the earth where the sun is directly overhead at solar noon is known as the subsolar point. The subsolar point occurs on the equator during the September equinox and March equinox. At that time, the earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the earth and the sun. This is the time when many people believe that the earth experiences 12 hours of day and night.

Images from the Waterford Coast line for the 23rd September 2011

The Celtic year is almost over, Samain is almost here!

Landscape photography by Kilkenny photographer : Nigel Borrington