When I take part in Sacred Travel, I am careful not to over-plan, as I am aware that the hidden gems lay in the hand of the locals. That being said, there were two items on my list for Northern Ireland…Sleive Gullion & the Giants Causeway.
Traveling in early September is ideal for missing out on long lines at popular spots, that are considered national landmarks, as long as you are OK with a bit of unpredictable weather. Me, I do just fine with such thing, and always remember to pack for any kind of weather…raincoat & thin parkas are advised. There are benefits to traveling in September, such as kids going back to school, which means the crowds are a lot more manageable.
Having experienced this at Blarney Castle, where the normal wait to kiss the stone could be an hour & I was fourth in line, we decided to take our chances and drive straight to the causeway ourselves, skipping the tour bus option.
Where the first part of our travels had been by BusEireann, we were lucky enough to borrow a car from our host; the O’Hanlon family, in Dublin & the North. (I will speak of them more in my next blog Welcomed as a Druid) The drive from Mullagbawn; the place we called our home in the North, to the Giants Causeway was about 2.5 hours. The path we drove was a beautiful one showing us both the mountainous countryside & the city of Belfast.
This journey showed subtle signs of ‘the Troubles’ (the ethno-nationalist conflict in Northern Ireland during the late 20th century), mostly in the form of flags. It was easy to determine which side of the coin a community sat on, by whether they flew flags of the Republic or the Union Jack.
Like the wise-woman I am, I make it a point not to get involved in battles that have never been mine, and I never talk politics or religion with strangers…OK, well maybe religion/spirituality with strangers, but only when its business. Generally I choose the path of love, and observation, often thinking of myself as similar to an anthropologist in such situations, I am there to watch and learn, not to judge. I find this a good rule of life.
When we got to our destination we again were easily able to get into the park. *I just want to state here that the parks are very reasonably priced, with the funds going to the upkeep and care of the national monuments*
Stepping out the door of the visitors center; into the park itself, I was nearly overcome with emotion. Like just about every sacred place I experience, I find myself with tears welling up in my eyes,and my body buzzing with energy. Looking back on it I am filled with deep emotion, for the connection to Spirit in such places is overwhelming.
The feeling I had at the Giants Causeway was one of remembrance. It was a place known to my soul, the cliffs and ocean breeze, the stones with their hexagonal shape were familiar to me. I had been here before in another lifetime. When moments like this come over me I find myself existing between the worlds, with timelines buffeting me like the waves of the sea. I am both Salicrow, and more. I am walking in the present and the past simultaneously.
We had received the hand held device; like all the other tourist, that were suppose to tell us something of the history, at various stops along the way. But we soon found that to be a waste, as neither my husband nor myself cared much for the tutorial. I for one, was there to experience the water, stone and nature beings that called the place home.
Even in the quiet season, there were still hundreds of people there, but I was able to find a space on the rocks that was not populated by others. It helps that I was raised in the White Mountains, and joke about being part billy-goat, able to nimbly find my footing in rough terrain.
Finding my spot, I set out my offerings and opened myself to the Genius Locus/the Spirit of Place. I sang my spirit song to the rock beings, the Giants of the Causeway, and to the ancestors of the land who had tread there long before the buses and multi-racial people populated it’s stones. You can find some video footage of me singing there on my Facebook page, unfortunately I forgot my microphone at home, and the wind was pretty intense often drowning my voice out.
The work that brought me to the Giants was that of welcoming them to the table, calling them forward to share their strength in these trying times. For I often see myself as an ambassador to the Spirit realm, finding myself traveling about on tasks set before me by god/goddess/universe. I do this work because I am a communicator, able to speak not only to the Spirits of the Dead, but to those of Nature. As a Druid this is my role, one I was given by Spirit shortly before my graduation at Stone Hedge.
Laying on my back on a very large stone in the woods of Dreamland (the land in Vermont that I did my Druid training on), I was seeking my role as a Druid. What was it I was meant to do? How could I best serve the Earth, particularly in these trying times of climate change and over population? The answer had come to me quickly…I was to be a communicator. I often refer to myself as being similar to Deanna Troi in Star Trek, the Next Generation. My work is that of understanding, and perceiving. I come to the table without judgement, I do not expect other beings to have the same rules of engagement as myself, and I understand that sentience is not limited to the arrogance of human beings.
Meeting with the Giants was a lot softer then one might expect. They had known of my coming, as I had connected to others of their kind before in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and to cousins of theirs in Iceland.
I do not begin to understand what will happen at the table in which I believe all beings are being called to, I simply am there as the ambassador, giving the invitation to attend.
We are all going through these times of change. It is not just our planet. We alone cannot be the only players at the game, for surely by now we can see what a mess we have made of disconnecting ourselves from the spirit world, and the world of nature. Many cultures still hold great value in the unseen world, Ireland being one of them. Many of their people still hold a strong connection to the lore of the Fae beings, to the fairies, and giants, and dryads, and in other lands the belief in trolls, huldafolk. It is time for us to open our senses and perceive that we have the power to make great change, but only when we see that the world is much more vast then we could ever imagine, and there are many more beings living here then the ones we see with the our eyes.
I hope you enjoyed the read folks…I will keep them coming for the next couple of days, so keep checking back to see where my journey has taken me. I will be back in the States on the 13th of September.