I’ve spent Imbolc to Alban Eilir in Ireland, finishing a book ‘The Gift of the Night’. The climax of this retreat and writing time was celebrating the Spring Equinox on a clear sunny day. Our day finished at Tulach a Tsolais, a monument to the attempt in 1798 to free Ireland of the English occupation – an event with tragic resonances to the struggle that continues in many places – but Ukraine in particular at the moment. Like New Grange this monument is aligned to the sun – but in this case to the hope symbolized by the sun of the Spring Equinox.
Tulach a Tsolais is in an incredible location, high up, with views of the sea out on the east coast to one side, and the Wicklow mountains to the other side. A truly special place. The sculpted wood benches you see on the film were made from 200 year old oak: trees that began their lives as those of the 1798 rebellion lost theirs.
I was invited to this spot by Guy Hayward of the British Pilgrimage Trust who is involved in a major project to create a new pilgrims’ way from Ferns in Ireland to St David’s in Wales. Since St Aidan travelled to Wales and learned bee-keeping from St David, they are thinking of calling this route ’The Way of the Bees’. More news on this as it develops.
Meanwhile, to learn more about The Way of the Bees see: https://britishpilgrimage.org/wexford-pembrokeshire-route-project/
Many thanks to Ian Tweedle of Guided Pilgrimage for the film, and Guy Hayward of The British Pilgrimage Trust for singing ‘The Green Blade riseth.
Below is a beautiful image of the monument beneath the Milky Way by Brian McDonald