A Spiritual Quest...
At last some leisure time, Seppi my friend from Lewis and I had a whole weekend to explore county Meath & County Louth in Ireland, before I worked in Ardee for 2 days last Monday and Tuesday.
We had planned the visit as we had been told about New Grange but to have a whole weekend of visiting sacred and historical sites with out kids was amazing.To take time, read all the signs, feel the silence was food for the soul, then to have the evenings - Guinness, good red wine and fine Irish cuisine staying in a posh hotel thanks to an upgrade with priority club was sublime.
Many of you will know about my passion for spirals and search for spiritual meaning that they have taken me on, so to visit Knowth and New Grange was an exciting climax to the weekend.
We started out on the Friday, visiting Monasterboice and the huge Celtic crosses there, followed by a visit to a castle and driving down the back roads to Dundalk where we were staying. The hotel was pleasant with a lovely big room with 2 huge beds. We had a brief rest before hitting the town, we felt like 2 teenagers again, 2 pints of Guinness later we decided to find somewhere to eat. The restaurant next door had been recommended by the taxi driver, and it was good - we had a wonderful rum concoction whilst we waited for a table and spent the next 3 hours gassing, eating and drinking good red wine.
Next day we visited the Cooley mountains home of the Tain legends, drove around trying to find various megalithic monuments, some were more elusive than others and spent the evening watching “strictly come dancing” then to the hotel restaurant for a reasonable meal.
Sunday we had made for New Grange we set out in anticipation, I felt very excited and quite intense, as to what effect the place would have on me.
Knowth the first mound was probably more interesting than New Grange, it had less visitors and you can't go into the centre of the mound, but the art work on the stones were incredible, many were covered in spirals, diamonds and other shapes and they were carved into the stones 3600 years ago. Knowth has half the worlds known Neolithic art on the stones surrounding the mound, it is an incredibly spiritual and sacred place. And has chambers facing the east and west for the autumn and spring equinox.
New Grange you are allowed right into the centre of the burial chamber, at one point they turn out the lights and simulate the sun rising on the winter solstice for 17 minutes the light enters the burial chamber, even the simulation felt very moving. What caught my eye was the stone carving of a fern, obviously this was related to the spirals but was the first time I had seen the fern symbol outside of NZ.
What interests me more is that the spiral is both a Maori and Celtic symbol both interpret it as a sign of renewal, growth, regeneration, recovery.
The people also share similar traits, great warriors, live in a clan system, women are revered and they both talk to their ancestors.
Interestingly it was NZ that started my spiritual quest and moving to Lewis has continued that journey.
The feeling that returns to me again and again is that doing the recovery work is part of my spiritual destiny. It feels so right to be doing this work there is such a strong feeling in my heart when we run the champions course and I watch as people start to heal themselves. If I can be this catalyst for healing what an honour that is. If one person on one of our courses goes away with a sparkle back in their eye and a sense of developing pride in themselves then what a fantastic life I have. I have felt the need to be identified as a healer for a few years now, sometimes that feels authentic sometimes I really question am I up to this, but I suppose the most important aspect is to remember that the person heals themselves I just put my self out there willing to walk a little bit of the journey with them.
Recovery for me is definitely about Love, deep love for the human condition, for our vulnerability, for our frailties, for our humanness. I am a flawed person, with my own guilt and shame but I can be a role model for others to believe that this life is truly worth living.