Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Thresholds Crossed into 2015

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

The calendar New Year does not often feature in pagan festivities, yet it a liminal time; a threshold is crossed and thresholds, as we know, are thin places of transition, magic and manifestation. 

In Ireland, however, the whole period from Solstice/Yule through to Nollaig na mBan (Women's Christmas/Epiphany) has a pagan quality.  Unless you are actively associated with devout, practicing Christians, Ireland often feels to me the best place to celebrate the winter holidays.  You don't have to be celebrating with self-identified pagans or out of the broom closet witches either. It all seems to happen organically. Maybe Spirit is just pagan in the Irish air.

Each year the Beloved and I spend New Year in a Drum retreat with other like-minded souls. Some people would describe them as 'Tribal'- eco-friendly, djembe drum and singing enthusiasts.  It is an inter-generational gathering, family friendly event that is also, if not entirely alcohol free, astonishingly low alcohol for Ireland on a New Year. The drumming is the thing! And there are percussion instruments for kids from babies up to participate.

The Candlelight Retreat is led by Debbie Beirne of Ruach Rhythms. We joke that she never has a plan, but what happens in this circle of 40 souls is a that a spirit of trust descends and we are led to collectively create a New Year Threshold Crossing ritual.

We all play a part one way or other - decking the halls into a magical space, cooking, sharing in the feast, drumming, dancing, singing, dreaming deeply into the New Year. 

Part of the ritual this year was to cross through the veil of the old year, to state intentions for the new year and then to have that intention reflected back to you as a gift.  My intention for 2015 is to propagate creativity, especially through my own writing and in teaching creative writing. So my Gift for 2015 is Sharing.  A spiral was painted on my cheek as a symbol of that intention. 

And then I crossed the threshold.

Thesholds are always thin places. Thin places are always magical spaces for manifestation.

This wasn't a pagan ritual, but it was a sacred space that embraced the collection of souls there to hold each other in this transitional space.  The past two years have been challenging for many, but it feels as if the Shift has just about finished shifting.  The transition is happening.

May you feel the blessing of this liminal time. A door closes. A door opens. May 2015 feel a gift to you.


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Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Friday, 09 January 2015

    Have a wonderful new year! I look forward to seeing what it's going to be like for us.

  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith Monday, 19 January 2015

    The Cailleach has been throwing down lightening and thunder snow here. And it all feels just as it ought to of be as we move towards the renewal that is the Feast of Bridget.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Monday, 19 January 2015

    Your remark about the lightening and thunder and Brigid's festival makes experiential gut sense to me. Major mojo!

  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith Tuesday, 20 January 2015

    A friend on artist retreat in Taos has commented on the weather synchronicities we have experienced over many time zones. It all feels so shifting from Brigit's cailleach to maiden mode. Yikes! Our black cat just trod over the keyboard!:)

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