Bealtaine Fires: Ireland’s Seasonal Festivals in Place, Myth, and Culture
The next Spirit in the City is a vivid visual exploration of Ireland’s Seasonal Festivals in place, myth, and culture, past and present, and their relevance today, to you and your story.
This talk by Mary MacKenna is based on her presentation at the International Ritual Year Conference held in Cork some years ago, and is inspired by the recent “Study of Myth” symposium, with it’s focus on the work of Joseph Campbell, held in Santa Barbara, California in 2012.
On the night:
Traditional societies are attuned to the rhythms of nature and the energies of the cosmos. Early Irish custom reflected the cyclical nature of time, with a yearly pattern of seasonal rituals, the festivals of Samhain and Bealtaine marking the winter and summer halves, and the year was further subdivided into the spring quarter, Imbolc and the harvest, Lughnasadh in August. An array of impressive prehistoric stone monuments at places such as Newgrange, Tara and Loughcrew suggest the existence of a more ancient calendar based on astronomical events, the solstices and equinoxes. These ritual landscapes of antiquity were also central in early Irish literature and mythic lore. The early traditional calendars and customs were subsequently overlaid with newer traditions, from Christian feast days through to the more secular holidays of the present day. The talk will explore how the wheel of the year and it’s seasonal thresholds, are still relevant to our lives today, and will touch on how mythic archetypal patterns such as the Hero’s Journey and Heroine’s Journey reflect cycles in the individual’s life path.
Mary MacKenna has written about Irish and Greek mythological landscapes, and has given presentations at arts festivals, conferences and tours in Ireland, Greece and the UK. Mary co-founded Mythic Links (www.mythiclinks.com) in 2007, and the Joseph CAMPBELL® Mythological RoundTable®Group of Dublin at Mythic Links Ireland in 2012. An architect, Mary has designed award-winning cultural buildings and landscape projects in Ireland and the USA.
As always we will begin with a drumming journey and break for tea and snacks followed by discussions and Q&A’s.
Look forward to seeing you there!