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SPIRIT IN THE CITY - Ireland’s Seasonal Festivals in Place, Myth, and Culture

Dear friends,

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.

About Mary
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 ( 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!


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  • Cathal F.

    It was a great talk on the myths of ancient Ireland.

    May 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    New in town, I looked up on line that I can go from Tara Street Dart station catching bus 14 to Harcourt, to get to the Lantern Centre. Would some one please verify that for me please?

    May 3, 2013

    • Martin D.

      Hi Sunny, the number 9 goes up past the lantern centre and you can get that from the bottom of George's Street :)

      May 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you, Martin! This helps. Look forward to the meeting! :o)

      May 7, 2013

  • Jane G.

    Looking forward to this Meeting. I find them most inspiring with plenty of food for thought.

    1 · May 3, 2013

  • Andy C.

    I'm not getting any E-mails lately, there was a link came up saying my mails were bouncing so I cclicked a line saying my mail has been fixed (though I haven't had problems with any other site's) if you can send me a notifaction to check if this problem has been fixed, that would be great.
    Ps some people I was talking to last night said they had been having these problems too.

    April 26, 2013

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