Monday, March 24, 2014

Notes from Lady Gregory's "The Story Brought by Brigit"

Though it would be unwieldy to include the whole play, Lady Gregory's notes may prove of interest to readers. I include here the opening pages to whet your appetite, then move on to the notes at the back of the book.

The play was published in 1924, and first performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Fans of Irish theatre, check out the original cast listed on page 90.

For my review of the play click here.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bealtaine Study Day with Woman Spirit Ireland

Bealtaine Study Day
Mercy International Centre, 64a Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2

Saturday 29th March 2014

10:30 - 5:00

(tea at 10:00)


Exploring ancient Irish Mother Daughter Sites and Stories

Mirroring one another into creativity:

Celebrating the mother-daughter relationship.

 In the past, WomanSpiritIreland has celebrated Brighid, Goddess, Saint, and Wise Woman at her Springtime festival of Imbolc, February 1st. Over the years, we have learned that Brighid of Imbolc is but one manifestation of the Old Wise Woman, The Cailleach, whose traditions are found all over the world, and have been especially honoured and preserved in Ireland and Scotland.
Brighid, therefore, also appears in various guises at the other three quarterly festivals: Bealtaine, (May 1st); Lughnasadh, (August 1st) and Samhain  (November 1st).
At Bealtaine, May 1st, Brigit appears as the Inion Buí (In yeen Bwee), or Daughter of the Hag or Cow. Throughout Ireland, we find sites dedicated to The Cow and the Calf. Sometimes these are called Inion Bui, and sometimes they are related to Bláthnait, (The Little Flower), who comes into bud at this season.
Our study day this year will also begin to explore, excavate and celebrate the mother-daughter relationship in its excruciating joy and ambivalence.    
For many years now the feminist movement has yearned to recuperate a symbolic system and ritual tradition that honours and brings to consciousness the dialectic between mother and daughter.   Against the cultural resonances of mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all - that attempt to set women in permanent opposition -- stories of the Cailleach and of Saint Brighid  (who freed her own mother from slavery) offer new images and potential. Drawing on such stories, personal reflections and BodySoul work, we will attempt to mirror one another - beyond destructive envy -- into creativity and liberation.
Who should come?
It will be of particular relevance to teachers, community and parish workers and those leading women's groups who wish to recuperate rituals, symbols and other resources to celebrate the mother daughter relationship at Bealtaine and to nourish their communities. 
What will they come away with?
Resources including songs, dances and stories from mythology and folklore, which will support them in developing and leading events in their own communities.
What to bring
Bring a packed lunch and a hand mirror.  Please also bring any Maytime traditions from your local area  - stories, songs, images and photographs of the Cailleach and her daughter, to share during the day.   Tea and coffee will be provided on arrival (10:00) and at lunch.

Resource Persons
Ann Concannon is a Sister of St. Louis who works in facilitation and leadership training.  She is interested in learning and sharing the Circle Dance tradition.
Mary Condren, Th.D is director of WomanspiritIreland and teaches at the Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Trinity College Dublin:  
Fiona Rooney-FitzpatrickB.A. An archaeologist, for 13 years Fiona's work has been informed by Authentic Movement, Bodymind centring, Tai Chi and Ki-Aikido.  She has engaged in BodySoul professional training for many years.

Also contributing:    Fionnuala Bates, Brid Buckley, Joy Powell, Chris Neylon.

 Venue:  Mercy International Centre, 64a Baggot Street Lower, Dublin 2

 Subscription:  70 euro for the day;   Early Bird, 50 Euro for bookings received before Tuesday 18th March.   Tea & coffee provided on arrival (10 o'clock) and at lunch.

 or by cheque, to WomanSpiritIreland,
 60 Belgard  Green, Cookstown Rd., Tallaght, Dublin 24, Ireland       
 Contact: : Please note: our website has been hacked and stolen,  and we are awaiting its rebuilding.
 (Scroll down for images)

(Tao Cross of Kilnaboy, Co Clare)

(Hag's Chair, Cairn T, Loughcrew, Co Meath)

(Pictish Mirror Stone)