Equinox Sunrise

IMG_5634

IMG_5636

IMG_4527

IMG_5639

IMG_5645

IMG_5647

IMG_5654

IMG_5661

IMG_5663

IMG_9035

IMG_5671

 

IMG_7534

IMG_7150

[remember to click upon the images to beautify your world]

For perhaps  18 years now, I have been conducting sunrise vigils on the Holy Days of the Earth, the Solstices and Equinoxes. For about 13 of those years I have been coming to this particular hilltop from which the pictures above were taken. As you can see, this vantage point offers a most spectacular view across the Minnesota landscape of prairie, woods, and lakes. The land itself is not quite public, which is to say that my pilgrimages here would be considered by some (most) people to be trespassing.

The land to the west of the hill is a residential area comprised of rather lovely homes on winding lanes. Years ago, on my second trip here, I had forgotten to look at a map before hand, and so I managed to get lost in the maze of streets as I looked for the lane where the trail began up the hill.

As I wandered about in my car, a dutiful police officer took note of my rather suspicious activity in the pre-dawn darkness and pulled me over. As he shown his flashlight upon my outdoorsy albeit rather scruffy appearance, he politely inquired if I lived in the neighborhood, and if not, what was that I was up to, driving so slowly up and down the streets at this hour of the morning. I explained matter-of-factly that it was the summer solstice and I was wanting to observe the sunrise from the top of the hill, but I couldn’t locate the cul-de-sac where a trail began.

With a rather blank expression upon his face, he studied me for a moment, scanned the interior of my vehicle with his flashlight, taking note of the mountain bike stashed unceremoniously in the back. Looked at me again, and said, “I think I know the one you mean. Follow me.” It turns out he did know the one, and within 3 minutes I was at the exact parking spot I had been looking for. So, with the aid the police officer I was able to carry out the trespassing that I had been plotting.

Since then, I have been up the hill many, many times, and know exactly how to get to the parking spot. And while I no longer require a police escort to get to my ritual site, each time I park outside one of the fine homes and wander up the trail, I wonder if another inquisitive officer might not be waiting for me when I come back down.

 

IMG_5653

Equinox Ritual

drummers, all in a circle
each one equidistant
upon this equinox
from the sacred center
each beating to the march
of their inner drum
a communion of resonance
percussion penetrating
all fibers of being

drumming to release
the constricting grip winter
drumming to invoke
the resurgent flow of spring
drumming to awaken
our indigenous souls

under a night sky
of wafer-thin clouds
backlit by a waxing moon
the humble shaman
washes us in the smoke
of sacred herbs
that rises to kiss the heavens
where snow white wings
appear upon white clouds
tundra swans
in delta formation
the structure of change
we are awash in the ecstasy
of their musical call

honking to release
the constricting grip winter
honking to invoke
the resurgent flow of spring
honking to awaken
our indigenous souls

snow melts
as we pass through the veil
to place our yearning prayers
secure within that unfathomable well
that is far beyond wishing
and tulips blossom
in the palms of our hands

 

 

footnotes:

The Delta Symbol: The upper-case letter Δ can be used to represent:
*The Change in any changeable quantity, in mathematics and science.
*Delta is the initial letter of the Greek word διαφορά diaphorá, “difference”.

The Circle:
*A round plane figure whose boundary consists of points equidistant from a fixed point (the center).

Erin Go Bragh!

fahey_large

 

My grandfather was 100% Irish; his name was Leo.  Behind his back they called him Leo the Lion. It was not a compliment.   And I actually had an “Uncle Patty”.

But, alas, only one-fourth of my earthly being is Irish.   Would that it were more…

 

Some quotes about being Irish…

‘The heart of an Irishman is nothing but his imagination.’
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

‘I am Irish by race…
but the English have condemned me to talk the language of Shakespeare.’
OSCAR WILDE

‘Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.’
WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

‘This [The Irish] is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever.’
SIGMUND FREUD

“Love is never defeated, and I could add, the history of Ireland proves it.”
POPE JOHN PAUL II

‘We have a tradition of passing our history orally and singing a lot of it and writing songs about it and there’s kind of a calling in Irish voices when they’re singing in their Irish accent.’
SINEAD O’CONNOR

“Being Irish, I always had this love of words.”
KENNETH BRANAGH

“It is a symbol of Irish art. The cracked looking-glass of a servant.”
JAMES JOYCE

“The tune was sad, as the best of Ireland was, melancholy and lovely as a lover’s tears.”
NORA ROBERTS

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time — a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”
ADREINNE COOK

banderasIREWEB(1)

 

Some notes about my family name

The Irish name “Fahey” has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit.  
Numerous spelling variations of the surname “Fahey” are preserved in the old documents. The various spelling of the name that were found include Fahey, Fahie, Fahy, Fay, O’Fahey, O’Fay, Vahey, and many more.

The original Gaelic form of the name Fahey is O Fathaigh, derived from the word “fothadh”, meaning “foundation”, a cognate of “fothaigh” meaning to “support or sustain”.

First found in Galway, part of the province Connacht, located on the west coast of the island, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

The name is numerous in the area of Tipperary in the 17th – 19th centuries. The 1890 birth index finds the family in counties Galway, Tipperary and Mayo, with Fahy as the preferred spelling,

A sept of the Uí Maine,  (Uí Maine, often Anglicised as Hy Many, was one of the oldest and largest kingdoms located in Connacht, Ireland)  the centre of their patrimony, which they held as proprietors up to the time of the Cromwellian upheaval in the mid-seventeenth century and where most of them still dwell, is Loughrea in the south of the county: their territory was known as Pobal Mhuintir Uí Fhathaigh, i.e. the country inhabited by the Fahys. There is a place the modern name of which is Fahysvillage.

The O Fahy castle was known as Dunally and was located in the parish of Kilthomas. Nothing remains of it today – however the townland in which it was located is still known as Doonally.

Heraldry

O’Fahy or O’Fay (A Sept of the race of O’Conor, King of Connaught) Arms: Azure field,  a hand couped at the wrist fessways in chief proper holding a sword paleways, Argent pommel and hilt point downwards pierced through a boar’s head erased of the last.

My ancestors immigrated to America from County Mayo.

 

Waxing and Waning

Reblogging this in honor of yesterday’s Eclipse…

Ethereal Nature

New moon

Emerging from their covert coupling
in the clear blue sky
The Moon,
only after her lover has left,
begins to show her face.

That silver arc, the bow of Artemis,
drawn, taut-passioned
flings stolen arrows of Eros,
like blowing kisses
to her departing lover.
Sorrow sweet and sublime

Each day their circuits
take them further and further
from their lovers’ sides.
Until from opposite ends of the earth
they stare back at each other
across the vacuum of space.

Then their tides turn,
And Nearer and nearer,
their circuits bring them.
Attentive to her lover,
the moon again turns her face
away from the earth.

Once more, her bow is drawn
taut-passioned
enticing her approaching lover
with gleaming arrows
and far-flung kisses.
Yearning sweet and sublime.

Then, lost in the light of day
they mount the sky together
ride in ecstasy its length
with never a hint to the earth,
unless…

View original post 9 more words

Environmental Organism

IMG_5811

A hair band transected by a bobby pin.

Who knows how it came to be here, lying innocently upon the sidewalk.  A pleasing scenario that comes to mind: perhaps a blustery wind, wanting to set free a young woman’s hair, saw fit to loosen the shackles from her tresses with a well placed gust.   And she, hair blowing wild, felt more intimately her connection to the forces of nature, and, like a veil had been lifted, felt her participation in the life of the Earth.

However it happened, the sight of its perfect configuration did immediately jar my mind loose, and remind me of my connection to the natural world, and my participation in the life of the Earth, by conjuring up the all but forgotten Ecology Symbol that was so ubiquitous during my young adulthood in the 1970s.

After my encounter with this serendipitous symbol, I spent the rest of my morning walk contemplating various effects of global warming, including the strongest ever El Nino and its effects across the globe (while taking note of the very unseasonably warm weather we’re having in Minneapolis, that everyone is so blithely enjoying) and contemplating our participation in healing the Earth.

e-symbol

I had not known of the symbol’s origin until I looked it up after my walk:

The ecology symbol was formed by taking the letters “e” and “o”, the first letters in the words “environment” and “organism”, and putting them in superposition, thereby forming a shape reminiscent of the Greek letter Θ (Theta). The symbol was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb, which he published on November 7, 1969, in the Los Angeles Free Press and then placed it in the public domain.  The colors represent “pure air and green land” and environmental action.

250px-EcologyTheta.svg

Look magazine incorporated the symbol into an image of a flag in their April 21, 1970 issue. It widely popularized the Theta symbol, which is associated with the Greek word thanatos (death) in light of human threats to the environment and atmosphere of the earth.  

 

As it turns out, the Theta symbol is also used in various sciences to denote temperature; which forms an interesting connection to my contemplations about global warming and our connection to the Earth.  Theta is used to represent:

The potential temperature in meteorology.

Quantity or temperature, by International System of Units standard.

Dimensionless temperature in transport phenomena. In engineering, physics and chemistry, the study of transport phenomena concerns the exchange of mass, energy, and momentum between observed and studied systems.

 

As it turns out, the Theta symbol is also used to in the trading of stock options to denote the risk that time imposes upon options not exercised; which forms an interesting connection to my contemplations about global warming and our connection to the Earth.  Theta is used to represent:

The measure of the rate of decline in the value of an option due to the passage of time. Theta can also be referred to as the time decay on the value of an option. 

The measure of theta quantifies the risk that time imposes on options as options are only exercisable for a certain period of time.

 

As it turns out, the Theta symbol is also used in the study of brain waves to denote the deepest state of meditation; which forms an interesting connection to my contemplations about global warming and our connection to the Earth.  Theta is used to represent:

….a state of very deep relaxation. The brain waves are slowed down at a frequency of 4-7 cycles per second.

While in the Theta state, the mind is capable of deep and profound learning, healing, and growth – it is the brainwave where our minds can connect to the Divine and manifest changes in the material world.

The use of the drum by indigenous cultures in ritual and ceremony has specific neurophysiological effects and the ability to elicit temporary changes in brain wave activity, producing Theta waves, and thereby facilitating imagery and possible entry into an altered state of consciousness, especially what is called the shamanic state of consciousness.

 

To be continued…

Sunrise at 15 Degrees Below Zero

IMG_5458
The heart of the Sun beats as ardently as ever
though the Earth plays the coy coquette
averting her face from the intensity
of his smoldering gaze
lingering for months in a sidelong glance
as she slowly turns in her measured pace
IMG_5429
and we
perched upon her cold shoulder
of 45 degrees north
a halfway house of latitude
midway between equator and northern pole
the temperate zone, presumably
despite our intemperate extremes
alternating torrid and frigid
the tropics and the arctic
visit us in their seasons
but never, it seems, together
IMG_5438
the arctic now pays its respects
cold rushes in from northern reaches
storied land of the midnight sun
now the land of the midday stars
what a sequenced spectacle
to watch the stars wheel
endlessly across the velvet sky
hour after hour
night after unending night
as the earth pirouettes
beneath one’s feet
Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
chase each other’s tails
around and around the star of the north
polar bears, indeed
IMG_5449
but here
the wind rises with the Sun
and whale sounds erupt
from beneath the frozen lake
as the waters beat against the ice
breath condenses upon eyelashes
ice crystals dangle before ones eyes
illuminated by the sun in perfect orbs
like Christmas ornaments not yet put away
a sprig of Arbor Vitae lies upon the path
tree of life, messenger of life ever green

IMG_5456

IMG_5455
This calls to mind one of my favorite things to say, but it’s so quaint I can only say it once a year, so here goes:
Glove-a-lees are lovely
but I’m smitten by mittens