Summer Solstice - Midsummer at the Hill Of Tara / by Aidan Oliver Weldon

Yesterday, the 21st of June was officially the longest day (and shortest night) of the year. It's known around the world as the Summer Solstice where "peak" sunlight occurs in the Northern Hemisphere. We celebrated this solstice at Tara, the seat of Árd Rí na hÉireann (High King of Ireland) where our ancestors celebrated the very same passing for thousands of years. I was born not too far from here and you can see my home town Trim, including two discernible landmarks i.e., King John's Castle and the Yellow Steeple. These outlines can be made from the gently sloping meadow adjacent to the banqueting hall. Our forefathers were sympathetic with nature, with nurture, their understanding was as such; light signified growth and expansion, where dark meant withdrawal and rest; summer and winter, in essence. 

Myself and Mo headed up to catch this fifth Celtic Shamanic Ceremony and Ritual which took place in Teach Miodhchuarta or the banqueting hall as it is more widely know. We had to park at Roschoill, close to the old Dublin Navan road as there were cars parked all the way up to Tara. Already it looked like a good turnout. The order of events were as follows: 1) Celtic Shamanic Ceremony and Ritual to open, 2) Drum Circle, 3) Healing Circle, 4) Gong Bath and 5) Closing Ceremony. This ceremony took place over an hour and the majority were bedded in along the scooped out slope of grassland prior to us arriving. 

I brought along my camera in an attempt to tell a brief story of this ceremony and the people from all walks of life who participated in this celebration and its blessing. There was also a small video captured. It was magic to be amongst the 800 odd souls who were connecting with their past. The photographs I chose were representative of this brief moment in time. I also needed to be recharged spiritually.

This year there was a small fundraising run by the Tara Skyrne Preservation Group to raise money for a memorial stone in honour of all those whose sacred burial places were destroyed during the construction of the M3 Motorway through the Tara Skryne Valley.

The shot of the lone harpist facing West is a significant photo for me - it is so peaceful.


Andrea Nelson and Debra Hoyle, Sacred Sound Studio NI
Benedykt Grabowski and Dawid Kwasniewicz, Kings of the Wind
Brigid Ann McGuire, Universal Sounds
Carmel Diviney, Celtic School of Sound Healing
Krisztina Drogoman, Healing through Sound
Lisa McLoughlin and Brian Gunning, Sound Henge Ireland
Melanie Walsh, Sídhe Sound Healing
Rishi Naad, Ogham Sound
Sharon Quigley, The Druid's Cave

Relevant Links:

Tara Skryne Preservation Group

Sound Healing Association of Ireland

Celtic School of Sound Healing