‘BECOMING ERIU’ – BARBARA O’MEARA
Accepting the call of the Goddess Eriu through my invitation from Moon Mná to attend the great Fire Festival of Bealtaine on the Hill of Uisneach in 2017 was not without resistance and anxiety. Her energy has been with me since the cradle, both physically and spiritually I have embraced sovereignty and voiced and railed against issues of social injustice with a quiet inner strength, despite many challenges. I have lived in balance and truth, coming back to my centre, time after time, to hold firm in my self-belief. Now I am to face her, my sacred ancestor, embodiment of the divine feminine, at her resting place ‘Ail na Mireann’ in a gathering of soul sisters, in the knowledge that I must be accountable for fully honouring my precious life, as an Island woman and as a daughter of Eriu.
With trepidation I step onto lush green grass, richly damp and earthy underfoot at this most sacred of sites, the axis mundi of Ireland, a portal between our land and the otherworld, I am flushed and laden down with ceremonial white garments and abundantly decorated floral ivy headdresses. Open hilly terrain, dazzling sunlight, heightened noise, people in motion and a rehearsal around the unlit bonfire high up on rocky uneven ground all leave me overwhelmed with thoughts of falling flat on my face, literally. Just before sunset we women congregate at the Cat Stone and so it begins… the Goddess energy enveloping the vision of pure white cascading robes which are circulating ceremoniously as singular serene blue-hued faces offer sacred water blessings, words are floating over my head, feelings of transcending the physical to don the mantle of the metaphysical, veneration of all that is feminine, sharing of white lilies, phosphorus pink lanterns, a procession of women gowned and glowing moving snakelike from Eriu’s birth place, with voices echoing in song we are open vessels holding the vibrational notes. We are in ethereal harmony with our ancestral women folk, in unity with all women, linked together by a golden umbilical cord and yet we are each walking in our own sovereignty, fully formed, divinely protected and earthed in the fertile soil. Maidens, Mothers and Crones, wild women, feisty women, swirling, unfurling, weaving around the flaming triskels, harking a new era of Bealtaine, the welcome arrival of a newly initiated High King, one who will honour the Goddess Eriu in the torching of the high stack, igniting sparks of firelight and inflaming incendiary monumental devotion to our ancestors.
Eriu, you are here now, I hear you, I see you in the ambient glowing faces of my dancing sisters. You are rising to reach distant lands, marking this unique time in our existence as we live and breathe we are absorbing your divinity through the smoke filled air. We turn our gaze to the onlookers so that we may share with them this passionate fiery energy that you have bestowed upon us all. All who will, in turn, become one. All who will, in time, ‘Become Eriu’.
Eirinn go Brach.
Barbara O’Meara is a professional Visual, Shamanic & Social Activist Artist, Qualified Community Arts Facilitator &Educator, Writer, Shamanic Practitioner &Therapist. She has always believed in the healing power of creativity so her home and studio near the sea in Co Wicklow provide a place of sanctuary for inspirational healing creativity to seed and grow in the garden county of Ireland