Thanks to Stefan and everybody else who has contributed to initiating the Big Heart Newsletter. This is a great idea and a really valuable service to our community. It provides a great opportunity for all of us in the various countries to get to know each other and provides a window (espeically with the photos) into what the lodge communities and camps are like in each country. The newsletter is especially welcome for the majority of people who have not had the opportunity to travel and meet personally our brothers and sisters around the world.
Here is a little taste of what’s happening in Ireland in our lodge community Ireland and some pictures to give you an idea of the land and the natural environment. Like most everybody else we sorely miss Carl and Stehanie visiting us. Carl has been regularly visiting Ireland since 2000 so it feels a bit strange having our schedule interrupted.
Each season we usually have two lodges in locations in the East and West of Irelandon on successive weekends. Our home in the West is the Boghill Centre www.boghill.com near the Atlantic coast and the Cliffs of Moher.
Sonja, John and Carrie, the owners of Boghill, have been great friends and supporters since we first met. They are diligent keepers of the lodge area, despite the best efforts of hens, dogs, horses and pigs to invade the space! We are so thankful to everybody in Boghill for their patience, humour, generosity and flexibility and especially their tolerance of muddy people traipsing through the grounds and buildings. Boghill has become for us the place where we can hang out together, cook together, sing together, play together and pray together. It is a huge gift to our community and we are deeply thankful for it.
We have been severely challenged by the Thunder Beings at Boghill on a number of occasions. The West of Ireland gets more than its fair share of rain; if you think of the name “Boghill” you might get an idea of the terrain. On occasion we have had to dig canals to divert water away from the lodge and regularly scoop water out of the fire pit and the Hocoka. Despite the gales, the downpours and the flooding we have always somehow managed to get the fire lighting and the beautiful basalt stones ready for the ceremony. A covering of rushes on the ground inside the lodge makes it far more comfortable than standing outside exposed to the atlantic weather!
Our most recent home in the east of Ireland is in Ballinaclash, County Wicklow. This is a small piece of land in a remote, peaceful location, owned by Sabine and myself. The lodge is situated in a very beautiful field surrounded by Beech trees.
There are a couple of buildings/sheds on the land which are very convenient for preparing food, storing everything we need for the lodges – and for drying wet blankets! If Great Spirit wills it, we would love to cooperate in a spirit of community towards the emergence of a space where people can come, stay awhile if they like and hopefully find peace and spiritual renewal. From the first, since we decided to use the land in Ballinaclash for the lodges, there has been a great sense of community in all the preparations. People feel a sense of shared ownership and responsibility for the land, which is a real gift. Some have improved the sheds, some are planting trees, some dig toilets, some paint, and others are developing their skills with the strimmer (weed whacker).
This Autumn/Fall we had a small lodge for the circle at Ballinaclash. The timing was auspicious. Carl’s operation was on October 24, the lodge for the Dutch circle was on October 25 and our lodge was on October 26. We plan to have another one on the Winter Solstice. So far the weather gods have been extremely kind to us this year at lodge times and we are very grateful.