Earth Wisdom by Glennie Kindred

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Mar 062018

Glennie Kindred has walked her talk for decades in exploring deeper connections with nature, and helping others to do so. Honouring the Celtic seasonal festivals is part of her approach, and her earlier book, Earth Cycles of Celebration, is my favourite guide to them.

This book is in two parts. The first offers various ways to deepen your dialogue with the Earth, and with spirits of the land. The second is a detailed guide to ways to celebrate each of the eight Celtic festivals.

In Part one, I especially like her section on ways to deepen your rapport with trees. Although I’ve been doing this for 25 years, I still learned from this book. For example, the staff carried by a wise woman or sage man is a way they stay connected to the power and wisdom of the tree it came from.

Glennie has created many ceremonies over the years, and this book offers a valuable summary of her approach, including how to create a structure, and ways to invoke the support of the elements (earth, air, fire, and water).

She also describes the phases of the moon and their qualities in more detail than I’ve seen before, with eight phases, such as the Balsamic or Waning crescent moon: a time for letting go and transformation.

For each Celtic festival, Glennie describes its qualities and significance in the cycle of the year, and suggests forms of celebration. She also links each festival with a specific tree and describes its symbolism and healing qualities.
The book is much enriched by the magic illustrations, also by Glennie.

ISBN 978-1-84850-480-6
Published by Hay House UK Ltd.

Celebrating Celtic New Year

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Nov 082017

I’ve been exploring the meaning of the eight Celtic seasonal festivals for many years, and trying out different ways to celebrate them – often at Hazel Hill Wood. Early in this process, I stayed on the remote island of Inishmore on the west coast of Ireland, where the old Celtic seasonal traditions are still deeply honoured.

One thing I’ve learned is that each festival is a transitional period which extends for a couple of weeks each side of the core date. So if you’re reading this in mid-November, you’re not too late!

The word Samhain is pronounced sow’eine, and means the first day of November, celebrated by the ancient Celts as a festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. It’s best celebrated outdoors, in the dark, with a bonfire. You can give a stick or dying foliage into the fire to represent what you’re releasing with the end of the year.

Here are some insights on Samhain from Glennie Kindred’s book, see more in book blog:

“The veil between the seen world of matter and the unseen world of Spirit becomes thin, especially at dawn and dusk. This creates opportunities for us to slip through the fabric of space and time, beyond the limitations of our rational mind, and gain wisdom from within.”

This is the best time of year to honour the dead, and to open to guidance from them. Imagining your ancestral line going back for several generations can help.

Being the start of the Celtic year means that this is also a good season for dreaming and intentions: not to act on them, but to let them germinate and gather ripeness through the dark months of winter.

In her book, Glennie associates Samhain with the Yew Tree, the oldest living trees, “representing death and rebirth, transformation, access to the ancestors and the Otherworld.”

New trunks from beneath the root bole is a useful reminder about renewing from our roots.