Thursday, December 21, 2017

Light in the Darkness

Sunrise on Winter Solstice, Missouri
The sun rose this morning awash in a moving fog, on this, the shortest day of the year. A prelude to this evening's longest night. And while it is our beginning of Winter, the days from here on out get longer, brighter, and reach toward spring and the return of light, green, and warmth, though we'll traverse through winter's cold to get there. 

Newgrange Passage Tomb, Boyne Valley, Ireland [photo mine]
This morning, a magical, curious, but very intentional thing happens in the Boyne Valley in Ireland. At Newgrange Neolithic Passage Tomb the sunrise of the Winter Solstice illuminates the inner passage of Newgrange for 17 minutes in an otherwise pitch black interior. This is science. This is faith. This is astronomy. This is magic.  

Entrance to Newgrange Passage Tomb. Square above the door is called the light box through which the sun's light enters creating a beam of light that travels to the back of the passage to a vaulted room. [photo - mine]
I have visited Newgrange in the spring, entered the passage tomb and stood in the ink black chamber. Here, the light of the winter solstice is simulated for visitors. Even that was quite magical. But for viewing the solstice sunrise, people enter their names all year into a lottery for just a handful to be chosen to enter and witness the ancient and awesome spectacle. Ireland's Ancient East tourism board streamed the sunrise live but this morning found Ireland cloaked in fog and cloud. I imagine it was quite a privilege anyhow.  The live video is long but still worth a watch as it covers the history and science of Newgrange and many interviews with visitors, locals, lottery winners, and experts. 

Neolthic art adorns the passage of Newgrange [photo: Nat Geo]
Newgrange Passage [photo: Nat Geo]
Sun's illumination of passage at Newgrange [photo: Irish Central]
All across the world - Peru, Mexico, England, Egypt, Scotland, Germany, and beyond, ancient monuments align with the winter solstice and pay homage to the sun, the tilt back toward the light. May the light always find you in the darkness. 

Read more about Newgrange at Ireland's Ancient East or Mythical Ireland.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Holiday Markets

On my dream list of things to do someday is to visit Christmas markets around the world. It seems like the Celtic Isles offer their own charming markets. Read about a few Irish ones over at Tourism Ireland. 

For those of us stuck dreaming of such wonder places.... here are some visual gifts. Also, if you are looking for a lovely little Celtic gift from the comfort of your computer, take a look in the Emerald Post Shop, a marketplace of little Celtic wonders (now selling old fashioned Feather Quills!). Do imagine I'm serving hot wassail, under a glowing tent amidst twinkling lights and light snow flurries, with cathedral bells chiming in the distance.  And to make things easier, remember these promotions:

Now until Christmas
 Take 15% off anything & everything in the shop
Use the code HOLIDAY15

Spend $30 (after all discounts, excluding shipping)
& automatically receive a FREE Portal Collection Postcard Set
Galway, Ireland  {source: Tourism Ireland}

Winterval, Waterford, Ireland {source: Tourism Ireland}

Edinburgh Christmas Market {Source: Little Things Blog}

Exeter Market, England {source: Solo Sophie}

Thursday, November 30, 2017

An Irish Winter Dream

Kylemore Abbey, Ireland [Source]

Ha'penny Bridge, Dublin, Ireland [Source]

Knowth Neolithic Passage Tomb, Boyne Valley, Co. Meath, Ireland
Photo by Ken Williams of Shadow and Stone [Source]
Cooley Mountains, Ireland
Photo by Derek Smyth [Source]

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thank You

Thanks for supporting small businesses, artists, & craftsmen such as Emerald Post in you search for that special something. In thanks I'm running a few promotions in the Emerald Post Shop:

Now until Christmas
 Take 15% off anything & everything in the shop
Use the code HOLIDAY15

Spend $30 (after all discounts, excluding shipping)
& automatically receive a FREE Portal Collection Postcard Set

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pretty Parcels

When ordering from Emerald Post, all my flat orders come hand addressed in a Celtic font on a lovely emerald green envelope, with a coordinating stamp(s) because I love mail and details. Finding an Emerald Post in your mailbox should be joyous. Now, with parcels like boxes and padded envelopes I can't always be emerald green, but you can be sure your parcel will still be pretty, adorned, and probably one of a kind - even when I must use those boring shipping labels. I'm also quite generous with sprinkling in Emerald Post freebies like postcards, mini-notecards, and bookmarks. If you're looking for unique & meaningful gifts this holiday, browse over at Emerald Post Shop where the spirit and culture of Ireland, Great Britain, and the Old Ways can be found. If purchasing for a gift - I can add a festive wrapping for no extra charge as well as add a little note from you. 

Monday, November 13, 2017

Wishing Well - A Candle & Tradition

Sacred Springs & Holy Wells can be found throughout the Celtic Isles of Ireland and Great Britain. At these revered sites, you may find candles burning as votive offerings, coins tossed into water with silent wishes, or ribbons & cloth hanging from a nearby sacred tree, tied in prayer. This candle, tied with ribbon & containing a lucky Irish (or British) coin at the bottom, signifies an ancient tradition of pilgrimage to holy places of prayer & healing, to sacred waters in sacred woods, welling up from the Otherworld.

Light this candle in prayer or meditation in the hearth of your home or in a place you find sacred, as a glowing manifestation of the unseen spirit. Give it as a gift to someone who cherishes the old ways of Ireland, Britain and Celtic spirituality. When the candle burns out, retrieve the lucky coin from the bottom and carry it with you, leave it for someone in need of a little luck, or toss it into the sacred water well of your choice.

Kindle the flame of Celtic Spirit with this 2 ounce - sage green or natural yellow - unscented - pure beeswax candle with an astonishing burn time of 12-14 hours! Poured into a lidded miniature mason jar with an Irish or British coin at the bottom.

Hop over to the SHOP to purchase a Wishing Well Candle for $9 or check out other new wares on the shelves inspired by the Celtic Spirit like High Cross, Trinity Knot, and Triple Spiral Ornaments.

You can also sign up for the Emerald Post Herald E-mail Newsletter HERE to receive updates, coupons, specials, and a healthy dose of Irish & Celtic Culture.