I am a writer who follows a Druid's path. I define that simply as leading a life that follows the course of nature and the seasons in a respectful way. I don't see it as pagan nor religious, more as a lifestyle that honours very ancient traditions and belief systems. My culture, my heritage, my ancestors, the seasons and honouring nature and respect for all beings is the path I follow. Writing brings me great joy and expression and is the place where I can channel my insights and reflections. I hope that they chime with you.
I am descended on one side from the ancient O’Bric tribe of the Deise people of Ireland and on the other side from Heremon Kings, and Cormaic Mac Airt himself. I was blessed to be raised in a stunningly scenic valley deep within the Comeragh Mountains; it’s an ancient landscape, filled with legends and lore. My summers were spent overlooking the ancient plain atributed to Eabha in Co Sligo, beneath the Caves of Kesh.
There are Fullacht Fia and ancient wells, Barrows, Standing Stones, Kyles, Stone Rows, even a Bronze Age Stone Circle and to its borders, Ogham inscribed stones. They named me after one of the many corrie lakes high on the slopes, Lough Mohra, some say they were gouged out by Fionn from his seat on Sui Finn. It was the most sacred lake, blessed by St Patrick himself as he stood on Glenpatrick.
These were the places that I played where I made daisy and dandelion chains to adorn me, where I picked blackberries, damsons and whortle berries, all before Michelmas. It was the place where I gathered hazels and conkers and rosehips too.
The house I grew up in was a rambling house and every night I sat at my father’s feet and listened to their stories. They spoke of the Aine of Shanballyanne, a hospitable woman who made everyone welcome on their way to Knockabhainne, Milkhill the milking place. I learned of Cian of Kilkeany who had a church there and where the unbaptised children were laid to rest. They spoke of Brendan of Knockanbrendaun, a giant of a man who flung boulders at his detractors and they showed me where those stones still lay, Clog an Earla, Clog an Sionnach and Clog an Breac. I learned of Bennet of Bennetschurch and the grave of the hangman and of how when he was interred the graveyard moved itself across the road overnight.
They told me how the townlands got their names, Knocknaree, where I lived, 'Cnoc an Rí', the hill of the king, 'gan rí gan ratha', without a king or a rath, of Glendalaughlin, 'Glen dha lochan', the glen of the two ducks, 'gan luc, gan lacha', without duck or drake and of Glenanore, the glen of gold 'gan ór, gon airgead', without any gold or money. And of Tooraphuca the wood of the Púca which in the centre was a Lios and a of dark and eerie place.
My mother told me of her place, Carrickbanagher is Carraig Uí Bheannacháin the Rock of the Points from where all of Sligo could be seen and Fionn sat too on Drumfin and Eabha made her plain and her stone of oaths and her burial place that was aligned to the Autumn Equinox and Crum Dubh himself and from where you could see Lough Súil where Balor finally met his fate.
They taught me how to place thongs on the end of the cot when I left one of my sleeping siblings inside for that would prevent the little people taking the child and putting a changeling there instead. I was never to pick up a comb or the Banshee would come after me for it back. And if the sheep grazed in the Lois I wasn’t ever to go in there and to bring bread and a nail in my pocket and a bit of holy water just in case.
They told me if I ever saw a light where there wasn’t supposed to be a light to bless myself three times and keep going. Or if I saw the black dog at Hinchy’s bridge or at Carthy's Corner to do the same thing and to never ever corner a badger or kill a hare. And when I was going on a journey I was never to turn back. They told me that a lot of people might be scared of me because I had red hair but not to mind them because that was just auld piseogs. And such was the genesis of a Druid Scribe.