I was asked in a recent interview, how did I end up connecting to authentic Irish Spirituality? At the time, there was absolutely nothing available along the lines of what I share and teach now.
So, where did it come from?
The Gut Feeling
From early on, I always felt a bit out of step with the world around me. Even as a child, I sensed there was more to life – layers, if you will – that most folks never bothered to look at.
Events happened to me that could only be described as uncanny. It was as though the land and its ancient Powers were giving me a nudge, a sort of ‘wake up, will you?’
But it took time, a lot of time, to figure out this Irish Spirituality stuff was more than a series of random coincidences; it was a call.
Wandering Off Course: Searching for Something
I spent years dipping my toes into various spiritual practices.
Solo Witchcraft caught my attention for a while, but I couldn’t get past the American Pick n’ Mix mentality to take them seriously. Then there were the crystals – beautiful, and I developed an exceptionally accurate divination system with them, but not quite the answer. Tarot was intellectually satisfying, and put my divination skills to the next level, but still left a void.
Initiatory Traditional Wicca gave me a chosen family, and community, but as structured (and essentially British) as it was, just didn’t seem to fit. I even went down the road with the OTO, Thelema, and Ceremonial Magic for a while (93/93 my good bitches!), but that was never my way.
All these paths were educational, gave me bits and pieces of what I needed at the time, but they just felt foreign. It was like I was a guest, a tourist in someone else’s spiritual landscape.
In hindsight, the issue was straightforward. I was using other people’s frameworks, their maps, but neglecting my own internal compass. It was a bit like using someone else’s prescription glasses; useful, but not a perfect fit.
Back to the Source: My Turn Inward
The tide turned when I decided to look inward and give more weight to my own heritage – both the land and the Powers that make Ireland what it is. I refocused on the old stories, the myths that felt as comfortable as an old jumper, and the Powers that had reached out to me from the start.
I went back to my roots, literally and metaphorically. This wasn’t a ‘finding myself’ journey in the usual sense, but a finding of place, of contextual Irish Spirituality.
Living in County Roscommon for 13 years, close enough to my family’s heartland in County Clare (on the right side of the Shannon, at least), gave me so much rich heritage at Cruachan (Rathcroghan) to learn about, experience, and integrate… My first introduction to the 3 Pillars of Irish Paganism, really.
My connection to Ireland demanded my attention, asking me to retrace the steps that led me away from it and calling me back home, back to the core of my being and the essence of my spiritual path.
An Authentic Path: The Need for Depth
I soon realised that what I sought wasn’t just any spiritual experience; it was an authentic spiritual experience. I wanted to understand the Powers; the Gods, Guides, and Guardians, of Ireland. To have a relationship with them, rather than just accumulating second-hand knowledge from books or lectures.
The shift was subtle but profound, from knowing about to simply knowing. It was a transition from spectator to participant in a history, culture, and native tradition that was living, breathing, and deeply tied to the land.
This is Irish Spirituality that is rooted in the past, but relevant for today.
The Journey Forward: Grounded in Reality
So here I am, I started all of this anew… but we at the Irish Pagan School are also continuing something ancient. It’s a complex, often challenging, but incredibly fulfilling path in authentic Irish Spirituality and connection to Ireland.
This is a journey guided by the ancestors, those who understood the Powers and the land long before me. It’s an exploration inspired by the Powers themselves, whose presence permeates the Irish landscape and culture to this day.
But mostly, it’s a path that feels like home.
Practical Exercise: Your Personal Connection to the Land
Here’s a simple exercise to ground your spirituality in the land you connect with, wherever that may be for you today:
- Leave the Tech Behind: Take a walk outdoors, somewhere that feels natural to you. Leave your phone and other distractions behind.
- Be Present: Stand still for a moment, take deep breaths, and focus on your immediate surroundings. Feel the earth beneath your feet.
- Ask and Listen: Pose a question to the land – any question that matters to you. Then close your eyes and listen deeply, allowing the land to speak to you.
- Reflect: After at least 10 minutes, jot down any insights or feelings that came to you during this time.
This exercise is a way to take the first step in hearing what the land and its Powers have to say to you. You may be surprised by the depth of connection and understanding that can come from such a simple act.