What is so special about visiting the many stone circles, tombs, monuments and holy wells in Ireland? Sure, some are quite interesting to see but other than a nice view and stroll around an ancient place, is there anything more? Well for some, just a nice visit may be all there is although for others, the experience can be quite powerful.
Ireland is unique because unlike many places throughout Europe, the Roman Empire really never took hold and hence, many ancient sites are preserved. In some cases, churches were built on top of places which held special spiritual significance to the peoples of Ancient Ireland. Others, such as the numerous holy wells, remained sacred and simply were renamed after Christian Saints. Still others, such as the wedge tombs, passage tombs, and great stone circles remain as they have been for thousands of years. So if you are looking for something more out of these ancient sites, how do you accomplish that?
Frankly, the experience will be different for many and often, others along on the same visit will have different experiences. This is all normal! These sites are very ancient and the energy present is quite vast so it is not surprising that many people report sharing different or similar experiences during their visits. For a visit to one of the stone circles such as the Great Stone Circle near Lough Gur, here is a suggested approach.
Begin with the realization that to the ancient Druids, the earth holds the mineral memories of all living things. While not conveniently packaged as a DVD or an app, all of these ancient sites hold the memories in the earth minerals. Many like to pause when approaching, and ask permission for the spirits to enter and step upon the ancient ground. While it does not happen often, it is possible that the answer will be "no," in which case it is best to return and visit another day.
Next up of course is intention. What intention do you have for visiting this site? Once intention is in mind, walk clockwise around the circle a few times before entering. In most cases, the entrance is somewhere near the east as it is likely the circle was used for celebrations or ceremony aligned with a sunrise on one of the eight solar festivals throughout the year.
Spending time in the stone circle is not unlike meditating. Be open and receptive to whatever comes to you and if you visit more than once, don't be surprised to have a different experience each time. Certainly, this is not something that appeals to everyone, but if you are so inclined, these can be very powerful visits. Perhaps you will experience an insight, or a special message. Or perhaps, as some have reported, you will "see" into the ancient past looking back at celebration which may have taken place there thousands of years ago. Or perhaps this day there will be nothing at all; everyone experiences things differently.
When it is time to leave, be sure to thank the spirits and the earth as you depart.
Feel free to share your own experiences in the comments blow.
Are you into stone circles? Not into stone circles? Well we visit many other places too so there is sure to be plenty of sites to captivate everyone on our tours. Check out our 2018 schedule and we look forward to seeing you join us at Ancient Ireland Tourism!