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A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Human Rights in Ireland
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Winter Solstice

category kerry | miscellaneous | news report author Thursday December 21, 2006 22:43author by Rasta 4i's Report this post to the editors

Winter Solstice is the month of Edrinios, the month of sacred passage, the constellation of Eridanus or the River in the Sky.
Rolling Clouds
Rolling Clouds

The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion and were, indeed, a parallel development from their common Indo-European cultural root which began to branch out probably five thousand years ago. It has been only in recent decades that Celtic scholars have begun to reveal the full extent of the parallels and cognates between ancient Celtic society and Vedic culture.

The Celts were the first civilization north of the European Alps to emerge into recorded history. At the time of their greatest expansion, in the 3rd century bce, the Celts stretched from Ireland in the west, through to the central plain of Turkey in the east; north from Belgium, down to Cadiz in southern Spain and across the Alps into the Po Valley of Italy. They even impinged on areas of Poland and the Ukraine and, if the amazing recent discoveries of mummies in China’s province of Xinjiang are linked with the Tocharian texts, they even moved as far east as the area north of Tibet.

The Tocharians or Tusharas as known in Indian literature were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China. Their unique culture spanned from the 1st millennium BC to the end of the 1st millennium AD. Their language is called Tocharian.

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The first Ray “from where I was standing”
The first Ray “from where I was standing”

Speaks for it self
Speaks for it self

author by redjadepublication date Sat Dec 23, 2006 19:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

your photos make me miss my old home.

happy holidays to you and everyone else.

Here's a xmas photo from downtown Budapest that shows where Europe is headed these days :-)

'Hungarian Style Irish Stew'
'Hungarian Style Irish Stew'

author by zero - noughtpublication date Sun Dec 24, 2006 13:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Irish Times: Winter begins slow farewell after long night closes

Friday, December 22, 2006

A stream of golden sunlight passes through the window box and along the passageway leading into the burial chamber of Newgrange during yesterdays winter Solstice on the shortest day of the year.
Photograph: The Irish Independent

No light ever seems as bright or as sudden as that on a Solstice morning. This is the sun that rises after the longest night, writes Eileen Battersby.

Long before daybreak, the signs were good. The heavens were casting off the Dickensian fog that had shrouded the Boyne Valley, and many other areas, during a 48-hour spell of damp, murky weather that made one suspect that time might be better spent re-reading Bleak House than waiting for the sun.

As the Newgrange watchers and Save Tara protesters gathered at the Stone Age monument, one of the finest passage tombs in Western Europe, knowing smiles set the tone.

After two dull mornings in which the Boyne itself had been invisible, the optimists had been rewarded.

A formidable trio consisting of nature, the ancients and global warming had decided on an impressive Christmas present - a golden sunrise.

Night suddenly became day and the monument and its resident battalion of sentry-like standing stones emerged from the purple darkness.

The air was cold but dry, perfect. Early arrivals noted the appearance of a handsome black Labrador. Too busy to notice the lone rabbit that froze statue-like before darting into a nearby hedge, Nick seemed businesslike, deliberate, impressively self-possessed. Two years of age, he is an experienced sniffer dog - his brief to check out the monument. Down the passageway he went, indifferent to the archaeology but intent on his task.

On leaving the monument, he walked down the hill, his Garda handler at his side and settled down with a sigh. Sharing the back of the van was his good-looking sidekick, Hesky, a German Shepherd, eager if far less a specialist.

“He does patrol work,” said his handler. Nick sighed again. Trained by the British Metropolitan police, he is an ambitious character who needs a challenge.

The chosen few, those who had won Solstice tickets as well as the usual Government Ministers filed by on their way into the mound. The rest of us waited, aware the show had already begun. Beneath a brightening sky, the warm pink turned to yellow as a blister of orange on the horizon began to take shape. The tree-lined ridge across the valley seemed to shimmer. By 8.45am, the sun was poised to break free. No light ever seems as bright or as sudden as that on a Solstice morning. This is the sun that rises after the longest night.

A woman wearing a pair of balloons, began to sway and wave her arms at the sun. “Is she trying to levitate?” asked an onlooker. “I hope not,” answered his companion, “but that one over there might set herself alight.” Oblivious to those of us watching the sun, stood a forlorn acrobat with a hoola hoop.

A number of cups attached to it were blazing. Meanwhile by 8.51am, on cue, the sun was displaying an emphatic sense of purpose, and had broken free of the horizon. Within five minutes, it was well clear of the ridge and was casting a bright light over the valley. The river, which had been a swollen torrent, for day had become a silver ribbon.

Faces turned away from the sky to the quartz-faced monument. A great beam of yellow was pouring through the roof box. Cameras were held aloft as were mobile phones - all recording the moment. The light began to withdraw, its mission completed. Suddenly the party which had been inside the chamber, made its way out. As the first figures descended the steps, the sun moved behind the clouds. Nature and ancient man had said enough, winter had symbolically begun its slow farewell.

solstice2.jpg

 
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