“…I had heard whispers over many years about a chamber of female divinity that was said to exist somewhere west of the Shannon, but I could find no reference to it in any book or journal. Then, finally, two years ago I stumbled upon the chamber, as some in the local community in Tulsk, Co Roscommon, had chosen to make it public again. It’s a cavern called Oweynagat in which an ancient goddess energy is said to reside…When the time was right, they were able to point small groups of individuals towards a tiny opening beneath a hawthorn tree in the bank of a field that led to it. The field is down a narrow laneway, apparently leading nowhere.”– Manchán Mangan: Indigenous people, Ireland and guardians of old lore
These are dark days. Sometimes, before dusk, I walk across the street from my house to sit alone in the field. After a while, I feel vibrations coming from a great distance through the earth into my body. The movements remind me there are places where the goddess lives, even in these times. I imagine they are hidden safe houses where she appears. They are not written down in books or recorded in databases – they’re hidden in plain sight – maybe through that small opening among trees that could be a fox’s den. Except it would open to a much bigger place, where from time to time over many centuries, people have sat in silence, holding each other’s hands, listening to the slow, soft whisper of time passing. They are listening for the long story, the one that opens up and folds back, further and further back, into the past until they reach the roots.
In the dark and stillness, I feel afraid. I don’t have time for this. I check my phone, but there is no signal. I’m off the grid. But I’ve already begun to sense the vibrations extending in all directions from where I stand, which is in an ordinary field beside the bike path. It’s as if I always suspected this place was here, and somehow found that fact reassuring. I have to force myself to stay still and not run back to the house, to resist the urge to get back to business. Because this place is deep and asks a lot of me. But I know the world is at stake now. Maybe it’s always been, but we’ve reached the tipping point. We need the goddess who loves gentle creatures, like my little dog who lies in a patch of sunshine on the floor. I love to look into his glassy eyes and smell the warmth of his fur. I need to visit the goddess. I must let time take me back and further back, all the way to its roots.