The Anam Cara Tradition

Sliabh Na Caillí Cairn-County Meath
Sliabh Na Caillí , The Hill Of The Hag, is a majestic constellation of womb-like cairns (dome-shaped sacred sites) dominating two hilltops in north County Meath in Ireland. When you visit there you will be shaken, gently or wildly, into greater vitality. That vitality will breathe new awareness into your physical reality, but it will also surely breathe new insight and connection into your metaphysical reality. An Cailleach (pronounced on-kal-e-ack) known as “The Hag” or “Grandmother Earth”, is in her domain here and her embrace of you, while ultimately loving, will activate your heart in unforeseen ways. Devotion and reverence for her in Ireland is cherished, but not taken lightly or glibly. Grandmothers can do that to you.

We had just finished a ceremony of gratitude in the main cairn, having first placed gifts of oats, milk, tobacco, whiskey and chocolate in the earth outside. It was a bright, blustery, sunny summer’s day, one when larks are always in the blueness above. I had wandered alone afterwards to a smaller cairn that had lost its roof over time; one whose back stone is illuminated by the setting sun of spring and autumn equinoxes. As I entered I discovered that someone had taken occupancy ahead of me. Normally, my instinct would be to acknowledge their presence and retreat quietly to allow them exclusive sanctuary there. But something pushed me to stay in silence. Supported by the back stone, she looked up at me as I entered and let her head fall forward again. I sat gently just inside the entrance.

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