Gods in the Hills.
Image © Nicole Storck 2006.
Lady Wicklow shakes off her browns and greens this time of year only to reappear with a ruddy and sanguine coat pulled tight around her neck against the cold. It's a breathtaking season, that I have, thankfully over many years been able to enjoy from Wicklows frozen heart.
The wonderful thing about this time of year is that all we are required to do in order to capture at least some of its majesty is point and click.
I'm quite looking forward to my ascent of Tongalee which should be occurring sometime between Christmas and New Years. This time of the season, if you pay attention you can almost hear the breath of the land, inhaling and exhaling, belly moving in time with her breathing, as her mist drifts across the summits of the hills.
This anthropomorphism of Wicklow's ecology is, as I'm sure you probably suspect, not a new thing.
As a matter of fact, at the summit of Tongalee if you pause and look out across the valleys Eastward, you can see what the Pre-Christians used to call "the breasts of Danu" (or Brigit, depending on which books you read or which tribes cosmology you feel like subscribing to). A quattuorvirate of hills which the ancient tribes took as the physical personification of the mother goddess archetype, head, belly and breasts. This was where many religious and magickal rituals were performed to honour the land and its constant cycle of rebirth and death, right on her "bellys" apex.
Thanks to Nicole for the wonderful image.
Peace and Hope