“Sacred Mound, Holy Temple, Ancient Voices, Whisper from your Mantle, You are the Song, Of the Ancient Ones, Singing and Calling, Your Children Home.”Aoife Ní HEochaidh
Aoife is a story teller, musician, singer, herbalist and overall one of the best people in the world to sit near a bonfire with. She offers many wonderful workshops and fireside meets.To say that Aoife is held closely to the land of Éire is a massive understatement as she has lived, breathed and taken an active spiritual role among the ancient sites and various energies for the larger part of her life.
What is your background?
I am a daughter of the land of Éire, devoted to remembering the ways of our ancestors and restoring the sacred to the lands of Éire and surrounding Isles. I was born and raised on the foothills of the Dublin Mountains. I had a difficult upbringing which guided me to seek solace and meaning through spirituality and land connection from a very young age. As a child I was always deeply connected with Spirit and always received prophetic dreams and visions. I remember having deep moments of awareness and spiritual realisation which began at 7, again at 14, and really took off when I left school at 18 and began to travel and live outdoors. After finding the sacred sites at 19, I lived in the woods at the hill of Tara, then at in a self-built hut near to Uisneach, and in-between moving from site to site, connecting with the seasons, and being guided by the elemental forces and ancestors.
I was the apprentice to an Irish medicine woman for some years, studying the medicine wheel and participating in ceremonies and initiations. I have also been on a path of rememberance with different indigenous cultures including the Mayan (with fire ceremony) Wixárika of Mexico, Shipibo Conibo of Peru with plant medicine, etc. These teachers helped me give context to the messages and teachings I was receiving from the land and plants at home in Éire, but didn’t have access to through human teachers. My path is very much so guided by a deep listening to the land, and a learning through living intimately with the seasons, plants and elements. I offer sacred fires, plant medicine ceremonies and events related to land and ancestral connection.
What is your favorite mythological tale or character and why?
My favourite story without a doubt is the salmon of knowledge. The concept of Finn, finnegas and fintan as the teacher, apprentice, and wisdom itself, the trinity, I feel is an expression of that which is within us all. We are students, we are teachers, and yet we are all knowing at the same time. I feel the salmon is so sacred in Irish culture and this story reflects that, I could go on for days about the deeper meanings that I have found in this story.
Where have you found the most inspiration on the living landscape?
The sacred sites are truly the places I feel most at home. It is hard to describe in words the intangible yet potent energy that is held in these sites, and how when we spend time there, we have the potential to access memories from other times and spaces. From living close to these sites I have been able to remember the ancient nature of my soul, and a knowingness that I have walked these lands for many lifetimes, returning in this time to bring forth the memories that these sites hold, and that many of us that feel drawn to these sites are here to do just that.
What is your favorite ancient Neolithic site(s) and why?
Tara, Uisneach and Brú na Síd are definitely my favourite sites. As much as they have become so popular – there is a certain resonance in these places that brings my soul alive. Tara was the site that awoke my ancient soul from a slumber, and invited me into it’s arms to learn from the fire, the trees, stones, plants and ancestors. Uisneach brought me home to the womb and welcomed me into it’s holding for the time I lived there, bringing me deeper into my path and also brought deep wounds to the surface to be healed from within me and the land. The journeys I have had in these places I could write a book on, truly, most transformative. Brú na Síd, likewise, has been a place of deep Rememberance for my soul and for our people – when I go there, I feel the infinite potential of us as humans, and that these sites are calling us back in these times to remind us of our power, aswell as deep connection to the land and skies alike. Brú na Síd has also brought me on a journey of soul reclamation, teaching me many different lessons and healing me on a very personal level. I am deeply grateful for these places of power and worship.
How has musical playing and sessions impacted you?
The music of our people is an expression of the resonance of the land. Music is simply who we are as people, it has gotten us through the darkest times in history. When I hear or play traditional music, I feel the stories of these tunes, the places of their origin, and how the music is also an expression of our relationship with place and the landscape. As a child I was a dancer so going back to learn how to play was a healing experience for me .. playing music at gatherings here in Éire is a very important aspect of our culture. Since ancient times it was of utmost importance to have music at gatherings … When we play music we celebrate our culture, and honour the ways of our ancestors. Playing music has also enabled me to connect with many types of people, beyond words or mind, it is a expression of soul.
What overall message do you hope to share the most through your writing?
Through my writings I hope to inspire others to reclaim their innate and natural relationship with the land. My intention is to inspire others to remember the magic that is held within us and the land, and by living in harmonious relationship with the land we can access a sense of belonging and connection with something greater than ourselves. It is through my writing that I hope that I can share my Rememberance with others and spark the rememberance within the reader.
What makes you angry or sad that’s happening in the world?
I feel the world has been in a place of despair and disconnection from the truth and from the natural ways of life for too long. There is an abuse of power and control reflected in the mainstream capitalistic society which has brought the world out of balance. Resources are being pillaged from the earth and hoarded from those who really need it. We need to wake up and take back our sovereignty.
What makes you happy and hopeful that’s happening in the world?
There is a great awakening happening. Many people are returning to the old ways and looking deeper at what is going on in the world. There are great changes happening, we are returning to the land and reclaiming what was taken from us- our power, and innate connection with the sacred earth.
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I hope to be a great future ancestor, that when our children come forth, they have an easier path which requires less “healing” of the generational trauma that came before us, that was not able to be healed… I hope to plant many more trees, so that the oak forests once again grow tall and strong, and abundant. I hope that I can be a humble yet very influential speck upon this earth, to generate change and ignite the light within others, so we can light this world which has been somewhat shrouded in darkness.