Core of the Coire


My Gàidhlig and Gaeilge language abilities are extremely thin but one word I love and use a lot, as there is no real Latin language alternative is Coire.

I fumble abundantly trying to explain that in English. Its a word describing a condition much more than a ‘thing’. Holding the Coire condition can be a valley, a hollow hill or mountain, a cooking pot, a cauldron of course, sometimes a spring well if it bubbles into a pool, our stomachs, and even our heart chakra.

It is commonly used to describe any place where the fairies or fae gather, or a place where we can commune with the fae, when we believe they are everywhere, in all life, but need a space to trust and commune in their world.


My pause, and inspiration, to write this article ... 

... has been aroused from my reactions to sympathies towards activism. There has been a lot of that lately. Main causes right now are the brutal home evictions and what seems to be either growing racism, or lingering racism that is opening up.

I do not want to enter into specifics of these activism causes otherwise I will have exited what this article is about. Remaining in the ‘core’.

I am very lucky as I get a ‘brooding’ season from late October until about mid February, Samhain to Imbolc really.

This is my time to gather up the debris from the year before and re-weave it into a framework for the following cycle.


I do writing and composing through this time ... 

... but out of these ideas and inspirations flows questions and ideas of paths to for me to try during the year ahead.

This time also seems to carry an motivation of “how can I do better?”. This is when I notice activism the most, as its about trying to urge things to be better for everyone.

I then focus more intently on my vocation and what I am trying to do to serve that better. Then that voice rears up calling that “there is more to this planet, or at least this country, than what YOU want to do ... so get out there and fight peacefully for the people”.

So, if I did that, much of my regeneration hermitage time would be gone. Hmm, I start wondering how much of activism is worth it. The stress and the opposition of activism can be torture. Then I ask “who is the puppeteer of these activists?”.


So, from these thoughts, I return to the ‘Core of my Coire’.

This thinking and reasoning is inspired by a friend who is a very committed and lively activist but it has kept her away from her own Coire, which now has been offered a new home in a wonderful space.

I will be revealing her name, what she does, and where she does it, quite soon. My thought is will she stay there and from there inspire mentoring that actually changes the course on matters she has pounded streets calling for change?

My parallel thought is will I sustain doing the same?

I am really writing this article to ask you ... will you do the same too?

Will you live and work passionately from the Core of your Coire. I believe this is the space we are most truthful from, and the most useful.

There may be an ego question about that, but each of us has a body temple of different ages and form, so how can we be equal in vocation?  Our intent can always be to bridge ourselves to others with the minimum bias that we can handle.

Perhaps that’s what people mean by equality. Equality is building bridges with people as much as we can ... with free access in both directions, and not build walls with no access or just a single direction path


To try and explain my own vision 
and interpretation of ‘Core of the Coire’ 

I will blow my own trumpet and use a bit of self promotion here ...

Once March is here I feel I need to be completely on the ball of what we are doing here at Carrowcrory Labyrinth Gardens and the Labyrinth sessions of mindfulness, visualisation, guilt and fear therapy, fairy fae and sí lore, journaling and storytelling.

I use ancient myth stories, characters, and settings as prompted images to get through these.

I use tree lore, plant lore, herb lore, to guide or mentor people to connect with the divine of nature and the alchemy of fae and sidhe lore within this.

I could use science and text book clinicals instead. I could wave my science degree certificate to get through this intellectually

  ... but what is most fun, memorable, and most truthful?

That is the Coire I feel I am steward of here.


The intent is to assist others 
to trust and flow through their own Coire.

Where there is a ‘Core in the Coire’, there are seeds to be sown.

When those seeds grow from their Coire more seeds will form.

The result, I feel, is more sustainable, more organic, growth for change than from any band aid activism protest.

It seems protest can send stuff off of the table into the under table, the underworld. This has recently happened with forest policies, environmental policies, and I suspect we will soon find with water and fracking policies too.

I find myself thinking of the ancient Brehon Laws that seem to have an origin before language was calibrated and assembled.

These are laws of connection to all living things, not control of them, and how we fit in with all life.

They are about mediation rather than judgement.

They are about balancing through restitution, compensation, and accountability rather than through barbaric punishment.

It feels like the Brehon Laws were a bonding of community, the Core of the community Coire rather than be alien to it. The community being more than human population but all life in the same space.

I also think of coppicing style of woodland management where trunks are harvested by the tree Coire and roots remain to grow more. There is no clear-felling and uprooting.

So here at Carrowcrory, its not just about the Labyrinth Garden sessions. Its about all of those other branches from the Core but still in the Coire.

From Mid February until mid October I have to keep completely on the ball with what we are doing. It’s not just about facilitating, teaching and performance time. It includes the vital hospitality support to ensure it all happens so intimately and homely. People need to eat, mingle, rest, and sleep too.

So my 2019 intent is to mainly serve the Core of the Coire that I seem to be steward off.


Simply put, its working from the heart 
rather than mind.

It’s living and working with passion rather than what is profitable and what saves the most money.

It’s living with good input from our inspirations, and not sacrificing them and putting them aside to do what others tell us what to do and how to live.

Its living within community, like each drum of a drum circle adds something, rather than hold out our hands for crumbs at the base of a pyramid, thinking we will climb higher one day.

Its living as bridge builders rather than wall builders.

Its living as land carers rather than land takers

Its living our lives rather than giving it away

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