New St. Gobnait's Bell delivered to Cúl Aodh

Last Wednesday we deliverd the new St. Gobnait's Bell, cast last summer by Umha Aois, to Cúl Aodh. Together with Peadar Ó Riada, we then continued on to do the ancient patterns of her feast day (11th Feb.) in Baile Bhuirne. It started with blessing ribbons in the church by wrapping them around a well-worn medieval wooden icon: three times across and three times lengthwise. Then followed the 'rounds' of the turas: three times each walking deiseal or sun-wise around the sculpture, the grave and the old church. The latter included rubbing both the Sheela na Gig through the window and the re-instated balaun stone in a small crevice in the church wall (a smooth round boulder that re-appeared after having gone missing for decades). The rounds were completed with a visit to the eye well where Peadar blessed the bell.

St. Gobnait was born in the 5th/6th century in Co. Clare or Inis Oírr (Aran Islands) and travelled Ireland until nine white deer appeared to her near Baile Bhuirne, where she subsequently founded her church. She is the patron saint of both beekeepers and iron workers, which is noteworthy as Michael J. O'Kelly excavated an Iron Age metalwork area near the statue. All very appropriate as the bell was made with the beeswax of my own hives and the bell was cast with Iron Age methods by Umha Aois during the August 2014 symposium in Cúl Aodh. But the story of her new bell doesn't end here yet...

 

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The magic of St. Gobnait's pattern day... 

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Peadar Ó Riada after blessing the bell in the well. The green ribbon was blessed by wrapping it six times around an ancient wooden icon.

 The finished bell...

The finished bell...