Growing up in the bosom between Sligo town and the countryside had many blessings including regular trips to Rosses Point beach as a kid and to places like Lissadell House steeped in cultural history as a placed loved by WB Yeats. Then there is Hazelwood which is a wood with impressive wooden statues erected and awesome array of bluebells, what can I say Wordsworth had his daffodils I had my bluebells. All these places were peaceful and relaxing for me and since most pagans have that nearby nature reserve that speaks to them I guess Rosses Point in particular would be it for me, mostly because its the place I would visit most often with my family during the summer.
In Novemeber of 1999 we had to move. It had been a long time coming and now my two uncles had bought a bar in Carrick-on-Shannon in County Leitrim. Took me 2 weeks to realize that Carrick-on-Shannon was the capital town of Leitrim. People still swear to me theres a third street somewhere there. Living over a bar was different. We’d spend the next 9 years there working for my two uncles to start then down to one and finally for a bunch of lawyers. It was almost like this place had ripped me away from a place I’d found sanctuary from all the crap in my life. One sanctuary in this new place away from civilization (oh no I was in no waaay dramatic! lol) was by the quay which was the River Shannon
Unbeknownst to me the Grove of Sinann was also set up around the time I moved to Carrick first. Though I would have only been 12 or 13 at the time and not aware that paganism was being revived in the world so I pottered on for a bit.
I met up with some friends in 3rd Year one of whom was gay as well. We found out we both had a growing interest in Wicca and witchcraft. To be fair it was clear that this other guy preferred witchcraft neat in his cocktail and so our styles differed. It was the stepping stone for me to put myself out there and seek answers to questions I didn’t even know to ask. At this point the irony of living on the back of the Goddess Sinann hadn’t escaped me. I found it more poetic rather than practical because I’d very clearly made up my mind to take Wicca seriously and follow the structures laid down for me by people more in the know. I respected the spirits of the land but reserved working with any of them for now.
In my head the Craft was and is an Earth-Based Spirituality and so more in line with Earth Mother worship and so Danu or Gaia where it for me. Also something about Sinann’s presence seemed older than the myths had her and this frightened me. I’ve recently realized why. When I first came to the Craft I was drawn to the name Rivers but talked myself out of this because it was too generic and very shamanic in nature and I knew nothing about shamanism.
My family, no uncles this time, moved with help from our loved ones now passed over to build a house nearby to where my maternal grandmother’s home used to stand. A walk during the summer just past lead me to an opening to the Shannon river. Funny how the Shannon keeps popping up everywhere. I had just taken a year off from college where something remarkable had happened to me there too. I distinctly heard a voice from nowhere call my name as I crossed the Shannon on my way to college. This happened a few times. I didn’t know what to make of this and presumed that it was some relatives as I have often been able to speak with them but later on none would come forth in divinations or meditations.
All in all I had travelled from one end of the Goddess Sinann to the other. Crossing her boundaries a few times. The lessons this Goddess brings offer creative curiosity and learning beyond social constructs. While she is a very powerful and very old goddess her lessons are easily applied to one and all in the modern era. I suggest people look up the Book of Leinster and the Creation of Sinann to further understand this goddess.