“…we do not use even a small part of our powers and our forces. We have in us, so to speak, a very big and very fine organisation, only we do not know how to use it…we have in us a large house full of beautiful furniture, with a library and many other rooms, but we live in the basement and the kitchen and cannot get out of them. If people tell us about what this house has upstairs we do not believe them, or we laugh at them, or call it superstition or fairy tales or fables.” – P.D. Ouspensky The Fourth Way
Notes from the Zone: Mystery Centre
The area which the Zone now occupies is known traditionally to have been one of the Mystery Centres which were dotted around Ireland in ancient times. These are thought to have been places of initiation and sacred knowledge where druids taught. This particular one however was part of the O’Conor clan’s land and has a very good claim to be the location where Fionn MacCumaill tasted the Salmon of Knowledge on the banks of the river which flows here.
The story goes that the salmon swallowed nine hazel nuts that fell into the Well of Wisdom and in this way gained the knowledge of the world. I noticed there are still plenty of hazel trees about. What is so interesting about this story is that Fionn tasted the fish in innocence as his master had spent seven years trying to catch it and had told Fionn to cook it but not taste it. Fionn had burnt his thumb by pressing the fish to see if it was cooked and had only sucked it to ease the pain but in this way gained the knowledge of the world. Fionn would become the greatest and most famous leader in Irish history and it is said he only had to suck his thumb to solve any problem.
This story could be a metaphor for the nature of some of the teaching that went on here or even a sign of one of the biggest claims that people make for the Zone, that here your deepest desire can be given to you. While there might be a number of ways to receive this, which we can only guess at today, this innocent childlike way might be one of them.
There is also a very colourful ragtree in the Zone. Traditionally, very much like a Tibetan prayer flag and other such trees dotted around Ireland, people with an illness tie a rag to a branch and by the time the rag has rotted away the sickness will have gone too. No doubt wishes and prayers of other types are probably made here as well.
In a possible case of synchronicity, about 10 years ago when I was cutting images from books and magazines to do some paper collage work, I clipped the above print from a magazine on mysteries. While I never used it for anything I always felt compelled to keep it for some reason. The information underneath it states ‘The magician claims to command those elements which lesser men fear. It is time to master the dragon instead of slaying him. This Irish print from 1678 shows a magus symbolically dominating the natural world, and dividing day from night at a mystery centre there.” It would be tempting to identify the wood he is standing in as the ancient wood of the Zone but we cannot know for sure.
One last tale from ancient times that might explain peoples reverence for this place and the region began in the distant past when a large meteorite impacted at this point and created the cavity which has since been filled in by the lake. The Zone is said to have lain in the path of its trail and smaller fragments fell there and remain deeply embedded and strangely magnetised in the ground. These hidden alien fragments could somehow be the source of the Zones power.