“Fir Le Chéile”
taking place on the last Tuesday of every month, 7-10pm
in February 2015, I, (John) announced that after 5 years of facilitating Fir Le Chéile, I would welcome one or more of the men who regularly take plart in Fir Le Chéile monthly gatherings to take over facilitation. This would sllow me to devote more time and energy to other expressions of men's work that have been a calling in recent times. I am delighted to say that from May 2015 onwards, Fir Le Chéile has be co-facilitated by Declan Hammond and Sé Franklin, using The Lantern Centre, Synge Street in Dublin 8. Until further notice, if you are reading this page and considering participating in Fir le Chéile, contact Declan and Sé directly using their e mail addresses: (Sé) email@example.com, (Declan) firstname.lastname@example.org
“Fir Le Chéile” (pronounced “Fir-Leh-Kayla”, meaning Men Together) is the regular monthly gathering for men in a shamanic setting. Scheduled for the last Tuesday of every month at 7-10pm. Fir Le Chéile is a warm, supportive, non-judgemental gathering for men, by men, answering the need in all of us to sit equally among our own gender. The philosophy of Fir Le Chéile is simple, to honour the manhood of all present, irrespective of where or how we find ourselves as men in the world at any particular time. For thousands of years, men have come together in circle.
However, in our contemporary, western culture, men gathering together has mostly become confined to doing so, for a particular agenda such as, politics, business, sport or recreation. There has been a loss of men sitting together for reasons to do with being a man, manhood and masculinity. With this loss comes a decay in the culture among men. We can become separated from a vital supportive resource that we can only provide for ourselves. Furthermore, we tragically lose awareness of our myth as men or worse still, we come to accept that there is no myth beyond the one “sold” to us by industrialised society.The consequences of this are evident in individual and collective male lives. We miss the anchoring security of a masculine network around us, providing a mentoring force as we respond to daily challenges, personal and professional, as men.
It is notable that in indigenous societies, even those under the creeping threat of industrialisation and “western” values, men will hold tenaciously to their gatherings. They reveal to us their innate awareness that the theft of this vital aspect of their culture would herald an obliteration not just of male health, but of the health of their entire community. The men know intuitively that for upkeep of their physical, psycho-emotional and Spiritual health, they must “turn up” for each other to sustain and grow wisely, their manhood. Fir Le Chéile is set in the indigenous, shamanic tradition in which nature, equality, ceremony and ritual, intuition, wisdom (more than knowledge) and initiation all have a core presence. We come together not to “heal” or “fix” each other, although personal and collective healing may often be a natural consequence. We come together to be witnessed and to witness others and no qualification to do this is required. What is asked of all participating is an open mind and heart, a desire to contribute and receive with compassion. We require of ourselves, the courage to meet the truth at the centre of ourselves and to acknowledge and honour what we find, irrespective of how “well” we think we are doing.
Fir Le Chéile is dedicated to spontaneity and creativity, so while occasional leadership will be necessary to get things going, the gatherings will have no hierarchical structure among participants. While regular attendance would foster strong community, the last Tuesday of every month can be viewed as “a drop in” experience with newcomers continually welcome throughout the year(s). Please let me know by e mail that you would like to come along. If you carry a drum or other musical instrument, please bring it, (for those who don’t, no worries, there’s always an extra drum/rattle in the centre). The kettle will be boiling on your arrival.
I hope to see you there and please drop me an e mail to say that you’d like to come along on a Tuesday evening. If you know of other men who you think would benefit from knowing of Fir Le Chéile, please be of service to them and feel free to forward them a link to this webpage.
For those who have not been able to attend a gathering thus far, here is a brief summary of ideas proffered along the way by participating men, for possible Fir Le Chéile events in the future, (outside of the last Tuesday/monthly meetings)
Men’s Sweat Lodge
John at the Fir Le Chéile Presentation
All Ireland Men's Health Conference, Dublin 2013
Copyright © Slí an Chroí 2009