Childhood                                 COMING OF AGE                                    Pilgrimage     

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

From Fluent by John O Donohue 

The visible is that which we can see. That which we cannot see, we call invisible. Great regions of our life are governed by invisible presence. No one can see time, yet it is one of the most powerful of invisible forces. Music is the one art form that changes our experience of time. We enter the deeper dimension of time where the eternal is hidden. Time is never still; it brings us to new frontiers in every moment.

The Celtic imagination was never dualistic; it experienced no separation of visible and invisible, temporal and eternal. Celtic music echoes this fluent unity.

Áine Minogue has perched her (new) album in this interim world of the threshold where these infinities meet. The vibrance, energy and mystery of their encounter is given voice in the imagination of her music. There on those subtle spiritual thresholds, the ocean beseeches the land, the light tests and blesses the dark, the exile dreams of home, echoing the inner threshold where soul and mind ebb and flow into one another. 

This music is suffused with the powerful resonance of the great Celtic feasts —Beltaine, Samhain, Lughnasadh and Imcolc— when the veil between visible and invisible is lifted; that gentle membrane where silence becomes audible. The great conductor Sergiu Celibidache said, “we do not create music, we merely create the conditions so that she can arrive.” 

Áine Minogue achieves these conditions with a poise that is gentle and sure.

(THE THRESHOLD by John O Donohue)

".... echoing the inner threshold where soul and mind ebb and flow into one another."  John O'Donohue

The Druid priests of old believed in the spiritual power of betweenness, the idea that thresholds and boundaries shimmer with otherworldly possibility. They loved the seashore, which was neither land nor sea; the mist, neither water nor air; and twilight, neither day nor night. This principle applied as well to the changes of season – the four “cross-quarter festivals,” Beltaine, Samhain, Lughnasadh, and Imbolc, were special times when the veil between the worlds grew thin and humans could contact the other side.

On Between the Worlds, Áine Minogue celebrates the evocative brilliance of betweenness with a musical feast in honor of these special moments of spiritual potential.  The song Fyvie Castle reflects the ancient wonder of Samhain – the festival that we call Halloween today – the night when they received the wisdom of the ancestors. Mal Bhán Ní Chuilionain, is a lively, traditional song of Beltaine, the Celtic celebration of Spring, ripe with erotic and creative potential. And to fête harvest time or Lughnasadh, there is Rosemary Faire, a daring duet of courtship and romance. 

With these and nine other traditional and original songs, Áine Minogue has crafted an album she calls her “personal favorite.” Joined by Celtic bassist Lindsay Horner, Seamus Egan on guitar, whistles, and flutes, Barry Phillips on cello, Winnie Horan on fiddle, and special guest Alasdair Halliday, she weaves a spell with harp and vocals to cross an invisible barrier and take you Between the Worlds.


Personal Note

Work in the invisible world at least as hard as you do in the visible. ~Rumi

I immigrated to America from Ireland as a young woman. Over time I became less Irish. And yet it was clear I would never be fully American. 

This “betweenness” often felt like a “pull.” Heaven knows there are enough songs about lonely immigrants pining for home. That wasn’t my story tho. The pull wasn’t being being “here” or “there.” I loved America. The pull was around identity? Who or what am I and where do I belong? As before, I started looking to Irish stories and mythology - and of course music - and came upon the lovely idea of “betweenness.”

The old Irish loved things in states of betweenness, especially elements of nature. They loved mist because it was neither water nor air. They loved the seashore - neither land nor sea. 

They loved liminal places, caves, openings, borders of the natural world because in that betweenness, there was a magic of sorts. Aside from the elements, the times of day had their between times, dawn and dusk and these were magic too.

So I started to see the pull in a different light , I stopped feeling suspended and starting seeing that sense of being neither one or the other as a blessing. To have the opportunity to straddle two worlds, to live between two cultures had its challenges but ultimately was a gift. Irish stories are full of “betweenness,” full of otherworlds and cherish the idea that an otherworld is close by. “Tá Tir na N´Og ar fud an tí.” (The land of Eternal Youth is out the back of the House.”). The idea that the otherworld is close by and proximate to the everyday is a consistent theme. How lovely is that? 

Everyone wants to belong and a body doesn’t have to leave their home to feel left out or suspended but it’s lovely to think of shifting and moving as an opportunity for the magical, the gift of perspective and the knowledge that home really is where the heart is.

Aine Minogue, Feb. 2017



By John O Donohue

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

By John O Donohue 

So much of what delights and troubles you
Happens on a surface
You take for ground.
Your mind thinks your life alone,
Your eyes consider air your nearest neighbor,
Yet it seems that a little below your heart
There houses in you an unknown self
Who prefers the patterns of the dark
And is not persuaded by the eye's affection
Or caught by the flash of thought.

It is a self that enjoys contemplative patience
With all your unfolding expression,
Is never drawn to break into light
Though you entangle yourself in unworthiness
And misjudge what you do and who you are.

It presides within like an evening freedom
That will often see you enchanted by twilight
Without ever recognizing the falling night,
It resembles the under-earth of your visible life:
All you do and say and think is fostered
Deep in its opaque and prevenient clay.

It dwells in a strange, yet rhythmic ease
That is not ruffled by disappointment;
It presides in a deeper current of time
Free from the force of cause and sequence
That otherwise shapes your life.

Were it to break forth into day,
Its dark light might quench your mind,
For it knows how your primeval heart
Sisters every cell of your life
To all your known mind would avoid,

Thus it knows to dwell in you gently,
Offering you only discrete glimpses
Of how you construct your life.

At times, it will lead you strangely,
Magnetized by some resonance
That ambushes your vigilance.

It works most resolutely at night
As the poet who draws your dreams,
Creating for you many secret doors,
Decorated with pictures of your hunger;

It has the dignity of the angelic
That knows you to your roots,
Always awaiting your deeper befriending
To take you beyond the threshold of want,
Where all your diverse strainings
Can come to wholesome ease.


By John O Donohue

End Poem Header Begin Poem Text

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.

By John O’Donohue, Echoes of Memory
Salmon/Poolbeg Press, 1994

As it leaves
the sea inscribes
     the sand
with a Zen Riddle
written in Japanese
characters of seaweed.

the white selves
of seagulls
mesh in repetitions
of desire. 

By John O Donohue

Light cannot see inside things.
That is what the dark is for:
Minding the interior,
Nurturing the draw of growth
Through places where death
In its own way turns into life.

In the glare of neon times,
Let our eyes not be worn
By surfaces that shine
With hunger made attractive.

That our thoughts may be true light,
Finding their way into words
Which have the weight of shadow
To hold the layers of truth.

That we never place our trust
In minds claimed by empty light,
Where one-sided certainties
Are driven by false desire.

When we look into the heart,
May our eyes have the kindness
And reverence of candlelight.

That the searching of our minds
Be equal to the oblique
Crevices and corners where
The mystery continues to dwell,
Glimmering in fugitive light.

When we are confined inside
The dark house of suffering
That moonlight might find a window.

When we become false and lost
That the severe noon-light
Would cast our shadow clear.

When we love, that dawn-light
Would lighten our feet
Upon the waters.

As we grow old, that twilight
Would illuminate treasure
In the fields of memory.

And when we come to search for God,
Let us first be robed in night,
Put on the mind of morning
To feel the rush of light
Spread slowly inside
The color and stillness
Of a found word.


A Morning Offering 
By John O Donohue 

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.

Between The Worlds

Áine Minogue

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BILLBOARD MAGAZINE by Thom Duffy This lovely album seamlessly draws on classical, traditional, and contemporary influences. More important, it evinces the spiritually healing quality of Celtic music, which helps explain the genre's remarkable worldwide popularity....

AQUARIUS A bard of the Irish tradition reaching back to the myths of the nation's

BILLBOARD MAGAZINE by Thom Duffy This lovely album seamlessly draws on classical, traditional, and contemporary influences. More important, it evinces the spiritually healing quality of Celtic music, which helps explain the genre's remarkable worldwide popularity....

AQUARIUS A bard of the Irish tradition reaching back to the myths of the nation's founding...a hypnotic, etheric album which whispers its way into your system, magically enveloping you in a swirling breeze of sweet airs, jigs and ballads. Fans of traditional Celtic ways and poignant, heartfelt, soulful music will not want to miss this one...

THE CELTIC CONNECTION Beautiful vocals from Áine, who, in addition to having a lovely voice, is also an outstanding harper......

ALBUM CREDITS Áine Minogue: vocals, Irish harp, percussion John Arimond: tenor vocal, backing vocals, whistling Jeramie Hammond: harmony vocals, bass vocals Seamus Egan: nylon strung guitar, whistles and flutes, mandolin Winnie Horan: fiddles Lindsey Horner: double bass Takaaki Masuko: percussion Alasdair Halliday: harmony vocals, lead vocals, shaker, rhythm guitar Barry Phillips: cello, bass vocals John McGann: rhythm guitars Arden String Quartet: Zioa Bologovsky- violin, Rohan Gregory - violin, Louisa Sarkissian - viola Daniel Orlansky: steel cello, didjeridoo

All tracks published by Little Miller Music (BMI) for Aine Minogue.

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Adler, Margot. Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986. 
Bulfinch, Thomas 
Bulfinch’s Mythology
Avenel Books, New York 
Frazer, James George. The Golden Bough, A Study of Magic and Religion Scribner, 1996 reprint edition. 
Graves, Robert 
The White Goddess
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 1984 
Hillers, Barbara 
Music from the Otherworld: 
Modern Gaelic Legends About Fairy Music 
Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium (April 29-May1, 1994) 
Bealoideas, Iml. 60-1, 1992-3 
Dictionary of Celtic Mythology
Oxford , New York, 1998 
MacLeod, Sharon Paice  Celtic Myth and Religion; A Study of Traditional Belief with Newly Translated Prayers, Poems and Songs, McFarland Publishing, NY, 2011 
Rolleston, T. W. 
Myths and Legends of The Celtic Race
David D. Nickerson & Company, Boston 
No year given – limited edition 
Rees, Alwyn & Brinley Rees 
Celtic Heritage, Ancient tradition in Ireland and Wales, 
Thames and Hudson, England, 1961 
Skelton, Robin and Margaret Blackwood 
Earth, Air, Fire, Water 
Squire, Charles 
Celtic Myth and Legend
Newcastle Publishing Company, US, 1975 
Thomas, Keith 
Religion and the Decline of Magic
Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, 1971   

Dancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage.  The Journals of Thomas Merton.  Volume 5:1963-1965.  Robert E. Daggy, ed.  San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997. 


By Azean (Feb 1st, 2009) 
I'm always amazed at each new album that Aine and team produced. I'm not a Celt, but Aine has made me love Celtic songs. I love every single one of it. My favourite is the O'Carolan and Jezebal Carol. I've never seen or heard anybody playing such exquisite music like you. Thank you very much Aine and team! You proved the quote "The Most Beautiful Things On Earth Cannot Be Seen Or Heard But Can Be Felt In The Heart..." is true. 

This lovely album seamlessly draws on classical, traditional, and contemporary influences. More important, it evinces the spiritually healing quality of Celtic music, which helps explain the genre's remarkable worldwide popularity....  

A bard of the Irish tradition reaching back to the myths of the nation's founding...a hypnotic, etheric album which whispers its way into your system, magically enveloping you in a swirling breeze of sweet airs, jigs and ballads. Fans of traditional Celtic ways and poignant, heartfelt, soulful music will not want to miss this one... 


Beautiful vocals from Áine, who, in addition to having a lovely voice, is also an outstanding harper...... 


This album is beautiful and haunting ...... consists of both original and traditional compositions which compliment each other beautifully to form a cohesive whole. Áine's voice is delicate and ethereal, much like her harp....  

Beauty, grace, passion, and excellence are the hallmarks of this fabulous album. Don't miss it.....  

...From ecclesiastic chanting to ethereal choral voices, from dancing flute to driving drums, this album is almost a series of contradictions which cleave together in a most natural form ... 


These are places of unfathomable mystery and unspeakable beauty, and so is this magical record.....  


....this is not your typical "Harp Disc". Moments after you pop in this CD, you'll be lost in a mystical journey through the Celtic spiritual world...hours of listening pleasure....... 


...filled with fantastic instrumentals and vocals with a slightly modern touch, this collection of timeless treasures will delight your imagination.... Highly Recommended!..... 


......a dreamy trip from birth to death and from the old world to the new......demonstrates her profound lyricism, describing the search for inner peace..... 


.....the music of Áine Minogue is gently mysterious, calling to the mind the haunting melodies of the Celtic tradition. Her music carries the listener to faraway Celtic lands where the veil is lifted to allow movement and unity, between worlds 

Between the Worlds: Liner Notes

1. Exile (Aine Minogue)

The journey begins as movement between worlds and the beginning of the search; moving from birth to death, from the old world to the new, and from this world to the next. Here, the sea is a metaphor for the carrier whose female fluidity divides and joins the male solidity of the land. As the movements of the sea go from turbulent to calm, nothing is assured. The quest for the betweenness of old and new, the place that is neither sand nor sea, leads to where both embrace in a mosaic of foreign sounds from different corners of the world.

Exile LYRICS (Áine Minogue) 

Tread softly when you leave 

A journey safe to you 

A pilgrimage to foreign lands 

Seek sanctuary true 


Chorus: Exile... exile... 


I cannot of two places be 

Cannot be the shore and be the sea 

To seek... to search... to find the place 

Where sand and shore simply interlace 


Slipped those ways into a life 

Not knowing that you'd grow with me 

The freedom that you gave... to see 

Threefold earned this loyalty 


Cannot be two ways complete 

Cannot be both day and night 

Surrendering to find the space... 

As dawn and dusk find their resting place


2. O Carolan

This piece by Turlough O'Carolan, the 18th-century blind Irish composer, combines the classical with the traditional Irish musical world. The genius of O'Carolan was in incorporating the essence of the music of his homeland with the European classical tradition he emulated.

3. Silence ((Áine Minogue) 


The silence of the forest is my bride and the sweet dark warmth of the whole world is my love, and out of the heart of that dark warmth comes the secret that is heard only in silence, but it is the root of all the secrets that are whispered by all the lovers in their beds all over the world." 

Learning to Love: Exploring Solitude and Freedom. Volume 6, p 240:1966-1967 

Silence LYRICS (Áine Minogue) 


Welcome.. silence... to my place 

I've missed you for so long 

I sought your face a thousand times in voices loud and strong 

In searching for your solitude... I looked and looked without 

And where else should I find your face... upon this holy ground. 


Now... silence... would you not... spend more time just here 

Your breeze is as a lover fine, a lover fine to me 

And in the quiet darkness of our sacred place 

I'd hold your court and bid you never leave here or away 


Through worlds divine and shadows fine and 'cross the seven seas 

Forever searching... wanderlust... in hopes of home to see 

If... silence... you've a home... a place for us to be 

Then glad I'll be your lover true 

And go there... go there... with you


Many achieve their stillness on “holy ground.” It would be difficult to find an area in Ireland that does not have old sites such as “ring forts” or what came to be known as “holy wells” places where ancient lines of power were thought to intersect. After the introduction of Christianity, churches were often built at many of these sites. It was believed that the boundaries between territories were supernatural and that water that flowed between two or three territories might perhaps have curative powers. 

4. The Grove

Perhaps the ultimate "holy ground" was the grove, the site of prayer.  Their reverence for nature - and working within its boundaries - made them particularly respectful of the elements in states of betweenness. They loved the seashore, neither land nor sea; the fog or mist, neither water nor air; dawn and dusk, neither night nor day. 

Their sacred branch was holly, neither bush nor tree. Celebrations revolved around the agricultural cycle of the year, and they led the people in the union of practical life and the earthly world with that of the spirit.

5. Mal Bhán (Mol Vawn) 

The Celtic cycle of the year was marked by four major "fire festivals": Beltaine, Samhain, Lughnasadh and Imbolc. These boundaries marked the new season, and allowed for movement between the worlds as lines along which the supernatural were thought to break through to the surface of existence. Beltaine occurred on the First of May, May Day, and marked the beginning of the "light half" of the year. It was symbolized by the white flowering hawthorn tree, around which ritual dancing took place to ensure a good harvest (Lughnasadh) later that year. Mal Bhán represents the spirit of spring after the long winter, with a raw and markedly erotic energy, celebrating the earth at its most forceful.

Mal Bhán Ní Chuilionáin LYRICS 

Ar meisce cha dtéim níos mó,

Braon leanna go doe ní bhlaisfidh mé

Ór chailleas mo chailín beag óg

A chuireadh im phóca an t-airgead.



Is fada liom uaim í, uaim í

Is fada liom uaim í o d'imigh sí

Is fada liom thíos is thuas í,

Malaí na gCuach Ní Chuilionáin.


Bhí mé lá amuigh ar an gcoill

Is tharla dom soilse bradóige

A dhéanfadh an marbhán beo

Nó réice boic óig de sheanduine.


Dá mbeinnse in eipir an bháis

Agus daoine dhá rá nach dtiocfainn as,

Ní dhéanfainn mo thiomna go brách

Go dtiocfadh sí, Mal Bhan Ní Chuilionáin.


Déanfaidh mé toigh ar an aird,

Is beidh ceithre ba bainne breaca agam.

Ní ligfidh mé do aoinne dhá mbleán,

Ach Malaí na gCuach Ní Chuilionáin.

ENGLISH TRANSLATION Molly (Ni Chuilionain - Name) with the curly hair 

Drunkenness for life I forego, 

Strong ale I will taste never more, 

Since I lost my pretty young maid, 

Who would plenish my pockets with riches. 



I long for her from me, from me, 

I long for her from me, since leaving me, 

I long for her above and below me, 

The curly haired Mal Bhan Ni Chuilionain (name) 


I happened one day in the woods, 

and I met a charming young maiden 

She'd make a corpse come alive, 

and a lovely young man of an old fellow. 


If I were in the last throes of death, 

And people could see no recovery, 

I'd never dictate my last will, 

'Till the arrival of Mal Bhán Ni Chuilionaíßßn 


Drunkenness for life I forego, 

Strong ale I will taste never more, 

Since I lost my pretty young maid, 

Who would plenish my pockets with riches.


Here’s Robert Bowles translation. It’s always so interesting to see how different writers approach a translation!




I'll never et drunk again;

No drop of drink will I taste

Since I lost my pretty young firl

That used to put money in my pocket


She is far from me, from me

She is far from me since she left

She is far, high up and low down

Molly the Ringlets O'Cullinane.


I was out in the wood

When I met a bright roguish woman

That would revive a corpse

Or make a buck rake of an old fellow.


If I was at my last gasp

And people saying I would not recover

I wouldn't ever make my will

Until she'd come, Blond Molly Cullinane. 


I'll build a house on the hillock,

And I'll have four speckled milch cows.

I'll not have them milked by anyone, 

But Molly the Ringlets O'Cullinane.


Note: Mál Bhán Ní Chuilionáin was an allegorical name used by early 18th Century poets to refer to Ireland itself. 


6. Between the Worlds 

During these seasonal feasts, the veil between the worlds was thought to be lifted, the obstacles removed, the laws of space suspended, and communion with one's ancestors became a distinct possibility. They celebrated freedom from addiction to the purely visible, in the age-old premise of a life beyond this one, in which our ancestors are no further away than the next world. And that world itself being rather close by.

Between the Worlds LYRICS ((Áine Minogue) 


And as you move between the worlds 

Great sorrow will I feel 

As first and last they journey same 

Through nature's passageway 



You're welcome, soul, to be with me 

I'll happy be your guide 

Teach to me what's been forgot 

The old ways, by and by. 


I've begged the wise to lead me to 

The places you have been 

But glimpses in these waking dreams 

Is all they'll let me see. 


And as you move between the worlds 

Such sorrow makes us reel (real) 

As first and last they journey same 

Through nature's passageway.


7. Fyvie Castle

Samhain was the feast that marked the end of the “dark half" of the year and the beginning of the "dark half." The light half was that of the people, the dark half belonged to the earth, the cycle of time being expressed in the basic duality of darkness and light. Samhain, or Halloween as it has come to be known, was actually New Year's Eve in the Celtic calendar. For the Celts, the dark always preceded the light and day began at dusk, not dawn. 

This was the time for solitary introspection and reflection. 


8. Rosemary Faire

Lughnasadh was the harvest feast and if you’ve had a chance to watch “Dancing at Lughnasadh” (Meryl Streep), it becomes clear how some of these old ways had remained in Ireland well into the 20th Century. 

In ancient times, it celebrated the wedding of the sun god Lugh to Mother Earth. It was a time of gathering, games and joining together to reinforce the identity and strength of the community. Still in the "light half" of the year, it was considered the best time for marriages. 

This is a courting song of daring, in which a man and woman challenge each other to do the impossible - ultimately an invitation to explore all the other possibilities.

Rosemary Faire LYRICS



You may go down to Rosemary Faire 

Every rose grows merry and fine 

Pick me out then the finest girl there 

And I shall make her a true lover of mine. 



Tell him to find me an acre of land 

Every rose grows merry and fine 

Between the salt water and the sea strand 

Or he'll never be a true lover of mine. 



Tell her to send me a carembrick shirt 

Every rose grows merry and fine 

Made without needle or needlework 

Or she cannot be a true lover of mine. 



Tell him to bring it to Rosemary Faire 

Every rose grows merry and fine 

When he arrives there'll be nobody there 

And he'll never be a true lover of mine.

9. The Parting

Voluntary or involuntary, the movement between two worlds usually involves a parting. This piece expresses that part of ourselves that keeps us from letting go. 

In ancient times, it was the duty of the harpers to evoke certain emotions: laughter (geantraí), sorrow (goltraí) and/or sleep (suantraí). This song falls into the goltraí category.

10. Jezebel Carol

Traditionally, carols were sung at all ceremonies and feasts, not just at Christmas time. This carol invokes all those times when we cross invisible barriers, with an optimistic sense of a serendipitous journey, when we don't quite know what surprises lie in store.


11. Across the Universe (John Lennon-Paul McCartney) Not included for sale.

I love John Lennon and this for me is one of the most beautiful songs ever written reflecting the anchoring of the true self despite all that is coming to be and passing away. 

John once said, “he who is not busy being born is busy dying.” The old Irish might have said “we are all busy being born And dying.”  And in this he reflects that beautifully. 

Our ancestors paid attention to the world around them, light to dark, night to day, birth to death - all part of life’s vital system, half of which is dying, the other half coming to full life.

Nothing reflects this view so beautifully as the Celtic spirals we now see on Celtic jewelry.

12. Sleep Song 

Parallel to the quarter days, the old Irish believed the day was also divided into four; Dawn, Midday, Dusk and Midnight. Dawn and dusk were especially important since these were times of “betweenness,” passageways that joined that which was coming to be with all that was leaving. 

In the ancient harp tradition, this song belongs in the sauntraí category.songs of sleep, played expressly so as to guide us to that otherworld of sleep and dreams. 

This is a hugely popular song in the tradition of Táimse mó Chodladh (I am Asleep).