• Cindy Zampa

Week 41: Blarney Portal

I was pleasantly surprised by our visit to the Blarney Castle, near Cork, Ireland. There is so much more to see and do than just kiss the Blarney Stone! Even though I am not an avid gardener, the grounds are a delight to stroll through. There was an entire garden dedicated to growing toxic, poisonous, even deadly herbs and plants, such as Wolfsbane, Ricin, Mandrake and Opium. Warning signs, with skulls and crossbones, are scattered throughout the Poison Garden, yet some of the plants are so dangerous that they are cultivated underneath metal domed cages.

On the grounds near the entrance to Blarney Castle stands a large slab of stone. It is at least 6 feet tall, with a hole carved out of it. I'm not certain about the significance of this stone. It could have been a section of the exterior fortress wall in medieval times. Perhaps it's a Luck Stone, similar to the Connemara marble pendant I bought as a gift for my son. On the back of the pendant package is a description of how it works to protect, and bring luck to, the wearer. Apparently, holding the hole up to one eye and peering through it at one's enemy will thwart any evil plans the enemy may have to do harm—or maybe the enemy is simply distracted by the peculiar sight of you squinting through a hole in your necklace.

Since I actually did manage to hang upside down and kiss the Blarney Stone —said to impart the gift of the gab to those whose lips touch it—I could create quite a fabulous story about the significance of this stone, but I will refrain.

Suffice it to say, when one is doing a 52-week project with the theme of portals, this is not one to be passed by.

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