Ok, so a 'fixer', in journalism, is someone (often a local journalist), who gets booked by a foreign journalist or media outlet to help with local connections - to act as a translator and guide, to gain access to local interviews and places on the ground that a foreign journalist just wouldn't have access to.
I'm a journalist by trade, so I'm used to fixer work from both sides, but I occasionally (more often as the years roll by) get a request to act as a 'Spiritual Fixer' for folk who are either coming to Ireland and want a guide to a genuine spiritual experience while here - land, sites, communities - or else by those who can't set foot on land here for various reasons, and need some help or support, or spiritual work done for them.
This has crossed from personal (favours for friends), to professional (I worked in Irish tourism as a guide and heritage manager for 8 years), to those times when the Beings and entities I work with and for in my own spiritual practice tell me in no uncertain terms I need to help a certain person or group. That last one has been both personal (or ended up that way, with making good friends from complete strangers!) and professional paid work. And occasionally both at once, because honourable folk compensate other honourable folk for their valuable time, skills, and resources.
I had agreed to do some work for a friend a while back, but with one thing and another I hadn't gotten to it, and my trip to teach at the Morrigan Retreat in CT was looming. He had a family connection to the River Barrow, and needed some material collected from the area, which I'd agreed to facilitate and transfer to him, and appropriate offerings made to local spirits in exchange.
Being a pure Shannon girl my whole life, I'd never worked with the Barrow (or any of her sisters) but as I'm living in their area now, it seemed like work I should be doing anyway. And get done before I left my land to teach, so time was ticking.
I decided to take an hour or two the day before I travelled and 'pop over' to Passage East, buy some whiskey and honey to make an offering, pick up some river stones, and be back by lunchtime.
Is it ever that easy though?
First, the offering. At that point, I was still seeing this mostly as fixer work for my friend, but when I checked in the night before with my own Gods, Guides and Guardians I was told in no uncertain terms that buying a bottle of whiskey in Tesco with somebody else's money wasn't going to do rightly. Not at all.
I had a lovely bottle of home brewed mead sure, that'd been gifted to me by Treasa at my birthday in April. That I was saving for a special occasion. That was still wrapped in the birthday paper...
When I arrived at Passage East, I realised it was almost entirely salt water there, and sure that wouldn't do at all. I knew the Barrow is a tidal river, but the mix of fresh to salt felt entirely wrong at that point.
Checking the map, I figured if I drove a bit back up towards the loop of the river I'd probably find a wee village I could access the river at. Traveling up towards Cheekpoint I realised nope, it still wasn't right. and I was stuck now in the river loop, so I'd to backtrack out to Waterford, cross the bridge, and travel upriver again.
Still didn't know where I was going, but Graiguenamanagh in Co. Kilkenny felt like a good place to aim for, so I hit off in that direction. I avoided the motorway though, and kept to N25 to New Ross, then followed the road along the river.
I was pulled off the road though (not literally, thankfully - safety first, Spirits!) at a wee place called St. Mullins, which was, I must admit as a happy bonus, and absolute delight of a hidden gem I'd never even heard of.
Down into the river valley, past folk sitting chatting on benches by the side of the lane, to a little paved roundabout with a car park off to one side. A lovely man strimming a garden told me I could tuck my car in at the roundabout area for a few minutes, so I did that, took my offering, and strolled down along the river bank.
I'm going to let these pictures tell the rest of that bit of the story...
But I got what my friend needed, 7 river stones from his ancestral land. I also got what I needed - the beginnings of a local river connection, with a good solid dose of the Irish land before I flew away over the sea. And it did me the power o' good I can tell ya.
I gave my thanks, took a deep breath, and began to make my way home again.