2015 Samhain Festival
SAMHAIN FESTIVAL held at FOUNDATION CENTRE, IRELAND
By: Minette Quick
November 7th, 2015
After a rain soaked morning, a beautifully mild and bright afternoon developed unexpectedly as we gathered to celebrate the turning of the year. Many of the trees had shed their spectacular autumn colours in the winds of the past week, leaving a fine tracery of bare branches against a clear blue sky. There was an air of peace and yet expectancy as we met, and it was a particular delight to have so many seasoned members with us, some of whom hadn’t been to the Castle for many years, and a number for whom it was their first visit. It is always wonderful to connect afresh with the sacredness of the energy of the land at Foundation Centre throughout the changing seasons, and to tune into the presence of the Goddess and God in their many guises in each of the special places which inspired the foundation of the daughter societies of the Fellowship.
So we set off in procession - first through the Orchard to the Rose Garden - where the mystical vista of the distant hills beyond, welcomed us all into the presence of this place of deep dedication. Then it was on down to the Druid Grove of Dana along the Yew Walk where a family guest could be seen at her easel, painting a small landscape of a grassy green track at the edge of the Wilderness – then to the Abbey where autumn pruning and ongoing restoration work on the crumbling masonry meant picking our way carefully to invoke the Goddess Tara and ask for her blessing on the necessary work of caring for both our inner and outer environment in equal measure as we face the world at this time. Indeed, on reflection, this important guiding thread was a constant and ran throughout our varied Samhain ceremonies.
Passing into the Temple with the permission of Persephone, we gathered for the familiar rituals of welcome, invocation and individual blessings with water from Brigid’s Sacred Well. Before invoking Deity, we recalled Olivia’s presence amongst us with some of the inspirational words she received from the Goddess Kwan Yin - ‘That it is in sending forth emotions, thoughts and visions of beauty, wisdom and harmony that these qualities are brought into earthly manifestation.’ And these were the guiding principles which the Goddess Isis reiterated with great clarity in a quiet but powerful Oracle through her priestess at the High Altar. She counselled us that as we face the challenges ahead, love and compassion remain essential. Needless to say we think of Olivia with particular love and affection as we near the second anniversary of her passing on November 14th, 2013.
There was reflective music and chant, and a wonderful telling of a ‘ghost’ story around a recently inherited family artefact, connected with events leading up to the formation of the Irish State, in 1916. Naturally at this time of Samhain there was much healing prayer sought throughout for those who have gone before, and those left behind. There is much richness in the intimation of immortality to comfort and sustain us through the deep emotions of letting go of the past to make way for the new.
Our cast of ‘Mystery Players’ represented the returning Ancestors who come to waken those who seek the truth that there is no death, reinforced by the wisdom of the Goddess Tiamat that we harm ourselves when we harm others – for we are all One. With the flame of the wisdom of Deity and each other’s support, we each play an essential part in the creation of that better future as we waken to the truth of our own Divinity.
Towards the end of our time together we were delighted to welcome a visiting member of the priesthood from the US, and to fulfil her request for an additional blessing on her ordination and training. She felt that she had come home in what she described as ‘a completion’ on being with us in person at Foundation Centre.
Proceedings were concluded with notices. Thanks were offered to Deity for their inspiring presence with us, and we all looked forward to an enjoyable time together in the village afterwards for tea, as darkness was undoubtedly falling by the time we left the Temple with gratitude for all that had been received.
© M. Quick: The High Altar, Temple of Isis, Ireland
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(Our continuing thanks to Minette and everyone at the Foundation Center Temple.)
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