SAMHAIN FESTIVAL - FOUNDATION CENTRE - IRELAND
3rd November 2018
By: Maoliosa Kelly
For the first time in a very long time we were greeted with strong winds and heavy rain for our gathering at the foundation centre. It seemed the Cailleach was heralding Samhain, the beginning of the dark half of the year, to us, in all its unfettered glory. Undeterred we made our way into the shelter of the theatre for the meet and greet of friends old and new. The genuine warmth and merriment created by this meeting was plain to see as hugs and laughter were shared out evenly among us all. As the weather was too inclement for us to process along our usual path around the grounds, our Presiding Priestess instead guided us through it while standing in the theatre, a few words were spoken about the spiritual and historical aspects of each of the hallowed places we visit along our way, the Rose garden, the Yew trees and the Abbey, while we gently attuned ourselves to their sacred energy. As we tuned in, we were enveloped in their peaceful healing embrace. We then danced the spiral dance around the theatre uniting our community further in the joy of collective raised energy.
It was time to make our way across the courtyard to the shrine of Persephone who was invoked by her Priestess, reminding us to not lose sight of the light within as the dark draws near. As we crossed the threshold the bell rang out, and with it arose the deep remembering that we were entering the sanctuary of the Sacred Temple of Isis. The sense of reverence that invokes never fails to soothe any tangled nerves that may be present within us. There were as always, a few words from Olivia at the well; The Goddess Saraswati of India reminded us that eternal reality is experienced in the now, in this present moment, she implored us to fully embrace it and to thoroughly allow ourselves to enjoy it as the gift it truly is.
Each member of the priesthood present invoked their respective Deity at the well, libations were poured, and blessings were given to each member of the congregation, songs were sung in melodious tones while the blessings were shared. Soon it was time to make our way to the High Altar where a Priestess sat in trance waiting to deliver an oracle. Nuit made an impassioned plea through her Priestess for us all to recognise the narrative of hate and division so prevalent at this time, she asked us to be courageous and choose to embody only love, she expressed that by choosing love we can build a rainbow bridge from our hearts to hers and when we do this we unite heaven and earth within ourselves and this positively impacts our world and all who are in it.
Our Presiding Priestess spoke to us of the mysteries of the Dark Goddesses the Cailleach and Cerridwen and their gifts of wisdom, transformation and rebirth. It was very poignant considering Samhain is the time we come to together to honour our ancestors and their wisdom and recognise the transformation and rebirth inherent in all cycles of life. We were then guided through a beautiful shimmering meditation in which the Cailleach made an appearance again, shapeshifting into raven as we were guided along the rites of passage through our lives, each a transformational beginning and ending, but ultimately each a step closer to fulfilling our soulís purpose.
The mystery play consisted of the seeker, the Cailleach and Cerridwen. The seeker was at a cross roads in her life, she knew what needed to be done but didnít know how to get there, she required the wisdom of the dark goddesses and their cauldron to help her clearly see the path ahead of her. The seeker spoke with such searing honesty and sincerity, and the goddessís answers were so profound it was hard not to be moved by this healing mystery. As an extension of the healing gleaned from this, we were asked to place names and anything that needed healing into the cauldron of Cerridwen, trusting that it would be healed, transformed and transmuted as the Dark Goddess saw fit.
One of our members had spent some time prior to this on the Hill of Tlachtga celebrating the Samhain festival there, she spoke with great admiration of this celebration and shared a chant created by her good friend, which we all delightfully sang along to. Once again it was wonderful to experience the weaving of all the different threads in the celebration joining together to create such synergy and healing for all concerned.
Before we bid Slan agus beannacht to Our Deity and Our cherished Temple, it was time to surprise one of our beloved members who had recently retired from duty as Hon Sec with a bunch of autumnal flowers as a way of showing gratitude and appreciation for all her hard work and dedication over the years. More hugs later it was time to head to Mrs Osbourneís for our hearty communal feast for more chats and laughter.
Many thanks to Our Presiding Priestess for a wonderful uplifting ceremony and to all participants and guests for being so present throughout it.