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This Fellowship of Isis website has been authorized by the FOI Foundation Center: Clonegal Castle, Enniscorthy, Eire

2016 Lughnasad Festival
By: Minette Quick

July 30th, 2016

The weather was with us and happily with the considerable number of visitors to the Castle on this Bank Holiday Saturday, who came for tea and tours, and to enjoy the richness of the gardens and especially to learn more about the wonderful trees in the grounds under the guidance of a famous visiting specialist on the subject.

Processing the grounds, clearly so much had subtly changed in just a few weeks since our last gathering at the Summer Solstice. The peak was over and yet as we invoked the presence of Dana within her Druid Grove, the deep energy of the earth could be felt, rising in strength to complete the vital cycle of ripening the harvest to feed, sustain and ensure abundance in coming years. In great peace we listened entranced to the sweet and haunting song of her priestess, ebbing and flowing up into the skies.

Within the Priory home of the Noble Order of Tara, members of the Order invoked the Blessings of the Earth Goddess Tara and the Fairy Queen Maeve on their work for the preservation of the land. We are told by the Co-Founders of the Order, that the humblest ecological project requires Divine Guidance and the cooperation of nature Spirits. The Goddess Tara helps us through invocation of Her Five Forms – the Five Elements of Earth. (See Noble Order of Tara.)

Singing of Eriu Goddess of Ireland and the beauty of this land, we filed down the steps to gather at Persephone’s entrance to the Garden Gate into the Temple, seeking permission to enter this sacred space to partake and benefit from the rich heritage offered within the Fellowship in ceremonies and Blessings at Brigid’s Well and the High Altar of Isis, Goddess of a Thousand Names who loves us all as her Children.

Appropriately at this time, our Oracle was from the Goddess Tailtiu, foster mother of the Sun God Lugh, the ‘Shining One,’ master of many skills. At her request, upon her death he instituted and dedicated the traditional Games of Lughnasad, in recognition of her tireless work of the highest order, directing the clearing of an immense forest, the wood of Cuan, for agriculture after the coming of the Tuatha De Danaan to Ireland. Her message was of fortitude in times of difficulty, always seeking the beauty of the present moment to inspire and strengthen our intent - and in our Mystery Play later members of the priesthood played the parts of Tailtiu and Lugh, demonstrating their mutual devotion.

Our journey was both deep and compelling, and was followed by the narration and highly entertaining performance of a traditional Irish tale of a family dispute, as to whom a particular piece of land should rightfully belong! Their mother, tired of the continual battles, persuaded them both to abide by the decision of an elderly wise woman, who hobbling in threw herself to the ground where she lay motionless, ear to the ground, until they began to wonder if she were dead… on their land……only to be told that she was ‘listening….’ before finally pronouncing that the Earth said that they belonged to Her, She did not belong to them!!!

Prayers were offered, as traditional at Lughnasad, for lost relatives and friends, and also for all throughout the world who are suffering from hardship of any kind, particularly the disastrous fall-out from warfare. Following notices, grateful thanks were offered to Deity for their loving presence with us, and we concluded in the usual way before retiring to the village for tea and good company.

Minette Quick
August 1st, 2016

Tara Altar
Shrine of Tara, Star of the Mountain, photo © Minette Quick.
“The Silver Lady,” OR’s vision in 1946, is above The White & Black Mothers.
On the Altar is the Radiant Lugh, Son of Light.

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(As always, our thanks to Minette!)

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