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

2017 Lughnasadh Festival

July 29, 2017

Despite the forecast we were blessed with an ‘Olivia day’ and there was no rain to dampen our spirits as we set off together to walk this land which so inspired our Co-Founders with its views of the soft green slopes rising up to the hills which surround this lovely valley. And framed perfectly between the trees, a distant view of Mount Leinster looks down in blessing upon the Rose Garden, this special place where we celebrate the love and unity at the Heart of the Fellowship, represented by the many faiths of our members worldwide. Standing there, a deep rooted sense of peaceful unity came upon us all for a brief moment or two. At Lughnasad this year, the odd falling leaf and cooler nights are already heralding the slipping away of light of Autumn. It seems too soon, but the annual cycle is moving on, and we must move on as well, and must, perforce, let go of that which no longer serves us.

At the Druid Grove of Dana we invoked her presence together with the Great Spirit of the mighty Trees, planted so many years ago for us to enjoy. Standing in peace within their lofty presence a gentle air was sung; and it was good to see how well Olivia’s Birch is thriving beside the water, quite close to the trees, as we left to process to the Abbey, chanting ‘Mama Eriu’. There Members of the Noble Order of Tara spoke about the mission of NOT to protect and honour the Earth and the legacy of the Four Treasures of the Tuatha de Danann. Lugh and Eriu were invoked and welcomed before processing to the Shrine of Persephone at the door of the Temple, where permission was sought to enter.

At the Well we were welcomed and blessed by the enlightening words of the Earth Goddess Prithivi from the Liturgy. She encourages us to recognise that our path as humans is to seek understanding, through the rich symbolism of her Divinity which all Her other children, the animals, birds and trees are content to represent. Following some powerful Invocations focussing on the need for Justice at this time, sacred water was drawn from Brigid’s Well and individual blessings given to everyone present.

At the High Altar a priestess of The Goddess Demeter awaited us in trance, and spoke to us of the need to turn to our communities at this time. As Goddess of agriculture and harvest, she knows of the need to let go when the time is ripe, as her precious daughter Persephone descends into the dark regions of the earth with the turning of the seasons each year, until it is time for her return in Spring. Following a brief introduction to the many strands of rich mythology around harvest in Ireland, it was then time for a peaceful journey within to connect with the divinity of the body in seeking release from the tensions of life.

Lughnasad has always been a time of gathering and games and so our robustly played Mystery Play introduced us to the many talents of the Sun God Lugh who instituted funeral games in memory of his foster-mother Tailtiu, who hid him from his evil-eyed grandfather, the underworld God Balor, and honoured her great service to the land.

Sharing in sending healing and love to all in particular need at this time, our ceremonies ended with offerings of song. Heartfelt thanks were given to Deity for their loving presence amongst us, and we retired to the village for refreshments and good company.

Minette Quick
August 7, 2017

Hebe statue in rose garden with Mt. Leinster in the distance
2011 photo of Goddess Hebe statue with Mt. Leinster in the distance.
The Durdin-Robertson family have since transformed this area into a traditional
Rose Garden laid out within low box hedges and gravelled walkways.

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(Many thanks to Minette for her ongoing festival reports!)

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