LUGHNASADH FESTIVAL - FOUNDATION CENTRE - IRELAND
4th August 2018
By: Olwen Pendred
As we started to process the grounds the fecund harvest was on full display. The apple trees were heavy with fruit and the hens and roosters were happily pecking at the windfall laid at their feet. The colours and sweet scent of sweet pea graced us as we made our way to the Rose garden. Here the spirit of Rosa Mundi, the soul of the world was invoked. We were called to contemplate how each petal represents a layer or facet of our experience and how sometimes these petals need to drop and fall, yet within the core where we each reside, we all are part of the soul of the world and not separate from it.
From here we moved along the Yew walk who on this occasion seemed to offer a guard of honour or play a particular role in holding the sacredness of the veils. At Danú's Druid Grove we were reminded that we can find meaning in our lives in the mirroring of the changing seasons. By paying attention to the rhythms and movements of the cycles and working with the tides to be part of this great symphony. We were then treated to a beautiful song and allowed time to breathe in the space stillness and quietness of the Grove.
Our next port of call was the Abbey where beautiful peacock feathers and other offerings had been artfully and beautifully crafted upon the altar. Here we contemplated on how we can play our part in healing the Earth and what practices can we be more mindful of to lead to a more sustainable way of living. Blessings were sent to groups and individuals and communities in supporting their efforts at bringing this vision to bear.
We then gathered at the threshold of the Temple and requested entry of Persephone, mindful of our entering into the darkness of the year we asked for her courage and strength in the times to come.
As we entered the Temple we congregated at Brigid’s Sacred Well where we were treated to a recitation of Olivia’s oracle from the Goddess Danú where in the Goddess imparts “Seek for the buried treasure of the earth, the jewels of Wisdom and Love. I will help all those who seek My aid.” The Priesthood invoked Deity and blessings were offered to all present with Brigid’s healing waters.
At the high altar we gathered around a Priestess in trance. She communicated an oracle to us from the Goddess Tailtiu, who spoke of the need of dedication and sacrifice to clear the plains to allow for the new. She spoke of how she gave of herself in the clearing of the Land to make way and sacrifice for the next generation to come so that they could survive and thrive.
We were then treated to a wonderous experience as we saw through the eyes of raven and joined their flight as they reminded us of the joy of inhabiting the present moment, paying attention and taking in all the wondrousness of living. This creative offering was accompanied by the melodious strains of the harp and was magical.
Being Lughnasadh and the celebration of creativity and endeavour, we were treated to gorgeous poetic offerings from members of the Priesthood. One spoke of her love for her patron deity Hecate, Guardian of the Ways, and how the love of the Goddess weaves her love and support and strength unconditionally.
Another powerful offering spoke of the calling to power that which have been denigrated and denied too long. It spoke of the blood spilled and the weeping wound that for too long has been allowed to continue. That as we stand in respect of ourselves and our Divine heritage we free our daughters from suffering the same wounding.
In the mystery play we met with the Goddess in her manifestation as both Áine and Gráinne. We were reminded that within the harvested wheat sheaf contains the seeds of the new and of what is yet to come. That now as we gather the harvest and celebrate its bounty that we also prepare ourselves for the darker days ahead and remember that though the times ahead may as of yet be uncertain, that the coming darkness, and dreamtime is required for gestation, growth and the continuation of life.
Fittingly at a time of celebration and mastery we were presented with six newly ordained Priesthood. We were reminded of the dedication it requires to commit to a path and stay true to the soul’s call even when it forces us to face and confront our deepest fears. Blessings were offered to them to support them in their new journey.
Healing was offered, notices given and we all repaired to Osbourne’s for the best cup of tea in Ireland and for chats, hugs and merriment!