2017 Spring Equinox Festival
By: Minette Quick
VERNAL EQUINOX FESTIVAL
FOUNDATION CENTRE - IRELAND
April 1st, 2017
An excellent refurbishment project is now well underway in the Theatre and Tea Room area to expand the facilities available to the many visitors in the months to come. At this half-way point in the year, it was good to meet up again at the Castle, two months on, to note the changes and brave a few light showers to process the familiar paths through the grounds. We were preceded by a flying peacock through the Orchard on our way to the Rose Garden to invoke the presence of Deity to bless our gathering. There and then again at the Druid Grove of Dana, the potent life-giving energy rising from deep within the earth could be felt beneath our feet, the life upon which we so totally depend. Olivia’s little birch is doing well beside the Grove, celebrating the completion of what for her would have been her Centenary year! On we went up the familiar paths and steps to the Abbey to invoke Tara and seek her assistance in continuing to honour the sacredness of Nature which has sadly become virtually invisible to many. Persephone now gazes out over the oncoming months of light in our hemisphere and as ever we sought her protection as we entered the Temple in some welcome sunshine.
On this occasion we were delighted to have our FOI Steward, Cressida Pryor with us, and it was a great pleasure to have her take part in our ceremonies both at the Well and at the High Altar. Our reading received by Olivia from the Goddess Tara in her Oracle, Lighting the Rainbow Aura, filled many needs as it speaks of accepting the Peace which is now in our hearts.
Following the invocations and blessings at the Well our many members and guests found seating at the High Altar and a special blessing was sought from Pallas Athena on our gathering at this time by her presiding priestess. Our Oracle for the day was given by a member of the priesthood from Demeter, Goddess of agriculture and bountiful harvests. As Mother of Persephone she became well aware of the vicissitudes of earthly life, and is known for her generous nurturing spirit towards all. At this time of planting of seeds, she counselled us first to go within to know ourselves, and to encourage true inner growth. Later we had a journey with Persephone herself, Goddess of the Soul and Queen of the Underworld.
At the close of the Oracle, there was a deepening peace within the gathering for our customary few moments of reflection to the strains of a delicate piece of music on a hand held harp. Somehow it seemed that the responsorial form of Prayer to Isis of a Thousand Names which followed was totally in tune with all that had gone before, and invited each to deepen the love for divinity we connect with in our own hearts. This was followed by a lovely reminder of the beautiful opportunity we all have at this time to plant even a few seeds, participating in the wonderful work of the elements by feeding, protecting and watering their transformation into flourishing plants. Small packets of sunflower seeds were distributed to encourage us further!
Sadly Ireland, together with many other countries worldwide, has had many shocks over recent years as evidence of former hidden cruelty particularly to women and children has come to light. One such shameful discovery was covered in a moving poem offered by a member of the priesthood who has bravely found strength to work towards justice for those still suffering. Our joint prayers followed for all those in need of care and love who are in our thoughts at this time went out with healing blessings.
Our heartfelt thanks were given to Deity and healing and counselling sessions were offered by the priesthood to those who sought help with particular needs. We then repaired to the village for refreshments as ever. (Should you wish to join us for upcoming ceremonies in 2017, do please refer to the appropriate FAQ on www.fellowshipofisis.com for contact details, new timing and information:
April 2nd, 2017
photo © Minette Quick
Persephone, Temple Portico. © Durdin-Robertson, Huntington Castle
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(Many thanks to Minette for sharing her reports!)
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