2015 Winter Solstice Festival
WINTER SOLSTICE at FOUNDATION CENTRE, IRELAND
By: Minette Quick
December 19th, 2015
The skies were overcast and high winds and rainfall over the past ten days had caused massive floods, affecting many areas in more westerly parts of Ireland. Spirits undampened, however, a large gathering arrived to join us for this special celebration, and sheltered for a while in the welcoming tea rooms as lengthening showers clearly signalled the need to head straight for the Temple through the garden gate, pausing only to seek Persephone’s permission to enter.
In meeting at Foundation Centre we are honoured to continue the work entrusted by Spirit to Olivia and her brother Lawrence in 1948 ‘to work for a Centre of Light at Clonegal.’ Inspired by its sacred energy the Fellowship of Isis was founded in 1976. As we stood at the open Well and experienced its powerful energy, a portion of a message sent on 20th June, 2013, to members worldwide headed ‘Sacred Places,’ was read In it Olivia vividly recalled being shown a view of the Castle from the sky, by angelic beings. Light poured from the Castle, and, she gathered, ‘the source of the light was from the Well of Truth, St. Brigid’s Holy Well.’ That ‘white and silver power, like water, descending from the sky into the well,’ which she described, together with ‘the rainbow colours emanating from the dark earth energy beneath the dungeon,’ still streams forth powerfully to this day for the healing of Ireland and the world.
Following Invocations, individual blessings, with freshly drawn water from the Well, are given by the priesthood to all who come to our Festivals. In this way the Goddess affirms and welcomes us each in a truly personal way, so that we may benefit as fully as possible from joining with others within Her Temple. An exquisite sense seemed to pervade the whole ceremony on this occasion, as if many strands of individuality came together into a harmonious whole, and every offering reflected that whole whilst remaining true to its treasured roots in personal experience.
As we settled around the High Altar, many gifts of song, poetry and wisdom of all kinds were offered, and I can only mention a few of these in any detail. In the quiet of the Temple we received an inspiring Oracle from Ahrianrad, the Starry Celtic Goddess. The distinct quality of her presence, coming as if over vast distances, was reflected in the voice of her priestess, as it sparkled darkly through her veil, and evoked the magic of cold wintry nights in the Northern hemisphere. She spoke of many things including the power of her pure silver sword to reveal truth.
Our regular time for prayer for those known to us, and for spiritual resolutions to so many troubled situations throughout the world, was particularly heartfelt and many people contributed in a spontaneous outpouring.
A most beautiful journey offered each of us an opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of what we are here to do, how facing challenges has given us strength in overcoming problems, and what blesses and enables us to bring our experience together into a meaningful whole. This was concluded in a most delightful way by the provision of some carefully prepared white, black and golden elastic threads, with which to braid a personal bracelet to remind us of these valuable insights.
Plunged into sudden darkness, our dramatic ‘Mystery Play’ was enacted entirely by candlelight from the High Altar - bringing alive to the assembled company the whole world of dark and light, shadow and reflection - as the story at the heart of so many traditions from the beginning of time was evoked by our players, known in the Welsh tradition as ‘Mabon ap Modron’- ‘The Birth of a Divine Child from a Divine Mother.’
Bringing our ceremonies to an end, thanks were given to the Deities for their lively participation and inspiration, and offers of spiritual help or counselling were made before we all repaired to the village for an excellent tea and time to relax together down there for one final time in 2015.
December 20th, 2015
© M. Quick: Open Well, Temple of Isis, Ireland
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(Our continuing thanks to Minette and everyone at the Foundation Center Temple.)
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