FOI Online Liturgy
Booklet: The Rite of Dana, Druid Initiation
by Olivia Robertson
Companions of the Druid Clan of Dana live as if this were the Golden Age now: And so it is in the Inner Planes! When we open our spiritual sense through our etheric life energy, we see, hear, travel, enjoy life in The Land of Heart's Desire. The key is love. As this consciousness expands, it affects family, friends and neighbourhood. Even the cat smiles! Radiations from a Grove, whether this be in city or countryside, beat wordly ills through the auras of humans, animals, trees and stones. Communion with the Deities, with the Sidhe - elemental Beings - and friends in Spirit is enjoyed. There is no death once the soul learns to leave the body in full consciousness. Our true selves are of the Immortals. Disease, hatred, jealousy and fear are dissolved as we awaken from the world dream which we ourselves have created. We see through the worldly veil and discover the ever living earth Body of the Goddess.
In our Grove of Eithne in Clonegal, we honour all true traditions of every race and religion: we respect Ireland's many ways from the pre-Celtic Firbolgs and Formorians, to the Tuathe De Danann and Celtic Christians. Dana has showed Herself to me and so I follow her way. Her hair is of the sun, her skin is pale as the moon and her turquoise blue mantle surrounds our islands as the sea. Yet She may appear with golden-ebony skin of Africa or with the copper glow of the Mayans. She is both Earth Mother and Queen of Heaven.
Whenever Dana comes, She brings love, compassion and wisdom. My own vision was in 1952. From 1960 to 1974 the Goddess came to us regularly with messages during spiritualist sťances in the Bridge House in Clonegal. It was then that I was given Her name: Dana. The medium was our friend, Dorothy. The visitations were accompanied by strong silvery electric-like power. After my brother and I had founded The Fellowship of Isis in 1976, Dana showed Herself to our Priestess. The rest of us, heard angelic chanting. This from deep men's voices alternating with contralto women's voices. It lasted for 15 minutes. The Goddess has also shown Herself to our Wicklow neighbour, John the famous Healer, 7th son of a 7th son. As John and I meditated, She gave me this message through him: "Go on. Do well. Preach My Name." I feel that by opening the Druid Clan of Dana to everyone, we are fulfilling Her will.
Our own family roots go back deeply into Irish Celtic tradition. We belonged to the Clann Donnachaidh of Ireland which emigrated to Scotland about 1,500 years ago. Later the name Donnachaidh - Duncan - was changed to Robertson, in honour of Robert the Bruce. Our branch returned to Ireland when my grandfather, Herbert Robertson, M.P. married Helen Durdin, the owner of Clonegal Castle. My grandfather could be called an Honorary Druid because of his monumental work, 'Stemmata Robertson', tracing our Gaelic ancestry. Our cousin, the author Robert Graves, also undertook Druid work by listing the Druid Tree Alphabet.
Clonegal Castle lies on the banks of the River Derry, 'Doire', The Grove of the Oak, upstream before it joins the Slaney, 'Slainte', River of Healing. Matriarchal Centres were situated between two rivers on The Crow's Foot, 'The Macha', Crone form of The Goddess Morrigan. Such is the site of Castle Matrix, where dwelt the Wizard Earl of Desmond. The confluence of our two rivers gives the name of our village, Clonegal - Cluan i Gabhla, named after Eithne of the Long Fork. The Morrigan in virgin form is The Badb. As the Great Queen she spans a river with her legs as She unites with Her Husband, the Dagda Mor. She has been seen in the castle grounds by a Priest of Rhiannon. She showed Herself to him between two yew trees, before the prediluvian Mount Leinster. She had long black hair and a red robe. We had been performing "The Ceremonial Magic of Mars and the Morrigan."
In our field bordering the Derry is our ancient Bullawn Stone. Thousands of years ago this was used for grinding corn, so forming a cup which holds healing rain water. It was sacred to the Sun and Grain Goddess, Grainne. It is still used for curing warts - and even cancer - by local people. It was joined at the turn of the century by a meteorite that landed by our avenue, and glowed for two years. Rooks sat on it warming their behinds! A meteorite is a legendary marker for a Holy place. Within our Temple of Isis in the castle is a holy well traditionally associated with the bullawn stone. The castle was built around it in 1625, so our ancestors have always drunk from its healing waters. The well is dedicated to the Goddess Brighid. We use it for everyday drinking, ritual and healing, and for promoting psychic vision.
My brother Lawrence and I discovered the ancient Paganism of Ireland when we were children in the early 'thirties'. We used to go by donkey cart upstream by the Slaney to visit a hermit, Daniel Fox. Mr. Fox was our local Merlin. As he and I sat over a fire in his cottage, he would tell me of his visions of Pagan people who lived by the river thousands of years ago. He would see and hear them, he said, as they rose at early dawn. They would drink from a well, bathe in the river and then assemble at an altar stone, high on the steep slope of the bank. There they would wait for the sun to rise across the river. Mr. Fox would show me the altar and well every time I visited him. He kept them clear. When I was sixteen I painted pictures of the ancient ceremony as he had described it.
We practise Druid rituals in the Old Abbey, a ruin filled with flowering shrubs and rambling roses. Parts of it date from the 14th Century, the same date as our yew walk that borders the Wilderness. We have there a dolmen altar and two marble vessels containing rain water. We began using this for rituals in 1963, when Philip Ross Nichols, Chosen Chief of the English Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, would join us in Danaan ceremonies. His successor, Philip Carr-Gomm, also worked with us during the late sixties and seventies. Nowadays, the Herenach Brady of The Name, of the pre-Druid Megalithic Order, performs Irish ceremonies in Gaelic. This language is essential for Celtic ritual. We use bullawn stone, well, yew walk and wilderness in our magical workings.
Our purpose is to move directly from the ancient Irish oral tradition to the telepathic communion of the New Aeon. The Goddess Dana, Mother of the Goddesses and Gods of Eire and of us all, bestows on us Her gifts, now that we are prepared to make good use of them.
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