Monday, February 10, 2014

Imbolc Seasonal Festival at Clonegal Castle

Report of the Festival for Imbolc
by Máire Doyle

I got myself out of bed yesterday morning, cleansed and fed myself before setting off for Clonegal at about noon. On my way I called to collect Maureen Quinn Porter who was coming to the Festival for the first time. The weather was fresh, very fresh, but it was dry, at least for a little while. But there were dark clouds gathering in the distance so it was only a matter of time before Someone turned on a tap and the rain poured down. Our journey itself was otherwise uneventful.

When we arrived at the Castle car park Priestess Sarah was the only other person to arrive before us. As the tea room was not open for a cuppa we all sat in my car to await the arrival of the others, which didn’t take long. David went down to check if the Yew walk was passable. While I did Chancellor of the Exchequer the others greeted each other with hugs and ‘how are you’. Some singing ensued and was warmly applauded. The rain seemed to have eased off and it was decided to do a brisk walk to the Grove and then to the Abbey of the Noble Order of Tara. It became an even brisker trot to Persephone, as the rain was really coming down and Priestess Maureen invoked the Goddess. Priest David asked for permission to enter the Temple and our Gatekeeper Andrew tolled the bell.

The Priesthood invoked Deity at the Well of Brigid and then blessings were given with the Well waters. I received a blessing from Priestess Maureen and when Archdruidess Minette was returning to the Well she asked if we’d had a blessing. I told her I had but I wouldn’t say no to another. We then processed to the High Altar where Priestess Monica was in trance. Before the message from the Goddess was given Priestess Deirdre recited a poem for Brigid. The message of the Goddess was to each of us to recognise our own value. Following on from the Goddess’s message I was called on to recite the poem I’d written for Imbolc.

The mystery play was based on David’s suggestion of Heru and Hethert and their children, Ihy and Penebtawy. Priestess Sarah played The Earth Mother and was brilliant in her part of the longsuffering wife of a husband who made no bones about the fact that while he wanted his children to live their own lives they must build temples in his honour and sang songs in praise of him and only him!! This sent tickles of laughter around the Temple.

Priestess Marian let us in our journeying. During my own journey I experienced the presence of Lady Olivia. No doubt she is watching over us as we, in the Fellowship in Clonegal, endeavour to honour her legacy to us. We have much to live up to and are privileged to have had her as our tutor and guide for so long. We are committed to following in her footsteps and we are working together to do so. Notices of upcoming events were given and several of the Priesthood offered to give healings in different parts of the Temple. We ended another Festival in the Temple with thanks to the Deities for their blessings and gifts and as usual went to Osborne’s, the hostelry at the bottom of the Castle driveway, for much needed tea, sambos and cake, not to mention the warmth of chatter among friends.

It was a wonderful day.

Note from Fellowship of Isis Central Website: Warm Thanks to Máire for sharing her experience with us all. Best Wishes to members of the Circle of Brigid for carrying on the festivals at the castle according to the wishes of the late and beloved FOI Co-Founder, Olivia Robertson.
Photo © Fellowship of Isis Central Website. Text © Fellowship of Isis Central Website and Máire Doyle.