Autumnal Equinox – The Feast of Age
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford
4848 Turner St.
Site opens at 2:00PM
2:30: Ritual Skills and Chant Workshop
3:30 Pre Ritual Briefing
4:00 Feast of Age Rite
5:00 Site clean up and tear down
6:00 Site close
Potluck following the rite at Teach Darach 208 Oak Knolls South. Bring a dish to share, we will have a meat dish or a hearty stew, depending on weather.
The Feast of Age
One of the more obscure stories in the Irish Mythological Cycle is the story of the Feast where the Tuatha De Danaan renew their power and youth for another year. I have found the story in Book Four, Chapter 1 of Gods and Fighting Men, by Lady Augusta Gregory. There are only a few lines in one paragraph, but the key ritual is shown – Goibhniu’s Ale of Immortality, and Manannan Mac Lir’s regenerating swine herd. Early on in ADF’s history, Isaac Bonewits suggested adding two festivals to the Wheel that were specifically ours, the Feast of Remembrance near St. Patrick’s day, commemorating the invasion and destruction of the Druid stronghold on the isle of Anglesey by the Roman Legions in 60 AD, but extended as a Remembrance of all our Pagan ancestors who were put to the sword over the centuries. The other would be the Feast of Age, commemorating the Tuatha De Danaan’s feast of renewal.
In the lore, there isn’t a specific date that is associated with the Feast of Age, so Isaac suggested that it should occur between Lughnassadh and the Autumnal Equinox, maybe around Labor Day, during the height of the harvest season, for plentiful produce would be available then. A few years ago, our then- protogrove did it for Fall Equinox, and I liked it for that time. I have thought more about it and read the parts that surround and encompass the story of the Feast, and I think that the Feast is in fact perfect for the Equinox celebration itself. This time around the Equinox is a liminal time: a big change is taking place, shifting from days longer than nights to nights longer than days. Liminal times are times of great magic, and in the lore the Feast occurred after Manannan Mac Lir located and founded all of the Sidhe-mounds for the TDD to reside in after their defeat by the Gaels. The Sidhe-mounds are liminal places, between he dark and the light, as the Equinox is. For me, this is a perfect time for pitching a feast for friends and family.
The primary Deities of the Occasion are Goibhniu the Smith who is also a God of Brewing, specifically the Ale of Immortality, and Manannan Mac Lir, God of Magic, Founder of the Sidhe-Mounds, and Renewer of Herds, whose herd of pigs can be eaten one day, and be renewed and ready for slaughter the next. The celebration should be a ritual first, and a feast commencing right after.
Our Equinox Celebration: The Feast of Age will be held on Saturday September 17, 2016, at the Fire Circle of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Rockford IL. Site opens at 2PM, with a Ritual Skills workshop at 2:30. A Pre-Ritual Briefing will be done at 3:30 PM, and the rite will start at 4:00 PM. Ritual should last about an hour or so, with teardown at 5:00 and site close at 6:00 PM.
As always, there will be time for Praise Offerings to the Deities, either of the High Day or your own Patrons or others in your life. We will have incense sticks and barley for making offerings, if you did not bring something.
After the celebration, we will move to Teach Darach (Oak House), at 208 Oak Knolls South in Rockford for a potluck feast and revelry. Bring a dish to pass – depending on the weather, we may roll out the grill, or we may make a big pot of soup. We’ll determine that later.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a voicemail for me at 779-234-0567 (Our Grove’s number).