The Druid's Path
by Autumn Rose
For a Grove or study group, the Feast of Age may be a day-long event, with a whole pig slowly roasting and lots of time given to socializing. For Keltrian solitaires something briefer may be preferred. The following Feast of Age was composed especially for solitaires. Note: the sacred fire in this rite also serves as a cooking fire. The rite as written calls for the altar to be set up in a kitchen and a stove burner used as the fire. If setting up in your kitchen is impractical or not to your liking, consider using a fondue or chafing dish on your altar in its usual location. As presented here, the ritual uses several slices of bacon to symbolize swine; vegetarians may wish to substitute a quick-cooking vegetable and utensils other than those named. You will also need a cloak to represent Manannan's cloak of invisibility; and since this rite centers around a feast, you should provide food for a meal. For the “four truths," tell any four brief (two or three paragraphs when written) true stories from your own life or other sources of your choice. The ritual begins and ends in the standard way, and you will need your regular altar appointments in addition to those peculiar to this rite.
Standard Ritual Opening.
Explanation of Rite.
I come to the Grove today to observe the traditions ordained long ago by the Lord of the Blessed Isles, Manannan Mac Lir: to speak four truths over the cooking of the pig that is eaten and afterward is alive again; to join in the Feast of Goibniu and drink the ale that confers immortality; and to don the cloak of Manannan, which gives the power of invisibility.
Light the Sacred Fire
Turn on one stove burner to medium heat. Take the Goddess candle in right hand and hold over Sky cauldron. Goddesses of the Tuatha De Dannan, I call you forth from this vessel and ask that you join your spirits to this flame, that your faces may shine upon me during this rite. So be it.
Take God candle in left hand and hold over Sky cauldron. Gods of the Tuatha De Dannan, I call you forth from this vessel and ask that you join your spirits to this flame, that your faces may shine upon me during this rite. So be it.
Gods and Goddesses of the Tuatha De Dannan, with the flames of your spirits I light this sacred fire. Dip both candles over already lighted burner. So be it. Return
Rite of Four Truths
The swine of Manannan could not be fully cooked unless four truths were spoken over it. I honor this tradition now by speaking four truths over this pork as I cook it.
Place bacon in skillet on lit burner.
Tell the first true story.
Turn the bacon.
Tell the second true story.
Turn the bacon.
Tell the third true story.
Turn the bacon.
Tell the fourth true story.
Remove skillet from burner, drain and pat bacon dry, arrange on serving plate. (Leave burner lighted. Remember, this is your sacred fire).
The Feast of Goibniu
Blessing the Feast
Place chalices, plate of bacon and other foods at front of altar. Tuatha De Dannan, Gods and Goddesses of my tribe, you who partake of Goibniu's ale are blessed with immortality. I ask you now to bless me, too, with many years. May these cups be filled with strength and long life. Consecrate chalices with branch and sickle. So be it.
The swine of Manannan, however often it was cooked and eaten, was always afterward alive again, so that there was never lack of meat in Manannan's house. Gods and Goddesses of my tribe, I ask you to bless this pork with renewal, that there may never be lack of meat in my house. May all these foods be blessed with life and health. Consecrate bacon and other foods with branch and sickle. So be it.
Elevate the chalices. These are the waters of strength and long life. From each cup I share a portion with the Tuatha De Dannan, who are my guests at this feast. Libate. Replace chalices at front of altar.
Elevate the plate of bacon. This is the swine of Mannanan, over which four truths were spoken. I share a portion of this, too, with my guests, the Tuatha De Dannan. Libate the bacon and each of the other dishes included in the meal.
Eat and drink. Afterward, remove food dishes from the front of the altar and return chalices to their usual places.
The Rite of Feth Fiadha
Take up the cloak. This is the cloak that Manannan of the Mists wore when he wished to pass unnoticed. I don it now to take unto myself that same power of invisibility. From this day until the day when I don the cloak again at the next Feast of Age, whenever I wish to pass unnoticed among my fellows, I shall imagine myself wearing this cloak, and it will be as if I am not there. Put the cloak on and visualize yourself blending and disappearing into the background. When you feel ready, lay the cloak aside.
Thus have I observed the traditions ordained by Manannan Mac Lir. Now the time has come to end this rite; but first, it is fitting that I should thank those whom I called to share in it.
Returning the Deities
Hold the two candles over the Sky cauldron. Gods and Goddesses of my people, I bid you now return to the cauldron of the Sky. Return candles to their holders.
Standard Ritual Closing