October 28, 2013
Olivia writes in Panthea: "The period of Samhain, the 31st October to November 2nd, was used by the Magi of the Gaelic College of Wisdom for initiating candidates into their Mysteries. The chosen Candidate was conducted by the Hierophant through the Dolmen Gateway into the inner chamber of a tumulus. The Sacred Triad of Elders invoked the Presence of the Morrigan, Goddess of the Mysteries. The Candidate was then placed on a sarcophagus and the Maga Hierophant induced in him or her a cataleptic trance. In this death-like state the body was left for three days, guarded by a hound at the foot of the sarcophagus. While the Magi prayed, the soul of the Candidate was guided by a Spirit Guide into the very body of the earth, there to undergo a succession of ordeals. If successful, the Candidate was then brought back to the surface of the earth and from thence ascended to the spheres of the Moon, Sun and Stars. The successful Candidate spent the winter with the Magi in their College, learning to use wisely the knowledge and powers acquired during the Initiation. On February the first, when pronounced acceptable, the new Maga or Magi was presented to the rejoicing people at the Dolmen Gate, wearing a copper crown or priestly headdress, and holding wand or staff. At this Festival of the Bride of Spring, Brighid, the new member of the College would give a Blessing to all beings, with upraised wand or staff."
Photo is of a past ritual at Clonegal Castle. Olivia wrote about this: "ghostly photo - Initiation of a Candidate". Olivia and Lawrence Durdin-Robertson are on the far right, consulting the ritual script.