FineNaDairbre_RitodeInverno_09At the Winter Rite we decided to honor Macha for her similarities with Epona and Rhiannon that are related to this day and because I found in the Irish folklore a similar practice using a hobbyhorse, the Lián Bhán. I made the hobbyhorse to be used in the processional to the goddess Macha, sculpting a horse head in wood, making a white body with linen and a piece of wood that was used to carry her.

Again, we had the participation of another person that is now a member of Fine Na Dairbre. We began as usual, making offerings to the Outdwellers, centering with the Two Powers Meditation and doing the purification of the members with the smoke of a torch. Then to open the rites we recited in chorus:

We welcome you white mare
Pure Macha, Sovereign Fortress
Shining Grian, Sun of the winter.

Noblewoman,
Fertile womb,
Indomitable Straight.

Then, we placed the Láir Bhán in front of the altar and proceeded with the ritual, honoring the Three Kindred and Macha. For this rite, we decided to do the recreation of the myth of Macha, so we invited the Goddess to join us and we told what happened at the first part of the myth, until the beginning of the race. Then we did a procession around the ritual space carrying the Láir Bhán with us reciting the following verses, as if we were running with her:

The king’s steeds as opponents
Agile Noble in her pride
The green at her front
The labor of the solar lady.

O Macha, Sovereign queen
O Macha, Equine champion
O Macha, Ferine mother.

Unfair man
King and subjects,
Hurt in their dignity
Judged by his cold manners.

O Macha, Sovereign queen
O Macha, Equine champion
O Macha, Ferine mother.

Divine woman
Rip your fruits
Still in agony
For they are already mature.

O Macha, Sovereign queen
O Macha, Equine champion
O Macha, Ferine mother.

After the procession, the second part of the myth was told, and with this, we recreated the foundation of Emain Macha. Then we made the sacrifice with a wood bowl full of seeds, fruits and grains, and observed it to read the omen and the rite until its end.

The omen of this rite was made by observing the burning of the sacrifice, and it was a simple one to see if we were doing it right or no, for it was the first time we were honoring Macha at this date and trying to use the hobbyhorse tradition to her cult. Again, it seemed we were approved.