Praise to Hathor!

Praise to Hathor!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

I am facing so much resistance being here. My usual calm and passive temperament is challenged by rising anger over spiritual issues. I suppose my spirituality is so important to me that I feel it is somehow threatened and so I feel angry about it. Really I am letting other people affect my own path, with their opinions or values, when my spirituality ought to be untouchable to all be me.
My flight response is high, longing for a greener grass. It's hard to tell if I'm just in a difficult emotional place that I need to push through, or if this is a truth within me.

I'm going to lay it on the table here:
I feel lonely and vulnerable - my family and close friends aren't here with me.
I don't like organised religion or hierarchy.
I don't like how the Pagan community is rather hostile against one another here.
I'm not working in heritage or an area I'm passionate about.
The religion I'm surrounded by doesn't fully align with my own - it shouldn't have to but it is bothering me.

So I'm going through the typical story of being someone who has a great job, a safe warm home, interesting things to do, people who care about me around me... and I'm not happy. I can only conclude that I am missing something that makes me happy. I thought that spirituality was that thing, which is why this seemed like a perfect idea; however, this isn't my spirituality. I have to hide things I believe, aspects are taboo, parts conflict with other groups ect... Previously my spirituality was freedom; now it doesn't feel that way.

I don't think coming here was the wrong choice. I has got me moving, exploring, gaining experiences. But I was never drawn to the Lady of Avalon in particular; this was never home. I think she lead me here to discover what I actually wanted, and what I did not want. It's been a valuable two months!

Over the last weekend I asked myself what I actually wanted. I had decided that I wanted to come here because I couldn't live with Dan as he was off to university. I wanted to explore my spirituality deeper, so here was a good place to try to do that. I wanted to move away from the past, to somewhere new. But then I dream of what I actually want my life to be and it looks rather different... If I close my eyes I am by the sea. I have a job in heritage, a home with my Beloved and evenings around a fire with friends.

So I'm a tuning my logical brain down for a moment, muting what is sensible and the shoulds, needs to's and have to's. What do I want in this moment, from my heart? And without the sound of my mind telling me what I wanted wasn't acceptable, my heart filled with hope. I felt right in my decision. Now I just have to have patience...

Monday, 28 November 2016

Entering the Cauldron Again

Before I came here I was braced for the cauldron. I was expecting things to be challenging, but I could not predict how.
On the surface everything is rather good! I see my boyfriend at least fortnightly, I'm going to a number of interesting events, work is going well, people are supportive, my house is nice... But I have found myself discontent.
I'm experiencing resistance, homesickness and loneliness. Since getting here I've been exposed to a lot of things about this place that I do not like. Why has the Lady brought me here and then shown me things to put me off of it? Had I not have come here I would not have known the things that I don't agree with; it's shown me what I do not want in my path. Coming here has shown me the home that I miss, and previously rejected. Coming here I have to learn more about myself, because I am on my own here.
I am here to learn and to grow as a Priestess. That is the whole point. I may learn what I need to learn here over two years, a year or 6 months! Who knows... And as I've discovered before, we often learn through tough love; it is difficult to break old cycles.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Queen of my Realm

Since entering Banbha's season I have felt a surge of personal power. Our dedication as Sisters/Brothers of Avalon fell at this time and I chose to dedicate in an outfit which represented my power. I wore a black feathered collar, wild tangled hair and white tribal face paint; this made my ancient soul visible, and my Sisters and Brothers see another side to me that has not necessarily been visible during this spiral.

 
I also applied for a job in the Goddess House and was successful. This is a job that requires energy, organisation, creativity, authority and empathy. It is a big responsibility and challenge and an old part of myself rose up. I felt that fire ignite within me, telling me that this was something I really wanted.
I have been touched by the kindness of my, now past, co-workers who sent me away with love and a beautiful gift. I was flattered that these people cared about me enough to do this and offer such kind wishes; I genuinely care about them all and this love made me feel confident and determined to succeed in my new adventure.
The night before I left I had a tarot reading from a friend who reaffirmed a lot of things about this new journey, about maintaining balance, moving on and starting a new path... She also offered advice and honesty to me and at the end of the conversation she had managed to fill me with hope and optimism for this change. I felt confident and empowered, determined that I could do this and do it well. I felt truly strong in that moment.
Today I have unpacked my belongings in my new home in Glastonbury. I looked around and thought to myself, I just decided to do something drastic in my life, to make a huge life change, to take a risk of faith and love rather than follow a path of logic and stability. I decided to make this big decision and I fulfilled it by myself. I live here now because I chose to. I have an amazing new job because I was brave enough to go for it. I did this big thing. 
How empowering is that? That I alone was responsible for changing my life completely and doing something I once would have labelled a dream? We are the masters of our world. I am Queen of my Realm. And with the love and support of others I found courage.
With my new job I will need to harness the powers of Banbha, of the Great Queen, of Rhiannon. I will need to be empowered, kind, strong, and motivated. Banbha has brought me a den to find safety over the winter, a safe warm home. I have the security of a job to ground me here and have the confidence and strength to withstand the season ahead.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Serving Her in Avalon

Earlier on this year a job came up in the Goddess House, and a fire enflamed within me from longing. I was swept up and for the whole day I prayed to Her and worked out the practical considerations of applying for such an opportunity. Fear swiftly arrived, and after some discussion I doused the nervous flame inside by affirming that it wasn't possible - I couldn't afford my own flat there, how could I leave my job so early, how could I drop everything and move to Glastonbury for this?


 Looking out at the Tor

I ignored Her summons and continued with life. And I began to regret it as a missed chance.

Later came our Lammas training weekend and as previously discussed, the earth mother beckoned me to the Isle. I was filled with longing to live there, to call it home, to fly the nest. And then the day after the Lady of Avalon Goddess conference began. Naturally the Lady summoned me again. I felt filled with knowing that I needed to move here, and suddenly understanding that it was in fact possible. Why had I not seen that before?

I prayed and battled that whole week. I even looked around a couple of houses! I had a battle in my heart - stay on the path towards a career in heritage, or change my life and devote myself as a Priestess. I'm young, I can have both in my life, but I need to know what path to tread right now. I said to Her, if I leave my job and move to Glastonbury, I will be abandoning my dreams of working in heritage... But She called back, 'Do you not think I have a plan for you?...' 

I knew She was calling me and I decided to surrender this time. To say YES to Her. To follow Her voice. I decided to follow the path of a Priestess. 

Shortly after coming home I contacted a landlord and committed to a room. That very day I was offered a heritage interview! She challenged me: Do you really want to do this? I turned the interview down. I was determined to move. I was elated and proud, and nervous. I searched for jobs and got an interview for a retail one.

I was offered a good opportunity in a store, which filled me with confidence, but not with hope. I soon became afraid, doubtful and sad to be leaving my beautiful Welsh mountain home. I began to worry that I'd made a mistake. the whole time anticipating moving for this job I did not feel right. I should just deal with it, it would pay the rent and enable me to move. I would not back out, but I was not happy about it.

Goddess was again testing me. Are you willing to move to my Isle, even if you have to do this job? I gritted my teeth. Yes. I am willing. Even if it just didn't feel right inside. It wasn't just that I didn't want to do this job, it was more than that, a more intuitive feeling.

Another opportunity arose. A perfect opportunity. Another job in the Goddess House. I applied, with the fire raging inside me, and I was offered an interview.

The weekend of my dedication I went to this interview, and as with any job you apply for that you really want, I didn't feel prepared enough and could not anticipate how I did in the interview. As I revelled in the Goddess energies of that special weekend I prayed to Her, 'I am coming to your Isle, to surrender to your call. I am coming to serve You as Priestess. I cannot fully do this working full time in a shop in the town next door... If you called me, is it for this Goddess House job? You gave me another chance..."

I've been offered the job!


I surrender. I say YES to You Goddess!

I am so ecstatic and nervous, and proud, greatful, amazed, scared! It is a lot of pressure to prove myself during my probation period. But I have so much to give. I feel like a young training Priestess arriving upon the Shores of Avalon on the barge, coming to learn how to serve Her. I have been so blessed! I will arrive on the Shores on the new moon... a new beginning and in time to prepare to meet Cerridwen. I know I will go into the cauldron. I know this will still be tough, and I will experience self-doubt and fear. But going to the Dark Lady is not always pain. I can find courage with Her, fighting spirit, independence and unconditional love.

What a perfect way to dedicate as a Sister of Avalon. My dedication vow was all about being fully alive, in celebration of life, to speak up and be heard, to learn about Her Herstory, and to remember Who I Am, as Priestess on Her Isle. Could this be how I do that?

THANK YOU GODDESS

Thank You...

Monday, 19 September 2016

Dedication

This weekend we completed our First Spiral of the Priestess of Avalon training, dedicating as Sisters and Brothers of Avalon.


I feel so proud, fortunate, greatful and empowered that I was able to complete this year. I am so lucky to have found the money and courage to sign up and actually be a part of this, and I have learnt so much. This weekend has shown me that I still have a lot to learn and heal within myself, but it has been a fascinating journey so far.

I have been called to the Isle of Avalon to serve as Her Priestess. It is my deepest prayer that I will be able to do this fully, and that I can find a job that coincides with this dream. Goddess called me there, She has a plan for me, and I hope She has a way for my to serve Her. During our dedication I prayed to Her asking how I can serve Her. She replied saying, 'do what you love'. I love Her. I love doing ceremonies for Her, talking to others about Her, creating art for Her.

In the past I have been criticised for being a bit too religious. For spending too much time talking about Paganism, or doing Pagan things, or having too many Pagan friends. For other faiths, one day a week is enough religion. The fact is, Goddess, the Earth, Nature, Spirituality, is my life and I love it. It brings me the most happiness. I was born to be a Priestess. Some are born to be chefs, painters, architects, dancers, bishops... I was born to do this. And so I have no guilt or apology for it being the centre of my world.

During the ceremony I rediscovered faith. Two years ago I thought I had lost faith - not my spiritual journey or beliefs, but faith in an optimistic view of the future, excitement for the future, possibilities and love... Sitting in that circle, in an amazing experience, doing something so special, so right, preparing to move to a magical place and awaiting news on a potential job, I had faith. I had belief that life could be good, and blessed, and magic.

During the dedication ceremony I remembered the land as it once was, when Priestesses of the past walked on the Isle, when less buildings occupied the hills, Old Avalon. I remembered being a Priestess, initiation and dedication to serve the Goddess.

I went through each of the archetypes, excited child, wild maiden, sensual lover, giving mother, sovereign queen and courageous crone. I truly appreciated the suffering that occurred in my past, for without it I would not be here. Had She not have ended the toxic relationship that I was in, then I would never have been 'allowed' to undergo Priestess training. I would never truly find myself. I'd never be able to pay for it. I dedicated myself to Her, the Red Goddess of Love, and She took me by my word. She took control and made it possible for me to fulfil my vow to Her.

I have no regrets. I am not resentful. The past is the past, and is a gift of learning. This is where I have always meant to be. And there is so much more ahead...


I move on to Priestess of Rhiannon training next. If I remain on the Isle of Avalon I intend to complete the next two spirals, but Rhiannon has told me that I need to learn from Her first. I need to heal my sexuality and wild feminine self before I can dedicate as a Priestess of Avalon. I need to fulfil my vow of dedication to the Lady of Love.

Before I start this new journey Banbha may provide lessons as I make considerable changes in my life during Her season. Rhiannon is waiting eagerly to take me on Her wild mare, but perhaps Banbha is awaiting me settling into a new home, a new independence and new sovereignty first.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Wild Mountain Woman


           It is not the length of time you spend in a place that is important; it is what you do in that place, in the time you have, that counts. After eight months living in this Valley (and additional months here and then on visits) I have decided to move on, and I mourn that I am leaving after such a short time, when there is so much to discover here! But I have decided that rather than feeling sorry to be leaving after a short amount of time, I will instead gather up what I have learnt here and pass it on. It is not my job alone to speak to the land, to Priestess on Her body and remember Her name; it is an ongoing process to be shared with others who hear the Call.

I believe it is truly important for Priest/esses of the Goddess to be working closely with Her sacred landscape, especially where they live. We need to awaken ourselves to Her energy all over the planet, not just (but as well as) at well-known sacred sites. Everywhere I choose to live, I will study the land that cradles me and listen to Her name on the winds.

View from our garden

This year I have lived in the Rhondda Valley in Wales. This is a Valley with a simple high street, a train station and park, a history of coal-mining and even an Iron Age Settlement on the upper levels. I do not know the people here, but I wonder if they know their Goddess? I don’t expect many people here to actually call Her Goddess, but I wonder if they look at the valley that surrounds them? Do they hear Her rivers and waterfalls? Do they know the local archaeology and their ancestors’ story?

*

We clambered up the mountain in the Spring and greeted Her mysterious Yew-Hag tree, with Her tiny mushroom-clad bark, mossy trunk and dewy leaves. We collected interesting flints and rocks, touched the rivers and we imagined the centaurs climbing up the tracks. I opened up my arms to Her views. I felt an undulating, swaying energy, like a serpent coiling amongst the dense rocks and packed earth, as the river that wiggles along the crevices of the southern valley-side. We climbed higher and higher until it was time to find a way down.
                                                                  Opening myself to Her views

We chose the pine woods, where we followed our intuition, and listened to the fear in our bellies as hail and rain spattered against us unprepared, and we took uncertain routes. The sites we saw were beyond photos. I recall a tall mossy, leafless tree, black bark against lush illuminated green foliage. Tall, ageless pines, soft ochre needles on the ground. I felt a powerful bear-like energy, drumming my heart beat and invoking courage. Wild Mountain Woman spoke: Follow your intuition, see with my eyes, and I will guide you home. There was a wildness there. A need to confront our fears. For to be wild, is to accept that there is discomfort, threats and dangers out there.

Each morning I look out of the window and I see the mist. I see fog wisping in and out of the pine trees on the valley-side. I see Her breath, breathing out from the earth and dampening my cheeks. As I walk to work, I greet the Heron on the river and Her mist is low and covers my body. If you drive out of the Valley, above it, a beautiful clear blue sky awaits you. She wraps Herself around You, damp, breathing, in Her fertile valley cleft.

Sights I see to and from work
 
Mist on a sunny day

I stood on top of the North valley-side and looked out in the gorgeous summer heat. Her voice rumbled through the grasses, the rocks and the distant trees, like horses stampeding together. I looked down the valley in the direction of our house. We live, snuggled into the dip between two valley slopes; I saw the thighs of Wild Mountain Woman and the pouring waterfall of Her womb at the top of the valley. Every moment She pours out Her fertile, loving waters upon our little town.


We gathered at the Hendre'r Mynydd Iron Age Settlement as the sun was setting. Wild Mountain Woman’s heathered hair rippled in the high breeze, and the spongy moss between the ancient stones acted as a pillow for our heads as we prayed to Her. I looked upon Her flowing waterfall and down towards our town and felt Her Age. This land was so old. I looked upon the landscape with the eyes of our ancestors who build their home upon this hill. So old…


The Iron Age Settlement and view of the waterfall

I have many other experiences that I could share from my time here. I can’t deny feeling guilty about leaving Her landscape to Priestess on another land that has countless other Priestesses serving there. Where are Wild Mountain Woman’s Priest/esses? Neverthless, whilst there will be those who will come to serve Her, She is necessarily in need. Just look at Her! She still runs wild in the hills; the heather protects the ancient stones; Her waters flow in the rivers and soak you in the very air; Her trees creak and sway; Her herons play in the water; Her nature is taking over discarded rubble, rubbish and ruins. But alas, not all is perfect, for who is helping to remove the rubbish that pollutes the Welsh rivers? Who is supporting the local communities?

What I can offer to those who will follow me to the valley is my experiences. I have seen Wild Mountain Woman as a Hag: As the damp Yew Tree, ancient and silent, hidden and revealed. I have seen Her as Wild Maiden, chasing me through the pine forests, stamping and banging Her drum, wearing bear skins. I have seen Her as the Lover, legs wide open and astride a stallion, riding upon the hills. And I have seen Her as Mother, pregnant in the land with heather in Her hair, nestling us in the valley, and still cradling the homes of our ancestors. This is her Wheel of the Year, the cycle of Her nature as the seasons wax and wane.

               I speak a prayer to Her and to you: I pray that someone will read these words – or find 
themselves hearing Her own words in Her landscape – and they will remember Her. There is so much 
magic to find there. So much to learn about our Earth Mother and our ancestors. This is perhaps not a 
job for me as I am called elsewhere at this time, but I am so blessed and thankful to have seen Her. How 
blessed will be the one will who serve as Priest/ess of Wild Mountain Woman. Of Gwraig Mynydd 
Gwyllt.



Sunday, 28 August 2016

Rising Fear and Manifestion



I asked the Goddess to help me find a way to move to Avalon. I chose to do everything quickly so that I couldn't change my mind; I knew fear would rise and try to stop me and this week it is really kicking in. I expected retail work and that’s what I applied for.

                                                                        Saying goodbye to the mountain

I prayed for success in my interview and I ended up doing really well. Better than anticipated, in fact, as I was offered the job within 3 hours and with duty manager training to follow. Nevertheless, I came home and cried. And I woke up this morning and cried. The reality kicked in that I am truly leaving Wales. I am leaving behind a chapter in my life, friends, a home. These things never truly go away, and I can still be in touch with them, but I am moving away from them to something new. I am not looking forward to moving because I will then be away from my boyfriend, who I currently see every day, and I am dreading starting a new job. I hate retail and I feel like they have high expectations of me. Rising early in the winter is not pleasant and working Christmas away from family is something I have no had to face before.

I am anticipating the cauldron to come. Although forewarned and paying attention I am still going kicking and screaming. Maybe I am setting up my own stress by expecting it? The Oracle told me that I would ‘arrive when the blossom falls from the trees’; I did wonder if this meant I would feel settled in Her isle by Springtime, even if I move in Autumn.

Goddess spoke to me and said how life changes, and we cannot sit in comfort all of the time. My fear has made me feel like staying where I am, in Wales or in this house. It made me want to stay working where I am and learn to drive all as planned. Stay where I am. Stay with what is familiar. But I can’t. I need to move on and see the world. My Sagittarius side is saying, ‘how amazing that I can say I lived in Glastonbury for such and such a time...!’ I don’t get the same excitement by saying the alternative. Life is short and seems to be going by quicker. I just want to be happy and have amazing experiences. I am seeking that.

My mind has eased somewhat after the initial stress. It occurred to me that perhaps this upcoming job will give me the experienced needed for another job, that otherwise I would not have. A museum will be opening in the new year, which I have set my hopes on. Maybe Goddess has provided me with a way to achieve that, through this job first?

I am looking forward to my Rhiannon Training and to going out on the land more by myself. One fear of mine is that I’ll spend so much time working a mundane job that my purpose for moving to the Isle will be squashed. I am moving for my own independence, as to serve as Her Priestess. I need to see this move as a spiritual quest, even with the job. I must remember to stay wild at heart, to go outside, to travel to the temple and to join in with events in Her name.

The Goddess in that landscape is already beginning to show Herself, in a way that is different to my first impressions from other people’s artwork. This will be an exciting discovery for me!
 
I see these a lessons from Ker this Lammas time. Upon Her Chalice Hill belly, She spoke and told me that that place is home. Then where I live I have been told to fly the nest from home. I've had two messages colliding, yet reaching the same destination: Leave home to come home - Fly the nest of your current safe haven, and come home to Avalon. The Mother Goddess is calling me home to Her, whilst also teaching me that it is time to fly the nest. As at the Lammas weekend, I am Kore leaving Her mother to find Her own homeplace where She can become Queen.