Praise to Hathor!

Praise to Hathor!

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.