"Come home," she whispered... "Return and remember!"
I heard it in my soul - the story of my life, carved into my bones. Only the Goddess knows how to read me so well.
I have been accepted to train as a Priestess of Avalon with the Glastonbury Goddess Temple and I am nervous and excited at the same time. It's a three year walk beside the Goddess and to be honest, I don't know what the course precisely entails. However, I do know that it teaches skills such as how to lead ceremony and ritual for the community and traces the footsteps of priestesses of Avalon, past. I also know that it has an academic aspect and that we will have to read Goddess-worship inspired literature and books that delve deep into helping us unlearn, all we have been taught we are as women. Further, we will have to submit essays for assignments that serve the purpose of consolidating all we have learnt...
The commitment to this course is yet another return to Glastonbury, which has been a repeated place of pilgrimage for me. The Temple has provided a reading list for us who are entering the course (Oct 2019) to begin, and the first I have bought, based on this list, is 'Earthwalking Sky Dancers' by Leila Castle, which happens to be a compilation of various women's experiences of the sacred pilgrimage. And I couldn't help but recall my very first pilgrimage to Glastonbury in February 2009.
It was to perform a sacred marriage ceremony. Broken by the end of a relationship, my inner child, whom I have always had a close bond with (much to my dismay sometimes) led me on a dance to several sacred sites around England, where I simply... danced! I danced and danced like the girl with the red shoes in Estes' masterpiece, 'Women who run with the wolves!' I danced with the stone people at Avebury and in the forests of Wiltshire. I danced around my cauldron and I danced with the moon. I danced until my body fell away and only my bones remained... the bones that carried my holy story. It was then that I knew it was time to take back my power, remove those shoes and in turn, cast away any false ideas about the world that I had previously been attached to and blinded by.
So, alone, I made my way to the Chalice well garden in a purple velvet skirt and black boots. In my little silk pouch I carried something precious - a jade stone set in an antique gold ring. I arranged my candles and some pink roses. Below are some photographs I took before smartphones! I don't think you can see my candles in those pictures, unfortunately.
Next, I said some vows whereby I swore that I would keep my heart safe, that I would belong to no one, that I would dedicate myself to the service of the Goddess... and I put the ring on. I had married myself!
I was 27 at the time and now at 37, I can safely say that everything I did that day was wrong. This was sacred ritual; a blessed ceremony between myself and the Divine and yet I did not think my words through - I did not think my SPELL through... because words hold magick and intention and the energy behind them mean that She hears every word, I can't help but wonder if my under-planned ceremony has ensured that I never find love again.
I am now at a stage in my life where I am perfectly happy with the single life (I didn't always feel this way). I have two beautiful nieces to pass the divine feminine mysteries on to, should they so wish to hear them one day. They are why I want to undertake my priestess training because they inspire me to be a better woman. At the moment, the lie I am working on at unravelling from my psyche is the one that taught us that women are to be rescued by men and if we are not, then we are not real women and as you can imagine, this is connected to the fear of being single.
If I could go back in time, I would create a sacred marriage ceremony that clearly outlines what beliefs I am holding on to that I would like to release. I would make a list of things to replace that which has been let go and I would state my wishes for the future - wishes that encapsulate the physical, mental and spiritual.
Continuing on from the theme of not underestimating the power of the Divine to listen and respond, my application to the Goddess Temple course, came with several warnings. They say that priestesses in training will transform... and if you work with Goddess energy you will know what that means... out with the old / in with the new... the splitting open of old wounds... facing the shadow version of yourself... I suppose my sacred marriage taught me a valuable lesson that I will need as a priestess! To choose words wisely!
I hope you will follow me on my journey to become a priestess of Avalon. Go to updates for the latest news and to be informed of new posts.