Who is afraid of the Mari Lwyd? Not me!!! As you can see from the photos below.
Our visit to Anglesey a week ago was a treat for a busy Priestess, I have had very little time off this year from my service here in Avalon/Glastonbury, to the many visitors who come to the Goddess Temple. Today I found myself writing to a client “Sometimes No is the way to go” and then realized that Cerridwen was sending me a personal message through a different channel.
The last year has been difficult for so many people, the cosmic confluences were intense, and astrologically speaking this was the year of alchemical transformation, as Jupiter travelled through Scorpio. Today Jupiter moves into Sagittarius, my own star sign, and our ruling planet, it brings with it purpose and meaning, faith, optimism, belief, abundance, luck and generosity. Phewww, we made it and it is going upwards from here, much needed after the tough times we have faced and braved.
In the last few weeks many souls have left the planet, either self elected or through illness. It has been a hard time for us Priestesses here in Avalon, we have held so many people in their grief and suffering and continue to do so. As a recalled Death Priestess, something that was reaffirmed when I recently stood in the Hypogeum in Malta and was welcomed as such by the spirits there, I often get asked for advice on moving on the souls that are in a state of shock, or confusion, by their manner of departing their vessel. It’s the life I chose but there is a necessity for self care that I don’t often apply to myself, which worries friends and loved ones. We Avalonians talk a lot of letting go of unhelpful behaviour patterns, and we must walk our talk, so for the last few days I have declined any requests for appointments or meetings. A healer must be a clear channel and when we are exhausted, depleted, unwell, it is the moment for a self prescribed time out, without feeling that we have let people down, or are self indulgent.
So, whilst we travelled up to Anglesey from Glastonbury, to meet up with a bunch of awesome druids from the Anglesey Druid Order, of which both I and the beloved are members, I took real time to look around and appreciate the beauty of the autumnal landscape of Wales. It was divine, in the very sense of the word: of or like a god(dess). The trees are a riot of russet, gold, deep emerald green, just perfect before the falling. “We can learn a lot from the trees” is one of the main tenets of the Cerridwen Priestess training. The trees are a brilliant example on how to rest gracefully, and determinedly.
This is the time of death and decay in nature, a time to rest, a time to take stock of your life and let go of things, situations, people that just don’t nourish you, don’t inspire you towards your best Self, guide and support you towards your soul purpose and subsequent inner peace. There is no blame or shame in letting go if you do so with grace and gratitude. Death of a friendship, of a realtionship, of a person, an animal companion, is hard but if we fight it and get overwhelmed by grief, it does not serve us or them. Instead, at this time of the veils thinning, we remember the loves of our lives, past and present, and we honour them by speaking their name, singing their soul song once again and telling people we know now of their essence, of what we loved about them. When they are remembered in such a way, whether they are Goddesses, people, animals… they carry on living. In the memory of my ancestors, especially Maria, my beloved mother, do I celebrate at this time my love and life. Bendithion Calan Gaef i bawb.
So there we were, 50 druids from the Anglesey Druid Order, all gathered together at Her lake to learn, exchange information, and celebrate all things Cerridwen with ritual and seminars. CPD – Continuous Priestess Development, is such a pleasure when it is combined with a good bardic evening around a big fire, story telling, music and some beverage which may be alcoholic. Kris Hughes gave a rousing talk as always and the lovely Cerri was mistress of proceedings, journey woman and Ritual Priestess. 3 days immersed in all things Cerridwen. I could not have been happier. It all went by too fast though. Meeting up with old friends and new, walking the liminal spaces of Her shoreline, the wind in the trees filled with secret messages from Her was pure magic. The beloved and I cwtched up in the Shepherd’s Hut overlooking the lake, with a toasty warm log burner. Nothing better than camping in style.
At night we stepped into Her lake and called to Cerridwen to bless us with Her divine grace and protection. The Dark Goddess of the Avalonian wheel can be a demanding and firm presence, but She never gives us more than we can cope with. She is the catalyst for our transmutation into the best version of ourselves that we can be. Hers is the cauldron of testing, to serve Her requires great self knowledge, there is no hiding the shadow places within. Courage is the watchword, for Her cauldron will not “boil the food of a coward”. Those stepping up to the pearl encrusted rim of the cauldron better be prepared to have their status quo challenged.
Everything changes when She is involved. She is the Mother of Inspiration alright, expect to have amazing insights that may turn your world upside down. What is in you that fuels the cauldron’s fire? What are you made of? What do you wish to manifest into the world? Creation can be an ecstatic experience but also painful, birthing pangs accompany all new endeavours. Yet, never fear, She is not far and She can always be called upon to lend a helping hand.
As we move into the time of darkness, of nature dying back to decay and make way for new growth, the question is: what will you release, what seeds did not bear fruit this year, what needs to be re-created? As the river of life runs, do you step in with both feet, take a chance? Or do you stand by the shoreline, watching the opportunities flow by?
The Raven and the Serpent, Her animal guides for prophesy, can travel to the depth of Annwfn for you, can retrieve guidance to give you clarity. If you wish to consult with them, write to email@example.com for a soul reading.
It was with great pleasure and not a small amount of motherly pride that I watched the beautiful student priestesses and priests of Cerridwen opened the second day of the Goddess Conference. The Goddess Conference was in its 23rd year this year, a gathering of people who are interested in Goddess and wish to know more, held by Priestesses and Priests who walk their path with Her already. This year saw Starhawk return to us with her invaluable teachings. One of our honoured Elders, she had sage advice on topics that vibrate through the community. We need our Elders to step up and guide us with their experience, knowledge and wisdom. Pioneer women and men from whom we can learn a great deal and who will find ways to move us into the future.
I learnt a lot this week, about Goddess, about Sisterhood whilst holding 200-300 people in the process of spiritual development, about myself, about pacing myself and finding my energy levels. It was a journey into Annwfn and back. Now, working with Cerridwen, Annwfn is a different place for me than it is in most people’s understanding. The Otherworld is not a deep dank cave, in which we must suffer disintegration and decay. It is a joyful place, filled with possibilities, of renewal, of cleansing and clearing, like a jet hose shower, refreshing and invigorating. This is possibly why I am not afraid of the dark, I am comfortable in it, I see the pinpricks of light even in the darkest darkness. Those star spots on the firmament during a dark moon night. It is a thing of awe to look up and discover the rays of silver beaming down on us.
Today opens the Lionsgate Portal, I will be up on the Tor with many others to witness, to receive wisdom from Sirius, how to help the human race and my own community to advance on their chosen path. As a Swynwraig the messages from the Ancestors that we may receive are of particular interest, and I have been hearing my grandfather for weeks now. The process of the Lionsgate starts actually on the 4th of July, and it is since then that I have been dreaming of my blood connections, and have been urged to return to my roots or I will never feel completely connected. Our roots are important, strengthening them through daily practice, through faith in Goddess but also through working with the emotional woundings that we receive in our early youth to heal. will assist us in reconnection with the lines of ancestors behind us, and receive their wisdom.
Some people have been suffering from the combination of the energies of the star portal and the record amount of retrograde planets over this period, and the eclipse. Tempers have frayed, betrayal is seen around every corner, and trust bonds have been severed. Ebb and flow, this too shall pass, and we will grow into our highest Self with Her help, there is no doubt in my mind. As long as we stand in our power, act from compassion and loving kindness, model the behaviour we wish to see from all, we do all that we can to soothe the situations that are arising.
Shadow, Carl Jung’s much quoted but not always fully understood concept, is something that we can work with, and once we understand it from our own heart, we can recoup the energy we use to hide it from others and, often, from ourselves. I am a huge fan of the work by Caroline Myss, her shadow course was enormously helpful for me, as it spoke of intuitive work in terms of psychic development that I had hitherto only come across through my beloved Dion Fortune. All of us can come into relationship with our shadow, we can embrace it, we can step away from the fear of it, see it as a part of us that needs our love and compassion as much as the next person. Yet, we often fail to see our own actions-in-reaction when we are shadow driven. Honesty is the key to this work, being honest with ourselves, examining carefully our motivation when we take action after we have felt the vibration of anger, resentment, resistance, disgust. It is the ability to witness our own behaviour, open our heart to ourselves, allow the healing beams of the energy coming through the Lionsgate from the stars. It is the best time to create ritual for releasing the blocked energies in your heart, if you are feeling resentment, now is the time to let it go. This time it is the Alta Major/Cerebellum Chakra that will be activated as well as the 3rd eye and heart chakra. It is the empath in us feeling the energies, the sensitives and healers are reborn, recalled to heal the pain currently in the world. Empathic gifts are honoured at this time, we love and accept each other for the unique people we are, we learn from each other and teach each other. You may not agree with everything you hear and see but the only way to come to a consensus, and bring peace to all existences, is to hear with an open heart and find common ground.
May the Lionsgate bring you great gifts, blessed be.
Re-empowering the Dark Feminine
Dark Bad – Light Good
What is the darkness about? Typically, growing up in western culture, we have fallen into associating darkness with something negative. However, in the cultures that still have traces of Celtism in their traditions: Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Darkness can be a gift. They speak of a radiant black, the darkness of the womb, a darkness that is fecund, generative, full of life. Living still far more in the arms of the earth they realise the value of that darkness, which we need for life to germinate, darkness of loamy soil, darkness of ink that writes the words of wisdoms on the pages of creation. We close our eyes to concentrate, to sleep, to dream, the darkness rests our eyes and bodies, helps them regenerate lost energy.
It is a darkness that is purity in the Ottoman culture, in the indo European root language the word black means gleaming, so there is that light in this darkness, soft radiant black. I would like you to become aware of how many associations with darkness or black are negative in our culture?
I challenge you to start uncoupling those associations because it is a kind of interiorized racism that also includes the dark deities that every major cultural stream has developed. The goddess Tara has a dark incarnation, Kali the Destroyer is well known to most of us here, here is the Dark Madonna, whose veneration has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. There is the dark feminine that we as women long for. It is a longing for a wholeness because as a civilisation we have become obsessed with the light, as if there is no darkness, no night in which we rest and dream, because that is something to be afraid of. We banish the night by artificially extending our days with electric light, computer screens, TVs that get bigger and bigger, are on constantly, and of course our smart phone screens that also get larger with every new generation. These screens emit a blue light that has now been linked with the increasing complaints of sleeplessness. The brain is deceived into believing that it is daylight and refuses to rest. The best thing you can do for yourself is not to have any type of screen in your bedroom, but I won’t even ask how many of us have a TV there.
Longing for darkness
When I talk about the longing for darkness, I am really talking about a longing for transformation. In mediaeval alchemy, which the psychologist Carl Gustav Jung studied a great deal, the first stage of the alchemical process is the negredo, the darkening, the blackening. It is a stage of transformation, and one many of us are longing for. A good fruitful darkness. In our western tradition, since the 80s, the image of the Black Madonna, her archetype, has increasingly been rediscovered and been transferred back into our collective consciousness. In mainstream Catholicism she has been venerated, and millions of people have visited the sites where statues of her have been placed centuries ago. Yes, many people talk of this depiction of the Madonna being based on Isis but that is actually a fallacy. Isis, as not many people may know, has a dark sister, Nephtys. It is Her image I believe this black Madonna has been based on. Interestingly, although I have always loved reading about Egyptian deities, it is only recently that Nephtys has come into my awareness. In last year’s goddess conference I spoke about four dark goddesses that I have worked with in my life, to a much larger audience than anyone expected, especially me. Since then it is almost as if these dark goddesses have put the spotlight on me as a channel for their circle, as new Dark Ones contact me on a regular basis, most recently Nephtys. I feel sometimes like I have a dark bright beacon above my head “dark goddesses” land here.
Whether you look at the dark Madonna in Poland, or Italy, or Monserrat in the Catalan region, or Black Sara of the Iberian gypsies of which my abuelo was a devote, or the coal black Madonna in Switzerland. The black Madonnas are not about ethnicity, although that is part of their identity, it is more than that, it is the principle of light and dark in the universe, back to this idea what we need for wholeness, balance.
From early childhood I have been in contact with the spirits of plant and tree. As a four year old I regularly left the house to climb a tree and gaze at the full moon, much to the disgruntlement of my father, who had to retrieve me at 4 am in the morning. My grandfather, a gitano, would take us into the woods at night, because it was after dark that the forest came to life. He made us sit still, all four of us, to observe the animals, the trees and the Others. Speaking to a tree when times are tough is second nature to me. Tree spirit wisdom is a healing comfort and guidance in my life. Early on in my life I was to meet the woman who taught me to heal with my hands and later, with my aura; first myself and then others. She guided me when my Sight came in at age 14, after the shock of my mother’s sudden death, and kept me from thinking I was going mad. My beloved mother was a faye being for whom life on this planet was just too much, but she left us in good hands with Weini, a wise woman, who knew much and had a remarkable following in our village. I remember people turning up on the back doorstep of our house, consultations in the kitchen with covert exchanges of ‘things’. I can’t remember ever having been to a doctor when I was young but I remember, with a shudder, the brown bottle with thick bitter liquid that came out every time one of us was poorly. None of my siblings or myself ever pretended to be ill to skip school.
As a healer in Goddess House I use some of that knowledge to help the people who wish to heal their body and spirit. We believe that dis-ease comes from the soul, and manifests in the body, and it is there that we must look for answers to help. Using tree discs, cards, crystals and the elements; sounding and toning for detection of imbalances in the body’s flow of energy and to scry for obstacles and blockages, I can find the physical manifestation of the emotional pain and soul disconnection. I can assist on your path towards healing yourself. Even if the seeker is not aware of the root of their dis-ease, it can be detected with intuition and soul-to-soul bond.
Priestess of Avalon and Cerridwen
Swynwraig – Wise Woman (Wales) at Goddess House Glastonbury
Ovate at OBOD
Awenydd (Inspirer) at ADO
Crystal Healer, Bach Flower Practitioner, Meditation Teacher, Path Working, Counselling