The Welsh Origins of King Arthur – Part 3

Here is the final segment of my three part series on the Welsh Origins of King Arthur. Part One can be found here.  Recurring Themes Although it is difficult to ascertain the degree to which early Welsh poetry directly influenced the writing of Culhwch ac Olwen, or to determine whether the similarities of theme and content of these works are a result of their respective authors drawing upon a collective body of lore concerning Arthur, an examination of some of these recurring motifs underscores the existence of an established, albeit continuously growing, catalog of Arthurian legend. Further, the formal repertoire of […]

The Welsh Origins of King Arthur – Part 2

Here is Part Two of my three part series on the Welsh Origins of King Arthur. Part One can be found here. The Body of Tradition Although it may be impossible to plot a direct evolutionary line in the development of the Arthurian legend from his earliest appearance as a semi-historical solider figure, to the imperial presence found in the later romances, there are certainly stages of tradition which can be identified. One of the watershed works that defines the tradition of Arthur during the folkloric stage is Culhwch ac Olwen. There is a sort of loose consistency in several […]

The Welsh Origins of King Arthur – Part 1

With the recent opening of yet another movie adaptation of The Matter of Britain, this time in the form of Guy Richie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword , I thought it was a good time to share an overview of the earliest extant sources for the legend of Arthur. It is my hope that this multi-part series may shed some light on the origins of this enigmatic king and his surrounding lore. Part 2 to follow.   The Earliest Sources and Their Characterization of Arthur The earliest prose sources which mention Arthur, the Historia Brittonum dating to 829 -30  and the Annales Cambriae, the earliest […]

Beltane: Portal of Transformation

The Holy Day of Beltane– called Calan Haf or Calan Mai in Welsh — was revered by the ancient Celts as a sacred bridge between the hardship of winter and the abundance of summer. Thought to exist outside of time, it is said that the veils between the worlds are thinnest at the liminal periods of Beltane and Samhain, complementary Holy Days standing opposite each other on the Wheel of the Year. For the ancient Celts, there were originally only two seasons – Winter and Summer – and the transition points between each season were times of great power. Marking the […]

On Offerings and Working with Sacred Sites

On the night of April 26, 2017, those of us who love Glastonbury received some devastating news; one of the two Ancient Oaks of Avalon was on fire. Images and videos popped up in my Facebook feed, and I gasped aloud to see Gog, an enormous and gnarled oak tree which has stood as a guardian over Glastonbury, UK — a site many believe to have been the location of the legendary Island of Avalon —  for over 1000 years, engulfed by flames. Glastonbury resident Jill Barker witnessed the conflagration, and posted video and images of the blaze to Facebook. […]

It Begins…

Over the years, many original chants and songs have been written by women inspired by their work in the Sisterhood of Avalon. We have long wanted to record these works of Awen, both in order to have a teaching tool so others can learn these works, and also in the hopes that they, in turn, will inspire others. Chanting is a big part of our practice in the Avalonian Tradition, and like the bards of old – those Children of Ceridwen – our songweavings work to raise and sculpt energy, as well as pass along lore and teachings. The next […]

The Divine Prisoner

So, I’m finally out of book jail and able to start up this new blog; the manuscript of my most recent book* is now complete and in the hands of the publisher. Book jail is a concept that’s been circulating among my author friends; it is that place where one voluntarily locks themselves away from other people, events, and activities (including, sometimes, those that are otherwise required to function in everyday life … I’m looking at *you* scary-huge pile of laundry!)  in order to complete a book project.  The irony has not been lost on me that as my time in […]