The Power of Cycle

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” – Joseph Campbell The cyclic tides of nature are, for many Pagans, the closest thing we have to a holy book. Even those whose paths are centered on reconstructing the religions of ancient cultures, complete with intact myths and rituals, ultimately see the primordial powers of the natural world underwrite these traditions on some level. Sometimes the Gods are literal personifications of elemental forces, while in other instances these forces are used  as tools of Divine retribution or reward. […]

The Quest for Avalon Within

Just as King Arthur rests eternally in Avalon’s safe keeping, so too does the memory of the Holy Isle endure, embedded in the lore and legacy of Britain’s legendary king. What remains are but tantalizing glimpses of the Apple Isle and her inhabitants—a barge full of mourning queens … a samite-enrobed arm emerging from the surface of a glassy lake, holding aloft the sword Excalibur … a paradisaical land of healing where dwelt Nine learned sisters, skilled in all manner of art, science, and sorcery. These scattered images suggest the seeds of something quite extraordinary to have cast such long […]

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 […]