Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ancient Call of the Avalon Priestess

Glastonbury, England, a.k.a. mystical Avalon, is my soul’s home.  When I lived there, I visited the Chalice Well Gardens every day. The Well was a source of deep, mystical meditations and inspiration for me personally, and also for all of my Visionary Fiction novels. In honor of Glastonbury, the Legendary Isle of Avalon I made a video called ‘Goddess Magic in Avalon: a Ritual of Re-membering.’

Re-membering because I know deep in my bones that priestesses long ago gathered beside this well to honor the Goddess. I felt their presence at the Chalice Well. Feeling them, and getting a sense and vision of their poignant history, was an intensely profound and emotional experience for me, a spiritual awakening. On some deep inexplicable level, I recognized I was once one of their kind. And they are re-gathering, ‘re-membering,’ in today’s world. 

So click on this YouTube link for 'Goddess Magic in Avalon,' to invoke the magic of the sacred Chalice Well Garden in Glastonbury. Experience this enchanted garden through image and evocative music, accompanied by my published poem titled ancient call of the "Avalon Priestess."

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Chalice Well in Glastonbury, England is the human world counterpart to what my Visionary Fiction novels call the Red Well in the mystical realm of Avalon. My novels center around this magical well, considered a sacred site in England. Many legends originate at this well: Arthurian (site of the Grail), Christian (hiding place of the Chalice from the Last Supper), and pagan (Goddess priestess culture holy site).

My novels focus on the well’s Goddess lore. The cool, burbling water is red tinged due to its high iron content. It is suggested to be the earthly blood of the Goddess in the land of Avalon. There are healing qualities attributed to the well for those who drink its satiating water. The White Spring, situated across the lane from the Chalice Well at the base of the 500 foot hill called the Tor, is considered the masculine energy correspondent to the Red Well.

The wellhead cover is wooden, topped with an iron crafted image of the Vesica Pisces. The Vesica Pisces symbol consists of two interlocking circles with a line (sword) through their center. The symbol represents the notion of duality; such as heaven and earth, masculine and feminine principles, light and dark, physical and spirit. The two interlocking circles form an almond shape at their intersection, portraying the center space of union. This almond shape is often regarded as the Yoni of Divine Feminine creation.

I have had many meditations, spiritual awakenings, and otherworld journeys sitting in the Chalice Well gardens beside these soothing waters. When I lived in Glastonbury for 13 months, I visited this well every day. It was a potent source of peace, ancient memory, and inspiration for me.


We continue with The Hidden Abbey novel excerpt from last week’s post, where the acolyte priestess Marissa was describing the rituals of the Summer Solstice to the younger students. The scene resumes with Marissa’s experience of the Red Well:

Marissa rolled onto her side and leaned over the spring, running her fingers through the iron-tinged water. The spring burbled, its flow continuous since time immemorial, and its waters cool and clean.
“Why is the well water tinted red?” the High Priestess Alianore asked the group, her voice soft like the breeze that rose up and crested the mound where the small group was assembled. The lessons always began this way, with this question. A question meant to honor and remind them of their community’s source of wellbeing, the holy well they had revered since the first priestesses arrived in Avalon centuries ago, survivors of the demise of Atlantis.
She repeated the question, her eyes resting on Marissa. “Marissa, will you tell us?”
Marissa had learned about the Red Well the hard way, when she was taking her first baby steps and nearly tumbled headfirst into the wellspring. It had been Ciara’s screams that alerted their mother, who’d turned her back for only an instant. It was Elder Vanora who’d promptly lifted the young Marissa up and out of danger.
She answered the question by rote. “The red color is from the minerals. But in Avalon, it is the blood of the Mother, emerging from the underworld to nourish our body and soul.”
“And? What else?” Vanora piped in. Their tutor wasn’t really paying close attention. Her focus was on mending her dark blue, silken stole, the beaded one she wore during ceremonies.
Marissa had an irrational urge to roll her eyes at the Elder, but she was eighteen summers old now, too old for that sort of behavior. Still, Vanora’s constant patronizing tone wore on her nerves. She knew her Elder had her best interests at heart, intending to properly groom her to one day fill Alianore’s shoes. But still. She sat up and rolled her head side to side to ease the ever-present tension that burrowed in her shoulders since Michael’s departure from Avalon. She reminded herself to focus. She must act responsibly and prove herself proficient in priestess lore, ready and eager to one day be a leader.
She answered as was expected. “The water is used for healing, as well as for scrying so we can see into the future.”
Vanora looked up from her stitching. “Scrying is not only to see the future. It is to read the actions of others in the present as well.”
“Of course it is,” Marissa snapped.
“Marissa, tame your temper when speaking to an Elder,” her mother scolded.
“Yes, Mother. Forgive me, Vanora. I confess to feeling anxious about the upcoming Summer Solstice ceremony.” She offered her hands, palm up, to Vanora.
Her tutor nodded acceptance to the apology. “What other magical underpinnings does our holy Red Well have? Shayla?”
Shayla’s head jerked up. Preoccupied again, Marissa thought. She’d never known another priestess to daydream as much as her halfling Faery friend.
“Umm . . . all blood and all tears shed on earth flow into the Underworld River of blood and tears. We see them above ground as the red and white springs of Avalon.”
“Good . . .” Vanora said. Her voice droned on in further instruction about using the waters for scrying.

Marissa turned her attention back to thoughts of Michael. She certainly knew the purpose of scrying well, and not only because she had been formally initiated into the arts of seership one summer ago. How many times had she poured the holy water into her shell bowl and gazed into the shimmering fluid, setting her intent to learn of Michael’s whereabouts. She’d even knelt down on all fours next to the spring, scrutinizing its watery depths, begging the Goddess for some sign of his return. But in six years she had not been privy to any such information. No images appeared to show her where Michael was or how he was doing. It baffled her. It was almost as if something was blocking her watchful eye. Some sort of obstruction she couldn’t discern or move beyond.

drawing by Rana

Friday, June 19, 2020

Summer Solstice and the Visionary Fiction novel, The Hidden Abbey

It is the Summer Solstice. High summer and the longest day. A time of flowers and blossoms (can you smell them?!), bountiful fruits and vines, abundant fertility, vitality, and the greening of the fecund earth.

This is the time to celebrate this lush season!

What is coming to fruition in your life?
What do you think is coming alive, coming to fruition, in the world?

In my Visionary Fiction novel, The Hidden Abbey, we see what the Summer Solstice meant to the young priestess, Marissa:

Ringed in a semi-circle behind the three young women sat a group of younger students. Marissa listened as they giggled and whispered amongst themselves in their excitement to observe the day’s lesson. The Elders, Alianore and Vanora, sat in front of the group and clapped their hands lightly, bringing them all to attention.

Vanora spoke first. “Today we will talk about the upcoming Summer Solstice Celebrations. Summer is a time of fecundity both in nature and in the bodies of the young women who have started their bleeding cycles.” She pointed to the younger girls. “You are here to begin learning about your role as a priestess in the ritual. For the future, when you are eighteen summers old, like these three.” She pointed at Marissa and Ciara and their halfling friend. “And you three, as newly initiated priestesses, can help us teach today.”

The younger girls, none of whom had experienced their first blood flow yet, tittered and looked around shyly. Marissa had heard these lessons since she was a young girl, like the ones who sat behind her, and could recite the teachings by memory. She rolled onto her side and leaned over the spring, running her fingers through the iron-tinged water. The spring burbled, its flow continuous since time immemorial, and its waters cool and clean.

At the head of the well, a gnarled hawthorn tree and an apple tree shaded them all from the noonday summer sun. Marissa breathed in the scent of their perpetually blooming white and pink blossoms, feeling the vibrancy of nature’s fertility stirring her belly and blood—perfect for rousing the desire needed for the upcoming Solstice Ritual, when young men and women celebrated the mating rites of summer. Too bad her mind and heart weren’t aligned with the greening vitality all around her. She’d always looked forward to participating in the mating rites for the first time, but they wouldn’t be the same with anyone but Michael. And he wasn’t here to participate. She looked down, fighting the longing that had only grown since he’d left Avalon, taking her heart with him. Now she shielded her sorrow with a veneer of prickly brusqueness. She couldn’t help it. It was the best way she knew to protect her broken heart.