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The Barge Newsletter Staff
Solar Observance – May 1st
Lunar Observance – First Full Moon when the Sun is in Taurus (May 9th)
By Jhenah Telyndru
In direct opposition to Calan Gaeaf in the yearly cycle Calan Mai, or Beltane, marked the beginning of the Light Half when the summer began and the world was green and growing. Good weather and the good health of animals and humans alike were anticipated and the flocks and herds were put out to pasture. Communal ceremonies included driving cattle between two ritual fires to bless, protect and purify them from any disease-causing vermin left over from their long winter confinement. At the clan central places, weather and marriage divination was performed, furious trading occurred, grazing land contracts were made and rents were paid. Between the long winter and the preparation and planting of the crops, this was the first real opportunity for the tribe to leave their isolated farmsteads and travel for any sort of communal gathering. Trial marriages made from the previous summer were given the long isolation of the winter to test whether they would work out; if this were not the case, the couple would come before the judges at Calan Mai to have their union dissolved. Calan Mai was a celebration of the fertility of land, animals and humans alike, and was one the greatest feast days – not surprising for an agricultural people for whom the abundance of the land dictated their ability to survive.
Goddesses of Avalon
The Goddesses of Avalon are the heart and soul of the Sacred Landscape, each weaving a transformational energy into the matrix of the archetypal realm. Once we have successfully made contact with the landscape areas and established a good working relationship which each of these places of power, we can use them to connect with the
Ladies of Avalon.
Blodeuwedd is the Lady of Initiation. She calls us to cast off the garments of expectation and to peer into the darkness of the self to find, and ultimately live, our inner truth. She teaches us to fly where others would see us grounded.
-Mythological Sources for Blodeuwedd: The Mabinogion – “Math, Son of Mathonwy”; Hanes Blodeuwedd
Come join with Sisters of the Spirit on a ten-day Pilgrimage where we will explore both inner and outer landscapes and balance conscious sightseeing with ritual, Imram and Avalonian teachings. We will immerse ourselves in the energies of the sacred landscapes of the Avalonian Tradition, bringing to life the legendary lands of The Mabinogion and connecting with sites held sacred to the ancient Britons. Stand in Druid Groves and chant in Stone Circles. Bathe in holy springs, explore ancestral barrows, and climb ceremonial hills. Experience first hand the mystical energies of Cymru and the Sacred Island of Avalon, portal to the Otherworld and Temple Center of Holy Women.
We will spend five days in Wales, visiting sites associated in literature and ancient folk memory with Ceridwen, Blodeuwedd, Rhiannon, Arianrhod, and Branwen. We will then travel to Glastonbury, believed by many to be Avalon of old, where we will spend the next five days of the pilgrimage visiting this “holiest erthe in Englande.” Time will be spent in experiential workshops, sharing in ritual amidst the sacred landscapes, and immersing ourselves in the spiritual energies of sites associated with the Goddesses of Avalon and the priestesses of old who are our spiritual foremothers.
For more information and a detail registration packet, please contact our Pilgrimage Coordinator: email@example.com.
Offerings from SOA Sisters
Hand-poured pillar candles made from all natural wax and a mixture of oils chosen for their magickal properties and personally mixed by Anita, an SOA member. Animal Totem and Nature’s Spirit Candles, Elemental Candles, Zodiac Candles, God and Goddess Candles, Full Moon and Dark Moon Candles are available. Custom orders welcome. Please contact Anita at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
SOA Hearths & Learning Circles
These groups of sisters gather to celebrate the Divine, to support each other in their growth and transformation, to learn the ways of the Avalonian Tradition, and to serve their greater communities in many ways. If you would like to find out more about joining or starting an SOA Hearth, Novice Hearth or Learning Circle, please contact our Hearth Matron at email@example.com for more information. Most groups host Informational Teas locally to connect with women interested in making the journey to Avalon in safe sister space. Watch this list for periodic announcements.
The Silver Moon Cauldron Hearth of Central Massachusetts is hosting an Open Tea on Saturday, May 16th at 2pm. This will be an informal gathering for local women interested in learning about and seeking membership in the Hearth and the Sisterhood of Avalon. Please contact Hearthmother Diana at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Sisters of the Western Shore
The Sisters of The Western Shore Hearth Aelwyd yr Arfordir Gorllewin met at the San Jose Rose Garden to enjoy the roses and discuss herb lore. We were fortunate to find several hawthorn trees surrounding the park and took several moments to work energetically with the hawthorn and collect hawthorn blossoms. We also worked energetically with the roses in the park and discussed the five trees sacred to Avalon. The Hearth plans several open meetings each year, and is happy to meet other women in the San Francisco Bay Area and its environs. We are also excited that our Hearth Mother will be attending the Level 3 Intensive in May, making us a full Hearth! We look forward to welcoming the SOA to the Bay Area at the Level 1 Intensive September 3-6.