05/18/09

Calan Mai 2009

Blessings,

We know that your time is precious; many of you don’t have a lot of extra time after the demands of your day-to-day lives and we appreciate that you take the time to read The Barge. It is our sincere hope that you find the information in The Barge useful and informative, and we look forward to a continued tradition of bringing you the latest SOA news and updates. If there are any topics, or information, you would like to see included in The Barge we would like to hear from you. Please email Kim Davis directly at avalonwomon@hotmail.com with your suggestions.

Sincerely,
The Barge Newsletter Staff

ravenwood-1

Calan Mai
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

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SOA Pilgrimage

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: pilgrimage@sisterhoodofavalon.org.

Offerings from SOA Sisters

Candle Charms

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 candlecharms@comcast.net 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 hearthmatron@sisterhoodofavalon.org 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 silverspirals@gmail.com for more information.

Silver Moon Cauldron Hearth

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.

02/3/09

Gwyl Mair 2009

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: pilgrimage@sisterhoodofavalon.org.

Offerings from SOA Sisters

Avalon Myst by Gwyllion Moon
Metaphysical Wares & Enchaning Gifts!
For Witchcraft, Wicca, & Pagan Paths!
Offering items that will stir the imagination and bring Magick into your world!

To learn more about Avalon Myst and Gwyllion Moon please visit her website at http://www.avalonmyst.com/servlet/StoreFront

Tarot Readings and Astrological Charts
My name is Kathi Boisvert and I currently reside in MA. I offer Tarot readings and astrological charts. I have been doing Astrological Charts and Tarot Readings for 17 yrs.

Charts: I am proficient in Birth Charts, Progressed & Transits Charts for developing future trends, & Relationship Charts. All calculations and print ups are done by hand to ensure accuracy.

Tarot: I can read anything from a basic 1 card pull to the Tree of Life, which is good for the entire upcoming year.

Pricing for charts and readings is negotiable but starts at $20 for either service. Anyone interested can contact me at avalonkat@netzero.com.

SOA Hearths and Learning Circles

The Sisterhood of Avalon fosters a growing number of Hearths, Novice Hearths and 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 for more information. Most groups sponsor Informational Teas locally to connect with women interested in making the journey to Avalon in safe sister space. Watch this list for periodic announcements for the dates and locations of these Open Teas.

Afal Iachaol is a small, but growing, new hearth in Indiana that started August 2008. Gwyl Mair was our second holy day as a hearth and first opportunity to use a special new sharing bowl. The dark blue and black bowl encircled with three mermaids was designed and hand made by Katie with Chipmunk Hill Art Studio at the request of hearth sister Rhonda.

Our hearth mother Bobbi recently shared this sentiment that represents the growth we are experiencing, “With each Full Moon Ritual, our bonds grow even closer – but the Holy Days – these are what we truly build safe-space for. It is so comforting to know that your sisters are holding the energy you have collectively raised so that you may feel comfortable with going into your work fully. I can feel that our sacred center is beginning to hold energy on it’s own now and allowing us to fuel it, rather than rebuilding it with each ritual, as is I think what happens at first as you find your collective dynamic.”

Blessings to all from the sisters of Rhosyn Melyn Hearth. The sisters here in North Texas have been busy with anticipation at the coming of Spring – We literally have experienced the “Stepping out of the Old” and “Dancing in with the New”. This Confrontation Time, or as one sister in Oklahoma would describe it as “Blow out with the Old” and “Emerge slowly”, we are grateful that Katherine, her family, friends, and pets survived the devastation last week.  Thank you all for your kind thoughts, and prayers.

At Gwyl Mair we celebrated at a cabin in East Texas, spending some much need inner reflection time as well as facing our reflections within Cerridwen’s Cauldron, while renewing our spirits by giving thanks with the fire and the well and the coming of the light.

We soon will have 2 new ladies that will join and begin our first Learning Circle this month, and we will have our 2nd Open Sister Tea the first Sunday in April, we hope some area SOA sisters will be able to attend so we can discuss a possible Texas Intensive in our area in the future. We also will be attending a local regional community festival in April where we plan to display our crafts and enjoy some more time outdoors. If any sister would like  a sample of  their crafts or products displayed please contact Deb Banfill Hearth Mother for information  dltb@lycos.com or send a message through Sister Space.

11/18/08

November 2008

Blessings,
As the days grow shorter and, for some, the temperature drops let us take a moment to pause and consider the energies of the season. With all of the hustle and bustle of the winter holidays, with their sparkling lights and seasonal soundtracks, it is important to remember that this is also a time of darkness and stillness for the Earth. While our social world quickens with a flurry of activity and seemingly endless demands on our time, energy, and resources the natural world instead takes a deep breath in, exhales, and simply stops … simply IS.

Because it is so easy to lose sight of our personal needs when we are caught up in holiday preparations and having to face the expectations of others — especially when times are so difficult for so many — it is even more important to take any moment we can and follow the example of the natural world. Take a deep breath in, exhale and simply stop … simply BE. Sit in a stillness like that of the Earth and listen to your own breathing … connect with your own heartbeat. Then, with consciousness, send your energy deep down into the ground and connect with the breathing and heartbeat of the Earth. Become aware of how very slowly it moves at this time of the year, and match your own breath and heartbeat with the rhythm of the Earth. Stop, and simply BE.

The fundamental essence of the winter holidays, no matter your path or tradition, is to find warmth in the love of your family and community no matter how low the temperature may drop, and to find light in the promise of life’s renewal even in the depths of the darkness. Connecting with, and working to maintain, a calm, still center will keep you anchored in the things that truly matter at this time of the year. The natural cycle is one of our greatest teachers and one of our most powerful allies for growth and transformation. When it is hardest to hear the rhythm of the Earth, it is also the most important time to stop and listen to what she is trying to say.

Be still and simply be.

Bendithion Afallon,
The Council of Nine

 

A Journey through the Sacred Landscapes of the
Avalonian Tradition: Presented by the Sisterhood of Avalon
June 21 through July 1, 2009

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 amidstthe 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:

pilgrimage@sisterhoodofavalon.org

 

 

SOA Hearths and Learning Circles
The Sisterhood of Avalon fosters a growing number of Hearths, Novice Hearths and 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 for more information. Most groups sponsor Informational Teas locally to connect with women interested in making the journey to Avalon in safe sister space. Watch this list for periodic announcements for the dates and locations of these Open Teas.

 20c_g_ritual

 Members of the Afal Iachaol hearth and Cainc Arian Hearth
meet up for a Calan Gaeaf Ritual weekend

Afal Iachaol Hearth mother Bobbi Hollars hosted a Calan Gaeaf ritual weekend November 7-9 at her home in Lizton, Indiana just outside Indianapolis. Eight sisters from Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan gathered Friday night for drumming, chanting, getting to know new sisters (and baby Caden who wowed us with his lovely smile) and reconnect with others. Not to mention there were lots of yummy, homemade eats. On Saturday morning we crafted cauldrons from Sculpy clay, as well as yonis and goddess figures. Later Kim attuned us for Celtic Reiki and Rhonda showed us how to card wool, spin yarn and use a drop spindle. More tasty foods followed and we spent a lovely, chilly evening warmed by sharing space in ritual and with the needfire. On our last day together we shared in a sister exchange then hit the road together for a breakfast and shopping at a local pagan shop.

 

 

 

The Cainc Arian Novice Hearth would like to welcome Sylvia, our newest Learning Circle member! If you live in the Cincinnati area and are interested in the Sisterhood of Avalon and would like to join our Learning Circle, please contact Hearthmother, Kim D. at avalonwomon@hotmail.com. Cainc Arian meets weekly and at each full moon. Our hearth is a way for SOA members to gather in community and to share our spiritual journey. Our next open tea will be in February 2009. Please look for the announcement on Witchvox or on the SOA-Updates group.