It's been a while since we gathered for a fire - the last gathering at the stone circle back in June to celebrate Solstice Full Moon felt very special, and quite a pilgrimage to get there! Since then I have been immersed in deepening my practise and learning more about Goddess culture, ancient and modern, and this magic I want to share with you now.
At Lammas I had the great honour of joining the International Goddess Conference in Glastonbury and holding a Pachamama Despacho Ceremony there as well as joining in some of the other enriching workshops which were on offer. It was wonderful to connect with grounded, wise and joyful women, men and children who all gathered in Glastonbury to celebrate the different aspects of the Goddess as she appears around the world. My journey to Glastonbury was particularly long and hot so when I arrived I went straight to the White Spring where a group of women were in a circle immersed in the healing waters. I joined them in a glorious candle-lit ceremony of singing, holding hands, placing hands on each others' wombs and honouring each other in true sisterhood. Our singing reverberated around the cave and I heard sounds coming from deep within me which I had not heard before - what a welcome!
Sharing the Andean way of Despacho with Spanish, Brazilians, Americans and Brits who all engaged in an open-hearted way was pure bliss and echoed the theme of the event as a whole which was one of unconditional generosity and reciprocity.
The Priestesses of Avalon (who were organising the whole event) were warm, inspiring and grounded in their wise offerings at the Goddess embodiment evening when they offered heart-felt succour to world weary pilgrims. Carolyn Hillier and Nigel Shaw gave a truly ecstatic concert the following night. On the Sunday traffic came to a supportive standstill as we all processed up the high street and on up the Tor singing 'I walk with the Goddess, the Goddess walks with me'. Atop the Tor we had a Lammas celebration, offering our gratitude to Earth and Goddess. Drums, rainbows, corn, harvest fruit, and of course chocolate!
Later in the summer my family and I were given the opportunity to visit Gozo and Malta, lands of the Goddess and what an awakening here too! Ggantija, a neolithic temple, is said to be the oldest free-standing building in the world. All of the Maltese temples of this era are adorned with variations on the spiral, interpreted as depicting the flow of life. One senses that Goddess culture reverberates through to the present day in the form of venerating Mary. The Hal Saffieni Hypogeum is utterly mind-blowing. Neolithic underground temple with 6,000 year old red ochre paintings of spirals on the ceilings. A place of ritual where ancestors were laid to rest and in use for a thousand years. A place built with a seemingly innate understanding of how to work with the living limestone, excavating and creating different rooms, working with the natural fault-lines and creating a structure which has withstood several earthquakes. There is an 'oracle' room there - a place hollowed out so that when a deep voice is sounded into it it reverberates through the rest of the building. This sounding in turn reverberates in your heart area. There are hollowed out spaces around the rooms where (some suggest) it would be possible to lie in a foetal position. Imagine being deep underground, in the belly of mother earth, candle light flickering over the red ochre spirals, lying next to your ancestors, with an oracle sounding through the cave of your heart!
The museums of archaeology on Malta and Gozo house Neolithic finds from these temples, many large and small statues of the Goddess, interpreted as the Goddess of fertility.
So I share this with you with an open heart, these experiences have added new depth to my experience of our Pachamama, Mother Earth and all who walk on her as aspects of the Goddess.
The next fire will be on Friday October 6th in the energy of this Equinox Full Moon.