Dedication Ritual~ Daughter of Avalon

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Firstly, What is a Dedication Ritual?

Well, a Rite of Dedication is a promise to the Gods & to yourself that you wish to devote your time and energy to a specific path or role within your Spiritual beliefs. It is our way of making a Positive Affirmation as you begin something, to ensure you are serious about it and that your intentions to it are long term. It is a Ritual promise to yourself, which makes it a personal & special endeavour.

Throughout the past 16 years I have had several Dedication Rituals.

The first was on Samhain all those years so when I cast my first Circle, Dedicated myself to the path of Witchcraft & cast my first spell.
Since then as my Path has grown and changed I have Dedicated myself to Brighid & to Herne as my Patron Gods, to the Path of Druidry, to being the Priestess of Celtic Moon & for me another important one was my Handfasting ~ Dedicating myself to my Soul Mate & Husband.

Last Sunday it was time for a new Dedication.
Over the course of this year, as I am studying the various Pathways to Avalon, I will be undertaking three stages of Dedication as a Priestess of Avalon.
This begins with Dedicating myself as a Daughter of Avalon (a student & new Dedicant), then as a Priestess of the Goddess (formally Dedicating myself to the role of her ambassador & teacher) and finally as a Priestess of Avalon (fully Dedicated to the path of Avalon & of teaching the ways of Avalon to others). This is how I am choosing to do it, though everyone’s path is different and not all have been Pagan for Sixteen years already. I feel that I am ready for this, and the Lady of Avalon is guiding my way.

So last Sunday, was my Dedication Ritual as a Daughter of Avalon.

I conducted a full Avalon Rite (See Blog Post Avalon Rituals) and held an Immrama to the Isle of Avalon. I envisioned myself stood at the crest of the Tor, and I called to Nolava, to the Nine Morgens of Avalon & to the Spirits of the Land of Avalon to join me.
I then Declared my intent to follow the Path & Learn the ways of Avalon. I told them I wished to work to being a Priestess & Teacher and that I felt that Brighid had guided me to the Shores of Avalon for this purpose.
I gave a Dedication speech which I had written myself, and ended it with a Blessings chant.

I felt very moved by my Ritual, very emotional and very happy.

I visualised planting a Tree on the Tor, a small sapling, which symbolises my Journey on the Path. When I Immrama there, I will check on my Sapling & see how She grows.

I gave thanks and closed down my Immrama. I then left an Offering on my Altar of Mead for the Goddess and Ladies of Avalon, and I drank a glass of Chalice Well Water (collected in February).

This Ritual was truly one of the most Personal, Spiritual and Magickal Rituals that I have been part of in the past 16 years as a Pagan. I was left with a feeling of complete & utter Peace afterwards and I slept soundly. It left me with a feeling of Connection, Light & Love.
A week later and just talking about it is still so joyful for me.

I am planning my Dedication as a Priestess of the Goddess for the end of May when I visit the a very Beautiful & very special place to me & my Husband ~ Cornwall. We got engaged there, honeymooned there and have had some very spiritual connections there in the past few years.
I will be holding my Rite of Dedication at a Sacred Waterfall as during my last visit there (during our Sacred Honeymoon) I felt Her presence VERY strongly.

My Priestess of Avalon Dedication will be when I return to Avalon at Samhain, as I feel it is only fitting that I become a Priestess of Avalon IN Avalon. And already I am so excited for it.

As an individual I feel so much calmer, joyful, more peaceful & more content since Dedicating myself.
The week has been a busy one in my mundane life, but I have not let it get on top of me.
I have been enjoying the influence that Avalon is having on me, and I think that those close to me can see the difference themselves.

Here’s looking to the next stage if my Avalonian Journey!
Brightest Blessings of the Sacred Isle,

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Pilgrimage to Avalon

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Well,
I have just returned from Avalon :)
And I must say, it was truly wonderful.

Husband booked us up for a mini-pilgrimage away, just the two of us, for a Spiritual retreat and a much needed dose of Magick.
We began with a visit to West Kennett Long Barrow. This was the place where my Journey on the Path of Avalon began back in May last year when Celtic Moon pilgrimaged there.

Grandmother Crow had presented herself to me that day, and had told me that on my own Priestess path I had further yet to go. She wasn’t wrong!
Since beginning the Immramas to Avalon I have found a great connection to the Goddess, amd the first Immrama was for finding my Avalon Guide… guess who? Got it :) Grandmother Crow.

So the journey back to the Long Barrow was one of Thanks, as well as for connection again with Crow. We were alone when we arrived, so Husband stood watch while I returned to the same chamber as last time (second on the left hand side from the entrance, on the stone slab at the foot of the chamber) for a Ritual & Meditation.
I did indeed connect with Grandmother Crow again, this time seeing her in her youth. Again, she looked scarily like me and my mother when we were little, and this time she wore a Crows Feather head-dress. I told her that I was thankful for her presence in my life, and for her direction towards Avalon. She showed me a Brighid’s cross, and I knew her meaning- That Brighid was also guiding my path.

After some time alone, and a few tears, I left the Long Barrow to be greeted by my Husband. It was lovely to have had the Long Barrow all to myself for a while.
I left it feeling peaceful, and contemplative. I feel very much that the Ancestors are still present within that sacred ‘in between’ place.

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From West Kennet we headed past Silbury Hill and to Avebury stone circle.
I do so much love this beautiful place :)
We walked the route around the stones, stopping to connect with some of the largest Sarcens, and climbing the locked gate to greet the ‘Twisted Sisters’ – four beautiful tress with intertwining roots on the hill above Avebury.
We had lunch in the Haunted Red Lion Inn, and bought some books in the Henge shop.
It was a lovely, spiritual day.

The next day was time to head to Avalon.
The closer we got, the bigger the butterflies in my tummy! And when we crested the hill, and saw the Tor rising out of the Somerset Levels, I gave a little gasp :)

I felt like I was coming Home.

We started in the High street. I went to the Goddess Temple for the first time ever. There was only me, the Temple Melissa (helper) and 2 other ladies in Meditation. I found a spot within the Circle of Morgens (wicker statues of the 9 Morgens or Priestesses of Avalon) and sat down on a meditation cushion. I prayed to the Goddess of Avalon, and the 9 Morgens, giving thanks for allowing me to visit this beautiful place. I thanked them for calling me to the Avalon Path, and for guiding me thus far.
I then prayed at the Altars of Brighid & Nolava that were set up in the Temple.
I lit a candle for all those whom I Love, and again gave thanks for all that I have been Blessed with. The Goddess Temple is a Beautiful, Peaceful and Loving space, and I really enjoyed my time connecting there.

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We did some esoteric shopping in the many beautiful pagan stores and bookshops, and then headed for Chalice Well.

We spent time drinking the Healing Waters, charging pendants and banishing ill health.
We lit candles in the Goddess Prayer space, and then I joined a woman by the Chalice Well Head. She was sat ON the well grill meditating. I sat on the steps in front of her and began meditating too. Another lady joined us, and then another.
The lady on the grill got up, thanked us silently and left. 2 men then joined me and the other ladies.
One of the men turned to the other 3 (who were all Dutch) and asked them to get their incense sticks out. I opened my eyes and the man asked me if I would like to join them in a small ritual. I agreed. He gave me 2 sticks of Nag Champa (my fave incense) and directed us all to hold the sticks together and to grip them at either end. We then filled the incense sticks with all of the negativity that we wish to let go of, any energies that we wished to release or anything that we didn’t need to hold on to anymore. We then lit the incense from a candle lit on the Well Head, and placed the sticks into the earth. I chose to place my sticks on either side of the stone step way to the well, so that anyone approaching the well would pass through the incense.
It was a short, impromptu, but well timed ritual. I let go of many things in that simple rite, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was meant to be there at that time.

I thanked the man, and his Dutch guests, for allowing me to take part, and bid them a blessed farewell. I returned to Husband in the Goddess Prayer space and we walked down to the Vesica Pool together, enjoying the scents and peace of the Gardens. The bell tolled for the silent minute, which we observed, and we took some photos of our visit.

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We headed into the Chalice Well shop, where Husband gifted me with a Chalice Well pendent and a Chalice Well ring, to always remember my connection to Avalon and to the Blessed Blood Well.

From Chalice Well, we headed to the White Well, hoping that it would be open this visit…it was!
The well house is dark, lit only by the candles on the 4 Blessed Altars in there. The water runs directly into a large pool, and then cascades all over the floor. I removed my boots and walked in the Ice Cold Waters.
We started with Brighid’s Altar, decorated with flowers and a wicker archway.
The scenes of incense was very strong in the white well house, and it was very intoxicating.

We visited each of the Altars, and I ran my hands in the water, anointing my 3rd eye Chakra and Heart Chakra.

The most potent Altar for me was the one dedicated to Herne the Hunter. We spent some time in this space, in awe of the energies of the place. It is a man made Temple- claimed by modern Pagans, to pay homage to the Healing Waters and to the God and Goddess. It reminded me of the Ancient Temples of Rome & Greece, and specifically it reminded me of some of the Ritual spaces at Knossos in Crete- a place I am fortunate enough to have also visited.

The energies of the White Well are fed by many modern visitors, and the volunteers who keep it running, and I can see how some would find these energies overpowering or too much at times. But for me, having been here during Immrama vision questing only, it was a wonderful experience to actually visit it in person. The waters are sacred, but the magical space that has been created by modern Pagan visitors has made it into something else. An almost ancient yet modern, raw, energetic Temple dedicated to the Power & Energy of the Gods.
20 minutes was more than enough time for a visit, any longer would have been too much.
No photos are allowed in the White Well, but my memories of it are still potent now.

From the White Well we returned to the High Street for some food – a much needed grounding exercise! And off to our Hotel Room for a well earned rest.

At 6am the next morning, Husband and I rose early, and wrapped up as warm as we could.
We left our Hotel in the dark and headed for the Tor.

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We wanted to see the sunrise, and hoped for a clear morning.
The whole way up the Tor I was saying prayers to Nolava, and running my fingers over my 13 piece Amethyst Bracelet. Husband was up ahead with his camera, happily snapping away, while I was connecting to Her with ever step I took. We were alone in our walk.

I could hear Her voice saying ‘Come, I am waiting’ as I walked. It made me walk faster, until I had no breath left in my body and I had to stop.
Once I caught my breath again, I continued.

When we crested the top of the Tor, the sun was not yet up, but the winds were blowing harshly.
It was freezing, and my whole face went numb.

Then we saw it. The slight curve of orange… The sun was rising. And we were alone!
It was beautiful to watch, and completely clear with blue skies. I said prayers of thanks to the Sun, to Nolava & to the Morgens of Avalon for Blessings us with beautiful weather all weekend, but especially on this morning.

When the sun had risen fully, while a husband took photos and a man walked his dog, I did 7 circles around the Tower on the Tor, I said the Ninefold Blessing of Avalon and thanked the Gods for helping me find my new path.

I heard her voice again. ‘Yes’ she said. To every question I asked Her. ‘Yes’. And I knew then that my feelings had been right. Avalon was the path for me.

Strangely, I had ‘Lady of the Silver Wheel’ by Damh the Bard going through my head whilst I was up there. It is a song dedicated to Arianrhod in her Spiral Castle. The Tor is meant to be one of the locations cited for this spiral castle due to its spiral labyrinth.

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Whilst I was in Ritual mode, Husband spoke to the man who walked his dog (as he does every morning) and he said that we were very lucky- that morning was only the second full CLEAR sunrise they had on the Tor since before Christmas, and usually there are lots of other people taking pics. Seems we were in the right place at the right time…. Synchronicity again.

Avalon Magick.

We descended the Tor and went back for Hot chocolates and Hot baths.

When we said goodbye to Avalon, I wasn’t sad. I was so Happy. So Happy to have had the chance to visit, however briefly, and so Happy to find that the energies welcomed me back lovingly. I felt so Happy that my feelings for the Path of Avalon have been reinforced, and the Goddess Herself had told me that I was on the right path.

I am smiling like a loon and STILL feeling the effects of the magical Aura that is Avalon. It is the veil which sits over the physical town of Glastonbury, but it is also that spiritual realm inside of us all that we can connect to, whenever we want to.

My journey to Avalon has confirmed for me that my Path is moving in the right direction for me, and I have returned Inspired, Excited, Hungry for more, Blessed, Peaceful, Determined, Stronger, Happier and Healed.

Now to see where the journey, and the Goddess, leads me next….

Blessed Be,
Breaca

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Crafty Witch Part 5 – A Goddess Gift for Aldana

Here as promised is a photograph of the Goddess statue that I made, with a lot of help from my husband! For my Beloved Circle Sister Aldana.

Here is Elen of the Ways :)

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Breach

NOD Essay 4: Into the Well of Beauty:

Artwork by Esther Remmington

Herne & Brighid

Into the Well of Beauty: Chapter 4 assignment

Reflect on your own relationship to the Sacred and/or Divinity.
How does it relate to this chapter of the NOD Bardic Text?

In a previous post I discussed how I came to be a Pagan. That I always believed in ‘something’, something within Nature that connects us all. I have likened it to the ‘Force’ described in Star Wars.

Our Celtic Ancestors were not known for anthropomorphising their Gods. That is, it was only with interaction with Rome that they came to see statues and figurines of humanized Gods.

Our Ancestors saw the Gods of Albion, Eire, Cymru etc as the Land itself or within the Trees and animals of Nature. The Hills were the shapely body of Danu, the Sun was the blazing light of Lugh and the Ravens were the sign of the Morrigan drawing close.

Many Celtic tribes had a totem animal that represented their connection to their Gods (the Bear, the Wolf, the Raven etc). Others connected through hot spots in the Land (Sacred Wells, Standing Stones, Hills and Burial Mounds.

But it is only really later that we began to personify our Gods in Human form.

For me, all Gods/Goddesses are one. They are the life force, Nature itself, that flows within each of us.

But just as I am a Daughter, I am also a Wife. I am a sister, an Auntie, a cousin, a friend, a Priestess, a Witch, a Druid, a Teacher, an Actress, a Student and a storyteller….

I am one but I am also many….and thus it is with the Gods.

The Spirit has both male and female energies within it (as do all humans)

This is personified as God and Goddess.

The Goddess then is taken and she too is split. Maiden, Mother, Crone. Goddess of the Earth, Goddess of the Moon, Goddess of the Sea, Goddess of Love, War, Sexuality, Peace, Animals, Childbirth, Fire, Forge, Water, Wells, Healing….

The God’s energies are also divided. Son, Lover and Father. God of the Sun, Lord of the Sky, Lord of the Hunt, God of Animals, Stag God, Horned one, God of Lust, Protector, Hunter, Warrior, Leader, Guide, Guardian, Green Man, Lord of all that is wild and free…

We call upon different God/Goddesses for different things. We call on the aspect that we need. My Nephew will call on me as his Aunt, but my students will call on me as their teacher- I am the same.

If we need protection we may call on the protective aspects of the God or Goddess.

If we require Guidance then it is this aspect that we call upon. And so we call the Gods by their different names.

We also have Patron Gods and Goddesses who we may have a closer bond to.

For me, I have always been close to Brighid.

I found her many years ago. Red headed Irish Goddess of Fire & Forge. Of Healing Waters and Guiding Light. The Goddesses of many aspects. So Beloved that when Ireland became Christianized they had to make her a saint for she was not going to vanish with the Old Gods quietly!

For me she has been there through all trials and tribulations, through Joy and Abundance, forever guiding me and ensuring that I act upon my instincts.

I cannot describe the Love I feel for this aspect of the Great Spirit.

I honour her in Ritual and have dedicated my life to being her Priestess, and teaching others the way of Paganism and Celtic Witchcraft.

She was beside me when I worked as an Auxiliary Nurse, when I cared for those who were sick and dying, and when I tended the bodies of those who had passed. She is with me now as a Teacher of children.

She gives me the strength to be compassionate and kind, caring and patient.

She gives me the fire to spark my ideas, my creativity, my passions and my desires. She gives me the energy to be excited by life, and to be ever optimistic.

She is the force behind me unwavering belief that life is sacred, precious and should be lived the fullest with no regrets.

She is my inner strength and my guiding light.

The male aspect of Divinity came to me a little later. Some call him Cernunnos, but I find Herne befits him better. Herne has a gravitas and a heart warming feeling, whearas Cernunnos sounds too Classical for me!

However you call upon him, he is the Stag Horned God.

He is the Lover, the Protector, the Warrior and the Hunter.

He is the spark. He teaches me to enjoy my life. To live it truly to the maximum. To dance, to feed my passions, to enjoy the sensualities of life in all its forms (to feel, taste, touch, smell and hear the world around me) and to ACT rather than just REACT.

He teaches me to embrace all sides of my personality and to like who I am. He helps me when I don’t feel confident. He is the nervous butterflies and hungry excitement before I step onto the stage. He encourages the fire, the anger, the laughter and the extroverted side of my personality.

I honour my Patron Gods and feel closest to them but I do also feel close to Morrigan, Dagda, Lugh and Danu.

These are the Gods whom I work most often with, though I have been known to work with Greek and Roman aspects of the Great Spirit if a spell, healing or other magickal practice requires it.

Chapter 4 of NOD discusses the connection we feel to the Gods.

It is individual for all, and will be different for everyone- even those following a similar path.

I don’t see my Gods as beings floating in the heavens in humanised bodies that can interfere in our lives if they feel like it. But that is me.

They are a personification. They are a character that helps us relate to the energy that is made of the elements. They are present in Nature. They are the Standing Stones and the Flowing Wells.

They are the Sun in the Sky Above and the Moon at Night. They are the seasons. They are the dual sides of our personalities. They are within and around us always.

I may call my Goddess one name, but she is ALL names.

My relationship with my Gods builds each and every time I invoke them in Ritual. Or each time I hear a song written for them that makes me cry through Love for them.

When I go through a difficult time, I do no blame the Gods. I do not have anger at them. I find comfort in them and I accept that life must have a balance of good and bad, light and dark.

My relationship with the Gods and with Divinity is eternal, and is one that I gain much happiness, spirituality and peace with.

I leave you with two songs dedicated to my Patron Gods.

Brighid by Damh the Bard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAXuLcej3Ws

Herne by Clannad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4Qo4vxXpC8

To you and to your Gods however you see them,

I give the Brightest of Blessings,

Breaca

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