Friday, January 6, 2012

A is for Avalon

For me personally, a draw to the Pagan path was partially due to a quest for feminine divinity.  Having been raised Roman Catholic, you have a great number of patriarchal sources for strength, guidance, and worship, but unless you were in one of the few parishes that really celebrated the Virgin Mary, there was a certain lack of this.  Paganism offers many a duality in nature, respecting the male and female aspects of the spiritual or divine.  Along my search I have also found  myself drawn to the Norse and British/Irish/Celtic pantheons in my studies.  In search for the Celtic I found a group called the Sisterhood of Avalon that I found had some very interesting information regarding what I have come to know as the Avalonian Tradition. 
"The Avalonian Tradition draws its inspiration from British, rather than English, culture. Wales was able to maintain and preserve the culture, language and traditions of Celtic Britain far longer than the rest of England, so we look to Welsh language, literature and folklore to understand the beliefs of the Britons. The Welsh mythic cycle contains the first references to King Arthur, and through him, to Ynys Afallon – the Island of Avalon. Therefore, to discover the Goddess as She has revealed Herself to the Britons, and as She was probably worshiped on Avalon, we must turn to the mythology of Wales. We therefore seek the Goddesses of Avalon in The Mabinogion and its associated legends as this collection of stories represents the surviving corpus of the mythology of the Celtic Britons and as such, is worthy of deep study.
Due to oral tradition, then, the Divinities of the British Celts do not benefit from having their myths written down by those who worshiped Them, as do the Gods of other cultures. We are not inheritors of an intact tradition, and must look between the lines to seek out the symbols that have made the transition from oral to written form, even if those that transcribed them attempted to have them make sense in their own cultural context. It is for this reason that we must immerse ourselves in the study of Celtic culture so that we may piece the bigger picture back together and reclaim what we can of what was.”Source:  Sisterhood of Avalon, “The Avalon Tradition”,

The five Goddesses that are centered in this Avalonian Tradition are Blodeuwedd (the Lady of Intuition), Rhiannon (Lady of Manifestation), Ceridwen (Lady of Transformation), Arianrhod (The Great Teacher), and Branwen (Guardian of Avalon).  A lot of this has been handed down orally over the many many years so it is hard to find information on this without doing some research, which many have been doing, including this group, the Sisterhood of Avalon.  I am hoping to read some of the source material in the coming years and hope to have a more indepth post of my own words when I get to that point.

I am very new at this and am not claiming to be an expert by any means, but I thought I would share this information in my first blog post for the Pagan Blog Project 2012.  My goal is to deepen my connection with the feminine divine and then maybe branch back into a more balanced study.  But considering patriarchal sprits played a large part of my growing up I think a little time with the Goddess is warranted. 


  1. Great article! I've always been drawn to the Avalonian Tradition.

  2. My goal is to deepen my connection with the feminine divine and then maybe branch back into a more balanced study. But considering patriarchal sprits played a large part of my growing up I think a little time with the Goddess is warranted.

    I look forward to reading more in your studies of the feminine divine.

  3. Hi there! Thanks for posting on my site...I just read yours and it's funny, but before I read yours I wrote my next one for "A" on Avalon too! I am leaving on a journey tomorrow, so I have it in the hopper already for posting. I enjoyed yours as well. Please consider me a goodly friend and I will join your blog, feel free to add me as well. Bright blessings sister Gemini :) (me too :)

  4. You and I have a very similar story in regards to our quests' beginnings... I was baptized as a Catholic, then my father moved us to a Methodist church and then to an Episcopalian church. I eventually went back to the Catholic church with my grandmother when I was about 16 in search of a feminine deity I could relate to and connect with. Mary was close, but I still didn't feel like I had found what I was searching for.
    I too am a Sister. I'm very new (joined this past Calan Mai). I look forward to reading your PBP posts!