Friday, January 04, 2013Posted by Morgaine Kildare at 11:36 PM
The topic that I have chosen for this first of the 2 A's is Avalon. Obviously, there's not exactly a wealth of "factual" information concerning this mystical isle of the Goddess, but there are several things in legend that seem to have come to be the generally accepted ideas about Avalon. For instance, there is the thought that the holy isle lay right off of the Glastonbury Tor. Now, mind you, I have no idea what this part of Britain looked like at the time of the Arthurian legends, but there doesn't seem to be a lake anywhere near Glastonbury Tor. This fact probably doesn't exactly come as a shock to people who have already studied such, but for me, the extent of my "knowledge" about Avalon has mostly come from reading the ever-famous "The Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley and I've also seen the accompanying movie. But I just looked at Glastonbury Tor through the eyes of Google Maps and the nearest body of water is around 30 miles away. Who knows? Perhaps at the time of Arthur there was a lake by Glastonbury. I don't know, but from what little I've been able to find about Glastonbury's history, it doesn't sound like it.
Still, from what I've been able to read about Glastonbury, whether it was once the way to get to Avalon or not, it's quite clear that it's still thought of as a holy and magickal place, especially from a Pagan point of view. The Goddess in Glastonbury
In stories like "The Mists of Avalon" where Avalon is as central to the storyline as Morgaine Le Fay and King Arthur, Avalon was the holy island where girls were sent to be fostered and raised to be Priestesses of the Goddess. It was said that Avalon was separated and protected from the mortal world by a magickal barrier constructed by the Faeries. In the book "Lady of Avalon" (also by Marion Zimmer Bradley), you come to find out how and why Avalon is separated from the mortal world, its original connection to the Glastonbury Tor, and even how and why the priestesses first came to the isle.
Avalon holds a particularly high fascination among Pagans. In the stories like "The Mists of Avalon", Avalon is the ultimate magickal place where one connects to the Goddess as the girls go through the years striving and learning what they need to become priestesses of the Goddess. Many groups and people in the Pagan community seem to take inspiration from the stories of Avalon and of Morgan Le Fay (myself not excluded) be it in action or in name usage. For instance, there's the Sacred Mists Online College (also their Sacred Mists Tradition and Sacred Mists Coven). From what I've read about them, they take much inspiration from Avalon in that the Sacred Mists Tradition is a blending of Celtic Traditional and Faerie Wicca. There's also The Coven Avalon. And I can't even think of all the Pagans I've come across who have taken a name from the legends of Avalon for whatever reason.
Even for myself: I took the name Morgaine because, after reading "The Mists of Avalon", I admired how Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote her. She was clearly human in her frailties and mistakes, she tried her best to learn the lessons set before her and she fought tooth and nail to regain all of her priestess knowledge that she'd forsaken after her falling out with Viviane. She sometimes made crappy choices but, all in all, she tried her best. I found her telling in "The Mists of Avalon" to be very inspiring and useful to apply in my own life. I want so much to be like her. I want to strive to progress in my learning and practice as she did.
Well, I guess this about wraps up my first entry for the Pagan Blog Project. I'm sorry if it's not overly coherent. My thoughts have been in a stressed-out jumble and it took me 2 days to put this together because I've been preoccupied by some massive stresses going on right now. Perhaps the next PBP entry will be better ^_^