A review by Vanda Lloyd
The conference for me started about 2 weeks beforehand when I helped to make the Yoni badges worn by all the conference participants. All the badges were handmade and took quite a lot of time, but got us all into conference mode.
On the Monday before the conference started I went to Wells with one of my priestess sisters to a ceremony she had organized as part of her second year priestess training. We stood on an ancient hill fort near Wells, Glastonbury Tor in the distance, the most amazing view you could think of and we called in the directions of BrigitAna’s wheel and sent the energy over the land and to the Isle of Avalon/Glastonbury to the ceremonial group of priestesses and all people attending and working at the conference. It was such an amazing experience standing there and sending the energy over the land.
I am now a Priestess of Avalon, having dedicated with my spiral group in July just before the conference, and I had two of my spiral group staying with me for the conference. My flat was filled with beds, clothes, food and body paint(!), ready for the conference itself.
On the Wednesday I went to the hall with my sister priestess to enroll and get our yoni badges. I had been asked beforehand to read out a poem I had written about making the yoni badges at the welcome circle. I loved reading my poem out and had people in the hall laughing with its lighthearted content which summed up the many laughs and wonderful time I had with my sisters making the badges, though they both did a lot more work on the badges than I did.
Wednesday evening and the opening ceremony; the ceremonial priestesses came into the hall. A swirl of red dancing round the wicker goddess and calling in the energy for the conference. An energy of love in all its aspects, love and pain, love and loss, love and sharing, love and giving, love and receiving, I could mention many more aspects of love, this conference covered them all.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday at the conference covered many talks, workshops, fire, procession and of course the ball on the Saturday evening. We had talks by Barbra Meiklejohn-Free, Jacqui Woodward-Smith, Tegwyn Hyndman and Katinka Soetens, among others.
We met outside the town hall on the Thursday evening and processed to the fire on the land in Glastonbury, standing round the fire singing songs and dancing. Watching the flames grow brighter in the darkening light and watching the fire dancers dancing with sticks of flame was wonderful.
On the Friday afternoon, attending a very powerful releasing ceremony, and again on the Friday night being held in a safe space and then going to see one of the embodiments as part of that ceremony was so powerful for me. Looking at myself in the mirror after seeing the embodiment, mascara running down my face from my tears and just seeing a me who was glowing from within was so amazing.
Honouring the men on the Saturday afternoon, whispering the words of the Goddess to them as they walked through a tunnel of women was amazing. Lady Olivia standing on stage, such a presence and again on Saturday and the ball in the evening, dancing with my sisters and brother and just having a silly, fun time.
Sunday and processing up the High Street to Chalice Hill, making a heart on the land of Chalice Hill with people and throwing flowers into the heart, standing in hot sunshine, warm wind blowing, singing songs, priceless and so connected to the land. Fruit feast and then back to the Town Hall for the closing ceremony and tears because it was all over and had gone so quickly. People had come to the conference from all over the world, some for the first time, some had been to many conferences, some connecting again with old friends, some making new friends, some connecting in person after only having met on the internet.
I found this conference very powerful, the energy in the town during the conference was very heavy, it wasn’t just all about love in its happy, wonderful aspects but also the darker side of love, love in its pain and loss as well. This conference covered it all.
©Vanda Lloyd, October 2010
I am a poet and writer and currently have two books published – ‘The Goddess Temple and Ceremonies at the Goddess Hall’ and ‘Avalon Dreaming’ my poetry book which includes poems written by me on the Isle of Avalon. I have published a 2010/11 Sabbat calendar ‘Avalon Reflecting’ again all poems written on the Isle of Avalon and accompanied by beautiful photographs.
My third book in the Avalon series is due out soon and is called ‘Avalon Journeying’, this includes poems written on the Isle of Avalon about a journey I experienced over the summer of 2010. I am working on further poetry and writing.
I have given talks in Derbyshire and Staffordshire about my journey to become a Priestess of Avalon and also held moonlodges in Derbyshire. I can create ceremony for moonlodges, rites of passage, handfasting, funeral and seasonal and am willing to travel. I can also create bespoke poems/verse for special occasions or people.