Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Look at Avalon Within

Click the book to see it on Amazon.
  A couple years ago I bought the book Avalon Within by Jhenah Telyndru at a local metaphysical shop, where the owner informed me that the book's author was also the founder of a tradition called the Sisterhood of Avalon, a women's tradition which focuses on the Divine Feminine. At the time, I read a little and stopped, never getting back to it until recently, when I happened to think of it and went searching through my books.

   The book describes a way of working with the cycle of the year, which involves the mythical(or historical?) Avalon, a place of mystery and spirituality, a place where priestesses came into their own. These priestesses are the same as those portrayed in Marienne Zimmer Bradley's novel, The Mists of Avalon. The book is filled with "Imrans," or medititative journeys, to different places on the island. The process focuses on inner growth and the pursuit of wisdom, taking you through the five stages of Descent, Confrontation, Emergence, Resolution, and Integration. Each step in the process is one of coming to a better understanding of both your internal and external worlds, and each is connected to a location on the Isle of Avalon, as well as to one of five Celtic goddesses: Blodeuwedd, Rhiannon, Ceridwen, Arianrhod, and Branwen. By journeying to these spots on the Isle and working with the goddesses, you embark on a journey of growth, guided by one of the priestesses of the blessed land. The book also gives an in-depth description of how to perform a solitary Avalonian ritual.

  The book contains an intriguing method of interacting with the Wheel of the year, which will be of particular interest to women interested in Celtic paganism, and the Arthurian legends in particular. Pagans frequently mention the pursuit of wisdom and inner growth, but in many sources the topic doesn't seem to receive much more coverage than that. Avalon Within takes it further, offering up a way that we can come to that wisdom and growth. The book did leave me feeling like I had a somewhat vague understanding of the process, but that will probably improve as I work with the journeys and activities in the book. Also, any lack of knowledge and understanding could be filled in with other sources, including those on working with the spirituality of Avalon, those on Celtic spirituality, those on the five goddesses, and Bradley's The Mists of Avalon.

If this type of working resonates with you, you may wish to look into the Sisterhood of Avalon. You can visit their site by clicking here.

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