Goddess Temple Newsletter
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You can read some of this season’s content below – or choose to download the entire newsletter to print or read as you wish – see below for more details.
I write this after the conference, having visited Ireland, taken a road trip, celebrated Autumn Equinox, and settled back to my Canadian life. Always missing Avalon I haven’t taken off my conference bracelet yet, so that I have one foot in the circle. I recall greeting new and familiar faces, voices full of love and gratitude – of those who plan and scheme, who paint scenes and compose music, speak and sing and dance and heal through our week. I assimilate images and songs into my soul to bring out at will until we meet again. This summer, we worked our way through transition and we did it well. I see Goddess smiling on Kathy, with gratitude for the firm foundation she has laid, beckoning her to follow other dreams, maybe to rest a little, though I doubt that – always with such grace.
Then there are those who ground us – builders and hewers, fetchers and carry-ers, ladder-climbers and rock-scrubbers. When these people transition, yes, their bodies can be replaced, but the firm ground never scatters away, and will provide strong terrain for us all to dance on always.
Four strong women are stepping away this year – four powerful women who have served Goddess in Glastonbury for many years.
Geraldine Charles has been webmistress for the Goddess Conference from at least 2003. For 14 years she has created exquisite pages that tease people into registering time after time. She’s like the cobbler’s elves who work late into the night, using codes of which most of us mortals have no understanding. Geraldine, always conscious of the tiniest detail and the most minute glitch, will solve any snafu before dawn, using her sharp computer-forensic skills. Once the site is launched, Geraldine juggles all the registrations, questions, concerns, and problems we send to her ! – until the rest of the team arrives and she can share her wealth of resources and goodnatured practicality. Then, left alone again, she finalizes stats, sums up activities and closes the book on yet another conference. Geraldine has played her valuable roles with integrity, humour, legal savvy, and technical brilliance.
Lorraine Pickles and Lisa Newing have been editors of this Goddess Temple News since 2010. This will be the last edition created by these two eloquent scribes. Writers both, they choose and arrange pieces that create a visual environment for the season they are celebrating. Designed by the other member of the team, Paul Williment, as cross-quarter fire festivals, free creativity’s heat in response to Lisa and Lorraine’s call. Knowing our pieces are treated with such respect and honour is a gift. Knowing that Lorraine and Lisa work as a loving team with Paul, that the combination of words and pictures is memorable in every issue, and especially knowing that the editing is flawless, is gratifying for writers and artists. I am personally grateful to Lisa and Lorraine for accepting my work and I am sure I speak for all the contributors over the years. These two fine wordsmiths have played their valuable roles with integrity, honour, patience, and technical brilliance.
Yamuna Wynn has fed our bellies and souls since 2006. Her task is a sacred one: she creates dishes for our conference week as a service to the Goddess Radharani. Her mission is, as she says, “That all the food be prepared in such a way that it all could be offered and blessed by Radha and Krishna, and we could all enjoy a Karma-free diet.” Yamuna’s work begins well before the conference – shopping, preparing, freezing, in large quantities – drawing around her a team of like-minded souls who, after nourishing us for four days, then proceed to work around the clock to load the banquet tables with plates full of delightful nibbles, dancing energy. Yamuna plays her valuable role with grace, devotion, sensitivity, and technical brilliance.
I deeply love these women and have worked closely with them for years, appreciating their love and friendship. They’ll be missed as we all wend our way through the stones of forever, and rest in ancient memories, while we create a future that sings of peaceful unity – wherever we all are.
With much gratitude, thank you and Blessed Be.
Samhain. Way down we go, into the cauldron, into the deep dark time of the year, into the arms of Keridwen, Crone Goddess, She who holds us and gently leads us through that which we must endure, until we are transformed in Her love.
As I write this, I am recovering from breast cancer, and my co-editor Lisa is recovering from two recent eye operations. How strange it has been to try to co-ordinate Goddess Temple News between our respective operations ! I am sure you will join with me in wishing Lisa a speedy recovery from her eye surgery.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer when the Lammas sun was still shining, and now as I peer from the rim of my own cauldron, the nights are drawing in and winter approaches. Never for me has the autumn seemed more glorious, never has the love of family and friends seemed to me more precious. Every day falls like a pearl drop into the cauldron, both scorching hot and icy cold. Her love continues to be changing, yet constant; this is the journey we must all make as Samhain comes. When death and change come into our lives, through illness, loss, or disappointment, it transforms us into new beginnings, and leads us on to new life.
Change has come this year to the Priestess of Avalon Training. Ruby Ward has stepped down as tutor of the First Spiral. Erin Mcauliff has stepped down as the tutor of this year’s 2nd spiral, thus ending several years for her of teaching this life changing course. Both amazing women, who are succeeded by the wonderful Luna Silver, who begins teaching the first two years of the training this Samhain. Together with Kathy Jones, they will take it forward next year into its twentieth year.
And so too, Lisa and I are preparing to hand over the Co-editorship of Goddess Temple News after seven enjoyable and fulfilling years. We have seen the Temple change and grow, and we have always tried to reflect that in the Temple newsletter. We now feel it is time for Goddess Temple News to evolve and grow in different hands.
May She hold you in Her love this Samhain, and always.
Lorraine Pickles and Lisa Newing,
Priestessess of Avalon, Co-Editors Goddess Temple News