Happy Solstice by Sharlea Sparrow
After what seems a long and cold winter we are approaching the Summer Solstice. The Avalonian Wheel celebrates and honours Domnu and other Goddesses of Water. To me this makes sense as the North Pole tilts towards the South Pole and we love to enjoy the beaches at this time of year.
Summer Solstice becomes busy with weddings and enquiries for the weddings team. I decided to do a little research as to why it is still a popular time to marry.
The month of June derives its name from Juno, the Roman Goddess of marriage. It was thought that couples who married in June would be blessed with prosperity and happiness. She is also the protector of women in all aspects of life, but especially in marriage and childbearing
During medieval times a person’s annual bath (yes, you read that right —just one really, thorough bath per year!) usually fell in May or June, meaning that June brides (and grooms) still smelled relatively fresh. The brides would have smelled more pleasant then than before but just to be safe, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide their body odour. Hence the custom of carrying a bouquet when walking down the aisle!
On a practical note, others chose June in order, to time conception, so births would not interfere with harvest work.
Also, ancient tradition promoted it would be most unlucky to marry in the month of May because in Roman times the Feast of the Dead and the Festival of the Goddess of Chastity both occurred in May.
However, we conduct weddings throughout the year at the Goddess Temple. We love weddings, whichever be the month that they are held in. Whether summer, spring, winter or autumn, a wedding is always a special event. Having said this, there are practical reasons why June is a wonderful month to marry – the days are longer with the promise of warmer evenings, summertime is full of joyful colour, summer is the best season for flowers and of course summer bounty makes menu planning easy.
I shall finish with a photo of the many Love in a Mist flowers that fill my garden now throughout the summer. They are the blues of oceans and waterways and are also known as bride-in-the -hair!
Happy Beltane by Dawn Kinsella
Beltane honours life, representing the peak of spring and the beginning of summer. Mother Earth’s energies are at their strongest and most active! All of life is bursting with potent fertility and at this point in the Wheel of the Year, the potential becomes conception. 30th April is Beltane Eve and this is when the sexuality of life and the earth is at its peak. Abundant fertility, on all levels, is the central theme. The Goddess has reached Her fullness and is at her most sensual.
It is on this day that Priestesses and Priests from the Goddess Temple celebrate the Beltane rites – a public ceremony, with all attending invited to dance around the Maypole, winding the many coloured ribbons in the dance and celebration of life. During the day the ground is prepared by the Priestesses. A hole is carefully dug and lined with flowers, fruits and garlands, this is blessed as the sacred yoni or gateway and represents the gateway of all life. The Priests and men of the Temple prepare the Maypole and ceremonially activate the masculine energies within the living wood, before it is planted into the body of the Mother, the Earth.
As Beltane is the Great Wedding of the Goddess and the God, it is a popular time for Pagan Weddings or Handfastings. Here in the Glastonbury Goddess Temple we call in the sacred sensual energies of the Goddess Rhiannon and dress the Temple in vibrant reds and greens. Rhiannon is a Sovereignty Goddess, whom the king must wed to legitimise his rule. A Goddess of Transformation, She uses her powers for love of others or self. She shines in our hearts as an example of true love and beauty. She appears in both the first and third branches of the Medieval Welsh stories, The Mabinogion, a narrative which grew out of the ancient myths of the Celtic Gods and Goddesses. Rhiannon is associated with the moon, horses, horseshoes, songbirds, gates, the wind, and the number 7.
Spring Equinox and the Festival of Oestre is the time when we celebrate the Mothers of Fire! We honour Ostara, Goddess of Light, Fire and Fertility and to Grainne, the Sun Goddess, for bringing her warmth and life back to our lands.
In Avalon the days are getting longer and lighter, and everything is springing to life! The sap is rising and we see buds on the branches of the trees and beautiful yellow daffodils and spring flowers appearing everywhere. The animals are coming to life as well! The birds are rebuilding their nests and looking for new mates, and the baby animals are being birthed everywhere.
It is a wonderful time of year! For us this is a time of renewed energy. After the long winter months of resting and hibernating, the light and warmth brings new energy and life. Our creativity and passions start to stir and we begin to work on our projects and ideas that we would like to manifest.
Jumping the broom is a time-honoured wedding tradition in which the couple jump over a broom during the ceremony. There have also been suggestions that the expression may derive from an actual custom of jumping over a “broomstick” (where “broom” refers to the plant common broom rather than the household implement) associated with the Romanis of the UK especially those in Wales.
The act symbolises a new beginning and a sweeping away of the past, and can also signify the joining of two families or offer a respectful nod to family ancestors. For all of these reasons, jumping the broom is an increasingly popular part of many modern wedding ceremonies. Read More…
As our physical body has seven energy centres or chakras, so does our beloved Mother Earth! Glastonbury is considered to be the planetary heart chakra of the world and boy can you feel the love! Glastonbury attracts people from all over the world. Some people come on spiritual pilgrimage to visit the sacred sites of the Tor, the Goddess Temple, the Chalice Well and the Abbey. Others come for healing and refuge, or to visit the wonderful New Age shops. Recently it has also become a key destination for couples to get married in! It’s not surprising as there is so much to offer couples. We have the amazing Goddess Temple which offers beautiful legal weddings. These beautiful ceremonies weave together your spiritual beliefs, elemental blessings and your sacred words of LOVE. They are utterly divine, a tonic to the soul, touching the heart of everyone that attends.
Glastonbury, Isle of Avalon, has long been known as a place of sacred pilgrimage. From our distant past to now, in this fast and modern world, Avalon has beckoned the pilgrim to come and experience these strange, otherworldly energies. All who come here feel the quickening of their soul’s journey in many different ways that are pertinent to the visitor: one thing is certain, everyone feels something and this ‘something’ has changed the life course of many.
Living and working here on the Isle in my vocation as a Priestess of Avalon in the Goddess Temple, I meet many people from different cultures and countries and the one thing that seems to be a common thread is that people get a strong sense of ‘coming home’. Often this is interpreted as literally feeling that Glastonbury is home, however I feel that it means something far more than that to each person. This feeling of coming home is the only expression in our vocabulary to describe this sensory connection and it seems to me, and many others that have experienced the same, that it is more a sense of coming home to ourselves, to ‘know ourselves.’ This is something that feels like an essential truth. In today’s fast paced society and patriarchal paradigm we truly do not know who we are. At birth we are given our name, we are someone’s daughter/son, a pupil or student from a young age, an employee, we literally are layered with the identity labels that we wear throughout our lives.
As part of your Sacred marriage experience we are pleased to offer you a new and exciting workshop for couples! Sacred Smithing is held by our wonderful Smith Dave Goddard (also known as Hugs). It is a deep ritual journey of connection to the elements through the ancient craft of blacksmithing.
Hugs will take you on a ceremonial journey to create your very own sacred object or a heart or circle. This will be done in ceremony, using the sacredness of the four elements. Your creation will be woven into your bespoken wedding ceremony on the day.
Saturday 17 March & Saturday 14 July
Wands and Hoops are exchanged and bound to form the Handfasting or tying of the knot. Our brides are encouraged to create their own sacred hoop and can make them at our Hoop Making Workshop with Priestess Sharlea Sparrow.
“The willow is Bridie’s sacred tree and I hold hoop making workshops twice a year or individually. I source willow withies from a local farm near to Glastonbury where I can see the Tor as I collect them.”
Cost of workshop is £25, which includes locally sourced willow withies and ribbons, blessed elementally and created in sacred space. Bring along personal items/trinkets to include in your creation.
Booking essential. Contact Sharlea for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Imbolc and Happy Valentine’s Day! This is the month of love! What better time to get inspired and start planning your Sacred Wedding in Avalon? This season we have lots of exciting things happening in the Temple. Priestess Sharlea Sparrow will be running a Hoop Making Workshop for brides. We also have lots of Imbolc events happening, including our Imbolc Retreat Days at the Goddess House. This is a time when you can immerse yourself in Her energy and be pampered and nurtured. The Temple has also has been redressed in white, and Bridie, the maiden Goddess Temple heads the altar. It’s beautiful.
Happy Solstice and Yule everyone! Here on the Isle of Avalon there is a sprinkling of magic in the air as we prepare for Winter Solstice. The beautiful Isle of Avalon is lightly dusted with sparkling snow.The Goddess Temple is now re-dressed by the Temple dressing team, dismantled lovingly from sombre black for Samhain and the Goddess Kerridwen, to gorgeous silver and white for Yuletide and the Goddess Danu. We are also excitedly preparing for our last Sacred Marriage of the year to be held at Winter Solstice Night. It will be a magickal candlelit ceremony. Staying in touch with our inner child is truly the spirit of Yuletide. It is this same wonderment that is spun and woven into each Sacred Marriage between us all here at Goddess Temple Weddings and our gorgeous couples. It makes each wedding and reception beautifully bespoke, taking on the total essence of the beloveds.