The Glastonbury Goddess Conference 2012

12 Aug 2012 - Added Montage 33
13 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 34-37
14 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 38-41
15 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 42-43
16 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 44-46
17 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 47-49
18 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 50-52
19 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 53-56
20 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 57-58
21 Aug 2012 - Added Montages 59-60

Goddess Conference Procession and Fruit Feast (5 Aug 2012)

The Goddess Conference in Glastonbury is now in its 17th year. I was in town on the first day of the Conference for other events at Chalice Well and the White Spring. I was able to chat to lots of people attending the Conference. I also joined my friends in this community on the last day of the event for the traditional procession from the Town Hall. A large group began to form up outside the building and the procession set off in very good time this year. The chant this time was related to the Conference focus of claiming a female Britannia from the more masculine imagery of things like Rule Britannia. The chant was as follows and lasted until near the top of the High Street before other chants took over:

Brigit Ana, Lady Britannia, Brigit Ana, Lady of our land!
Brigit Ana, Lady Britannia, Brigit Ana, Lady of our land!
We are calling you, Britannia our mother,
free our world of ignorance and fear!
We are calling you, Britannia our mother,
free our world of ignorance and fear!
Mother Britannia, we reclaim your name
to mean love and forgiveness and healing of pain!
Mother Britannia, we reclaim your name
to mean love and forgiveness and healing of pain!

The procession headed up the High Street, turned right onto Lambrook Street and then left into Dod Lane. The destination this year was Chalice Hill, although the private gate was locked when the procession arrived. Some people climbed over and continued to drum and chant under the nearby trees. The gate was eventually unlocked and the main group then entered. Once everyone was assembled under the trees the group headed off to the top of the hill. Here a fire was burning. It was then into the eight directional blessings of the Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses - Ker, Banbha, Cerridwen, Danu, Bridget, Artha, Rhiannon, Domnu and ending with a call to the Lady of Avalon and Britannia. The fire was involved in other ritual, as the rain came pouring down. The traditional fruit feast took place afterwards and then people made their own way back to the Town Hall as the weather remained uncertain. Below are three videos and a selection of photos from this session.


Processing to Chalice Hill (Video: mikesey)


Ceremony and Fruit Feast at Chalice Hill (Video: mikesey)


Ceremony and Fruit Feast at Chalice Hill (Video: mikesey)

The energy begins to build at the Town Hall

What could Matthew have said to make Miriam laugh so? (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

Matthew with Joanne (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

The energy begins to build at the Town Hall (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

The energy begins to build at the Town Hall

The procession leave the Town Hall

The procession moves up the High Street

The procession moves up the High Street

The procession moves up the High Street

The procession moves up the High Street

The procession moves up the High Street

The procession turns into Lambrook Street

The procession turns into Dod Lane

The procession heads up Dod Lane

The procession approaches the entrance to Chalice Hill

The procession waits at the entrance to Chalice Hill

The procession waits at the entrance to Chalice Hill

The procession waits at the entrance to Chalice Hill

The procession begins to climb Chalice Hill

Waiting for everyone to arrive

Continuing to climb Chalice Hill

Continuing to climb Chalice Hill

Continuing to climb Chalice Hill

Assembling around the fire

Ceremony around the fire (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

Ceremony around the fire

The Fruit Feast (Photo: Juliette Pearson)

Goddess Conference Montages (1-5 Aug 2012)

Following the success of previous montages, I've assembled another batch for 2012. I started with some of my own photos and then worked with various Conference attendees to include their images. They are held here for the record and additionally have been placed in an album on my Facebook profile to take advantage of the commenting, liking and tagging functionality there.

Montage 1 by Matthew. Photos by Matthew and Juliette Pearson

Montage 2 by Matthew. Photos by Matthew and Juliette Pearson

Montage 3 by Matthew. Photos by Matthew and Juliette Pearson

Montage 4 by Matthew. Photos by Matthew and Juliette Pearson

Montage 5 by Matthew. All photos provided by mikesey

Montage 6 by Matthew. All photos provided by Mandy Thorne

Montage 7 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen and Juliette Pearson

Montage 8 by Matthew. All photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen

Montage 9 by Matthew. Photos provided by mikesey, Mandy Thorne and Angie Twydall

Montage 10 by Matthew. Photos provided by Angie Twydall and Mandy Thorne

Montage 11 by Matthew. All photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen

Montage 12 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, mikesey and Juliette Pearson

Montage 13 by Matthew. All photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen

Montage 14 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen and Angie Twydall

Montage 15 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen and Jacqui Woodward-Smith

Montage 16 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Jacqui Woodward-Smith and Angie Twydall

Montage 17 by Matthew. All photos provided by Jacqui Woodward-Smith

Montage 18 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen and Jacqui Woodward-Smith

Montage 19 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Jacqui Woodward-Smith and Juliette Pearson

Montage 20 by Matthew. All photos provided by Phiona Tammen

Montage 21 by Matthew. All photos provided by Phiona Tammen

Montage 22 by Matthew. Photos by Matthew and also provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Jacqui Woodward-Smith, mikesey and Juliette Pearson

Montage 23 by Matthew. All photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen

Montage 24 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Miriam Raven, Chrissy Heaven and Susan Brigantia Hawksley

Montage 25 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Miriam Raven, Chrissy Heaven and Susan Brigantia Hawksley

Montage 26 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Miriam Raven and Chrissy Heaven

Montage 27 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, mikesey and Mandy Thorne

Montage 28 by Matthew. Photos provided by Holly RedFox Owen, Joanne Fae and Marion Brigantia

Montage 29 by Matthew. All photos provided by Joanne Fae

Montage 30 by Matthew. Photos provided by Joanne Fae and Jess Twydall

Montage 31 by Matthew. Photos provided by Juliette Pearson, Jess Twydall and Joanne Fae

Montage 32 by Matthew. Photos provided by Jess Twydall and Juliette Pearson

Montage 33 by Matthew. Photos provided by Janice Moughton, Jess Twydall and Joanne Fae

Montage 34 by Matthew. Photos provided by Rowan Wheeler-Yeates

Montage 35 by Matthew. Photos provided by Rowan Wheeler-Yeates

Montage 36 by Matthew. Photos provided by Rowan Wheeler-Yeates and Joanne Fae

Montage 37 by Matthew. Photos provided by Rowan Wheeler-Yeates, Janice Moughton and Juliette Pearson

Montage 38 by Matthew. Photos provided by Regina Abu-Khadra Minnig, Elen Lopez de Sousa, Rowan Wheeler-Yeates, Janice Moughton, Joanne Fae and Juliette Pearson

Montage 39 by Matthew. Photos provided by Elen Lopez de Sousa, Rowan Wheeler-Yeates and Joanne Fae

Montage 40 by Matthew. All photos provided by Elen Lopez de Sousa

Montage 41 by Matthew. Photos provided by Elen Lopez de Sousa, Chrissy Heaven and Phiona Tammen

Montage 42 by Matthew. All photos provided by Elen Lopez de Sousa

Montage 43 by Matthew. Photos provided by Elen Lopez de Sousa, Phiona Tammen, Regina Abu-Khadra Minnig and Jess Twydall

Montage 44 by Matthew. Photos provided by Monique Vermeulen, Jess Twydall and Juliette Pearson

Montage 45 by Matthew. All photos provided by Monique Vermeulen

Montage 46 by Matthew. Photos provided by Monique Vermeulen, Regina Abu-Khadra Minnig, Miriam Raven and Joanne Fae

Montage 47 by Matthew. Photos provided by Monique Vermeulen, Regina Abu-Khadra Minnig, Tina Free and Red Marsco

Montage 48 by Matthew. Photos provided by Tina Free and Red Marsco

Montage 49 by Matthew. Photos provided by Tina Free and Red Marsco

Montage 50 by Matthew. Photos provided by Monique Vermeulen and Elen Lopez de Sousa

Montage 51 by Matthew. Photos provided by Monique Vermeulen, Elen Lopez de Sousa, Tina Free and Rowan Wheeler-Yeates

Montage 52 by Matthew. Photos provided by Jessica van Loon, Monique Vermeulen and Tina Free

Montage 53 by Matthew. Photos provided by Luiza Frazao and Jessica van Loon

Montage 54 by Matthew. Photos provided by Luiza Frazao and Tina Free

Montage 55 by Matthew. Photos provided by Monique Vermeulen and Luiza Frazao

Montage 56 by Matthew. Photos provided by Juliette Pearson, Monique Vermeulen and Luiza Frazao

Montage 57 by Matthew. Photos provided by Lily Bhavani Aquarian and Graell Corsini

Montage 58 by Matthew. Photos provided by Lily Bhavani Aquarian, Graell Corsini and Monique Vermeulen

Montage 59 by Matthew. Photos provided by Lily Bhavani Aquarian and Graell Corsini

Montage 60 by Matthew. Photos provided by Lily Bhavani Aquarian, Graell Corsini, Monique Vermeulen, Luiza Frazao, Elen Lopez de Sousa and Rowan Wheeler-Yeates

A Report from a First-Timer (3 Aug 2012)

The following report has been submitted by Red Marsco. She attended part of this year's event - her first experience of the Goddess Conference.

The 17th Annual Goddess Conference this year celebrated Ker, the Grain Mother, and to quote from the programme; “Celebrating the great, abundant, fertile, and life-giving mother in Her season of Lammas”. I could only attend one day of the conference, and was advised to come on Friday. 3rd August. The theme of day was "Healing the wounds of the Mother". The day started before I reached Glastonbury at 8.00am with an awakening dance event, “Dance the Goddess within” to awaken the body and mind for the day. The ceremonial opening at 9.30am was conducted by the priestesses of the Second Spiral. The ceremony started with the Great Mother, holding all the threads of life, which were then spun out, carried down the hall by various Goddesses including Elemental Mothers (e.g. of Fire), Mother of Animals, of Vegetation, of Minerals and so on. As with Atropos in the Greek myths, the Great Mother then cut the threads of life, reminding us that she is both the Weaver and the Transformer.

This was followed by three talks from Georgina Sirret-Smith, Annabel du Boulay, and Tegwyn Hyndman on the subjects of, respectively “My mother, the Ice Queen”; “The challenge of Her Blessing” and “Between earth and sky”. All the talks were very different, dealing with the challenges and frustrations in the relationship with one's own mother, to being a mother in two very different and challenging situations, yet all were moving and thought provoking, and stayed with the listeners long after the talks had finished. A week later, and elements of each still keep coming back to me. After the very intense and moving talks, we welcomed the well-known protest singer, Julie Felix who sang a selection of songs. In particular, Julie sang the moving “How deeply you're connected to my soul”, with which everyone connected. Julie commented that she'd been asked “didn't she sing protest songs any more?”, to which the reply was “yes, but I also sing songs of healing; without healing, there is no way to move forward”. Everyone then split up into their Cornucopia Gatherings for discussion and support. These were assigned to people attending two or more days of the Conference.

The afternoon session, “Heart of the Mysteries Ceremony: Healing the wounds of the Mother”. An experience of sound, movement, keening, and lamentation which is rather difficult to describe, as each person participating had their own experiences of the event. The Grain Priestesses of the Conference supported the energy as we wept for the wounds of the Mother, some loudly, some quietly, each in their own way grieving injuries in our relationship with our own mothers, and the injuries to the land, Mother of us all. We surfaced, there is no other way of describing it, through dance and chant, led by Draupadi, and danced healing into our souls, and out into the world.

A break for dinner, and then we gathered in the hallway of the Assembly Rooms, waiting for admission to the evening session, Heart of the Mysteries: Returning to the Great Mother's Dreaming Womb of Creation. I had no idea what to expect and there was an energy in those outside, waiting for entrance. Inside, the Priestesses prepared themselves to be Embodiments of the Goddess. The doors opened, and suddenly silent, we entered into the womb of the Mother, held by the wide circle of priestesses around the hall. Each person found a space, a sheepskin to lie on, a cushion to sit on. Music, created by Priestesses of Avalon, called “Sacred Womb” helped sustain both the energies and sense of the Divine.

We each lay or sat down, and relaxed into the embrace of the Mother, to our inner space, which is heart opening, mind releasing, and consciousness expanding. We opened to the Great Mother's wisdom and creativity and, when each of us was ready, we approached an Embodiment of the Goddess. The Embodiments, masked and veiled Priestesses of Avalon, spoke to each of us with an individual message for our ears and hearts only. We then returned to our places to quietly let Her wisdom flow through us.

I’ve come across many misconceptions about the Goddess Community in the wider Pagan community; primarily that's there's little substance in their work. There was nothing lacking in spiritual content on this day; it was powerful. So, so, powerful and showed me the strength of the Goddess Community not only in Glastonbury but across the globe.


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Page last updated: 21 Aug 2012