The Glastonbury Goddess Temple Madrons, Melissas and Friends Day - 24 Feb 2013

The 2013 Glastonbury Goddess Temple Madrons, Melissas and Friends Day was held in the Goddess Hall on Sunday 24 February. A group of around 30 people assembled for the day of talks. This year I took a box of crystal pendulums to give everyone. I distributed these before the event got underway. Please see below for a full report, including two montages plus three photos and text for each session. As last year, things get underway with a summary of all the Goddess Conference Sunday video links from the last few years. These are great a reminder and can provide an uplifting experience! Please watch, rate and comment!

Conference Video Links
2013 Pt1        
2012 Pt1 Pt2 Pt3    
2011 Pt1 Pt2      
2010 Pt1 Pt2      
2009 Pt1 Pt2 Pt3 Pt4  
2008 Pt1 Pt2 Pt3 Pt4 Pt5

Montage of the morning session

Montage of the afternoon session

Mike welcomed the group and asked for volunteers for the Invocation of Britannia's Wheel of Goddesses. Bridget, Artha, Rhiannon, Domnu, Ker, Banbha, Kerridwen and Danu, ending with a call to the Lady of Avalon. Joanne settled the group into the ritual and then asked everyone to stand. She called to Bridget and then passed to Miriam for Artha and on around the wheel, ending with Graell calling to the Lady of Avalon. With most of the speakers being from other countries this time, callers were encouraged to use their own languages.

Setting up in the morning

Getting ready to call in the wheel

Virginie was the first speaker of the day. Her talk was about the Goddess in France. She took the group through a slideshow and revealed that France is effectively a number of different countries. Travelling around the old landscape you would have encountered various different tribes and spirits. She showed lots of examples of nature worship and told a tale about King Arthur and his dogs picking up the scent of a stag. In a theme for the day, she spoke about how many of the old legends had been Christianised. She also thought there were 50 Black Madonna statues in the country.

Virginie talks about French Goddess locations

Virginie talks about French Goddess locations

Virginie talks about French Goddess locations

Listening to the talks

Anna was next and she spoke about adventures with the Goddess in Turkey. She showed how big the country is as well as how mountainous. For these reasons the talk was to be limited to three main areas. The concept of the divine feminine is lost in Turkey because there is no way to express it in the language. Although there is a concept of a Mother Goddess. She has many faces and of course time on this day limited the number of slides that could be shown. Anna displayed a picture of Kypele and revealed that the statue was not on display because it was still undergoing restoration. She then paused for a short time to call Kypele into the event. Many of the pictures included carvings of hands and animals. And Anna noted the difficulty in archaeology for people to acknowledge the Goddess. This wouldn’t be the only time that theme would show up on this day.

Anna talks about the Mother Goddess in Turkey

Anna talks about the Mother Goddess in Turkey

Anna talks about the Mother Goddess in Turkey

Elle was up next. She is an American who has made London her home for the last 11 years. She made a great case for looking beyond the steel and concrete to find natural and non-natural sacred sites. Images of St. Bride’s Church were shown, somewhere Elle visits each Imbolc. She showed how the River Thames has a feminine form, far removed from its Old Father Thames title. In ancient times the river was wider and flooded more often and there was evidence of offerings being left for the River Goddess. She showed other examples of things that need to be reclaimed in the name of the Goddess, including imagery outside churches. Examples of ancient trees were also shown, ones that people walk by every day without a second thought. A map of London revealed ancient and modern apple orchards – perhaps rivalling Somerset in number. Elle told the group how she walks ley lines and she recommended a book on the subject by Chris Street. She also suggested that the design for the Olympic medal could be based on London’s ley lines. Certainly the occult aspects of the Olympics are a study in their own right. Elle concluded that London was like a womb, with everything travelling to it and from it.

Elle talks about sacred sites in London

Elle talks about sacred sites in London

Elle talks about sacred sites in London

Joanne was the final speaker before lunch. She spoke about the Matronae (or Mother) and her temples in Germany. Joanne lives in Bonn and like Anna, noted archaeology’s reluctance to accept the Goddess. She said the Rhine, like the Thames, has the title of ‘Old Father’. The river marks the dividing point between the old Celtic and Germanic tribes. Joanne places the Matronae in the North West in circles. She’s another Queen of the Underworld, although not in the same manner as Cerridwen. When shown as three Matronae they represent Maiden, Mother and Chrone. Originally likely worshipped as trees, Matronae carvings probably started in Roman times. A strong Roman influence can be seen, with Jupiter and Matronae often in the same temple. Joanne praised the Bonn Museum for the work they do with the Matronae. Joanne’s photos showed that the Matronae were celebrated everywhere – valleys, hills and settlements. She also told us how they got into stories and legends, such as with a farmer who saw three magical maidens in his crops. Joanne will be having her handfasting in one of these special locations later in the year!

Joanne talks about Matronae in Germany

Joanne talks about Matronae in Germany

Joanne talks about Matronae in Germany

Everyone was asked to bring something to share for lunch. Soup, bread, salad, nuts, crisps and other items made for a nice meal. With a packed programme we were soon back and ready for the afternoon’s offerings.

A nice shared lunch was on offer

Lorraine started things off with three poems. The first was called Coming In Through The Door, inspired by the variety of people that visit the Goddess Temple. The next was Now Is The Time To Begin, previously read at the Imbolc ceremony. The final poem was from a retreat Lorraine had attended with Kathy.

Lorraine reads three of her poems

Lorraine reads three of her poems

Lorraine reads three of her poems

Elin was the next speaker. Elin is from Sweden and she spoke about how things have evolved since she undertook her Priestess of Avalon training. As I have found with building community, she revealed that Facebook has been a very important part of getting likeminded people together. Elin spoke about her training and the changes she expected and what happened in reality. After the training she found the activities she wanted to offer were already being run by other people. She started by doing seasonal celebrations. One of her now best friends was found via Facebook after they were both running different Goddess-themed workshops on the same day. Things shifted when she returned to Sweden. Elin had three people on her first workshop and things quickly expanded. She went on to create the Stockholm Goddess Temple in the basement of building. She now has a real sense of community from the work she has already carried out. And it sounded like there is plenty more to come!

Elin talks about her priestess journey in Sweden

Elin talks about her priestess journey in Sweden

Elin talks about her priestess journey in Sweden

Stephanie was next with her talk about Matriarchal Networks. This was a fascinating look at changes in society and how the Goddess was reborn. She started by saying that she remembers the days when a husband had the authority over his wife on whether she should could go out and what she could wear. The first slide was from Women’s Day 8 March 1975 and the slogan The Personal is Political. She talked about the Matriarchy Study Group and also the Politics of Matriarchy. People discovered the Goddess again by researching her in their libraries. At this time activism and spiritual practice were part of the same thing. Greenham common was a big focus in the 1980s because the military is an extreme example of Patriarchy. Stephanie also spoke about the new age, what it represented and whether it has changed anything. She showed examples of cultures that thought the new age had done them no favours. She spoke about Dr. Vandanya Shivi and her organic seed bank and also Starhawk and her Goddess-inspired earth activism. Also Genevieve Vaughan and her Sekhmet Temple in the Nevada Desert plus her philosophy of a Gift Economy. Stephanie concluded by asking when the new Paradigm of a Motherworld would really be obtained?

Stephanie talks about Matriarchal research and how it relates to the world today

Stephanie talks about Matriarchal research and how it relates to the world today

Stephanie talks about Matriarchal research and how it relates to the world today

Miriam was next with a session on Frau Holle – the Great German Goddess. Miriam read the group Mother Hulda, a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm and first published in 1812. It was originally known as Frau Holle and is tale number 24. This is a story that all German children will have been taught. Miriam discussed what the story represented. Did it just mean that laziness would be punished or is there more to it? Miriam experiences Frau Holle as the Great German Goddess throughout the wheel of the year. In spinning, weaving, destiny, as Lady of the Well, rebirth, transformation and even the Goddess of Love. The fairy tale is really a story of transformation. She revealed that Frau Holle appears in modern media, such as being mentioned in a recently snowy weather forecast. Frau Holle’s time is the mid-winter – a time between times, a time of rest. Miriam and her community are reviving old customs at this time of year as well as inventing new ones. Although she is associated with the cold time, she is really the Goddess of all the weather. Frau Holle brings balance and she can reward but also punish. Miriam showed how Frau Holle can vary between regions. She appeared as a grandmother on a book and holding a pillowcase as a statue. Miriam then took the group through a nice guided meditation to meet Frau Holle.

Miriam talks about Frau Holle and leads a guided meditation

Miriam talks about Frau Holle and leads a guided meditation

Miriam talks about Frau Holle and leads a guided meditation

The day ended with Kathy showing her slides of Goddess Temples around the world, with thoughts regularly turning to how a new one in Glastonbury might manifest. She started by showing pictures of caves where spirits emerge from the other worlds. Another picture showed a cave with lots of ancestor hand prints on the wall. This is something that has been happening for thousands of years and Kathy would like to see it happening in Glastonbury. She showed pictures of carved reliefs of animals at the outdoor Gobekli Temple in Turkey. Çatal Hüyük was shown next. This is in southern Anatolia and existed from 7,500 B.C. Kathy spoke about home as temple as well about the links between temples and bakeries – the bread of life. She also spoke about group travels to Malta and how it is a nation of stone builders, providing an island of cities. The next pictures were from Malta’s Hypogeum, the site where the bones of 7,000 ancestors are located. Also shown from Malta were Hagar Qim, the Tarxien Temple and the large, medium and small Mnajdra temples. She then moved on to Krete, Egypt, Greece, Holland through to the new modern day Goddess Temples - the Sekhmet Temple in Nevada, the Glastonbury Goddess Temple, New Grange, Avebury, Temples in Orange County, California, Holland and Hungary. Overall another very successful Madron Day at the Goddess Hall, with the prospect of things expanding next year!

Kathy talks about Goddess temples around the world

Kathy talks about Goddess temples around the world

Kathy talks about Goddess temples around the world


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Page last updated: 05 Aug 2013