Around the Cauldron · For the Gods

Through the Mist to Avalon

With Herne’s blessing I have begun a new path of study on my Pagan path: Avalonian Witchcraft. I’ve always been in love with tales of King Arthur and Merlin, and I know several different versions of the tales. It wasn’t so much the idea of magic that drew me in, it was the overall story of how a boy was destined to be King, pulling the sword from the stone, and becoming a King of the People. Of course there’s the whole possibility of whether or not Morgana was his sister, did he really father his own nephew/son, what happened to his body after the final battle – did he really go to Glastonbury or did he die on the field? Did Gwenivere really run off with Lancelot, and did Lancelot really become a French knight? Or maybe he already was a French knight!

Gustave Doré's illustration of Camelot from “Idylls of the King”, 1868.
Gustave Doré’s illustration of Camelot from “Idylls of the King”, 1868.

Where was Camelot – did it really exist, or was it really in Caerleon, Wales with the name changed over time like so many are? Or was it really in Winchester? Or Cornwall? Was Arthur a real person, or is the tale so engrained in myth and legend that the story has been changed so often that he could’ve really been a man named Bruce?

It is a myth that has captivated me since childhood – Avalon, and the tales of Robin Hood. Codes of Chivalry, knights in shining armour, the women in those elegant gowns. Tournaments, magic, love and betrayal – it’s the idealistic world where Spring and Autumn always seemed to begin on time, that there was a perfect element of balance within the Castle and its villages.

I think my favourite aspect of the tale has to do with the Lady of the Lake. She who gave Excalibur to Arthur, who enchanted Merlin, and who supposedly raised Lancelot after the death of his father. But to me, she’s been the essence of the land, that link between the possibility of the Kingdom being real and the real world of the Fae, that last connection to the realm of the Fae before the disappeared from human sight with the infestation of Christianity within the land. She both helps and destroys, playing the characters within the tale like pieces on a chessboard.

"Lady of the Lake" by fluidgeometry @ deviantArt.
“Lady of the Lake” by fluidgeometry @ deviantArt.

The Lady of the Lake is the Arthurian and Avalonian representation to my Goddess Sovereignty. Taken from The Torque, “Sovereignty represents both the otherworld and the land over which the king reigns; she marries or sleeps with him in order to enact his relationship with these two. In her positive, kingship-bestowing form, the Sovereignty often has three aspects: she appears to the hero while his is alone or wandering, she has a dual nature or appearance (often transforming from hideous to lovely), and she pours out drink to the hero in order to show her favour (and sometimes as a stand-in for the sexual act).”

Through this study of Avalonian Witchcraft, my hope is that I can find a deeper connection to Sovereignty. To blend the ideals of the Avalonian world into today’s real-life in Australia. To strengthen the tie to my ancestral lands of Albion to the land that my blood will spill upon. To draw upon the ancient wisdom of this beautiful myth and legend and incorporate it into my daily practice.

It seems as though every time I begin a new path on my Pagan journey, I buy a new piece of jewellery – in particular necklaces. I have a different pentagram for each stage of my early years, although most have now been used for other bits and pieces and are no longer with me. When I began studying Druidry I bought a piece from Forest Spirit Jewelery. When I dedicated my path to Herne the Hunter I made myself two pieces of jewellery. And now as I embark on this new journey of study, I’ve bought another piece.

It’s not like I plan on these things happening – they just do.

This is another piece by Forest Spirit Jewelery. I love buying from fellow Pagans as they generally have a certain energetic quality about them. Not to mention I’m in love with Julie’s work, her skill, and passion for what she does. I have several pieces of hers and each has a different quality to them, and I tend to wear whichever corresponds to how I need to feel. At the moment I’ve been wearing a citrine piece every day for the last month as I’m craving that kind of energy.

"Solar Creativity" by Forest Spirit Jewelery
“Solar Creativity” by Forest Spirit Jewelery

“This piece is made with Himalaya Gold Azeztulite, citrine and pyrite. It helps the wearer to be empowered by the solar plexus chakra energy that brings a clear mind, creative thinking, the ability to organise and plan well, and a healthy sense of self-confidence and will power.

“The main stone is Himalaya Gold Azeztulite which works strongly with the solar plexus chakra, opening and balancing it and encouraging creative connection to the divine Will. Citrine is cleansing, positive and creative. It clears the mind and encourages creativity, new ideas and mental clarity. Pyrite brings courage, confidence and will power. It gives you the inner strength to go with those new ideas and work on them more fully.

“A great piece for all kinds of creativity, as well as clearing the mind, and working on mental, logical and intellectual activities.”

I thought it was the perfect piece for this new branch of study, and to assist with my university study. What this piece represents and aims to assist in, are elements in my life that I need assistance with – confidence and will power.

 

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8 thoughts on “Through the Mist to Avalon

    1. I’m so envious of you! I’m a Science Major so I won’t have the real option of taking on a subject like that. I might have a look to see if my university offers it, though…

      I’ve look at them. They’re a bit too Goddess-focused for me. I like my balance of masculine and feminine. But I’m learning within a group which is very helpful!

      1. Between you and me (and all your readers), that’s the same reason I didn’t apply. Best of luck with your group! It’s great to find something you connect with.

    2. Hi Cosette! I was wondering if you could help me. I’ve been looking for a nice version of the tale of Merlin, Arthur, the Grail – start to finish – as part of the group that I’m with. Do you have a favourite from your studies? I don’t have a preference over book/pdf/webpage whatever, but as there are so many different versions of varying lengths, I’m struggling to find something that isn’t a remake of a tale based on a remake of the tale!

      1. My recommendations are the medieval romances. There isn’t a definitive classic work that tells the story of Merlin, Arthur, and the Grail the way that we are familiar with them today. Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “History of the Kings of Britain” contains the story of Arthur’s father, Arthur’s conception, Merlin, Excalibur, Guinevere, Arthur’s final battle against Mordred, and his final rest in Avalon. Chretien de Troyes added Lancelot and the Holy Grail to the story in the 12th century. His work is wonderful. My favourite is “Parzival” by Wolfram von Eschenbach. It’s a medieval German romance that follows the knight Parzival and his journey to King Arthur’s court and then the Grail quest. Perhaps the closest thing to a comprehensive collection is Thomas Malory’s 15th century “Le Morte d’Arthur”. And from Malory, everything is a remake of a remake, as you said. Malory is probably the best place to start though I think “Parzival” has better treatment of woman (as in, it actually has women as being important to the Grail quest). Keep me posted on how it goes!

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