By Jhenah Telyndru
Self actualization, reclaiming one’s sovereignty, and acknowledging one’s connection to Source are the three chains which uphold the Cauldron of Transformation sought by those who work in the Avalonian Tradition. We are inspired by the vision of Avalon as a template for spiritual wholeness, and the journey to Avalon – in the tradition of Celtic Wonder Voyage tales which require journeys over water to reach the islands of the Otherworld – has much to teach us. The path one must travel to reach the Holy Isle is itself a metaphor for the process of selfactualization, and in undertaking this quest, we learn to hear and trust our inherent wisdoms as we work to become conscious in our connection to the Divine.
To begin, we must first call the barge – to verbalize that which we need as we announce to the Universe our intention to seek transformation. Then, we must undertake our journey across the lake, whose waters represent the depths of the unconscious. Through this process, we see that the path to wholeness requires that we look within, and part of what we will see reflected in those inner waters are the Shadow aspects of the self – the illusions we have come to believe about who we are, the wounds that keep us from being whole, and the emotional baggage which weighs us down and prevents us from moving forward to birth forth our full potential.
These challenges manifest as the veil of mists which keep us from seeing ourselves and the world around us with clarity, and which keep us disconnected from the Source of wisdom which lies within us. Parting these mists reveals the mirrored surface of the lake, upon whose surface the truth of who we are is reflected; it is from these maternal waters of rebirth that we, like King Arthur, receive the sacred sword of Avalon from the hand of the Lady of the Lake. This is the weapon which allows us to see with clarity and act with truth, for by confronting our Shadow, we have earned the sword of Sovereignty – empowering us to act in the world with conscious selfdetermination.
With the way made clear, we reach the the Holy Isle of Avalon at last, and find ourselves standing on the shores of the place which Geoffrey of Monmouth describes thus, in the Vita Merlini:
The island of apples which men call ‘The Fortunate Isle’ gets its name from the fact that it produces all things of itself; the fields there have no need of the ploughs of the farmers and all cultivation is lacking except what nature provides. Of its own accord it produces grain and grapes, and apple trees grow in its wood from the close clipped grass. The ground of its own accord produces everything instead of merely grass, and people live there a hundred years or more.
Here, we are presented with a vision of a self-sufficient community, which – after outlining its purpose, thoroughly examining its weaknesses, and embracing its strengths – is able to meet its own needs and provide a safe and sacred home base for those who have come to dwell there. This sense of being complete in and of one’s self is one of the goals of those who walk the path of the Avalonian Tradition, and while much of our work is focused on that which is within us in order to seek a way to meet one’s own needs on a personal level, we also work to apply this ideal to the ways in which we choose to be in community with others.
The Sisterhood of Avalon is a modern-day community of women who follow the Avalonian Tradition. To learn more visit their website here.