Avalon ~ A Cosmic Power Point

avalon-calling-3The Pagan group I am a part of is very eclectic with practitioners of many diverse paths among its members and we like to introduce different ideas occasionally, to keep things interesting. During 2016 we focussed on Egyptian deities for our full moon and dark moon rituals and in 2017 the spotlight has been on Celtic deities. The theme of our upcoming Beltane Weekend is “Avalon — A Cosmic Power Point”. We will be learning about and tuning into the cosmic energy power points of ancient Avalon through ritual, workshops, pathworking, dancing and drumming, connecting to our own special cosmic power point and creating a crystal grid to heighten our ritual and meditation experiences, and of course we will have our traditional Maypole to dance around. We will be starting off with a fire ritual with the Celtic God Bel and the Spring Maiden on the Friday night and then on the Saturday night we will be doing a different, more primal ritual working with Ahriman — the Persian Adversary. During our meditation when working with Ahriman we will be transforming into therionick bestial forms and hunting out that which is working against us/feeding from us/blocking our progressions etc. We will then be binding that energy to a sacrifice using knot sorcery for the Devas to remove.

Some people may feel that a Luciferian based Ahrimanic ritual is totally out of context within a weekend retreat based on Avalon, but that is not necessarily the case if we consider the idea of comparative mythology, which is the comparison of myths from different cultures in an attempt to identify shared themes and characteristics. Relationships between different myths can be used to trace the development of religions and cultures, to propose common origins for myths from different cultures, and to support various psychological theories. (1)

Avalon & Ynys Witrin

Avalon is from a Celtic word meaning ‘apple.’ The apple-tree is a Celtic Tree of Life, upholder of the Worlds above and below and the source of all spiritual sustenance. In Irish tales, it grows upon an Otherworld island and bears the fruit of immortality which emits a heavenly fragrance, is able to satisfy all hunger, heal all ills, and yet always remains whole.(10)

In both Irish and British traditions, the Isle of Apples is traditionally ruled by a group of priestesses who are the guardians of the Tree of Life. They are also keepers of a magical vessel, cauldron or chalice, a timeless symbol of the Goddess, which may nourish, heal, inspire, and transform. The priestesses, led by Morgan le Fay, act as initiators of those who voyage to Avalon, and their vessel is nothing less than the cauldron of rebirth, out of which emerges the transformed initiate of the Avalonian Mysteries.(10)

Approaching the Tor from the back lane.

In the southwest corner of England is a region of low, flat farmland known as the Somerset Levels, or “the summer country.” Over the last two millennia, an elaborate system of sea walls and canals has been built, first by the Romans and then by British monks; before that the area was basically an inland sea, a rich marshland prone to frequent tidal flood. At the eastern edge of this region is a small tract of high ground joined by four hills that at one time formed an island. This was and is the legendary Avalon: a paradise of shimmering waters, sudden mists, sacred groves, hallowed springs, and a steep, sculpted mountain rising high above the others called the Tor. Avalon is also known as Ynys Witrin, The Isle of Glass; and as Glastonbury, which is the name of the town that resides there.(2)

Avalon has always had a transitory quality. Before the canals, its uncertain shoreline rose and fell with the tides, and the whole of the place would sometimes vanish in the mists. The island served as a sanctuary and a gateway between worlds as far back as legend takes us. Pilgrims and locals accessed the isle by boat, or by causeway in drier weather. Only initiates lived there.(2)

The earliest knowledge we have of the Tor comes to us from legends. In prehistoric times the island peak was believed to be the home of Gwyn ap Nudd, the Lord of the spirit world of Annwn. Immortalized in folklore, Gwyn ap Nudd became a Fairy King and his realm of Annwn the mystic isle and sacred mount of Avalon. Long a holy place of pagan spirituality, the 170 meter tall hill shows extensive signs of being contoured by human hands in Neolithic times. These contours, indistinct after the passage of thousands of years, mark the course of a spiraling labyrinth, which encircles the hill from base to peak. Ancient myths and folk legends suggest that pilgrims to the sacred island would moor their boats upon the shore and, entering the great landscape labyrinth, begin their long ascent to the hilltop shrine. By following the intricate and winding route of the labyrinth, rather than ascending by a more direct line, a deep attunement with the Tor’s concentrated terrestrial and celestial energies was achieved.(2)

Avalon ~ A Cosmic Power Point

Laborious dowsing around the Tor and surrounding area by various people over a period of years has shown that there are two distinct lines of energy – roughly parallel to one another – flowing for nearly 300 miles. Because of the large number of St.Michael and St.Mary churches situated upon the lines, these energy pathways have been dubbed the St.Michael and St.Mary lines. While the lines are of far greater antiquity than Christianity, it is not entirely inappropriate to have given them such Christian names. St.Michael, or more properly the Archangel Michael, is traditionally regarded as an angel of light, the revealer of mysteries and the guide to the other world. Each of these qualities are in fact attributes of other earlier divinities that Michael supplanted. Frequently shown spearing dragons, St.Michael is widely recognized by scholars of mythology to be the Christian successor to pagan gods such as the Egyptian Thoth, the Greek Hermes, the Roman Mercury and the Celtic Bel. Mercury and Hermes were considered guardians of the elemental powers of the earth spirit, whose mysterious forces were sometimes represented by serpents and linear currents of dragon energy. Along these dragon lines were highly charged power places – the serpent’s dens and dragon’s lairs of prehistoric myths – whose locations archaic geomancers had marked with spear-like standing stones, cave temples, and hilltop sanctuaries. Thousands of years later, as Christianity began its relentless spread through pagan Europe, St.Michael shrines were placed at these sites and the dragon-slaying Archangel became a symbol of the Christian suppression of the old religions.(2)

St Michael's Tower on top of Glastonbury Tor

Perhaps the most intriguing of all Glastonbury’s mysteries are the strange balls of colored lights frequently seen spiraling around the Tor. In 1970, a local police officer reported seeing eight egg-shaped objects “dark maroon in color, hovering in formation over the hill” and in 1980 a witness saw “several green and mauve lights hovering around the tower, some smaller than others, about the size of beach balls and footballs. One hovered outside the east facing window”. In 1981 people climbing the Tor saw a strange writhing light, which arced from the tower and earthed itself near to Chalice Well. In 1986 another witness wrote of spending one summer night sleeping within the tower and, waking from a dream of castles and magical beings, found the interior of the tower radiantly aglow with a luminous white light. The earth mysteries researcher Paul Devereux also witnessed strange lights in 1991. Glastonbury, the mystic isle of Avalon is truly an enchanted place. A sacred site since time immemorial, Glastonbury is a power place of potent transformational energies.(2)

The Veil of Avalon

Avalon is a land of transformation, sometimes known as the Western Isle of the Dead, a place of dying, healing and rebirth. When the legendary King Arthur was dying of his fatal wounds from the battle of Camlan, he was taken to the shores of the waters surrounding the Isle of Avalon, accompanied by three Faery Queens: the Queen of Northgalis, the Queen of the Waste Lands and Morgan le Fay, Arthur’s half sister, who is Morgan the Faery or Morgan the Fate, the third of the three Fates. In her role as Midwife of Souls Morgan le Fay helps those who are dying to cross over to the Other Side of life.(3)

The relationship between Glastonbury and Avalon is that of two worlds separated by a shimmering veil. Where the town is the outer world where we all live and work and express our humanity, Avalon is the inner world where the goddess lives and our souls find their freedom. The two worlds of Glastonbury and Avalon are separated only by a veil of perspective, how we look at things.(3)

The veil that separates is both an outer and an inner reality. To pass into Avalon is to enter the place of transformation, to open oneself to change and that is not usually an easy thing for any of us to do. We may ask for transformation but we do not always know what that means, what we are asking for. Sometimes journeying through the Veil of Avalon can seem more like a passage through a veil of tears. We find ourselves weeping as deep emotions are brought to the surface of consciousness, as we face those parts of ourselves that have long been repressed and hidden away. They burst forth into everyday reality in powerful and overwhelming ways. We cry often at the sorrow and the sweetness of our earthly human lives and find suppressed anger spilling over at inappropriate moments out of our shadow selves.(3)

Luciferian Ideology

The Luciferian is an individual who recognizes the common characteristics of the archetype of the Adversary, both from a masculine and feminine perspective. The Adversary is a trans-cultural archetype which has existed long before Christianity began. The Luciferian views the Adversary from many different cultures, from Samael the Angel of Lawlessness, Ahriman, a sorcerous God of Darkness who creates and destroys and so on. The Luciferian may be either Theistic – believing in the Adversary as an external force, although it does not understand worship and that it must be discovered within first OR the Atheistic in the terms of believing only in the self and experience, either way the Adversary is not an alien concept – it is discovered within.(6)

The Gods and Goddesses of the Luciferian path are collected from a multicultural perspective; they are what are referred to as Deific Masks, energies or spirits collected into forms in which we apply personality or image to. These spirits represent different aspects of our character, including the subconscious, latent powers and concepts.(6)

A “Deific Mask” is a specific representation of “power”, “energy” and “phenomena” which is viewed as a symbol of a “God”. Deific Masks may be considered atavisms or representations of a part of the subconscious mind; even going as far as to suggest they are “literal” to those who choose to invest belief in such.(8)

Ahriman, the Adversary

Ahriman, the Prince of Darkness in the Zoroastrian religion of Persia, is considered one brother created by Zurvan and was the opposing force to Ahura Mazda. Ahriman is a sorcerer who achieved a means of immortality and power over darkness and shadow — one who creates his desire in flesh. Ahriman is called the Great Serpent or Dragon, whose spirit is a shapeshifter and tester of flesh and mind. The form of Ahriman is Draconis, the Black Dragon from which all emerge into their own solitary being, from a Left Hand Path perspective, and fall to subconsciously. Ahriman created six archdemons to pervert/awaken mankind. These daevas are essential deific masks and these primal energies represent facets of individual initiation.(4)

ahrimanFrom a Luciferian perspective Ahriman is balanced and holds sway over the way of the world. Ahriman has many forms and is a key to the process of initiation and ­self-transformation. Ahriman, the primal adversary is discovered as an empowering force rather than a defeating one. Ahriman and the ArchDaevas are viewed as liberators, although dangerous ones, as empowering forces.(5)

Therionick deific masks are the beast and reptile forms representing lycanthropy and shape shifting via the astral plane and the dream. Therionick forms also represent the beast (therion) and often sorcery dealing with Therionick forms relate to suppressed or deep-seated desires present in every individual. Therionick Sorcery is thus the ability to explore and understand these desires, finding a suitable outlet for their manifestations.(5)

Animals which were said to be created and are sacred to Ahriman are Wolves, Ants, Serpents, Toads, and other predatory life forms.(4,5)

Our Beltane Ritual

Beltane is a cross-quarter day, marking the midpoint in the Sun’s progress between the spring equinox and summer solstice and traditionally marked the arrival of summer in ancient times. It is a spring festival of optimism. Beltane is the last of the three spring fertility festivals, the others being Imbolc and Ostara and it is the second principal Celtic festival (the other being Samhain). Like the festival of Samhain, Beltane was also a time when the Otherworld was seen as particularly close at hand. Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). As Samhain is about honouring Death, Beltane is about honouring Life. Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of “no time” when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. No time is when the two worlds intermingle and unite and the magic abounds!(9)

Avalon is a place of transformation — of dying, healing and rebirth. During Beltane the veils are thin making the mystical otherworld of Avalon easier to enter to open oneself to change.

Ahriman represents a key to the process of self-transformation. During our meditation as we work with Ahriman and transform into therionick bestial forms we will hunt aspects of ourselves which are holding us back in life or are otherwise detrimental to our wellbeing. Binding the energy of these aspects of ourselves to a sacrifice using knot sorcery for the Devas to remove is symbolic of the “death” of our old selves and our transformation, healing or rebirth as a new and better version of ourselves — coming out of the darkness into the light.

I also found some very interesting information in chapter 32 of Nicholas de Vere’s “The Dragon Legacy” where different mythologies and fairy lore are discussed and aspects of Morgan la Fey (a Celtic figure) and Ahriman (a Persian adversary) are interwoven in parts of the Carolingian Ring Myth — the likely inspiration for Tolkein’s LOTR.

The Carolingian Ring Myth

In the story of Holger Dansk or Ogier the Dane and his meeting, at a vast age, with Morgan le Fay and his restoration by her, we have a variation of Ogier as Odin (Og or Ygg) and Morgana as Iduna-Freja of the Apples. Holger Dansk was hailed as the greatest warrior of all the Danes and is still a national hero of Denmark.(7)

Ogier has obviously become a composite figure. He could not have been so incredibly old when he met Morgan le Fay because Morgan was born 200 or so years before Ogier. In this case it is possible that he has inherited the attributes of another historical figure: Waeldeg, the Odin or Odin priest-king or Royal Godthi who married the daughter of Cormac Mac Art in 300 AD. If Waeldeg the Odin or Ogg had met Morgana, a descendant relation of Cormac’s, then indeed Ogg or Ogier would have been of a great age indeed. It appears that Holger or Ogier was, like Waeldeg, an Odinic Godthi and the legend attributed to one Odin priest’s history has shown in other cases, can become the legend attributed to all Odinic priests.(7)

Often they become the actual God. The finer details are not important and neither are the discrepancies. The story relates that, at a great age Ogier the Dane set sail on one last adventure before returning home from Jerusalem. He travelled to an island on which stood a castle built of lodestone.(7)

As he sailed nearer, all the iron on his ship was ripped away and the ship itself was wrecked. Making his way to shore he entered the castle, which was lit by a magical light, and went to the central court. There he discovered a great serpent guarding a tree at the centre of the court garden. Resting in the shade beneath the tree was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, and on her hand was a gold ring.(7)

Ogier slew the serpent and went to the woman, who was none other than Morgan le Fay. She gave him the ring from her finger and he was magically restored to youth, health, vitality and life immortal. Morgan and Ogier then sail off to the land of the immortals , which is Tir Na Nog. The island with the castle is a common image which is repeated in the castle of Loreli on the Rhine, whose maiden is a fatal siren who lures sailors to their doom and wrecks their ships on the rocks.(7)

This motif has numerous variations in the cycle of stories concerning Sirens and Mermaids. The Island itself is a form of Avalon and the garden, the Garden of love, is repeated in the medieval story of the maze of Melusine. At the centre of the garden or maze is the source of life and love, either a tree or fountain pool guarded by a maiden. This story works on two levels, Inner and Outer, singularly and relatedly.(7)

The first level is psychodynamic and the second level is psychobiologlcal. The first level is identical to Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. Morgan’s castle is the mind-brain of Ogier. It is magnetic and attracts all experience, learning, opinion, fear, hatred, attachment and prejudice, which create a huge serpent, much like the Mithraic bull. The serpent like the bull, is Ahriman, the serpent of darkness or human ego-consciousness. It is the unregenerate experiencer and judge, the critical censor.(7)

The garden is the right brain and the suppressed side of consciousness. Morgan is the Anima in Jungian terms, the tree is the symbol which joins Morgana, the anima, to the second level of the allegory. She is the Tree. An Apple Tree and an Yggdrasil, the method by which Ogier or Odin gains access to Elphame.(7)

On this level the ring symbolises the gaining of consciousness of the eternal, the new bond forged between the left and right brain and the subsequent integration of the whole being leading to the voyage to the perception of the eternal. On the first level the aim of the alchemical rite is outlined and the steps to transcendence are mapped out. Arriving at the island is answering the inner call for transcendence.(7)

Ogier’s slaying of the serpent with yet another Magical Sword, which he named Courtain, is like slaying the Mithraic Bull, it is the obviating and neutralizing of the ego. Taking the ring is joining the left and right brain, and travelling to Tir Na Nog is gaining enlightenment: Zero, the One Ring that rules them all.(7)

In the tales of Loreli and the other mermaid or siren stories, in answering the call of the mermaids that leads to doom, one does not experience the doom of death, but the doom of the ego and the rebirth of the whole being into the light.(7)

On the second level the Tree and the Ring are aspects of Morgan herself and in taking the ring, one takes from the essence of the priestess whose vitality spreads through the branches of her tree. The ring is also the spout at the base of Melusines cubic stone, it also symbolizes the union that occurs with her as hierogamy and the perception of the eternal.(7)

The ring as the Orobourus is Mazda, the serpent of life and light which, when accepted and symbolically worn, returns the slain serpent of darkness to life and to a new relationship with the serpent of light. In this sense Ogier was Ahriman, the left brain, and Morgan was Mazda the right brain and joined in hierogamy, they become the twin serpents entwined around the tree which they both also become.(7)

This symbol is emphasized in the Baphomet of the Templars and witches and in the caduceus of the swans winged disc and the serpents. It is the symbol of the single soul transcended and of twin souls joined in divine union, all at the same time.(7)

The story of Ogier and Morgan appears to be the joining together of two seemingly separate racial traditions, the Danish and the Danaan which are, in fact related both by blood and by philosophy, both being in essence from the exact same Scythian root. The tremendous advantage here is that we can assess the earlier Danaan culture (some of whom travelled to Britain to became the Tuatha de Danaan) and synthesize elements of it from the later variant expressed in Danish Viking culture, thereby enriching our view of the fairy race as a whole.(7)

In anticipation…

As I write this post on the night of Beltane (7th November) our Ahrimanic ritual is still 4 days away, but already, the magick has begun with some subtle (and not so subtle) hints of transformation yet to come. So, yes, our group does like to shake things up a bit to keep it interesting and I am looking forward to our weekend with great anticipation! 😀


Sourced from:

  1. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_mythology
  2. darkmoon.spheresoflight.com.au/index.php?page=isle_avalon — material here was sourced by me in 2004 from webpages that no longer exist:
    kathyjones.co.uk/glastonburygoddess.html
    philomuse.com/kingfisher/lab/avalon.htm
    glastonberrygrove.net/reference/history/glstnbry/history.html
    gothicimage.co.uk/books/arthurianbritain2.html
  3. kathyjones.co.uk/in-the-nature-of-avalon-2/
  4. “Beginning Luciferianism Magick” by Michael W. Ford
  5. “Adversarial Light — Magick of the Nephilim” by Michael W. Ford
  6. “The Bible of the Adversary” by Michael W. Ford
  7. “The Dragon Legacy: The Secret History of an Ancient Bloodline” by Nicholas de Vere pp331-335 (also at bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_tuathadedanaan02.htm)
  8. mythoughtsbornfromfire.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/deific-masks/
  9. theotherside.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/beltane-approaches/
  10. chalicecentre.net/inneravalon.html

Photographs of Glastonbury Tor are by me, Topaz Drachen. 🙂
Image of Ahriman & Ahura Mazda — jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/1003-ahriman
Image of Ahriman — p 52 of “The Bible of the Adversary” by Michael W. Ford

 

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