If you asked me why I was a Water Witch and Avalonian Priestess years ago, I probably would have given you a completely different answer. It would have been a vague reply about being pulled to the path like a magnet with so many road markers pointing me in the right direction. I have written about how I was called to this path and how I found deity several times but this post will be a little different. This will be about why I am and continue to be an Avalonian Priestess and Water Witch.
Becoming an Avalonian Priestess and Water Witch happened simultaneously. In fact, in many ways they overlap and are connected, but at the same time the work of a Priestess is different than the work of Witch, but they sometimes overlap. When I first started studying, I studied everything that was available to me and that I could study. I knew I had a path, I knew I was being lead down it, but I had no idea at the time what it would be or where it would go. At first I studied things like crystal magic, healing via reiki and revisiting the basics. After a while though, one moves past the 101 and into discovering their own path, what draws them in, what they are attracted to and the style of magic. After my 101 phase, I moved into the 2.0 phase. The 2.0 phase is pretty awesome, it is a place of discovery and practicing magic with confidence. This is where I really began to figure out who I was as a Witch and Priestess.
The Avalonian Priestess
One day after ritual my Teacher at the time said “Hey, why don’t you work with Morgan Le Fae”. This was a passing phrase which I am sure he doesn’t remember but it was important to me. I had been working with Aphrodite and Gaia for quite some time at that point and while I was studying formally with my teachers, I began to work with the Deity of the Tradition which were in the Celt/Norse range. Working with the Ancestors was also a really important part of the teaching I received. As I started to dive in to my past lineage, far past what was known or could be traced, I found there was a deep connection to the landscape and people of Western Europe and very specifically Brittany, England, Scotland and Wales. I know a lot of people have a draw to the Irish Celtic path, but for some reason that is not where I am, at least not at the moment! So during this time I started to look into working with Morgan la Fae. At this point I had a really good knowledge base, I was still exploring energy work and had started to offer healing sessions and crystal grids. One day my other teacher said to me “You know, you are an Avalonian” I didn’t really know what she meant by this, but every part of me sang “YES”. How could I know I was this “Avalonian” before I even fully knew what it was? She then pointed me in the direction of the Avalon Mystery School which I enrolled in right away.
I came to Avalon on a much different and less direct path than others following a similar one. Many Avalonians I know came to this path via way of the book series “The Mists of Avalon” and while I have seen the movie and (way later) read the first book, I only partook in these things because it was something that I felt I needed to at least look into so I could have basic conversations with my peers. Of course there is more out there and I found it, but we all have a starting point and for some it was the Mists of Avalon but not for me! Rather, I came to the path of Avalon via a winding back road; through the path of the ancients, via dreams, the love of Pre-Raphaelite art, poetry and intuition. I first got a taste of Avalon through John William Waterhouse. The Lady of Shallot stole my heart the first time I saw it. I became obsessed with the song, poem and paintings. I was so obsessed I hand lettered the entire poem onto handmade paper, and bound it in a book. I regret that I gave it away so someone who I cared about at the time, the only person up to this point that I had created art for, but like every single piece that was created and given to her, it want right in the trash. I wish I had kept it for myself! It was later I would find out that many believe that The Lady of Shalott is Elaine of Astolot, Lancelot’s wife. It wasn’t just the Lady of Shallot that captured my attention. Other artists of the same time who painted faeries and nymphs captured my heart. I would buy books with fairy tales that later I would find were easy versions of stories found in the Mabanogi. I also became involved with the SCA and while it had nothing to do with me finding my path, it did let me explore the medieval period more. So I embarked in learning everything I could about Avalon and European magic.I had been part of circles, even started an open coven which ended up fizzling out, however under the instruction and guidance of my teachers I started an annex coven 2 hour south of the covenstead. Here we could meet for moons and then travel to the covenstead for Sabbats. It was here that I started to work as a successful priestess. I say successful because I had been working as a priestess in a way for sometime, but I had no guidance or instruction (other than what I could teach myself) and so I ended up failing. My success came directly from my teachers support, guidance and teaching. It is amazing how much you can accomplish with a good solid foundation and supportive teachers behind you. Because of this I was able to use my training, studies and experience and form a successful circle/coven that focused on European and Avalonian Magic.
So my path as a Priestess had now been given a direction. I was no longer the “Fool” from the tarot deck, I had moved through the Major Arcana and found myself in the seat of a Priestess. I won’t lie, there have been times that I have thought of quitting. I have had students that have left, treated me terrible, and betrayed the coven. I even experienced one student threatening to harm me physically, trying to get public rituals shut down, working baneful magic against me and ultimately unsuccessfully trying to tear the coven apart. There has been terrible times of death, transition and depression, but every time I thought this is it I’m just going to go be an artist or dance, the spirits shined a light back on the path and pushed me along. While the negative things sound really bad, for every one of those small terrible things there is so much good as well. Our coven is stronger than ever, my students are amazing, they study, participate, do their homework and they grow. I love watching them grow! I don’t think there is anything more satisfying that seeing your students grow into something even more than you imagined, and to contribute back to the coven and help it grow. It’s like a magical eco system where every part, no matter how small is just an important as another. We continue to grow, now with 3 locations in the United State!
Read more next week as I talk about why I am a Water Witch….