by Seer Matron Elisa
In the Avalonian Cycle of Revealing, each of the Goddesses has domain over one or more of the full moons of the yearly cycle. The Yearly Cycle always begins with the holy day of Calan Gaeaf and Ceridwen, and we celebrate the first four moons of the year with Her. This coming full moon, February 16, marks the last of Ceridwen’s four moons. However, her “time” will continue until Blodeuwedd’s first moon on March 18. Therefore, Ceridwen’s time in this 2021-22 cycle runs from November 19, 2021, through March 18, 2022. (Forgive me if this feels like too much detail; I promise you, the deeper into the work we go, the more it’s worth understanding!)
In addition to choosing a card from the Avalonian Oracle deck for Ceridwen’s upcoming moon on February 16, which marks the holy day of Gwyl Mair, let’s also look back and reflect on the cards chosen so far in this cycle. Perhaps if you have the Avalonian Oracle deck, you might consider pulling these cards and placing them on your altar for guidance as we move through this moon. What story do they tell you about your own journey and your work this cycle so far?
Here are the cards we’ve worked with so far on our journey.
Moon 1 – Initiation – Card: Moon of Initiation(!)
Moon 2 – Distillation – Card: Hearthkeeper
Moon 3 – Transformation – Card: Calling the Barge
And this month,
Moon 4 – Germination – Card: Reclaiming the Isle
So what of this card we’ve drawn, Reclaiming the Isle? How does it fit in with this moon’s Germination-energy? Keeping in mind that Ceridwen continues to guide us through this moon, I am reminded to return to her mythic tale…still in progress.
You’ll recall that we last left Ceridwen in angry pursuit of Gwion Bach because he, rather than her own son, consumed the Drops of Wisdom she had long been preparing in Her cauldron. In pursuit, both Ceridwen and Gwion Bach shapeshift from one animal to another. Their final forms find Ceridwen as a black hen and Gwion as a piece of grain. Ceridwen, still seeking to destroy Gwion, eats the grain, thereby ingesting Gwion, who, as a seed, gestates inside of Her for nine months. Finally–and this is where the story gets even better–Gwion is reborn as Taliesan–the radiant one, the shining brow–and ultimately becomes the greatest bard in Welsh history!
As I turned over the card, Reclaiming the Isle, the very first thing that spoke to me was how much its female form reminded me of a seedling, and her arms like shoots, reaching upward. She is encapsulated in what, to me, is reminiscent of a pod or container. Germination! I couldn’t help but connect this image to Ceridwen’s myth and Gwion in his seed form, preparing, like us, to emerge into the light, wiser, and more aware. The striking female image on the card, clad in black, is reaching toward the light–just as we will as we pass through this station, the deepest, darkest part of the cycle. I thought of a quote I read ages ago that inspires me still today: Every seed bursts its container. Growth demands it. I believe that this card, Reclaiming the Isle, is about reclaiming ourselves.
Our Avalonian tradition recognizes and embraces an eternal, simple truth: That in the darkness, when all is quiet and appears still–even stagnant, there is growth occurring below the surface. From The Mythic Moons of Avalon, p.147, Jhenah writes: “Though this gestational period appears like a fallow time from the outside, a great deal is happening in the darkness. Our inner potential begins to pierce through the hull of its seed, sending shoots of new growth up toward the surface of consciousness, seeking discovery…awaiting our attention.”
What else might we find in this card to connect us to this month’s Moon of Germination? I sought a fuller description of the card’s image in the Avalonian Oracle companion book and discovered that the figure is actually standing on the Tor. This is significant because, in addition to this upcoming full moon marking the holy day of Gwyl Mair, it also marks the Station of Confrontation in the Cycle of Healing. Some of you might be aware that each station in the Cycle of Healing (Descent, Confrontation, Emergence, Resolution, Integration) corresponds to a sacred Avalonian landscape. And, you guessed it: the Tor corresponds with the Station of Confrontation.
As we walk the winding path of the Tor, we ascend. Yet, we read in Avalon Within, p.112, “…even as one spirals up towards the crest of the Tor, there is an unmistakable magnetism pulling one’s energy down into its very bowels. It is disconcerting to be pulled upward and downward at the same time, and yet through this seemingly irreconcilable polarity, the Tor’s power reveals itself.” Likewise, we too might sense this polarity as we approach Gwyl Mair when we sit both in the depths of the Cauldron and aspire toward the Light Half. For me, these are the synchronicities that make working with both The Mythic Moons of Avalon and the Avalonian Oracle Deck so interesting. There seems to be no end to discovering intersecting pieces that can bring us greater depth of understanding ourselves and our Avalonian practice. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I do!
As we greet this next full moon of Germination, let’s consider our work of the Dark Half thus far, and remind ourselves of all the treasures still to be found in the deepest recesses of our own subconscious. Is this not where the richest soil for our growth exists? Let’s germinate!
Sister, Vision Matron