Guest Blog: Dutch Goddess Temple
by Priestesses of Avalon-Mystic: Laura, Joyce, Petra, Marion, Lida, Sandra
The story of the Dutch Goddess Temple begins in the year 2000 when two women meet: Manon Tromp and Sandra Warmerdam were both on a journey for spiritual growth.
For Sandra it all started in the landscape of the Lady of Avalon in Glastonbury, having an emotional connection with her ancestors and a feeling that answers were about to come. When standing in the Chalice Well during her initiation in 2002 Sandra made a promise to the Goddess to bring her back to Holland. She had absolutely no clue how and when.
Together Manon and Sandra decided to join hands in bringing the Goddess back in Holland. At spiritual fairs they stood and carried out their beliefs and their goal: a Goddess Temple in Holland. A spiritual space to share with people the love for the Goddess and a space for spiritual growth. In the meantime they organized sacred tours to Avalon, wanting to share their love for this magical place with other people. In no time they had about 150 people who were interested all over Holland, Belgium and even a reaction from France. In Holland there is for sure very little for people who are interested in the Goddess. In England there are lots of information and places to connect, whereas in the Netherlands people still have much to rediscover about the Goddess, including naming and renaming, which is important in the process of getting the Goddess back. There are almost no Dutch books about the Goddess, fewer known places to visit and what we have is based on Wicca. So there is a lot of work to do.
A Place for the Goddess to be Celebrated - Autumn Equinox 2004
Sooner than Sandra wanted and expected we were offered a space to use for free for at least one and a half years. We could not refuse that, respecting energies and signs that were so evidently coming our way. We got the key in mid-August and started to work, first decorating, then smudging (a lot) followed by performing eight private ceremonies, calling in the Goddesses based on Ana's Wheel, which we had learned from the Glastonbury Goddess Temple. This was a very intense thing to do being just the two of us. Doubting if we were ready after all, there was the opening September 21st 2004.
Nervous, wondering if anyone would show up, asking if this is really what She wants her to do, Sandra felt Her Presence the moment she was in the temple.
About 25 people came and were really interested, not just for supporting us, Manon and Sandra, but because they wanted to connect with the Goddess, Her female inspiration and to feel our Celtic background.
The best thing was a few days after; the really lovely emails, letters and phone calls of people who were with the ceremony. It made us believe that we were on the right track, on our way to bring the Goddess back into the hearts and minds of the Dutch. The Foundation of Avalon Mystic was a fact!
So we started performing the ceremonies of the Wheel – now being the Dutch Wheel – and very soon some women joined the board and the Foundation, helping with the ceremonies, taking the lead, donating and showing up at fairs and markets to spread the word.
High Spirits, Challenges, & Conferences
This was high time, spirits being high. Sandra relaunched the idea of a Goddess Conference and we worked hard on it. The first Dutch Goddess Conference in Lochem was a great success.
In the meantime the building in which the temple of Avalon Mystic was located, closed for a big extreme make-over and left us without our meeting place and temple for half a year. It was a challenge really, but at last in November 2005 we could reopen our beautiful new place in the same building with an impressive Samhain ceremony, visited by loads of people, who had not lost their way to the temple and the Goddess. Emma, priestess of Avalon, who was with us, gave her blessings to the Dutch temple as did every one present that day.(See bottom of page at http://home.hetnet.nl/~Sandra.POA/ for pictures.)
Sandra having started her course for Priestess of the Goddess at Samhain 2004, the first group of temple priestesses was a fact, a herald of ‘De Boomgaard' (The Orchard) that we launched April 2006. This is the beginning of a true spiritual community of women! A second group of students started at Samhain 2005. The ceremonies are organised by a fine group of priestesses, we are working hard on the second Dutch Goddess Conference [scheduled for June 21-27, 2007], and still facing the challenge of getting this and everything all round. Changes have occurred in the composition of the board, Manon finally heading for her own spiritual path with her Natural Magic. A group of volunteers and co-workers creates a wonderful team of women, focused on the Goddess and woman's spirituality in the Netherlands.
Laura, Joyce, Petra, Marion, Lida, Sandra
TAGS:life news spiritual feminism Goddess women and religion Goddess Temples Goddess Spirituality