Friday, August 04, 2006

Guest Blogger: Christina of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple

(Note from Medusa: This blog entry began as a comment to the recent "Buzz Coil" post. We contacted Christina because we wanted to upgrade her comment to a post so that the information it contained could reach more people. She has graciously agreed and made modifications and additions so we can bring you the following guest post)

by Christina

There's a lot to say about the work we're doing over in Glastonbury in England promoting the Goddess Temple .

As an academic, feminist and journalist I'm constantly aware of the deep misogyny of the mainstream media. Here in the UK it's pretty much completely unreconstructed. This despite the heroic efforts of women and men who are working for change.

So we decided to take the snakes by the throat and address the issue. We're promoting the Goddess here in the UK, and Goddess spirituality, via the Glastonbury Goddess Temple on TV, radio, in the press and online. We are determined to change public perception of the feminine divine and make the public aware of this as a viable spiritual path with many benefits. At the same time we're hoping to affirm the Temple and Her Priestesses and raise some money for a new Glastonbury Goddess Temple, which is badly needed.

There are several ways in which Glastonbury is unique and important. First, of course it is a genuine sacred site and perhaps has more claim than anywhere in Britain (itself sacred to the Goddess) to be a mystical Goddess focus. There are huge legends attached to Glastonbury and of course it's mentioned in the popular blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code. The Holy Grail is a Glastonbury myth; King Arthur was said to be buried here. And it's an ancient 'Isle': some say it's the isle of Avalon. The priestesses say that Avalon is the mystical land of the Lady on the other side of the veil of perception. As a medieval scholar I know that this idea occurs in a twelfth-century manuscript and is much older. Glastonbury has all this real historical and mythic resonance.

Second, it's home to the first (and only) Goddess Temple in Britain for 1500 years.

Third, the priestesses are very proactive and come from all walks of life; they are accomplished and impressive people.

Fourth, they run a priestess training course lasting 3 to 6 years which is fully subscribed and whose graduates go on to found temples and practise worldwide. There is one in San Jose, Calif., for example. There are now around 100 trained and practising Priestesses of Avalon and the course is popular and I think full.

Fifth, priestess Kathy Jones has just published Priestess of Avalon, Priestess of the Goddess, 544 pp. and her ninth book, which is the definitive guide to Avalon Priestess training.

There are so many ways in which you and the people you are in touch with could help us. We are seeking contacts in the US media, in magazines, the press, TV, radio and online, to promote and talk about the Glastonbury Goddess movement. If you, anyone you know, or anyone reading this should be inspired to suggest any way in, or any contact, in the US media for the Glastonbury Goddess, please post a comment on the Living Goddess blog at and I will email you.

We're also hoping to start off an annual academic Goddess symposium in the UK and would like to make contacts with US academics in the Goddess Studies field who would be willing to help set this up and take part.

The priestesses also urgently need to raise money for a new Goddess Temple and are asking for help. One of them, blogger Pammy, has opened up, which is a trading-up blog. It's an exciting place to make a donation and could be a way of Goddess-loving people to join forces across the continents. So far we have had offers from the UK, Norway and Austria. The blog has only been going a couple of weeks.

As you see, in Glastonbury it's about action and being proactive: both theory and practice. To me that's inspiring, especially as it encompasses many kinds of women and some men, some of whom are intellectual, some of whom aren't.

I am a lecturer in medieval studies at Bristol University and have developed a dayschool and weekend school for the general public, 'The Goddess and the Grail: The Real Meaning of the Da Vinci Code'. I am available to present this at other locations in Britain, as well as Europe, Australia, New Zealand and North America.

My ambition, as a woman, an intellectual, and an activist is to get this spirituality on the agenda as widely as possible. We're keen to get it into the corners it wouldn't normally reach. I am absolutely convinced that this would be a radical act of great merit and we're putting heart and determination into it.

Christina blogs at You can read more about the Glastonbury Goddess Temple there, and at

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Judith Laura

More blogs about /goddess/feminist theology/spiritual feminism/pagan/feminist spirituality/.