Posts Tagged ‘British Isles’

N. C. Wyeth, "Sword Excalibur Rises From the Lake"I’ve returned from what was a most magical trip to Cornwall England.  Ten days of magical connections, experiences and spiritual growth.  As I ease back into my mundane life in Vermont, friends, loved ones and curious acquaintances want to know what it was all about.  Oh how I resist the sharing!  A difficult thing to admit as the clarity of this journey is about returning to share some of what I gathered there.  But as I knew that metamorphosis would take place, I find that my new wings are tender and unsteady still.

As we drove away from Cornwall and toward London to travel back home, I found myself experiencing a deep sadness at leaving this magical place.  That was a surprise to me, as I observed this feeling, and I realized how deeply the people, experiences and landscape of the sacred sites had penetrated me.  It’s so hard to describe the depth and meaning of this journey and so I don’t want to even try.  All I have been able to do is give brief snapshots and descriptors of some of the places and experiences I had.  But I know that for those who want to know everything, I can only give them a surface experience.  However, this won’t stop me from writing about the journey.

One of the first and most touching experiences I had was our first stop in Cornwall at Dozmary Pool.  This site is a tiny body of water in the middle of farmland and is thought to be the place where Nineveh, the Lady of the Lake gave Excalibur to King Arthur.  Here we gathered as a group of thirteen travelers to connect with the Lady and ask for our own personal Excalibur on the journey.

It was a sacred time to meditate and connect with the Lady, who  was quite willing to communicate with me.  As I stood on the shore, I was told that this was a place of stillness and peace; that no one who was enraged, filled with hate or anger could come to the Lady; only those who sought the healing peace of stillness would be welcomed by her.  To all others she sleeps.  Once she is called upon, she bestows the gifts of healing and stillness.  She showed me several stones to take with me on my journey.  But when it came to asking for a gift from her, I simply had to surrender as I didn’t know what to ask, nor what my personal Excalibur would represent to me.  As often is the case, surrendering to the higher will serves in the highest way.  She told me that this was the beginning of an important journey and that I could connect with her in my meditation at any time.  The ceremony and meditation there was profound, but I wouldn’t recognize that until later in the journey.

In our ceremony, led by Glenn and Cameron Broughton, the story of Excalibur was briefly recaptured.  Glenn explained to us that Lady Nineveh had been one of the High Priestesses of Avalon, but had come to this area of Cornwall to retire into the landscape.  Arthur had pulled the sword from the stone, but that sword was not the Excalibur.  Instead the sword in the stone was a test of Arthur’s worthiness.  After Arthur took that sword Merlin brought him to Cornwall to the Lady of the Lake.

When she gave Arthur the sword she said that it was the most powerful sword in England and would cut through stone and iron, but she went on to tell Arthur that Excalibur’s real power lay in its scabbard.  For the scabbard would protect Arthur at all times.  It was only when the scabbard slipped from Arthur in his battle with Mordred, that Arthur was fatally wounded.  Thus wove the beginning threads of our quest for the Sacred feminine and Sacred Masculine within the landscape of Cornwall and within ourselves.

My most precious gift was the Excalibur of understanding and embracing the Sacred Masculine.  It has been a part of my deeply personal and spiritual journey to heal my understanding of the Sacred Masculine and bring it into alignment within myself.

As I walked, hiked, climbed and scrambled up and down the various places we visited, I learned deep lessons of surrender.  I was profoundly moved by my fellow travelers who volunteered with open hearts, hands and minds to assist me through some very challenging places.

I was also gifted with witnessing one of my travelers opening to his Sacred Feminine as we both walked, danced and dowsed our way through the Michael, Mary, Athena and Apollo ley lines that run through the land.  What a gift to see this unfolding in someone you admire and respect while simultaneously experiencing the opening within yourself.  So my heart is filled with gratitude for that witnessing and for the experience within myself.

Many blessings to all of my fellow travelers as we ease our way back into our lives, knowing that we have been profoundly changed and have work to do to share the seeds we have been gifted with.

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I’m about to embark on my second journey to sacred Britain.  I feel extremely blessed to be able to go.  To be able to enter Stonehenge and participate in a sacred ceremony inside this potent place a second time in my life seems astonishing to me.


This year’s trek, Stonehenge to Cornwall, will be an entirely new and different experience than my first visit to the sacred sites and crop circles of Wiltshire.  I do know that it will be a magical and transformative journey.


As I prepared for this journey, I noticed a particular symbol that kept appearing in my life.  It started when I made a new piece of jewelry for myself that is a woman’s face with a butterfly superimposed over her face. I’ve been fascinated by butterflies since I was a child back in the day when bugs were non-threatening and interesting creatures to me.  How do we develop that squeamishness in adulthood that sends us fleeing from these tiny beings?


I think every child should witness the magic of the butterfly.  I remember capturing live caterpillars, making habitats for them in shoe boxes lined with milkweed, and watching them spin their cocoons.  Then when they emerged from their cocoon as the new Monarch butterfly, we would take them very carefully outside into the sun and let them go free.  What a miracle for us to see such a dramatic transformation.


butterfly_emerge1Butterflies are genuine symbols of transformation and freedom.  We can be a caterpillar that spins a cocoon.  Sometimes I feel like I want to be in a cocoon; perhaps my comfort zone, but I cannot stay there too long.  That’s not the way of things and change is truly constant.


So as weeks went by and I found myself buying a couple of really pretty shirts for the trip that oddly enough, had butterflies on them.  I began to think, well actually I already knew, this trip would be transformational in some manner. But I felt I was being affirmed, and called upon to open and embrace this opportunity.


Now I begin to wonder about the words transformation and metamorphosis and here’s what I’ve come to understand:

 According to the dictionary, the word “transformation” is defined as the act of changing in form or shape or appearance.  But “metamorphosis” is defined as a complete change of physical form or substance especially as by magic or witchcraft.  


While transformation happens all the time, I am much more drawn to the term metamorphosis, as it implies that I might have some power to effect change in my life for myself.  Transformation is always happening, in fact sometimes I feel like we’re always in flux with it.  We are moving through life and being shaped by all of our experiences and choices along the path.  But I’m now thinking more intentionally with regard to metamorphosis and becoming that butterfly woman.


Metamorphosis is about experiencing an intentional death, in order to emerge as the butterfly that you truly are.  That caterpillar has a short existence in its form that is very much Earth-bound.  Its natural cycle is to live and seek nourishment and then to settle into creating its cocoon where that part of its form will cease to exist, so that the true essence will emerge and take flight.  The caterpillar form no longer serves this being, and so that form is shed and a new form of this same Divine being is created.  What a beautiful example for us.  What more perfect lesson could there be for us?


I get the word “transformation” from my angel cards a lot.  Many times during the past week in fact,  leading up to this trip.  Now I’m thinking I might add the word “metamorphosis” to this deck to illustrate this deeper understanding.  My trip is one adventure in my immediate course, but butterfly woman wants to emerge from the cocoon into the sunlight.


Note:  I’m away for the next couple of weeks.  Although I’ll be journaling quite a lot, I will not be online.  So you’ll have to wait a bit before the next post.  Love and blessings until then.


Butterfly Woman


Graphic credits: http://www.dancingshakina.com/butterfly_woman_exp.jpg

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Since this will be my first official blog entry ever, I’ll begin with something simple and timely.  My name is Gwendolyn, although many of my friends and loved ones have only known me as Gwen, until recently.  Here’s the story.


I was born as Gwen.  My father was from Wales and my mother was very much a New England Yankee.  As the story goes, my Dad had wanted to name me Gwendolyn, among several very Welsh names, but Mom was wanting something a bit more American.  So Gwen was a good compromise.  Even so it was a bit different and there was the inevitable teasing at school, but I grew to like my name.


Now all of a sudden in my mid 40’s here I am making a change.  I could simply say it’s part of my mid-life crisis, but that just wouldn’t do.  As a point of fact, I hate pasting my experiences into a box- any easy answer that applies to everyone.  Life just isn’t that black and white and I’m not a fan of applying labels or boxes to people’s individual experiences.  You can blame an emotional outburst on PMS, but there’s real and deep stuff behind it that deserves honor and examination.  It’s terribly invalidating and fails to honor this process we call life. 

This change for me comes in my mid-life stage and it may mark a very personal part of my story.  During the past two years, I’ve had the honor of going over to Britain to explore the spiritual connection I’ve always felt from this place.  I’ve also made dear friends with Glenn and Cameron Broughton, of Sacred Britain Tours.  My feelings for the British isles run deep, and I resonate with the ancient history of the sacred sites there.  Whether this name change is from the connection to the British Isles, or to a shifting in the stage of my life, I cannot explain what specifically inspired me to do so.  I’ve had a few friends call me Gwendolyn in passing from time to time but I never thought about it being mine.  All of a sudden something has connected me with the energy of this name.   


It came very clear to me while I attended the Earth Spirit Conference, and it was really not triggered by any one speaker, although There were many Brits speaking there.  I cannot articulate what spurred this on, other than to say it was such a deep heart-knowing that presented itself to me.  Perhaps it was a whisper from my inner source, that resonated in my being like the sound of thunder.


I considered ignoring this urge and going along just the way things had been, but I knew that wouldn’t work.  For anyone who has experienced spirit working in your life, you know that spirit works sometimes in strange and rather insistent ways.  And if a new path opens to you, spirit won’t let you alone until you get it.  Sometimes it’s a gentle nudge and sometimes, if you’re not listening, it’s a cosmic baseball bat upside the head.  I’ve had those, they hurt.  I’m trying to cultivate deep listening skills so as to avoid those baseball bats.


So I thought about it, this re-naming, and it just seemed to feel right.  I really like the name Gwendolyn and for whatever reason it feels like it fits me now.  So I sat down and wrote an email to all my friends.  Their responses were mostly supportive but I could feel a tiny little sense of “What do you mean, I have to remember to call you Gwendolyn now?”  So I endeavor to patiently remind them, and sometimes they remind me.


Okay, it’s a personal growth thing, it’s a spiritual thing and it’s a mid-life thing.  Labels really don’t convey the depth of meaning it has for me.  So often I feel like I need to express what I’m experiencing spiritually, but the process of expression in words is elusive.  It seems that spirit defies description, transcends the physical and cannot be housed in a box.  There is more to a name than just a label.

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