We’re so happy to be able to send newsletters out at last! We hope to send them at each of the eight festivals of the Wheel of the Year, in future with information about the Temple, our events and the local area. But for this first time – well, now Keli and Ian are back at last, Geraldine Charles interviewed Keli to get the full story of how the Goddess Temple of Bala came about… it’s also Ian and Keli’s wedding anniversary at the Winter Solstice, so wishing them the happiest of days!
“Morgan the Goddess” is probably the last person I’d expect to meet in a late 14th century English poem, even if that composition were set in a mythic past—after all, Christianity had been well established in Britain for centuries by this time and that’s certainly demonstrated in the rest of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Interestingly, Samhain, the name used in much of the Celtic world for this fire festival, means something like “Summer’s End”, while the Welsh term, Nos Calan Gaeaf, approximates to “the First of Winter”. And Winter is what we prepare for, the dark and cold as we approach the Winter Solstice and despite a hint of change as days then grow longer the dormancy of nature seems to continue for a long time yet and Imbolc can seem so far away!
Ever wondered why some people call the Autumn Equinox festival “Mabon”? The name doesn’t really do much to suggest an equinox – these mark the time when day and night are roughly equal in length, so of course at the autumn one we’re moving into the darker half of the year.
So much of the evidence for Elen of the Ways and her roads leads one to suspect a much earlier original date than those usually suggested, and it’s exciting and truly staggering to realise that Elen may well date back to the Stone Age. Rather like Ceridwen, another hugely important goddess in Wales, she is returning from the mists today as we find new ways to work with and honour our beautiful and ancient landscape.
There are so many stories about Llyn Tegid, Bala Lake, the surrounding landscape and rivers. Let’s start with a tale of how the lake came to exist: